The rules of annual public hitchhiking competition „Baltics“

Vilnius hitch-hiking club

The rules of annual public hitchhiking competition „Baltics“

Part 1: Common regulations, route, participants, starts, odds, finish.
Part 2: Position.
Part 3: Meeting in a car.
Part 4: The chronicle. Information.
Part 5: Retreat from the route. Signal of an accident. Controlling time. Penalties for breaking the rules.
Part 6: Restrictions. Prohibitions.
Part 7: Competition in pairs.
Part 8: Rest during the competition.
Part 9: Arbitration.

1. Common regulations

1.1. Starts
1.1.1. There is a particular place from where the rated start is counted.
1.1.2. Only one pair is allowed to start on a journey from one place at the same time.

1.2. Finish
1.2.1. The moment of finish is when the finish point is touched.
1.2.2. The moment of arriving to the controlling point is when the place of sticking of the control stick is touched.
The position is a part of the road that is suitable for stopping cars in the direction indicated. The length of it is appointed according to the maximum way needed to stop a car in the circumstances present.
2.1. When two participants meet in the position the one who arrives later must to leave the position for the first one; i.e., to move forwards in a distance of stopping a car or backwards - out of sight. This rule is applied for both - participants who have got out of a car and those who approach on foot. The moment when a participant touches the road with his feet is considered to be the take-up of the position. The take-up of position at the controlling point is also the moment of arriving at it (see part 1).
2.2. A participant who arrives later has a right to thumb a lift only when he moves forward from the position of the first competitor, or backward out of sight. It is strictly forbidden to thumb a lift in the position of a competitor.
2.3. If the first participant wants to move in the direction of the journey, the second one must not move on well in order to keep a certain distance. The second participant is allowed to stay where he is, at the position that he took up according to the first one.
2.4. Only if both the competitors agree, they can move together.
2.5. When the first participant is going opposite to the direction of the journey the second one can also move keeping the distance required.
2.6 When the second participant intends to get out of the first one's right opposite to the direction of the journey, the latter has a right to follow in the same direction in order not to allow the second participant to get out of his sight. However, if the second one disappeared of sight at least for a moment the first one, if he comes into sight again, loses the priority and becomes the second one. The zone of sight includes not only the main route, it's also the crossing roads, gas station, etc. A car is considered to be stopped by a certain pair when it stops in their position i.e. stops behind the pair in a stopping distance or before the pair not more than in its body length (without a trailer). To avoid vague situation the distance can be slightly increased. A participant leaves his position when he crosses the border of it either on foot or by car. Nobody has a right to run into this position and thumb a lift before it is abandoned (not even if a participant is already sitting in a car).
2.7. A participant after he has moved to a new position (mostly at a crossroads) loses all the rights and the priority to his last position.
2.8. A short leave from a position (WC, woods, asking for information, etc.) is not considered abandoning it, if the competitors have been warned beforehand.
3.1. It is legal for two or more pairs to go in one car. Moreover, if a participant asks a driver not to take up another competitor, he breaks the rules. The second participant who gets into a car is considered to be taken up, even if it was not an initiative of the first participant.

3.2. When a car stops the one who has been taken later, leaves the position to the first pair.
3.3. If the one who takes up the second participant stops the some car for the second time, he loses the priority.
3.4. If two pairs go in the same car till the very finish or up to a controlling point, the first finalist is the one who gives a lift to others even if second manage to overtake him on foot. This rule is valid only if none of the pairs thumb a lift after going together. If another competitor (not these two) reach the controlling or the finish point between them, the one who had given a lift loses the priority.
3.5. During a short stop (gas station, WC, police, etc.) if the first participant gets out of the car for a short while and then gets back he maintain the priority.
3.6. If two participants are going in a row of several vehicles the one who gets into a car later is considered to be taken up only when his car stopped due to the influence of the car ahead where the first participant was. Otherwise, both the vehicles are independent of each other. The first is the one who reaches the ground first. All the rules of this part are valid only when more than two competitors meet in a car (row of cars).
4.1. Moving along the competition route a participant must write a chronicle.
The chronicle records:
- time of start;
- time of getting into a car;
- kind of vehicle;
- place of getting out;
- time of getting out;
- time and place where a pair overtook their competitors (or was overtaken);
- exact time of sticking a stick at a controlling point;
- exact time of sticking a stick of all participants, which were in this controlling point before;
- the beginning and ending of the REST (see part 9);
- time of finish.

