General Rules for Inboard Boat Racing Classes

Boat and Safety Equipment Inspection and Registration:

  • To qualify for competition in any NIDBA Race Event, all equipment must be pre-inspected, approved and assigned to a racing class. It is the Race Boat owner’s responsibility to participate in the scheduled pre-season boat “Inspection and Boat Registration” event, or to contact NIDBA officials and make special alternative arrangements. This process should be completed two weeks prior to each participant’s first race event.
  • Successful completion of a boat and equipment inspection does not entitle or insure that a boat and driver will be qualified to compete in an NIDBA sanctioned race event. NIDBA Inspector(s) present the completed Boat Registration Form and Inspection Reports to the NIDBA Race Referee who assures that all critical assessments have been made. NIDBA Race Referee will then make a base Racing Class Assignment recommendation and present each form to the NIDBA Executive Race Committee (ERC) for final endorsement.
  • Following the Boat and Safety Equipment Inspection, Boat Registration and Inspection Report Form review and final endorsement by the ERC, each owner-operator is informed of their base Racing Class Assignment. This determination is equipment-based and should not be a surprise to anyone who has read the rules and built a class-compliant boat. That said, boat owners can appeal and appear in person before the ERC, to negotiate a reassignment of their Base Racing Class. No such appeal-request will be unreasonably refused. Allowing or disallowing a Base Racing Class re-assignment will be based solely on the enhancement value that the change would make to the overall race competition. If the allowance (re-assignment) made results an inequitable competition, it will be revoked.
  • Race competitors who travel a significant distance to compete in an NIDBA sanctioned race event should contact the NIDBA to make special arrangements for Inspection, Registration and Base Racing Class Assignment. There will be no unplanned on-site pre-race boat and safety equipment inspections conducted, purely for the sake of getting a “surprise” visiting racer into the competition.
  • After Registration, Inspection and Racing Class assignment, it is each boat owner-operator’s responsibility to report any primary equipment modifications to NIDBA officials. Said modifications will be recorded on the Boat’s Registration form and ERC members will determine whether a Base Racing Class reassignment needs to be made. For this reason, owner-operators are encouraged to pre-view significant equipment changes with NIDBA officials and to obtain their opinion regarding continuing compliance with the initially assigned Base Racing Class assignment.

Requirements for Conducting Races in each Racing Class:

  • Each Class must have at least one (1) boat with the appropriate Base Racing Class Assignment for a race-competition to be conducted for that class.
  • If a given Race Class only has one boat with the proper Base Racing Class Assignment, the winning boat from the next lower racing class will be asked to step-up and race in the higher class. The boat and driver that step-up will be entitled to receive cash awards for winning or placing in that competition, but no race points will be given to the step-up boat.

Scoring for Season High Point Standing Determinations:

  • Race competitors will accumulate points for their continuing participation in NIDBA-sanctioned drag boat racing events as follows:
    • 100 pts. for showing up at the race site with their registered boats
    • 50 pts. for each racing pass, including ‘bye’ runs
    • 50 pts. for winning the final run in the class competition
  • To be eligible for show up points equipment must be functional. Boats must leave the pit area and enter the course under it’s own power. To receive points for a pass, the boat must cross the starting line under its own mechanical power.
  • No “show up points” will be given to a racer who shows up with a boat that has not been registered in advance for NIDBA competition. If a Racer is in contention for high points for the year, and has failed equipment, he may make at least one pass with another NIDBA registered boat from the next- lower Base Racing Class, to obtain show-up and racing pass points in his/her (higher) assigned Base Racing Class.
  • If a race event is cancelled due to whether after Event Registration has occurred participants’ Show-up points (only) will be awarded and Registration money will be applied to the next event for each participant.

Race Competition Pairing Determination:

  • For all inboard-racing classes, the initial race pairings will be random, based on each racer’s drawing of a playing card. The deck of cards will be presented by the on-site NIDBA Inspector, after they have visually verified that each participant has arrived in a previously inspected and registered boat and that their required personal safety gear is present and in working condition.

