Relay Race Rules (New for 2017)

In the first years of the Texas Trail Championship Series (TTCS), we considered relay race formats to have too many complications to be easily and fairly scored in the aggregate point series system. But, by keeping it a simple team-to-series-Club/Team contribution (no individual points awarded), we think we may have found a fun and straight-forward way to include team relay race results in the TTCS.

Assumption: Different relay races have different rules, different categories, different gender mixes, etc. But, they all resolve to their own established award rankings, and we believe the below requirements might allow the Championship Series to easily recognize some of those performances.

Requirement #1: Everyone on the relay team must be a registered participant in the Texas Trail Championship Series. It actually does NOT matter that the relay team members are associated with a specific Texas Trail Championship Series Club/Team, just that each individual is registered with the series (further explained below).

Requirement #2: There must be at least two (2) *eligible* relay teams in a relay race (where all relay team members are registered series participants). There can be a mix of eligible and ineligible relay teams in a relay race but, there must be at least two eligible relay teams for Championship Series Points to be awarded.

Note: These first 2 requirements might turn out to be the most challenging to satisfy… gathering relay teams of registered series members, and verifying that.

Requirement #3: Club/Team points are only earned by relay teams during relay races. NO individual points are earned during a relay race. This is why it does not particularly matter which Club/Team’s each relay team individual is associated with, just that the relay team itself is associated with one and only one Championship Series Club/Team for that race. Some odd scenarios might arise where, for example, a mix of Rockhoppers and NTTR runners might end up running on a relay team that is earning points for the Rockhoppers, BUT, that will not have any effect on individual points (or even individual points where they contribute to their respective Club/Team); just direct contribution to the Club/Team points from the relay team’s performance from that race.

Note: This requirement #3 might generate some interesting gaming scenarios if this becomes popular. For example, a rule limiting how many relay teams in a relay a race are associated with one Club/Team might be introduced in a future series if a relay race becomes over-weighted.

Requirement #4: Assuming requirements 1-3 are satisfied above, points are awarded / added to an associated Texas Trail Championship Club/Team’s series total by simple inverted ranking. Example: there are a total of 6 relay teams in a relay race, a mix of eligible and ineligible teams, but at least 2 eligible teams, as such:

Relay team #1: associated with Rockhoppers
Relay team #2: not associated with any TTCS Club/Team (ineligible)
Relay team #3: associated with DDR
Relay team #4: associated with Spectrum
Relay team #5: not associated with any TTCS Club/Team (ineligible)
Relay team #6: not associated with any TTCS Club/Team (ineligible)

The 1st place team receives 6 points (if eligible)
The 2nd place team receives 5 points (if eligible)

The 6th place team receives 1 point (if eligible)

So, if the Spectrum relay team came in first place, 6 points would be added to the Spectrum TTCS Club/Team series total. If DDR came in third, 4 points would be added to the DDR TTCS Club/Team series total. etc.

Note: In a future series, a simple multiplier could be added to the total points if the popularity is high and more of an impact of the relay team performances on the Club/Team series standings is desired.

Additional Note: Why are relay teams’ performances being judged against ALL relay teams in the race, both eligible and ineligible? This partially has to do with incentivizing our Club’s to promote our series member races. For example, in the above example, if DDR or Rockhoppers told their members to tell their friends about the race, and they cobbled together two more relay teams runners for the relay race, even if they were ineligible (not TTCS members), there are now 2 additional points up for grabs, and the member race has two more teams-worth of registrations. 🙂

Requirement #5: The points earned from an eligible relay team contribute to their associated TTCS Club/Team’s Ultra or Trail category based on the total distance of the relay race (not the distance of a single relay leg).

Individual Race and Relay Race Combinations: In some cases, a series runner can run and score series points for BOTH an individual race (which contributes points to their club) AND a Relay Race (which also contributes points to their club). This is where a series member race director offers an individual race that also “matches up” with a leg of an eligible Relay Race (i.e.: Cactus Rose 100 or 50 miler runner counting as 1st or 2nd leg of Cactus 100 mile relay, etc.). The following assertions apply:

  • The individual’s race points count only if they started on the same starting line and same time as all of the other individual racers in that same event, and run the same course in the same direction. If the runner is a registered series runner, their individual points will still contribute to their club points if they are in the top 10 points earners for their club.
  • The runner’s relay leg will count in the series relay race points only if they are a member of an eligible relay race team (all of their relay team’s other leg runners are registered in the series). See above.

Process: Check out the TTCS race calendar for member races which have relay race options. Before a relay race, TTCS will be asking on its Facebook page for relay teams to declare their associations to their series Club/Team based on what teams are visible in preregistration (if that is available online). But, this is mainly a reminder to teams to get prepared for the race, find eligible / registered participants, etc. A TTCS review will also continue after the race event results are finalized to verify which relay teams are eligible (have 100% series registered members) and, thus, eligible points. You can proactively contact the TTCS score keeper on the TTCS Facebook page or by emailing any one of the TTCS administrators.