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    Rules Amendment for Hurdles
    #1
    Proposed amendments for USATF Competition Rules are at (pdf)
    https://www.usatf.org/getattachment/...pdf?lang=en-US
    Item 36 is our proposed implementation of the WA rule on legal hurdle clearances.
    Any comments?
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    #2
    Item 36 Amend Rule 168.3 as follows: (8June-#25)
    All races shall be run in lanes. Each athlete shall go over each hurdle and shall keep to his or her own lane throughout.
    Failure to do so will result in a disqualification unless Rule 163.5 applies.
    In addition to the applicable provisions of Rule 163, a competitor shall be disqualified if:
    (a) His/her leg or foot is, at the instant of clearance, beside the hurdle (on either side) below the horizontal plane of the top of any hurdle; or
    (b)((In the opinion of the Referee, he/she deliberately)) He/she knocks down or displaces any hurdle by hand, body or the upper side of the lead leg; or
    ((NOTE: Provided that this Rule is otherwise observed and the hurdle is not displaced or its height lowered in any manner including tilting in any direction, a competitor may go over the hurdle in any manner.))
    (c) He/she directly or indirectly knocks down or ((significantly)) displaces a hurdle in his/her or in another lane (((unless there is no effect or obstruction upon any other competitor(s) in the race))) in such a manner that there is effect or obstruction upon any other competitor(s) in the race and/or another rule is also infringed.
    NOTE: Provided that this Rule is otherwise observed and the hurdle is not displaced or its height lowered in any manner including tilting in any direction, a competitor may go over the hurdle in any manner.
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    #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Master403 View Post
    All races shall be run in lanes. Each athlete shall go over each hurdle and shall keep to his or her own lane throughout.
    NO!
    As in the straightaway sprint races, you can step out of your lane, and as long as you do not affect anyone else, it's OK.

    Hurdlers often land a little off, and have to step into another lane to get back on balance. If that, in any way, impedes another hurdler, then yes, that's a DQ. Otherwise, no.
    Last edited by Atticus; 11-15-2019 at 04:34 PM.
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    #4
    Sorry. I should have also posted the referenced Rule 163.5:

    Each competitor must keep in the lanes outside the line or curb marking the inside of the track, including the curved part of the diversion from the track for the steeplechase water jump. In races run entirely in lanes, each competitor must keep in the allotted lane from start to finish. In races run partially in lanes, each competitor must keep in the allotted lane from the start to the marked cut-in points. Unless a material advantage has been gained or the athlete is in violation of Rule 163.4, a competitor shall not be disqualified if he or she:
    (a) Is pushed or forced by another competitor to step out of the lane, or
    (b) Steps out of the lane on the straightaway, or
    (c) Steps or runs outside of the outer lane line on the curve, or on any straight part of the diversion from the track for the steeplechase water jump.
    Excluding the above exceptions, the Referee shall disqualify a competitor if material advantage is gained.
    NOTE: Material advantage includes improving position by any means, including exiting from a 'boxed' position in the race by having stepped or run inside the inside edge of the track.
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    #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Master403 View Post
    Unless a material advantage has been gained or the athlete is in violation of Rule 163.4, a competitor shall not be disqualified if he or she . . .
    (b) Steps out of the lane on the straightaway . . .
    There's a bad judgement call waiting to happen.
    ANY time you step out of your lane on a straightaway, you did it for 'a reason', e.g.,
    you're so focused on mechanics, you don't even realize you've drifted out of lane.
    You stumbled / were off-balance and caught yourself
    etc..

    Can't a protest be filed that you would not have run as well as you did if you had not crossed the line? No one INTENDS to cross the line so there is A reason.
    This rule must state that a straightaway athlete must have an impeding effect on an opponent.
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    #6
    163.5 is not changing. I only posted it for reference. Within 163.5, (a), (b), and (c) are actions where the competitor will not be disqualified if they do not impede another competitor (163.4) or gain a material advantage as defined in the Note.
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    #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Atticus View Post
    There's a bad judgement call waiting to happen.
    ANY time you step out of your lane on a straightaway, you did it for 'a reason', e.g.,
    you're so focused on mechanics, you don't even realize you've drifted out of lane.
    You stumbled / were off-balance and caught yourself
    etc..

    Can't a protest be filed that you would not have run as well as you did if you had not crossed the line? No one INTENDS to cross the line so there is A reason.
    This rule must state that a straightaway athlete must have an impeding effect on an opponent.
    No, no, no. Don't worry at all. People will be reasonable and apply the rule in a reasonable manner, consistent with human behavior. What could go wrong?
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    #8
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    Thank you very much for providing this.

    I strongly recommend anyone interested go to the link provided in Post #1 and scroll to Rule 168. The presentation in Post #2 does not lend itself to being understood on a stand-alone basis. Post #2 can be a useful quick reference only after you have done the work to understand the rule changes as presented in the link in Post #1.

    As for the hurdle amendments, there are two changes that I see.

    First, the previous rule 168.3(b) provided for an automatic DQ where knocking down/displacing a hurdle was done deliberately in judgment of referee. Under the new (b), auto DQ applies where the hurdle is knocked down/displaced by the hand, body or upper side of lead leg.

    I think this is a good change. Takes out the judgment aspect and addresses circumstances where clearance is blatantly improper.

    Second change of significance is the new tag to the end of 168.3(c): "and/or another rule is also infringed".

    The way the previous (c) was written lent itself to the interpretation that there should be no DQ for hitting a hurdle in another lane where there is no impeding of another runner.

    The new language in (c) supports the interpretation that hitting a hurdle in another lane with leg/foot is grounds for DQ without any obstruction required, because in doing so the leg/foot of the hurdler is below the extended plane of his own hurdle, and therefore a DQ under 168.3(a).

    I think this is a good clarifying change. No one not already attuned to the issue is going to get the significance of this change just by looking at the altered text. A comment could be appended to the new rule spelling it out.

    Thanks again.
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