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Old Wed Mar 20, 2002, 02:40pm
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I've been nominated to act as a starter for a HS track meet tomorrow. I've been to plenty of track meets but never really paid any attention to the starters....
I need a crash course in the duties, responsibilities, and everything else I might need/want to know to act in the capacity of a Starter... Can anyone help out???
Many Thanks!
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Old Wed Mar 20, 2002, 03:50pm
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Always stand on the outside of the track. Call runners to the line with a "Runners on your mark!" and give 'em a few seconds to stretch and get in their blocks, if they're using them. If there is someone using blocks, give the "Set!" command, then wait no more than 1 second and fire! If nobody's using blocks, don't holler "Set!" but instead just give 'em a gun after the "on your mark!" command.

Should you see a false start (runner moves before you fire the gun), fire the gun twice and call everyone back. Of course, if you have a really quick gun, you won't have any false starts

Also, take solice that no one is really gonna be paying attention to what you say, just listening for the gun.

NOTE*** - I'm not actually a track "official," but I do watch alot of track meets, and ran in HS. If you follow the advice above, you could probably fool all of the athletes all of the time, and none of the "official" officials none of the time

[Edited by Danvrapp on Mar 20th, 2002 at 02:54 PM]
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Old Wed Mar 20, 2002, 04:00pm
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First, get yourself a rulebook. If you can't find a HS one, get the NCAA one off their website - starting a race isn't all that different between high school and college.

The biggest piece of advice I can give is to make sure you have the correct starting line. Many tracks have about 30 different sets of lines, and you need to make sure you have the runners lined up correctly (especially important when there is more than one way to start a race). If in doubt, check with someone from the home track to make sure everyone is lined up correctly and has the correct break line.

Bring earplugs!!

Practice a smooth, steady voice (calm but loud enough to hear). This isn't basketball - shouting will do more harm than good.

Don't be afraid to give the "stand up" command if something even seems out of the ordinary.

Make sure the gun is loaded with more blanks than you think you'll need (for recalls, false starts, etc.) and make sure they're blanks!!

Be sure to get an "all clear" signal from the finish line & timers before starting a race. If using FAT, have the FAT operator train you in how to use the starting equipment.

Good luck!
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Old Thu Mar 21, 2002, 10:34pm
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Thanks for your help!

Well I made it through the Track Meet today... Everyone was a little surprised at how quickly we were done. A couple of people there said that the meets take a minimum of 3 hrs. to complete and I was out of there in 2...
I was surprised by the fact that they made the kids run all the events... Events like the 1600 & 3200 take too long to run so when I called the kids onto the track for these events, I simply asked them who they thought was going to win the race and finish 2nd and 3rd... When they told me, I declared these kids the winners and we went on to the next event! Alot faster!
cl
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