The use of technology to view video during track and field competitions is among the recommended rules changes supported by the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Track and Field Rules Committee.
Committee members, who met by videoconference last week, proposed that only coaches could use hand-held technology devices for purposes of video review in field events and for timing in running events. Competitors could view the video with their coaches provided they did so in a specific area designated by meet management. The area would have to be in a location that does not interfere with other ongoing competition.
If video is viewed outside of the designated area, it would result in a warning, and a second violation would result in a disqualification for the coach and competitor.
The committee believes this allowed use of technology would align NCAA track and field competition with other national and international governing bodies in the sport. “We are trying to capture the technology that is available now,” said Mike Mead, committee chair and assistant athletics director and men’s and women’s cross country coach at Clayton State. “Since facilities are different, the committee believes it should be left up to meet management where the video can be viewed.”
All rules proposals must be approved by the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel, which is scheduled to discuss all track field and cross country proposals Aug. 12.
In recent years, committee members have discussed reorganizing the NCAA Track and Field and Cross Country Rules Book. This goal was completed at the conclusion of their 2020 virtual meeting.
When the rules book is published in the fall, the track and field and cross country communities will see a more user-friendly rules book that clearly differentiates indoor track and field, outdoor track and field, and cross country rules.
“Since I got on the committee, it was a point we wanted to address,” Mead said. “The input I received from fellow coaches was the book needed to be more readable. This solves that. It is a better reference, and the information can be easily found in the book.”
Other rules recommendations
- Time schedule changes preventing student-athletes from fulfilling their obligation to compete in an event would not be considered as failure to participate.
- The maximum size of 3,000-meter heats would increase to 20 competitors, up from 16.
- Cross country teams that start at least five runners and have fewer than five runners finish the race would be assigned a team place. Teams that start with at least five runners declare their intent to finish as a team. Incomplete teams would be listed alphabetically in the last position of the official team results as “Did Not Finish.” Tie-breaking procedures for incomplete team finishes would not be applied.
- Officials would be required to be present for all indoor and outdoor field event warmups. Meet management would establish the warmup time. Currently, it is recommended that officials be present for all field event warmups.