Monday May 28
Situation: Prior to the start of the pole vault competition, the event judge observes a coach of Team A pushing the back of one of the athletes during the takeoff, The official: (a) issues a warning to the competitors that assistance is prohibited, (b) issues a warning to the coach that any assistance is prohibited, (c) disqualifies the competitor, (d) records the first trial as a foul for the competitor.
Ruling: (a), (b) and (d) incorrect procedure; (c) correct procedure.
Comment: "Taps" or assisting a competitor by pushing on his or her back during practice or competition is illegal and shall result in disqualification from the event.
Monday May 21
Situation: A1 strikes the high-jump bar from the top and as a result of a defective support, it slips down, but the bar is not displaced.
Ruling: In case of defective equipment, judges may allow substitute trials.
Monday May 14
Situation: In a 4x400-meter relay A1 drops the baton just before crossing the finish line. After crossing the line, A1 goes back to pick up the baton. When is A1 considered to have finished the race?
Ruling: A1 is considered to have finished the race when some portion of A1's torso breaks the finish-line plane while in possession of the baton.
Monday May 7
Situation: The anchor runner for a relay team falls approaching the finish line so the upper torso is across the line but the hand holding the baton is not across the line. Must the baton be carried across the line to legally finish a relay event?
Ruling: It is not necessary for the hand carrying the baton to cross the line to legally finish.
Rule: 5-9-6, 5-8-1
Monday April 30
Situation: When a relay team reports to the starting line, the official notices that each member of a school relay team has one red leg undergarment and one white leg undergarment exposed beneath the track bottoms. Since all members are identical, the team is allowed to compete.
Ruling: Incorrect procedure.
Comment: The running event or heat begins when the competitors report to the starting line. Having each leg of the undergarment a different solid color does not satisfy the uniform rule.
Rule: 4-1-2 and 4-3-2b
Monday April 23
Situation: A1 fails to report to the clerk of the course for prelims in the 100-meter high hurdles. Because of a false start, the race is recalled, at which time A1 appears at the starting line and asks to take his/her place in the heat.
Ruling: The request will be denied.
Comment: Entries were closed when the clerk turned the runners over to the starter.
Monday April 16
Situation: At a dual meet, the home team's coach informs the visiting team's coach that the trials will be held in the dash and hurdle events. The track is a six lanes, but the home team wishes to enter four, five or six competitors in these events.
Ruling: No trials will be necessary. Since the track can only accommodate six competitors in these events, each team will be restricted to three entries.
Comment: It is common procedure to schedule more than one section of timed finals to allow maximum participation.
Monday April 9
Situation: In the 4X800 relay of the section meet, A3 is wearing a headband that contains a manufacturer's logo. Legal or illegal?
Ruling: If the games committee has designated that it is permissible to wear approved headbands to control the hair, perspiration, etc. (4-2-4o) and if the single logo has no dimension larger than 2 1/4", then the headband is legal.
Comment: The Clerk of Course shall be aware of the Games committee's decision to approve headbands that are not objectionable. If more than one of the relay participants is wearing a headband then it is recommended, but not required, that they shall be the same color and design for team identification.
Monday April 2
Situation: A1 is competing in the high jump wearing only one shoe. When confronted by the high jump judge, A1 states an infected blister would be aggravated if he or she were to be required to wear the shoe, and the judge permits A1 to compete without the shoe. When the coach of B1 protests, the referee upholds the decision of the high jump judge.
Ruling: The referee is in error.
Comment: No official, including the referee, has the authority to set aside a rule. Rule 4-3-1a(1) requires shoes on both feet.
Monday March 26
Situation: A vaulter from team B initiates his/her approach, plants the pole cleanly, and swings upward for the vault. The vaulter stalls and rides the pole back to the ground. The vertical plane was not broken and there was no contact with the landing system or cross bar. The vaulter quickly returns to the starting end of the runway to restart the attempt. The event judge rules a foul.
Ruling: Correct ruling.
Comment: It is not a foul if the vaulter stops and aborts the approach. Once a vaulter is committed to the vault and is beyond the approach, if his/her feet leave the ground and return without successfully clearing the crossbar, it is a foul.
