What are the rules of track and field?
Track and field events usually consist of three categories: throwing, jumping, and running.
The discus, shot put, and the hammer are thrown from the throwing circle and the javelin is thrown from the runway. During the act of throwing, if the competing athlete steps out of the runway or throwing circle, that throw will be regarded as a failed attempt. The athlete's throw must fall within the marked landing area to count as a valid throw. They should not leave the runway or circle until their throw has touched the ground.
When athletes are partaking in the long jump, the jumps are measured from the take-off line to the break in the landing area that any part of the body touches. The jump will be considered a failed attempt if they take off from outside of the take-off board. It will not count if the athlete executes the jump and touches the ground beyond the take-off line. Lastly, the jump will not count if, during landing, the athlete touches outside of the landing area which is closer to the take-off line instead of the closest break made in the sand.
When athletes partake in the high jump, they must take off with one foot. A failed attempt of the high jump takes place when the athlete touches the crossbar and it does not remain on the supports.
Distance Running Rules
Distance runners will begin the race in an upright position, and their hands are not allowed to touch the ground. The command to start for the races is "On your marks!" and once the runners are at the mark and the gun is fired, they may officially begin the race. During the Olympics, distance races do not have lane assignments so athletes may break their position from the start.
During distance races, when there are 12 athletes in the race, they may be split into two staggered groups from the beginning. Around 65% of them will be on the regular start line and the other runners will have a separate start line which is across the track's outer half.
Middle Distance Running Rules
Middle distance races that are either 800 meters or longer, the runners have no starting blocks. Middle distance runners will begin the race in an upright position, and their hands are not allowed to touch the ground. The command to start for the races is "On your marks!" and once the runners are at the mark and the gun is fired, they may officially begin the race. 8 runners are composed for the 800 meters race, and each of them has their own lane for the staggered start.
All runners must stay in their assigned lanes throughout the first run and may break their position after. For the 1500 meters and steeplechase, a group start is used since they have up to 12 runners. Runners do not have any lane assignments for the 1500 meter race and steeplechase.
Sprint and Hurdle Rules
All relays, springs, and hurdles use starting blocks to start the events. The starting blocks use two adjustable footplates which are fixed to a rigid frame. The command to start the races is "On your marks!" and "Set" and once the runners are at the mark, the gun is fired, they may officially begin the races. Competitors for the 100 meters race, men's 110 meters hurdles, and women's 100 meters hurdles are all lined up side-by-side. The runners are staggered for the start during the 400 meters hurdle and 200 meters and 400 meters races. The winner of the race is whichever runner's torso reaches the vertical plane of the closest edge.
In the hurdle and sprint events for the Olympics, all runners must stay within their pre-assigned lanes. If any runner goes outside of their assigned lane, they will be disqualified. If a runner is forced out of their lane by another person and does not gain any advantage, there will not be any disqualifications. If sprinters set forth a starting motion before the Starter's gun is fired, that is considered a false start. This false start will result in an automatic disqualification.
Race Walking Rules
Athletes who partake in race walking must always make constant contact with the ground. The athlete's advancing leg will be straightened from the time they make the first contact with the ground until they are in the vertical upright position. Judges will give athletes warnings if they violate the definition of race walking with either a bent knee or loss of contact with the ground. If an athlete receives three warnings from three different judges, they will be disqualified.
What type of events are included in track and field?
Track and field events usually consist of throwing, jumping, and running. Throwing events includes the shot put, the hammer, javelin, and discus. Jumping events include high jump, long jump, triple jump, and pole vault. Long distance running events include 3,000 meters, 5,000 meters, 10,000 meters, and marathons. Middle distance running includes races 800 meters or longer. Lastly, sprints and hurdles include 60, 100, 200, and 400 meters races.
How can athletes get disqualified from throwing events?
If athletes step out of the throwing circle and throw the discus, shot put, or hammer, this will be considered a failed attempt. If the athlete steps out of the runway while throwing the javelin, this will also be a failed attempt. They may not leave the runway or circle until the designated throwing object has touched the ground. A valid throw must fall within the bounds of the marked landing area.
How can athletes get disqualified from jumping events?
When performing a high jump, it will be considered a failed attempt when the athlete has touched the crossbar and it does not remain on the supports. When performing a long jump, a failed attempt may occur if the athlete executes the jump and touches the ground beyond the take-off line. Another way is if they take off from outside of the take-off board. Lastly, the jump will be a failed attempt if, during landing, the athlete touches outside of the landing area.
How can athletes get disqualified from running events?
A sprinter can be disqualified from a race if they set forth a starting motion before the starter's gun is fired. This is a false start and results in immediate disqualification. During a steeplechase, if any runner trails their foot along any barrier or steps to the side of a jump, they will be disqualified. Lastly, during a race walking event, if an individual athlete receives three different warnings from three different judges, they will be disqualified.