1. The length of a standard running track shall be 400m. It shall consist
of two parallel straights and two bends whose radii shall be equal.
Unless it is a grass track, the inside of the track shall be bordered by
a kerb of suitable material, approximately 5cm in height and
minimum 5cm in width.
If a section of the kerb has to be temporarily removed for field
events, its place shall be marked with a white line 5cm in width and
by plastic cones or flags, minimum height 20cm, placed at intervals
not exceeding 4m. This shall also apply to the section of the
steeplechase track where runners divert from the main track to
negotiate the water jump. For a grass track without a kerb, the inner
edge shall be marked with lines 5cm in width. It shall also be
flagged at intervals of 5m. Flags shall be so placed on the line as to
prevent any competitor running on the line, and they shall be placed
at an angle of 60° with the ground away from the track. Flags
approximately 25cmx20cm in size mounted on a staff of 45cm long
are the most suitable for this purpose.
2. The measurement shall be taken 30cm outward from the kerb or,
where no kerb exists, 20cm from the line marking the inside of the
3. The distance of the race shall be measured from the edge of the start
line farther from the finish, to the edge of the finish line nearer to
4. In all races up to and including 400m, each competitor shall have a
separate lane, with a minimum width of 1.22m and a maximum
width of 1.25m to be marked by lines 5cm in width. All lanes shall
be the same width. The inner lane shall be measured as stated in
paragraph 2 above, but the remaining lanes shall be measured 20cm
from the outer edges of the lines.
Note: The line on the right hand only of each lane shall be included
in the measurement of the width of each lane (see Rule 163.3 and
5. In international meetings under Rule 12.1(a), (b), (c) the track
should allow for eight lanes.
6. The maximum allowance for lateral inclination of tracks should not
exceed 1:100 and the overall inclination in the running direction
shall not exceed 1:1000 downwards.
Note: It is recommended that, for new tracks, the lateral inclination
should be towards the inside lane.
7. Full technical information on track construction, layout and marking
are contained in the IAAF Track and Field Facilities Manual This
Rule gives basic principles, which need to be followed.
1. Starting blocks shall be used for all races up to and including 400m
(including the first leg of the 4x200m and 4x400m) and shall not be
used for any other race. When in position on the track, no part of the
starting block shall overlap the start line or extend into another lane.
Starting blocks shall comply with the following general
(a)They shall be entirely rigid in construction and shall give no
unfair advantage to the athlete.
(b)They shall be fixed to the track by a number of pins or spikes,
arranged to cause the minimum possible damage to the track.
The arrangement shall permit the starting blocks to be quickly
and easily removed. The number, thickness and length of pins
or spikes depend on the track construction. The anchorage
shall permit no movement during the actual start.
(c)When an athlete uses his own starting blocks they shall comply
with paragraphs (a) and (b) above. They may be of any design
or construction, provided that they do not interfere with other
(d)When starting blocks are provided by the Organising
Committee, they shall, in addition, comply with the following
The starting blocks shall consist of two foot plates, against which
the athlete's feet are pressed in the starting position. The foot plates
shall be mounted on a rigid frame, which shall in no way obstruct
the athlete's feet as they leave the blocks. The foot plates shall be
sloped to suit the starting position of the athlete, and may be flat or
slightly concave. The surface of the foot plates shall be prepared to
accommodate the spikes in the athlete's shoes, either by using slots
or recesses in the face of the foot plate or by covering the surface of
the foot plate with suitable material permitting the use of spiked
The mounting of the foot plates on a rigid frame may be adjustable,
but it shall allow no movement during the actual start. In all cases,
the foot plates shall be adjustable forward or backward in relation to
each other. The adjustments shall be secured by firm clamps or a
locking mechanism, which can be easily and quickly operated by
2. In competitions held under Rule 12.1(a), (b) and (c), the starting
blocks shall be linked to an IAAF approved false start apparatus.