Monday March 19
Situation: A vaulter for team B is not satisfied with his/her approach and pulls up to stop. In doing so, the pole is planted in the box and as the vaulter stops, the momentum causes him/her to leave the ground and return. The vaulter returns to the starting end of the runway and restarts the approach. The vaulter clears the bar and completes the attempt within the allowed 1.5 minutes.
Monday March 12
Situation: The manager and student trainer from Team A are observed directing profanities toward athletes during the laps of a distance relay. The referee disqualifies the offenders from the meet for unsporting conduct, and disqualifies the relay team from the event.
Ruling: Correct procedure.
Comment: A track/cross country team consists of coaches, contestants, managers, trainers and other school personal. Therefore, when a team member acts in an inappropriate way, the team must be penalized.
Rule: 4-5-1 Penalty
Monday March 5
Situation: Following the 4X400-meter relay, a complaint is lodged against Team A because one of its runners was wearing colored socks and the other three white socks.
Ruling: A protest for this situation would not be allowed.
Comment: Socks are not part of the required uniform and should not detract from identifying runners on the same relay team, which is the purpose of requiring members of a relay team to wear identical uniforms.
Rule: 4-3-1 a, b
Monday Feb. 27
Situation: During a running of the girl's 400-meter run, an umpire raises his/her yellow flag because A1's jersey has risen up and her bare midriff is showing.
Ruling: The referee does not disqualify the competitor because when A1 stands upright, the uniform top hangs below the waistband. Rule: 4-3-1b6
Monday Feb. 20
Situation: During the third round of the triple jump A1, before he/she jumps, asks to change the takeoff board. The official at the event allows A1 to change boards. The jump is fair and recorded. Coach of team B protests.
Ruling: NFHS: The protest is denied. Rule 7-6-7 note. NCAA: The protest is allowed. Rule 6-7-2.
Monday Feb. 13
Situation: A competitor in the discus event enters the circle. It has been raining and he/she wants to wipe off his/her hands before starting the attempt to throw the discus. The competitor steps out of the circle and wipes his/her hands on a towel and then re-enters the circle for the throw. All these actions are completed within one minute.
Ruling: Legal. Rule: 6-4-9.
Comment: The competitor may exit and re-enter the circle providing the step out takes place before the attempt is started and the attempt is completed within the prescribed time limit and all other rule requirements for a legal throw are met.
Monday Feb. 6
Situation: A competitor in the shot put begins to move across the throwing circle starting his/her attempt to throw. The competitor slips and stops the attempt. He/she exits the circle and wipes his/her shoes, then re-enters the circle and starts another attempt. This action all occurs during one minute. A foul is called.
Ruling: Foul, correct procedure. Rule: 6-5-9
Comment: In both the discus and shot put, it is a foul if the competitor steps out of the circle after starting the attempt. It is not a foul to step out of the circle before starting the attempt. However, if stepping out of the circle, the competitor's time to complete the throw is based upon when he/she is called.
Monday Jan. 30
Situation: A1 reports to the high jump or starting line wearing a slip-on (sock type) footwear. The event judge/starter indicates he/she will not be allowed to compete. A1's coach files a protest claiming that the shoes have a definite recognizable sole and heel and is designed so it can be securely fastened to the foot.
Ruling: A1 is allowed to compete because it is determined that the footwear is legal as there is a recognizable sole and the heel and the shoe is securely fastened to the foot by elastic.
Comment: Changes in manufacture of shoes now include a variety of fasteners that are acceptable.
Monday Jan. 23
Situation: During the pre-contest meeting, the meet director stated that cellular phones are prohibited in competition areas. Between trials in the high jump, an official observes one of the high jump competitors talking on a cell phone in the competition area. The official: (a) issues a warning to the athlete, (b) disqualifies the athlete from all remaining events, (c) disqualifies the athlete from the high jump only.
Ruling: (c) Correct procedure.
Comment: The pre-meet conference prohibited the use of cell phones. A penalty is appropriate.
Monday Jan. 16
Situation: During the girls 4X100-meter relay, Team A is disqualified for completing an exchange outside the zone. Following the race, the coach for Team A protests, claiming that another team with similar color and style of uniform was actually the violating team. The coach indicates he/she has proof on a videotape that was taken by a parent.
Ruling: Protest denied.
