2018 MHSAA Track & Field Rules Meeting

MAC Coaching Clinic

Track and field is the second-most popular sport for boys with 600,136 participants and is the No. 1 sport for girls with 494,477 participants during the 2016-17 season, according to the NFHS Athletics Participation Survey. Cross country moves up one spot to the sixth-most popular sport for boys with 266,271 participants and is the sixth-most popular sport for girls with 226,039 participants.

Uniforms: School issued or school approved, worn as intended by the manufacturer, no knots, bare midriff tops are not allowed, the top must hang below or be tucked into the waistband of the bottom when the competitor is standing upright.  French or high-cut apparel is illegal.  Shoes must be worn.

With the simplification of the NFHS Uniform Rule (see handout) and with the revised 4-3-2 Note that states that “the official shall have no uncertainty in determining that all members are from the same team”, the MHSAA will recognize the following uniform restrictions for all relay races:

  1. Each team member shall wear the same color and design of school uniform although the length of the bottom or one-piece uniform may vary.
  2. Any visible garment(s) worn by two or more relay team members underneath the uniform top and/or bottom shall be unadorned and of the same single, solid color, but not necessarily the same length.

 NOTE:Visible items worn under both the top and the bottom do not have to be the same color.

Penalty for Wearing of Illegal Uniform: When a violation is observed and noted by a meet official, the competitor shall be required to make the uniform legal before becoming eligible for further competition and shall be issued a warning that a subsequent violation shall result in disqualification from the event.  The referee shall be notified of the violation by the observing meet official and the referee shall notify or cause to be notified the head coach of the offending school of the competitor’s violation and warning.

Jewelry is permitted!  A Watch (not a stopwatch) may be worn around the wrist.

Unadorned devices such as bobby pins, barrettes & hair clips no longer than 2 inches may be worn to control competitor’s hair.

Qualifying for Finals: One or more competitors than there are scoring places shall qualify for the finals.

Pole Vault Standard Placement: 18 inches (45.7 cm) beyond top of vault box, zero point, to 31.5 inches (80 cm)

Five Alive – HJ/PV

Entry Limitations– Four events

Field Event Warm-Ups: Warming up without the contestant’s coach or event official at the event area shall lead to a warning and, if repeated, disqualification from the event.  If the incident recurs, the athlete will be disqualified from the meet.

PV Warm-Up: Pole vault competitor(s) who pass 3 consecutive heights and has not entered the competition should be permitted two minutes of warm-up jumps per the number of competitors entering at that height without the crossbar in place.  The competitor(s) shall the competition at that height.  Such warm-up must be taken at height change.

Time Limits to Initiate a Trail in Field Events:

HJ                    PV                   Other F.E.

More than 3                  1                    1.5                         1

2 or 3 remaining           3                      4                          1

1 remaining                  5                      6                          1

Only legal implements shall be allowed in warm-ups and competition.

To accommodate those competitors who may be excused to participate in other events, the head judge may change the order of competition by any method.  Successive trials are but one such method.  Excused competitors shall inform the head event judge upon their return.

Measuring Field Events:         LJ, TJ, Shot to nearest lesser 1/4 inch.  Discus to the nearest lesser inch!

Proper Call for Athletes: Athlete “Up”, Athlete “On Deck”, Athlete “On Hold”

Breaking Ties:

Shot, Discus, LJ & TJ– Competitor with second best performance, if necessary third, etc. shall be awarded the higher place.

High Jump & Pole Vault– Competitor with fewest number of trials for the height at which the tie occurs (the last height successfully cleared) shall be awarded the higher place.  If the tie still remains the competitor with the fewest total number of unsuccessful trials throughout the competition, up to and including the last cleared, shall be awarded the higher place.  If the tie still remains and involves first place, the competitors tying shall make one more attempt for the height at which they failed.  If no decision is reached, the bar shall be lowered (3″ / PV or 1″ HJ). One attempt is given to each competitor, If bar is cleared by both bar is raised again or if bar is missed by both the bar is lowered.  This process is continued until the winner is determined.


Ok to drag foot in TJ!

 Girls Shot 4k not 8lbs.

Baton Exchange: Where the baton is passed, not where athletes are!

Taunting or Unsporting Conduct: Disqualification from that event and further competition in the meet. Disqualification of a coach or other school personnel shall be from further involvement in the meet.

