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Track and Field
Monday, September 28, 2020
World Athletics Announce Rule Modifications

In case you missed it, World Athletics will be introducing a significant change to the way take-off fouls are judged in long and triple jumps, starting on November 1 2021.

Currently, a no-jump is called if an athlete is judged, while taking off, to have touched the ground beyond the take-off line. A plasticine board set at an angle of 45° has been long used to assist with such decisions. Under the new Technical Rule (number 30.1.1), it will be a failure on take-off if any part of the take-off shoe or foot breaks the vertical plane of the take-off line. It was felt that this would be more understandable and simpler to judge. The old rule occasionally allowed toecaps to visibly broach the line without marking plasticine. In the future, such moments are to be fouls and the plasticine board, if used, is to be set at 90°.

The change was due to be enforced from November 1, 2020, but in view of this year’s exceptional circumstances – and particularly because of the postponement of the Olympic Games to 2021 – it has been delayed for one year.

Summary of recent rule modifications

Technical Rule 1 (was IAAF rule 100) – World Championships and Olympic Games no longer excluded from competitions where events may be held in an alternative format
TR 3.1 (was 141.1) – The under-18 category descriptors boys and girls are replaced with men” and women
TR 3.3-4 (was 141.4-6) – Eligibility for men’s, women’s and universal categories is elaborated with further references to the terms transgender and differences in sex development
TR 5.1 (was 143.1) – It is no longer required that vests should have the same color on the front and back; It is noted that the way hair is worn may be regarded as impeding the judge’s view
TR 6.4.7-8 (was 144.4) – Physical support by designated individuals and pacing by lights or similar added to list of allowable assistances
TR 8.4.4 (was 146.4.d) – Any protest of a non-finishing athlete or relay team is to be dismissed if they commit a rule breach unrelated to that protest
TR 17.6 (was 163.6) – It is clarified that relay runners who correctly leave and return to the track while retrieving a baton (under TR 24.6.3) are not to be disqualified
TR 17.15.3 (was 163.15.c) – Athletes in track races may carry water or refreshment providing it was there from the start or supplied at an official station
TR 19.18 (was 165.18) – Timing systems operating automatically at the start but not the finish are prohibited
TR 20.8 (was 166.8) – It is recommended that in races longer than 800m where rounds are conducted, the number of athletes qualifying by time (as opposed to place) should be minimized
TR 23.5 (was 169.5) – The steeplechase barrier height for under-18 men is lowered from 0.914m to 0.838m
TR 25.17 (was 180.17) – The time allowed for trials across all field events, with more than three athletes competing (or for their very first trial), is again one minute (as was the case prior to 2017)
TR 30.1.1 (was 185.1) – (From November 1, 2021) – Horizontal jump take-off failures shall be re-defined to include any breaking of the vertical plane of the take-off line. Rule 29.5 (was 184.5) strongly encourages the use of video or technology to assist with such judgements. It further specifies that a plasticine indicator board may be used, and that this should be set at an angle of 90° rather than the previous 45°
TR 54.7 (was 230.7) – In walks, the term “Pit Lane” is renamed “Penalty Zone”
TR 56.3.2 (was 250.3.b) – The required length of the “unhampered” run at the start of cross country races is reduced from 1500m to 300m
TR 57 (was 251 & 252) – The previous rules are replaced with a new and single one covering both Mountain and Trail running
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