Comment: The use of video replay equipment is prohibited unless the games committee has authorized the use of specific equipment. Providing the games committee does approve the use of video replay or video monitoring equipment, all competing schools should be notified prior to the meet with clear explanation that this is the only equipment that will be used to make decisions related to the meet.
Monday Jan. 9
Situation: With two competitors remaining in the high jump, both A1 and B1 successfully clear the bar at 6 feet, 4 inches an their first attempt. When the bar is raised to 6 feet, 6 inches, A1 elects to pass and B1 misses all three trials. The bar is raised to 6 feet, 8 inches and A1 misses all three trials at that height. Both A1 and B1 have identical number of unsuccessful trials throughout the competition. There is a discrepancy as to whether A1 must make one additional attempt at 6 feet, 8 inches, while B1 makes an attempt at 6 feet, 6 inches.
Ruling: Both competitors will begin the jump-off by having attempt at 6 feet, 6 inches.
Comment: While a case may be made that A1 elected to pass at 6 feet, 6 inches, and therefore should make the jump-off attempt at 6 feet, 8 inches, it must be kept in mind that the jump-off is a separate procedure designed only to break the tie for first place. It is, in fact, a continuation in which any previous failed tries, passes, etc. are meaningless and a jump-off, for several reasons, must begin at the same height for all tied competitors.
Monday Jan. 2
Situation: Two athletes are tied in the high jump. The jump-off began after the bar was lowered one inch. Jumper A cleared the bar on the first attempt. Jumper B missed the height on the first attempt. After a conference with other officials the high jump official determined Jumper B should have two more attempts. Jumper B cleared the bar on the third attempt. The bar was raised one inch and Jumper A missed all three attempts but Jumper B made it on the second attempt.
Was the jump-off conducted properly?
Who should be declared the winner?
The jump-off was not conducted properly.
If after applying the tie breakers a tie remains, the jumpers attempt one more jump at the height they failed.
If they both clear, raise the bar one inch.
If they both miss, lower the bar one inch.
If two or more of the tying competitors clear the height, the bar shall be raised in one-inch intervals.
If no competitor clears the height, the bar is lowered in one inch intervals.
Each competitor shall attempt one trial at each height until the winner is determined.
1) If the height that the tied competitors last attempted is not the same, because of a passed height by one or more of the remaining competitors, the bar shall be lowered to the lowest height last attempted by any of the remaining comprtitors to begin the jump-off.
2) No passed heights shall be permitted in the jump-off.
If the tie concerns any place other than first place, the competitors shall be awarded the same place.
A competitor shall be credited with his/her best achievement if it occurs in a jump-off for first place.
Who should be declared the winner? If there was no protest because of an improper jump off, B is the winner.
If any one can offer more information, please vcoice your opinion.
Monday Dec. 26
Situation: Three competitors have cleared 6 feet in the high jump competition. All missed three attempts at 6 feet 1 inch, and all three had one miss at 6 feet. All jumpers have the same number of unsuccessful trials throughout the competition.
Ruling: A jump-off between A1, B1, and C1 is required if they are tied for first place. If not, they are awarded the same place in the competition.
Comment: The first step to break a tie is to award the competitor with the fewest number of trials for the height at which the tie occurs, i.e., the last height successfully cleared. The second step, if the tie remains, awards the place to the competitor with the fewest total number of unsuccessful trials throughout the competition.
Monday Dec. 19
Situation: At a state qualifying meet, high jumper A1 is unable to clear the bar, which had been raised during his absence while participating in another event, and is awarded fourth place. After the competition is completed in the event, A1 is asked to jump off with fifth-place E1 for an opening in the state championship meet. A1's coach files a protest indicating that the event is over and there should not be a jump-off.
Ruling: The protest is upheld as the competition is over and the bar should not be lowered for a jump-off for any place other than first.
Reference: 7-3-2 NFHS
Monday Dec. 12
Situation: A runner reports to the start of a race, his/her uniform top is not tucked into the waistband of the bottom of the uniform. This is noticed when the competitor is standing upright. The clerk instructs the athlete to tuck in the shirt.
Ruling: This procedure is incorrect.
