USATF Road Running Technical Council
Road Race and Finish Line Management

[Previous] [Contents] [Next]

APPENDIX B
USATF RULES OF COMPETITION

 
View current USATF Competition Rules online at the USATF site or purchase a hardcopy USATF Rulebook at the USATF store.
 

ATHLETICS RULES

These Rules of Competition shall apply to all events sanctioned by USA Track & Field ("USATF")

RULE 7

TEAM SCORING

1. Two methods exist for determining team Championships: scoring by place and scoring by time.

2. The team Championships in Long Distance Running, Race Walking and Masters Cross Country shall be scored by time. The team Championships for Senior, Junior and Youth Cross Country shall be scored by place.

3. Scoring by place:

(a) The team score shall be the total of the finishing positions of the scoring members. The team with the lowest total points is the team winner.

(b) Runners of incomplete teams, team entries not declared eligible for team scoring, and unattached or individual competitors will be eliminated from team scoring. Non-scoring declared members of complete teams shall retain their finishing positions and thereby displace other runners.

(c) When separate competitions are conducted simultaneously, each shall be scored independently. Runners on teams not eligible for a given competition will be eliminated from team scoring in that competition.

(d) In the event of a tie between two or more individual runners, each shall score the number of points determined by dividing the total of the finish places by the number of runners who have tied.

4. Scoring by time:

The team score shall be the aggregate time of the scoring members. The lowest aggregate time determines the team Championships.

5. In team Championships scored by time, if the Games Committee determines that scores for the winning teams cannot be determined because of clock failure or other reasons, team Championships shall be determined by scoring by place.

6. Prior to the start of the event, the team coach or other representative shall declare the team entries eligible for scoring.

7. Whether scoring by time or place:

(a) If a team fails to finish with a complete scoring team, the team members finishing shall be counted as individuals in the race results and shall be eligible to receive individual awards

(b) Ties between two or more teams shall be resolved by determining which team's last scoring member finished nearest to first place. If the tie still exists, the next-to-last scoring members are compared in the same way, etc.

RULE 15

MEN'S AND WOMEN'S CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS

1. There shall be two National Cross Country Championships—the fall National Championships and the Winter National Championships, both conducted by the Men's Long Distance Running Committee and the Women's Track and Field Committee. Runners may compete in both the Fall and Winter events as individuals.

2. Eligibility for the National Championships shall be as stated in Rule 1.1(a). Association Championships are open to all athlete members of USATF. Age limitations are as stated in the Classifications provisions preceding Rule 1.

3. Team competition in the Fall National Championships shall be limited to Association Club teams. The Winter National Championships may be contested by all club teams.

4. There shall be only Senior competition at the Fall National Championships. There shall be Senior and Junior competition at the Winter National Championships.

5. The distances contested at the Fall National Championships are 10,000 meters (or as close as feasible) for men and 6000 meters (or as close as feasible) for women. The distances contested at the Winter National Championships shall be as close as feasible to the distances to be contested each year at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships. The measured distances should be printed in the program and the results.

6. The number of entries for a team shall be unlimited. In the Fall National Championships and in Association and Regional Championships, a maximum of eight entries shall be declared and the first five declared members of each team shall count in that team's score. In the Winter National Championships a maximum of six entries shall be declared and the first four declared members of each team shall count in that team's score. The following chart shows the race distances (as close as is feasible) and team scoring members. The distances shown for the Winter Championships are those currently used by the IAAF.

 

Championship Men's Dist. Women's Dist. Declared Scorers
Fall 10,000m 6000m

8

5

Winter        
Senior 12,000m 8000m

6

4

Senior 4000m 4000m

6

4

Junior 8000m 6000m

6

4

7. See Rule 7 for scoring for the Fall National Championships. See Rule 5 for awards.

8. In the Senior Winter National Championships, there shall be a combined men's short and long course team score and a combined women's short and long course score, each using a scoring method approved in advance of the races by the Cross Country Running Council.

RULE 16

LONG DISTANCE RUNNING CHAMPIONSHIPS - MEN

1. The Men's Long Distance Running (LDR) Committee may conduct USA Senior and Junior Championships in the events shown in the table on the following page.

2. Regional Championships may be conducted at the distances listed in the same table. (See Rule 2 for regions). Regional Championships shall be awarded by a vote of Men's LDR committee representatives from the Associations in that region. Eligibility and awards are the same as for National Championships. Associations are encouraged to conduct Championships at the distances listed in the table.

3. Eligibility for the Championships shall be as stated in Rule 1.1 (a).

Age limitations are as stated in the Classifications provisions preceding Rule 1.

4. The maximum number of entries per team shall be unlimited. The number of entries to be declared, and the scoring for a team for National, Regional and Association Championships, unless otherwise provided in these rules, is set forth in the table below.

5. National and Regional Marathon Championships may be conducted using time limits which must be stated in the bid application to the Men's LDR Committee and on all entry/information forms.

6. In the marathon road relay, teams shall consist of six runners with legs in the following order: 10-km, 5-km, 10-km, 5-km, 5km, and 7.2km, or five runners with legs in the following order: 10-km, 5-km, 10-km, 5-km, and 12.2km.

