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Rule changes permit jewelry at high school track meets

Starting in the 2015 high school track and field season, athletes will be permitted to wear jewelry during events, one of several rule changes implemented by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Track and Field Rules Committee.

Rules had been in place banning the wearing of jewelry by athletes, but the committee determined that doing so creates little risk of injury to the competitor or opponents. Coaches continue to have the obligation that competitors are properly equipped however, and it may be at the discretion of a coach to prevent their athletes from wearing jewelry.

Also revised was language in the rule book regarding the time limit to initiate a trial in the throwing and jumping events. Previously, competitors had one minute to carry their attempt to completion, starting in 2015 they must only initiate the attempt within one-minute.

Also changed was a rule regarding equipment failure due to no fault of the athlete, such as if a discus, javelin or pole vault breaks, wherein no penalty is counted against the athlete and a replacement attempt shall be given.  Specifically for discus competitions, it is no longer a foul if an athlete is out of control when exiting the back half of the circle, and the requirement for the judge to call “mark” was also eliminated.

For pole vault competitions, if the bar falls after the athlete clears the bar at no fault of the competitor it will be considered a successful attempt, and the committee also approved the 1,500-meter run as an alternate for the 1,600-meter run for the decathlon and pentathlon.

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