NFS rule could make a comeback; see Joe Johnston proposal

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M65 sprinter-jumper Joe Johnston wants a no-false-start rule in masters track — just like the IAAF elites. In fact, he writes that he’s made a proposal to the USATF national convention in November to that effect. See below. But this is probably a losing cause, since the NFS rule was tossed a decade ago after a major push led by the late Louise Tricard, a sprinter and women’s track historian. I covered this issue in my original Masters T&F Home Page. I was agin it. Joe, who also has a gloves proposal for the masters vault, says – ‘I made these two submissions in May and have encountered the negativism & confusion (on different levels & by different people involved in the process) that goes with the convoluted process. I hope that we can get these ideas out there so the athletes involved can express their feelings before the convention in December.’ BTW, the deadline for proposing changes in USATF rules is Aug. 29.

Here’s what Joe has proposed for the Daytona Beach convention:

2012 USATF COMPETITION RULES

ARTICLE VI SPECIAL PROGRAMS
SECTION II-A MASTERS TRACK AND FIELD AND RACEWALKING
Competitive Rules and Standards for Masters Track and Field
Amend Rule 332.2, page 197, as follows:
2. Track
(c) ((No penalty shall be imposed for the first false start, but the Starter shall
disqualify the offender or offenders on the second false start.)) The Starter shall disqualify any competitor(s) responsible for the first/only false start, the race shall continue without recall and a red flag shall be raised in the respective lane(s) to indicate the competitor(s) responsible for the false start. False starts are called on individuals, not on the field. NOTE: In practice, when one or more competitors . . .

Reason: There’s innate unfairness in making the field start over again when an individual false starts. We should avoid penalizing those who perform fairly. Runners will know that when the gun fires all will run the race on the first start. If someone false starts, they will still get to run the race (a`-la exhibition), but be disqualified post race.

Proposed “Pole Vault glove” rule

2012 USATF COMPETITION RULES

ARTICLE VI SPECIAL PROGRAMS
SECTION II-A MASTERS TRACK AND FIELD AND RACEWALKING
Competitive Rules and Standards for masters Track and Field
Rule 332.3, page 200
3. Field
Add Rule: and re-letter = c/d
In the Pole Vault, gloves may be worn.
Reason: The safety of a better grip. The rules already allow “an adhesive substance such as resin, tape or a similar substance on their hands or on the pole during competition.”
Gloves are now manufactured, for other sports, that can accomplish the same safety goal with
a lot less mess and serve the purpose much better, especially in adverse conditions i.e. wet weather. This rule is so outdated, it’s hard to remember the rationale for NOT allowing gloves.

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August 24, 2012

34 Responses

  1. Stephen Robbins - August 25, 2012

    I sure hope we DON’T pass a no-false-start rule. I believe the elites imposed it to speed up meets for TV. We have no such need. I haven’t seen any abuse of the current rule. Moreover, many of our competitors spend a great deal of money getting to a meet. What a shame if they false start and have to perform under “exhibition” status. On a personal note, in my first masters’ Worlds in Miyazaki Japan, I was nervous and jumped in my heat. Under a revised rule, that would have been it for me. I calmed my nerves and won the final. As masters’sprinters, we have enough problems trying to get to meets in a healthy condition. We shouldn’t have to worry about having a single false start end our competition. BTW, they give high jumpers and pole vaulters three tries at heights. Under no-false-start logic, shouldn’t they only get one try at each height?

  2. Rod Jett - August 25, 2012

    It’s pretty simple, don’t false start. High schoolers can’t, collegiates can’t, elites can’t…The field event comparison is apples and oranges. The rule won’t get passed because of all the whiners, but it should.

  3. tb - August 25, 2012

    Would be kind of a cool rule with cameras and sensors, but I can’t imagine the arguments that will ensue with this version of a false start rule. “Did not!” “Did, too” “DID NOT!!”, etc.

  4. Ed Baskauskas - August 25, 2012

    I agree with Rod. Wait until you hear the gun. If you’re trying to guess the starter’s cadence and synchronize your first movement with the firing of the gun, that’s cheating, even if you guess right and “catch a flyer.”

