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A women's 400 m hurdles race on a typical outdoor red urethane track in the Helsinki Olympic Stadium in Finland.

Track and field athletics is a collection of sports events that involve running, sprinting, throwing, jumping and walking. Organised athletics are traced back to the Ancient Olympic Games from 776 BC, and most modern events are conducted by the member clubs of the International Association of Athletics Federations. The athletics meeting forms the backbone of the modern Summer Olympics, and other leading international meetings include the IAAF World Championships and World Indoor Championships.

Contents

Etymology

The sport is commonly known as athletics in most of the world or track and field in the United States and Canada. The name "athletics" is derived from the Greek word "athlos", meaning "contest".

History

The original and only event at the first Olympics in 776 BC was a stadium-length foot race, or "stade," run on a track.

There were several other "games" held in Europe in the classical era:

Other peoples, such as the Celts, Teutons and Goths who succeeded the Romans, enjoyed athletic contests; however, these were often related to combat training. In the Middle Ages the sons of noblemen would be trained in running, leaping and wrestling, in addition to riding, jousting and arms-training. Contests between rivals and friends may have been common on both official and unofficial grounds.

Annually, from 1796 to 1798, L'Olympiade de la République was held in revolutionary France, and is an early forerunner to the modern summer Olympic Games. The premier event of this competition was a footrace, but various ancient Greek disciplines were also on display. The 1796 Olympiade marks the introduction of the metric system into sport.

In the 19th century, the formal organization of the modern events accelerated - in France, Germany, and Great Britain in particular. This included the incorporation of regular sports and exercise into school regimes. The Royal Military College, Sandhurst has claimed to be the first to adopt this in 1812 and 1825, but without any supporting evidence. The earliest recorded meeting was organised at Shrewsbury, Shropshire in 1840 by the Royal Shrewsbury School Hunt. There are details of the meeting in a series of letters written 60 years later by C.T. Robinson, who was a pupil there from 1838 to 1841. The Royal Military Academy at Woolwich held an organised competition in 1849, but the first regular series of meetings was held by Exeter College, Oxford from 1850.[1]

Modern athletic events are usually organized around a 400 metre running track on which most of the running events take place. Field events (vaulting, jumping, and throwing) often take place on the infield, inside the track.

Athletics was included in the first modern Olympic Games in 1896 and has formed their backbone ever since. Women were first allowed to participate in track and field events in the 1928 Olympics.

An international governing body, the International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF), was founded in 1912; it adopted its current name, the International Association of Athletics Federations, in 2001. The IAAF established separate outdoor World Championships in 1983. There are a number of regional games as well, such as the European Championships, the Pan-American Games, and the Commonwealth Games. In addition there is a professional Golden League circuit, culminating in the IAAF World Athletics Final, and indoor championships such as the World Indoor Championships. The sport has a very high profile during major championships, especially the Olympics, but otherwise is less popular.

The AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) was the governing body in the United States until it collapsed under pressure from advancing professionalism in the late 1970s. A new governing body called The Athletics Congress (TAC) was formed. It was later renamed USA Track & Field (USATF or USA T&F). An additional, less structured organization, the Road Runners Club of America (RRCA), also exists in the United States to promote road racing.

In modern times, athletes can receive money for racing, putting an end to the so-called "amateurism" that existed before.

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Indoor athletics

Typical "oval" track consisting of two semicircles joined by straight segments.

There are two seasons for track and field. There is an indoor season, run during the winter and an outdoor season, run during the spring. Most indoor tracks are 200 metres and consist of four to 8 lanes. There are also some 150 metre indoor tracks, and others as small as 120 metres have been used. Some "oversize tracks" (larger than 200 metres) are popular for American collegiate athletics despite the fact that they are not considered valid for setting indoor records. Often an indoor track will have banked turns to compensate for the tight radius of the turns. The banking can help prevent injuries to the athlete, while also promoting higher speeds.[citation needed]

In an indoor track meet athletes contest the same track events as at an outdoor meet, with the exception of the 100 m and 110 m/100 m hurdles (replaced by the 55 or 60 m sprint and 55 or 60 m hurdles at most levels, or the 55 m sprint and hurdles at the high school level), the 10,000 m run, 3,000 m steeplechase, 400 m hurdles. Indoor meets also have the addition of a 3,000 m run normally at both the collegiate and elite level, instead of the 10,000 m. The 5,000 m is the longest event commonly run indoors, although there are situations where longer distances have been raced. In the mid 20th century, there was a series of "duel" races on Madison Square Garden's indoor track, some of which featured two men racing a marathon (42.2 km). However, this is an extremely rare occurrence, for obvious reasons. In some occasions, there may also be a 500 m race instead of the open 400 m normally found outdoors, and in many college championship races indoors both are contested. There is also a 1500 meter race walk at the high school level.