7. The courses of all National, Regional and Association Road Championships must meet certification requirements stated in Operating Regulation 6.

8. See Rule 7 for scoring. See Rule 5 for awards.

 

TABLE OF EVENTS

 

Event

Senior

Junior

Declared

Scorers

Road        
5000 Meters

X

X

8

5

8000 Meters

X

X

8

5

10,000 Meters

X

X

8

5

12,000 Meters

X

X

8

5

15,000 Meters

X

X

8

5

20,000 Meters

X

X

8

5

Half Marathon

X

X

8

5

25,000 Meters

X

 

8

5

30,000 Meters

X

 

5

3

Marathon

X

 

5

3

Marathon Relay

X

X

Unl.

Team

Road or Track        
50,000 Meters

X

 

5

3

100,000 Meters

X

 

5

3

50 Miles

X

 

5

3

100 Miles

X

 

5

3

12 hours

X

 

5

3

Track

X

 

5

3

1 hour.

X

X

5

3

RULE 34

JUDGES AT FINISH

1. When an approved imaging device is properly functioning at the finish of an event, the image must be referred to the Photo Finish Judges for the primary determination of the order of finish. In the absence of such a device, the primary determination of the order of the finish shall be made by the Judges at the finish.

2. It is recommended that there be at least four Judges, and normally one more Judge than there are lanes used, at the finish, one of whom shall be designated as Chief Finish Judge, who shall decide the order in which the competitors finish. The Chief Finish Judge shall only observe the finishes and his/her decision shall be given only in the case of a tie vote on the part of the other Judges. In case of a disagreement, the majority of the Judges concerned with the disputed place or places shall decide, and if there is a tie vote on the part of such Judges, the Chief Finish Judge shall decide.

3. When possible, Judges shall be placed at least 5m back from and in line with the finish on an elevated platform.

RULE 36 TIMING

1. Two methods of timing are official, hand timing and fully automatic timing, as set forth in Rule 38. A timing device that operates automatically at either the start or finish, but not at both, shall be considered to produce neither hand times or fully automatic times and should not be used to obtain official times. 2. Where practical, fully automatic timing should be used. Such times shall be the official times for those events unless the Referee determines that the equipment is not operating properly. 3. When hand times must be used, timing procedures shall be governed by Rule 37. When properly functioning fully automatic timing is available, timing procedures shall be governed by Rule 38. 4. The use of transponder timing systems in road and cross country races is permitted provided that:
(a) the system requires no action by the runner during the competition, at the finish line, or during any finish line or results related system or process; (b) the resolution is 0.1 second (i.e., it can separate runners finishing 0.1 second apart); (c) the weight of the transponder and its housing carried on the runners' uniform, race number or shoe is not significant; (d) none of the equipment used at the start, along the course or at the finish line constitutes a significant obstacle or barrier to the progress of the runner; (e) the system, including the implementation of its components and its technical specifications, is approved by the finish line subcommittee of the Road Running Technical Council; (f) the system is started in accordance with Rule 136.2; (g) the determination of the official winning time is in accordance with Rule 37; and, (h) times for other competitors will be adjusted, based on the official winning time.
 