Monday Dec. 5
Situation: After clearing the high jump bar at a new meet record height, A1 exits the landing pit from the front. The event judge rules the attempt a foul. A1's coach files a protest with the referee.
Ruling: The protest is upheld.
Comment: Exiting the pit from any direction, including the front, is permissible.
Monday Nov. 28
Situation: At the Section Cross Meet (top two teams qualify for state competition), the seven runners competing for Team E are wearing one-piece solid purple uniforms, but E4 has decided to wear gray shorts over his/her uniform. Twenty minutes after the completion of the race, the head coach of the third-place team files a protest to the referee that E4's shorts were gray and he/she should be disqualified. This disqualification would change the team score and the protesting team would advance. The referee calls a meeting with the clerk of the course, chief umpire and umpire crew and learns no one detected E4's uniform being in violation of rule 9-6-4. The referee reviews the video recording and upholds the protest.
Ruling: Incorrect procedure. Comment: The use of the video camera is designated by the games committee to help determine places (3-2-4p) and not for protest of officials' decisions.
Monday Nov. 21
Situation: In a jump-off to break a tie between A1 and B1 in the high jump, A1 fails the first trial and B1, knowing the bar will be lowered, wishes to conserve energy for the next height and either: (a) fails to inititate a trial in 1 minute after being called; or (b) walks up to the bar and deliberately pushes the bar off.
Ruling: The judge should order B1 to make an attempt or face disqualifitation for unacceptable conduct, failing to follow directions of a meet official. Rule: 7-4-17, 4-5-2
Monday Nov. 14
Situation: After clearing the high jump cleanly, A1 is charged with a foul attempt, as the landing pad hit the standard, dislodging the crossbar when he/she landed on the pad. A1's coach protests to the referee.
Ruling: The protest is upheld
Comment: If the official is certain that the competitor has cleanly cleared the bar, and the landing pad caused the bar to be dislodged, the jump should ruled a fair jump.
True under both codes: NFHS 7-4-16. NCAA 6-5-3, 6-5-4.
Monday Nov. 7
Situation: At the start of a cross country race a runner falls, due to contact with another runner.
a) at 50 meters
b) at 100 meters
c) at 150 meters
The starter takes what action?
Ruling: In A and B the race is recalled by firing the starting device. In C the race is not recalled.
Monday Oct. 31
Situation: In a cross country race, Team A has six runners competing. Runner A 5 runs off the course. Runners A1-A4 were the top finishers in the race. A6 comes in last.
a) disqualifies the entire team and Team A runners displace other runners for scoring.
b) disqualifies the entire team and Team A runners do not displace other runners for scoring.
c) disqualifies A5 and uses A6 for scoring.
Ruling c) correct procedure
Monday Oct. 24
Situation: During a triangular cross country meet, the coach of Team B brings cups and water to distribute to his/her team members to keep them from dehydrating during the races as it is a day with high heat and humidity. The games committee has indicated it will not provide water on the course for all competitors, but has identified the unrestricted areas. The Team B coach hands out water from the unrestricted area to his or her team members during the run. An opposing coach complains, stating this is giving assistance to those competitors.
Ruling: This is permissible.
Comment: The coach may give liquid to his/her team members provided it is done in an unrestricted area. It would be much more appropriate for the games committee to provide liquids for all competitors at specific points along the course when temperature and/or humidity could cause concern for competitors' welfare.
Monday Oct. 17
Situation: After the cross country race begins, runners from Team A join arms to form a barrier forcing other participants to go around this human wall. After 200 yards, the runners drop their arms and run a regular rece without incident. By the end of the race, two runners from Team A advance to the next level of competition. Team A's total score afforded the entire team a first-place award and the chance to advance.
The referee: a) advances all team members.
b) disqualifies the team but allows the top two individuals to qualify.
c) disqualifies the entire team.
Ruling: a) and b) illegal procedure
c) Team A shall be disqualified
Comment: The referee's opinion based on rule 9-7-2 is each competitor interfered with other competitors. With the entire team in violation, individuals do not have the opportunity to advance, even when individuals have outstanding performances.
Monday Oct. 10
Situation: A cross country course is marked with a white line identifying the race course as well as by flag designations. Due to an error in laying out the course, the white directional line passes on the right side of the a yellow flag and A1 runs on the marking line instead of passing on the left side of the yellow flag.
