NFHS Rule changes - 2020

Altor

Active member
NFHS published their press release for 2020 Track and Field and Cross Country rule changes last week.
https://nfhs.org/articles/assisting-injured-athletes-expansion-of-exchange-zones-among-rules-changes-in-track-and-field/

My annual reminder that these changes take effect January 1 in Ohio. Any changes to cross country rules do not take effect this season.

- Competitor providing assistance to injured/ill competitor shall not be disqualified (previous rule only applied if medical help was not available)
- Sprint relays will have 30 meter exchanges zones instead of 20 meter exchange zones and 10 meter acceleration zones.
- Prohibition of "running backwards" on the horizontal jumps, pole vault, and javelin runways.
- Metric equivalents for vertical jumps tie-breaking jump-off measurements provided.
- Length of long jump/triple jump pit clarified.
- Cross country - beginning straight away should be at least 100 meters. Narrow sections of the course should be no longer than 10 meters long. Cones "of appropriate color" may be used to mark the course.
 

ccrunner609

Active member
So they can hand off in the acceleration zone and handoff before they get into the 20 meter exchange? So basically hand off can be early but never late? What are they going to use for 4x4 and 4x8 handoffs? The acceleration zone marks arent there. Are they going to let teams line up outside the zone for those relays? Can someone run back and get the baton if someone falls within 10 meters of the finishline?

I guess Chatfield will be happy about the metric system.

Since our host schools LJ pits are illegal now, do they move the sites?
 

Mr. Slippery

Active member
So they can hand off in the acceleration zone and handoff before they get into the 20 meter exchange? So basically hand off can be early but never late? What are they going to use for 4x4 and 4x8 handoffs? The acceleration zone marks arent there. Are they going to let teams line up outside the zone for those relays? Can someone run back and get the baton if someone falls within 10 meters of the finishline?

I guess Chatfield will be happy about the metric system.

Since our host schools LJ pits are illegal now, do they move the sites?
4x400 and 4x800 exchanges will remain as they are.

From the press release on the NFHS website. I bolded some text for effect:

Changes to Rules 5-3-3 and 5-3-4 expand the exchange zone in relays with legs of 200 meters or less from 20 to 30 meters. All exchange zones for races with legs longer than 200 meters will remain at 20 meters.

“The acceleration zone is now incorporated into the existing exchange zone, thus a 30-meter exchange zone for relay races with legs of 200 meters or less,” Cochran said. “The rule change does not require that tracks be repainted or resurfaced in order to follow the new NFHS rules. Existing acceleration zone markings, such as triangles, squares or colored tape, placed at that location may be used to denote the beginning of the exchange zones on a track.”
 

Mr. Slippery

Active member
NFHS published their press release for 2020 Track and Field and Cross Country rule changes last week.
https://nfhs.org/articles/assisting-injured-athletes-expansion-of-exchange-zones-among-rules-changes-in-track-and-field/

My annual reminder that these changes take effect January 1 in Ohio. Any changes to cross country rules do not take effect this season.

- Competitor providing assistance to injured/ill competitor shall not be disqualified (previous rule only applied if medical help was not available)
- Sprint relays will have 30 meter exchanges zones instead of 20 meter exchange zones and 10 meter acceleration zones.
- Prohibition of "running backwards" on the horizontal jumps, pole vault, and javelin runways.
- Metric equivalents for vertical jumps tie-breaking jump-off measurements provided.
- Length of long jump/triple jump pit clarified.
- Cross country - beginning straight away should be at least 100 meters. Narrow sections of the course should be no longer than 10 meters long. Cones "of appropriate color" may be used to mark the course.
I've read the press release and still need further clarification on what I bolded above. Is the rule simply saying no "backpedaling" on the runway during warm-ups, or is it saying an athlete can't, for example, start at the long jump board and run the opposite direction to identify his or her starting mark. I take it to mean the latter, and if so, I'm good with that:

Rule 6-2-6 has been amended to prohibit athletes from running backwards or in the opposite direction (non-legal direction) during warm-ups on horizontal jumps, pole vault and javelin runways.



Since I keep mentioning the press release, I might as well post the link to it:

https://www.nfhs.org/articles/assisting-injured-athletes-expansion-of-exchange-zones-among-rules-changes-in-track-and-field/
 
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Altor

Active member
We always have questions like this after these press releases, and the answer is that we simply don't know until the actual rule book is published. These press releases are not meant to be a case book or a full set of rulings to cover all the questions that will occur.