  5. Joseph Burleson - August 25, 2012

    I believe that some of the responses above are not incorrect in citing the need for experienced sprinters not to guess and thereby gain an unfair advantage. But my observations over watching the nationals and worlds for the past 25 years is that most false starts are due to nervousness, lack of experience, and lack of practice. While the last one can be remedied, the first two characterize many of the competitors regardless of their experience. Additionally, the older the competitor, the more likely there are issues of balance, cordination, hearing and mobility. While I agree that some of us are simply knuckleheads who have no business messing things up with our false starts (me, for example, dead last in my 400 trial in Sacramento Worlds) and who should have known better and practiced more, many top-flight competitors should not be penalized for having traveled half-way across the country, not to mention the world, simply to go home after making that one mistake. As a note on the jumps: you get multiple jumps and throws; imagine getting only one toss total in the shot or one jump at each height in the pole valut.

  6. Bob White - August 25, 2012

    FWIW, my vote would be to allow one false start, and to allow vaulters to wear gloves. I do not think either provides an unfair advantage.

    For those of us who compete infrequently, the whole starting procedure is unfamiliar territory. I haven’t false-started yet, but I would like to think that the first time it happens won’t ruin my year. I have seen a few false starts in the races I’ve been in, and never thought it was a hardship to me. Is there really a problem here that needs to be fixed?

    Let’s worry a little less about trying to catch cheaters than about making it a good experience for as many athletes as possible.

  7. Peter Taylor - August 25, 2012

    Following up on what Joe Burleson said, many people remember the late, great Everett Hosack (Chagrin Falls, Ohio), who competed in many of our meets and was a sensation at the Penn Relays when he ran in the 75+ 100 meters there at age 100. Some years before that, Mr. Hosack somehow found his way from Chagrin Falls to Newark, Delaware.

    The occasion was the Eastern regionals for masters, and Mr. Hosack had entered the 60 dash as his only running event. The starter, Lou, had been chief starter at the Penn Relays and was very much aware of the “no false start” rule for masters in place at the time.

    Unfortunately, the acoustics in the Univ of Delaware fieldhouse in Newark are not very good, and sound does bounce around there. Regardless, after the “set” Mr. Hosack simply started running. The argument offered was that he interpreted the “set” as the starting signal when he heard “set” for the second time as the sound bounced around the arena. Maybe farfetched, but what are you going to do.

    Anyway, the starter (again, very much aware of the “no false start” rule), simply refused to enforce it in that particular circumstance and send Mr. Hosack “race-less” back to Ohio. No one, even the meet director, gave the starter an argument. After several minutes, he had Mr. Hosack line up again and off he went down the straightaway.

    If we are going to have competitors in the 90, 95, and 100 groups compete in the sprints, we are going to have “balance, coordination, hearing and mobility” issues, as Joe Burleson said.

  8. Mike Walker - August 25, 2012

    I agree with Joe, Ed & Rod. It isn’t that hard to wait until the gun is fired. I do know of several sprinters who routinely jump in local meets because they know that many of the starters are inexperienced and will let them go.
    Personally, when Im working as a starter, I go over the starting procedure with each heat and that serves as a reminder to the runners of what to do and that I will enforce the rules and never have a problem with false starts.

  9. Mike Sullivan - August 25, 2012

    When I first began running masters track a decade ago or so I would get a little annoyed with the runners that would false start. Having run high school and college track where there is the no false start rule….I had never false started in high school or college. Not proud of that…most likely just do to my slow reaction time. hahaha! Anyway my first of only 2 false starts in my life came a few years back in the Indoor Nationals in Maryland. It was the prelims of the 60m and I was so nervous that while in the set position I realized I was not ready and just had to step out of the blocks…..I was so upset with myself and began to apologize to one of my competitors in the next lane. The athlete whom I never met before put his arm around my shoulder and said relax “relax, its okay” Then the athlete, Mr. Lonnie Hooker went on to kick my arse in the finals of the 60m and 200m. Thanks again Mr. Hooker and I hope to see you in Maryland for Indoor Nationals.
    The one other time I think the starter fell asleep while the field was in the set position…3 or 4 athletes jumped the gun.
    Back to South Mountain,
    Sully

  10. Richard Holmes - August 25, 2012

    Masters Track and Field athletes continually complain that they’re treated as “real” track and field athletes. Well folks — the no false start rule is part of “real” track and field, so get on board, practice your start technique and move on…

  11. Richard Holmes - August 25, 2012

    Correction on my post
    “That they’re NOT treated as REAL T & F athletes…”

  12. Bob White - August 25, 2012

    “practice your start technique” isn’t easy to do when the nearest meets or clubs are 100-200 miles away. Is there a good way to do that in one’s back yard?

