Safety of athletes, spectators, staff, volunteers and all people involved with Obstacle Sports, disciplines, events and races is of the utmost importance for the continued growth and development of the sport.


The guideline outlines the procedures and practices for the design, execution, maintenance, inspection, and delivery of adventure race competitions (“Events”) produced, sanctioned, or associated with World Obstacle, its member federations, leagues, associations, and other related organisations. Relevant sections may be applicable, at the discretion of the user, to training facilities that employ obstacles. This guideline does not address all safety concerns associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the race organizer, directors, and producers to establish safety, health and environmental practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

This guideline was initiated because of fatalities and and serious injuries events in the 1990s. Version 1997-11 was used as a guideline for the Presidio Adventure Racing Academy (PARA) and Colorado Adventure Training (CAT) programmes and events. Version 2000-02 was used as the safety framework for the Mild Seven Outdoor Quest (MOSQ, 1997 – 2004). The event included seven sport disciplines with extreme altitude (15,000 ft), mountaineering, extreme cold (-40 wind chill), extreme heat (160 heat index), open ocean, under water, white water, high mountain ropes, marine, tropical, temperate, sub-alpine, alpine, and high mountain conditions over 25 race days with no serious injuries or fatalities. Version 2015-01 was adopted by the International Obstacle Racing Federation (IORF) for national governing body members supporting Adventure Racing. Version 2022-07 was updated for FISO members and sanctioned events. The current version 2023-03 incorporates ASTM and other international standards practices.


World Obstacle is committed to developing safety standards ensuring design, build, structural integrity, use, maintenance and procedures meet a minimum standard. World Obstacle is a member of ASTM International, an organization responsible for global safety standards, Committee F24, sub-committee F24.61 and the working group for land-based obstacles ASTM WK54714. ​This working group provides guidelines for design, construction, operation, inspection, and maintenance of obstacle courses by designers, owners, builders, and operators. We work closely with international brands and organizations, including Tough Mudder, Spartan Race, The ATS Team (Ninja Warrior), and Med Prep Group.​


In addition to the ASTM International Standard being developed for obstacles, World Obstaclehas standards and guidelines for event producers and race directors. These are available for brand partners and local organising committees producing sanctioned and approved events with or for World Obstacle.


The health, wellness and medical safety of athletes are of paramount importance for Obstacle Sports. The Medical Commission is responsible for establishing conditions at World Obstacle sanctioned competitions, which ensure the health and safety of all participants. They control Anti-doping policies and activities of World Obstacle and ensure that World Obstacle complies with the World Anti-Doping Agency code and the IOC and World Obstacle anti-doping rules. The World Obstacle Athlete Development Committee is a working group of the Athletes Commission and is responsible for coaching, training and coach certification. The committee works with the Medical Commission to ensure the health and wellness of Junior, Youth and Adult athletes.


Safety in the competition is critical to the continued success and growth of Obstacle Sports. has developed a guide for safe negotiation of obstacles in a race En course à obstacles PRIORITÉ SÉCURITÉ.


Safety Guidelines (pdf) Download Adventure Racing Safety Guidelines (pdf) Download
Skip to toolbar