Ruling: A1 will be disqualified. Comment: While it is unfortunate that the misplaced course marking line may have caused some confusion, the rule clearly states that in case of a discrepancy such as this, the "directional flag markings take precedence over any other course markings." NFHS Rule: 9-1-2
Monday Oct. 3
Situation: There is a tie for first place at the conference cross country meet. Each of the two teams involved have five runners. To break the tie, the score of the first four runners of each team is totaled to break the tie.
Ruling: Correct procedure. Comment: The teams are tied due to the place finish of the five runners. To break the tie you would go to the total team scores by using the first four runners. The scores are based on the full field of runners. and the tie is broken based on the same scores. NFHS Rule 9-2-5.
Monday Sept. 26
Situation: After being called to the starting line at a cross country meet for the starter's final instructions, all members of Team A run away from the starting line for a team cheer. The starter warns the team that if any further run-outs occur before the start, those involved will be disqualified for unacceptable conduct.
Ruling: Illegal procedure. Comment: Once teams have been called to the starting line by the starter for final instructions, no futher run-outs shall be permitted. A warning is issued to the field. Any second violation shall result in a disqualification. NFHS Rule: 9-4-4
Monday Sept 19
Situation: For the first time, computer chips are being used to determine times in a cross country meet. Runner A dives across the finish line to barely edge out runner B. The finish judges pick runner A, because his/her torso clearly crossed the line first. When the official results come in, runner A had a second fastest time, but was awarded first place.
Ruling: Illegal procedure.
Comment: The games committee shall determine in advance if something other than time will determine placement. Although runner A dove across the line to finish torso-first, cross country requires time and place be recorded when the computer chip in the shoe crosses the finish line.
Monday Sept 12
Situation: While inspecting the cross country course prior to the meet, the visiting coach discovers that in several portions of the course, bales of hay or logs have been placed across the running course, theoretically to make the course more challenging. The coach of the visiting team objects to the artificial barriers.
Ruling: The artificial barriers shall be removed. Rule: 9-1-3b.
Monday Sept 5
Situation: After a frustrating cross country performance, the referee hears A1 uttering profanities to himself/herself. The referee disqualifies the runner and A1's finishing position is removed from the scoring. A1's coach protests to the referee and then appeals to the jury of appeals, saying the disqualification occurred after the race had concluded and was official.
Ruling: Appeal upheld
Comment: The jury of appeals determined that the infraction occurred after the race had concluded for the individual competitor. The jury of appeals should also report the behavior to the state association as unsporting conduct for consequences from the state association. Rule 9-3-1
Monday June 6
A competitor reports to a field event after the first competitive attempt has been made.
Situation: An athlete reports to check in, for the second flight, after the first flight has been completed.
Under both codes the athlete is not allowed to compete. NCAA: Rule 6-2-1 last sentence. NFHS: Rule 4-1-3.
Monday May 30
Situation: Following the 4x400-meter relay, a complaint is lodged against Team A because one of its runners was wearing colored socks and the other three were wearing white socks.
Ruling: A protest for this situation would not be allowed.
Comment: Socks are not part of the required uniform and should not detract from identifying runners on the same relay team, which is the purpose of requiring members of a relay team to wear identical uniforms. Rule 4-3-1
Answer: Ruling: The "B" team cannot score. The remaining three runners from team A are also DQ'd. The 4x100 is also counted as an event under the three-event rule. NFHS: Rule 4-1-1&2
Monday May 16
Measurement of the javelin:
Situation: The javelin lands: (a) with the furthermost point touching just prior to the javelin sliding along the ground on the shaft; (b) almost flat, but the rear portion of the shaft touching slightly before the javelin slides along the ground: or (c) perfectly flat.