    The vast majority of us are not elite athletes, even for our age group. I for one have not complained that we are not treated in the same way as the elites.

    Again, I ask – what exactly is the problem that we are trying to fix here? Has someone unfairly won a championship due to timing the start perfectly? Have some major races been marred by repeated false starts? That may be the case and I am just not aware of it. But I haven’t seen it, and if this is mostly for the sake of consistency, there is a saying about that….

  13. Rick Riddle - August 25, 2012

    I like the idea that if you false start, you are required to move backward and begin the race 2 meters behind the rest of the field, while simultaneously losing the right to use blocks. Resetting the blocks takes way too much time when the other athletes are ready to run. False start twice and you move back another 2 meters for a total of 4 meters. 3 strikes and you are out. If you are trying to get a flyer by guessing the gun, you now have been given risk to accompany the reward. But, you still get to compete and complain, even if you traveled thousands of miles.

  14. Mark Berry - August 25, 2012

    No one is addressing the real problem with the proposal. I personally do not agree with it. If someone false starts, according to the proposal, the race is to continue and NOT be recalled. This is not a fair proposal at all. I have been in many races where the person next to me false starts causing myself and others to have a reflex reaction. The idea is to have a fair start, which means that ALL competitors have started fairly. I would rather have 4 or 5 false starts than have someone mess up my opporturtunity to compete fairly and run my race. If they want to go to one false start I can live with that, but I want no distractions from another competitor that will impede my performance.

  15. Jack Karbens - August 25, 2012

    One false start for masters and two false starts for decathletes is reasonable. I was at a meet at USC when several sprinters false started in one heat. The gun had gone off at the swimming pool next door. Cars backfire near starting lines. The crowds lined up around the start of the 100 at Hayward Field have confused the athletes.

    Some starters hold athletes much longer than expected. Some starters are not perfect. Until we figure out a system where every variable other than the athlete is executed perfectly, it makes no sense to assume that the athlete is always the only guilty party.

    During the recent Olympic swimming meet a former gold medal winner was disqualified for a false start in a trial. A review was made and somehow the athlete reinstated. This athlete went on to win a medal. The athlete is clearly not always the guilty party. Beware of the false premise.

  16. Jeff Davison - August 25, 2012

    Years ago I saw M90 Bert Morrow false start his attempt at a M90 World Record for the High Hurdles.
    I imagine alot of pressure running alone, and attempting to break a world record. Fortunately he had a second chance, but did not get the record.
    Side note: The record he did not break was by a Japanese hurdler that ran alone in the rain . . I saw it on TV.

    And the discussion above about the cost and time to travel to a Nationals or Worlds – and false starting . . . ugh !

    I have false started out of a sprint race before,
    and had to go home without running a sprint race that day. Not fun ! Lucky it was a local meet.

  17. Allan Tissenbaum - August 26, 2012

    To answer Bob White, there have been championships won and record set with false starts. Our present situation gives one little risk to jumping the gun, so it definitely happens. However the risk of an inadvertant false is too great at he masters level to change the ruling. Different starters have different cadences and often hold athletes in the blocks for too long leading to movement and false starts. As we all age not everyone has the strength to be able to be held in the blocks, others use a standing start due to variuos ailments. With the one and done rule we will just encourage less people to participate and see our numbers further dimished.

    From a purely selfish side I would love to see one and done, in Lisle my race was victimized by one or two individuals that attempted to jump, we finally got off the line on the fourth try, which never helps anyones performance.

  18. Marty Krulee - August 26, 2012

    I totally agree with the one and done rule. I have been competing for nearly 40 years and have never false started. There are competitors that feel it is their right to use this as a tool to either get a better result for them or disrupt the other competitors in the race.
    The financial cost to compete is a burden on many of us, but it cannot be used as a tool to encourage one to try and cheat.
    I was in Stockholm at the DN Galan Competion when the Great Greg Foster was disqualified for false starting. It was a huge tragedy as he was paid a lot of money just to be there.The starter that threw him out was chastised for “ruining the hurdle race” but he was correct. Greg false started so no race for him.
    I understand that some of the burden falls on the experience of the starter, but as I and many other posters here have stated it is simple. Don’t false start and you won’t be disqualified.

  19. Jim P - August 26, 2012

    This is quite the polarizing issue! I challenge the “one and done” crowd to voluntarily impose that on themselves after they’ve spent $1000 and traveled 1000 miles to an event and then false started. Trust track karma to eventually get the “jumpers.” Down in the heart of every masters athlete is the knowledge of what it took them to produce their performance.

