New Uni Event...

True, but I think with uni trials (at least) the “dab” has evolved a bit to not just be foot-related. For example, if you’re on an outdoor trials course in Moab which has you hopping up a very steep rock face, and you extend your hand onto that rock face to keep your balance, you’ve dabbed.

But for this discussion, I think the point is that treating a hop as a dab equals a “penalty point reduction” versus a full DQ. He who gets through a section with the least dabs wins.

Experts correct me…I might be wrong. Most of my dabs tend to be with my face, not feet or hands. :slight_smile:

I like the 3-hop max/Section rule better because it allows for an accidental hop or a balance hop/correction hop without penalty, but effectively prevents hopping from being the primary method for completing a Section because no single Section can be completed in 3 hops. The concern that I am anticipating from some forum members, however, is:

What if a rider rolls the majority of the obstacle and then uses his/her 3 hops to clear the most difficult part of the Section?

My answer to that question is:

I don’t think that is too likely based on properly designing the Rolling Trials course, but that concern could be addressed by extending the 3-hop max/Section rule such that…

The 3 allowable hops can NOT be used for the express purpose of progressing through the course… in other words, 3 linear hops in the direction toward the “exit line” is prohibited.

ha ha ha

I would also add that a hop can NOT be used specifically to clear part of a Section that consists of an obstacle, such as a log pile or something that is intended to be rolled. Thus you would be DQed for attempting to hop over (or even on to) a log pile, rather than roll over it. Basically the 3-Hops/Section rule is there just to allow for an occasional (less than 3 per Section, obviously) balance hop or correction hop, without penalty.

If we can get some rules finalized, we may be able to hold the first annual Rolling Trials competition the day of Brian’s release/ride party at Rays … so let me know your thoughts.

I think that there are too many stipulations about what constitutes hops, and how many hops, etc…

I would suggest: Rolling hops are permitted. (as they also take careful planning, not just hopping around until you are ready to go, the part of trials that takes the most away from the actual trials event)

Especially on a course such as this, you would need to use skill and calculation to include hops into your line (we all know how easy it is to not hop in time and just smash into something!)

And that’s all there should be about hops. IMHO

Now you’re making it much more complicated. Call me a purist, but if you really want rolling trials, it should be primarily rolling that gets you through it. With the above you are allowing three static hops, plus an unlimited amount of rolling hops. A careful rider can probably turn most needed hops into rolling hops, so he gets all the hops he needs.

I still think all hops should be dabs. If a line truly requires a hop to get through, everyone will score an equal number of dabs anyway, so things should even out. Then if one genius figures out a way to not hop, they get rewarded.

But perhaps it should depend on the nature of the course, or line. Some will undoubtedly be much easier to roll than others. Though it will keep things complicated, you could put a sign at the beginning of each line listing the number of hops (of any kind) allowed.

There will still be some difficulty in the hop-detection department. Did the rider hop, or did he just un-weight the cycle to get over that big bump? It could be hard to tell.

Don’t worry about finalizing the rules. The best way to develop your rules is to try them out and then be willing to make changes. Go for it! Wish I could be there.

If you allowed rollling hops, and included a penalty for time, perhaps either based on a agreed upon time for that obstacle, or maybe even based on the fastest rider of that obstacle.

That way, rolling hops could get you past an obstacle, but speed would be your true ally

Forgive me for being stupid,but: it sounds just like muni except with no hopping aloud. :thinking:

Kinda like how a trials event is like hopping outside without the angry pedestrians?

Manmade stunts and lines will always be exactly how you want the contest to work around, whether it is for simple trials, or for something with much more momentum

It seems like this might be a very good idea, GILD. I’d love to hear more details about how this works… is it simply that a specified number of points are subtracted each time a hand or foot touches the ground, a wall, or other surface? How many points are subtracted? Thank you very much for bringing up this excellent idea.

I think you’re right… for the most part. I agree that the 3-hop rule is getting too complicated. I don’t see how any rider could “turn needed hops into rolling hops” in any useful way at all, though… especially if a rolling hop requires a full pedal revolution in between hops and can not be initiated from a stationary position (which I imagine would be the basic requirement for a hop to be considered a “rolling hop”). Thus in my opinion, rolling hops should be allowable (which would also make incidental air derived from jumps, steep ramps, log piles, or other obstacles a non-factor) and static hops should be treated using the dab system. I really think this seems to make the most sense. Let me know what you guys think:

  • Rolling hops allowed
  • Static hops treated using the dab system

The only caveat I would add to that is, a rider can NOT attempt to complete the majority of a Section by hopping and accepting the dab penalty… OR… the dab penalty must to be structured so that if a rider did complete the Section by hopping, the penalty would be equal to or greater than the points for completing that Section, thus no rider would ever attempt to complete a Section by hopping.

That’s good advice, John (regarding the rules)… I just want to have a decent foundation. I wish you could be there, too… that would have been awesome, but I’m sure there will be more events to follow.

