IAAF/USATF Rules … Explained …

9 04 2008

Ok – I’m in the middle of trying to over-research a paper.  I’m collecting information maybe to expand it.  The below started out as a morning letter to some speedy sneaker friends of mine … and I just kept giggling!  The insert are the very serious rules from page 100 of the International Association of Athletics Federations 2008 rule book.  It’s also page 59/60 of the United States of America Track and Field 2008 Competition Rules. My research is about the personal stereo – which was, of course, first marketed to runners at the first part of the Running Boom Bell Curve … and we all know my *love* of said devices while walking!  With tongue firmly planted in cheek … and thinking how pathetic it is that these rules have to be spelled out … away we go:

Just so you all don’t get in trouble when you’re racing in a USA Track and Field or International Association of Athletics Federations race … I thought you all should know:


For the purpose of this Rule the following shall be considered

assistance, and are therefore not allowed:

(c) pacing in races by persons not participating in the same race,

by athletes lapped or about to be lapped or by any kind of

technical device.

(d) possession or use of video or cassette recorders, radios, CD,

radio transmitters, mobile phone or similar devices in the arena.

(e) use of any technical device that incorporates springs, wheels or

any other element that provides the user with an advantage over

another athlete not using such a device.


So – Here’s the translation so there is no confusion!


C. No pacing … you guys are just going to have to handle the race all on your own without having your favorite racewalker pace you … but they say NOTHING about my standing on the sidelines with a cattle prod when you’re getting too slow!  I am concerned, however, that a cattle prod or bull-whip might be considered a technical device … it is a form of technology and it would be a ‘new and novel application of such’ … well new and novel in public …  For all you fast greyhound-like runners … it appears that they might frown upon my putting electronic bunny rabbits out on the track for you to go get … and I think the remote control gliders are out also … HOWEVER … a pint of ice cream or your favorite snack at the end of the last lap *might* be allowed.


D. No watching Breaking Away, Rocky, Flashdance, Rocky Horror Picture Show, Fame, Dirty Harry or Bullitt while racing. Your walkman needs to remain in your gym bag in the hotel room … but it doesn’t say anything about your laptop computer … so if you need that for pacing, or multi-tasking … it should be OK.  Just make sure it’s not an I-Phone because that would fall under “similar device”.  Doing the Time Warp or Flashdancing prior to the event might be looked down upon if you can’t explain that it is part of your warm up routine your coach has drilled into your head.  Time Warping within the lanes is not appreciated even in Racewalking because you “take a jump to the left and a step to the riiiiigggghhhttt” and that would be against the  sanctioned rules of the game.


E. This really applies mostly to friends who like to fly just a smidge fast and beat the stuffing out of me.  Boys – You’ll have to leave your shoe springs at home!  I know you’ve been becoming really dependant upon them, but you’ve got to leave them at home.  I think the same thing goes for wings that you weren’t born with and rollar skates. This says nothing, however, about being picked up by a flying dinosaur and deposited at the finish line, BUT you must make sure that your competition has the same opportunity to bring their flying dinosaur.  ALSO – if you bring your winged friend, it is highly unsportsmanlike if your friend eats, devours, dismembers or otherwise incapacitates their friend … or your competition for that matter.  Best to leave them at home with a babysitter, teddy bear and nap blanket. Since the same ruling includes “any other element that provides the user with an advantage over another athlete not using such a device …” you’ll also never be allowed to compete against me Racewalking because ya’ll have more or less fully firing brains and we all know that I’m just a smidge … challenged!  I also think the various devices ya’ll have been coming up with to embed in my squishy gray matter are out — so I’ll just have to remember to eat properly, do my track work outs at the paces I’m told to, and continue to write my goal times on the back of my hand.  We’ll also have to put aside the necklaces which will give you a shock when your pace dumps below a certain mark.  Well … that sucks!  I guess I’ll have to get pacing down, hu?


Gotta love research in the morning!





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