RULE 37 TIMERS

1. Hand times shall be taken by using either mechanical stopwatches or manually operated stopwatches or electronic devices with digital readouts. If the fully automatic timing system was not automatically started with the pistol, or suffered a loss of operation during the race, but did accurately record the finish, the hand times should be adjusted using information from a fully automatic timing system, if such information is available. 2. A certified official shall be designated as Chief Timer. 3. The Chief Timer, among other things, shall:
(a) determine that all running and walking events are timed in accordance with these rules; (b) assign to Timers their assignments; (c) supervise the recording of all times taken; (d) make note of the records for the events to be timed, so an immediate check can be made in the event of record performances; (e) in the event of a record performance, inspect the watches of the Timers involved and certify on the official record application form the times recorded by such Timers, who shall also sign the record application form; and (f) when feasible, examine all watches prior to competition to determine their accuracy.
4. There shall be three Official Timers and one or two Alternate Timers, who shall time the winner of each event. The time recorded by the Alternate Timers shall not be considered unless one or more of the Official Timers' watches fails to properly record the time, in which event the Alternate Timers shall be called upon in such order as has been previously determined so that, if possible, in all races three watches shall have recorded the official winning time. Times for all finishers shall be recorded. NOTE: It is recommended that there be four more Timers than there are places being recorded (Chief Timer, two additional first place Timers and one alternate). 5. When it is feasible to do so, intermediate or lap times should be recorded in races of 800 meters and over and at every 1000m in races of 3000 meters and over. Split times should be given to all competitors in events longer than 400 meters either by use of a visible time clock, orally, or both. For races partially or entirely off the track, split times should be given to the competitors either by a visible time clock, orally, or both at appropriate locations on the course. 6. The time shall be taken from the flash/smoke of the pistol or approved apparatus to the moment at which any part of the competitor's body (i.e., the "torso," as distinguished from the head, neck, arms, hands, legs, or feet) reaches the perpendicular plane of the nearer edge of the finish line. 7. If two of the Official Timers' watches agree and the third disagrees, the time shown by the two shall be the official time. If all three watches disagree, the time shown by the watch recording the middle time (not the average of all three) shall be the official time. If for any reason only two watches record the time of an event, and they fail to agree, the longer time of the two shall be accepted as the official time. 8.
(a) For all hand-timed races on the track, the times shall be recorded to 1/10th second. The times for races partly or entirely outside the stadium shall be converted and recorded to the next longer full second, e.g., for the Marathon 2h.09:44.3 shall be recorded as 2:09:45. (b) If the hand of the watch stops between two lines indicating the time, the longer time shall be accepted. (c) When the time displayed on electronic, manually operated digital timers includes decimal place values greater than zero, the recorded time shall be the displayed time rounded up to comply with the provisions of 8(a), above. E.g., for the Marathon, displayed times of 2:09:44.001 or 2:09:44.01 shall be recorded as 2:09:45. For the track, a displayed time of 1:45.209 shall be recorded as 1:45.3 and a displayed time of 47.31 shall be recorded as 47.4.
9. When possible, Timers shall be placed at least 5m back from and in line with the finish on an elevated platform.  
RULE 38 PHOTO FINISH JUDGES 1. When a fully automatic timing device is used, the Photo Finish Judges shall determine the places of the runners or walkers and the times as recorded by the device. At the beginning of each session, the Photo Finish Judges, in cooperation with the Starter and the Referee, shall initiate and supervise control tests to ensure that the fully automatic timing equipment (i) is started automatically by the Starter's pistol and (ii) is correctly aligned with the finish line. 2. (a) If possible, there should be at least two fully automatic timing devices of a similar make in operation, one from each side of the track at the finish line. At the Senior and Junior National Championships, at least two fully automatic timing devices of a similar type must be used and the placement should be with at least one at each side of the track at the finish line. Preferably, the two timing devices should be technically fully separated, i.e., supported by different power systems and recording and relaying the report of the Starter's pistol, or approved starting apparatus, by separate equipment and cables. 44 2001 Competition Rules   (b) Where two or more fully automatic timing devices are used, one should be designated as the official one before the start of the competition. The times and places from the other device(s) or camera(s) should not be considered unless there is reason to doubt the accuracy of the official device or if there is a need to use the supplementary images to resolve uncertainties in the finishing order or times. 3. (a) The timing equipment must be fully automatic and certified to be accurate prior to the competition. It must be started automatically by the discharge of the Starter's pistol or similar starting device at the instance of the flash/smoke from the charge, and it must record the finish times automatically when any part of the competitor's body or torso (as distinguished from the head, neck, arms, hands, legs, or feet) reaches the perpendicular plane of the nearer edge of the finish line. The overall delay between the report from the muzzle of the pistol and the start of the timing system must be constant and less than 1 millisecond. (b) In the event that the fully automatic timing devices malfunction at the start of a race, the race should be recalled. A recall starter should be assigned for this purpose. See Rule 49. (c) If the fully automatic timing device is not started automatically in accordance with subparagraph (a), the image should so indicate automatically. In such case, the times recorded on the image will not, under any circumstances, be considered official. The image may, however, be used as a valid support to determine placings and to adjust time intervals between runners. See Rule 37.1. 4. The Chief Photo Finish Judge shall record and certify the places and times and forward them to the Competition Secretary and/or such other officials designated by the Games Committee or Meet Director. When a computerized result system is used, the placings and times of the competitors may be entered directly into the computer system under the direction of the Chief Photo Finish Judge. Results shall subsequently be certified as official by the Referee or the Referee's designee. The determinations of the Photo Finish Judges may be appealed to the Referee for a final determination. 