  20. Ed Baskauskas - August 26, 2012

    How is jumping the gun different from stepping out of one’s lane in the 200? Would anyone be in favor of redoing the race because someone was disqualified for going out of her or his lane? What if the misstep was not an attempt to gain an advantage but was the result of fatigue, balance issues, lack of practice, or nervousness?

  21. Peter Taylor - August 26, 2012

    To answer your question, Ed, when you run out of your lane in the 200 there is one person involved, the competitor (Mr. A). In the start, there are at least two people involved and possibly as many as 10 (the starter, Mr. A, and the eight others on the line). One or more of these contestants can engage in disruptive behavior that ultimately contributes to Mr. A’s disqualification.

    The starter can be of limited competence, hold people much too long, etc. Furthermore, in masters T&F we have another factor that can contribute to false starting, and that is lack of respect for our program.

    How does that work? Here’s an example: We have had our nationals at Orono, Maine, on three different occasions. Because of a lack of respect for our program, construction was allowed to go on for all 4 days during one of our nationals there. I still remember the time when a 100-meter sprinter claimed that noise from a construction truck backing up near the starting line had caused him to false start at Orono. Unsure how that was resolved (I think in his favor).

    Regardless, competitors in masters T&F are considered to be such a pitiful lot that just about anything goes. If I’m not mistaken, construction went on throughout our 2010 outdoor nationals (Sacramento). Whether it’s a poor starter, ongoing construction, disruptive behavior by other competitors, poor hearing or lack of strength, we are quite a bit different from elite athletes and deserve rules that differ from those governing the young folk.

  22. Mary Harada - August 27, 2012

    Peter raises a good point – re disruptive behavior, noise from nearby construction, and in some cases – mis-firing starter guns or poor acoustics in indoor tracks. There were a number of “false starts” in one of the women’s track races in WMA indoor meet in Finland this past April – I do not recall which one – maybe the 800 – standing starts – but the way the start gun was placed – some of us could not hear it when it was fired. It became almost comical before they made an adjustment to the sound. By the standards of one and done – almost all of us should have been thrown out of the race. In Sacramento at the WMA outdoor meet – the 5k was at a secondary track. Apparently those in charge of that facility thought it was quite alright to have the construction workers with jack-hammers working in the stands during the races. I could not hear myself think never mind hear a start gun.
    I started after I saw the others leave the start line , all I heard were the jack hammers on the concrete in the stands.

    Rather than getting one’s knickers in a twist about false starts, how about a rule that mandates a working clock on the track for the distance races – “even those of the old folks” in the longer track races. In Lisle – there was NO clock on the track and NO calling out of splits for the 5k races on the first day. Talk about a lack of respect for athletes – the timer folks finally managed to turn up with the end line clock and turn it on hours after the meet had started. Why the officials could not have called out split times is beyond my comprehension – other than – not giving a damn about the competitors in the races.

  23. Ed Baskauskas - August 27, 2012

    Thanks, Pete. My question was directed mainly at the “thousand miles-thousand dollars” argument, but I get what you’re saying about external factors possibly contributing to a false start. Still, the same kind of thing can happen once the race is under way: recall what happened to Marty in the 200 at Honolulu–an oblivious official got in his way and caused a DNF (see http://masterstrack.com/2005/08/790/). If noise from nearby construction interferes with athletes’ ability to hear the gun, that’s something that the starter presumably can deal with on a case-by-case basis. But I don’t think we need to codify exceptional occurrences like that into our standard rules, which will apply even when circumstances are ideal. The problem of declining strength and balance is more difficult, but I think the straightforward solution is for each athlete to find a set position (classic block start, three-point stance, or standing start) that she or he can hold until the gun is fired.

  24. Craig ddavis - August 27, 2012

    Interesting that NO ONE has mentioned the idea of charging the first false start to the field and the next is disqualified. Not to add more fuel but in HS if we knew the next one who jumped was OUT then you sat in the blocks. I remember being at the starting line at Worlds in Sacromento and spectators complaining about how long the starter was holder the Set position. The problem was the athletes getting to the set position as we know good starters will wait until all runners reach a still set position. Inexperienced runners do not know how to raise to the set position properly which may cause the wobble, jumping, etc Many of the runners even at the bigger meets are there to participate for the enjoyment but can cause an issue at the start. I prefer the one and done because I consider myself as a “Reaction to the Gun Starter”. I had a great start at Outdoor Champs 100 final but someone else false started. I felt as if I lost some adrenialine on the reset and being edged out for bronze didn’t make me any happier.

