postheadericon Use of GPS-Enabled Devices

Rule 7 of the Australian Rogaining Association’s Rules of Rogaining state:

The only navigational aids that may be carried on the course are magnetic compasses, watches and copies of the competition map. The possession of other navigational aids, including pedometers, altimeters and GPS receivers on the course is prohibited. The possession, at the event site, of maps that provide additional information not shown on the competition map is prohibited.  

It has been noted that there are a number of competitors who would like to use headless GPS devices to record their course and speed for training purposes.  Other competitors would like to carry their mobile phone with them, in case of emergency.  Many mobile phones are GPS-enabled.

In the Preamble to the Australian Rogaining Association’s Rules of Rogaining, P2 note:

State Associations may adjust the technical regulations for specific minor (ie non-championship) events, where they consider this appropriate, by decision of their association management committee. They may also adjust the technical regulations for a specific state championship event where there are compelling reasons to do so. Any adjustment proposed for an Australian Championship rogaine requires the written approval of the ARA executive, acting on the advice of the ARA Technical Subcommittee.

In accordance with P2, the WARA committee (on 23rd Jan 2012) has voted that:

On non-championship events, competitors may take GPS-enabled devices on the course provided that they are contained within a WARA-supplied tamper-proof non-see-through container and that they are logged in and out by Administration.  Failure to return a device in its original, unopened, container in conjunction with the control card will result in disqualification.

To manage this Local Rule the following procedure has been developed.

  • When registering for an event, please advise Administration that you wish to take a GPS-enable device on the course (maximum of one per team).  Administration will add your team number to the GPS Carriers list and annotate your control card accordingly.
  • After you have collected your control card just prior to the event, take your GPS-enabled device to the Administration tent where you will be required to place your device in a WARA-approved tamper-proof container. Administration will make a note of the unique identifier on the container on the GPS Carriers list.
  • Place the container in your backpack in a secure location – you should not need to access it again until the end of the event .
  • After you hand in your control card go to the Administration official with the GPS Carriers list and show them your GPS device in its original, unopened container.  Administration will remove your name from the list and you can open the container.
  • Any team failing to return the container unopened after the event will be disqualified.

The WARA-approved tamper-proof container must:

  • have a unique identifier that cannot be duplicated, so that it cannot be opened during the course of an event and replaced with a similar container prior to completing the course.   
  • be opaque (so that the device cannot be read without opening the container.

WARA has sourced a supply of one-use tamper-proof bags that meet the above requirements.

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