Race Rules


 RACE RULES                                                    Amended  4/9/2007  


 a) For Open Federation races where all pigeons basketed within the Federation are competing, the Members Club Entry Sheet will be sufficient.

 b) Should a bird arrive home from any Federation race without a rubber race ring or an Electronic Band, it will be debarred from taking any position in that race.

 c) For Special Fed Races where only nominated pigeons are competing (eg Ring Race, 2 Birders, Breeders Plate, etc) each member competing must complete an Approved Entry Form and these forms will be used to record the rubber number when the birds are being race marked. Members using EBSS are also required to complete a nomination form however it won’t show a rubber ring number. These Entry Forms are to be handed to the Transport Driver on basketing night who will deliver them to the Federation Race Secretary the following basketing night.


 Race Result Sheets are to be completed by each Club for all Federation Races.  

All Result Sheets must be submitted to the Federation Race Secretary together with that Club’s Clock Tapes and Computer printouts, plus relevant Race Rubbers within 7 days of the race closing. The penalty for failing to comply with this rule is, in the first instance a fine payable by the non complying Club. The amount of the fine will be set by the NCF Executive. Any second offence will incur a fine at double the level imposed for the first offence.  Any subsequent or continued offences will be dealt with at the discretion of the NCF Executive.


 a) No birds shall be permitted to take part in any of the Federation contests or be admitted into Club baskets unless it is free from disease. The Executive or Liberator may remove any bird from the race or from a surplus basket that they consider unfit for that journey.

 b) All competing birds in Federation races must be the property of the member who enters the nominated pigeon and must “home” to that members loft.  For the purpose of proving ownership, any pigeon may be “tossed” after any race by the Executive Committee (within a reasonable distance of its nominated owners loft).  In the event that such pigeon does not “home” to the loft it is supposed to represent, the competitor may be disqualified from the subject race or such further disqualifications or penalties as the Committee may decide.

 c) A clearance will be necessary to prove ownership of any pigeon whose Life Ring was not sold to the current owner (or receipt if the pigeon was purchased at a squeaker sale for example).  All clearances must be given to the NCF Ring Secretary BEFORE the FIRST RACE each season.  Any late clearances must be submitted to the NCF Management Committee and be accepted by that Committee BEFORE the pigeon can be raced.

Any pigeon that requires a clearance will be disqualified from all races until that clearance has been submitted as required above.

 d) Members must fly their birds to the same loft or premises for all the races of that season UNLESS the member (or members) be incapacitated from doing so by change of residence.

In this latter case, the Executive Committee may grant permission to race those birds to another loft.

 e) Where two members fly to the same loft or one member to two clocks, it is necessary to nominate separate teams of pigeons prior to commencement of racing.

 f) All competing birds must be basketed at approved basketing centres as approved by the NCF from time to time.  At least 4 financial members of the NCF must be present at race marking and basketing of birds.  No member shall be allowed to mark or race ring their own birds nor shall any member be allowed to handle their own birds after race marking has taken place.


 a) Unless specified otherwise, all race distances must be calculated on the Great Circle method using latitudes and longitudes (amended to VINCENTY algorythm May General meeting 2015) and the bird recording the fastest velocity from the point of liberation to the members loft shall be declared the winner.

b) Race velocities to be calculated to 1 decimal place.

c) The Federation shall record the latitude and longitude co-ordinates of all members loft locations by GPS. A representative of the NCF Executive will visit each members loft to record these co-ordinates and supply a copy of each members mapping to the respective clubs. To calculate any velocity, the distance of each members loft from the various racepoints must be that shown on the official mapping supplied by the NCF.

 d) All hours of darkness are to be disregarded in the calculation of the velocity and will be omitted from the birds flying time. The hours of darkness shall be the period of time starting 30 minutes after official sunset until 30 minutes prior to the official sunrise. 

e) In the event of any bird being timed in during the hours of darkness in races of more than one days duration, the velocity of that bird shall be calculated on actual flying time with no deduction for hours of darkness.

 f) In the event that a bird is timed in during the 30 minute period prior to official sunrise, the race will re-open 30 minutes before that birds trap time rather than 30 minutes before sunrise.

 g) Birds trapped in during the hours of darkness on any one day cannot be beaten by any bird timed in during daylight hours the following day.

 h) In any race where the velocity after 24 hours from liberation falls below 800 metres per minute, overfly allowances shall be worked out for that race as if the velocity between flyers were 800 metres per minute.  See example attached.Rule deleted in 2014 Moved M.Watt Seconded P.Bettens. Unanimous

 i) Should any competitor be credited with having made such a velocity that the Executive Committee consider impossible on that day, then the Executive Committee have the absolute power to disqualify that bird from the said race even though there may be no evidence or suggestion of fraudulent practice by the competitor or any other person.

j) The results as calculated on the NCF Web Site shall be accepted as the Official Race Results. In the case of any conflict between results calculated on the web site and results calculated by any other software, the NCF Web Site results shall be the Official Race Results.


