Questions about coaching a Standard Skill routine

The Memphis Unicycle Club has a young rider who is interested in competing this summer at NAUCC. His skill level is in the range of about 5 to 7. Even though I have never attended a unicycle competition and I am not a skilled rider, I am falling into the role of Coach. With the Unicycling Society of America Official Competition Rulebook (May 2002) in hand, we are starting to put this together. However, I am developing some questions for which I have not been able to find answers in the USA rulebook. Maybe the answers are there and I am just confused.

Your assistance, comments and suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

My first questions are (and there will likely be more later):

  1. How does a rider customarily begin and end a routine? A bow? A wave of the hand? Just start the music?

  2. Can a rider perform more than one mount? This would require stopping (touching the floor) and re-starting. Paragraph 4.6.1 of the rulebook states that a Standard Skill routine may have no more than six mounts and/or transitions. Paragraph 4.9.3 states that the rider may not touch the floor except where required … Is a second mount halfway through the routine acceptable, desired, not recommended, a good/bad idea???

Thanks for your current and future comments,
Coach Wheel Rider

The clock starts when the rider starts their first skill after being given a signal to start from the chief judge or announcer.

There is no customary end, but most people bow or wave or similar at the end of their routine.

Yes, they can perform up to 6 mounts and/or transitions. Having the next trick be a mount is a time when it’s required to get off and touch the floor. You can also get off between skills and do not not need to ride into every skill unless it’s part of the skill. For example, you can do hop on wheel without the transitions, by starting from off the unicycle and then stepping up into hop on wheel, bouncing 5 times and then, stepping off to the ground. However, when doing a dismount, it should be done in control so that the judge does not think it’s a fall.

Hey Coach!

I definitely agree that Standard Skill isn’t the easiest to understand. We try to make the rulebook easier to read, but there is always room for more improvement.

A rider can begin the routine by doing the first mount (if a mount is the first skill) or their first skill. It is not required to begin the routine with a mount. The timer starts the stopwatch at this time.

It is nice to end with a bow. The judges will already know when the rider is finished, but a bow tells the audience that the routine has finished and that it is time to clap.

More than one mount is allowed - it is required to touch the floor before doing a mount - so this wouldn’t count as a dismount. A second mount is acceptable/desirable/recommended/good - but it all depends on the rest of the skills in the routine. Looking at it a slightly different way: Many riders do some skills but not the transitions. A good example is for riders who want to do Hop on Wheel (117a) but not the transitions (161a and 162a) - the riders go from the floor to hopping on wheel, then step down to the floor before beginning their next skill.

I can help your coaching and watch the routine(s) when I visit MUC in late April. Glad to see the hosting club will be competing in Standard Skill!

2006 NAUCC Chief Judge

Connie, I was hoping you would say that. I hope we can have a routine ready for you when you get here.

Thanks, Connie and Gilby.

Stay tuned for more questions.