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Track & Field/Shuttle Hurdle Relays

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Question
On an 8 lane track, Team A is running in lanes 1 &2, Team B is in Lanes 3 & 4 and, so on.  Does it make any difference what lanes A1 go down the track and A 2 comes back.  Same for other teams in the section.

Answer
Robert:

All lanes should measure exactly the same distance measured along the infield edge from start line to finish line.  When a curve is included in the race then the start line in each lane should be staggered.  The objective is that each competitor runs exactly the same distance measured along the runner's left side.

Since individuals do not run or stride identically, the actual distance covered may vary within small limits.  This is irrelevant when the shuttle races are all run along the straightaway the distances should not cause any measurable variation as all lanes would be equal.  Of course the answer applies to all lanes involved in the race both ways.  I hope this answer is helpful to you.  Good luck, Dick Howland  

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Richard Howland

Expertise

I am a master USATF Track and Field official and can answer questions about officiating high school (NFHS), college (NCAA), National (USATF) and international in field events. I am not a coach except for other officials. My specialties are the Field events except pole vault.

Experience

I delight in meeting athletes from all backgrounds and ages. I have even officiated field events for a one hundred year old long jumper as well as many "Master" and "Senior" athletes. Special olympics is a great event for officials to volunteer and see the essence of good sport on the faces of the athletes. After thirty three years as a trial lawyer in Massachusetts with a focus on sports law, among others, I retired and devote much of my time to officiating. I referee soccer, time football, officiate swimming and diving, and officiate and start all events in track and field. My special focus in field events. In high school and college I played soccer, squash and lacrosse, but track was not available in any depth then. Since I was a lawyer I began officiating and training to officiate sports which I could fit into my schedule. I honestly do not remember when I first started track and field officiating, but estimate that I have been very active for at least fifteen years. I regularly officiate all events and levels.

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