5. In the event of record performances, the Referee should evaluate and certify the times and duly note them on the records of the Photo Finish Judges. If a record is timed by a videotape based 2001 Competition Rules 45   system or a computer based system, a printed picture shall be made. 6. Recording Times: (a) Fully automatic timing for races on the track up to and including 10,000 meters shall be read to 1/1000th of a second, when possible. When the last digit is zero, that digit shall be dropped and the official time recorded in hundredths of seconds. Otherwise, the time shall be rounded to the next longer hundredth of a second and so recorded. When the fully automatic timing device cannot be read to 1/1000th of a second, it shall be read and recorded in hundredths of seconds, rounded up to the next longer hundredth when the time is between hundredths indicators. (b) The result for fully automatic timed races on the track longer than 10,000 meters shall be read in 1/100th second and shall be converted to the next longer 1/10th second and recorded in 1/10th, i.e., for 20,000 Meters run 59:26.32 shall be recorded as 59:26.4. (c) The times for races conducted partly or entirely outside the stadium (off the track) shall be read in 1/100th second and shall be converted to the next longer whole second, i.e., for the Marathon, 2h.09:44.32 shall be recorded as 2.09:45. 7. A videotape-based system may be used, provided: (a) it is started automatically by the Starter's pistol; (b) it uses a videotape camera aligned with the finish line and videotape that produces at least 50 frames per second; (c) it incorporates a timing device that generates a reading to 1/100th of a second. When a frame-by-frame videotape-based system is used, the official time for each competitor shall be read from the time of the frame where the competitor is positioned exactly at, or immediately after, the finish line; (d) it is able to produce a printed picture that shows the time for each runner and whether or not the timing device has been started automatically by the Starter's pistol; and (e) it is so manufactured that the picture production and the time system are synchronized. 46 2001 Competition Rules   8. When a videotape-based system is used, the Photo Finish Judges shall consider the frames immediately before and after the finish line. If there is any change in position between these two frames, the Judges shall declare a dead heat between the runners whose positions have changed. 9. As an alternative, a photofinish system based on a combination of a video COD (Charge Coupler Device) camera with a minimum of 100 lines per second, a computer and an appropriate electronic timing device may be used, provided this system is calibrated by an independent testing laboratory. The system must be aligned with the finish line and must comply with the requirements of Rule 38.7(a), (d) and (e). 10. Any adjustments to hand timing will be accomplished by using time interval information from the fully automatic timing system and will be recorded in accordance with Rule 37.8(a).   RULE 60 METHOD OF STARTING 1. The start of a race shall be indicated by a line marked on the track or ground not more than 5cm wide (approximately 2 in.). When starting, all competitors must be behind the starting line and they must not touch the starting line or the surface in front of it with hand or foot. 2. Except for time handicap races, all running and walking events shall be started by the report of a pistol or any similar device fired upward after all competitors are steady. 3. Except as otherwise indicated herein, the commands of the Starter shall be "on your marks" and "set," and after all competitors are "set," the pistol shall be fired. The Starter shall not fire the pistol while any competitor is in motion after the command "set." In races longer than 400 meters, the command shall be "on your marks" and when all competitors are steady, the pistol shall be fired. When appropriate, the Starter may assemble the competitors at an actual or imaginary line behind the starting line and have the athletes move up to the starting line on the command "on your marks." In time handicap races, the command "Go" may be used. NOTE: The assembly line is normally between 1m and 3m behind the starting line. 4. Prior to each running event, the Starter shall give instructions to competitors concerning the commands to be used. Before the start signal is given, the Starter shall ascertain that the Timers, Judges and, when applicable, the Chief Photo Finish Judge and the Wind Gauge Operator, are ready. 5. Where a pistol is used, it should be of not less than .32 caliber, with powder giving a distinct flash/smoke, except in indoor competition, where a .22 caliber pistol with black powder shells may be used. It should be so held as to provide a background against which the flash is clearly discernible. 6. All questions concerning the start shall be decided by the Starter. 2001 Competition Rules 55   7. When a competitor uses a crouch start, the competitor must, after the "on your marks" command, assume a position completely within the assigned lane and behind the starting line. Both hands and one knee must 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 a final starting position retaining the contact of the hands with the ground and of the feet with the blocks. (See Rule 60.1.) In all races up to and including the 400 Meters and lead-off relay legs not exceeding 400 meters, a crouch start and starting blocks must be used, unless prohibited by a permanent physical disability. See Rule 61.2. NOTE 1: For Youth Athletics exception, see Rule 242. 2(c). NOTE 2: For Masters exception, see Rule 262.1(c). 8. No later than the command "on your marks," the Starter shall raise the hand with the pistol. That hand shall remain extended above the head until the pistol has been fired. During that time, the hand without the starting pistol shall remain at the Starter's side. NOTE 1: The above may be modified to accommodate the hearing impaired. NOTE 2: To facilitate hand timing, the Starter may signal the Timers just prior to the "set" command. 9. 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. 10. If a competitor commences the starting motion after assuming a full and final set position, and before the report of the pistol, it shall be considered a false start. 11. If a competitor after the command "on your marks" disturbs other competitors in the race through sound or otherwise, it may be considered a false start. 12. The Starter or any Recall Starter, who is of the opinion that the start was not fair, shall recall the competitors by firing a pistol. NOTE: In practice, when one or more competitors makes 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 charge only the competitor or competitors who, in the Starter's opinion, were responsible for the false start. This may result in more than one competitor being charged with a false start. If the unfair start is not due to any competitor, no competitor shall be charged. 56 2001 Competition Rules   13. No penalty shall be imposed for the first false start, but the Starter shall, except in the combined events, disqualify the offender or offenders on the second false start. False starts are called on individuals, not on the field. 14. In handicap races, the Starter shall also disqualify from that event any competitor who attempts to advance from his/her mark, as prescribed in the official program, after the Starter has given the final oral command. 15. Should the Starter have occasion to warn the competitors on any point, or is not satisfied that all is ready to proceed after the competitors are on their marks, he/she shall order the competitors to "stand up." 16. The Starter shall report to the Referee any misconduct by any competitor at the start. The Referee shall have authority to disqualify such contestants. 