Spartan Rule Changes 2019!

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From Spartan Race HQ:

Today we have released our latest update to the Spartan Rules of Competition. It will go into effect for races starting on August 24, 2019, We have updated the language and formatting of the rules, added some brand new rules, and recategorized some of the obstacles. While a full list of changes is listed on the last page of the rule book, there are a few changes we want to make sure you are aware of before your race.

● You are not required to complete 5 burpees at the Atlas Carry.
You are only required to carry the Atlas Stone along the required route and return to the starting point.
● You are allowed to carry the bucket above the head or on the shoulder during the Bucket Carry. Also if the lid comes off you do not need to restart the obstacle unless the material has also been displaced.
● You are not allowed to use the vertical truss as a ladder in order to start hanging obstacles, EG Monkey Bars. You can, however, use the Horizontal Truss to start the obstacles.
● You must complete the Dunk Wall as it is now a mandatory obstacle.
● You are considered to have completed the balance beam once you have touched the descending beam with at least one foot.
● Spartan is not obligated to review 3rd party video footage for any reason.
● We have defined what standing on top of means at the Hercules Hoist. Competitors hips may not rise above the top of the barrier.
Also, we wanted to clarify a few questions we often see:
● Competitors are not allowed to pre-run the course or engage with obstacles unless prior approval has been granted by Spartan. Events like Spartan’s Open house is considered approval for the areas mentioned for each specific event.
● During flip obstacles, you must fully disengage with the object. This means you cannot rest it on your foot, or keep your hands on the object.
● You are allowed the use the vertical support on the Z Wall. However, you cannot touch the top or bottom of the cutout to your advantage.
You can find the full Spartan Rules of Competition here.
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Matt B. Davis

is the host of the Obstacle Racing Media Podcast and the author of "Down and Dirty-The Essential Training Guide for Obstacle Races and Mud Runs". He is also the only (known) #wafflehouseelite obstacle racer.
  1. Overall, I like the changes. Some make the obstacles easier, while others may be a detriment to shorter participants. The Atlas Carry and “flip obstacles” changes are cool. Wondering what brought on the change in rules to “flip obstacles” though.

    So, I’m tall, and standing next to the Herc Hoist, my hips are already taller than the barriers. I’ll be interested to see how this changes my approach at the obstacle, especially when lowering it to the ground where I usually stand.

    Are there health and safety concerns that changed for the bucket carry that enabled Spartan to change the rules? Or, did Spartan decide the signing of the waiver was enough protection against potential lawsuits related to injury here?

    1. The fact that the bucket is now capped allows to carry the bucket sideways on the shoulder, where before the lips at the bottom of the bucket was dangerous for some nerves on the shoulder when you carried it Top Up on your shoulder.

  2. # 3 (the truss rule) seems like an unwarrented penalty for those of us who are short and already at a disadvantage on reach based obstacles.

  3. Those of us who are really short have a definite disadvantage on monkey bars. The bales are not near high enough for me to reach so now I will need to always be lifted to the bar?

  4. I think the new changes are great except on hanging obstacles they need a higher step for short people. There are guys who are short too.
    Spartan once again failed to address the unfairness of height related obstacles, i.e. 8ft wall and shelf in front of Vertical Cargo. For short guys such as myself 5’4″ these obstacles are practically impossible. The red block should be based on height not gender. Mark the wall with a line, if you are shorter than the line, you can use the block, easy fix. For Vertical Cargo, well same thing. Short people only want an equal challenge. Super high obstacles are a serious disadvantage and wreck our placement due to being held up doing burpees based on height.

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