The National Federation of State High School Associations released simplifications and clarifications for multiple rules in both track and field and cross-country on Tuesday. Most notably out of the June 11-13 meetings in Indianapolis came a loosening application of rule regarding uniforms for cross-country and relay teams.
Interpretation of foundation garment is now considered any visible garment worn underneath a uniform top and/or bottom. Those are not subject to logos, references, trademarks or color restrictions, per the new rules. A foundation garment had previously been defined as any item worn under the uniform top and/or bottom.
Another rule has been rewritten to state “all relay and cross-country team members must wear uniforms clearly indicating, through predominant color, school logo and color combination of all outer garments worn as a uniform, that members are from the same team.”
That new rule has a particular note stating that officials should have no uncertainty in determining all members are from the same team.
This should provide more flexibility between individual athletes on a school’s relay or cross-country team. That certainly lends more freedom to Wyoming runners and athletes who will be exposed to harsher elements through the late fall of cross-country season and unpredictable spring months.
Some officials have also been more strict about the uniform rule than others, leading to inconsistencies from meet to meet. This rule hopes to alleviate some of those inconsistencies.
Essentially, there is no rules violation or issue so long as an official can differentiate teams and identify all members of the same team.
“It has become increasingly more difficult to officiate the uniform rule given the increase in the number of programs nationwide that are allowing individual team members the option of independently purchasing either all or part of their team uniform,” Julie Cochran, NFHS director of sports and liaison to the Track and Field/Cross Country Rules Committee, said in a release. “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.”
There’s also been small changes to other aspects of cross-country and track and field that do not apply to the uniform.
Clarification of a cross-country rule now states that regardless of system used to determine runners’ placement, the order of finish shall be determined when a runner’s torso crosses the finish line. Another rule has more clearly defined legal course layouts without offering specifics.
A new track and field rule has been adopted regarding long jump and triple jump, which states the distance measured from foul line or takeoff board to mark may be adjusted to accommodate different levels of competition so long as they are agreed upon by officials before competition.