Junior Dog Mushers of Interior Alaska Official Race Rules


(Revised September 2018)


1. All mushers will compete in the class within which their age falls, providing that they can competently handle that many dogs. If not, they may race in a lower class (with the exception of the Junior North American Championships, where racers will be required to participate in the appropriate age class) The classes and minimum ages and/or experiences requirements are as follows:

A. One Dog Class—Musher must have attained his/her 3rd birthday on or before December 1.
Exception—Musher who has attained his or her 2nd birthday with Race Marshal’s approval.

B. Two Dog Class—Musher must have attained his/her 7th birthday on or before December 1.
Exception—Musher who has attained his/her or her 6th birthday and has one full years experience* in the 1-dog class.

C. Three Dog Class—Musher must have attained his/her 10th birthday on or before December 1.
Exception—Musher who has attained his/her 9th birthday and has one full years experience* in the 2-dog class.

D. Four Dog ClassMusher must have attained 12th birthday on or before December 1.
Exception—Musher who has attained his/her 11th birthday and has one full years experience* in the 3-dog class.

E. Six Dog ClassMusher must have attained his 14th birthday on or before December 1.
Exception—Musher who has attained his/her 13th birthday and has one full years experience* in the 4-dog class, or a musher who has attained his/her 12th birthday and has two full years experience in the 3- or 4-dog class can run with no more than 5 dogs.

F. Eight Dog Class—Musher must have attained his/her 16th birthday on or before December 1.
Exception—Musher who has obtained his/her 15th birthday and has one full years experience* in the 6-dog class.

*Note: A full years experience is at least three (3) preliminary races and a championship race.

Approximate Distances:

1 Dog: 200 yards (approx.) 220 m

2 Dog: 1 mile (1.6 km) – 2 miles (3.2 km)

3 Dog: 3.7 miles (5.9 km) – 4.5 miles (7.2 km)

4 Dog: 4.5 miles (7.2 km) – 5.9 miles (9.4 km)

6 Dog: 5.9 miles (9.4 km) – 7.7 miles (12.3 km)

8 Dog: 9.3 miles (14.9 km) – 12.1 miles (19.4 km)

2. Each dog team entered in a race must consist of not less than 5 dogs in the 8-dog class, 4 dogs in the 6-dog class, 3 dogs in the 4-dog class, 2 dogs in the 3-dog class, 1 dog in the 2-dog class and 1 dog in the 1-dog class.

3. Racers are strongly encouraged to preregister for each race. Preregistration for the Challenge Series Races and Fun Run will be conducted online using the Signup Genius application or via email (info@juniordogmushers.com). Preregistration will close at 5:00PM on the Friday night prior to the event. A random draw will then be conducted and published. Limited race day and late registration will be permitted for the Challenge Race Series. For the Junior North American Championship Series, attendance and in-person registration at the pre-race meeting and draw is required.

4. Drivers shall have the choice of their own sled. The sled must be equipped with a brush bow, adequate foot brake, snow hook, and a sled bag for carrying a dog safely. The one dog class does not require a snow hook or a sled bag.

5. There shall be one (1) marshal and (1) timekeeper at the starting line and (1) official at the turn around toward the finish. These officials may choose as many assistants as necessary.

6. All officials of the race are under the jurisdiction of the Race Marshal.

7. The Race Marshal may refuse the entry of any driver, if in the opinion of the Race Marshal, such driver is so inexperienced in sled dog racing as to constitute a hazard and/or delaying factor to himself or other entrants in the race.

8. Any complaints or protests must be made to the Race Marshal of the race orally within 15 minutes after the completion of the race and in writing to the Race Marshal within one (1) hour after the finish of the race.

9. The decision of the Race Marshal shall be final. Only the Adult Board of Directors may overturn a Race Marshal’s decision.

10. The official decision of the Race Marshal shall be made public within two (2) hours of the finish of each race.

11. It shall not be necessary for any one person making an entry to own any dogs in the team.

12. Each team must return with the same dogs with which they started each day. Dogs must be attached to the towline or secured in the sled bag.

13. Mushers shall not transfer any bib numbers or any dogs entered from one team to another. Bibs must be worn by every musher and must be visible during the race.

14. Preliminary races will be postponed if the Airport temperature is -20 degrees Fahrenheit or colder as reported by the National Weather Service at 907-458-3745 option 1113 at 8:00AM the morning of the race. The last two races of the season (i.e. the Fun Run and the Junior North American Championship) do not have a temperature cut-off.

