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In today’s class, we will be talking about facilities and equipment in group combined events. Enjoy the class!
Facilities and Equipment in Group Combined Events
The facilities and equipment used in combined events are very much the same as those used in individual track and field events. For instance, in the discus event in a combined game, an athlete uses the same equipment provided for a discus thrower. The following is a description of different equipment used in the track events and different field events, which are part of combined events.
- Air pistol: This is used to signal the start of a race and to call a false start.
- Starting block: This is where all the athletes in running events start from. Every athlete must have his/her feet firmly placed against the block.
- Running track: A standard running track has eight lanes. Each land is 1.22m wide. All tracks are run around in an anti-clockwise direction
- Hurdle: This is an obstacle which is placed at 10m interval and which an athlete jumps over during the 110m hurdles race.
- Round disk: This is made of wood or other similar material with a metal rim, and may be either solid material or hollow.
- Net: This is meant to keep the disk in the playing area in the case of a misthrow by the athlete, so as prevent the disk from travelling dangerously to the spectators.
- Javelin: This is a metal with three main parts: the head (missile), shaft and cord. It weighs between 400 and 800 grams and has a length between 760 mm and 1060 millimetres.
- Shot: This is a round metal ball which may have a latex covering on the outside to assist competitors with their grip. For men’s competition, the shot weighs between 4 and 7.26 kilograms.
- Pole: This is a long, flexible pole, usually made of fibreglass or carbon fibre, as an aid to jump over a bar.
- Safety/landing area: This is a mattress or soft materials meant to prevent dangerous landing by athletes.
- Plasticine: This is placed at the front of the take-off board in the long jump so that officials will know if an athlete has overstepped the mark. A foul jump will leave a foot imprint in the strip of plasticine.
In addition to the facilities and equipment listed above, there is the track which is oval-shaped with a length of 400 meters, and the field which has a width between 60-90 meters and length between 90-120 meters.
Rules and regulations
The rules and regulations of combined events are a collection of the different rules and regulations guiding the individual events. These rules and regulations can, therefore, be separated into track rules and field rules.
Track rules and regulations
The rules of track events as observed are set by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). Key rules of track events are those regarding starting, running and finishing.
- Starting: The start of a race is marked by a white line 5 cm wide. In all races that are not run in lanes, the start line must be curved, so that all the athletes start the same distance from the finish. Starting blocks may be used for all races up to and including 400 m (including the first leg of the relay). All races must be started by the report of the starter’s gun or approved starting apparatus fired upwards when it is ascertained that athletes are steady and in the correct starting position.
- Running: In all events run in lanes, each athlete must keep within his allocated lane from start to finish. If an athlete leaves the track or steps on the line demarking the track, he/she should be disqualified. Also, any athlete who jostles or obstructs another athlete, in a way that impedes his progress, should be disqualified from that event.
- Finishing: The finish of a race is marked by a white line 5 cm wide. The finishing position of athletes is determined by the order in which any part of their torso (as distinguished from the head, neck, arms, legs, hands or feet) reaches the vertical plane of the nearer edge of the finish line. Ties between different athletes are resolved as follows:
In determining whether there has been a tie, a judge must consider the actual time recorded by the athletes to one-thousandth of a second. If the judge decides that there has been a tie in qualifying rounds, lots must be drawn to determine who goes to the next round
In the case of a tie for first place in any final, the referee decides whether it is practicable to arrange for the athletes so tying to compete again. Ties in other placings remain.
Field rules and regulations
In general, field events allow competitors to take their attempt individually, under the same conditions as the other competitors in the competition. Each attempt is measured to determine who achieved the longest distance or greatest height.
- Vertical jumps (High Jump and Pole Vault): The competitor must clear the bar without knocking it off the standards that are holding it. Three failures in a row end the competitor participation in the event. All competitors have either cleared, passed or failed their attempt at a height, the bar goes up. The amount the bar goes up is predetermined before the competition, though when one competitor remains, that competitor may choose their heights for the remaining attempts. After all, competitors have taken their attempts, the one jumping the highest is the winner. Ties are broken by first, the number of attempts taken at the highest height (fewest wins), and then if still tied, by the total number of misses in the competition as a whole.
- Horizontal jumps (long jump) and throw events: In the case of horizontal jumps, the jump line is a straight line perpendicular to the runway. In the case of throws, the throw line is an arc or a circle. Crossing the line while initiating the attempt invalidates the attempt, as it becomes foul. Landing for horizontal jumps is a sand-filled pit, while for throws it is a defined sector: a throw landing on the line on the edge of the sector is a foul. Assuming a proper attempt, officials measure the distance from the closest landing point back to the start line. All competitors get an equal number of attempts, which is 3.
Officiating in combined events
Officiating is the supervision of sports competition following established rules. It requires the presence of officials, such as an umpire, who can observe the requirements of sportsmanship by making appropriate calls where and when necessary to keep the rules parallel and flat to athletes and spectators.