17. In races where the competitors are not placed behind the same starting line (i.e., 200m to 800m on oval tracks), the Starter should use a microphone transmitting to speakers positioned at or near the starting line in each lane. Where such a device is not used, the Starter shall so be placed that the distance between the Starter and each of the competitors is approximately the same. In races up to and including the 110m Hurdles, the Starter shall be in front of, or on, the extension of the start line. However, where the Starter cannot be in that position, the pistol or similar starting device should be placed there and discharged by electric contact. NOTE: See Rule 62.8 as to the position of starting line and finish line. The line painted or placed upon the ground is in front of the theoretical starting line and must not be touched by the competitors. See Rule 61 regarding the use of starting blocks. 18. When they are available, starting blocks linked to false start detection apparatus shall be used to assist the Starters. The apparatus shall emit an acoustic signal, audible to the Starter, whenever the reaction time of the athlete detected by the apparatus is less than 100/1 000th of a second. When such apparatus is used, the Starter and/or an assigned recall starter shall wear headphones in order to hear clearly any acoustic signal that is emitted in the case of a false start. As soon as the Starter hears the acoustic signal, and if the pistol was fired, there shall be a recall. The Starter shall immediately examine the reaction times on the false start apparatus. Unless the apparatus was obviously not working properly, a false start shall be charged to the athlete(s) with a reaction time faster than 100/1000th of a second. 2001 Competition Rules 57   19. In races that do not start in lanes, competitors may be divided into two groups with one group of approximately 65 percent of the competitors on the regular arced starting line and the other group on a separate arced starting line marked across the outer half of the track. The outer group shall run as far as the end of the first turn on the outer half of the track.   RULE 64 THE FINISH LINE 1. The finish line shall be a line drawn across the track or course surface from finish post to finish post. Where their use may interfere with photofinish equipment, finish posts should not be used. 2. For the purpose of aiding the judges, but not as a finish line, there can be stretched across the track at the finish, 1.22m (4 ft.) above the ground and directly over the finish line, a worsted string or thread or tape of material which will not tend to injure the runners when broken by them. This worsted string or finish tape shall be held by officials other than the judges or by releasing clamps fastened to the finish post on either side, so that it will always be at right angles to the course and parallel to the ground. It is recommended that where there is fully automatic timing, the worsted string or tape not be used. 3. The finish posts shall be of rigid construction, 1.37m (about 4 ft. 6 in.) in height, 7cm in width—and by width is meant the direction at right angles with the track—and 2cm in thickness. 4. The finish line on the track surface, while theoretically of no appreciable width, must actually have some width so that it may be more readily observed. This line should have a width of 5cm on the track and no less than 5cm on the road or course. 62 2001 Competition Rules   5. To assist alignment of the photo-finish equipment, the intersection of the lane lines and the finish line shall be painted in a suitable design. NOTE 1: See Rule 62.8 as to the position of starting and finish lines. NOTE 2: See Rule 135 for finish line requirements at road events.   RULE 65 THE COMPETITION 1. Competitors shall be placed at the finish in the order in which any part of their bodies (i.e., the "torso," as distinguished from the head, neck, arms, hands, legs, or feet) reaches the finish line. 2. In running events, including hurdle races and Steeplechases, no competitor may place any mark or marker upon the running surface or alongside it, except as allowed in relay races . See Rule 80.11. 3. Each competitor shall run in a direct line after entering the final straightaway in all races of two or more turns unless there is another competitor in his or her path. 4. Any competitor or participant jostling, running across, or obstructing another competitor or participant so as to impede his or her progress shall be liable to disqualification in that event. The Referee shall have the authority to order the race to be re-held, excluding the disqualified competitor or, in the case of a heat, to permit any competitor(s) seriously affected by jostling or obstruction (other than the disqualified competitor) to compete in a subsequent round of the race. 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 advance a competitor seriously affected by jostling or obstruction or to order the race to be re-held if it is just and reasonable to do so. 5. No performance accomplished by an athlete shall be valid unless it has been made during an official competition. 6. In races run entirely in lanes, each competitor must keep in the allotted lane from start to finish. In races run partially in lanes, each competitor must keep in the allotted lane from the start to the marked cut-in points. Unless a material advantage has been gained, a competitor shall not be disqualified if he or she: (a) is pushed or forced by another competitor to run out of the lane, or 2001 Competition Rules 63   (b) runs out of the lane on the straightaway, or (c) runs outside of the outer lane line on the curve. Excluding the above exceptions, the Referee shall disqualify a competitor if an Umpire reports that the competitor has run out of the lane. 7. Leaving Track, Field, or Course: (a) No competitor, after leaving the track or course, shall be allowed to rejoin a race either for the purpose of gaining a place or to pace or to assist another competitor. (b) In field events and in the combined events, with the permission of the Chief Judge of the event and accompanied by an official, a competitor may leave the immediate area of the competition during the progress of the competition (other than during a race). Competitors excused to compete in another event need not be accompanied. (c) In any track event of 20,000 meters or more or in any road race, a competitor may leave the road or track with the permission and under the control of a judge or other authorized official, provided that by going off or returning to the course the athlete does not lessen the distance to be covered. 8. Any competitor who shall refuse to obey the directions of the Referee or other proper official, or who shall conduct himself/ herself in an unsportsmanlike manner, or who is offensive by action or language to the officials, spectators, or competitors at any competition may be disqualified by the Referee from future competition at the meet, and if the Referee thinks the offense worthy of additional action, he/she shall promptly make detailed statement of the offense to the appropriate National or Association Officer. 9. To be considered a finisher, a competitor must complete the race. 10. In any race decided on the basis of the distance covered in a fixed period of time, the Starter shall fire the pistol or give other audible or visual signal exactly one minute before the end of the race to warn competitors and judges that the race is nearing its end. At the exact specified time after the start, as directed by the Chief Timer, the Starter shall signal the end of the race by again firing the pistol or giving other audible or visual signal. The Timers will then immediately stop their watches. At the instant of the signal 64 2001 Competition Rules   of the expiration of the time, the Judges appointed for that purpose shall mark the exact spot where each competitor last touched the track before or simultaneously with the final signal. Competitors may be given marking devices to place at their last contact point to aid the Judges. The distance achieved shall be measured to the nearest meter or yard behind the rear edge of the last footprint of the competitor. At least one judge shall be assigned to each competitor before the start of the race for the purpose of recording the time of each lap completed and marking the distance achieved. 