That’s an interesting idea, but I think adding speed changes the event too much. Just completing the obstacle will be extremely difficult (for many Sections) and I want that to remain the sole challenge. Your idea reminds me of a comparison, though. I saw a show on speed rock climbing, so to me your idea is to Rolling Trials like Speed Rock Climbing is to regular rock climbing. Your idea could definitely be another event. At this point, I want to concentrate on further developing Rolling Trials before moving on to other types of events, though.

this is where people with more information and experience of the trials scene needs to step up as i’m afraid i quite simply do not know the finer, technical details
as i understand the system, it ‘allows’ dabs to add to the general flow of the event but penalises it sufficiently to ensure that no rider can afford to ‘plan’ on ‘using’ a dab

which, while great fun to do, is simmilarly entertaining as speed-ballet

or a good derailing…

In regular bike trials (old unicycle trials), points for dabs are added. The goal is toe end up with the lowest score possible. This assumes you attempt all sections, and accept the maximum of 5 points for the ones you couldn’t complete, or on which you get too many dabs. Maximum score per section is 5.

But the newer form of Unicycle Trials dosn’t use dabs. Each section has a point value, and you either get the points or you don’t, after as many tries as it takes you to make it through. This method is more popular becuse it’s much less complicated to judge. The main work (other than setting up the course and marking all the sections) is determining the score value of each section.

All this stuff on conditional types of hops will require a trained judge on every section, to determine what types of hops were done. If rolling hops are allowed, but a section is build in such a way where you need to hop twice with less than a Coker wheel’s circumference between them (this is over 10’, you can’t rolling-hop both of them.

So what defines a rolling hop? You have to have a real specific definition to be able to make a distinction in competition. My approach is that it’s hard enough to judge a hop vs. a not-hop, so all hops should be treated alike.

Riding off a ramp or jump is not a hop. Including such shapes will require further definition of what constitutes a hop, in that you can ride over the jump and get minimal air, or you can push yourself at it harder and launch, and get much bigger air. But to keep it simple, I’ll suggest anything where the wheel can get air from its own momentum would not carry a hop penalty, as long as the rider rolls it.

Your best bet is to go out and experiement with a group of riders and a set of obstacles. See all the different ways “rolling hop,” “static hop” and other things you might have to judge can be interpreted by various riders, depending on the problem they’re trying to solve.

You remember the evolutionary process of developing our sumo rules? Same thing. You play the game, and modify the rules as you go to keep the game working the way you want it.

For those of you that don’t know, the rules we have used at the informal Unicycle Sumo competitions at Unicons IX, X and XI were developed with Andy’s help. This process took place in the late 1980s at an elementary school near Andy’s house on Long Island. Bradley Bradley and I came to him, because he was not yet old enough to drive.

So Sumo rules like not pulling on clothes, and staying on for 3 seconds, developed from actual game experience, torn clothes, and arguments about who stayed on.

In the newer form of Unicycle Trials, what happens if a rider touches a surface with their hand or foot? No penalty? Is it cause for DQ? It wouldn’t make much sense if one rider could touch their hand or foot on the surface and score just as well as the rider who doesn’t! Also, how is the score value of each section determined?

I agree with that 100%. Now we’re getting somewhere! This is what I think works best so far:

  • 3 attempts to complete a Section
  • All hops (rolling or static) are treated the same - as dabs
  • Anything where the wheel can get air from its own momentum would not carry a hop penalty

Thank you very much John… You have been instrumental in the development of the rules for this new sport (and you came up with the name, too)!

Thanks for some more good advice… that is exactly what I intend to do. I remember the Sumo days at the elementary school fondly… that was a lot of fun :smiley: and now that you mention it… you are exactly right about how we developed the rules! I suppose that experience gave me somewhat of a foundation to use in trying to develop this new sport. Then and now, I couldn’t do it nearly as well without your insightful input. Thanks, again.

you forget about strato-dabs.

the dab system is used in order to allow for more difficult lines and for more accurately testing a rider’s skill. why should a rider who could potentially clear a line with a few dabs be given the same score as a rider who could never complete it with unlimited dabs? the sport would not be very accessible if new riders were unable to accumulate any points in a competition.

in my opinion the dab system is vastly inferior to the u-system.

except for hops (which someone mentioned earlier) i cant see any need to have dabs set up in the rules. with the lines that you propose, i cant see a situation where someone could step off and remount.

furthermore, since hopping is more difficult and less useful on a coker (than a 20") i dont see why they should be penalized.

my concern with this competition is that i imagine that many riders would successfully clear everything. since you dont allow hopping, it seems that many, more challenging lines are ommitted.

edit: my favorite sumo rule is that an athlete is disqualified if his diaper thingy is pulled off.


Having a form of rolling trials as an event could be a really fun thing to consider- definately a fun thing to experiment with at a MUni weekend.

A lot of the ideas that are mentioned in this thread are very similar to the ideas that got tossed around when the original unitrials rules were being developed. The first events counted the number of falls, subsequent events adopted the biketrials format of counting dabs, and since then it’s evolved to it’s present format.

Personally I think that the best rules for an event are the simplest rules that require the least number of judgement calls and the least amount of training required for judges (because sometimes judges can be non-riders).

This is the beauty of the current unitrials format, which was inspired by bouldering competition rules and is increasingly being referred to as “freetrials” by the cycling community at large.

