Where do I stand if I am on the straight track?
For all races on the straight track, the starter stands on the inside of the track. Stand a couple of metres back from the inside lane so you can see all competitors in the narrowest possible angle of vision.
Where do I stand if I am on the circular track?
For all races on the circular track, the starter should stand at the back of the competitors on the inside or outside of the track where you can see all competitors in the narrowest possible angle of vision.
How do I start the race?
- As the Starter, check with the Chief Timekeeper that all the timekeepers are ready (usually with a hand signal) / flag.
- In races up to and including 400m, call the athletes up to the line and give the order: – “On Your Mark – Set”, and then the starting pistol is fired.
- In races over 400m, give the command – “On Your Marks” and then the starting pistol is fired.
- When the order “On Your Marks” is given, a reasonable length of time should elapse before the command “Set” is given (once all athletes are settled and no movement is detected).
- If an athlete is taking too long to settle into the “Set” position, then all athletes should be asked to stand up and the command is given again.
- Once you are happy that they are all still in the “Set” position, the gun is fired.
- Assuming that there is no false start, for this race your job is now over.
What are the basic rules?
- Athletes must start from behind the line (not touching it).
- If an athlete “breaks” before the gun is fired, the starter declares a false start. In the case of a false start the gun is fired a second time.
- If a competitor does 2 false starts, they will be disqualified.
- A crouch Start may only be used by U11 – U17 athletes for all track events (up to and including the 400m event).
What are the safety considerations?
- Make sure the gun is only loaded when you are about to use it.
- Keep the starting caps in a cool dry place/container (not in your pocket).
- Make sure you wear protective ear muffs or ear plugs.
What are some “Handy Tips” for starters?
- Blow a whistle first to signal to athletes that the race is about to start.
- For younger age groups, do not keep them in the “Set” position for too long (sometimes it is difficult to have U6’s completely still at “Set”).
- Call the next race up as soon as the prior race has begun.
- Signal to the timekeepers as soon as the track is clear that you are ready to start the next race.