In field events, indoor meets only feature the high jump, pole vault, long jump, triple jump, and shot put (weight throw). Due to space limitations, these events take place on the infield, within the circumferential track. The longer throws of javelin, hammer and discus are added only for outdoor meets, as there is normally not enough space in an indoor stadium to house these events.

Other events unique to indoor meets (especially in North America) are the 300 m, 600m, 1000 m, and 35 lb (16 kg) weight throw. In some countries, notably Norway, standing long jump and standing high jump are also contested, even in the National Championships.

For multi-event athletes there is the Pentathlon for women (consisting of 60 m hurdles, high jump, shot put, long jump and 800 m) and heptathlon for men (consisting of 60 m, long jump, shot put, high jump, 60 m hurdles, pole vault and 1000 m) indoors.

In Secondary school meets the events that are exhibited are the 55m, 600m, 1000m, 1500m racewalk, 3000m, and 55m hurdles. There is also shotput, long jump, high jump, triple jump and 4x200m relay and 4x800m relay. Indoor track in secondary schools is seen as a strength season where not only the legs, but also the arms, core and other main muscles or exercised as opposed to outdoor track which is more focused on running.

Outdoor athletics

The outdoor track and field season usually begins in the spring and lasts through the summer. Most tracks are ovals of 400 metres in circumference. Modern All Weather Running Tracks, known to many by genericized brand names such as "Tartan tracks" or "Mondo tracks", are made with rubber surface materials. These typically consist of rubber (either black SBR or colored EPDM granules), bound by polyurethane or latex resins. Older tracks were cinder-covered. Tracks normally consist of 6-10 lanes (up to 12 lanes on the 'front' straight) and many include a steeplechase lane with a water pit on one of the turns. This steeplechase pit can be placed either inside or outside the track, making for a tighter turn or a wider turn. It is common that tracks will surround a playing field used for American football, Canadian football, association football (soccer), or lacrosse. This inner field is usually known as the infield and has a surface of either grass or artificial turf.

All field events can be contested on the infield. However the javelin, hammer and discus throws are sometimes contested on fields outside of the track stadium because they take up a large amount of space, the implements may damage the infield, and the implements could end up landing on the track. However, some infields are used specifically for these events, and for the javelin, an athlete may have a longer run-up by starting it on the other side of the track, and crossing when there are no athletes passing. Because the throwing events effectively result in projectiles being thrown, they are intrinsically more dangerous to spectators. Deaths and bodily injury have occurred as a result.[2] Rules and meet organizers are justifiably safety cautious about the proximity and position of spectators, frequently putting the athletes inside cages with controlled openings to the landing area.

Events

There are other variations besides the ones listed below, but races of unusual length (e.g. 300 m) are run much less often. The unusual races are typically held during indoor season because of the shorter 200 m indoor track. With the exception of the mile run, races based on imperial distances are rarely run on the track anymore since most tracks have been converted from a quarter mile (402.3 m) to 400 m; almost all record keeping for imperial distances has been discontinued. However, the IAAF record book still includes the mile world record (currently held by Hicham El Guerrouj of Morocco for men and Svetlana Masterkova of Russia for women) because of its worldwide historic significance.

Men and women do not compete against each other, although they may sometimes run in the same races due to time constraints at high school meets. Women generally run the same distances as men although hurdles and steeplechase barriers are lower and the weights of the shot, discus, javelin and hammer are less.

Running and racewalking events

Running events conducted on a track (generally 400 metres, except indoors):

Outdoor events

Sprints are events up to and including the 400 metres. Events commonly contested (as defined by events held in the Olympics or World Championships) are:

Middle Distance Events are events longer than sprints and up to 3000 metres. Events commonly contested are:

Long Distance Events are events over 3000 metres. Events commonly contested are:

There are several, uncommon long distance events on the track in which World Records are kept. Those include: 15000 metres, 20000 metres, 25000 metres, 30000 metres, 100000 metres and the One Hour Run.

