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 variantions.
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. You may handle only a loose rope to spool or engage a winch or clear the rope over an obstruction but you may never handle a rope that is tight or when the car is moving. The car my 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. These are sensible exceptions and make for fewer arbitration hearings.
Our rules booklet will be released before 31st December of each year. 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.