Thursday, November 3, 2011

‎ The print of the number should be at least four (4) inches tall, so that it is legible and large enough to be read by officials who are positioned anywhere within the track or on its boundary.

This rule is kind of tricky, but only thanks to language. In all sorts of rules, regulations, laws, codes, standards and other documents of the like, the words "should" and "may" allow the choice of following that particular clause while the words "shall" and "must" denote requirements that absolutely have to be followed. So it would seem that the part of today's rule which says that numbers "should be at least four (4) inches tall" may be optional. However, the only two other places that the rules use the word "should" is in rules that are clearly not optional ( and 4.1.2). Therefore, inconsistent language aside, the requirement for numbers on skaters' uniform to be at least 4 inches tall is just that: a requirement.