3 meters off of starting line

bigfishsmallpond

Active member
Can someone explain to me how we can use the 3 meters behind the starting line rule, when there are no marks on the track that signify 3 meters behind the starting line and each (lane, box, alley, whatever) is just guessing?

It was a circus at our meet.
 

moemancc

New member
Just tell your athletes to do the short run up in practice. I did it and the guys got a feel for it. Then they knew what to expect at the meet. I mean it doesn't have to be exactly 3 meters, just roughly 3 steps behind the line, and then go.
 

Altor

Well-known member
We talked about this in one of our last rules interp meetings for the officials in my area. The idea is that the competitors should take 3 to 5 steps up to the line when told "on your marks." We believe we can estimate the 3 meters easily enough without being overly-anal about it.

If you need help estimating 3 meters:
Assuming the lanes are 42 inches wide, a one-turn stagger is about 3.3 meters. That is, from the start/finish line in lane one, to the 1-turn staggered start in lane two is just a little more than what we are looking for.
 

RunFL

New member
Can someone explain to me how we can use the 3 meters behind the starting line rule, when there are no marks on the track that signify 3 meters behind the starting line and each (lane, box, alley, whatever) is just guessing?

It was a circus at our meet.

There is no marks for this on any track from high school to hayward field its just three steps back and most officials at the college level simply say take three steps back.
 

Mr. Slippery

Well-known member
We've practiced this every time that we've done any repeat 400m or longer. On the 1st day, the kids asked me, "how far back is 3 meters?" My response was, "1, 2, 3" as I took 3 giant steps back from the line. Since we generally use the waterfall start during track workouts, I use the 1st 4x4 exchange arrow in either lane 2 or 3 (whichever is closer to the starting line) as an approximation for 3m.

You don't have to be exact on the 3m. The officials will tell them where to go in the meets. For practice, you just have to get the kids used to the idea that they must quickly come up to the line and quickly come set before the gun.

I think it's a silly rule change, but my kids have no excuse for not being ready for it.
 

MrTrackMski

New member
I am not going to measure to see if they are "exactly" 3 meters back. I have enough rules to enforce.
I would suggest they take 3 steps back. Should be enough. So if it is off 0.0000009 inches and 0.00000000000000001 meters, I really don't care.
I can live (within reason) with the concept of 3 steps from the starting line. A "reasonable LOOKING 3 meters" will do when I am ready to start any races that ask for the "3 meter rule". I am not going to be picky.
 

said_aouita

Well-known member
I'm out of the loop. Is this 3 meters some new rule? Instead of standing one step back, now it's suppose to be 3 meters?
 

Altor

Well-known member
Here's the new rule and the rationale that was in the press release.

5-7-3: The starting command for individual races, or opening relay legs of 800 meters or more outdoors and 600 meters or more indoors shall be to instruct all competitors to take a position three meters behind the starting line or dashed arc behind the line. With the command “On your marks” all competitors will step to the starting line without delay. When all competitors are steady, the starter shall fire the starting device.

Rationale: Creates consistency in the distance behind the starting line for the step-up mark used in all one command running events. This distance is far enough behind the line that competitors will have a definite stop before the starting line and eliminate a leaning movement into the start.

It's pretty clear that it comes from NCAA and IAAF rule sets. Of course, they use an international (waterfall) start line for almost all of these races. In Ohio, we tend to use staggered starting lines. To me, the rule makes more sense for the international starting line, but I'll do what they want until somebody tells me differently.
 

JAVMAN83

Well-known member
I predict they'll be no noticeable change in "leaning in". In fact, I predict more false starts, at least over the next couple years.
 

panott

Member
Here's the new rule and the rationale that was in the press release.



It's pretty clear that it comes from NCAA and IAAF rule sets. Of course, they use an international (waterfall) start line for almost all of these races. In Ohio, we tend to use staggered starting lines. To me, the rule makes more sense for the international starting line, but I'll do what they want until somebody tells me differently.

I have heard that the NCAA is trying to do away with the 3 step rule and move to what we had with the 1 step back rule. As is typical the National Federation changes the rules just as the NCAA figures out that a rule doesn't work. An example from the past is the 2 turn stagger in the 800. IAAF and NCAA found it didn't work so the National Federation adopted it.
 

Altor

Well-known member
An example from the past is the 2 turn stagger in the 800. IAAF and NCAA found it didn't work so the National Federation adopted it.

Actually, the recommended starting line for the 800 in Rule 5-2-4 is green, which would be a 1-turn stagger.

In OHSAA tournaments, we run a 2-turn stagger because we put 16 people in 8 lanes. At NCAA Championships, they only put 8 people in 8 lanes (or 9 in 9), so 1-turn works better. At other Ohio meets, the Games Committee is welcome to use whatever starting line they want. But, most use 2 turns because that is what is used in tournaments.
 
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