In the current rules, the approach is really simple. The organizers set out a collection of sections (obstacles), collectively referred to as the course. The rules are:

  1. you’re allowed unlimited attemps
  2. there’s no restriction on techniques
  3. you make it with no dabs and you get a point;
  4. if you don’t make it you don’t get a point.
  5. the person who rides the most sections (gets the most points) wins.

That’s it. All of these rules are objective, simple and easy to to enforce. I think that’s the key to success with rules.

The unitrials rules formerly included the requirment to assign point values to each section corresponding to their difficulty, with reference to the U-system for rating difficulty in trials. However, the problem with this is that it’s subjective, it adds a level of complexity, and it requires experience by the course setter to ensure it’s done well. Additionally, as long as everyone has plenty of time to attempt all sections, it doesn’t matter what the difficulty ratings were- the person who rides the most sections still wins! In other words, as long as there aren’t too many sections, difficulty ratings are completely irrelevant for ranking competitors.

Secondly, counting hops, or dabs, sounds simple until you actually try to do it in the chaos of a competition where you have 25 sections and there are people running all over the place and far too few judges. It can be done but it’s confusing and errors inevitably happen.

Regarding hopping in trials:

While much of trials requires hopping techniques, you can’t say that trials is dominantly any kind of technique. In fact, the sign of a well-designed trials course is that the course designer designs section requiring all types of techniques, including both rolling and hopping. If trials courses are dominated by hopping, it’s just because this type of section is a lot easier to make.

So in sum I think rolling trials could be a great idea but I think you could organize it with exactly the same rules as conventional unitrials, and just add the one technique restriction of no hopping allowed. In other words, hopping constitutes a dab. Since no dabs are allowed, you would just have to try again.


Re: New Uni Event…

On Fri, 14 Jan 2005 23:46:01 -0600, “danger_uni” wrote:

>The rules are:
>1) you’re allowed unlimited attemps
>2) there’s no restriction on techniques
>3) you make it with no dabs and you get a point;
>5) if you don’t make it you don’t get a point.
>6) the person who rides the most sections (gets the most points) wins.

Is there a rule #4 about what happens when you do make dabs?

Klaas Bil - Newsgroup Addict

It’s impossible to get old when you ride a unicycle - John (what’s in a name) Childs

what is a dab?

The rules I summarized were really simplified. The complete rules are at Unicycle Trials Rules.

“Dab” is a term to describe when any part of your body touches the ground, such as falling off (obviously), putting one foot down, putting a hand down for balance, leaning against something with your leg, etc. Basically only your pedal, bearing housing, cranks and tire are allowed to touch the ground- everything else constitutes a dab.

In unitrials, if you dab, your turn is over. You have to try again. This actually is really non-stressful because there’s no limit to the number of attempts allowed. If you screw up there’s no consequence except that you didn’t get it. It’s a lot more nervewracking if someone is counting the number of times you screw up.


Thanks a lot, Kris… I’m psyched that the founding pioneer and foremost authority on unitrials likes the idea of rolling trials! I believe a place like Rays and various skateparks are also excellent (existing) venues to host this type of event.

Having given your opinion much thought and read your complete rules, I am in complete agreement with everything you’ve mentioned in the post above for organized rolling trials competitions… except I do believe that your complete rules would need a very minor bit of adaptation beyond constituting a hop as a dab. The primary modification that I believe is needed is the definition of classes based on wheel size, although an unlimited class allowing any wheel size (or combination of wheel sizes) would certainly be an excellent class to include. In my opinion, the minimum wheel size class should be 26” in order to intentionally make the handling characteristics more difficult than smaller wheels and because of the speed advantage over smaller wheels.

Also, I have an idea for another form of competition for rolling trials. I’ll be posting more info to the forum about this idea (which I’ll call the “Database Competition” for now, for lack of a better term), but essentially it is a worldwide, independent competition that enables riders to submit proposed Sections to the “Database” (an Internet-based database that stores info and photos of Sections worldwide, as well as videos of riders that have attempted and cleaned approved Sections), which keeps a running tab on how many riders have attempted the Section, cleaned the Section (and if cleaned, in how many attempts), and the rating of the riders that successfully cleaned the Sections. This database will store all relevant information about the Section (where it’s located, its current difficulty rating, etc.), the riders that cleaned it (their age, rating, location, etc.) and will establish the worldwide “Database” champion. It is possible that the Rolling Trials champion (points leader) for organized competitions is the same as the worldwide Database champion, but it isn’t necessarily the case. I’ll post a lot more detailed info about my ideas for the Database Competition in future posts.

Thanks so much for your insight, Kris… having the benefit of your knowledge and experience is invaluable!
Andrew (HCR)

When you suggest a minimum wheel size of 26", is that intended to include 24x3 wheels, which have an effective diameter of aprx 26"?

If not, I’d suggest that it would be a mistake to exclude the by far most common MUni wheel size. Any new competition, especially a new unicycle competition, will get off the ground faster if people can compete on equipment they already own.

Also, the 24x3 is a very versatile rolling machine. There are many things that can be rolled on a 24x3 that would be more or less impossible to ride on a Coker.