  25. Ed Baskauskas - August 27, 2012

    Thanks, Pete (#21). My question was directed mainly at the “thousand miles-thousand dollars” argument, but I get what you’re saying about external factors possibly contributing to a false start. Still, the same kind of thing can happen once the race is under way: recall what happened to Marty in the 200 at Honolulu–an oblivious official got in his way and caused a DNF (see Ken’s blog entry for August 11, 2005). If noise from nearby construction interferes with athletes’ ability to hear the gun, that’s something that the starter presumably can deal with on a case-by-case basis. But I don’t think we need to codify exceptional occurrences like that into our standard rules, which will apply even when circumstances are ideal. The problem of declining strength and balance is more difficult, but I think the straightforward solution is for each athlete to find a set position (classic block start, three-point stance, or standing start) that she or he can hold until the gun is fired.

  26. Peter Taylor - August 27, 2012

    Thanks, Ed. Actually, I have a lot of sympathy for the “one and done” position as articulated by Marty Krulee and others but would not vote for it. Perhaps it will seem like a copout, but I will address here the phenomenon of false starting as a complex issue with no easy answers. Not as complex, for example, as deciding whether to do bariatic surgery to prevent type 2 diabetes in obese people (discussed in the most recent New England Journal of Medicine; the authors’ conclusion was favorable), but complex enough.

    As I ruminated on this matter last night I thought about the Hartshorne Mile, which I announce every year at Cornell University.

    The starter lines up the milers about 8 meters behind the starting line, then quickly brings them forward and shoots the gun. What if one of the runners stumbles and falls forward right as the gun is sounded, perhaps because he/she was bumped by the competitor to his/her right trying to get lined up just a bit closer to the inside? There goes that race.

    In this particular case I assume no intention on the offending athlete to cheat, no plan to beat the gun, etc.

    At the other extreme we have some sprinters theoretically capable of breaking 7.00 in the 60 (in M30 and M35) who might say to themselves that the best way to do that would be to time the cadence of the starter and “just go” after perhaps a 2-second count. Either get a really good time or be saved by the no-false-start rule. That’s some bad stuff.

    At Lisle we had a visually impaired runner in the 10,000. Not sure how she oriented herself at the line, but I could imagine her or someone else with an impairment making a premature step and being thrown out of the 10,000 meters or other distance race.

    In the example I gave above (no. 7) I recalled Mr. Hosack (aged somewhere between 90 and 99 at the time) being confused by the echos in the Univ of Delaware fieldhouse and false starting.

    You mention the starter dealing with things on a case-by-case basis. Here’s my language:

    If, in the opinion of the starter, an athlete who false starts is deemed to have intentionally tried to gain an advantage, that athlete shall be disqualified. In races of 200 meters or less, the presumption will be that false-starting athletes who assume a sprinter’s gait will have false-started intentionally unless the starter rules there are mitigating factors (note: here we have such factors as inability to hear, apparent confusion, noise from construction, etc.). That athlete will be disqualified.

    On the other hand, in races of 300 meters or longer if an athlete who false starts is deemed to have done so accidentally and to have made no effort to have gained an advantage, that athlete may remain in the competition.

    By no means a solution, but again I am arguing on complexity grounds. I am saying that it is not so simple as evil-minded sprinters trying to “pop out” early. Rather, we have a complex issue with quite a few variables. As I tossed and turned in bed last night I realized that we needed a solution that would be good for M95 sprinters, W60 distance runners, M30 sprinters, W80 racewalkers, etc.

    This is very much unlike the case for hurdlers, throwers, steeplechasers, etc., where we recognize differences by age and sex and simply have different standards for different groups.

  27. Ed Baskauskas - August 27, 2012

    Thanks again, Pete. I think your proposed language is very reasonable, and I would support it. But if the choice is between unqualified one-and-out (i.e., NFS) or two-and-out, I would still favor the NFS rule.

  28. Marty Krulee - August 27, 2012

    Well I guess I need to add something to my post.
    First I just happen to have been in that race in Maine and the Athlete was Val Grosse From Canada.
    I was about to defend him with the Starter as they do have some discretion. There was a sound from a truck backing up and he did deserve a second chance, but as soon as he started cussing at the starter any hope of a comprise was gone.
    All starters should have the common sense and compassion to choose when an Athlete has gained or tried to gain an unfair advantage. That in my opinion is where the one and done rule should apply, not when the starter holds the 85 year age group for 4 plus seconds that is unreasonable.