Personal Safety Equipment: (all Inboard Class race participants)

  • Life jackets: As described in the NIDBA’s General Safety Rules, life jackets will be manufactured by Security Race Products or Lifeline, and within three years of manufacturer’s certification. All Competitors with a short life jackets are also required to wear ballistic pants or similar protection.
  • Helmets: All helmets must be 2005 Snell rating-approved or newer, closed face, or open-face with a full shield in place.
  • Driving suits: All inboard boat drivers must wear fire retardant clothing with long sleeves, long pants (or a one piece driving suit), and closed-toe shoes.
  • Helmet/Neck Restraints, all inboard racers must has have some sort of approved Helmet/Neck restraint.

Boat Safety Equipment:

All boats are required to have a tether “kill-switch” assembly, which disables the ignition and electric fuel pumps (when so equipped). Capsule boats will also require roll-over switch assemblies.

  • Proper and secure mounting of batteries, fuel tanks, steering, wiring, motor mounting and other items will be verified during the initial boat inspection. All lose gear must be secured or removed from the boat for racing.
  • Dual throttle return springs are required at the foot throttle, throttle linkage, and the butterfly, as indicated by and appropriate-to the boat design.

Technical Inspections – conducted at NIDBA Race Events:

  • The NIDBA may conduct a Technical Inspection (TI) at any time. Owner-operators should keep their boat and equipment within a state of rules compliance at all times. Unannounced Boat and Safety Equipment Re-inspections may be conducted at the launch ramp, pre-race or post-race. No request can be unreasonably refused.
  • If a post-race TI is requested by the NIDBA Race Referee while the boat is in the race pit area, the procedure is as follows. The boat must remain secured and untouched in its slip, until the Race Referee provides further instruction. If the referee deems it appropriate an NIDBA Official will accompany (follow) you to the boat launch and trailer. Failure to follow instructions will result in the loss of racing points accumulated for the day, and possibly for the prior or next-scheduled NIDBA sponsored race event.
  • During boat inspections, only the NIDBA Inspector, the Race Referee (or designate) the boat Owner-operator, and one Crew member are allowed to be present.
  • Any boat owner-operator who refuses to immediately submit to a Pre-race inspection loses the right to participate in that day’s race event.
  • NIDBA Inspectors will report their findings to the NIDBA Race Referee. The Race Referee will review the inspection reports and take confirmed rules infractions forward to the Executive Race Committee, who will assess penalties and report their findings back to the boat owner-operator.
  • Owner-operator’s or their designated crew member will perform the equipment dis-assembly needed to enable inspection. After inspection, it is again the responsibility of the owner-operator and their crew to re-assembled the equipment and assure that the boat is returned to proper running order.

Race Result Protests and Appeals:

  • Immediately following a competition drivers or their boat owners, within a Racing Class, retain the right to protest a possible violation of the NIDBA Race Rules. The protest must be filed in writing with the NIDBA Race Referee, no more than one hour after the finish of the last heat of racing in the class that the infraction occurred. Or, less than one half hour after the last heat of the day’s racing, whichever comes last. Each Race Result Protest must be accompanied by a $50 filing fee. Protests must be specific, factual, rule-based, and as complete as possible. (Where appropriate, witness signatures are encouraged.)
  • The NIDBA Race Referee will determine the next step. The protested owner-operator, boat and equipment will remain untouched and secured in its slip until the Referee has decided whether a post-race inspection will be required to determine whether it is within compliance.
  • If the protest is determined to be valid (an infraction has occurred), the person who filed the protest will be reimbursed for their Protest filing fee. If the protest is found to be incorrect/unwarranted, the Protest filing fee will be retained by the NIDBA.
  • Race Heat “Starting” violations and/or re-starts cannot be protested.
  • Any racer who is found to be guilty of a rules infraction, who has been disqualified and/or been subject to a penalty (loss of race points) may appeal the findings and/or the assessed penalties with the NIDBA’s ERC and be given the opportunity to present their case to an NIDBA Appeals board. No request will be unreasonably denied.
  • Appeals must be filed in writing within 24hrs. of being notified of said penalty. There will be a $50 Appeal filing fee. If the Appeal overturns the NIDBA Race Referees decision, the Appeals fee will be returned. If the Race Referee’s decision stands, the NIDBA will retain the Appeals fee.
  • “Re-inspections” of boats and equipment will not be performed for the Appeal process. Only information gained during the original on-site inspection will be considered by the NIDBA Appeals Board.
  • The Appeals Board for Inboard race competitors will be made up of the Outboard Race Committee (ORC) members. Their determination and ruling, based on review of the information presented and a reading of the NIDBA’s Rules and Definitions, will be final.