No False Start Rule On The Books For 2010

Will they ever just make a decision on this rule?

The IAAF has decided to implement the “no false start” rule beginning on January 1, 2010. This means that next year when someone false starts in an IAAF sanctioned meeting, they are automatically disqualified. The current rule states that one false start is charged to the entire field and a second false start, by any competitor, will result in a disqualification. In order to get athletes accustomed to the rule for the 2011 IAAF World Championships, the IAAF Congress decided to implement the rule a year early to allow athletes to adjust.

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This rule has changed numerous times over the years, and I doubt we will ever see an end to the madness. One thing that this will help cure is the intentional false start some athletes currenly employ during competition. Many athletes that know they are slow starters, in sprint events specifically, will commit a false start on purpose, therefore causing the entire field to be cautious of false starting, taking the edge away from fast starters. In this respect I think it is a good change in the rules. If it were up to me I would go back to the old rule of charging false starts to individuals, allowing each athlete on false start. Although this does sometimes make an event drag on due to multiple false starts, it seems to be a solution that works well for all athletes, fast and slow starters alike.

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