15. In each class dog teams will start at two-minute intervals. There will be a fifteen (15) minute interval between classes. The Race Marshal has the authority to modify these intervals.

16. Any driver failing to be at the starting line at their start time shall not be allowed to start until after the last team in his or her class. Teams may start within one minute past the countdown. No running starts are allowed. Teams must come to a stop at the start line.

17. (This rule applies only to teams under a driver’s control). No driver will be permitted to have outside assistance during the running of the race, which interferences are in the driver’s power to prevent, with the following exceptions:A. Each driver may have an unlimited number of handlers to assist the driver and team getting to the starting chute and until countdown is completed. After the sled crosses the start line a driver may have one self-appointed handler in the starting chute.B. Each driver may have one self-appointed handler to assist driver and team past team’s home kennel, and past any trail leading directly off the race trail toward such home kennel.

18. Each driver must follow the official course of the race under penalty of disqualification.

19. When one team overtakes another, the team behind shall have the immediate right-of-way upon demand, the driver of the team ahead must stop his/her dogs and hold them to the best of his/her ability until the other team is past. In the event that the team passed shall hang on for 2 minutes, mile, or with the front musher’s permission, he/she shall have the right to demand the trail again.

20. A musher’s team that has been passed must wait until the passing team is at least 50 yards in front of him/her before continuing to run his team. Failure to do so can result in disqualification by the Race Marshal.

21. A team that has been passed must wait 2 minutes or 1/2 mile before they can pass the team that previously passed them.
Exception: If the team that passed you has trouble before the 2 minutes or 1/2 mile ( a tangle, dog fight, etc.) and cannot get their team underway, you can ask for that musher’s permission to pass. If the musher gives you the OK to pass, you can do so and proceed on down the trail.Exception: You can repass immediately in the finishing shoot.

22. Courtesy on the trail dictates the following point be considered: The musher who is passed shall not drive his team in any manner that disturbs the leading team beyond normal running condition. It shall be noted that a sportsman will give the leading team an opportunity to gain some distance and at no time shall allow his/her leader to be so close to the leading team’s musher as to handicap his running or working in any way.

23. No pacing or trailing in any way or form shall be allowed.

24. Every person entering or driving a team in the race will be required to conduct himself in a sportsmanlike, fair, and honorable manner, under penalty of disqualification.

25. Cruel and inhumane treatment of dogs by any driver is strictly prohibited under penalty of disqualification from the race and the driver may be barred from the rest of the season. The Race Marshal shall judge what constitutes inhumane treatment and shall enforce.

26. Signal whips shall not be allowed.

27. No driver shall use a loose leader during the race, and all drivers must use necklines on their dogs with the exception of double leaders, which may be used with or without necklines.

28. Any driver quitting a race must clear the trail completely until all race teams in that class have passed.

29. A driver that loses his or her team must overtake the loose team by the quickest possible means, including a ride if available, to ensure the safety of the loose team. Failure to accept assistance may result in disqualification of the driver of the loose team.

30. The finishing time of each team shall be the time at which the nose of the first dog crosses the finishing line.
Exception: If a driver is separated from his/her team and continues on the trail, their time ends when the driver cross the line.

31. The team, including the driver, sled and all dogs which started the race, completing the course in the least time shall be declared the winner of the race.

32. Any dog with, or team in which there is a known contagious disease shall not be allowed in any race. (All mushers are urgently requested to report dog diseases, and not bring to Fairbanks any team in which there is a disease).

33. The use of internal medicines, injections, or stimulants to the dogs before, during, or after a race, except for medicinal purposes at the direction of a veterinarian is prohibited.

34. No team shall use the official race course or any part thereof on racing days until all racing teams have returned.

35. The race course shall be laid out with the following markers:
Red Markers: Indicate an upcoming turn.
Yellow Markers: Indicate exercise caution ahead.These markers may be supplemented by printed signs when it is deemed necessary to allow each musher an equal chance to follow the prescribed trail.

36. Any mushers desiring to race in the next higher class for a single race or for the rest of the season may do so by petitioning the approval of the Board of Directors Pro-Tem and submitting written permission of their parents or guardian. Mushers must have approval of the Board of Directors Pro-Tem prior to the draw. Revised March 30, 2000.

37. There shall be no unsupervised children under the age of eight (8) in the Mushers’ Hall.

38. There can be no type of strap or loop on a sled to attach a driver to his/her sled.

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