The Starter and/or an assigned Recaller shall wear headphones in
order to clearly hear the acoustic signal emitted when the apparatus
detects a false start (i.e. when reaction time is less than 100/1000
t h s
of a second). As soon as the Starter and/or an assigned Recaller
hears the acoustic signal, and if the gun is fired, or the approved
starting apparatus is activated, there shall be a recall and the Starter
shall immediately examine the reaction times on the false start
apparatus in order to confirm which athlete(s) is/are responsible for
the false start. This system is strongly recommended for all other
3. In competitions held under Rule 12.1(a), (b), (c), (d) and (e),
competitors shall use starting blocks provided by the Organising
Committee of the meeting and in other meetings, on all-weather
tracks the Organising Committee may insist that only starting
blocks provided by them may be used.
1. The start of a race shall be denoted by a white line 5cm wide. In all
races not run in lanes the start line shall be curved, so that all the
runners start the same distance from the finish.
2. All races shall be started by the report of the Starter's gun or
approved starting apparatus fired upwards after he has ascertained
that competitors are steady and in the correct starting position.
3. At all international meetings, the commands of the Starter in his
own language shall, in races up to and including 400m (including
4x200m and 4x400m), be "On your marks", "Set", and when all
competitors are "Set", the gun shall be fired, or approved starting
In races longer than 400m, the commands shall be "On your marks"
and when all competitors are steady, the gun shall be fired, or
approved starting apparatus activated. A competitor shall not touch
the ground with his hand or hands.
4. If for any reason the Starter is not satisfied that all is ready for the
start to proceed after the competitors are on their marks, he shall
order all competitors to withdraw from their marks and the Starter's
Assistants shall place them on the assembly line again.
In all races up to and including 400m (including the first leg of the
4x200m and 4x400m), a crouch start and the use of starting blocks
After the "On your marks" command, the competitor shall approach
the start line, assume a position completely within his allocated lane
and behind the start line. Both hands and one knee shall be in
contact with the ground and both feet in contact with the starting
blocks. At the "Set" command, the competitor should immediately
rise to his final starting position retaining the contact of the hands
with the ground and of the feet with the foot plates of the blocks.
A competitor shall not touch either the start line or the ground in
front of it with his hands or his feet when on his marks.
5. On the command "On your marks" or "Set", as the case may be, all
competitors shall at once and without delay assume their full and
final set position.
Failure to comply with this command after a reasonable time shall
constitute a false start.
If a competitor after the command "On your marks" disturbs the
other competitors in the race through sound or otherwise, it may be
considered a false start.
6. If a competitor commences his starting motion after assuming his
full and final set position, and before the report of the gun, or
approved starting apparatus, it shall be a false start.
7. Any competitor making a false start shall be warned. If a competitor
is responsible for two false starts, or three in the case of Combined
Events, he shall be disqualified.
8. The Starter or any Recaller, who is of the opinion that the start was
not a fair one, shall recall the competitors by firing a gun.
Note: In practice, when one or more competitors make a false start,
others are inclined to follow and, strictly speaking, any competitor
who does so has also made a false start. The Starter should warn
only such competitor or competitors who, in his opinion, were
responsible for the false start. This may result in more than one
competitor being warned. If the unfair start is not due to any
competitor, no warnings shall be given.
9. For events 100m to 800m inclusive, and relays up to and including
4x400m, where there are several successive rounds of a race, lanes
will be drawn as follows:
(a)In the first round the lane order shall be drawn by lot.
(b)For the following rounds, competitors shall be ranked after
each round in accordance with the procedure shown in Rule
Two draws will then be made:
- one for the four highest ranked athletes or teams to determine
placings in lanes 3, 4, 5 and 6.
-the other for the four lowest ranked athletes or teams to
determine placings in lanes 1, 2, 7 and 8.
Note: When there are less than 8 lanes, the above system with the
necessary modifications should be followed.
1000m, 2000m, 3000m, 5000m and 10,000m.
10.When there are more than 12 competitors in a race, they may be
divided into two groups with one group of approximately 65% of
the competitors on the regular arced start line and the other group
on a separate arced start line marked across the outer half of the
track. The other group should run as far as the end of the first bend
on the outer half of the track.
The separate arced start line shall be marked in such a way that all
the competitors shall run the same distance.
