Track and Field Comments on the Rules

By NFHS on February 10, 2021 Track & Field/Cross Country Print

NOTE: Due to the cancellation of spring sports last year because of the Coronavirus, the 2020 NFHS Track and Field Rules will be used for the 2021 season. The Comments on the Rules written last year will apply for the 2021 season. These comments, which all reference the 2020 NFHS Track and Field/Cross Country Rules Book, will be in effect for the 2021 season. 


4-6-5g - Providing assistance to an injured or ill competitor is generally portrayed as good sportsmanship; therefore, may not be penalized. The competitor receiving assistance is disqualified, but when no advantage is gained by the competitor assisting or their team then the assisting competitor may not be penalized.  

 5-3-3 and 4 – In relays with legs of 200 meters or less the acceleration zone has been eliminated and the exchange zone has been expanded 10 meters in the direction of the incoming competitor. The rule does not require that tracks be repainted or resurfaced so there is no immediate cost to schools. The committee believes that this change will ease the officiating of the exchange.

6-2-6 – Running backwards or in the opposite, non-legal direction, is now a violation on all horizontal jumps, pole vault or javelin runways. The change provides a more organized warm-up period; giving athletes more awareness of their surroundings to help minimize injuries during warm-ups.

6-3-2b –Provides appropriate metric increments for vertical jumps tie-breaking jump-offs. 

6-9-5 –Clarifies the language of the 2019 rule change for long jump and triple jump pits and ensures pit measurements being built after 2019 are within industry standards for safety. 

8-1-1 – Redefines that a course should be clearly marked with any or all of the methods listed in the rule.

8-1-3 –  Provides recommendations for cross country course set-up including a straight away at the beginning of the course.