Commissaire conferences get underway at the National Cycling Centre


Commissaires and referees from the North and Midlands regions congregated in Manchester at the National Cycling Centre and at the Hilton Hotel Leicester over the weekend for the first two of their annual four event conferences.


With attendances increasing each year and with over 180 booked on so far, the formula is proving to be popular and bodes well for the remaining events. This year sees a strong workshop-based format to the conferences with the morning featuring three rotating sessions covering Sanctions and Discipline, Incident Management and Communication. There is a mix of cycling disciplines within the groups and attendees have been able to network with their peers in other areas of cycling. It has led to some stimulating discussion so far, with commissaires even being introduced to the yellow and red card system of cycle speedway, although maybe we won’t be seeing offenders in our other disciplines taking an early bath just yet!

“Talking to other disciplines was very interesting. The morning session made me aware of issues that affect other disciplines but that could be of concern in mine. It really helps to hear the difficulties that other disciplines have and where disciplines can learn from each other” Said one commissaire at the Manchester conference.

The afternoon sessions featured discipline-specific workshops enabling some in depth discussions to take place and also allowed for rule and regulation updates prior to the start of the new season. Each discipline took a slightly different approach with BMX and MTB/CX covering various topics and highlighting good practice. The track group focused on scenarios provoking lots of discussion and allowing for experienced commissaires to pass on their knowledge, providing a chance for less experienced commissaires to learn. Cycle speedway brought all their referees together at Leicester to discuss arising issues and developments from the last season. Finally, the road workshop saw commissaires involved in an event simulation, playing out an incident packed race.

“It was an open discussion and everyone’s opinion mattered! There was the opportunity to discuss technically challenging issues with experienced commissaires. The best thing was the discussion on common “grey” scenarios and solutions for consistency” was just some of the positive feedback received at the conclusion of the day’s events.

Chairman of the Commissaire and Referees Commission, Bob Howden said “it was great to see officials from all disciplines comparing notes and experiences in the shared sessions as well as some in depth discussion in the discipline specific afternoon groups. The challenge as always with annual conferences is to keep the format both fresh and relevant, this year’s changes have been well received but after the Hillingdon finale the Commission will once again sit down to begin the process of planning next year’s conference season, starting with a debrief of this year’s attendees feedback. As the year unfolds, we’d welcome any input from Commissaires or Referees out there, be it analytical or anecdotal, that could usefully be incorporated as session material”.

The conferences move to Bristol on 2 March with the finale the following day at Hillingdon. A few places are still left for these and can be secured by contacting

All the feedback and suggestions from the conferences will be noted and will help to further shape the direction of the Cycle Sport Education programme in terms of discipline specific issues, commissaire communication, education and support