Make your own free website on



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

the start.

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.

5. In international meetings 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.

Starting Blocks

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

the athlete.

2. When appropriate, 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. When appropriate, 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.

The Start

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

apparatus activated.

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

are compulsory.

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

groups converge.

Single Rounds

11.When appropriate, 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.

The Race

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

straight, or

(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

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

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.

Wind Measurement

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 10

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.

The Finish

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.

Hand timing

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

winning time.

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

reported times.

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

t h

second watch,

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.

General Conditions

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.

The system

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

different heats.

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.

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 oftiming 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.

Relay Races

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

the 800m.

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

the breakline.

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

the race.

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.


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.

5. (a)Safety

(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

motorised traffic.

(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

such provision.

(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

taking refreshments.

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

their representatives.

Road Courses

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.