No ground obstructions which might cause tripping, turned ankles, etc.
· To clarify, this is not a ‘new’ rule, however the interpretation & enforcement of the rule may not have been as clear in the past.
In speaking with BJ Duckworth (OHSAA State Rules Interpreter & Director of Officiating Development) regarding the interpretation of the rule & what the official’s role should be in allowing these obstructions, as well as additional feedback from Julie Cochran (NFHS Director of Sports)…we each agreed that Rule 8-1-3b should be interpreted as such:
A ‘ground obstruction’ could be any type of physical structure or barrier (hay bales, fencing, large logs or rocks, etc.) that are placed on the racecourse and meant to be navigated over (not around). This also includes any surface being run on that could knowingly cause a tripping hazard….such as ‘water’. Understanding that the term ‘water’ is somewhat vague when applying it to a cross country course, please see the following for additional clarity:
Why even call it cross country? Make every course flat and fast and call it fall track! The meets that I've been to the kids LOVE running through creeks, hay bales, etc.