The breakline for 800m described in Rule 163.5 indicates where the
athletes in the outer group in 2000m and 10,000m may join the
runners using regular start. The track shall be marked at the
entrance to the finish straight for group starts in 1000m, 3000m and
5000m to indicate where athletes starting in the outer group may
join the runners using the regular start. This mark may be a
5cmx5cm mark on the line between lanes 4 and 5 (lanes 3 & 4 in a
six-lane track) on which a cone or flag is placed until the two
11.In competitions under Rule 12.1(a), (b) and (c), for events longer
than 800m, relays longer than 4x400m and any event where only a
single round (final) is required, lanes/starting positions shall be
drawn by lot.
1. The direction of running shall be left-hand inside. The lanes shall
be numbered with the left-hand inside lane numbered 1.
Obstruction on the Track
2. Any competing runner or walker who jostles or obstructs another
competitor, so as to impede his progress, shall be liable to
disqualification from that event. The Referee shall have the
authority to order the race to be re-held excluding any disqualified
competitor or, in the case of a heat, to permit any competitor(s)
seriously affected by jostling or obstruction (other than any
disqualified competitor), to compete in a subsequent round of the
event. Normally such an athlete should have completed the event
with bona fide effort.
Regardless of whether there has been a disqualification, the Referee,
in exceptional circumstances, shall also have the authority to order
the race to be re-held if he considers it just and reasonable to do so.
Running in Lanes
3. In all races run in lanes, each competitor shall keep within his
allocated lane from start to finish. This shall also apply to any
portion of a race run in lanes. Except as stated below in 4, if the
Referee is satisfied, on the report of a Judge or Umpire or otherwise,
that a competitor has run outside his lane, he shall be disqualified.
4. If a competitor is pushed or forced by another person to run outside
his lane, and if no material advantage is gained, the competitor
should not be disqualified.
If an athlete either:
(i)runs outside his lane, and no material advantage is gained in the
(ii)runs outside the outer line of his lane on the bend, with no
material advantage thereby being gained, and no other runner is
obstructed then he should likewise not be disqualified.
5. In competitions held under Rule 12.1(a), (b) and (c), the 800m event
shall be run in lanes as far as the breakline marked after the first
bend where runners may leave their respective lanes.
The breakline shall be an arced line, 5cm wide, across the track,
marked at each end by a flag at least 1.50m high, positioned outside
Note 1: To assist competitors identify the breakline, small cones or
prisms (5cmx5cm), and no more than 15cm high of the same colour
as the breakline, may be placed on the intersection of each lane and
the breakline .
Note 2: In international matches, countries may reach agreement
not to use lanes.
Note 3: In competitions under Rule 12.1(d) to (h) the 800m event
may be run with one or two athletes in each lane, or with group
start, starting behind an arced line.
Leaving the Track
6. A competitor, after voluntarily leaving the track shall not be allowed
to continue in the race.
7. Except in the case of relay races run in lanes, competitors may not
make check-marks or place objects on or alongside the running
track for their assistance.
8. The periods for which the wind velocity shall be measured from the
flash of the Starter's gun or approved starting apparatus are as
100m Hurdles 13
110m Hurdles 13
In the 200m event, the wind velocity shall be measured for a period
of 10 seconds commencing when the first runner enters the straight.
9. The wind gauge for track events shall be placed beside the straight,
adjacent to lane 1, 50m from the finish line. It shall be positioned
1.22m high and not more than 2m away from the track.
10.The wind gauge shall be read in metres per second, rounded to the
next higher tenth of a metre per second, in the positive direction
(that is, a reading of +2.03 metres per second shall be recorded as
+2.1; a reading of -2.03 metres per second shall be recorded as
-2.0). Gauges that produce digital readings expressed in tenths of
metres per second shall be constructed so as to comply with this
Gauges must be certified by an appropriate authority.
1. The finish of a race shall be denoted by a white line 5cm wide.
2. To assist alignment of the Photo Finish equipment and to facilitate
the reading of the Photo Finish film, the intersection of the lane
lines and the finish line shall be painted black in a suitable design.
3. The competitors shall be placed in the order in which any part of
their bodies (i.e. torso, as distinguished from the head, neck, arms,
legs, hands or feet) reaches the vertical plane of the nearer edge of
the finish line as defined above.
