Track & Field Frequently Asked Questions

FHSAA Officials Online Evaluation Program

In an effort to discover excellence, stimulate improvement, give officials accurate data for reflection and ascertain weaknesses; the FHSAA has created its first online officials evaluation program.  Please take the time after each of your varsity contest to fill out the evaluation survey.  If there’s room for improvement for the crew, we request that you state the situation(s).  The FHSAA aims to use this program to not only give measures to our officials for improvement, but to inform our officials when they are doing a great job.  If the tool is successful, the FHSAA plans to use it as an additional tool for future post season assignments.  Please CLICK HERE for the evaluation link.  If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact Jeremy Hernandez at jhernandez [at] fhsaa [dot] org.

Additional Information 

2017 NFHS rules presentation: click here

Schedule of events for the 2017 Florida High School Track & Field State Championships: click here

Q:  Must the metric system be used for all field events?


1)      All field events will be administered using the metric system in State Series competition (district though state finals).  FHSAA strongly recommends that metric be used throughout the regular season, as well.

2)      All measurements of height or distance may be made with a steel tape, fiberglass tape, bar or electronic measuring device.

3)      When measuring the throwing events or horizontal jumps, that part of the tape that records distance shall be read and announced by the official at the circle, foul line or takeoff board. The tape should be pulled through the center of the throwing circle, the radius of the throwing arc, or from a position one meter behind the takeoff board.  It is mandatory to measure every non-foul trial.

4)      In the Pole Vault and High Jump, measurement of the official height shall be from a point on the same level as the takeoff to the lowest point on the upper side of the crossbar.  Efforts judged to be foul shall not be measured. 

                                          i.     High Jump – FHSAA recommends that the crossbar be initially raised in increments of 5 centimeters (~2 inches). The increment shall never be increased. The crossbar shall not be lowered and the increment shall never be less than 3 centimeters.

                                         ii.     Pole Vault – FHSAA recommends that the crossbar be initially raised in increments of 15 centimeters (~6 inches). The increment shall never be increased and shall never be less than 5 centimeters (~2 inches).

5)      Recording Performances

                                          i.     Performances on a scorecard shall be a distance or an ‘O’ for a successful trial, an ‘X’ for any type of foul/failure or a dash (-) to indicate a pass.

                                         ii.     Metrics is the system of measurement. Distances measured shall be recorded to the nearest lesser centimeter (that is, fractions less than one centimeter must be ignored).  For discus, it shall be recorded to the nearest lesser even centimeter.

                                        iii.     Performances shall be announced in metric measure. The display shall be metric.

                                        iv.     For state championships records, marks must be measured and recorded metrically.

6)      Measuring Height of Bar

An accurate measurement of the height of the high jump or pole vault crossbar shall be taken each time it is placed at a new height; each time a new crossbar replaces a broken one; and each time a standard(s) has been displaced.

Q: If I’m in a district of with a number of schools equal to the number of running lanes on the track, are running preliminaries required in the relay events at the district meet?

No. You may run the event as a timed final.

Q:  Are officials required at each meet?

An officials association must be contracted to officiate each state series meet.  FHSAA strongly recommends that regular season meet hosts contract with an officials association to officiate the meet. 

Q:  What is the latest point at which an individual may be scratched (with no add) from an event without penalty? (Policy 10.7.2)

An individual may be scratched from any individual event prior to the start of the first state series meet (Districts).  Any scratches that occur thereafter will cause the athlete in question to be ineligible for all remaining events and meets in the state series.

Q: May I have an athlete compete in four (4) running events?

Yes.  You may have an athlete compete in any combination of four events.

Q: What are the 4X400 and 4X800 relay exchange procedures for third and fourth runner in 4X400 and second, third and fourth runner in 4X800?

The procedure: Receives for relay exchanges that do not occur in assigned lanes shall line up, as instructed by an official, in the relative position as their incoming teammate; the leaders shall pass in the first position, the second-place holder in the second position, etc. This line-up position is determined and should be maintained when the leader is at the beginning of the straight before the pass. When interference is not possible, receivers may move to the inside and should maintain the same relative positions. If a runner does not follow this rule, his/her team shall be disqualified.

In simple language runners would be lined up by an official in the order of their teammate on the back stretch they would be instructed to shuffle positions, only once, as the first runner comes off of the last turn. From that point on there will be no movement other than shuffling toward lane one as the runner in front of them departs.
Q: Can my athlete have a multicolored undergarment on if does not extend below the knee?

Yes.  Please see NFHS rule 4-3-1c.
Q:  Are uniform numbers required?

Uniform numbers are no longer required.  No team or individual will be penalized for having uniform numbers.

Q: Can I video my athlete and show him/her their performance between trials?

Yes.  However, time limits apply per NFHS Rule 6-9 (Throws) and NFHS Rule 7-2-1 (Jumps) for each trial. 

Q: Are lapped competitors allowed to remain in the race?

Contestants in excess of the number of places to be awarded who are lapped will be permitted to finish the race, but must move to the outer lanes of the track (lane 3 or beyond). ( District Meets/ Regional Meets.)

Q: Does an athlete have to take a trial before they check out to go to another event?

After an initial check out (timed excuse), the athlete must complete a competitive attempt before being allowed to check out for another field event (i.e. after the first timed excuse, the athlete must take an attempt before they are allowed to check out of the event).  ( District Meets/ Regional Meets / FHSAA Finals.)

Q: Can a team participate in two different events on the same day?

Yes, you may split your team up, however you must count each event towards the total maximum contest allowed (6.17.3 Contest Limitations. Season – 13 meets. School Week – 3 meets.)

Q: Can a competitor wear jewelry?

Yes.  The FHSAA rule prohibiting student-athletes from wearing jewelry has been removed.

Q: How far off the line are competitors supposed to be before the starter commands “on your marks” in open races for individual races or opening relay legs of 800 meters or more outdoors?

Starting command shall be to direct competitors to take a position three meters (3) behind the starting line or dashed arc behind the line.