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Version from October 4, 2023


   General Provisions

1. Teams and Participants

2. Categories and Scoring

3. Equipment

4. Game Start and Registration

5. Game Materials

6. Moving Around the City

7. Routes and Checkpoints (CPs)

8. Game Finish

9. Scoring

General Provisions

This document represents the general rules for all games of the "Running City" project.

"Games" in these Rules refer to: team competitions in urban orienteering, city games, quests, and other games with elements of local history in an urban environment, conducted in person or remotely.

For each specific game, these Rules are supplemented by the Game Agenda, describing the specific conditions of these competitions.

1. Teams and Participants

1.1. The game is played in teams.

1.2. By default, a team can consist of 1 to 4 people. Teams of different sizes participate in the game on an equal basis. The allowable number of team members can be changed by the specific game's agenda.

1.3. Individuals under 14 years of age are allowed to participate only if accompanied in the same team by a participant over 18 years old (provided that the participant over 18 is a parent, relative, or guardian, or with written parental consent for participation accompanied by this person).

1.4. The game's agenda may set additional requirements for the composition of teams in any given category.

1.5. The game organizers reserve the right to refuse anyone participation without explanation.

1.6. Game participants are required to follow these Rules, adhere to the instructions of the Game Agenda, organizers, and judges.

1.7. Participants are obliged to comply with the laws and subordinate regulatory acts effective in the territory where the game is held, primarily the road traffic rules.

1.8 The organizers are not responsible for incidents occurring with participants due to the fault of the participants themselves or third parties.

2. Categories and Scoring

2.1. Games may be held in person (“in the city”) and/or remotely.

2.2. The game is conducted in one or several categories. The set of categories is defined by the Game Agenda.

2.3. A category description includes the following conditions:

  • participation format: in-person or remote;
  • permissible or prohibited means of moving around the city (for in-person games);
  • timekeeping for distance completion when scoring;
  • presence of tasks issued as riddles;
  • route parameters such as length / estimated time / difficulty level;
  • allowable websites and services for locating objects (for remote games);
  • other additional parameters.

2.4. Several scorings may be designated in any category. The conditions for dividing a category into scorings are described in the Agenda and may also be formulated by organizers based on game results.

2.5. A team wishing to participate in the game using means of transportation not provided by the Agenda may be allowed to participate in one of the existing categories, outside the general scoring, with prior agreement with the organizers.

3. Equipment

3.1. For in-person games (“in the city”), it is mandatory for the team to have:

  • a smartphone, tablet, or laptop with internet access;
  • a functioning writing instrument (pen, marker, pencil);
  • an identity document – for each participant.

3.2. Additionally, it is strongly recommended to have:

  • a map;
  • a flashlight;
  • portable batteries for charging mobile devices;
  • a health insurance policy for each participant.

3.3. Requirements and recommendations for specific means of transportation:

3.3.1. When using a bicycle:

  • helmet;
  • functioning red rear beacon;
  • light;
  • bike lock.

3.3.2. When using roller skates:

  • helmet;
  • rigid hand protection;
  • knee pads.

3.3.3. Recommendations specified in 3.3.1 and 3.3.2 may be established by the Game Agenda as mandatory requirements for certain categories.

3.3.4. When using other means of transportation, it is recommended to use protective gear commonly accepted for the type of transport, primarily helmets.

3.3.5. The use of any types of motors on bicycles is prohibited.

3.4. Also, in the in-person format, the following are allowed:

3.4.1. For participants under 7 years old in any category, the use of strollers, scooters, balance bikes, children's bicycles, and other similar non-motorized means of transportation is permitted.

3.4.2. When walking, the use of walking sticks is permitted.

3.5. For remote games, each participant must have a computer (preferably), or a tablet, or a smartphone with internet access.

3.6. The Game Agenda may set additional requirements for the team's equipment or each participant.

3.7. Participants must provide all the above equipment themselves.

4. Game Start and Registration

4.1. To manage the team at the start and during the game, at least one of the participants must have a profile on the site listed in the team composition and be logged in.

4.2. Each team has its own start time (see Application Rules).

4.3. The Game Agenda may also set the necessity for pre-start registration. In this case:

4.3.1. Participants should arrive for registration 15 minutes before their team's start.

4.3.2. Registration is conducted in the order of the general queue.

4.3.3. At registration, team members present identity documents (and others, if set by the Agenda), may undergo pre-start control and receive a set of game materials.