Leaving HJ or PV Pit!

4 x 400 & 4 x 800 Meter Relay Exchange Zone: Athletes must stay in exchange zone, cannot start outside of 20-meter zone.

Cross Country Rule 9-6-2:Penalties for not wearing or altering the assigned number or transponder results in disqualification




Saturday, November 3                                                           Monday, November 5

2:00            5A Girls                                                               1:00            6A Girls

2:30            5A Boys                                                               1:30            6A Boys

3:00            3A Girls                                                               2:00            4A Girls

3:30            3A Boys                                                               2:30            4A Boys

3:35            5A Awards Ceremony                                         2:35            6A Awards Ceremony

4:00            1A Girls                                                               3:00            2A Girls

4:30            1A Boys                                                               3:30            2A Boys

4:35            3A Awards Ceremony                                         3:35            4A Awards Ceremony

5:15            1A Awards Ceremony                                         4:15            2A Awards Ceremony

  • State meet entry fee – $10.00/athlete
  • Online entries at milesplit.com Entries close Monday, October 29, 2018
  • Allraces 5000 meters!!!
  • Chip Timing will be used!
  • Teams & spectators should arrive a minimum of 1 ½ hours prior to their schools’ race!
  • Teams are to bring their own water!
  • Admission: $7.00

TRACK & FIELD STATE MEETS                       Friday, May 3              1A/3A/5A

Saturday, May 4          2A/4A/6A

  • All Division Meets will be finals by time, NO PRELIMINARIES! Fully automatic timing devices must be used in all Division Meets.
  • Teams may enter 3 contestants in individual events in division, region, north/south & state meets
  • This year classes 1A & 2A will contest the 3200 meter run between the 200 m dash and the 4 x 400 m relay beginning with the division meet through the state meet
  • Starting heights for the pole vault will be 6’ for girls & 8’ for boys beginning with the division meet through the state meet
  • Division online entries at milesplit.com
  • Send Region & North/South Meet Roster Forms and entry fees to host sites
  • Send State Meet Roster Forms and entry fees to the MHSAA
  • Division Entry Fees: $150 per team maximum with $300 per school maximum
  • Region, North/South & State Meet entry fees – $10.00/athlete
  • In qualifying meets with only one class, it will be the responsibility of the meet director to keep the pace of the meet as to allow athletes adequate recovery between events (adequate recovery is built in to meets when more than one class is competing)
  • Admission: $10.00 (All Day Pass)

MHSAA Meet Management Manual              MHSAA Sports Information Manual 1 & 2

MHSAA Concussion Guidelines                      MHSAA Heat Stroke Guidelines

NFHS – www.nfhs.org/track

            NFHS Track & Field Pre-Meet Notes              NFHS Free Pole Vault Skill Course


4-3-1: Eliminates redundant language and expands definition of foundation garments.

Rationale: This change expands the current interpretation of foundation garment to include any item worn under the uniform top and/or bottom as well as eliminate duplicate language in same rule.

4-3-2: Clarifies uniform language for relay and cross country team members.

Rationale: Slight differences in design of uniform do not negatively impact the identification of a relay or cross country team. The expectation of this rule is that all relay and cross country team members can be clearly identified as representing the same school.

6-6-11, 6-8-12: Records measurement in discus and javelin to the nearest lesser inch or centimeter.

Rationale: Clarifies measurements when using metric system.

6-9-4, 6-9-5: Clarifies pit measurements for long jump and triple jump.

Rationale: Ensures pit measurements are within industry standards for safety.

8-1-1 thru 3: Clarifies legal course layout.

Rationale: Clarification of course markings.

8-3-2 thru 5: Clarifies order of finish based on torso.

Rationale: Clarifies that no matter the system used, the order of finish is based on when the torso crosses the finish line.

2019 Editorial Changes

6-2-20: Provides consistent language in the rules book, case book and officials manual.

Rationale: Consistency with wording in the rules books.

2019 Editorial Changes

4-6-5 Notes, 5-1-3, 8-6-1 thru 3, 5-2-3, 5-3-6, 6-5-1, 6-9-1

2019 Points of Emphasis

  1. Uniforms
  2. Wearable Technology
  3. Officials Safety and Recommendations in Vertical and Horizontal Jumps

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