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Technology rule approved for indoor, outdoor track and field

Meet management will designate an area for video to be reviewed

The use of technology to view video during track and field competitions was approved by the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel on Wednesday.

Under the new rule, which is effective for the 2020-21 academic year, coaches can use hand-held technology devices for reviewing video in field events and for timing in running events.

Competitors can view the video with their coaches provided they do so in a specific area designated by meet management. The area will have to be in a location that does not interfere with other ongoing competition.

If video is viewed outside the designated area, it will result in a warning, and a second violation will result in a disqualification for the coach and competitor.

The NCAA Men’s and Women’s Track and Field Rules Committee thinks this allowed use of technology aligns NCAA competition with other national and international governing bodies in the sport.

Other rules changes

  • Time schedule changes preventing student-athletes from fulfilling their obligation to compete in an event will not be considered a failure to participate.
  • The maximum size of 3,000-meter heats will increase to 20 competitors, up from 16.
  • Cross country teams that start at least five runners and have fewer than five runners finish the race will be assigned a team place. Teams that start with at least five runners declare their intent to finish as a team. Incomplete teams would be listed alphabetically in the last position of the official team results as “Did Not Finish.” Tiebreaking procedures for incomplete team finishes will not be applied.
  • Officials are required to be present for all indoor and outdoor field event warmups. Meet management will establish the warmup time. Previously, it was recommended that officials be present for all field event warmups.

Rules book

In recent years, track and field rules committee members have discussed reorganizing the NCAA Track and Field and Cross Country Rules Book. This goal was completed at the conclusion of their 2020 virtual meeting in June.

When the rules book is published in the fall, the track and field and cross country communities will see a more user-friendly book that clearly differentiates indoor track and field, outdoor track and field, and cross country rules.