11. Distances achieved in fixed time period races may be measured in miles, yards, or meters. However, the results must be reported in kilometers and/or meters. Distances converted from other than metric measurement must be indicated as such. Any conversions shall always be rounded down to the next lower meter.   RULE 66 ASSISTANCE TO ATHLETES 1. Except as provided in road races (Rule 132) and in long distance walking events (Rule 150), during the progress of an event a competitor who has received any assistance whatsoever from any other person may be disqualified by the Referee. "Assistance" is the conveying of advice, information or direct help to an athlete by any means, including a technical device. It also includes pacing in running or walking events by persons not participating in the event, by competitors lapped or about to be lapped, or by any kind of technical device. It does not mean participation of an officially designated pacesetter in the race. NOTE 1: Pacesetting by a person entered in an event for that purpose is permitted. NOTE 2: Competitors may carry or wear articles of personal equipment such as wrist chronometers and heart rate monitors. 2. (a) Verbal or other communication, without the use of any technical device, from an individual who is not in the competition area to an athlete who is in the competition area shall not be considered assistance. (b) The use by athletes of video or cassette recorders or players, TV's, CD or CD-ROM players, radio transmitters or receivers, mobile phones, computers, or any similar devices in the competition area shall not be permitted. In long distance running, this is not a mandatory rule, but is a strong suggestion as a guideline for safety reasons.   RULE 71 ATHLETIC ATTIRE 1. In all events competitors must wear clothing that is clean, designed and worn so as not to be objectionable. The clothing must be made of a material which is non-transparent even if wet. The competitors must not wear clothing that could impede the view of the judges. This rule shall be enforced by the Clerk of Course for track and road events and the Chief Judge of each field event. 2. In hot weather, an athlete competing in a long distance road run may compete without a top shirt. This ruling will be made by the Referee with the approval of the Games Committee. 70 2001 Competition Rules 3. (a) A competitor may compete in bare feet or with footwear on one or both feet. The purpose of shoes for competition is to give protection and stability to the feet and a firm grip of the ground. Such shoes, however, must not be constructed so as to give the competitor any additional assistance, and no spring or device of any kind may be incorporated in the shoes. A shoe strap over the instep is permissible. (b) The sole and the heel of the shoes shall be so constructed as to provide for the use of up to 11 spikes. Any number of spikes up to 11 may be used, but the number of spike positions shall not exceed 11. NOTE: For Youth Athletics exception, see Rule 242.5(f). (c) When a competition is conducted on a synthetic surface, that part of each spike which projects from the sole or the heel must not exceed 9mm, except in the High Jump and Javelin Throw events, where it must not exceed 1 2mm. These spikes shall have a maximum diameter of 4mm. For non-synthetic surfaces, the maximum length of spike shall be 25mm and the maximum diameter is 4mm. On a synthetic track, competitors shall comply with the instructions of organizers as to length of spikes. (d) The sole and/or the heel may have grooves, ridges, indentations or protuberances provided these features are constructed of the same or similar material to the basic sole itself. (e) In the High Jump, the sole shall have a maximum thickness of 1 3mm and the heel shall have a maximum thickness of 1 9mm. In all other events, shoes may be of any thickness.   RULE 72 NUMBERS 1. Every competitor must be provided with numbers, which must be conspicuously worn when competing. The numbers are to be worn as issued (cutting or folding numbers is not permitted). No athlete shall be permitted to participate in any competition without the appropriate number or numbers. 2. If one number is provided, it must be worn visibly on the front. When two numbers are provided, they must be worn on the singlet, front and back. If, pursuant to Rule 71.2, a singlet is not worn, the numbers should be worn on the shorts, front and back. The competitors may also be required to wear hip numbers. 2001 Competition Rules 71   3. In the Pole Vault and High Jump, the competitors may wear the number on the back or front only. 4. In cross country, long distance runs, and race walks, the competitors must wear a number on the front and should also wear a number on the back. The front number must be visible at all check points and at the finish line. 5. Where athletes compete in warm-up suits, the numbers must be worn on that suit as set forth herein. 6. Once a number has been assigned to a competitor, no other competitor may use it. 7. The overall size of the number shall not exceed 16.5cm x 19cm. The numerals on the number should be at least 10cm in height. The sponsor's name shall not exceed 2.5cm x 1 5cm. NOTE: Road races, except for the size of the name of the sponsor, may vary the overall size of the number and height of the numeral.   RULE 73 PROTESTS 1. Protests concerning the team status or eligibility of an entered competitor must be made to the Chair of the Games Committee prior to the commencement of the meet, or to the Referee during the meet. 2. Protests relating to matters which developed during the conduct of the competition must be made to the Referee at once and not later than 30 minutes after a result has been announced, except in the case of long distance and cross country races, where the time period shall be 24 hours. However, in the case of events in which final results are not announced on the day of competition, the Games Committee may determine, and announce in the results that are released, a period not to exceed seven (7) days during which protests may be made to the meet or race director. 3. Protests, at the discretion of the Games Committee or the Referee, may be made orally or in writing. For National Championships, they must be made in writing. 4. If possible, the Games Committee or the Referee shall decide protests at once. If the nature of the protest or the necessity of obtaining testimony or evidence prevents an immediate decision, the competitor shall be allowed to compete under protest, and the protest shall be decided by the Games Committee within one week, 72 2001 Competition Rules   unless its subject be the eligibility of the competitor to compete, in which case the Games Committee must report such protest within 48 hours to the Member Services Chair in the Association where the meet is held. 4. Where a Jury of Appeal has been established to consider appeals of decisions of the Referee as to matters which developed during the conduct of the event, appeals must be made in writing immediately and within 30 minutes after the action by the Referee has been officially announced. In the case of long distance and cross country races, the time period shall be 24 hours. RULE 74 TIES SECTION IV LONG DISTANCE AND ROAD EVENTS (Running and Walking)  

