Track & Field Frequently Asked Questions


Track & Field Frequently Asked Questions

 Q:  Must the metric system be used for all field events?


  1. All field events will be administered using the metric system.
  2. All measurements of height or distance may be made with a steel tape, fiberglass tape, bar or electronic measuring device.
  3. When measuring the throwing events or horizontal jumps, that part of the tape that records distance shall be read and announced by the official at the circle, foul line or takeoff board. The tape should be pulled through the center of the throwing circle, the radius of the throwing arc, or from a position one meter behind the takeoff board.  It is mandatory to measure every non-foul trial.
  4. In the Pole Vault and High Jump, measurement of the official height shall be from a point on the same level as the takeoff to the lowest point on the upper side of the crossbar.  Efforts judged to be foul shall not be measured.
    1. High Jump – FHSAA recommends that the crossbar be initially raised in increments of 5 centimeters (~2 inches). The increment shall never be increased. The crossbar shall not be lowered and the increment shall never be less than 3 centimeters.
    2. Pole Vault – FHSAA recommends that the crossbar be initially raised in increments of 15 centimeters (~6 inches). The increment shall never be increased and shall never be less than 5 centimeters (~2 inches).
  5. Recording Performances
    1. Performances on a scorecard shall be a distance or an ‘O’ for a successful trial, an ‘X’ for any type of foul/failure or a dash (-) to indicate a pass.
    2. Metrics is the system of measurement. Distances measured shall be recorded to the nearest lesser centimeter (that is, fractions less than one centimeter must be ignored).  For discus, it shall be recorded to the nearest lesser even centimeter.
    3. Performances shall be announced in metric measure. The display shall be metric.
    4. For state championships records, marks must be measured and recorded metrically.
    5. For state series advancement, any qualifying performances not measured in metrics (measured imperial and converted to metric thereafter) will be advanced, but the contestant will be seeded with no mark at the next state series event (region or state finals).
  6. Measuring Height of Bar

An accurate measurement of the height of the high jump or pole vault crossbar shall be taken each time it is placed at a new height; each time a new crossbar replaces a broken one; and each time a standard(s) has been displaced.

Q: If I’m in a district of with a number of schools equal to the number of running lanes on the track, are running preliminaries required in the relay events at the district meet?

No. You may run the event as a timed final.

Q:  Are officials required at each meet?

An officials association must be contracted to officiate each state series meet.  Individual meet requirements are listed in the 2018 Rules Presentation and in the FHSAA Officials Guidebook

FHSAA strongly recommends that regular season meet hosts contract with an officials association to officiate the meet. 

Q: May I have an athlete compete in four (4) running events?

Yes.  You may have an athlete compete in any combination of four events.

Q: What are the 4X400m and 4X800m relay exchange procedures?

For relay exchanges that do not occur in assigned lanes, outgoing runners shall line up, as instructed by an official, in the relative position as their incoming teammate; the leaders shall pass in the first position, the second-place holder in the second position, etc. This line-up position is determined and should be maintained when the leader is at the beginning of the straight before the pass. When interference is not possible, outgoing runners may move to the inside and should maintain the same relative positions. If interference occurs, the team committing the interference will be subject to disqualification.

Q: Can my athlete have a multicolored undergarment on if it does not extend below the knee?

Yes.  Please see NFHS rule 4-3-1c.
Q:  Are uniform numbers required?

Uniform numbers are not required.  No team or individual will be penalized for having uniform numbers.

Q: Can I video my athlete and show him/her their performance between trials?

Yes.  However, time limits apply per NFHS Rule 6-9 (Throws) and NFHS Rule 7-2-1 (Jumps) for each trial. 

Q: Are lapped competitors allowed to remain in the race?

Contestants in excess of the number of places to be awarded who are lapped will be permitted to finish the race, but must move to the outer lanes of the track (lane 3 or beyond).

Q: Does an athlete have to take a trial before they check out to go to another event?

After an initial check out (timed excuse), the athlete must complete a competitive attempt before being allowed to check out for another field event (i.e. after the first timed excuse, the athlete must take an attempt before they are allowed to check out of the event). 

Q: Can a team participate in two different events on the same day?

Yes, you may split your team up, however you must count each event towards the total maximum contest allowed (Policy 6.1.2(c) – 13 meets)

Q: Can a competitor wear jewelry?


Q: How far off the line are competitors supposed to be before the starter commands “on your marks” in open races for individual races or opening relay legs of 800 meters or more outdoors?

Starting command shall be to direct competitors to take a position three meters (3) behind the starting line or dashed arc behind the line.