AY Honor Track & Field Answer Key

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Track & Field

Skill Level






Approval authority

General Conference

Track and Field AY Honor.png
Track & Field
Skill Level
Approval authority
General Conference
Year of Introduction
See also


Know the basic rules, safety considerations, and warm-up exercises for the six track and field events listed below.

50 yard dash


The Start

Starting blocks are used for all competition sprint (up to and including 400 m) and relay events (first leg only, up to 4x400 m). The starting blocks consist of two adjustable footplates attached to a rigid frame. Races commence with the firing of the starter's gun. The starting commands are "On your marks" and "Set". Once all athletes are in the set position, the starter's gun is fired, officially starting the race. For the 100 m, all competitors are lined up side-by-side and race down a straight course. For the 200 m, 300 m and 400 m, which involve curves, runners are staggered for the start so they are all the same distance from the finish line.

In the rare event that there are technical issues with a start, a green card is shown to all the athletes. The green card carries no penalty. If an athlete is unhappy with track conditions after the "on your marks" command is given, he must raise his hand before the "set" command and provide the Start referee with a reason for raising their hand. It is then up to the Start referee to decide if the reason is valid. In the event that the Start referee deems the reason invalid, a yellow card (warning) is issued to that particular athlete. In the event that the athlete is already on a warning the athlete is disqualified.

False starts

"An athlete, after assuming a full and final set position, shall not commence his(/her) starting motion until after receiving the report of the gun, or approved starting apparatus. If, in the judgement of the Starter or Recallers, he does so any earlier, it shall be deemed a false start."


For all Olympic sprint events, runners must remain within their pre-assigned lanes, which measure 1.22 metres (4 feet) wide, from start to finish. The lanes can be numbered 1 through normally 8 or 9 rarely 10, starting with the inside lane. Any athlete who runs outside the assigned lane to gain an advantage is subject to disqualification. If the athlete is forced to run outside of his or her lane by another person, and no material advantage is gained, there will be no disqualification. Also, a runner who strays from his or her lane in the straightaway, or crosses the outer line of his or her lane on the bend, and gains no advantage by it, will not be disqualified as long as no other runner is obstructed.

The finish

The first athlete whose torso reaches the vertical plane of the closest edge of the finish line is the winner. To ensure that the sprinter's torso triggers the timing impulse at the finish line rather than an arm, foot, or other body part, a double Photocell is commonly used. Times are only recorded by an electronic timing system when both of these Photocells are simultaneously blocked. Photo finish systems are also used at some track and field events.

Safety Considerations

Running is an easy sport to get into but you want to take steps to avoid injury. Injuries can include sprained ankles, blisters, stress fractures and tendonitis. On the track other runners are the main hazard. Off the track, you must stay alert for trip hazards, vehicles and even animals.

Avoiding Running Injuries Up to half of all runners are injured every year, so try to avoid getting hurt.

Running, especially on asphalt or other hard surfaces, puts a significant stress on the legs and back leading to various problems. The most common running injuries are sprained ankles, blisters, tendonitis, chondromalacia (runner's knee), iliotibial band (ITB) syndrome, heel pain, and shinsplints. Teen runners are also at risk of growth plate injuries.

Before running: Choose the right gear, warm up your muscles before you start, and be prepared for the weather. Dress warmly when its cold and drink enough when it is hot.

While running: be alert to your surroundings including other runners and for hazards. If listening to music, be extra alert because you may not hear cars.

Stop running as soon as you notice signs of trouble. If you have pain, seek medical attention. Ignoring the warning signs of an injury leads to bigger problems later.


Warming up prepares the sprinter's muscles by increasing the force of their muscle contractions and speeding up muscle contraction rate, giving the sprinter more power and speed. Warming up also helps nervous young athletes stabilize their adrenalin rush before competition, helping them better control their pre-event nervousness. Here's how sprinters should go about warming up for races and training sessions.

Phase One: Start your sprinter's warm up with 10-15 minutes jogging to increase body temperature--slow and easy.

Phase Two: This should follow on immediately after phase two and consists of 10-15 minutes of dynamic stretching exercises to reduce muscle stiffness. Dynamic (ballistic) stretches through a wide range of motion work best because they are closer to the athlete's actual movements in competition; and research shows that static stretching exercises do not simulate rapid running movement and may actually cause a reduction in leg power.

