Link to Guinness Record standards pls?

Apropos all this discussion of world records, prohibited and allowed equipage, et alia…

Does anyone have a cite or link to the current Guinness world record unicycling standards? A cursory perusal of their site suggested one needs to send them a letter…



I would not expect the Guinness people to post a listing of unicycle requirements on their web site, or elsewhere. Because if they did, they would be obligated to do the same for every other type of event and activity for which they do records. That would be a huge undertaking.

The requirements people have been told over the years, if all put together, would likely be a hodgepodge of conflicting, incomplete, and possibly arbitrary things, each part of which may have come from a different editor/researcher off the top of his or her head.

Guinness has some well known standards they use for general categories of things, such as endurance, some of which apply to a unicycle. But we need more details.

In the absence of any direction from the IUF, the Guinness people have had to make up their own requrements for events outside the IUF Rulebook. The way to change this is for someone to say “Hey, I’d like to help out with this for the IUF!” Not to say, to no one in particular, “I wish the IUF would do so-and-so.”

I used to track records for our standard events, but it was always hard to get data from other countries. I still don’t know what the speed records in Japan are, and it’s not like I never asked.

It might be nice to have something like an IUF Unicycling Records committee, where we develop standards for setting world records in various things, everything from speed events that are not in the IUF Rulebook, to sidehop and other types of Trials achievements. We would also track the world record for Standard Skill scores, and anything else that can be consistently measured.

So. Anyone interested in being on such a committee? Please reply here, or contact me at the email address below.


I did get an email from someone at Guinness a few years ago. They wanted the IUFs guidance on unicycling records. So I do believe Guinness will listen to the IUF if we have a coherent voice on record requirements. They would much rather we did the research and handled the details to confirm the validity of various record attempts around the world.

This thread is related to the one about the hour record, and I will post there as I have time, with more information based on my history with Guinness.

That pretty much sums it up. I’m sure my Guinness rules were different to that used by Lars in his 24hr record.

I also take the point about having a records committee- I think that’s a great idea. It will provide consistency and it would be nice that the international body is in charge of it’s own records. For instance- I doubt Guinness would bother setting rules for bicycling records- they would go directly to the UCI (International (bi)cycling union)

I’m sure I could help out in a record committee. It will need a few people though- especially if it encompasses various disciplines like high jump, long jump, racing, tallest, smallest, 1ftWW, gliding, coasting etc etc etc.


Guiness does appear to follow the international rules of an organization if they are well established. It is this way in for the International Solar Racing Federation too.

I’d like to help out somehow too.

Andy Cotter maintains a database of world records on behalf of the International Unicycling Federation for the following events:

  • 1600m
  • 1500m
  • 800m
  • 400m
  • 200m
  • 100m
  • 100m unlimited
  • 50m one foot
  • 30m wheel walk
  • 10m wheel walk
  • 50m fast backward
  • 10m slow backward
  • 10m slow forward
  • IUF obstacle course
  • 50m juggling
  • 4 X 100m relay
  • high jump
  • long jump
  • 10k
  • 10k unlimited
  • track coasting (distance)
  • 30m ultimate wheel
  • gliding
  • 100 mile race
  • Number of riders doing a standup wheel walk in a line
  • Number of people on one unicycle

Please see the IUF rule book for the definitions and rules for these events:

The records posted at are out of date (i.e., circa 1999). Andy is generating an up to date set of records. He will be forwarding them to the IUF’s Webmaster for posting soon.

Tom Daniels
Secretary / Treasurer
International Unicycling Federation, Inc.

I posted this in the Hour Record thread, but I’ll duplicate it here where it’s more on topic. The link to the IUF Rules Committee web page:

So, what would the people on the committee be doing exactly?
I’m sure most of us here would like to help in one way or the other especially in setting the standards for a record attempt.Soon the geared unis will become popular(& cheaper) and records will tumble.

It would (hopefully) cover several areas:

  1. Build a complete listing of all unicycling records. We’ll start with world records and work our way down. I’m a lot less interested in age group records, national records, etc. That could get messy pretty fast, but if we set it up in a modular way, it should be possible for people to work it together with more sub-divided lists of records.

  2. Establish standards for record-setting. This may take a while, with plenty of discussion and arguing. That’s the fun part. Some record types will be very easy while others, like the hour record, will be more complicated.

Competition records will, of course, be easier as they will be set under pre-qualified conditions.