  29. David E. Ortman (M59) Seattle, WA - August 28, 2012

    From High School to College to Masters, my efforts to false start have been a dismal failure. I get no advantage from a fair start, much less a false start. None-the-less, masters track should go with one false start on the field – second false start you’re out.

    Another thing that would help is to stop “prairie dogging.” The rule should be for those using blocks: “On your marks” which means get in your blocks and keep your knees and hands on the track. “Set” which means knees off the ground. “Gun” which means go. Instead we see sprinters on the “On your marks” commend, back into the blocks, put their hands on the track and then “prairie dog” (their hands leave the track and they popup to a vertical position to look around). What does this do? It gives them a competitive advantage because the starter can’t issue the set command until all runners are in the On your marks position.

    Especially in the 200/400 races if you are in lanes 4-8 and are already “On your marks,” if someone prairie dogs in lane 3, you don’t know what is happening behind you. All you know is that the “stupid” starter is taking way too long between “On your marks” and “Set.”

    If I recall correctly, this happened in the Olympic Trails M200m finals where one of the runners in lane 4 or so prairie dogged causing an extra long wait while others were properly in their blocks.

    It’s not quite as bad in the 100m/110mH, but if you are “On your marks” in your focus zone staring down the track, you may not be aware of another runner several lanes away who is prairie dogging and holding up the starter.

    All of this “prairie dogging” could be avoided by instructing the runners that once the command is issued “On your marks” and feet are in the blocks and hands are on the track, that if there is any “prairie dogging” all runners will be stood up and start over with “On your marks.”

    My worst starting experience was at the WAVA-Buffalo in 1995 in the finals of the M45 110m hurdles. They made us run hurdles into a 14 mph or so headwind. Talk about being blown out your blocks! It took so long for the starter to figure out if everyone was relatively steady that I was loosing my balance and just about to stand up, while being afraid to do so thinking I would be false started. And of course just as I was about to stand up, the gun finally went off, leaving me literally standing in the blocks. Oh, well, at least I didn’t false start.

  30. Craig Davis - August 29, 2012

    After watching the Diamond League meet and seeing the 110HH Olympic Gold Medalist false start out, not only is the athlete effected so is the race and the fans. At that level that’s the price he paid but…..
    If we need to have a rule then: one false start on the field – second false start you’re out!!!!!!!!!!!
    May be just may be those other false starts would go away, but if you are the second person to try and ANTICIPATE the flying start — you go home like the Olympic Gold Medalist

  31. Stefan Waltermann - August 30, 2012

    Okay, I’m a lousy starter, always 1 m behind the field, out of the race right after the gun. ‘one false start on the field’? Great, I initiate it. That will keep everybody a bit longer in the blocks the second time around. Good for me as I’m now in the competition. Would I do it? Never. I respect my fellow competitors too much. Would other athletes do it if medals are on the line? Well, you decide.

  32. Doug - August 30, 2012

    Having the no-false-start rule in Masters track is a solution looking for a problem.

    It’s not a common situation where people are false starting one after the other and creating massive delays. And there is no TV audience to worry about. NFS in Masters would be a cure that’s worse than the disease.

  33. Kevin Burgess - September 2, 2012

    If you are to introduce this rule you will have to use the same pressure sensitive blocks as the pros use. In Claremont Ferrand in the 60m final, the Italian athlete in the lane next to me clearly went before the gun but the yellow card was given to me. I protested to no avail. The Italian grinned at me and raised his eyes as if to acknowledge that he had got away with it. Under the rule you are proposing I would have been disqualified. You must have the equipment as you cannot rely on “human” judjement on important decisions like this.

  34. Jim Broun - September 4, 2012

    At the WMA Indoor in Finland in March I ran the m60 60 meter hurdles. I was in lane 5 in the finals and the Russian, Davidov was in lane 4. First lane 1 false started but despite this I was over the first hurdle ahead of the field but called back, then on start 2 lane 9 false started and again I was over the first hurdle in the lead but called back yet again. The third time we had a legal start but I had a very slow reaction time, came out behind most of the field and had to play catch up the entire race! I made up a good bit but still ended up second..I am in favor of the no false start because after one or two jumps you lose your adrenalin boost and no longer respond to the gun “fresh”! I have never had a false start in masters track as I wait for the gun!

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