2012 NFHS rules changes highlighted

posted Dec 3, 2011, 8:34 AM by Paul Williams   [ updated Sep 5, 2012, 8:37 AM ]

Following are the changes in the 2012 edition of the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Track and Field and Cross Country Rules Book. These are found at the front of the new book and are on the NFHS website at http://www.nfhs.org/content.aspx?id=5563

NFHS Track and Field and Cross Country Rules Changes 2012

3-4-2     The referee’s authority begins upon arrival at the meet site and concludes 30 minutes after the last event results have been announced or made official.  The referee retains clerical authority over the contest through the completion of any reports, including those imposing disqualification that are responsive to actions occurring while the referee has jurisdiction.  State associations may intercede in the event of unusual incidents after the referee’s jurisdiction has ended or in the event that contest is terminated prior to the conclusion of regulation play.
Administrative duties for the meet referee may need to continue after the meet to document actions which occur during the competition. This revision illustrates the difference between the meet referee’s jurisdiction during the contest and other administrative responsibilities such as submitting specific reports after the meet. In addition, clarifies that state associations may continue to develop and implement policies that allow for review of unusual incidents that occur while the meet officials have jurisdiction or after the meet.

4-3-1b(8), 4-3-1c(7), 9-6-1b(7), 9-6-1c(7) new NOTE 2     
A visible garment worn under the uniform top and/or bottom displaying contrasting/different color stitching to the single, solid color of the undergarment and which functions as the actual seam for the undergarment’s construction is legal. 
Rationale:  Stitching on a visible undergarment, top or bottom, of a contrasting or different color to that of the single, solid color of the garment will not distract or cause the color of the undergarment to become confusing.  The stitching must be used for construction of the garment and not design.

4-3-3 PEN     
For the first violation, the competitor shall be required to remove the jewelry before further competition and be issued a warning that a subsequent violation shall result in a disqualification from the event.  The referee shall be notified of the violation by the observing meet official and he/she shall notify the coach of the offending school of the competitor’s violation and the warning.
The penalty and potential of disqualification for wearing jewelry should apply only to the competitor involved.  

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.
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.

7-4-10, 7-5-17     When the number of entries dictates, the games committee may assign competitors to flights of no less than five competitors for preliminary competition or may conduct the event in continuous flights.  In continuing flights, the first five competitors as determined by the games committee constitute a flight.  As a competitor clears the bar, passes at turn at the height or is eliminated, the next competitor in order will be moved up so that the number of competitors in the active flight will be constant.
Defines the minimum number of competitors in a flight and eliminates the maximum number of competitors in a flight.  Further clarifies the use of “five alive” and the procedure to follow to end “five alive” in an orderly fashion. 

7-5-2     The vaulting pole may be of any material and of any length and diameter. It may have a binding of layers of adhesive tape of uniform thickness on the grip end.  However, the plant end of the pole may be protected by layers of tape, PVC, sponge rubber or other suitable material to protect the pole when placed in the planting box.  
Rationale:  Eliminates the limit of the requirement for only two layers of tape and requires the tape to be of uniform thickness.  Does not remove the intent that a competitor cannot build a knob type grip to enhance his/her performance.

7-5-25, 7-5-29 new i     No person shall be allowed to touch the vaulting pole except the pole may be caught by an assigned official, designated pole catcher or the competitor, when circumstances warrant, but never to prevent the pole from dislodging the crossbar which would result in a foul.  
Rationale:  Clarifies who may touch or catch the pole and under what circumstances touching the pole is not allowed.  The touch or catch by the competitor that prevents the crossbar from being dislodged is a foul.

The cross country run shall be a course 2500 to 5000 meters (1.5 to 3.1 miles) in length as determined by the meet director or games committee.  Measurements shall be along the shortest possible route a runner may take.
Rationale:  This method of measurement is a more accurate distance of the running route taken by competitors and updates the rule to current trends in the sport for course measurement.

9-3-3, 9-6-2     Computerized transponders may be used to record the finish of a runner in cross country.  A bib transponder or two transponders per runner, one attached to each shoe must be used.  When transponders are used, the official order of finish for the runners is that recorded by the transponder, torso for bib transponder and foot for chips.
  Updates terminology when referring to a computerized transponder and includes allowing the use of a transponder being placed on the runner’s bib.  Clarifies, when worn on the shoes, there is to be one transponder/chip on each shoe and transponders determine order of finish.

2012 Track and Field Major Editorial Changes

4-4 new NOTE    Clarifies the authority and criteria for the state association to authorize exceptions to the competition rules to provide a reasonable accommodation to individual participants.

5-10-7     Clarifies a legal relay handoff between the incoming and outgoing runners.

6-3-2a and b     Unnecessary verbiage removed in describing the tie breaking procedure in throwing events is removed.

6-6-1     Brings the high school javelin specifications in line with current IAAF rules which are used in the high school event.

7-4-16     Clarifies that it is a foul if the competitor takes off from two feet or uses weights or artificial aids.

9-6-1 PEN, 9-6-4 PEN     Corrects a clerical error and clarifies disqualification.

2012 Track and Field Editorial Changes

1-1-1, 1-1-2, 2-2-3, 4-3-1b(5), 5-3-7 NOTE 1, 6-2-3, 6-2-5, 6-2-6, 6-2-7, 6-6-2, 7-1-3, 7-1-4, 7-2-2, 7-3-3, 7-4-16d, 7-6-29e, 9-4-2, 9-7-4

2012 Track and Field Points of Emphasis

1.  Starter positions

Starters and assistant starters need to position themselves to fairly observe the start of each race. Positioning should minimize the exposure of competitors, officials and spectators to the report of the starting device.

2.  Exchange zones

Exchange zones need to be properly staffed. Officials need to be knowledgeable about relay rules and understand the position of the baton versus the position of the runners.

3.  Jewelry and uniforms

It is the coach's responsibility to make certain that competitors are in legal uniforms and not wearing jewelry. Officials should make an effort to help monitor illegal uniforms and jewelry but do not bear the responsibility for warnings and disqualifications.

4.  Safety around landing systems

Legal landing systems must be used. Meet hosts should also make certain that hard surfaces around the landing systems are properly padded to reduce the potential for injury. Landing areas should be clear of other items (hurdles, chairs, even equipment, etc.).

5.  Throwing event safety

Landing sectors need to be properly marked for the safety of competitors, officials and spectators.