Hurdles events require the runner to run over evenly spaced barriers during the race. Events commonly contested are:

Relay races are events in which four athletes participate as a team, passing a metal baton in between. Events commonly contested are:

Some events, such as medley relays, are rarely run except at large relay carnivals. Typical medley relays include:

  • Sprint Medley Relay (SMR): the four legs are two 200 metre legs, 400 metres, 800 metres; or alternately two 100 metre legs, 200 metres, 400 metres
  • Distance Medley Relay (DMR): the four legs are 1200 metres, 400 metres, 800 metres, 1600 metres

Road Races are events conducted on open roads, sometimes finishing on a track. Events commonly contested are:

  • 10 km
  • 20 km
  • Half marathon (21.0975 km)
  • Marathon (42.195 km). The marathon is the only common road racing distance run in major international athletics championships, such as the Olympics.
Uncommon road distances can be any distance. Some road events are held point to point measured at whatever that distance turns out to be. Many local road races include a 5 km distance. IAAF Records are also kept at 15 km, 25 km and 30 km.
The Ekiden is a long distance, road, relay race (originated and still very popular in Japan) where individuals on teams might run different distances exchanging a cloth sash, or tasuki.

Racewalking may be contested on either the track or on open roads. Elite road walks are conducted on closed loop courses (usually loops of 2,000 or 2,500 meters). Events commonly contested are:

  • 10 km
  • 20 km
  • 50 km
The IAAF also keeps records for the uncommon 30 km distance and separates category by locale, on a track or on a road course. Since the races must be judged for conformity to Racewalk rules (constant contact with the ground and knees straightened through the first part of the stride), usually a road course consists of multiple 2 km loops.

Other shorter racewalking events, such as 1500 metres, 3000 metres, and 5000 metres, are included in many meets for less experienced or less endurance-oriented athletes to participate in. While these events are popular, only divisional and localized records are kept. Official World Records are not kept for the shorter distances.

Indoor events

Due to space limitations, indoor races normally shorten the Sprint and Hurdle races, depending on the available space. Because of the limited space, many races finish by leaving the arena, into a drag rope or stopping abruptly at a padded wall. Common distances are:

Other races are run on shorter lap tracks. Two hundred metre tracks are common, though tracks of many other sizes remain in use, including Imperial distances (measured in yards). Some facilities have "oversize" tracks, but in order for an indoor record to be valid, it must be on a track of 220 yards (slightly longer than 200 metres) or shorter. Though still a commonly held event, the indoor 200 metres has been removed from the World Championship event list. It was determined that a fair race could not be held because of the tight indoor turns, favoring runners in the outside lanes. Many tracks have banked turns to reduce the disadvantage of tight turns, and there are also many flat indoor tracks. Most outdoor event distances are common, though the longer distances (over 5,000 metres) are less common. Even indoor track Marathons have been held.[2] Indoor racewalk events tend to be shorter, as short as 800 metres, or more commonly a variation on the 1500 metres or mile. Steeplechase and long hurdle races are generally not held indoors, though inventive people have created some unique events.[3] The odd distance races and Imperial distance races are much more common indoors.[4] Per rules, indoor hurdle races are identical to the beginning of their outdoor counterparts, though over shorter distances, usually using just five hurdles.

Abbreviated racewalking events are held reasonably often, with IAAF records kept for the 3 kilometre women's walk [5] and the 5 kilometre men's walk. [6]

Field events

Throwing events

There are also heavyweight versions of the Weight Throw called Super Weights.

Jumping events

The following events also take place, but are uncommon:

  • Standing high jump
  • Standing long jump
  • Standing triple jump

Multiple-event competitions

Multiple event competitions include events from both the track (running) and field events.

Pentathlon: the outdoor Pentathlon includes the following five events:

  • Long Jump
  • Javelin
  • 200 metres
  • Discus
  • 1500 metres

The outdoor Pentathlon was a national championship event in the United States until 1978. It is still contested in many places throughout the world, but rarely as a championship event. The Pentathon was also contested in several of the early Olympic Games, notably in the 1912 Olympics which was won by Jim Thorpe, who also won the Decathlon. The event was modeled after the original Greek Olympic Games, in which the Pentathlon was the foremost contest. It consisted of a Long Jump, Javelin, a statia run of approximately180 metres, Discus, and Greco-Roman style wrestling.