The runway rule that I heard propsed was to stop people from starting at the foul line or at the plant box and running away from the pit. Many people considered it dangerous because people at the head of the runways were not expecting people to be coming from the opposite direction.
 

Jowsepi

Member
So they can hand off in the acceleration zone and handoff before they get into the 20 meter exchange? So basically hand off can be early but never late? What are they going to use for 4x4 and 4x8 handoffs? The acceleration zone marks arent there. Are they going to let teams line up outside the zone for those relays? Can someone run back and get the baton if someone falls within 10 meters of the finishline?

I guess Chatfield will be happy about the metric system.

Since our host schools LJ pits are illegal now, do they move the sites?
It says that pits constructed after 2019 must meet the requirements. I take it that the older pits will be grandfathered in.
 

Mr. Slippery

Active member
We always have questions like this after these press releases, and the answer is that we simply don't know until the actual rule book is published. These press releases are not meant to be a case book or a full set of rulings to cover all the questions that will occur.

The runway rule that I heard propsed was to stop people from starting at the foul line or at the plant box and running away from the pit. Many people considered it dangerous because people at the head of the runways were not expecting people to be coming from the opposite direction.
Potentially dangerous but, even more so, just a pain in the butt b/c you have to get all the people lined up at the head of the runway to move aside if someone decides to run from the LJ board back to where they are standing.

As I stated previously, if that is what the rule change is referring to, I'm good with it.
 

Altor

Active member
My responses are assuming this will be consistent with the IAAF and NCAA rules.
So they can hand off in the acceleration zone and handoff before they get into the 20 meter exchange?
If you are refering to the old acceleration zone, then yes. But this is not the correct way to think about it anymore. There will not be an acceleration zone in the future. Until tracks get remarked, the exchange zone starts and your outgoing runner can line up at the "small triangle" and immediately get the baton once it passes that mark. The first "big triangle" is no longer used and should be ignored. The exchange must be completed before the baton passes the second "big triangle".

So basically hand off can be early but never late?
Again, if you are referring to the old zone, yes. But that is not the way I would be teaching it in the future.

What are they going to use for 4x4 and 4x8 handoffs? The acceleration zone marks arent there. Are they going to let teams line up outside the zone for those relays?
The 30 meter zone only applies to sprint relays. Assuming they use wording like previous rule books, this would be anytime the incoming runner is running 200 meters or less. The 4x4 and 4x8 will continue to use the 20 meter exchange zones.

Can someone run back and get the baton if someone falls within 10 meters of the finishline?
Not sure what you mean here.
 

panott

New member
I've read the press release and still need further clarification on what I bolded above. Is the rule simply saying no "backpedaling" on the runway during warm-ups, or is it saying an athlete can't, for example, start at the long jump board and run the opposite direction to identify his or her starting mark. I take it to mean the latter, and if so, I'm good with that:

Rule 6-2-6 has been amended to prohibit athletes from running backwards or in the opposite direction (non-legal direction) during warm-ups on horizontal jumps, pole vault and javelin runways.



Since I keep mentioning the press release, I might as well post the link to it:

https://www.nfhs.org/articles/assisting-injured-athletes-expansion-of-exchan to try to get your stepsge-zones-among-rules-changes-in-track-and-field/
You can not start at the box(PV) or takeoff board(LJ/TJ) and run back toward your starting point to try to get your steps.
 

psycho_dad

Active member
Well, this certainly thwarts my plan to have our long jumpers run backwards and jump into a short pit. Months of planning wasted.
 
Are relay zone infraction dq's anticipated to be reduced as a result of this change? Would be neat to see some data at college and international levels pre- and post-rule change, if they exist.
 

mathking

Active member
This is bringing high school in line with IAAF rules. The IAAF wanted to reduce relay Zone infractions and make it easier to call correctly. This change makes it two instead of three things that have to be looked for. Among the things I found interesting two years ago when the IAAF started discussing this was that the infraction most often called or not called in error was handing off too soon. This completely eliminates that as an infraction.
 

psycho_dad

Active member
While I don't have any specific objections to these rules, I just do not see the necessity for some of the rules and I would just like to see rules enforced sometimes.

Not sure the rule for running backwards on the runways is really necessary. Won't hurt anything.

Exchange zone makes sense. Something I've thought should be the way it's done since I was a kid. Enforce the rules for every team. My experience has been that at the big meets, the only teams that get DQ'd are the ones that botch up so bad they finish out of the running anyway. Top teams seem to get the benefit of the doubt. Part of the problem is that the 4x200 is a ridiculous zone to cover.