4. In any race decided on the basis of the distance covered in a fixed
period of time, the Starter shall fire the gun exactly one minute
before the end of the race to warn competitors and Judges that the
race is nearing its end. The Starter shall be directed by the Chief
Timekeeper and, at exactly the appropriate time after the start, he
shall signal the end of the race by again firing the gun. At the
moment the gun is fired to signal the end of the race, the Judges
appointed for that purpose shall mark the exact spot where each
competitor touched the track for the last time before or
simultaneously with the firing of the gun.
The distance achieved shall be measured to the nearest metre
behind this mark. At least one Judge shall be assigned to each
competitor before the start of the race for the purpose of marking
the distance achieved.
Timing and Photo Finish
1. Two alternative methods of timekeeping shall be recognised as
- Hand timing;
- Fully Automatic timing obtained from a Photo Finish system.
2. The Timekeepers shall be in line with the finish and outside the
track. Wherever possible, they should be placed at least 5m from
the outside lane of the track. In order that they may all have a
good view of the finish line, an elevated stand should be
3. Timekeepers shall use either stopwatches or manually operated
electronic timers with digital readouts. All such timing devices
are termed "watches" for the purpose of IAAF Rules.
4. Times for all finishers shall be recorded. In addition, whenever
possible, lap times in races of 800m and over and times at every
1000m in races of 3000m and over, shall be recorded either, by
designated members of the timekeeping team using watches
capable of taking more than one time, or by additional
5. The time shall be taken from the flash/smoke of the gun or
approved starting apparatus to the moment at which any part of
the body of the competitor (i.e. torso, as distinguished from the
head, neck, arms, legs, hands or feet) reaches the perpendicular
plane of the nearer edge of the finish line.
6. Three official timekeepers (one of whom shall be the Chief
Timekeeper) and one or two additional timekeepers shall time the
winner of every event. The times recorded by the additional
Timekeepers' watches shall not be considered unless one or more
of the official Timekeepers' watches fail to record the time
correctly, in which case the additional Timekeepers shall be
called upon, in such order as has been decided previously, so that
in all the races, three watches should have recorded the official
7. Each Timekeeper shall act independently and without showing
his watch to, or discussing his time with, any other person, shall
enter his time on the official form and, after signing it, hand it to
the Chief Timekeeper who may examine the watches to verify the
8. For all hand-timed races on the track, times shall be read to the
next longer 1/10th of a second. The times for races partly or
entirely outside the stadium shall be converted to the next, longer
full second, i.e. for the Marathon 2:09:44.3 shall be returned as
If the hand of the watch stops between two lines indicating the
time, the longer time shall be accepted. If a 1/100
or an electronic manually operated digital timer, is used, all times
not ending in zero in the second decimal shall be rounded to the
next longer 1/10th second, i.e. 10.11 shall be read as 10.2.
9. If two of the three watches agree and the third disagrees, the time
recorded by the two shall be the official time. If all three
Timekeepers disagree the middle time shall be official. Should only
two times be available, and if they differ, the longer time shall be
10.The Chief Timekeeper, acting in accordance with the Rules
mentioned above, shall decide the official time for each competitor
and provide the result to the Competition Secretary for publication.
Fully Automatic Photo Finish
11. Fully Automatic Photo Finish equipment approved by IAAF should
be used at all competitions.
12.The Photo Finish System must be able to produce a printed picture,
which shows the time of every competitor.
13.The timing mechanism shall be started automatically by the Starter's
gun or approved starting apparatus and the equipment must
similarly record the finish times of the athletes automatically.
14.A timing system which operates automatically at either the start or
the finish, but not at both, shall be considered to produce neither
hand nor fully automatic times and shall not therefore be used to
obtain official times. In this case, the times read on the film will
not, under any circumstances, be considered as official, but the film
may be used as a valid support in order to determine placings and
adjust time intervals between runners.
Note: If the timing mechanism is not started by the Starter's gun, or
approved starting apparatus, the time-scale on the film shall
indicate this fact automatically.