Pentathlon: the indoor Pentathlon includes the following five events:

  • 60 metre Hurdles
  • Long Jump (for Men) High Jump (for Women)
  • Shot Put
  • High Jump (for Men) Long Jump (for Women)
  • Middle distance (1000 metres for men, 800 metres for women) [4]

Heptathlon: the Heptathlon includes the following seven events: Outdoors (usually only women):

First Day

  • 100 metre high hurdles
  • High Jump
  • Shot Put
  • 200 metres

Second Day

  • Long Jump
  • Javelin Throw
  • 800 metres

Indoors (usually only men):

First Day

  • 60 metres
  • Long Jump
  • Shot Put
  • High Jump

Second Day

  • 60 metres hurdles
  • Pole Vault
  • 1000 metres

Decathlon: the Decathlon includes the following ten events:

First Day

  • 100 metres
  • Long Jump
  • Shot Put
  • High Jump
  • 400 metres

Second Day

  • 110 metre high hurdles
  • Discus
  • Pole Vault
  • Javelin
  • 1500 metres

Rules

Track events

The rules of track athletics or of track events in athletics as observed in most international athletics competitions are set by the Competition Rules of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). The most recent complete set of rules is the 2009 rules that relate only to competitions in 2009.[5] Key rules of track events are those regarding starting, running and finishing.

Starting

The start of a race is marked by a white line 5 cm wide. In all races that are not run in lanes the start line must be curved, so that all the athletes start the same distance from the finish.[6] Starting blocks may be used for all races up to and including 400 m (including the first leg of the 4 x 200 m and 4 x 400 m) and may not be used for any other race. No part of the starting block may overlap the start line or extend into another lane.[7] All races must be started by the report of the starter's gun or approved starting apparatus fired upwards after he or she has ascertained that athletes are steady and in the correct starting position.[8] An athlete may not touch either the start line or the ground in front of it with his or her hands or feet when on his or her marks.[9] At most international competitions the commands of the starter in his or her own language, in English or in French, shall, in races up to and including 400 m, be "On your marks" and "Set". When all athletes are "set", the gun must be fired, or an approved starting apparatus must be activated.[9] However, if the starter is not satisfied that all is ready to proceed, the athletes may be called out of the blocks and the process started over.

False start: An athlete, after assuming a final set position, may not commence his starting motion until after receiving the report of the gun, or approved starting apparatus. If, in the judgment of the starter or recallers, he does so any earlier, it is considered a false start. It is deemed a false start if, in the judgment of the starter an athlete fails to comply with the commands "on your marks" or "set" as appropriate after a reasonable time; or an athlete after the command "on your marks" disturbs other athletes in the race through sound or otherwise. If the runner is in the "set" position and moves, then the runner is also disqualified.[10] As of 2010, any athlete making a false start is disqualified. This rule was already in place in high school and college.[11]

In International Elite competition, electronically tethered starting blocks sense the reaction time of the athletes. If the athlete reacts in less than .1 of a second, an alert sounds for a recall starter and the offending athlete is guilty of a false start.[12]

Running the race

In all races run in lanes, each athlete must keep within his allocated lane from start to finish. This also applies to any portion of a race run in lanes. If an athlete leaves the track or steps on the line demarking the track, he/she should be disqualified.[13] Also, any athlete who jostles or obstructs another athlete, in a way that impedes his progress, should be disqualified from that event.[14] However, if an athlete is pushed or forced by another person to run outside his lane, and if no material advantage is gained, the athlete should not be disqualified.

There are races that start in lanes and then at a "break" line, the competitors merge. Examples of this are the 800 metres, 4x400 relay and the indoor 400 metres. Variations on this, with alleys made up of multiple lanes on the track, are used to start large fields of distance runners.

The finish

The finish of a race is marked by a white line 5 cm wide.[15] The athletes must be placed in the order in which any part of their torso (as distinguished from the head, neck, arms, legs, hands or feet) reaches the vertical plane of the nearer edge of the finish line.[16]. Fully automatic timing systems (photo timing) are becoming more and more common at increasingly lower levels of track meets, improving the accuracy, while eliminating the need for eagle-eyed officials on the finish line. Fully automatic timing (FAT) is required for high level meets and any time a (sprint) record is set (though distance records can be accepted if timed by three independent stopwatches).

With the accuracy of the timing systems, ties are rare. Ties between different athletes are resolved as follows: In determining whether there has been a tie in any round for a qualifying position for the next round based on time, a judge (called the chief photo finish judge) must consider the actual time recorded by the athletes to 1/1000th of a second. If the judge decides that there has been a tie, the tying athletes must be placed in the next round or, if that is not practicable, lots must be drawn to determine who must be placed in the next round. In the case of a tie for first place in any final, the referee decides whether it is practicable to arrange for the athletes so tying to compete again. If he decides it is not, the result will stand. Ties in other placings remain.

