What's the rule?

So you think you know the rules? Test yourself, thanks to the Professional Development Committee and member Mark Young. As you encounter situations during meets and want to make suggestions for situations to the Professional Development Committee, please contact Young.

The format is simple. Each week, a new situation is presented below and you can determine if the rule has been correctly applied. The ruling is published the following week. When you answer the questions, consider both college and high school rules.

An archive of previous years is available from the sidebar.


Jan 14
Situation:  Because of inclement weather, the games committee decides to move some events, including the high jump, indoors, a considerable distance from the track. The event judges were authorized to allow successive trials, change flights, etc, to accommodate competitors and not delay competition because an athlete was at the track in another event. When A1, who was at the track competing in an event reported to the high jump, the bar had already been raised from the opening height to the next in the progression. A1 requested that the bar be lowered to the opening and was accommodated by the event judge. A1 went on to clear that height and two more. At the conclusion of the event, but prior to the results being approved, the coach of Team B protested the lowering of the bar. What result should ensue? Respond for both NFHS and NCAA rules. 

Ruling here next week.

Jan 7
Situation: During a relay, A1 drops the baton: a) while outside an exchange zone, b) while within an exchange zone, or c) within an exchange zone where it rolls in to an adjacent lane and is retrieved by A1. Who may retrieve the baton and under what conditions so as to avoid disqualification of Team A?
Ruling: NFHS 5.10.7 allows either A1 or A2 to retrieve the baton, provided that in c), there is no interference with another team and the baton is retrieved within the limits of proper exchange zone. If the baton is dropped outside the exchange zone, it must be retrieved by the runner who dropped it. In either circumstance, both sets of rules prohibit interference while retrieving the baton.
    Similarly, NCAA 5.8.5. 

Dec 17
Situation: A one-turn stagger is used to start the 800 meter run. A1, running in lane 2, breaks for the inside lane two strides before reaching the break line and is disqualified. The coach of Team A protests that runners are permitted to run two steps inside their assigned lane before being disqualified. Ruling? Remember to respond for both NFHS and NCAA Rules.
Ruling: Protest denied. NFHS 5.12.2 requires runners to run the entire distance to break line in their assigned lane prior to cutting to the pole. NCAA 5.5.2(d) requires the disqualification of a runner who does not cross the break line within his/her assigned lane.

Dec 10
Situation: Two competitors from Team A are competing for the conference title in the 3000 meter run. As they near finish line, leading the field, they grasp hands and cross the line together. The runners are disqualified by the meet referee. Is this the correct ruling? Be sure to respond for both NCAA and NFHS rules. 
Ruling: Under NFHS 4.6.5, this conduct would be considered assistance and result in a disqualification, but it might also qualify as unsporting behavior under 4.6.1.  
    NCAA 4.2.3 covers unsportsmanlike conduct. 4.2.4 prohibits assistance.

Dec 3
SituationCompetitor A1 is called for his/her second attempt in the high jump. After conferring with the coach, he/she initiates the attempt after 23 seconds have elapsed since the name was called. She/he runs through the mark and returns to her/his mark. He/she begins again after 58 seconds have elapsed, jumps and clears the bar. What should the ruling be? Be sure to respond for both NFHS and NCAA rules.
Ruling: A clearance under NFHS 6.2.2; it is failed attempt under NCAA 6.1.3