Phase Three: The sprinter progresses to 10-15 minutes of general and event-specific drills. These specific drills put the finishing touches on the warm up and prepare the athlete for sprint training. The drills usually include leg speed exercises, and it is here that pre-race and pre-training warm ups diverge.

The pre-race warm up needs a few (3-6) easy acceleration "stride throughs" over 50 meters (but no longer than this). Follow these accelerations with a few practice starts. This phase should finish 5 minutes before the race start, and all the runner needs to do until then is walk/jog to keep warm. The pre-competition warm-up needs to be controlled so that it does not deplete the sprinter's high-energy phosphates ATP and PC.

600 yard run


The rules for the 600 yard run are the same as for the 50 yard dash.

Safety Considerations

Also same as for a 50 yard dash


You should warm up as for the 50 yard dash.



Hurdling is the act of running and stepping over an obstacle at speed. Various events use hurdles, a series of barriers set at precisely measured heights and distances which each athlete must pass by running over. Failure to pass over, by passing under, or intentionally knocking over hurdles will result in disqualification. Accidental knocking over of hurdles is not cause for disqualification, but the hurdles are weighted to make doing so disadvantageous.

Start and finish rules are the same as in sprints and other running events.

The most prominent hurdles events are 110 meters hurdles for men, 100 meters hurdles for women, and 400 meters hurdles (both sexes) – these three distances are all contested at the Summer Olympics and the World Championships in Athletics. The two shorter distances take place on the straight of a running track, while the 400 m version covers one whole lap of a standard oval track. Events over shorter distances are also commonly held at indoor track and field events, ranging from 50 meters hurdles upwards. Women historically competed in the 80 meters hurdles at the Olympics in the mid-20th century. Hurdles race are also part of combined events contests, including the decathlon and heptathlon.

Safety Considerations

Same as the other running events.


This running event should be warmed up for like other short distance running events as described under 50 yard dash.

Running broad jump


You are to start at the board and sprint 12 strides. At the end of your 12 strides, sprint to the board and jump with your right knee up. Land in the sand with your feet parallel. This event is now usually called the long jump.

Safety Considerations

You really cannot hurt yourself during this event, but you should not be running if you have any sort of knee, ankle, or hip problems because the impact when you land in the sand can be excessive to some people.


Warm ups for the long jump would be drills such as doing short sprints and stretching. Jumpers practice the run up 5 to 10 times for every time the practice a jump because hitting the block just right without going over is so important to avoid disqualifying.

High jump


The rules for the high jump are set by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

1. Jumpers must take off on one foot. 2. Competitors may begin jumping at any height announced by the chief judge, or may pass, at their own discretion. Three consecutive missed jumps, at any height or combination of heights, will eliminate the jumper from competition. 3. A jump is considered a failure if the bar is dislodged by the action of the jumper whilst jumping or the jumper touches the ground or breaks the plane of the near edge of the bar before clearance. 4. The jumper who clears the greatest height during the final wins. If two or more jumpers tie for first place, the tie-breakers are: 1) The fewest misses at the height at which the tie occurred; and 2) The fewest misses throughout the competition.

Safety Considerations

Assuming you are working with a deep foam crashpad, the way to get hurt is to land on your head. Those who use the Folsbury Flop land on their shoulders and upper back.


Warm-up is basically the same for all Track and Field events at the high school level.

Relay race


The 4 × 100 metres relay or sprint relay is an athletics track event run in lanes over one lap of the track with four runners completing 100 metres each. The first runners must begin in the same stagger as for the individual 400 m race. A relay baton is carried by each runner and must be passed within a 20 m changeover box (usually marked by yellow lines) which extends 10 m on either side of each 100 m mark of the race. Another line is marked 10 m further back, marking the earliest point at which the outgoing runner may begin (giving up to 10 m of acceleration before entering the passing zone).

Transferring of the baton in this race is typically blind. The outgoing runner reaches a straight arm backwards when they enter the changeover box, or when the incoming runner makes a verbal signal. The outgoing runner does not look backwards, and it is the responsibility of the incoming runner to thrust the baton into the outstretched hand, and not let go until the outgoing runner takes hold of it. Runners on the first and third legs typically run on the inside of the lane with the baton in their right hand, while runners on the second and fourth legs take the baton in their left. Polished handovers can compensate for a lack of basic speed to some extent, and disqualification for dropping the baton or failing to transfer it within the box is common, even at the highest level.

