Information > RACEWALKING RULES
An Abstract from the USATF Competition Rules
 
[This document was prepared by James Fields, former Chairman of the National Racewalking Rules Committee. It attempts to simplify the reading of the rules by organizing them under ten topical headings. The item seperators () have been added by the Webmaster for clarity.]
 
Definition of Race Walking - Race Walking is a progression of steps so taken that the walker makes contact with the ground so that no visible (to the human eye) loss of contact occurs. The advancing leg must be straightened (i.e. not bent at the knee) from the moment of first contact with the ground until the leg is in the vertical upright position. - Rule 150.2
 
Judging - The Judges of Race Walking shall have the sole authority to determine the fairness or unfairness of walking, and their rulings thereon shall be final and without appeal. Judging decisions are made as seen by the human eye. All Judges shall act in an individual capacity. - Rule 39.1 (a,e)
 
Caution - Competitors must be cautioned by any Judge when, by their mode of progression, they are in danger of ceasing to comply with the definition of race walking (see Rule 150); but they are not entitled to a second caution from the same Judge for the same offense. Each Judge shall use a white paddle for signaling cautions during a race. Each paddle shall have the symbol indicating "Loss of Contact" on one side and the symbol > indicating "Bent Knee" on the reverse side to show the reason for the caution. Having cautioned a competitor, the Judge shall record all such cautions on the Judge's Tally Sheet. - Rule 39.2 All judges' Tally Sheets are turned in to the Recorder at the end of the race. A copy of the completed Judges' Summary Sheet shall be posted as soon after the event as possible. - Rule 39.1 (h)
 
Warning - Each judge's proposal for disqualification is called a warning. Competitors shall be given warnings when, by their mode of progression, they fail to comply with rule 150.2 [the definition of race walking] by exhibiting visible loss of contact or a bent knee during any part of the competition. - Rule 39.3 (a)
 
Warning Card - Once a Judge has decided to propose a disqualification, the Judge shall immediately fill out a [red] warning card which shall be passed to the Recorder as soon as possible. If there is no Recorder, the red [warning] cards are to go to the Chief Judge. Each warning shall be recorded separately on the Judge's Tally Sheet. - Rule 39.3 (b) For Championships and international trials races, a warning posting board shall be used to keep competitors informed about the number of warnings that have been received by the Recorder or Chief Judge for each competitor. - Rule 39.3 (f)
 
Disqualification - When a competitor receives a warning from three different judges, the competitor shall be disqualified and informed of this disqualification by the Chief Judge. Disqualification may be given immediately after the competitor has finished, if it is impractical to inform the competitor of the disqualification during the race. The Chief Judge shall use a red paddle for signaling disqualifications during a walking race. - Rule 39.3 (c,d,e)
 
Race Conduct - In track races a competitor who is disqualified must immediately leave the track. In road races the disqualified competitor must, immediately after being disqualified, remove the distinguishing numbers which he or she is wearing and leave the course. No finishing time shall be listed in results for any athlete who receives notice of disqualification after the competitor has completed the race distance. - Rule 150.3 (a)
 
Judges - All Judges shall be currently certified as Race Walking Judges by USATF or by another IAAF member federation. The appointed Judges of Race Walking shall elect a Chief Judge. The Chief Judge shall assign the Judges to their respective Judging areas and explain the judging procedure to be used during the race. The Judges will serve as Umpires if none are assigned. The Chief Judge will serve as the Referee and Chief Umpire if none is assigned. - Rule 39.1 (d,b,c,f)
 
Number of Judges - [mentioned in three different rules] A race must have a minimum of three judges . . . - Rule 150.3 (c) All must be certified as Race Walk Judges . . . - Rule 39.1 (d) In road races, depending on the size and layout of the course, there should be a minimum of six to a maximum of nine Judges including the Chief Judge. In track races, indoors and outdoors, there should be five judges including Chief Judge. - Rule 39.1 (g) For records, track races require a minimum of four judges and road races require a minimum of six judges. At least half of these judges shall have National or higher certification, and at least one . . . must have Master or IAAF certification. - Rule 186.3
 
Records - Race walking performances may be accepted as records only if made in competition limited to race walkers. Separate records shall be kept for track and road courses. Records set on a track shall meet all standards applicable to track running events. Records set on road courses shall meet all standards applicable to road running events, including standards pertaining to measurement and certification of courses. The maximum circuit length shall be the same as those applicable to Championships. - Rule 186.1,2 In Championships, the circuit for the 10 kilometer and longer race walks shall be a maximum of 2500m. The circuit for race walks under 10 kilometers shall be a maximum of 1250m. - Rule 150.4 (a,b)
 
 
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