All Comers Track Meets

Track and Field is the most accessible sport for anyone to participate in. It only takes two people to have a race, or one can simply race a stopwatch. In events called All Comers Track Meets, anyone who wishes to participate is welcome. All comers meets are usually organized by communities, schools, or sports teams. Some sports teams also use all comers meets for fundraising. Most meets are low cost or free. All comers meets are fairly low-key and merely intended for gaining experience or just practicing for races. There is no exclusion on account of participants' lack of membership on a team or equipment. While races are usually seeded based on the entrant's expected level of ability, the most elite of athletes can and do use these meets for training or practice.

Track and field on coinage

Track and field events have been selected as a main motif in numerous collectors' coins. One of the recent samples is the €10 Greek Running commemorative coin, minted in 2003 to commemorate the 2004 Summer Olympics. In the obverse of the coin, a modern athlete figure appears in the foreground, shown in the starting position, while in the background two ancient runners are carved in a manner that gives the appearance of a coin that is "worn" by time. This scene originally appeared on a black-figure vase of the 6th century BC.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Oxford Companion to Sports and Games, ed. J.Arlott, O.U.P. (1975)
  2. ^ http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/sports/stories/2009/05/26/shot_putter.ART_ART_05-26-09_C1_2PDVNIH.html Columbus Dispatch article about Official Paul Suzuki's death by Shot Put
  3. ^ US high schools run the 1600 m instead of the 1500 m. This was to replace the mile with a more "logical" metric version. They also run the 3200 m as a replacement for the 2 mile race.
  4. ^ http://www.usatf.org/about/rules/2009/2009USATFRules.pdf USATF Rulebook Rule 222-1a, 2
  5. ^ Incorporating changes approved by the IAAF Council throughout 2008- p5, 2009 Rule book, [1].
  6. ^ IAAF Rule 162.1, from Chapter 5, ‘Technical rules’, Section III on ‘Track events’.
  7. ^ IAAF Rule 161
  8. ^ IAAF Rule 161.2
  9. ^ a b IAAF Rule 161.3
  10. ^ IAAF Rule 161.6
  11. ^ IAAF Rule 161.7
  12. ^ IAAF Rule 161.2
  13. ^ IAAF Rule 163.3
  14. ^ IAAF Rule 163.2
  15. ^ IAAF Rule 164.1
  16. ^ IAAF Rule 164.3

External links


Strategy wiki

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From StrategyWiki, the free strategy guide and walkthrough wiki

Track & Field
Box artwork for Track & Field.
Developer(s) Konami
Publisher(s)
Japanese title ハイパーオリンピック (Hyper Olympic)
Release date(s)
Genre(s) Sports
System(s) Arcade, Atari 2600, Atari 8-bit, Commodore 64/128, Apple II, Amstrad CPC, MSX, Sinclair ZX Spectrum, Xbox Live Arcade
Players 1-4
Followed by Hyper Sports
For the NES version, see Track & Field (NES).
Track & Field marquee

Track & Field was the originator of the button mashing sports genre. While button mashing has gotten a negative connotation during the later years of fighting games as a method of attempting to play without any skill, button mashing was the way to victory in this six event competition. Released as Hyper Olympic in Japan by Konami, it paved the way for future sports titles based on decathlon events. The game's release was intended to tie in with the 1984 Summer Olympic games held in Los Angeles. A sequel to the game was released as Hyper Sports (Hyper Olympic '84 in Japan).

Atari snapped up the rights to bring this massively popular arcade game home. One control scheme involved rocking a joystick to the left and right as fast as possible to make the athlete's run. However, this practice had a tendency to lead to a lot of broken joysticks. Atari eventually provided an alternate controller that closely mimicked the arcade control scheme. In Japan, Konami released the game for the MSX and Famicom. On the MSX, the game was released over several volumes, 4 events per volume, and added the 400 meter and 1500 meter dash. On the Famicom, only the first four events are included. For more information about the American release on the NES, see Track & Field (NES).

Table of Contents


Gaming

Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Wikia Gaming, your source for walkthroughs, games, guides, and more!

Track & Field

Developer(s) Konami
Publisher(s) Konami
Release date NES:
1987 (NA)
Genre Sports (Track & Field)
Mode(s) Single player
Versus
Age rating(s) N/A
NES
Platform(s) Nintendo Entertainment System
Media Cartridge
NES
Input NES Controller
Credits | Soundtrack | Codes | Walkthrough

Track & Field is an arcade game released in 1984. It was ported to the Atari 2600 and then to the NES.

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