Friday, February 8, 2008

Universal NO HEADPHONES Icon Unveiled

Universal NO HEADPHONES Icon Unveiled

Posted Friday, 8 February, 2008

Arlington, VA - As race directors struggle with the RRCA guideline against the use of headphones in RRCA insured events along with the USATF ban on headphones at sanctioned events, the RRCA is encouraging race directors to adopt the new universal NO HEADPHONES symbol on race entry forms and race materials. Created by veteran race director, Jim Gerweck, the goal of this universal symbol is to send the message that event directors are serious about the headphone ban at the events they manage.

"Race officials don't ban headphones to be mean to runners — it's for their own safety and that of everyone else in the race," says Gerweck, a member of the USATF Long Distance Running sub-committee studying enforcement of the ban. "It's an education effort more than an enforcement issue, as events such as Grandma’s and Twin Cities Marathons have successfully proven. This logo is a simple way to send runners the message that headphones aren't permitted in sanctioned events."

The RRCA has promoted a guideline against the use of headphones in running events that dates back to the mid-1980's and this guideline has been re-affirmed several times by the RRCA membership since then.

"Banning headphones or advising participants to leave them at home or in the car is part of the risk management responsibility of a race director. Many participants do not understand or respect the awesome responsibility a race director shoulders to ensure the safety of every single participant in an event," explains Jean Knaack, RRCA executive director. "Respecting an event director's choice to ban headphones is the shared responsibility of every participant to ensure the safety of all runners and the future success of the event and the sport as a whole."

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