15.Fully Automatic Photo Finish equipment shall be approved by the
IAAF, based upon a test of accuracy made within 4 years prior to
the competition. It shall be started automatically from the Starter's
gun, or approved starting apparatus, so that the overall delay
between the report from the muzzle and the start of the timing
system is constant and less than one millisecond.
16.In all fully automatic and video-based systems, the picture
production and the time system shall be synchronised.
17.A video-based system may be used, provided:
(a)It conforms to the General Conditions above;
(b)It uses a video camera aligned with the finish line, which
produces at least 50 frames per second;
(c)It incorporates a timing device that generates a reading to
1/50 th of a second;
(d)The time for each competitor is read from the time of the frame
where any part of the torso of the athletes reaching the
perpendicular plane of the leading edge of the finish line.
Where no frame shows any part of the torso in this position, the
time shall be taken from the frame where the athlete's torso is
placed just beyond the finish line.
Note: Where competitors are involved in a close finish and none of
the frames show any part of the torso of the athletes reaching the
perpendicular plane of the leading edge of the finish line, the frame
showing the athletes concerned, immediately before and
immediately after their arrival at the finish line, must be considered.
If there is a change in finishing position between the two frames
then the Chief Photo Finish Judge shall declare a dead-heat
between the runners concerned.
18.A non video-based system may be used, provided:
(a)It conforms to the General Conditions above;
(b)It records the finish through a camera with a vertical slit,
positioned in the extension of the finish line, producing a
continuous image. The image must also be synchronised with a
uniformly marked time-scale graduated in 1/100th of a second;
(c)The times and places are read from the image with a special
device guaranteeing perpendicularity between the time scale
and the reading line.
19.The Chief Photo Finish Judge shall be responsible for the
functioning of the timing device.
20.Before the start of the meeting, he will meet the technical staff
involved and familiarise himself with the equipment. He will
supervise the positioning and testing of the equipment.
21.If possible, there should be at least two photo finish cameras in
action, one from each side. Preferably, these timing systems should
be technically independent, i.e. with different power supplies and
recording and relaying the report of the Starter's gun, or approved
starting apparatus, by separate equipment and cables.
Note: Where two or more photo finish cameras are used, one should
be designated as official by the Technical Delegate (or International
Photo Finish Judge where appointed) before the start of the
meeting. The times and places from the other camera(s) should not
be considered unless there is reason to doubt the accuracy of the
official camera or if there is need to use the supplementary photos
to resolve uncertainties in the finishing order (i.e. runners wholly or
partially obscured on the official camera).
22.The Chief Photo Finish Judge, in cooperation with the Referee for
track events and the Starter, shall initiate a control, before the
beginning of each session, to ensure that the equipment is started
automatically by the Starter's gun, or approved starting apparatus,
and is correctly aligned and he shall supervise the zero control
23.In conjunction with the two Assistants, the Chief Photo Finish
Judge shall determine the places of the competitors and their
respective times. He shall enter these placings and times on the
official form and, after signing it, convey it to the Competition
24.Times from photo finish camera shall be regarded as official unless
for any reason the appropriate official decides that they obviously
must be inaccurate. If such is the case, the times of the back-up
Timekeepers, if possible adjusted based on information on time
intervals obtained from the photo finish picture, shall be official.
Such back-up Timekeepers must be appointed where any possibility
exists of failure of the timing device.
25.Times shall be read from the photo finish picture as follow:
a) For all races up to and including 10,000m, the time shall be
read and recorded from the photo finish picture in 1/100th
second. Unless the time is an exact 1/100th of a second, it
should be read to the next longer 1/100th of a second.
b) For all races on the track longer than 10,000m, the time shall be
read in 1/100th second. All read times not ending in zero shall
be converted and recorded to the next longer 1/10th second,
e.g. For 20,000m, a time of 59:26.32 shall be recorded as
c) For all races held partly or entirely outside the stadium, the
time shall be read in 1/100th second. All times not ending in
two zeroes shall be converted to the next longer whole second,
e.g. For the Marathon, a time of 2:09:44.32 shall be recorded as
Qualification from Preliminary Heats
Rounds and Heats
1. Preliminary rounds (heats) shall be held in track events in which the
number of competitors is too large to allow the competition to be
conducted satisfactorily in a single round (final). Where preliminary
rounds are held, all competitors must compete in, and qualify
through, all such rounds.