4.4. The operating hours of starts for each category are limited:

  • The opening time of starts is indicated in the Game Agenda.
  • The closing time of starts and registrations (unless otherwise specified in the Agenda) is considered to be the start time of the last team that submitted a preliminary application in that category.

4.5. The responsibility for timely passing the start and pre-start registration rests with the team.

4.6. A team that is late for its start time may be allowed on the course if not directly prohibited by the Game Agenda. If a team starts the game after the start has closed in their category, the possibility of completing the entire distance is not guaranteed.

4.7. When scoring, the time of passing the course is counted from the formal start time of the team (unless the Agenda specifies otherwise).

4.8. The team's start is considered:

  • in the remote format – pressing the "Start Game" button by any team member;
  • in the in-person format – pressing the "Start Game" button and completing the tasks of the start page, and/or passing through the start corridor (if present) by the team in full.

4.9. At the start and during the game, organizers may conduct photo sessions of participants to document and control the composition of teams.

4.10. The team photo, uploaded by the team, must feature the full team and exclude any non-registered accompanying persons.

4.11. Team start photos are published on the site in the lists of participants and results. Participants may opt out of publishing the team photo by writing a request to the game's email address listed in the Agenda.

4.12. If participants of the in-person game do not comply with the requirements of items 1.3, 1.6, 1.7, 3.1, 3.3.3, 4.3.3, 5.8 of these Rules, the team may not be released to the start.

4.13. Passing pre-start registration and/or pressing the "Start Game" button by any team member signifies familiarity and agreement of all team members with these Rules and the Game Agenda.

5. Game Materials

5.1. Game materials – information carriers provided by the organizers and ensuring the team's participation in the game. Game materials include:

  • descriptions of the route or its parts and specific tasks ("legend");
  • a route sheet (book) for recording responses to tasks and other documentation of the team's route progress;
  • team number (in certain cases, other attributes);
  • additional sources of information for the game, provided to the team by the organizers.

5.2. The team's game page in the game section on the official site combines the properties of the above game materials and serves as their electronic equivalent.

5.3. Access to the team's game page is granted only to those participants who:

  • have a profile on the "Running City" site;
  • were included in the participant composition (on the team management page); confirmed their participation in this team in their profile.

5.4. For remote games, game materials are provided only in the electronic form.

5.5. For in-person games, game materials may be presented in the electronic form and supplemented or entirely issued on paper or other media.

5.6. Game materials on paper and similar media, if available, are issued at pre-start registration, at the start, or during the game. Additional materials and attributes, not necessary for completing the game, may be issued along with the game materials or separately, either at the finish or, in special cases, sent to participants after the game.

5.7. If the Agenda provides for the issuance of a route sheet (book) on paper media, the following rules apply:

5.7.1. The route sheet is the main document of the team and the main source of information when scoring.

5.7.2. The route sheet must be with the team throughout the entire time of passing the distance until it is handed over to the judges at the finish, and presented to the judges upon first request.

5.7.3. The team promptly enters the required information about moving along the route and completing tasks into the route sheet.

5.7.4. Special marks in the route sheet may also be made by the organizers and judges of the game.

5.7.5. The absence of information in the route sheet is interpreted not in the team's favor.

5.7.6. In case of loss of the route sheet, the team should immediately notify the organizers and follow their instructions.

5.8. If the Agenda provides for the issuance of team numbers (usually in the form of a badge) for each participant, the following rules apply:

5.8.1. The number is attached to the clothing or equipment of the participant so that it is easily visible throughout the entire time the team is on the course.

5.8.2. The number serves for external identification of the team and is presented by participants upon request by the judges.

5.8.3. In case of loss of the number by a participant, the team should notify the organizers and follow their instructions.

5.9. Additional game materials are used according to the Game Agenda and instructions from the organizers.

6. Moving Around the City

(This section of the rules entirely relates to in-person games)

6.1. Competition participants move around the city on general grounds (see item 1.7). No special conditions are created for participants.

6.2. The order of moving around the city in each category is determined by the Game Agenda. From the moment of the start to the moment of the finish or withdrawal from the course, participants move around the city using only those means of transportation that are permissible for their category, or on foot.

6.3. If the category provides for the use of public transportation, it refers to passenger transport that operates on a specific route and carries passengers on general grounds, such as: buses, trolleybuses, trams, route taxis, suburban trains, metro, funiculars, river trams, etc.