With the new rule, I can see possibly having faster runners taking exchanges early in the zone and slower runners getting the stick later in the zone even more than is done now.

The CC rule seems unnecessary altogether.
 

Jowsepi

Member
I want to see them get rid of the numbers on the back of jerseys. Ohio is still holding onto this for some reason and it's just an added expense IMHO.
 

psycho_dad

Active member
You will still need numbers at the league, district, regional and state meets. Going to have bibs. NCAA made my daughter wear bib front and back.
 

mathking

Active member
You will still need numbers at the league, district, regional and state meets. Going to have bibs. NCAA made my daughter wear bib front and back.


That is true, but our athletes still have to wear bibs at the state meet and they have numbers on their jerseys.
 

psycho_dad

Active member
I can see the need for numbers in basketball for refs to have an easy way to assess fouls. In fact, infractions are about the only need for numbers in any sport. Even in basketball the numbers used to have to be made up of only digits 0-5 so the refs only had to use one hand for each numeral. That doesn't even hold true anymore. Other than being checked in by a ref, I never needed a number in soccer. Baseball absolutely does not need numbers. Football does not need numbers. I see a need in track and field or CC for identification for infractions for officials. That's all they are for in any sport. I don't hear the outcry for football and baseball and they have to cost a heck of a lot more.

I don't see why schools couldn't just get bibs to put on the back of uniforms with numbers for OHSAA tournament time. It doesn't make sense to me that they have to be permanent.

I think we are kidding ourselves if we think uniforms will be less money. I'm sure schools would put something on the back. Don't see many just plain uniforms. We don't have to put anything on the front, but everyone does.

I just see this as an issue just to be an issue. It's not all that important.
 
I can see the need for numbers in basketball for refs to have an easy way to assess fouls. In fact, infractions are about the only need for numbers in any sport. Even in basketball the numbers used to have to be made up of only digits 0-5 so the refs only had to use one hand for each numeral. That doesn't even hold true anymore. Other than being checked in by a ref, I never needed a number in soccer. Baseball absolutely does not need numbers. Football does not need numbers. I see a need in track and field or CC for identification for infractions for officials. That's all they are for in any sport. I don't hear the outcry for football and baseball and they have to cost a heck of a lot more.

I don't see why schools couldn't just get bibs to put on the back of uniforms with numbers for OHSAA tournament time. It doesn't make sense to me that they have to be permanent.

I think we are kidding ourselves if we think uniforms will be less money. I'm sure schools would put something on the back. Don't see many just plain uniforms. We don't have to put anything on the front, but everyone does.

I just see this as an issue just to be an issue. It's not all that important.
Soccer it is needed for when cards are issued. How would the announcers know who scored the goal or what play left the game w/o numbers. In football only certain numbers are able to catch passes among a number of other things the numbers are used for. In baseball how would anyone know if a team is batting in the right order w/o numbers?

Team sports 100% need numbers but individual sports such as CC and track can clearly do w/o especially when bib or hip numbers are used.
 

psycho_dad

Active member
Soccer it is needed for when cards are issued. How would the announcers know who scored the goal or what play left the game w/o numbers. In football only certain numbers are able to catch passes among a number of other things the numbers are used for. In baseball how would anyone know if a team is batting in the right order w/o numbers?

Team sports 100% need numbers but individual sports such as CC and track can clearly do w/o especially when bib or hip numbers are used.
Track and CC are team sports. I have played plenty of soccer games without numbers and have gotten carded in a few. If it's important, they figure it out.

How in track do you know if someone has only participated in 4 events without numbers. In CC, if someone is Dq'd how do you know if it's the third man or 7th or 16th? How do you identify who cut the course? You don't have to have a bib. Why is it the meet managements responsibility to give out numbers on bibs and not the schools responsibility to have numbers on the uniform? We have had sets of twins that I can't even tell apart. How do you handle that in Track and CC without numbers? Had a coach from Buchtel come up to us at the District one year and say, "I'm not going to say anyting to the officials, but your 300m hurdler has been in 5 events." I said, yeah, and she's going to run the 800 and 2 legs of the 4x400 too. He says, No, I'm SERIOUS!. I pointed out they are twins.

Can't tell you how many baseball games I played in growing up and how many I endured with my kids and step children. Never used a number for anything. Knew kids by name or by sight. After the first time through the lineup, everyone knows where everyone else bats. Never saw a correction made because of a number. If a coach or team is going to cheat and bat out of order, they are not above changing numbers.

I do a lot of things in life that do not require a number.
 
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