Going without a chronicle equals breaking the rules.
4.2. In control points pairs have to leave a stick.
The stick must include:
- the number of a participant;
- time of sticking a stick;
- time which hasn't been used for rest.
4.3. The sticks are stuck from top to bottom one after another according to the time of arrival.
4.4. The stick confirms that a participant has passed the indicated controlling point. No other person is allowed to stick the participant's stick.
4.5. If there is no stick, the part of the route up to this controlling point is considered unsurmounted and a participant loses.
4.6. If the part of competition is held in different than Lithuania's time zone, Lithuanian time should be written on sticks.
5.1. Retreat from the route.
5.1.1. Retreat from the route can be either voluntary or compulsory.
5.1.2. When a participant retreats voluntarily he falls out of the competition and is granted the last prize.
5.1.3. Prizes among those who retreated voluntarily are not allotted.
5.1.4. With drawing from the route a participant must indicate this in his chronicle. A compulsory retreat is the one when a participant gets hurt, a car accident occurs, he falls ill or gives medical helps to somebody, he gets held up by the road police for long or because other important reasons which do not depend on a participant.
5.1.5. In some special cases the arbiter can decide, that it is a compulsory deviation from the route even if a participant has not indicated it in his chronicle.
5.1.6. Due to the compulsory retreat, a participant is grouted the prize which would have been appointed to him at the moment of his retreat. Then in the finish this prize is not given to anybody else.
5.2. Signalling an accident (stopping in extra - case).
5.2.1. Both arms throw up in horizontal position is a special gesture to stop other participants in extra - case. It is forbidden to show this gesture without necessity and also to pass it.
5.3. Controlling time.
5.3.1. When the route is announced before the competition a certain controlling time is given
5.3.2. A participant who does not manage to cover the distance of the route in this agreed time is considered to retreat voluntarily from the route and is to reach the finish as quickly as possible or inform about his place of staying. Not going to the route after the participant was registered, equals retreat.
5.4. Penalties for breaking the rules.
A participant is punished for breaking the rules in these ways:
- warning;
- strict warning;
- dismissal from the route;
- temporary disqualification;
- full disqualification.
Warning is given to a participant for small faults (carelessness, etc.).
One is strictly warned for more serious infringements of the rules, which still had no serious consequences.
Severe infringements of the rules cause dismissal from the route. That is a participant must leave the route at the moment of his committing a fault.
If several participants are dismissed from the route, they are not given prizes anyway.
Temporary disqualification (up to 1 year) means dismissal from the route as well as prohibition to participate in competition for a certain time. This disqualification is imposed for serious faults or in case a participant is dismissed from the route for the same fault for a second time.
Full disqualification means banning a participant to take in VHHC hitch - hiking competitions lifelong. He is given this penalty for committing the same offence for which he has been temporary disqualified.
Full disqualification is also given for stealing the vehicle.
5.4.2 Appointing and annulling penalties. participant, who has been given 2 warnings or 3 warnings for the same fault or a strict and simple warning, can be dismissed from the route. a warned participant took part in two competitions without further warning, the old ones are forgotten. a participant is dismissed from the route or temporarily disqualified, all the warning are abolished.
6.1. A participant is punished for taking a position in the route before the time of start by dismissal from the route
6.2. The use of any kind of public transport causes dismissal from the route. The use of a TAXI causes temporary disqualification.
6.3. Thumbing a lift in other participants' position and other kinds of deliberate disobeying the rules of priorities in the position causes dismissal from the route. If appears that it is only carelessness of participants, a warning is given.
6.4. If a participant is drunk or intoxicated with drugs, the pair is dismissed from the route.
6.5. The pair is dismissed for giving a piece of deliberately untrue information.
6.6. The ones who pretend to be a policeman or a member of some other traffic services is either dismissed from the route or disqualified.
6.7. A pair that asks the police to stop a car is dismissed.