2. The heats, quarter-finals and semi-finals shall be arranged by the
Organising Committee together with the appointed Technical
Delegates, where appropriate.
3. After the first round, the competitors shall be placed in the heats of
subsequent rounds in accordance with the following procedures:
(a)for events of 100m to 400m inclusive, and relays up to and
including 4x400m, seeding shall be based upon placings and
times of each previous round. For this purpose, competitors
shall be ranked as follows:
- Fastest heat winner
- 2nd fastest heat winner
- 3rd fastest heat winner, etc.
- Fastest 2nd place
- 2nd fastest 2nd place
- 3rd fastest 2nd place, etc.
- (Concluding with)
- Fastest time qualifier
- 2nd fastest time qualifier
- 3rd fastest time qualifier, etc.
The competitors shall then be placed in heats in the order of seeding
in a zigzag distribution, i.e. 3 heats will consist of the following
A 1 6 7 12 13 18 19 24
B 2 5 8 11 14 17 20 23
C 3 4 9 10 15 16 21 22
The order of running heats A, B, C shall be drawn.
(b)for other events, the original performance lists shall continue to
be used for seeding, modified only by improvements in
performances achieved during the earlier round(s).
Whenever possible, representatives of each nation shall be placed in
Note: When heats are being arranged, it is recommended that as
much information as possible about the performances of all
competitors should be considered and the heats drawn so that,
normally, the best performers reach the final.
4. A competitor shall not be allowed to compete in a heat other than
the one in which his name appears, except in circumstances which,
in the opinion of the Referee, justify an alteration.
5. In all preliminary rounds, at least the first and second in each heat
shall qualify for the next round and it is recommended that, where
possible, at least three in each heat should qualify.
Except where Rule 167 applies, any other competitors to qualify for
the next round shall be decided either according to their placings or
according to their times. In the latter case, only one system of
timing may be applied.
The order in which heats are to be run shall be determined by draw
after the composition of the heats has been decided.
6. The following minimum times must be allowed, when practicable,
between the last heat of any round and the first heat of a subsequent
round or final:
Up to and including 200m 45 minutes
Over 200m up to and including 1000m 90 minutes
Over 1000m Not on the same day
Ties shall be resolved as follows:
In determining whether there has been a tie in any round for a qualifying
position for the next round based on time, the Chief Photo Finish Judge
shall consider the actual time recorded by the competitors to 1/1000th of
a second. If it is thus determined that there has been a tie, the tying
competitors shall be placed in the next round or, if that is not practicable,
lots shall be drawn to determine who shall be placed in the next round.
In the case of a tie for first place in any final, the Referee is empowered
to decide whether it is practicable to arrange for the competitors so tying
to compete again. If he decides it is not, the result will stand. Ties in
other placings shall remain.
1. Lines 5cm wide shall be drawn across the track to mark the
distances of the stages and to denote the scratch line.
2. Each take-over zone shall be 20m long of which the scratch line is
the centre. The zones shall start and finish at the edges of the zone
lines nearest the start line in the running direction.
3. The zone centre lines of the first take-over zones for the 4x400m (or
the second zones for the 4x200m) are the same as the start lines for
4. The take-over zones for the second and last take-overs (4x400m)
will be the 10m lines either side of the start/finish line.
5. The arc across the track at the entry to the back straight showing the
positions at which the second stage runners (4x400m) and third
stage runners (4x200m) are permitted to leave their respective lanes,
shall be identical to the arc for the 800m event, described in Rule
6. 4x100m and, where possible, 4x200m relay races, shall be run
entirely in lanes.
In 4x200m (if this event is not run entirely in lanes) and 4x400m
relay races, the first lap, as well as that part of the second lap up to
the line after the first bend (breakline), will be run entirely in lanes.
7. In races of 4x100m and 4x200m, members of a team other than the
first runner may commence running not more than 10m outside the
take-over zone (see paragraph 2 above). A distinctive mark shall be
made in each lane to denote this extended limit.
