International Triathlon Union (ITU): Remove the "Black Out Glasses" Rule for TRI6 Paratriathletes.
  • Petitioned International Triathlon Union (ITU)

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International Triathlon Union (ITU)

International Triathlon Union (ITU): Remove the "Black Out Glasses" Rule for TRI6 Paratriathletes.

    1. Our Community
    2. Petition by

      Our Community


February 2013


From Petition Creator: When we began this petition we had hoped that the voices of many would be heard and heard they were! With the support of YOU globally the ITU announced the following news today: ITU would like to make you aware of recent updates to the 2013 ITU Competition Rules concerning changes to TRI-6 division of paratriathlon. Following consultation with the International Paralympic Committee (IPC),the existing TRI-6 class will be divided into two categories for the 2013 season, as follows: TRI-6a: For totally blind athletes (existing profile 36 and IBSA/IPC B1) TRI-6b: For the balance of athletes with a visual impairment (current profiles 37a and 37b or IBSA/IPC B2 and B3) Please note, the rule change is a transitional provision until all "VI" categories can compete together within the same medal event with the motive of having a fair, competitive and safe competition. The decision that "blackout glasses" will no longer be mandatory during the run segment in 2013 for TRI-6 athletes was made in order to collect data essential to being able to develop an effective and reliable factor system for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Paralympic Games. In order to fulfill the IPC mandate to limit the number of medal events at the 2016 Paralympic Games, it may be necessary to combine athletes of varying degrees of disabilities into one class by using "time factor systems" within individual sport classes. Athletes with different degrees of impairments may then compete in the same medal event in a competitive manner. In addition to the TRI-6 category, the research project to manage an evidence-based system for paratriathlon classification will now enter a critical phase for data collection and analysis to help structure the new classification system and assist in drafting the proposal for number of medal events at the 2016 Paralympic Games. The evidence-based system will be reviewed by the ITU Sport Department and Executive Board by May 2013 in order to present to the IPC. Ongoing changes to our rules and regulations will be necessary as we move through this process. ITU would like to thank all National Federations that provided valuable feedback in the past year. We would like to ask for your continued cooperation and feedback as the athlete testing and data collection period begins. *****end of message from ITU****

As our sport grows and more TRI6 athletes take part in it, it will be as equal participants and without fear of injury or the disregard of human rights. We still have some areas to work on and we will get there, but for now the black out glass rule is GONE and that's an amazing start that we championed together as a community! Be proud!

Everyone has the right to an equal playing field, but by enforcing a rule that strips a person of their dignity and jeopardizes their safety does not support the advancement of athletes with vision loss. No one should be forced to choose between their human rights and the opportunity to compete in triathlon.


Please sign this petition and show your support of the equal inclusion of ALL athletes in this sport. We can make change happen!

Recent signatures


    1. A Feature on ABC News

      Our Community
      Petition Organiser

      Diane's Story was featured on ABC News. People are listening - thank you for the continued support!

      Triathlete with macular degeneration doesn't want to wear 'blackout glasses'

      A paratriathlete with macular degeneration has started a petition at seeking to have a rule changed that requires her to wear blackout glasses during the run portion of the race at certain USA Triathlon events. She also wants there to be additional categories for participants who are not totally blind.

    2. Reached 250 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Gordon Graham THESSALON, CANADA
      • over 1 year ago

      It's often a flimsy argument to say something in't "fair." As in, it isn't "fair" for someone with some vision to compete against someone with none. I think the solution, to make everyone completely sightless, is no solution. Please re-think this, and create more categories, and let people compete as would train, using whatever sight they possess.

    • Adrian Shoobs WESTFIELD, NJ
      • over 1 year ago

      It takes a tremendous amount of courage to compete as a paratriathlete. I believe compulsory use of blackout glasses calls that courage into question in a negative way. I also believe that compelling the use of such glasses would be dangerous and of questionable value in creating a "level" playing field for visual impaired athletes.

    • Jean Christie OTTAWA, CANADA
      • over 1 year ago

      To further disable athletes in competition is not the answer. Create more competition categories, so people are competing against people in similar circumstances.

    • Dawn Prall George MVRF CONSHOHOCKEN, PA
      • over 1 year ago

      Macula Vision Research Foundation, MVRF, is a national 501(c)(3) non-profit organization focused on funding research to find treatments and cures for retinal diseases, including macular degeneration and congenital childhood blindness.

      As we search for a cure, we continue to raise awareness as well as provide support for those suffering from the disease.

      Diane's story is inspirational and we are proud to sign this petition and support her cause.

    • Daniel Boblinski WPG, CANADA
      • over 1 year ago

      I have a friend with a visual problem, want her to be treated the same as myself.


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