The time limit for races shall be:

 2 days for races up to and including 560 kilometres (approx. 350 miles)

 3 days for races up to and including 800 kilometres (approx. 500 miles)

 4 days for races beyond 800 kilometres

 a) In this clause a “day” represents 24 hours from the time of liberation.

 b) For this calculation, the relevant distance will be the mapping of the longest competitor.


Baskets shall not be permitted to carry more than the following number of pigeons:

 a) For overnight despatch                                                        -  24 birds

 b) Where despatch is 2 days before scheduled liberation      -   20 birds

 c) Where despatch is more than 2 days before liberation      -   20 birds


 a) The number of prizes payable in Federation Races shall be set each year by the Management Committee.

 b) Where insufficient birds are timed in race time to claim all prizes, the number of prizes shall be recalculated to equal the number of birds timed in - for example if 5 prizes are payable but only 3 flyers time in, then 3 prizes will be paid on 50%, 30% and 20% basis.

 c) If no pigeons are timed in race time, entrance fees will be refunded less any expenses incurred.

 d) No member shall take more than one prize in any race unless specifically allowable for that particular race as approved from time to time by the Management Committee.


 The Federation will award a Prize card to the Fastest Velocity in all Non Federation Races.

 To be eligible for any such card, the competitor or his club must submit the relevant Clock Tape and details of the winning pigeon to the Federation Race Secretary for verification of the result - no cards will be issued until this has been completed.  The Race Secretary will issue Fastest in Fed Cards.


 All birds competing in designated Young Bird Races must be rung with the current year’s life band UNLESS old rings have been registered with the Federation Ring Secretary before they are placed on squeakers.


In the event of any competitor deciding to lodge a protest in connection to any race result, such protest must be made in writing and lodged with the Federation Secretary within

14 days of the declaration of the race result.  Such written protests must be accompanied by a $5 fee which, in the event that the protest is considered frivolous, will be retained by the Federation - otherwise, the fee is refundable.

 All protests will be dealt with by the Management Committee whose decision will be final.


a) Members shall not release birds from their loft for exercise or toss their birds on any designated race day at times which could interfere with returning race birds and/or other members competing in a race.  Generally speaking this means that pigeons cannot be exercised after 12noon on Saturdays or tossed at a time which means they wouldnt return home well before the expected race birds.  This rule also applies to Sunday races, holdovers and two day races.

b) No member shall send birds or take birds to any liberation point on designated race days unless those birds are in the care of the official Federation Liberator.

 Acts in contravention of this rule may result in suspension of the guilty member, at the discretion of the Executive Committee.

 12.  LIBERATIONS (see also Liberation policy)

 a) A Liberation Committee shall be appointed at the Annual General Meeting each year.

 The Liberation Committee shall be responsible for supervising and controlling all liberations, their main duty is the welfare of the pigeons entrusted to their care.

The Liberation Committee has a duty to check weather conditions:

                        i)  at the liberation point,

                        ii)  throughout the geographical boundary of the NCF, and              

iii) along the flight path the pigeons are expected to travel between the race point and home territory.

 BEFORE they authorise any liberation.

 b) The Federation will appoint a Liberator to travel with the pigeons on the transporter.  The liberator is directly responsible to the Liberation Committee and his duties are as follows:

 * shall take sole charge and be fully responsible for the safe keeping and welfare of the birds from the point of departure until after release.

* shall check all baskets, seals etc prior to departure and note any anomalies

* shall ensure no unauthorised person has access to the birds once they are under his control

* shall feed and water the birds during transit according to instructions from the Liberation Committee

* shall not feed birds on the day of liberation

* shall water birds on the day of liberation

* shall not place feed in the baskets whereby it can be contaminated

* in the event of a holdover, feed and water the birds as instructed by the Liberation Committee

* shall contact the Liberation Committee at least one hour before scheduled liberation time

* shall not liberate birds until the Liberation Committee has checked all weather conditions and authorised the liberation.

* on advice from the liberation committee the liberator can seek an alternative liberation point to enhance the birds chances of homing.

* must report to the Liberation Committee as soon as possible in the event of any unforeseen circumstances occurring.

* must provide a full report on all races ie departure time, feed and watering times, arrival time, weather conditions, behaviour of the birds after release and any other relevant or exceptional circumstances.

* must ensure that the transporter travels to the liberation point via the shortest practical route without taking risks and considering the welfare of the birds during transit.

* if the liberator notices a race bird in a basket without a race rubber, he is to record particulars of its colour and life ring number on his liberation report and is to report it immediately to the Liberation Committee so they can check for any fraudulent practice.