Junior & Senior Handicapping Policy

Junior & Senior Handicapping Policy

Policy for Junior Track Handicaps

Role of the Junior Track Handicapper


The role of the Junior Track Handicapper is to:


Set all track handicaps for junior riders competing in Cycling Tasmania sanctioned Open Track Carnivals.


When junior handicap events require heats to allocate riders to different heats.


When scratch races require the field to be split into grades to allocate grades for riders.


To liaise with event organizers to encourage event organizers to provide a mixture of race opportunities for juniors across the Track Season.


Junior Track Handicap Policy


The aim of the handicapper is to give all junior riders an opportunity to get a podium result during the track season, without allowing any one rider to dominate a category.


Junior track handicaps will be reviewed after each Track Carnivals.


Initial handicaps and all alterations (both forward and backwards) will be at the sole discretion of the handicapper.


Greg O’Rourke

State Junior Track Handicapper

Senior Track Handicapping Policy

General Rules

As a general rule, every rider should be given a mark that they are capable of winning a race from. The term capable assumes the rider is fit and riding to their maximum ability. Short term influences such as form, fitness or illness will generally not result in an adjustment to a handicap. Riders who demonstrate over a period time they are not capable of winning from a given mark will be adjusted accordingly.

Handicapping Penalties

A rider’s handicap will be adjusted based on the following factors:-

  • Prizemoney won in handicap events
  •  Wins and or places in handicap events
  • The prestige of the event in which they placed.
  • The quality of the field in a given event.

As a guide a win in a major Australian Wheelrace would result in a reduction of between 30-60m.

Top 3 places in Major Australian Wheelraces will result in a reduction of between 10-30m.

A win in any other Open Wheelrace would result in a reduction of between 10-30m. The amount of adjustment will depend on the factors listed above.

Limit Mark
The maximum handicap shall be 15% of the race distance

U19 Riders
U19 riders will be given a handicap that takes into account the following factors:-

  1. Junior handicap
  2. National & State title performances
  3. Physical maturity

Generally, U19 riders will be handicapped conservatively until their capability in senior ranks can be assessed. A first-year U19 rider’s handicap will be reviewed and adjusted if necessary on January 2 each year.

New Riders (other than U19)
New riders will be given mark that takes into account the following factors:-

  • Road, BMX or MTB experience and racing results
  • Age
  • General fitness and sporting ability
  • Club racing performances

Generally, new riders will be handicapped conservatively until their capability can be assessed. At a minimum participation in 3 carnivals would be required before significant adjustment to a handicap would be made.

The Scratch Mark
The scratch mark is reserved for those riders who continually excel in handicap racing. A rider may be classified as either an Australian or a State scratchmark.

An Australian scratchmark will ride from scratch in all of the major Australian wheelraces
and will be recognized by all of the State handicappers.

The honour of Australian scratchmark will be reserved for those riders who meet at least one of the following criteria:-
1. Winner of a major Australian Wheelrace (refer definition below) from a mark no greater than 50m
2. Current or former World or Olympic championship Individual medalist (top 3)
3. Current or former World or Olympic Champion (winner) in a Team event
4. Current or former World or Olympic record holder in a track event, team or individual

To remain as a scratchmark the rider must meet one of the selection criteria whilst riding as a scratchmark or at least gain a top three result in one Major Australian Wheelrace every two years.

A State scratchmark will be those riders that continually win races in events other than Major Australian Wheelraces and their handicap is reduced to scratch accordingly.

Additional riders may be handicapped from scratch for 1000m handicap events where they have established themselves as sprint riders of international standard.

Comeback Riders
A comeback rider will generally be handicapped conservatively until a new level can be established. Factors taken into account will be:-

  1. Previous handicap and performances
  2. Age
  3. Potential fitness levels
  4. Length of absence

Handicappers Discretion
The handicapper reserves the right to make adjustments outside of the guidelines in this policy where it is deemed necessary.

Major Australian Wheelraces
The following are those races classified as Major Australian wheelraces for the purpose of this policy. The list will be reviewed on an annual basis.

  • Austral Wheelrace
  • Latrobe Wheelrace
  • Burnie Wheelrace
  • Melbourne Cup on wheels
  • Sydney Cup on Wheels
  • Devonport Wheel Race
  •  Mersey Wheelrace
  • Launceston Wheelrace
  • Bendigo Golden Mile
  • Sid Patterson Grand Prix
  • Westral Wheelrace

Mark Jamieson
Senior Track Handicapper