6.3.1. Taxis and rental services (car sharing, kick sharing, bicycle rental) are not considered public transport by default.

6.3.2. The Game Agenda may impose restrictions on the use of specific types of public transportation.

6.4. Participants are allowed to use any city maps (diagrams, atlases, etc.), reference materials, and any navigation devices.

6.5. At any moment of moving along the route, judicial control of the team's composition is possible. In this case, a judge on the course may require the team to stop and gather in full. The gathering time on the course should not exceed 5 minutes.

6.6. If the team withdraws from the route in full, participants should notify the organizers.

6.7. If one or several team members withdraw, the remaining may continue participation in the game outside the general scoring. The withdrawal of a participant(s) must be noted by a judge in the team's route book or documented by the team electronically.

7. Routes and Checkpoints (CPs)

7.1. Game routes consist of checkpoints (CPs) – points that must be visited, find the object specified in the task, and complete the game task (take the CP).

7.1.1. For in-person games, CPs are selected objects in publicly accessible places within the game territory.

7.1.2. For remote games, CPs represent geotagged information located on websites and services specified in the Agenda or tasks.

7.2. The location of a CP may be explicitly stated or given as a riddle.

7.3. Taking all CPs on a route is not mandatory for completing the game.

7.4. CPs on one route may be grouped into stages.

7.4.1. The order of passing the stages is described in the game materials or Agenda.

7.4.2. By default, the order of passing stages is sequential: CPs of one stage are taken only during the passage of that stage.

7.4.3. The route may also include CPs outside the stages (usually – bonus CPs, see item 9.5.), which may be taken at any point during the game.

7.5. The order of taking CPs within one stage is arbitrary.

7.6. Individual CPs may have limited operating hours. Each such case is specifically mentioned in the game materials.

7.7. The description of a CP ("CP legend") includes:

  • identifier (number) of the CP;
  • description of the CP location (explicitly or as a riddle), with additional clarifications (the degree of detail of the description depends on the type and location of the CP);
  • task specifying what information needs to be found on site and recorded for taking the CP.

7.8. CP tasks involving on-site information search cannot have correct answers like "zero," "absent," "nothing," and similar.

7.9. Typical types of tasks at CPs in city games:

  • Any information originally present at the specified location: a fragment of an inscription, a property of an object, the number of certain objects, etc. The task formulation may include an action clarification: "rewrite", "name", etc.
  • "Judge's mark": Requires obtaining a mark from one of the organizers-judges present at the CP.
  • "Sign": Requires redrawing (usually into a paper route sheet) a sign – a graphic image installed by the organizers at the specified location.
  • "Code word": Requires finding a code word in the materials issued or installed by the organizers at the CP (e.g., on a poster or in a video file).
  • "Team photo": Requires taking (and uploading to the game page) a photograph of the team against the background of the object specified in the task. The photo must include all registered participants and must not include any other accompanying persons. If the photo does not meet the specified requirements, when scoring the CP, this may be interpreted not in the team's favor.

7.10. Individual CPs may be marked on the ground with a special symbol (a so-called "prism"):

  • for CPs specified explicitly, a traditional orienteering competition symbol is used – a square diagonally divided into red and white triangles;
  • for CPs whose description is given as a riddle, the same purpose is served by a symbol – a square divided along both diagonals into two pairs of triangles.

7.10.1. For CPs with a "sign" task, a "prism" is displayed next to the sign and the CP number is indicated.

7.11. In an in-person game, any CP task may be replaced with a "Judge's mark" task without prior warning. In this case, judges are located near the object specified in the CP legend and place a "prism" in a visible location.

7.12. If necessary, organizers may adjust the legend and change the task of any CP during the game, notifying participants. In this case, teams that took such a CP before the task change do not need to change their response.

7.13. For in-person games, the simultaneous personal presence of all team members is mandatory when taking each CP.

7.14. Taking a CP is considered:

7.14.1. For in-person games – the team in full reach the location specified in the legend, find the answer to the set question, and enter it into the route sheet. The time of taking the CP is also recorded: in case of using a paper route sheet, it is recorded by participants, in electronic form, it is automatically recorded (based on the last correction of the response).

7.14.2. For remote games – entering a response to the task found at the specified CP by any team member.

7.14.3. If a team participating in an in-person game records or corrects a response to a task while not at the CP location, organizers during result verification have the right to request explanations from the team (see item 7.16).

