Simple Rules for Track & Field Events


Rules for track and field events are designed to keep participants safe and secure while racing. While track and field events may have complex rules and rule books, basic events such as sprinting and long distance running have only a few key rules that must be followed by all participants. Failure to follow the basic rules of track and field can result in an automatic disqualification.

Basic Start and Finish Rules

Track and field start and finish rules are designed to give spectators as well as competitors a clear indication of when a race has started and finished. For sprinters and distance runners, each racer gets an individual starting lane. While some lanes are staggered to compensate for additional circumference found on the track, short sprints have racers line up at the same point on the track. A starting line is clearly marked and cannot be crossed till a starter gun goes off. A false start can only happen once. If a racer double faults he is disqualified from the race. The finish line is often marked by a line on the ground as well as a piece of ribbon or tape. The racer who crosses the finish line first is the winner.

Basic Relay Race Rules

Basic relay race rules require racers to use one type of baton during their races. As a result, no grip tape or foreign material can appear on the baton to give racers an unfair advantage during the race. Failure to abide by these rules will often result in immediate disqualification. Another relay race rule involves the way in which racers receive the baton from other racers. If you drop the baton, you can pick it up and continue on during your race. However, if you grab the baton from a racer at an unsanctioned point on the race track, your team will be disqualified.

Basic Shot Put Rules

Shot put is a track and field event that requires you to push a heavy metal ball as far as you can away from your body. The distance is recorded and measured against other contestants. If you are a man, your shot put ball must weight 16 lbs. If you are a female contestant, your ball must weight 8.8 lbs. To legally put the ball, you must place the ball against your neck and push it away from your body using your hand. Competitors stand in a circle with a 7-foot radius that cannot be crossed while putting the shot put. If a player crosses the line he will be disqualified from the match.