Officiating in the long jump
The long-jump is about who can jump the farthest. Jumpers start at one end of the runway and take a flying leap into a pit of sand. A board, 20 cm wide, near the end of the runway, marks the take-off point and the distance jumped is measured from the end of the board to the spot where the athlete first breaks the sand. If any part of the jumper’s feet goes beyond the board during take-off, the jump is ruled a foul and will not be measured or counted.
The following are appropriate ways to supervise and practice long jump:
- Jumpers may place 1 or 2 markers alongside the runway, to assist in the run-up and take-off, but no markers on the runway or marks in the pit.
- Officials must measure all fair jumps and not illegal jumps. Jumpers may pass any attempt.
- Jump measure is taken at right angles to the scratch line or its extension to the nearest break in the sand made by any part of the body. Measurements are to the nearest 1/4 inch or centimetre.
- At the end of any jumping event, there shall be no further practice.
- All athletes get three jumps in the preliminary, and there will be three more in the finals.
- The number of contestants in the finals will be 1 more than the places, determined by the games committee.
- Athletes best jump counts, whether or finals, unless in the preliminaries changed by the Games Committee.
- All ties in the preliminaries advance to the finals.
- Athletes must complete their jump within one minute after their name called.
Officiating in the high jump
This event is about who jumps the highest. High jumpers run a curved approach, then, at a precise spot, translate that forward motion into vertical motion as they drive their arms, shoulders, hips and opposite leg into the air to get as much height as possible They lay first their head, then shoulders back, hips and legs over the bar. Having impeccable technique to put all of these steps together with is crucial, but being naturally long and lean is a big plus as well. Athletes have three misses at each height before being eliminated from the competition. Whoever clears the highest bar wins.
The following are the appropriate way to supervise and practise high jump:
- The starting height of the bar and successive elevation are determined by the Games Committee and announced the athletes.
- Call up the contestants in the order they are jumping with: “up”; “on deck”, and “on hold”.
- Record the height attained by athletes in their first attempt.
- The base of the standards shall not be moved during the competition, and its position should be marked before the start of the competition.
- Athletes may placemarks in the approach area, and cannot interfere with the approach of other jumpers.
- Late arrival athletes may begin at the height in progress. No lower of the bar; no warm-ups or practice jumps.
- After any field event, there shall be no further practice.
- Measurements of crossbar shall be recorded to nearest lesser ¹/⁴ inch or centimetre.
Officiating in the pole vault
Athletes sprint down the runway carrying a long pole. At the end of the runway, they plant the pole into a box, bend the pole down and catapult themselves over the bar. This event is suited for those with a background in gymnastics. The same rules as the high jump apply: each athlete has three attempts to successfully clear a height to remain in the competition.
The following are appropriate ways to supervise and practise pole vault:
- Vaulters have 1¹/² minutes to compete once their name has been called. When 3 or fewer competitors are left, they will have 4 minutes to compete. A single competitor is allowed 6 minutes.
- Vaulters may not use any weights or artificial aids.
- The competitor’s weight must be at or below the manufacturer’s pole rating.
- Tape on a vaulter’s pole may not exceed two layers.
- No markers may be placed on the runway, but it is permissible to place markers at the side of the runway.
- Three consecutive misses eliminate a competitor, regardless of the heights.
- No tape is allowed on the hands or fingers unless there is an open cut or wound that needs to be protected. Gloves are not permitted.
- If a pole breaks, it does not count as an attempt.
All sports can be dangerous if safety rules are not put in place and adhered to. Combined events have safety rules that keep athletes as well as spectators away from dangerous situations. For instance, an athlete doing discus can hurt himself or the spectators with the round disk if safety measures are not put in place. The safety rules described here are separated; for track events, and field events.
Safety rules for track events
At the track:
- Athletes should wear appropriate clothing and shoes. Jewellery should be removed.
- Be considerate of the need for others to use the track.
- Be conscious that the synthetic race surface gets slippery in wet conditions.
- Instil the habit of not crossing the field to get from one side of the track to the other.
- Care should be taken to see that improvised equipment is safe.
- Hurdle top bar should be secure.
- They should be correctly place relative to their use with the counterbalance weights also relative correctly positioned.
- Hurdles should never be crossed in the wrong direction (i.e. from the landing site).
Safety rules for field events
Horizontal and vertical jumps:
- Run up areas dry and clear of foreign objects.
- Adhere to no-jump indicator board recesses.
- Wear appropriate footwear and adequate protection.
- Athletes who are not jumping at the moment should not encroach onto the runway when in use.
- All landing areas (high jump, pole vault) should be covered by a probe cover sheet.
- Size and density of landing area should be adequate for the use to which they are being put.
- Ensure that the cage is safe and cage doors appropriately set.
- Discus, Shot put throwing circles are dry and clear of foreign objects.
- Javelin run-up is dry and clear of foreign objects.
- No one should stand in front of a thrower.
- No one should stand in the cage with a thrower.
- Thrower must look to ensure that the landing area is clear before throwing.
- Never run with a javelin or run to collect it.
- Javelins should be carried vertically and point down.
In our next class, we will be talking about Gymnastics. We hope you enjoyed the class.
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