Track & Field and Cross Country Rules Changes - 2019
By NFHS on July 10, 2018 track & field/cross country
8-1-1 thru 3: Clarifies legal course layout.
Rationale: Clarification of course markings.
8-3-2 thru 5: Clarifies order of finish based on torso.
Rationale: Clarifies that no matter the system used, the order of finish is based on when the torso crosses the finish line.
No timing system is infallible and there should always be some sort of backup to the system whether it is a duplicate timing system or a video of the finish. Chip systems have a larger area to detect the chip rather than a simple narrow white line at the finish. This can result in finishers being recorded in the incorrect order.
If there is not some form of backup electronic or digital system verifying finish order then there should be a person or persons on the finish line verifying order. If the human eye is going to be the system for verification (as we have done for many years) then there needs to be a system of recording to correct the data in the computer. Most groups that time using a chip system have an open chute area and the athletes are not corralled in finish order. Bib numbers should always be worn to more quickly identify the runners and if needed you can always continue with the pull tags on the bibs as a solid backup. This would require keeping the athletes in finish order as they exit the chute.