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.


Oct 9
Situation: The runners are lined up for a cross country race and one runner anticipates the gun and starts too soon. What consequence?
Ruling here next week.

Oct 2
Situation: In a cross-country race, A1, A2, A3, A4 and A5 are wearing maroon bottoms with a white top and a maroon sash. A6 is wearing white bottoms and a maroon t-shirt  and A7 is wearing blue bottoms and a blue top. The school colors are maroon and white. The coach claims all uniforms were issued by the school. What ruling for NFHS and NCAA rules?

Sept 25
Situation: There is a tie for the team title at the conference cross-country championship . How should the tie be broken. Remember to respond for both NFHS and NCAA rules. 
Ruling: For competitions governed by NFHS rules, "ties in team scoring shall be resolved by comparing the 6th place finishers from the tying teams." The team with the higher placing 6th place finisher wins. If one team does not have a 6th place finisher, the team with one wins. NFHS 9.2.4. For competitions governed by NCAA rules, the tie is broken by comparing "in order the place finish of each of the 5 scoring members of the tied teams. The team with the majority of winning comparisons shall be awarded the higher place."

Sept 18
Situation: Computerized chips/transponders are being used to determine times in a cross-country. Runner A dives across the line to barely edge out Runner B. When the official results are posted, Runner A had the second fastest time, but the judges had awarded her/him first place because his/her torso had crossed the finish line first. Was this the proper result? As always, answer for both NFHS and NCAA rules.
Ruling: No under NFHS rules. NFHS 9.3.3 requires using the chip/transponder results when that system is being used. In 2016, Rule 9-3-3 was revised to recommend the use of a video or photograph to verify the order of finish in races in which the timing system indicates a differential of one-tenth of a second or less. Having the video as a back-up and a process in place for problems that may arise from the use of a computerized transponder/chip system is a good solution, NFHS said.
The NCAA citation is 8.5.6(f). This requires the photo review of places separated by less than 1/10th of a second.