NCAA ruling: In (a) measure from the spot where the furthermost tip of the javelin first touched the ground. In (b), the throw is not measured; it is a flat. In (c), the throw is measured from the tip unless there is a judge positioned outside the sector line, perpendicular with the landing and low enough to the ground to determine which part of the implement made first contact with the ground. Summary: If you do not have a sector judge positioned properly outside and perpendicular to the landing area you must measure the throw at the tip unless it clearly hits tail first. References: 6-10-1, 6-10-3
Monday May 9 NFHS Rules: Seven competitors are advanced to the finals in the shotput event. After A1 has taken two throws in the finals, officials discover that B1 should have been the seventh-place qualifier and not A1. Ruling: A1's mark in the finals stands. Officials will give B1 three throws in the finals. COMMENT: The performance of A1 in the finals cannot be set aside, even though A1 was advanced due to an official's oversight or error. If the competition in the finals had been completed before discovering the error, no throws could be awarded to B1. NFHS 6-2-4 Monday May 2 Warm-ups shall not be allowed unless supervised by each contestant's coach.Answer: This is false but the codes are different.NFHS: The contestant’s coach or an official may supervise warm-ups. 6-2-13 7-2-9NCAA: Only an official may supervise warm-ups. 6-1-20
Monday April 25 The competition area is determined by the host school and the games committee is then informed.Answer: False under both codes. The games committee has the authority to determine the competition area. NFHS 3-2-3b NCAA 3-2-q+r Monday April 18 Following the preliminaries, final competition in the field events shall be chosen by lot.Answer: False under both codes the order of finals is reverse order of finish. NFHS 6-2-5 NCAA 8-3-c
Monday April 11Cross country teams may chose their own starting position based on a first-come basis. Answer: Under both codes the starting positions are chosen by lot. NFHS 9-4-1 NCAA 8-3-c
Monday April 4A competitor in the discus throw has the discus hit the cage. The discus then lands inside the sector lines. If the throw is otherwise legal, the throw is measured. Answer: NFHS; foul 6-4-9e. NCAA: legal throw 6-9-3 note 2.March 28 question: In a track event, a contestant is any athlete entered in the event and becomes a competitor when reporting to the starting line. Answer: NFHS; false 4-1-1,2. NCAA does not specify when a contestant becomes a competitor, but does address the responsibility of the athlete. 4-2-1.March 21 question: A coach's first level of protest is to the jury of appeals. Answer: This is not the case under both codes. NFHS: The protest must first be made to the referee. 3-5-2 The role of the jury of appeals is further explained in 3-5-1, 3-5-2 Situations eligible for appeal are discussed 3-5-3 a-d Situations not subject to protest are discussed 3-5-4 a-c The games committee may act as jury of appeals 3-2-4 l NCAA: The coach must first protest to the referee. 4-3-6 a-e, 4-3-7March 14 question: The field can be charged with a false start rather than charging the false start to an individual competitor. Answer: Under both codes the individual competitor is charged with a false start and DQ. NFHS: 5-7-4 pen 9-7-1 pen NCAA: 5-2-1c 5-2-2aMarch 7, 2011 question: Prior to beginning the attempt in the shot put or discus, the competitor cleans the ring with a towel, steps out of the ring and drops the towel, then returns to the ring to initiate a throw. The event judge shall allow the throw.
Answer: Under both codes the throw is allowed, unless the 1 minute time limit has expired. NFHS: 6-4-9c 6-5-9c 2010 NFHS Case Book: 6-4-9 situation d 6-5-9 situation a 6-5-9 situation b NCAA: 6-1-2 6-8-1 6-8-3c,1,2,3 and h 6-9-3c NCAA rule interpretations 6-8-3. Feb. 28, 2011 question: A competitor who inadvertently runs out of his/her lane on the straightaway taking three or more steps on the lane line to either his/her left or right shall be disqualified. Answer: During races run in lanes under both codes this does not lead to a disqualification unless the runner obstructs another runner. NCAA the runner gains a material advantage. NFHS;5-11-1,b NCAA;5-4-1, 5-5-2aFeb. 21, 2011 question: After passing the baton, the relieved runner jogs straight ahead. An opponent makes contact with the relieved runner. The team of the relieved runner shall be disqualified. Answer: Under both codes: NFHS and NCAA the relieved runner is NOT disqualified. NFHS:5-10-8 NCAA:5-8-6, 5-9g
NFHS ruling: In (a), measure from the spot where the furthermost tip of the javelin first touched the ground. In (b), measure from the rearmost point of the javelin shaft. In (c), it must be assumed the first point of contact was the cord grip and the measurement would be from the end of the cord grip nearest to the scratch line. Reference: 6-6-12, 6-6-13