Rules Questions


My goal is help reduce the number of violations, specifically at the tournament level and with the season coming up quickly, I wanted to post to give everyone an opportunity to ask any competition rule related questions they have about cross country.

I am not going to debate if we like a rule or not or if a rule should be changed.


Well-known member
GPS watches are allowable now as stated in the rules meeting. But the rules meeting states they cannot be used as an aid.

Is this a communication aid through a smartwatch technology or is it defined as a GPS pacing aid?

And how is this aid enforced and interpreted?

I like the ruling because all of my kids have the watches and at the starting line, I sometimes wear 4-5-6 watches throughout the race because the kids forget to take them off before the starting area. I also like it because of the data after the race the athletes can see their mile splits. Ultimately I never believed a GPS watch would be an aid to racing faster in a track race or xc race at the high school level.


The wearing of a GPS watch is allowed under NFHS Rule 4-6-5-h2. Ohio removed its modification (that prohibited wearing a GPS watch) ofthis rule in the spring of 2023 and now allows athletes to wear a watch that has GPS or other smartwatch capabilities. The use of any of the enhanced technology in the watch (communication or GPS) would violate the rules as it would be an illegal aid. If an official observes an athlete using the communication or GPS functionality, the athlete would be subject to disqualification from the event per NFHS Rule 4-6-5. In simpler terms, they can wear the smartwatch, but they can't use it for anything else other than a watch.