  1. Set standards for record categories. Right now, all we really have is 'racing unicycles," a bare beginning of 700c, and 'unlimited." There is room for more.

This will also cover different situations where the same record might be broken. For example:

a) A 100m record set at a big convention, like Unicon. This is harder to do, because you only get one try. That would be a “competition record,” or “Unicon record.”

b) A 100m record set at a sanctioned event, on a regulation track, but separate from the official 100m race. This allows multiple times to try for even faster times. This was how my 1987 Guinness record was set. We ran the race about 10 times. This is an “easier” record to break than the competition one because of the multiple tries.

c) A 100m record set independently. This would have stricter requirements on course measurement and timing, because it would be outside our “accepted” competition conditioins. This would be more similar to Pete’s recent hour record, with lots more documentation needed. In one way, this is the easiest form of record to break, because, in theory, you have unlimited tries. But the setup and documentation will be harder.

Of the three examples above, assuming all used the current standard for racing unicycles, the fastest time would be the world record. If this fastest time was not set in a competition, the competition record would be known as a competition record for that event (such as the Olympic record).

The current Unicon 100m record is not the world record. I don’t know what the world record is, but it was probably set in Japan. I think they have done times faster than Peter Rosendahl’s Guinness time.

In a case like this, Peter Rosendahl could be listed with the Guinness record. The Guinness record is always significant, as it’s more “real” to the vast majority of the world than some record that cannot be seen in every bookstore. Having a Guinness record is very powerful, as I know from using mine in my work with the National Circus Project as something schook kids could look up.

I am the world record holder in the 50m Juggling Race, recognized by the IUF (and/or the USA) but not Guinness. Woohoo! That and a buck will get you a cup of coffee, but not at Starbucks or an airport…

I would like to set this up. Please respond here or to my email address to get involved.

NOTE: Almost none of the above is official until the IUF makes it so. Most of it is off the top of my head, based on discussions about records-keeping we’ve had over the years.

I have yet to see a correlation between geared unicycles and higher speeds. I’m sure it’s only a matter of time, but there is a diminishing return with gears. The higher the ratio, the harder it is to ride it fast. The harder it is to ride, the more risky/difficult/scary it is to ride it at higher speeds!

I would definitely like to get involved, but guys like John Foss have been unicycling longer than I have lived…The panel should consist of people who have unicycling for a long time and are respected in the unicycling community, people who have done great things on one wheel and helped spread the sport…Opinions of different unicyclists should be taken into account…Shouldn’t forget the Japanese…Basically get input from everywhere and then come up with the various guidelines…
This could take some time…

I finally got all my claim documentation mailed off today. As Guinness promised, they took weeks to get back to me to confirm the requirements, but they finally did. In addition to complying with applicable IUF general racing rules, and following Guinness’ general sporting guidelines, here are their specific rules for the hour record, as emailed to me:


The following act as a guide to the specific considerations and undertakings, in addition to the general requirements, for any potential attempt on the Unicycle one hour distance record.
They should be read and understood by all concerned – organisers, participants and witnesses – prior to the event.


This record is for covering the greatest distance on a unicycle in a one-hour period.

  1. The record attempt must take place on a closed circuit such as an athletics, cycling or motor racing track. The full length of the track must be visible to observers at all times and the exact length of this circuit must be accurately measured prior to the start of the record attempt, with written proof provided in the record claim.
  2. The final distance is calculated by multiplying the number of laps by the circuit length.
  3. The number of laps completed must be recorded by witnesses on pre-printed forms. In addition, the time taken for each lap, as well as any breaks, must be recorded on these sheets. All entries must be countersigned by the witnesses.
  4. The record attempt must take place over a continuous one hour period. The participant may take as many breaks as he/she wishes, but the clock may not stop at any time for any reason.

That sounds like a pretty fair list. The main restriction on you is that you must use a closed circuit of known length. This is to ensure accuracy in the distance, and ease of witnesses to see you aren’t taking any shortcuts.

Notice they mention no restrictions on the unicycle. This is for the “unlimited” record.

Re: Link to Guinness Record standards pls?

On Wed, 16 Mar 2005 18:47:35 -0600, “johnfoss” wrote:

>Notice they mention no restrictions on the unicycle. This is for the
>“unlimited” record.

These rules don’t even say the unicycle can’t be motorised, yet I
think the intention is that it should be powered and controlled by the
(single) rider.

Klaas Bil - Newsgroup Addict

people who unicycle are shyly exhibitionistic - GILD