A Beginner's Guide to KEIRIN

A Beginner's Guide to KEIRIN: How to Watch Races

Rules of KEIRIN

The intense battles between cyclists is what makes KEIRIN races so exciting.

But there is always the danger of cyclists going too far and causing major accidents that could disrupt the race.
KEIRIN therefore has strict rules, and heavy penalties are imposed on violators. Cyclists disqualified for a major violation during a race are stripped of their finishing position in that race, heavily impacting their performance record.
(Disqualification is the most severe penalty imposed for rule violations.)
Example violations

The violator forcibly cuts across diagonally into another line.


Inside interference
The violator cuts into the path of an opponent from the inside.


Inside overtaking
The violator overtakes a leading opponent on the inside, when the opponent is not in the outermost lane.


Forcing outward
The violator forces an opponent toward the outer edge of the track.

Track features

Track features

1Backstretch line

A line on the backstretch exactly one half lap from the finish line. The cyclist who crosses this line first adds one to their B (number of backstretch leads) count.

2Yellow line

The yellow line 3 meters inside the inner line.

3Outer line

The outer of the two lines inside the bank.

4Inner line

The inner of the two lines inside the bank.

5Side line

The flat brown portion of the track inside the inner line. Cyclists ride here to leave the race.

6Homestretch line

A line on the home straightaway of the bank. Also serves as the finish line. The cyclist who first crosses the homestretch line with just one more lap to go adds one to their H (number of homestretch leads) count.

730-meter line

A line on the bank (race lanes), 30 meters before the finish line. Cyclists who fall after crossing this line on the final lap are permitted to finish even if they have to carry or push their bicycles across the finish line.

825-meter line

A line 25 meters from the starting line. After the starter's pistol has been fired, the race can be restarted if a problem is judged to have occurred before the cyclists have reached this line.