Children in ZRL races

Can someone at Zwift please explain the decision to ban under-16s from the upcoming ZRL league? WTRL have claimed it wasn’t their own decision.


I also came here to request that Zwift reconsider/explain the new rule that riders must be 16. Please consider the impact this rule may have on youth mental health. Depression and obesity are all at time highs. If kids have been participating in past ZRL seasons and have trained and arranged a team for this season, this is disappointing. I kindly ask that you reverse the new rule for at least this season and give the kids some time to reset their expectations. I had the privilege to be on a ZRL team with a 14 then 15 year old and it was a great experience for all of us. Riding with a team of all ages, sizes, and locations adds a lot of value to this experience. I don’t have kids racing and I’m not racing this season but as a mom and a nurse, I’m concerned about taking this away without much notice. Thanks for considering.


This seems strange.

Kids who raced in real life but cannot do so now because of lock downs, what should they do?

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This attempt to implicate legal issues (note, without actually pointing to anything specific, because it’s a complete nothingburger) is of course complete bullshit which is why I am challenging zwift to take ownership of this decision which and overturn it.


Well of you go and organize your own events for under 16’s since you think it important. And once you’ve collect a load of personal information about children without obtaining permission from their guardians, you’ll find out about the legalities from the first parent who objects and consults a lawyer. Zwift has a process to get the permission to cover itself, but that doesn’t automatically transfer to others who then organize events using its platform. For example, WRTL requires riders to have an account on its website (ie. register personal information).

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As a possible reason, if you are passing personnel data of under 16s to 3rd party sites Lawyers and the like are going to get very touchy to any risk of that data being compromised.

Its not great, but its one of those areas you can see why it might become an issue.


This is an unfortunate example of what I meant here:

People don’t want to go and find ‘other races’ (or create their own), because ZRL is disproportionately important and desirable.


This is zwifts headline race series if they can’t support their full customer base or provide alternatives then I’d suggest they should not be using 3rd parties if that’s the issue and keep it in house.

As for create your own If organisers were given the same access as wtrl I’m sure many would jump at it given the chance but that’s not what’s being offered.
If the community had access to api for rider data and ability to create events quickly I’m sure within a week we would have a system available for organisers.

That would be a step backwards though and just creating another zp situation. I hope long term there is some agreement with wtrl to take whatever they are developing completely in house so all organisers can leverage the system.

As far as I’m aware there has been some suggestion that zwift are working on a complete new results system to replace zp but whether we see that next month/year/decade is anyone’s guess.


It’s not Zwift’s - that’s the whole point. These things have developed organically over time. And similarly requirement for data protection have developed over time. Eventually there comes a crunch point where decisions have to be made.

WRTL have to make the decision as to whether the work, cost of that work and potential risks, are worth it.

That said, we’re all still guessing from the outside. But your view that it’s all simple and there are no child protection/data protection issues to be considered is naive.

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The fact that its been over 18hrs and there has been no official response of any kind from Zwift is pretty shoddy. Should’ve been addressed before it was even released.


It is zwifts they asked WTRL to organise the event for them. Zwift sets the rules, zwift sets the format, zwift is the customer setting the requirements.

WTRL didn’t make the decision on u16 zwift did. So it would of been good of them to explain the decision to avoid all this negative feedback.

As for simple parts that was in reference to setting up systems like wtrl have but as zwift only allow wtrl such access it’s impossible.

I’m fully aware complying with whatever child protection laws apply is not simple but an outright ban on them competing seems a pretty harsh step when we should be trying to encourage people into the sport.


From the rules:


So, since the WTRL team is shutting down all discussion on their FB page about the 2021/2022 rules changes, specifically around U16 participation, I thought I’d bring it here instead.

Rules for reference.

First, it would be terrific to hear commentary from Zwift about whether there was any discussion between Zwift HQ & WTRL around youth participation on ZRL. If so, what that discussion covered, and whether any agreements resulted.

Second, I would like a full explanation from WTRL about why they’ve made this change. Specifically, what has legally changed between last season and this that has made them feel obligated to remove U16’s from participation in ZRL. Especially since this doesn’t seem to affect other events WTRL runs (Classics, TTTs) with Zwift.

Third, I’d like to know why WTRL feels legally obligated to eliminate children from ZRL when the parental consent & compliance (COPPA, GDPR) is between Zwift & the families. WTRL has nothing to do with this relationship. Also, why the seemingly arbitrary 16 year old choice? Is there some jurisdiction where 16 is the age of consent that applies here? Is it because that’s the age where Zwift users become paying customers?

Fourth, besides the open questions above, I want to reiterate how poorly this is being handled by WTRL, how alienating it is for many youth participants and their families, and how hypocritical it feels to see this rule implemented without explanation.

What’s next – are youth going to be banned from Zwift entirely? Maybe it’s time to check out Rouvy’s family plan more closely. Or maybe it’s time for Zwift & WTRL to create a real juniors league.

Needless to say, this is a disappointing decision by WTRL and I like to think Zwift can exert to some influence to reverse the call, especially given the somewhat unique relationship between the two entities. I’m sure everyone involved fully understands that these same youth are often participating in IRL crits & racing events, frequently with adults, and it’s working great there. In fact, it’s critical to continuing to develop future generations of adult riders & racers. This decision is alienating the entire population of junior racers and their families.


Yeah I’d love an explanation from Zwift. Last season we had a 13 yr old racing and he and his dad had such a great time we worked together this summer to build a team of 10 juniors to race this fall in season 4. We signed the team up, and a week later the rules come out and now we have to delete the team. I have to go back to them and their parents and explain why they can’t race this season all without any official explanation from Zwift. It would be nice if you could at least provide a rationale for the decision.


It’s likely to be because the relevant personal data is stored by a third party. Zwift would be risking liability for any leak/hack on the WTRL servers.

Why the whole thing isn’t done in-house? Well, that’s a very good but different discussion.


Ah, that’s WTRL for you. The we don’t want no backtalk guys; shut up and race. Shut down the Zwift Classics feedback thread because they didn’t want to hear any feedback that wasn’t toeing their line. The best way to avoid getting negative feedback is to not ask for any feedback whatsoever.

The sad thing about this chain of events is both of these series, ZRL and ZC are two of Zwift’s most visible race series and they’re doing nothing. I’m sorely disappointed. While I’m sure I won’t be missed, I will not be participating in any WTRL sanctioned events in the future.


Thanks for putting it all much more clearly and cogently than I had managed to last night :slight_smile:

I’m afraid the answers all seem pretty obvious to me. I would love to be proved wrong. More importantly however, I’d just like to see the decision promptly reversed. There were some excellent junior athletes in the teams I DSed last winter/spring and they will be (are!) gutted to be excluded in such a high-handed manner.


I dont see any problem here , in fact I think its a good call and not just because of COPPA Reasons.
About time someone started solving any complaints here correctly and creating seperate Junior bike races , sounds like we have a few eager to facilitate and start doing that …


I, as the father of a competitive 12yo who raced with our C team last season and had really gotten into it over the spring & summer, am particularly chapped. I really don’t understand how Zwift can be so consistently antagonistic to their racing population.