RULE 131

COURSE CERTIFICATION

The course used for a competition shall be certified prior to the running of the event in accordance with USATF Operating Regulation 6, unless the course is deemed uncertifiable by the Road Running Technical Council. A course may be designated as "USATF Certified" only if it has been certified in accordance with USATF Operating Regulation 6. NOTE: Information concerning acceptable methods of measuring courses should be obtained from the Road Running Technical Council prior to the measurement of a long distance course.

RULE 132 MEDICAL AND SAFETY CONCERNS FOR ROAD EVENTS
1. The organizers of road races must ensure the safety of all competitors.
(a) Medical examinations:
i. A hands-on medical examination during the progress of an event by designated medical personnel clearly identified by the organizers shall not be considered assistance. ii. A competitor must retire at once from the race if ordered to do so by a member of the official medical staff who is clearly identified by the organizers (armband, vest, or similar distinctive apparel).
(b) Drinking/Sponging and Refreshment Stations:
i. Water and other suitable refreshments shall be available at the start and finish of all races. ii. Drinking/Sponging or refreshment stations shall be provided at suitable intervals of approximately 2-3km based upon weather conditions. iii. In all events 10km or longer, water shall be provided at intervals of no more than 5km. In addition, race management may provide refreshments (other than water) and/or sponging stations at positions approximately midway between water stations.
(c) During hot weather, races should be scheduled in the early morning or evening hours, and additional aid stations should be made available.
2. Adequate first aid facilities should be provided, preferably by use of a mobile unit or units on the running course. 3. If a race is longer than 5 miles and the athlete is under 18 years of age, a statement signed by the athlete's parent or legal guardian permitting the athlete to compete is required. 4. A competitor must retire from a race immediately if directed to do so by a duly authorized official of the race or by a member of the race medical staff. (See Rule 66.7).
  RULE 133 STARTING A RUNNING EVENT 1. All competitors are responsible for knowing the starting time of the event(s), for knowing the registration or check-in method utilized at the start (for some or all of the competitors), and for being at the starting line at the appointed time for instructions and the start of the race. 2001 Competition Rules 107   2. Ten to fifteen minutes (or as otherwise specified) before the start of the race, all entries should be closed and the athletes directed to the starting line for final instructions and the start of the race. 3. One or more starting lines may be used in any road race. In the event that more than one starting line is used, it is recommended that the point where the runners converge be at least 800m (1/2 mile) from the starting line. 4. Runners should be seeded according to ability in any race when all of the runners cannot be placed on the starting line. 5. The commands of the Starter will be decided by the Referee. The method of starting to be used must be explained prior to the start in such a manner that all participants will receive and understand the information. False Starts in road races should not be recalled. 6. The Starter shall report to the Referee any misconduct by any competitor at the start. The Referee shall have the authority to disqualify such competitors.   RULE 134 COURSE MARKING AND MONITORING 1. Running courses shall be adequately marked at strategic points to keep the competitors on course. (a) Each turn and intersection shall be clearly marked in such a way that there will be no doubt as to the direction the runner should go to stay on course. (b) Distance markers should be located throughout the course. It is recommended that markers be placed at maximum intervals of 3 to 5km or 2 to 3 miles. The spacing of their intervals shall be determined by the Games Committee. (b) The measurement line should be marked along the course in a distinctive color that cannot be mistaken for other markings (See USATF Operating Regulation 6.) (d) The finish line in off-track long distance running events should be a line of width 15cm (six inches) in a color contrasting the running surface and of a material which will adhere to a fixed position on the running surface. The exact finish line shall be clearly marked and stated in competitor instructions in order to eliminate confusion with designs on or adjacent to the running surface near the finish line. The 108 2001 Competition Rules   use of a tape, held by individuals not serving as judges, may be used to help identify the location of the finish line. 2. Turns and major intersections on the course shall be monitored. (a) Monitors shall always be standing and shall be located at or before the change of direction, not after this occurs on the course. (b) Scorers shall keep a record of the runners and their running times at specific points on the course. (c) Whenever possible, the route of the competition should be free of vehicular traffic or nearly so. All dangerous intersections should be staffed to provide for traffic and spectator control. (d) A lead vehicle should be provided with additional vehicles to assist in monitoring the competition, timing, or other required functions. (e) Whenever possible, elapsed times should be displayed or read at various points along the running course for the benefit of the runners and to record such time intervals. 3. Runner's identification shall consist of running numbers pinned securely on the front of each runner's uniform and displayed throughout the race. The registration list will contain each runner's name and running number. 4. Any competitor who has been found by the Referee and/or Jury of Appeal to have gained an unfair advantage by intentionally shortening the route of the race ("cutting the course") shall be immediately disqualified from the competition. See also Rule 65.7.   RULE 135 THE FINISH LINE 1. The finish of the course is the edge of the line closest to the approaching runners. 2. Should there be an extensive painted design adjacent and prior to the finish line, the exact location of the finish line shall be clearly stated in instructions to all competitors 3. A tape may be held above and parallel to the finish line and at right angles to the course by individuals who are not serving as 2001 Competition Rules 109   judges. The individuals holding the tape shall be positioned so they do not interfere with the view of the judges. This tape is not itself the finish line, but is there only to indicate the approximate location of the actual finish line to approaching runners. 4. In events using transponder timing mats, the mat shall be placed so that the edge of the mat closest to the approaching runners is the finish line and that at least 15 cm of the mat be of a color in contrast to the running surface to indicate the finish line. 5. Races may use separate points along the finish line as the crossing location of the first men's and first women's finishers. 6. In addition to an authorized finish line imaging system, an officially designated video or photograph may be used to review the order of finish.   RULE 136 FINISH LINE RECORDING AND TIMING 1. Officials at the finish should record each number as the athlete completes the race, along with the athlete's finish time. The order in which the athletes cross the finish line will be the official finish position. 2. False starts in road races should not be recalled. The timers shall start their watches or timing devices at the flash/smoke of the pistol or approved apparatus or at the first moment a competitor crosses the start line, whichever happens first. 3. The official time will be the time elapsed between the start of the watches or timing devices and the athlete crossing the finish line. If an athlete crosses the start line after the start of the watches or timing devices, the athlete's time elapsed between the start and finish line can be made known to the athlete, but will not be considered as official time.

