National Organization Changes Track And Field Rules

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John L. Braese

INDIANAPOLIS – After a two-day meeting, the National Federation of State High School Associations approved a number of rule changes for the upcoming year.

Pertaining to mostly distance runners when student athletes start in a pack setting, the race will be restarted if a competitor falls in the first 50 meters after contact with another runner. The previous rule gave runners 100 meters before a fair start was called.

“Athletes are accelerating and are up to racing speed well before the 100-meter mark,” Julie Cochran, NFHS director said. “In addition, the current recall distance is problematic depending on the number of officials on the track and location of field events that may obstruct the view of the 100-meter distance around the entire curve.”

For field events, officials will now give a verbal warning when 15 seconds remain as athletes are on the one-minute time limit to compete.

In the event of jump offs, a new rule sets the height at the next progression after the tying height.

Track and field is the most popular sport in the nation for girls with 486,355 participants in 16,997 schools. For boys, 604,983 participants in 17,038 schools make it the second most popular sport.

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