Latest News: England Athletics Headphone ban

In this blog post we thought we'd share with you news of a significant change in the rules of racing.

The majority of Nice Work races and the ones we organise on behalf of our many partners have a race licence granted by England Athletics. You may notice this information in the race descriptions, but let's share with you what goes on behind the scenes when organising your favourite events.

What is England Athletics?

England Athletics is our governing body and every event that is licensed is subject to UKA Rules (UK Athletics) and has to conform to Athletics Licence Standards. That means that the Nice Work events you take part in are safe, well organised and meet high standards.

The next time you are at a race spot the Race Director speaking to the person wearing the bright orange EA tabard. This is the EA adjudicator, who comes along to every race to check that we are meeting these standards. There is a 400-odd page rule book that we must adhere to for all of our races and all of this quietly goes on behind the scenes of race day.

What’s the new headphone rule?

As of the 1st April 2024, England Athletics brought in a change in the rule book and for all those runners who love to listen to music or a Podcast when you race, unfortunately this affects you. The new rule states that all in ear and over ear headphones are banned from running events, whether this is road, trail or mixed terrain courses. This was previously the case for all events that were open to traffic. This has now changed to ALL events whether it’s a closed seafront promenade, or forest trails, courses on private land or parks.

The reasons for this is for your safety as it’s a shared space. The good news is that the bone conducting type are permitted as these sit outside of the ear. Although we do still recommend you have the volume low enough to hear marshal instructions and traffic around you. There may be the odd race that is not licensed under EA but we will state that on the webpage and in the race instructions.

What happens if you are seen wearing head or earphones?

Well, unfortunately, the race director or EA adjudicator has the right to disqualify you from the race and that means you will have a DQ listed in the results. For those of you who have raced with us in the past, you will see this new logo in the race instructions:

We know this a huge change for some of you and we hope you now understand a little more of the background. We would like to thank you for your understanding and let’s enjoy many safe Nice Work running events together.

Rachael Wood

Managing Director of Nice Work