Safety Considerations

Same as for all running events, see the 50 yard dash section.


Warm-up the same as described for the 50 yard dash.


Run the 50-yard (45.7 meters) dash in the time (seconds) for your sex and age as follows:
Age 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
Boys 8.2 8.0 7.8 7.5 7.1 6.9 6.7
Girls 8.5 8.4 8.2 8.1 8.0 8.1 8.3


In sprinting, which part of the foot should touch first during the stride? What are the proper arm and head positions?

When sprinting, the forefoot should always touch the ground first, and it should do this when the body's center of mass is directly above the foot. The heel should not touch the ground at all. A good way to develop this technique is to run barefoot, as barefoot running makes it painful to land on the heel.

The body should be held erect except during the start, and the chin should be held up. The elbow should be flexed at 90° as the arms swing at the sides, close to the body at all times. The fist should come up the height of the shoulder and then swing down to the hips in a hammering action.&


Run the 600-yard (548.6 meters) run-walk in the time (minutes/seconds) for your sex and age as follows:
Age 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
Boys 2'33" 2'27" 2'21" 2'10" 2'01" 1'54" 1'51"
Girls 2'48" 2'49" 2'49" 2'52" 2'46" 2'46" 2'49"


Answer the following questions about distance running:


Find two Bible stories that mention distance runners?

24While David was sitting between the inner and outer gates, the watchman went up to the roof of the gateway by the wall. As he looked out, he saw a man running alone. 25 The watchman called out to the king and reported it.

The king said, "If he is alone, he must have good news." And the man came closer and closer.

26 Then the watchman saw another man running, and he called down to the gatekeeper, "Look, another man running alone!"

The king said, "He must be bringing good news, too."

27The watchman said, "It seems to me that the first one runs like Ahimaaz son of Zadok."

"He's a good man," the king said. "He comes with good news."
2 Samuel 18:24-27 (NIV)

24Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. 27No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.
1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (NIV)


What are the proper clothes, including shoes, for distance running in your area?

Light weight, with holes to accept spikes.


How long is the average track?

Running tracks are typically ovals with a perimeter of 400 meters.


How far is a marathon race?

A marathon race is 42.195km26 miles, 385 yards long.


Which part of the foot should touch first during the stride?

The ball of the foot should touch first.


What are the proper arm and head positions while distance running?

Your arms should not come across your body. They should be at your side with your hands cupped in a parallel form. Your head should face your direction of travel, straight ahead.


What is the proper way to breathe?

Inhale and exhale in a slow, rhythmic, controlled fashion.


How does cross-country running differ from running on a track?

Cross country running often involves hills, while tracks do not. Cross country runners often must contend with traffic, but they are rewarded with changing scenery.


Run one of the following events at least twice and record the best time:


50-yard (45.7 meters) dash with four hurdles.


70-yard (64.0 meters) dash with six hurdles.

See guidance under Requirement #1 for hurdles.


Do the high jump with good form at least five times and record the highest jump.

In this event the jumpers take turns making a running jump over an increasingly higher bar onto a crash pad. Touching the bar is considered a fault and three consecutive faults ends the jumper's quest. The highest successful jump wins.

The Fosbury Flop was popularized and perfected by American athlete Dick Fosbury first in 1965. His gold medal in the 1968 Summer Olympics brought it to the world's attention. Over the next few years the flop became the dominant style of the event with all elite jumpers using some variation on it. Before Fosbury, most elite jumpers used the straddle technique, Western Roll, Eastern cut-off or even scissors jump to clear the bar. The introduction of deep foam crash pads instead of sandpits or low piles of matting freed high jumpers from the need to land on their feet to prevent injury, and allowed experimentation with the Folsbury Flop coming out the superior technique.

The high jump and pole vault are the two vertical clearance events in the Olympics.


Do a running broad jump three times and record the best length.

This track and field event is now known as the long jump. Successful athletes combine speed, strength, and agility as they try to leap as far as possible from a take off point without crossing over the fault line. The jumper runs down a track (usually crushed rubber) and jumps off a block embedded in the ground into a sand pit. The jump is measured from the block to the nearest point of impact of any part of the body. In competition the best of three jumps is recorded.

The event has a history in the Ancient Olympic Games as the only jumping event and has been a modern Olympic event for men since the first Olympics in 1896 and for women since 1948.


Run the following relays:


Visual pass relay


Blind pass relay