Cliffhanger started out as a CCDA event and so in the beginning we used the CCDA rules. As we developed we simplified the rules and scoring techniques and came up with our own variation.
Our qualified Marshals have to be experienced with more than one Cliffhanger before they can be official and call a penalty. They have all been trained to foresee trouble and issue penalty free warnings.
Cheats will get a DNF. Teams who make mistakes will get a penalty. If a gate is accidentally missed or a team passes to the wrong side of a gate and there is no real advantage gained then a penalty per the stage notes is dished out such that it is a costly mistake but not a disqualification like a DNF. However if a team seeks an advantage by deliberately missing or cutting out a section will be dealt a DNF. It is a fair approach that keeps more people happy and reflects the "New Cliffhanger".
You still can not step cross a live rope and a rope is live once hooked up no matter what it is hooked up to. A rope on a ground anchor is not live until the ground anchor "bites" and the car is going to winch from it. If live you can not reach under or over a rope. So long as it is not live you can handle a rope and hold it clear of a moving car (new). If live you may handle it only if it is loose to spool or engage a winch or clear the rope over an obstruction but you may never handle a rope that is tight. The car may shift (like that experienced when engaging drive) in a start box so long as it stays in the start box or when fitting harnesses so long as it is safe and no attempt has been made to drive off prematurely. You don't have to wear gloves, but its a good idea to wear them, given we all must have synthetic rope and not cables. These are sensible exceptions and make for fewer arbitration hearings.
Our 2021 rules booklet will be released before 31st December 2020. Refer to our downloads page for the booklet. It will have all the rules and vehicle specifications and also camp details. You do need to download and print the booklet and we need your back pages for your scrutineering and registration. Everyone - Competitors, Spectators and Marshals need to print and bring 1 booklet per car attending please.