Home : Miscellaneous : General tips : Athletics. What's it all about?

Athletics. What's it all about?

Here are a list of terms used in the field of athletics

Anchor leg The last segment of a relay.

Bell In most of the world a bell is rung to denote the start of the last lap of a race. In North America a gun is fired.

Blocks In races up to 400 metres, starting blocks are normally used to enable runners to get away faster

Break point In races from 600 to 1000 metres, run in lanes at the start, there is a point delineated after the first full bend at which the runners can cut into the inside. To cut in too early leads to disqualification.

Draw The order of starting, or lining up, in a race decided either by officials or by finishing position in a previous race.

Finishing line The finish is denoted by a line across the track. In some races there will also he a tape fixed at chest level. With automatic timing devices this tape is now rarely used.

False start Any athlete attempting to 'jump the gun' is decreed to have made a false start. Competitors are allowed one such transgression and are disqualified far a second; heptathlon and pentathlon athletes are allowed two.

Flyer A false start which has not been recalled by the starter.

Kick Strong injection of pace.

Lane The track is usually divided into lanes, within which athletes have to stay for the whole of some races (up to 400m) and for part of others (up to 800m, and sometimes 1000m).

Lap One complete circuit of the track. Thus a lap time would be for the last full circuit completed.

No-jump In jumping events, an attempt which has failed or was ruled illegal.

No-throw In throwing events, an attempt which has been ruled illegal.

PB Personal best Improvement on an athlete's previous best performance.

Photo-finish Automatic timing device, activated by the starter's gun and stopped by a beam on the finish line, which records on film the finishing positions and times of the athletes.

Points Allocated for a performance, according to official scoring tables, for scoring multi discipline events such as the decathlon and heptathlon.

Recall gun The starter or his assistant will fire a second shot if they consider there has been an infringement of the rules at the start of a race.

Stagger On a circular laned track, in races up to 800m and sometimes 1000m, it is necessary for the starting positions to be staggered in order to ensure that all the runners run the same distance.

Straight The section of the track approaching the finish line is called the home straight, and that on the other side is known as the back straight.

Take-off board A rectangular white board, usually wood, sunk into the runways of the long and triple jumps, from which jumps are made and measured. The athlete's foot must not overlap the far edge of the board.

Take-over zone In relays the designated area within which the baton must be passed. Failure to do so leads to disqualification.

Wind assistance For record purposes in the sprint, high hurdles and jumps, the wind component behind the athlete must not exceed 2m per second. A wind gauge set alongside the track or runway measures the strength of the wind, the direction of which can either aid or hamper the athlete.

Ask a question Send in a tip Contact TipKing Books Privacy Disclaimer Feed
© Tipking 2000-2011 All rights reserved Last update: Thu Nov 17 2011
| privacy