RULE 137

SCORING RUNNING EVENTS

1. The method of scoring shall be set forth in the entry blank and printed program for the race. 2. Individuals will be scored according to the designated divisions. 3. See Rules 7, 16.4 and 20.7 for scoring of Championship races.

SECTION V
RECORDS
RULE 185

RULES APPLICABLE TO LONG DISTANCE RUNNING EVENTS

1. (a) No non-winning performance in a road race shall be accepted as a record unless it can be verified (independently of the primary timing systems) that a specific time was recorded for that particular runner. If it cannot be verified that such a time was recorded for the runner, the next slower recorded time that can be verified as being recorded after that runner finishes may be assigned to that runner. (b) No performance shall be accepted as an Open American record unless it was timed in accordance with Rule 37 or 38. 2. A winning performance in a race shall be timed in accordance with Rule 37 or Rule 38. The winner of each sex division shall be considered to have a winning performance. 3. Road running performances will not be accepted if the remeasurement shows that the actual course distance was shorter than the stated distance. 4. For track records at distances longer than 10,000 meters, lap sheets must be kept. Such lap sheets must record the total elapsed time for the record applicant for each lap. Only laps for which a time was recorded will be counted as having been completed. Each time entry must be initialed by the recorder, the lap sheets must be verified and signed by the race director, and a legible photocopy (NOT the original copy) of the lap sheets must accompany the record application. 5. For all road records: (a) The course must not have a net decrease in elevation from start to finish exceeding 1 part per thousand (i.e., 1 m per km). (b) The start and finish of the race must lie no more than 30% of the race distance apart as measured along the straight line between them, except when it can be shown that the average component of the wind direction at the head of the race (the lead runner) did not constitute a significant tailwind. NOTE: A tailwind shall be deemed to be significant if it prevails consistently throughout more than 50% of the course during the race. 6. For all women's road running records, except Masters records, separate records shall be kept for women-only and mixed competition. 128 2001 Competition Rules   7. In all events that are defined by time, distances will be measured to the nearest lesser full yard or meter only. 8. A national or world's best open class performance must be validated as follows: (a) Witnesses to the actual race must provide to the Validation Chairperson of the Road Running Technical Council of USATF, or a designee, a complete and precise map or description of the shortest possible route that was available to the record claimant during the race. (b) The actual course must be evaluated and approved as accurate by an expert designated by the Validation Chairperson of the Road Running Technical Council. 9. For road records, a complete set of lap sheets must be kept for any event that is run in three or more loops of the same course. The maintenance and disposition of such lap sheets shall be the same as indicated in paragraph 4, above.


Go to Next Section: Appendix B: Glossary of Terms
Previous Section: Verification of Performances
Back to: Table of Contents