Major Rule Changes for 2017


Major Rule Changes for 2017

High School

  1. Athletes giving assistance to an injured competitor will not be disqualified if there is no medical help available. The runner receiving assistance will still be disqualified.
  2. In races that use a standing start, athletes will remain motionless and shall not touch the ground with a hand.
  3. The old rules 6 and 7 have been combined into one field event rule thus eliminating much repetition.
  4. The old rule requiring athletes from the same school to be placed in different heats has been dropped. It is no longer required to separate teammates in the seeding process.
  5. In the past the language was not clear that the referee was the only official allowed to disqualify and athlete. That is now clear with the exception of the starter for start infractions.
  6. When flags are not used, the terms “fair or “foul” should be used.
  7. If cones are used in place of curbing, they should be placed about 5 feet apart and just touching the inside of the inside lane line.
  8. It is a foul in the shot put for the athlete to touch the top of the stopboard before leaving the circle. (Note: this was always the case, but the wording was not clear after the “Mark Rule” was dropped.
  9. A cross country course may be marked with directional signs or flags.
  10. When multiple take off boards are used, the wind gauge is placed based on the board furthest from the pit.


  1. Indoor tracks will be required to have a curb starting January 1, 2018.
  2. Cone heights are specified for break lines.
  3. Cross country course and finish area standards are set.
  4. A competition is defined.
  5. The 55 meter distances are added for indoor meets for those facilities that can’t do 60 meters.
  6. A minimum number of events is now required for both track and field. Indoor meets are different from outdoor meets in the number required.
  7. Under 4.1.15e Protests relating to uniform violations will not result in a DQ.
  8. Drones may not be used in the competition area.
  9. The rules on assistance have been clarified.
  10. Spike length may not be set by the facility.
  11. The sound level for electronic starting devices has been modified.
  12. The recall point has been clarified and defined.
  13. If a competitor is not present for a trial after the competition iscomplete for all others who are present, it shall be deemed that he or she forfeits the right to all further trials in the competition once the allowable time for all available trials has elapsed. This appears to me to say that, and athlete that is excused from an event and does not return by the time the prelims or finals are done will receive time fouls for each remaining trial.
  14. Within a flight of a horizontal event, the order of competition shall be random.
  15. For the vertical events, the games committee may determine whether the order is random or based on performance.
  16. In the pole vault tape at the grip end must be uniform without creating gripping “rings.”


  1. The women’s decathlon may be contested by in the Open Division. The event order may be either the current women’s order or the men’s order.
  2. Athletes may not view videos of prior performances during the event.
  3. If multiple take off boards are being used, the wind gauge will be 20 meters from the board furthest from the pit.
  4. The rule of relay exchanges was made even more clear as to when the runners may touch the baton.
  5. Five Alive was removed from the rulebook.
  6. In the vertical jumps measurements must be made from the same level as the take off point of the jumper.
  7. The Ultraweight no longer needs to be thrown from a cage.
  8. Some tweaks were made to the Mountain and Trail run rules.
  9. For the older Youth, the weights for the throwing weight are 25# and 20# for boys and girls respectively.
  10. In addition to the rule for vertical jumps about passing three heights, as an alternative to taking a run through without the bar each three heights passed, the competitor may take one run through at the height they will be entering. This applies only to Youth.
  11. Masters now starts at age 25.
  12. Masters long and triple jumps may use more than one take off board.