7.15. When using public transportation, the route sheet should mark the sections of the course traveled by the team on public transportation: the time and place of boarding, the time and place of disembarking, the route number of the public transportation used.

7.15.1. In the absence of marks about used transportation in the route sheet, possible disputable situations may be interpreted by judges not in the team's favor.

7.15.2. Other methods of controlling the team's use of public transportation may be specified, in which case they are indicated in the game materials.

7.16. Participants are recommended to record the team's movement track by any convenient method and be ready to present this track after completing the route upon request by the judges. In certain disputable cases, refusal to provide the track may be interpreted not in the team's favor.

7.17. If participants discover the loss of a CP, unsurpassable obstacles preventing teams from completing the distance or capturing a specific CP, the team should immediately notify the organizers.

7.18. Until the end of the game (closing of the finish), participants are prohibited from remotely transmitting any information about CPs and routes to other teams, as well as posting it in open access on the Internet (including tracks, photos from CPs, etc.).

8. Game Finish

8.1. The finish location for teams, common for the entire game or separate for specific categories, is determined by the Game Agenda or indicated in the game materials.

8.2. For remote games, the finish location is not determined.

8.3. For some in-person games, the finish location may be arbitrary, which is separately specified in the Game Agenda.

8.4. The team's finish is counted:

  • for remote games – by pressing the "Finish Game" button by any team member;
  • for in-person games with an electronic route sheet – by pressing the "Finish Game" button at the moment the team is at the finish location specified by the organizers;
  • for in-person games with a paper route sheet – by arriving in the finish corridor of all team members and submitting the route sheet.

8.5. The finish time is recorded to the minute.

8.6. The finish closing time is determined by the Game Agenda or indicated in the game materials.

8.7. Teams that do not reach the finish and/or press the "Finish Game" button before the finish closing time are considered not to have finished.

9. Scoring

9.1. When dividing a category into scorings, scoring is conducted separately for each of the provided scorings. If division is not provided, scoring in a category is considered general.

9.2. The main criterion when scoring is the number of CPs taken, excluding bonus ones.

9.2.1. For individual games using a point system, priority is given to the sum of points scored. The rules for accruing and calculating points are described in the Game Agenda and/or game materials.

9.3. The only reliable criterion for taking a CP is the entry in the route sheet (if presented in electronic form – then in the corresponding field on the site), containing the correct answer to the task formulated in the CP legend.

9.4. If the number of CPs taken (points scored) is equal, the better result is considered to be that of the team that completed the distance in less time, unless otherwise specified in the category definition.

9.5. Bonus CPs are not considered when counting the CPs taken. Taking a bonus CP gives the team prize time (bonus), subtracted from the distance completion time (or another advantage, previously described in the Agenda or game materials). The size of the bonus is set separately for each bonus CP.

9.6. The team's results may be considered outside the general scoring in cases provided by items 2.5 and 6.7 of these Rules, as well as by the decision of the chief judge in individual cases that did not lead to disqualification or penalty. The status "outside scoring" implies that the team stepped outside the rules without significant violations, the game results for this team are counted, but not considered in the general ranking.

9.7. By decision of the chief judge, a team may be disqualified based on the game results, and also, in exceptional cases, removed from the game before its completion. The basis for disqualification may be the team's malicious violation of items 1.6, 1.7, 3.3, 5.7, 5.8, 6.2, 6.3.1, 6.5, 7.13, 7.15, 7.18, as well as other points of these Rules and the Game Agenda.

9.8. By decision of the chief judge, in cases of violations that did not lead to disqualification, penalty time or penalty points may be added to the team's result.

9.9. Also, by decision of the chief judge in special cases, bonus points or bonus time may be added to the results of individual teams.

9.10. In scorings provided by the Game Agenda, prizes are considered:

  • 1st, 2nd, 3rd places – in case of participation of 6 or more teams in timed scoring categories;
  • 1st place – in categories without timed scoring and in other categories in case of participation of 2 to 5 teams.

9.11. The awarding order is indicated in the Game Agenda.

9.12. Preliminary results are published on the game site within 3 days after its completion.

9.13. Claims (appeals) concerning the results are accepted within 48 hours after the publication of preliminary results.

9.14. The terms for publishing results and submitting appeals may be changed by the Game Agenda.

9.15. An appeal may be submitted exclusively through a special form on the game site.

9.16. Decisions made by the chief judge based on the results of appeals are final and cannot be contested.

9.17. The results are considered final after being announced as such on the game site.