Race Rules


World Snowshoeing Federation COMPETITION RULES

Distance races include any cross country race held on compacted or virgin trails for the purpose of selecting a competitor with the shortest completion time.

Rule 1

In all advertising and promotion, the correct distances and trail condition (packed or virgin) must be stated.

Rule 2

All competitors normally begin the race enmasse at a designated start line. For large groups of competitors, for ease of scoring, males and females or division groups may begin the race at different times. The race director may use his/her discretion in starting line grouping.

Rule 3

The race coordinator/director shall have the final discretion in determining the race distance  and course layout.

Rule 4

The technical delegate may also serve as the race director.


For WSSF sanctioned championship level snowshoe races, the race director and technical delegate need to hold current WSSF Officials’ licenses.



For national snowshoe races, the race director and technical delegate must be different individuals, each

holding current WSSF Officials’ licenses.


Certification for WSSF snowshoe race officials’ is obtained by completing an open book exam and returning it

and a processing fee to the WSSF. In return, a lifetime certification/license will be issued.

Rule 5

The judges shall be placed at several designated spots along the trail to watch competitors.


Race Course Marshalls (Officials) -  Some officials will be alongthe course in order to verify that each runner goes, with his snowshoes on, along the whole route. Officials will take note of the pectoral number and possible infringements committed by competitors.

Rule 6

Trails, whether packed or virgin, must be clear of trees, branches or debris at least 3 meters (3

yards and 1 foot) on straight-a-ways to facilitate passing. On curves the trail must be at least 2 meters


Rule 7

Course marking flags will clearly mark the designated race course trail. Competitors will have to cover exclusively the established race course, marked by small flags arranged along both sides of the course.


Different colored course marking flags, for example, blue, green, or black flags (ideally one color per event) may be used to mark the race course.


As one stands beside a flag marker, the next flag must be visible. This necessitates close

flagging on turns.


Red or orange flags are to be used to block off trails not in use for the ongoing race.

Rule 8

Timing may be done by stopwatch or electronic timing.


Rule 9

The starter shall work with the two finish timers to synchronize stopwatches at the race start..

Rule 10

The starter shall have total control of the competitors at the start line and shall be the sole judge

of any fact connected with the start of the race. The starter will position himself/herself directly

in line with the start line. When the starter has seen that each competitor is in position at the

start line, he/she will begin the countdown. “You have 30 seconds till start. 15 seconds. 10

seconds. 5 seconds, 4...3...2...1...Start” For large mass starts a starting pistol may be used.

Rule 11.

At the start line competitors snowshoes must be behind the start line.

Rule 12

There shall be two (2) timers, each with a stopwatch at the finish line, whose times are in sync

with the starter. They will call out bib numbers and finish times to the two (2) recorders at the

finish line.

Rule 13

The two (2) recorders will record bib numbers and finish times of the finishers

Rule 14

An ‘order of finish recorder’ will be present with a clipboard to record only the order of the bib

numbers crossing the finish line. (Several competitors may finish at once, the order may be

confused by the timers)

Rule 15

To calculate a competitor’s time, the start time must be subtracted from the finish time, and posted prior to the time of the awards ceremony. Race results are not official until the Official WSSF results have been posted after the conclusion of the event.

Rule 16

The course will have to be covered with both snowshoes on and the competitor must cross the finish line with both snowshoes firmly attached to his/her feet.

Should the competitor loose a shoe during the race, he/she must step off the track and re-attach the snowshoe in order to finish the race. An athlete who covers more than 3 meters of the race course without both snowshoes attached to their feet may be disqualified.


Rule 17

If a competitor falls he/she may stand and finish the race.

Rule 18

Should any competitor who is hindered, cut off, or touched by another competitor decide their finish time was altered, that person may submit a description of the offense in writing to the race director within 30 minutes of the offense. The Race Director or Jury of Appeals may later the hindered athletes time and/or place of finish.

Rule 19

Upon receipt of a written complaint by a competitor, the race director shall consult with the any of the Jury of Appeals, the technical delegate, and/or  any race official who may have seen the incident, in an area away from the public, to determine within 30 minutes the outcomes of the complaint.

Rule 20

Coaches and spectators must remain in the viewing area and off the trail.

Rule 21

An athlete must retire from competition at once if ordered to do so by a member of the appointed medical staff, any certified and duly recognized course official and/or or the race director.

Rule 22


Disqualifications or Sanctions –

The disqualification or sanctioning of a competitor is fixed by the race jury in case of:

               material not in compliance;

               anticipated departure (False Start);

               run without snowshoes outside the areas set out by the race director;

               run outside the passageway marked by the small flags;

               check-point Non-passage;

               unsporting behaviour and obstructionism;

               arrival at the finishing line without snowshoes on.


An athlete shall be disqualified if the untied or unfastened snowshoe interferes with another athlete competing in the same race.




An athlete shall be disqualified if, in the officials estimation, he/she purposefully jostles, obstructs, bumps or steps on another competitor’s snowshoe.



If an athlete is disqualified in any WSSF sanctioned event, reference shall be made in the official results to the WSSF, and the rule which was broken shall be stated.

Rule 23

No established record can formally be considered broken or set unless the event is a WSSF sanctioned  race with a certified race director and technical delegate, and the competitor holds a current WSSF Sporting License, if available.

Rule 24

 WSSF Recognized Age group CATEGORIES: The Race Director/Local Organizing Committee does have the discretion to propose suitable age group divisions to the WSSF for recognition at the awards ceremony.

Male and Female Categories                        Determination of Age Group:

•                Junior Men & Women                     Must not turn 20 by 12/31/of event year

•                Open Men & Women                      20-39 yrs. of age and do not turn 40 prior to 12/31/of event year

•                Master Men & Women                    40+ yrs. of age by 12/31/of event year

Rule 25

 Snowshoe Requirements

Snowshoes may be commercial or prototype models. Snowshoes may be modified but must respect the following minimum measurements:

Length:  53.34 cm (21 inches)

Width:  17.78 cm (7 inches)

The snowshoe has to be provided with at least 4 crampons.

Participants are free to choose the shoe styles they prefer.

Direct mounting of shoes to snowshoes is permitted.

Rule 26


26A         Participation conditions:

Only competitors enrolled in a sports society and in possession of a health certificate allowing them to practice sports activities may be classified in an WSSF event.


26B         Run classifications and score giving:

The arrival order determines the general classification and the categories classification.

(World Cup competition) The scores classification is made on the sum of the two best results obtained.

(World Cup competition) To be in the Classification an athlete has to run at less 3 of the recognized WC competitions, in at least 3 different Nations.


26C         Complaints/Appeals:

Possible claims will have to be given in written to the race jury within the 20 m following the results publication. The jury will provide to release a written decision within an hour.

The competitor will have the right to make an appeal to the decision as per the procedures of the discipline rules, of the internal rules of Federations or National Associations in charge with the discipline.

Upon claim notice a tax of €uro 100,00 will have to be paid in to be returned in case the appeal is approved.

Rule 27


Doping, as well as the denial of submitting yourself to the control, are severely forbidden as per the running National Association and World Federation rules.