How do the athletes start a race?
For all running events up to and including the 400m, the athletes will need to wait one metre back from the starting line. The starter, who controls the race, will call them up to the line when all the timekeepers are ready. Athletes can do a standing or crouch start.
How do middle and long distance races start?
- For the 800m, the start is in lanes with two athletes sharing one lane. The athletes must use a standing start. Athletes can cross over to the inside lane once they have passed the designated mark on the track; this is around about the start of the back straight.
- For events 1500m and over, athletes line up side by side along a curved start line marked on the track. The athletes in this situation can cross to the inside lane as soon as it is safe to do so.
How do I teach a child to start?
- ‘On your marks’ position – stand with feet shoulder width apart, place one foot forward pointing down the track.
- ‘Set’ position – bend at hips and knees, opposite leg and arm forward.
- Action on ‘Go’ – drive arms and legs – step through with back foot first.
- Crouch or block starts can be used but should be taught by someone with experience in the area (Centre coach or official).
What are the safety considerations?
- Athletes from U11 age group and upwards are able to wear spikes at Centre level, at the Centre Management discretion, in events run entirely in lanes.
- Athletes are not allowed to put their spikes on until told to do so by the officials.
- Athletes must remove their spikes prior to leaving their lane at the end of the race.
- Shoes must be worn by all athletes while competing in any LAQ sanctioned track and field competition.
What are some “Handy Tips” for track races?
- For younger age groups, have coloured cones at the end of the finish line so the athlete will run to that cone and not detour to a parent off the track.
- For younger age groups, do not allow the athletes to crouch start or use blocks until they have mastered the standing start.
- Organise the athletes who are waiting for their race into their heats and lanes. Have them sit in lines behind their allocated lane, ready to be called to the start line.
- Use inside lanes for distance events and other lanes for 200m / 400m.