Zwift has released its first codified, exhaustive ruleset for governing official Zwift eRacing events.
Here are some notes and thoughts about key portions of the ruleset.
These rules are intended to govern official Zwift-organized races designated as Zwift eRacing events or series. Section 1.8.2 explicitly states that these rules are not intended to govern the community-organized races which comprise most of our current race calendar:
1.8.2: The ruleset does not govern, nor is it intended to influence the governance of events or series held on the Zwift platform that are not organized by Zwift or designated as Zwift eRacing events.
While this clause allows race organizers to define their own rules, it is also logical to expect that these rules will begin to influence community-organized races.
Zwift Power Registration Requirement
Section 6.1 states:
6.1. All riders must register with Zwift Power in advance of participating in any Zwift eRacing races.
As a community-developed (but Zwift-supported) resource, Zwift Power has long been the place where racers go to view the “real results” of their races, after rules are applied and event organizers finalize results. It’s good to see Zwift acknowledging the importance of Zwift Power’s role in fair eRacing.
With Zwift’s increased focus on eRacing, one can’t help but speculate that Zwift Power or comparable functionality will be moved “in-house” soon.
As they most important “input metric” for Zwift racing, your power numbers largely determine your racing results. Because of this, the eRacing ruleset has quite a few rules governing power meters. Here are a few worth mentioning:
8.1. In addition to the power data recorded by Zwift, each rider is strongly encouraged to record a second source of power data.
While not a requirement, riders are strongly encouraged to record power data from a second power source in order to verify accuracy.
12.3.2. zPower and virtual power users as well as those using a trainer or power meter appearing on the exclusion list are not eligible to compete and will be removed from the final standings.
While Zwift’s virtual power algorithms allow people to use the game with very affordable “dumb trainers”, their power accuracy can never be consistent enough to use in high-level racing.
The “exclusion list” mentioned is in section 12.4, which currently lists just two items: all wheel-on smart trainers, and the Elite Turbo Muin. It is important to note (and the rules do) that wheel-on smart trainers can be used in-game, they just can’t be used as your power source. A separate power meter would be required.
While this may not be well-received by some riders, it is a necessary rule since wheel-on trainers are so susceptible to accuracy fluctuations when tire pressures change.
Doping and Cheating
Section 13 thoroughly details the rules against all forms of eRacing doping/cheating, including miscalibrated equipment, inaccurate weight/height, bots, hacking, collusion, and more.
The Performance Verification Board
Section 18 details the role, structure, and procedures of the “Performance Verification Board”, which appears to be the new name of ZADA. (If you recall, ZADA relaunched back in March and we covered it with a thorough post at that time.)
Reading through this section makes it clear that Zwift is taking the verification of results seriously.
A Sign of Progress
A codified set of rules is necessary to ensure fair play in any sport, so this ruleset is a welcome announcement and a sign of Zwift racing’s maturation as a cycling discipline. And while these rules will surely evolve over time, Zwift has done solid work here in laying out the key rules which will govern Zwift eRacing moving forward.
Check out the ruleset and let us know what you think below!