8. In the 4x400m relay, at the first take-over, which is carried out with
the athletes remaining in their lanes, the 2nd runner is not permitted
to begin running outside his take-over zone, and shall start within
this zone. Similarly, the 3rd and 4th runners shall begin running
from within their take-over zones.
The second runners in each team may break from their lanes
immediately they have passed the line after the first bend
(breakline) which will be marked with an arced line 5cm wide
across the track and by a flag at least 1.50m high positioned on each
side of the track.
Note 1: To assist competitors identify the breakline small cones or
prisms (5cmx5cm), and no more than 15cm high of the same colour
as the breakline, may be placed on the intersection of each lane and
Note 2: In the 4x200m and 4x400m relays, where not more than 3
teams are competing, it is recommended that only the first bend of
the first lap should be run in lanes.
9. The runners in the third and fourth legs of the 4x400m relay race
shall, under the direction of a designated official, place themselves
in their waiting position in the same order (inside to out) as the
order of their respective team members as they complete 200m of
their legs. Once the incoming runners have passed this point, the
waiting runners shall maintain their order, and shall not exchange
positions at the beginning of the take-over zone.
10.In other relay races, when lanes are not used, waiting runners can
take an inner position on the track as incoming team members
arrive, provided they do not jostle or obstruct another competitor so
as to impede his progress.
11.Check-Marks. When all or the first portion of a relay race is being
run in lanes, a competitor may place one check-mark on the track
within his own lane, by using self-adhesive tape, maximum
5cmx40cm, of a distinctive colour which cannot be confused with
other permanent markings. For a cinder or grass track, he may
make a check-mark within his own lane by scratching the track. In
either case no other check-mark may be used.
12.The baton shall be a smooth hollow tube, circular in section, made
of wood, metal or any other rigid material in one piece, the length of
which shall not be more than 30cm and not less than 28cm. The
circumference shall be 12cm to 13cm and it shall not weigh less
than 50gm. It should be coloured so as to be easily visible during
13.The baton shall be carried by hand throughout the race. If dropped,
it shall be recovered by the athlete who dropped it. He may leave
his lane to retrieve the baton provided that, by doing so, he does not
lessen the distance to be covered. Provided this procedure is
adopted and no other athlete is impeded, dropping the baton shall
not result in disqualification.
14.In all relay races, the baton shall be passed within the take-over
zone. The passing of the baton commences when it is first touched
by the receiving runner and is completed the moment it is in the
hand of the receiving runner only. Within the take-over zone, it is
only the position of the baton which is decisive, and not the position
of the body or limbs of the competitors.
15.Competitors, after handing over the baton, should remain in their
lanes or zones until the course is clear, to avoid obstruction to other
competitors. Should any competitor wilfully impede a member of
another team by running out of position or lane at the finish of his
stage, he is liable to cause the disqualification of his team.
16.Assistance by pushing-off or by any other method will result in
17.Once a relay team has started in a competition, only two additional
athletes may be used as substitutes in the composition of the team
for subsequent rounds. Substitutions in a relay team may only be
made from the list of athletes already entered for the meeting
whether for that or any other event.
18.The composition of the team and the order of running for a relay
shall be officially declared before the start of each round of the
competition. Once an athlete, who has started in a previous round,
has been replaced by a substitute, he may not return to the team.
RACE WALKING EVENTS
Definition of Race Walking
1. Race Walking is a progression of steps so taken that the walker
makes contact with the ground, so that no visible (to the human eye)
loss of contact occurs. The advancing leg shall be straightened (i.e.
not bent at the knee) from the moment of first contact with the
ground until the vertical upright position.
2. (a)The appointed Judges of Race Walking shall elect a Chief
Judge, if one has not been appointed previously. In
competitions held under Rule 12.1(a), the Chief Judge shall not
act as a Race Walking Judge, but act as the supervising official
for the competition.
(b)All the Judges shall act in an individual capacity and their
judgements shall be based on observations made by the human
(c)In road races, depending on the size of the course, there should
normally be a minimum of six to a maximum of nine Judges
including the Chief Judge. In track races, there should normally
be six Judges including the Chief Judge. In competitions held
under IAAF Rule 12.1(a), all Judges shall be members of the
IAAF Panel of International Race Walking Judges.
