Rule Changes
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  • get the NFHS Rules App here.
  • 3-4-3: Offers guidelines for meet referees when determining a rerun. 
Rationale: Defined specific guidelines from the case book to offer consistency and guidance to a meet referee when ruling on reruns.
  • 4-2-2: Clarifies that an athlete is disqualified after participating in more than four events. 
Rationale: The athlete is not disqualified from an event until the individual participates in more than four events. The table was revised and moved to clarify the number of events in which an athlete may participate during a meet.
  • 5-7-2: Adjusts language to offer a standard for starter hold times. 
Rationale: Standardize starter hold times for fair and consistent starts.
  • 5-10-2: Increases the number of individuals who may be listed on the relay entry. 
Rationale: Providing two additional names gives opportunity for more athletes to be involved in regular and postseason track meets.
  • 6-6-4: Clarifies when the javelin measurement should be taken. 
Rationale: The measurement is made to the first point of contact under Rule 6-6-7 so that should be within the sector. If the rest of the javelin should fall outside the sector, that should not be a foul.
  • 7-2-2g (NEW): Adds mixed relay to the special events list.
Rationale: Mixed relays are becoming more popular at high school meets adding them to special events offers guidance to the states on how to conduct these events.
  • 9-3-2b: Any displaced or jostled crossbar should be placed on standards in exact same position before next attempt. 
Rationale: Adding the words ‘or jostled’ clarifies the intent of the 2022 rules change.
  • Rule 9 (NEW): Creates new indoor track and field rules section.
Rationale: There are 17 states that conduct state championships in indoor track and field, over 150,000 participants, and 21 states that sanction the activity. With recent changes to the outdoor rules, it became clearer that it was necessary to create a section specifically for indoor track and field rules. Move Records Section to New Rule 10.
  • 4-3-1-b-5: Clarifies that garments with logos completely around the waistband on uniform bottoms are legal.
  • 4-3-1-b-8 (NEW): Clarifies that religious head-wear is not considered a hair device.
  • 5-3-3: Clarifies when each exchange zone is to be used.
  • 6-2-7 (NEW): Clarifies that running in a direction other than how the event is conducted if prohibited in warm-ups with the exception of the high jump.
  • 6-9-9: Clarifies that an athlete is not penalized for a hat or sunglasses falling in the pit after they have made their mark.
  • 8-1-1-a (NEW NOTE): Clarifies cross country course markings.
  • 9-3-2-b, c (NEW): Clarifies when measurements for record attempts for vertical jumps needs to be taken.
  • No rule changes
  • No track season due to COVID
  • 4-6-5-g, 8-6-1 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.
  • 5-3-3, 5-3-4, 5-10-6 --> 11 Clarifies that in the 4x100m relay and 4x200m 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 m will remain at 20m.
  • 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.
  • 6-3-2-b-4-a This change provides metric measurements for tie-breaking jump-offs for vertical jumps.
  • 6-9-5 The length of long jump and triple jump pits constructed after 2019 shall be at least 23ft (7meters).
  • 8-1-1 Clarifies 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.
  • OHIO: an athlete may wear a gps watch but may not use it
  • 4-3-1 states “any visible garment worn underneath the uniform top and/or bottom is considered a foundation garment. A foundation garment is not subject to logo/trademark/reference or color restrictions.”
  • The note on 4-3-2 states: “the official shall have no uncertainty in determining that all members are from the same team.”
  • 8-3; In CC the torso determines the finish place regardless of the number of timing chips used.
  • In the long jump, more than one take-off board may be used during the competition.
  • A uniform does not need to be "school issued" merely "school approved."
  • Added the penalty of disqualification to rules 6-2-10 and 6-2-13.
  • The pole vault crossbar now has a range of approved lengths.
  • The duplicate and separate uniform rules for T&F and CC were combined.  All will now be in Rule 4.
  • Places the responsibility of providing liquids during competition on the games committee, not the individual coaches.
  • The signal at the beginning of the last lap in individual races now occurs in race distances of two laps or more.
  • Clarifies that a runner is disqualified by the starter when charged with a false start.
  • Clarifies the mechanics used to confirm the result of an attempt when flags are not utilized by calling “fair” or “foul”
  • Allows the placement of one American flag on each item of uniform apparel and deletes NOTE restricting flag placement
  • Adds receiving physical aid by any other person during a race to the list of unfair acts of assisting a competitor
  • A participant assisting an injured/ill competitor when an appropriate health-care professional is not available is no longer disqualified.
  • Establishes the location and spacing of cones, when used, in the absence of a curb.
  • Deletes the requirement of separating competitors from the same team if they were to be in the same heat in the first round of competition.
  • Competitors in distance races (800m and greater distances) use only a standing start, remaining motionless for the start without their hand(s) touching the ground.
  • Includes how trials are recorded when a legal implement breaks during competition within the rule and deletes as a NOTE.
