NOTE: Due to the cancellation of spring sports last year because of the Coronavirus, the 2020 NFHS Track and Field Rules will be used for the 2021 season. The Comments on the Rules written last year will apply for the 2021 season. These comments, which all reference the 2020 NFHS Track and Field/Cross Country Rules Book, will be in effect for the 2021 season.
4-6-5g, 8-6-1e: Clarifies that a competitor should not be penalized for helping another competitor who is distressed or injured when no advantage is gained by the competitor who is assisting.
Rationale: The committee believes when no advantage is gained by a competitor helping a distressed or injured competitor, the competitor assisting should not be penalized for exhibiting good sportsmanship.
5-3-3 & 4, 5-10-6 thru 11: Clarifies that in the 4x100-meter relay and 4x200-meter relay, and other relays with legs of 200 meters or less, each exchange zone will be 30 meters long. All exchange zones for races in excess of 200 meters will remain at 20 meters.
Rationale: In the 4x100-meter relay and 4x200-meter relay, and other relays with legs of 200 meters or less, each exchange zone will be 30 meters long. All exchange zones for races in excess of 200 meters will remain at 20 meters.
6-2-6: Clarifies that it is illegal to run backward or in the opposite direction (non-legal direction) on a horizontal jump, pole vault or javelin runway.
Rationale: This change promotes a more organized and efficient warm-up period.
6-3-2-b-4-a: This change provides metric measurements for tie-breaking jump-offs for vertical jumps.
Rationale: The committee established appropriate metric increments for tie-breaking jump-offs in the vertical jumps.
6-9-5: The length of long jump and triple jump pits constructed after 2019 shall be at least 23 feet (7 meters).
Rationale: Clarifies the language of the 2019 rule change for long jump and triple jump pits and ensures pit measurements are within industry standards for safety.
8-1-1: Clarifies cross country course markings.
Rationale: The reorganization of the rule states that a course should be clearly marked with any or all of the methods listed in the rule.
8-1-3: Clarifies cross country course layouts.
Rationale: This rule change will not eliminate courses that may be used for smaller meets with limited numbers of participants. The additional language provides a recommended minimum distance for straightaways at the start of all meets.
2020 Editorial Changes
5-11-1: A relay team shall pass their baton in accordance with the rules.
Rationale: Clarifies that a team finishes the race with the same baton that it used at the start of the race.
2020 Editorial Changes
2020 Points of Emphasis