Each year the dBDRA reviews the previous season. Our goal is to simplify rules, eliminate antiquated or unenforceable rules and streamline officiating while minimizing the impact to our existing competitor base. At the same time, the overall strategic goals of the dBDRA must also be met. These include growth, officiating consistency on a global scale, and providing a fair, unbiased, and objective format for competitors.
Keep it Loud! Make me Proud!
This year, only a handful of changes were made to the rule book. Overall, I am very happy with the current rules. Even so, it has been brought to my attention that a better explanation of why some of the changes being implemented in 2019 would be beneficial to the dBDRA community. This post will specifically focus on rule 4.5 in the dB Drag Racing rule book.
“4-5 The officiating staff must be afforded a clear view inside of the vehicle when looking through the windshield and side windows of the vehicle.”
This rule has been in place for several decades. The verbiage in the 1999 rules are the same as they are today…
The reason for this rule should be obvious. The judge must be able to see inside of the listening compartment to effectively enforce the rules.
Problem: Competitors are now using dark window tint on the front windshield and side windows. This makes it impossible for the officiating staff to see inside of the vehicle. This is a direct violation of rule 4-5 (shown above.)
Problem: Some competitors are layering decals, tint, tape, or vinyl on the windshield in such a way as it is structurally reinforcing the windshield. For the Street and Super Street divisions structural modifications in front of the B-Pillar are prohibited. The “Normal Use” requirement is also violated because it is illegal to apply window tint to the front windshield in most countries.
Problem: Officiating consistency – It may not be possible to provide consistent officiating when materials such as tint, decals, tape, and/or vinyl are applied to the windshield. Even if the tint is clear there is not an easy way to determine how thick or how many layers have been used. In addition, the suction cups on the sensor do not adhere to these materials when they are applied to the interior surface of the windshield.
Problem: Safety – A small handful of vehicles have the potential for breaking windshields. (The dBDRA has proposed several mitigating solutions to the judges to prevent flying glass from becoming a safety hazard while still maintaining the integrity of the rules.)
Changes to the rule book are always the result of careful and meticulous first-hand observation of officiating throughout the year. To be successful we must always consider perspective, objective, and scope. This is harder than you may think.
Perspective – Everyone has a different point of view. If you speak with a competitor, you will discover that he or she almost always advocates a position that will result in a personal benefit. That is to be expected. These views can vary from competitor to competitor, state to state, and country to country.
Objective – As I mentioned at the beginning of this thread, the dBDRA is committed to providing a fair, unbiased, and objective format for our competitors to participate in. This requires rules that are concise, clear-cut, and easy to enforce.
Scope – Competitors tend to focus on their own competition vehicle. Judges tend to focus on their own geographic area. The dBDRA must have a “global” scope. We are truly an international organization with active participation in dozens of countries with hundreds of judges and thousands of competitors. We do our best to look at the “big picture” and keep the organization headed in a direction that will be beneficial to everyone.
Of course, the opinions of our competitors and judges are important. Therefore, I will be asking Jereme Creamer (USA) to put together a fact finding committee to determine if any alternatives to the changes in rule 4-5 are available. The results of this committee are non-binding but we will seriously consider any viable solutions that are offered. He will have 72 hours to make this happen so please be responsive if he contacts you.
Good luck this season!