3. Competitors shall be cautioned when, by their mode of progression,
they are in danger of failing to comply with paragraph 1 above.
They are not entitled to a second caution from the same Judge for
the same offence. Having cautioned a competitor, the Judge shall
inform the Chief Judge of his action after the competition.
Warning and Disqualification
4. (a)Each Judge's proposal for disqualification is called a warning.
Competitors shall be given warnings when, by their mode of
progression, they fail to comply with paragraph 1 above by
exhibiting visible loss of contact or a bent knee during any part
of the competition.
(b)When a competitor receives a warning from three different
Judges, the competitor shall be disqualified and informed of
this disqualification by the Chief Judge.
(c)In competitions held under IAAF Rule 12.1(a), not more than
one Judge from each country can be invited to officiate. In all
other competitions, either directly controlled by IAAF or taking
place under IAAF permit, in no circumstances shall two Judges
of the same nationality have the power to disqualify.
(d)If it is impractical to inform the competitor of the
disqualification during the race, disqualification shall be given
immediately after the competitor has finished.
(e)A white sign with the symbol of the offence on each side, shall
be shown to the competitor, when a caution is given. A red
sign symbolises the disqualification of the competitor. The
latter may only be used by the Chief Judge.
(f)In track races, a competitor who is disqualified shall
immediately leave the track and, in road races, he shall,
immediately after being disqualified, remove the distinguishing
numbers which he is wearing and leave the course.
(g)A warning posting board shall be used to keep competitors
informed about the number of warnings that have been handed
in to the Chief Judge for each competitor.
(i) The Organising Committee of Race Walking events held on
roads shall ensure the safety of competitors. In competitions
under Rule 12.1(a), (b) and (c) the Organising Committee
should, where possible, ensure that the roads used for the
competition are closed in both directions; that is, not open to
(ii) In competitions under Rule 12.1 (a), (b) and (c), the road
Race Walking events shall be scheduled to start at a time to
ensure that the walkers finish in daylight.
(i) A hands-on medical examination during the progress of an
event by designated medical personnel clearly identified by the
Organising Committee shall not be considered as assistance.
(ii) A competitor shall retire at once from the race if ordered to
do so by a member of the official medical staff appointed by
the Organising Committee. Such staff shall be clearly identified
by armbands, vests or similar distinctive apparel.
Drinking/Sponging and Refreshments Stations
6. (a)Water and other suitable refreshments shall be available at the
start and finish of all races.
(b)For all events up to 10km, drinking/sponging stations shall be
provided at suitable intervals, if weather conditions warrant
(c)For all events of 10km or longer, refreshment stations shall be
provided at approximately 5km and, thereafter, at
approximately every 5km or every lap. In addition,
drinking/sponging stations, where water only shall be supplied,
shall be placed approximately, midway between the
refreshment stations or more frequently if weather conditions
warrant such provision.
Refreshments, which may be provided either by the Organising
Committee or the athletes, shall be made available at the stations
nominated by the competitors. They shall be placed so that they
are easily accessible to, or may be put by authorised persons into the
hands of, the competitors.
A competitor who takes refreshments at a place other than the
refreshment stations renders himself liable to disqualification.
At international races, a maximum of two officials from each
country may be stationed behind the refreshment table. Under no
circumstances may an official run beside the athlete, while he is
Refreshments provided by the athletes shall be kept under the
supervision of officials designated by the Organising Committee
from the time that the refreshments are lodged by the athletes or
7. For competitions held under Rule 12.1(a), (b) and (c), the circuit for
the 20km walk should, if possible, be a maximum of 2.5km. The
circuit for the 50km walk should, if possible, be 2.5km with a
maximum of 5km if held on an "out and back" course. The circuit
for the 10km walk should, if possible, be a maximum of 1.5km.
Road courses shall be measured in accordance with Rule 240.3.
8. In road Race Walking and in track Race Walking events of 20km or
more, a competitor may leave the road or track with the permission
and under the supervision of a Judge, provided that by going off
course he does not lessen the distance to be covered.
9. Transponder: see Rule 240.10.