6.8. Dismissal is also given to the ones who ask the driver not to take his competitors.
6.9. Disqualification is given to the ones who send a police against his competitor.
6.10. One is disqualified for covering part of the route by his own or lended car.
6.11. Asking other people to thumb a lift or stick a stick cause dismissed from the route.
6.12. The ones who take physical measures against a competitor or a driver (except for self-defence) or threatens them is disqualified.
6.13. Full disqualification is given to those who steal a vehicle.
6.14. Bad behaviour (cursing, beating the leader or other ways of hurting a team- mate, littering the route or a car, etc.) causes dismissal.
6.15. Dangerous ways of thumbing a lift that can cause an accident also cause dismissal from the route.
6.16. One will be dismissed for passing the sign of an accident or giving it without any need.
6.17. It is called giving a piece of deliberately untrue information to tear other participants sticks off (unless it is the last member in the route).
6.18. It is considered bribery when a participant pays money to the driver, so he is dismissed from the route for this.
6.19. If a pair starts going apart of each other (except for a row of cars), they are dismissed from the route.
6.20. If one moves along the route in the arbiter's car and then does not return to his previous position he is dismissed from the route. The same penalty is given to a participant for the arbiter's help to thumb a lift.
6.21. One is warned for having no chronicle.
6.22. The pair is warned (or strictly warned) if they did not acknowledge about decision to retreat the competition.
6.23. If one creates a certain situation that can cause health problems for a leader, he is warned, strictly warned or dismissed from the route.
7.1. The pair is allowed to move in separate vehicles only in those cases when it is a row of vehicles and the participants can occasionally see each other. If this rule is broken, the pair must take certain measure to re-establish the connection.
7.2. A pair takes one position in the route, and it is appointed according to one of the participant's position. Furthermore, the participants are allowed to thumb a lift in different places at a time, but they cannot go away alone without each other.
7.3. The time of the arrival at the controlling point is the moment when the last member of the pair arrives.
8.1. When the route is announced for a many - day competition, time for rest is also appointed.
8.2. This time can be indivisible or can be divided into several periods of rest time (2, 3 or 4- a participant is free to choose), which must be agreed upon beforehand by the committee.
8.3. The beginning and ending of the rest time must be indicated in the chronicle. It is not allowed to record it later using a previous date.
8.4. If the last period of rest time is not used, it is added to the time of the actual finish and so the finish is slightly put off. When a participant indicates the beginning of the rest in his chronicle, he has no right to move any further in the route, until he notes down that the rest time has finished.
8.5. During rest a participant is allowed to go wherever he wants to and by any means (hitch- hiking transport, or arbiter's vehicle). Still, the inscription of ending the rest time must be made at the same place where it started. After the finish of the rest time it is forbidden to move in the vehicle thumbed during the rest time. During rest time no right of the priority in a position is in power.
9.1. Arbiters could be people not participating in the competition and those who have been appointed beforehand by VHHC committee. If there is no such, the arbiter could be the appointed beforehand by VHHC committee trustful participant of the competition.
9.2. An arbiter can take his own car (if not participating in the competition) or hitch-hike in the route.
9.3. An arbiter is competent of warning the participant or dismissing him from the route for breaking the rules.
9.4. An arbiter's duties include watching the participants keep to the rules, checking controlling points and chronicles, providing necessary help for a participant, consulting on problems concerning the route or the rules.
9.5. An arbiter must stop if a participant gives a sign.
9.6. It is strictly forbidden to take arbiter's transport or ask him to help to thumb a lift.
9.7. If a participant gets help up for a long time because of an arbiter (e.g. when he supplies a participant with technical help) or if somebody is dismissed from the route without a cause, such participant is considered to have made a forceful retreat.
9.8. If a participant does not agree with an arbiter's opinion, he has a right to appeal against his decision to the organising committee.