Answers to the Track and Field Knowledge Quiz

The rules actually specify a great deal about those batons!

This quiz brought to you in the interest of helping everyone be better informed!

1. How many meets (varsity or sub-varsity) are athletes allowed each season in Colorado--exclusive of league and state meets?

Colorado athletes are allowed 11 meets. Those 11 meets do include any non-rankings meets the athlete participates in. The team is allowed an unlimited number of meets, except one only in the week prior to State--though that one-only part could possibly change at this spring's CHSAA Legislative Council.

2. How far apart are the hurdles in the 300 meter hurdles?

The hurdles are spaced at 35-meter intervals.

3. How long is a relay exchange zone? How long is it if you include the acceleration zone (which not all relays have)?

Exchange zones are 20 meters long, 30 meters if you count the full acceleration zone on short sprint relays.

4. How long is a regulation baton?

30 cm is the maximum allowable length. Also specified is that the baton is smooth, hollow, has a circumference of between 4 and 5 inches, is made of a single piece of rigid material, and weighs in at at least 50 grams. Tape may not be used on a baton.

5. What is the maximum allowable assisting wind for a state-qualifying mark in the 100, 200, 100/110H, LJ, or TJ?

2.0 meters per second, which, for reference, is a little less than 5 miles per hour.

6. How wide is a lane on a regulation track?

42 inches.

7. Is it permissible in Colorado to merge a boys and girls heat of a race and run them together?


8. How many consecutive steps (one foot or both feet) on or over a lane line results in a disqualification?


9. At what length does an compression underlayer on the legs become treated as an undergarment and therefore fall outside of the uniform rule?

Anything that ends above the knee is treated as an undergarment and is therefore a matter of indifference as far as the uniform rule is concerned.

10. How long does a field event competitor have to complete an attempt once said competitor's name has been called (assume we are not yet down to three or fewer competitors)?

One minute.

11. By far, which track event experiences the most timing errors and why?

The 3200. It is typically very difficult to sort out lapped runners and meets are reluctant to run multiple heats of the 3200, thus increasing the potential for multiple lapped runners.

12. What is the ruling if a pole vaulter's pole breaks during an attempt?

A broken pole is not considered a foul, and the vaulter is allowed another attempt (unless, as Adam Kedge pointed out in the comments on the original quiz, the vaulter somehow makes it over the bar in spite of the broken pole).

13. Under what circumstances may a competitor leave the track to retrieve a dropped baton?

By rule, as long as he/she does not create interference for runners from other teams. A dropped baton is not the end of the story from a rules standpoint.

14. By rule, if a competitor assigned to finals in an event scratches his or her place in finals, under what circumstances may the next highest finisher in prelims be brought into finals?

You do not fill places in finals. Only the designated number of top competitors from prelims advance to finals. Finals will have less than a full allotment of competitors if one or more of these individuals bows out of participating in finals.

15. What happens if two competitors in a track event have the same time when rounded to hundredths of a second?

A tie is broken by going to 1/1000 of a second on the camera. If the tie still remains, then that position in the race is considered a tie. Generally, this is only done when a position or lane in finals is at stake, or when points are at stake.