Tricks and Traps

There can be puzzles for you to solve


What is a rally trap? A trap is a planned opportunity to earn penalty points.

A trap may take you on a planned off course route that rejoins the on course route. Or a trap may entice you into making incorrect speed changes or pauses. The penalty for falling for a trap could be as little as a small fraction of a minute or as great as a max for the leg.

Traps exist in the context of the rules for that event. For the following examples, the relevant rules are provided.

Number switch (RRR 4.1)

Rule: Complete numbered route instructions in ascending numerical order.

Trap: The route instructions are out of order.

To stay on course: Check the sequence of the route instruction numbers. To be sure, check them in reverse order. 

Main road deviation (RRR 4.5)

Rule: A deviation is a change in course off the main road.

Trap: An apparent opportunity to execute an NRI containing a deviation follows the main road so can’t be executed there.

To stay on course: At each intersection, determine where the main road goes. Then try to apply the NRI. If the NRI follows the main road, it can’t be executed there. Follow the main road and continue looking for an opportunity to execute the NRI.

Spelling (RRR 5.2)

Rule: When quoted, a sign will be exact with respect to spelling…

Trap: The sign is quoted incorrectly.

Example: PAUSE 30 seconds at “MACDONALD” (sign is “MCDONALD”)

To stay on course: Make sure the sign matches the route instruction.

Mileage (RRR 4.1)

Rule: An NRI is active (available to be initiated) when all parts of the preceding NRI have been completed.

Trap: An apparent opportunity to execute the next NRI occurs prior to completion of the current NRI.

Example: Watch for bicycles next one mile.

To stay on course: Complete the mileage or duration before starting the next NRI.

Extra credit:

CAST down / CAST up (RRR 6.5)

Rule: CAST – Change average speed to.

Trap: Don’t jump to a conclusion before carefully examining the instruction and thinking it through. You’ve fallen for the trap if you assume that, after decreasing your speed by 100%, increasing your speed by 100% will restore you to your original speed.


52. R at STOP. CAST 40.

53. At “MAIN” reduce your speed by 100% for 0.25 minutes, then increase your speed by 100% for 0.25 minutes, then CAST 45.

To stay on course: Reduce your speed by 100% which is zero, so you stop and pause for 0.25 minutes. Increasing zero by 100% is still zero, so you pause another 0.25 minutes. Then you leave at a speed of 45.

More traps:

CAST at first STOP. CAST at second STOP. (RRR 4.1, last paragraph)

PAUSE at “STOP” then R. (RRR 5.2)

PAUSE at STOP then R. (RRR 6.27)


TURN at SIDEROAD (at crossroad). (RRR 6.22)

Trap hints – Some terms that alert you to a possible trap:

OR (RRR 6.18) – An instruction containing an OR may be there to support two routes, one on course and one off course.

ITIS (If There Is Such) (RRR 6.12) – An ITIS instruction may be executed or maybe not, depending on which route you took or on your interpretation of the instructions.

TURN (RRR 6.29) – Why not just say L or R instead of TURN? Because maybe on course will approach the intersection from one side while off course will approach from the other side. Heads up!

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