  • Clarifies that directional sign posts can be used with or in place of directional flags in cross country
  • Clarifies the three consecutive passed heights must take place before the competitor attempts a jump.
  • Clarifies when the two minutes of warm-up jumps are permitted when a competitor has passed three consecutive heights with no attempted jump.
  • The head starter is now responsible for checking the starting blocks
  • Head event judges MAY use red and white flags to indicate foul and fair trials
  • Expands and clarifies definitions of trial/attempt, flight, round, pass, foul and what determines the initiation of purposeful action of completing the specific throwing or jumping event.
  • Establishes a maximum diameter for the boys and girls indoor shot puts to account for the synthetic cover.
  • Updates size of takeoff board to accepted sport specifications by recommending it be 8 inches wide, but permits up to 24 inches.
  • Permits the use of double boundary lines marking both the inside and outside boundaries of the cross country course.
  • Recommends the use of a video/photograph back-up system for cross country when transponders are used for place finish with a review activated when the timing system indicates a one-tenth second or less differential.
  • A finish corral is recommended at cross country meets in which the transponder system is used for the order of finish.
Due to the following changes, your case book (and some rule book) changes need to be made.  See these changes here.
  • No jewelry rule
  • Jumping and Throwing events; the trial that is carried to completion must be initiated within the time limit.
  • If an implement becomes illegal during a trial due to no fault of the athlete, another trial is given.
    • If the trial was completed before the implement becomes illegal, no additional trial is awarded.
  • Discus and Shot Put; it is not a foul if the athlete is out of control when exiting the back half of the circle
    • The implement must land before the athlete leaves the back half of the circle
  • Discus and Shot Put; the event judge does not have to call "Mark"
  • High Jump and Pole Vault: "a crossbar displaced by a force disassociated with the competitor after he/she is legally and clearly over the crossbar shall not be a fault and is considered a successful attempt.”
  • Coaches/Athletes using electronics to influence an official's decision, results in their disqualification.
  • OHSAA manual is online only.
  • Introduced "foundation garment" that does not fall under uniform rule. 
  • Stitching on undergarments is of no consideration any more.
  • The use of electronic communication devices is permitted during meets in unrestricted areas and coaches boxes; however, they may not be used for any review of a referee’s decision or to communicate with an athlete during a race or trial.
  • In the pole vault, per Ohio modification, the Head Vault official, as well as the field referee or head field judge, may verify the legality of poles
  • Relay; both runners shall not touch the baton outside the exchange zone
  • No cartwheel technique in shot put
  • Added time limits for consecutive attempts
  • PV range of standards is now 18" to 31.5"
  • The referee's authority begins upon arrival at the meet and concludes 30 minutes after final results have been made official.
  • Undergarment stitching of contrasting color is legal if stitching is for the actual seam
  • Races of 800m or more, the athletes must place themselves 3m behind the starting line
  • Other than the competitor, no person shall be allowed to touch the vaulting pole to prevent the pole from dislodging the crossbar
  • CC measurements of the course shall be along the shortest possible route.
  • Unsporting conduct by spectator is responsibility of meet director
  • Allows bobby pins, barrettes and hair clips no longer than 2"
  • Jewelry rule; 1st violation leads to team warning, not disqualification
  • Rule 4-4 clarifies rules on braces, casts, padding, prostheses, concussions and for modifications due to medical or religious reasons
  • The head event judge may change the order of competition and permit successive trials
  • It is no longer a miss if the bar is displaced and there is equipment malfunction.
  • PV competitor has passed three consecutive heights and has not entered the competition should be permitted two minutes of warmu-up jumps per number of competitors entering without the crossbar.  The competitors shall enter the competition at that height.  Such warm-ups must be taken at a height change.  (Rule 7-5-16)
  • Ohio: Field event contestants must report before the start of their flight. (Rule 4-1-3)
  • Ohio: No headgear may be used except headbands manufactured for that purpose and navy watch style caps. (Rule 4-3)
  • Ohio: The use of video productions may not be used by anyone for coaching purposes.  (Rule 4-6-7-g)
  • Ohio: Cross Country; The use of modified scoring is approved.  (Rule 9-2-3)
  • Coaching areas must be clearly marked by meet management before the start of the meet.
  • Video replay shall be approved by the games committee before the competition
  • Specifies the location of the anemometer; 3-17-2
  • Broadens restricted communication devices; 4-5-8-a
  • All heats in a running event shall use the same starting procedure; 5-6-3
  • Hurdles; eliminates deliberate knocking down by foot; foul if knocked down by hand; 5-13-2-b
  • An approved bungee cord may be used during warm-ups in high jump and pole vault; 7-2-11
  • Effective Jan. 1, 2013 the crossbar shall be circular







Last Updated 25 - Jan - 2023

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