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    High School Track and XC Runner Aiding Another
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    It is my understanding that aiding another runner is a violation for high school track and cross country.

    If a runner "A" loses a shoe and another runner, "B", picks up the shoe, catches up to runner "A" and gives it to runner "A" would that be considered aiding and, thus, be a violation? I assume so. I'd appreciate other opinions.
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlissJog View Post
    If a runner "A" loses a shoe and another runner, "B", picks up the shoe, catches up to runner "A" and gives it to runner "A" would that be considered aiding and, thus, be a violation? I assume so. I'd appreciate other opinions.
    That, in my opinion (as a HS meet referee in the post-season), is a mis-interpretation of the rule. That's just good sportsmanship. If someone falls down and you help them back up, that could be interpreted as improper aid.
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    I dunno... what is the qualitative difference between returning a thrown shoe to a runner and helping the runner to stand after a fall?
    Either way, one runner has "aided" the other.
    If a spectator or official had returned the shoe I'd think that would be aiding the runner so why is it OK for a competitor to do so?

    Why didn't the shoeless runner simply stop and retrieve the shoe?
    Apparently the choice was made to continue the race with one shoe.
    A runner I coached at one time made that choice, finished with a very beaten up foot but provided a finish that delivered a 1 point win for our team.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jc203 View Post
    I dunno... what is the qualitative difference between returning a thrown shoe to a runner and helping the runner to stand after a fall?
    That's why it's a judgement call by the referee. I wouldn't call the shoe incident, but would call the helping up one. Just my perspective.
    The only hard part about being a referee is making a call that is the 'fairest' to everyone. Giving a guy his shoe doesn't strike me as providing an unfair advantage (he'd have to stop to put it on, and if he doesn't, he could tear up his feet). Helping a person up could allow him a faster time than if he'd risen himself.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Atticus View Post
    Giving a guy his shoe doesn't strike me as providing an unfair advantage (he'd have to stop to put it on, and if he doesn't, he could tear up his feet). Helping a person up could allow him a faster time than if he'd risen himself.
    It's exactly the same: getting the shoe picked up by another competitor allows the runner a faster time than if he had to turn back and pick it up himself. Either both of the situations described are violations, or neither is.
    Było smaszno, a jaszmije smukwijne...
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    #6
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    Atticus has it right. This is a no call.
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    #7
    I appreciate the replies. I didn't specifically indicate that the runners are on the same team. What if they are on the same team? Does that make a difference?
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    Not to me.
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    #9
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    If it happened on the football field, soccer pitch, basketball floor, etc., would the typical fan think it cheating. Not on your life; so why the sport wants to create problems for the heart-warming stories is beyond me. Rules should provide structure, not detailing all the little things that some committee can think of to outlaw.
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    #10
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    What is aiding a runner?

    Atticus is right that aiding is a judgement call.
    And the over-riding question is, does the official view the incident as one that results in an unfair advantage?

    You'd have to see the situation to make a decision.
    Even the case of giving a fallen runner a hand-up I'd have to believe some very clear advantage had occurred.
    Since a fall is in itself a disadvantage it is tough to make the case that assistance to stand creates an unfair benefit unless there were other runners who fell and did NOT have help.
    In any event, most of the time runners either pop right back up after a fall or take themselves out of the race.

    As for the thrown shoe... the runner benefits by not having to back-track to pick up the shoe, but the runner suffers from having to run with only one shoe for a period of time and still (as Atticus points out) has to stop and put the shoe on again. Does not seem like a prima facie unfair advantage but again, the specific circumstances might change an official's opinion.

    If the runner who picked up the shoe and returned it ran for a different team then it seems like a selfless act akin to moving to the outside to accommodate a faster runner coming through.

    But if the good samaritan and the shoeless one were on the same team then you can bet that some rival coaches would at very least raise the issue with officials.
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