Tools & Resources

  • For Architects
    & Engineers

    We utilize our expertise to assist architects and engineers with the design and placement of track, field events and turf within an athletic complex.

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    & Owners

    We provide full-service, comprehensive contracting services to meet the track and field facility needs of schools, universities and colleges.

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Your Guide for Track and Turf information.

When creating or renovating a running track, field events or turf surface, it is important to adhere to the rules and specifications of the governing body for your school, college or university. Andy Hord, the owner and founder of Precision Sports Surfaces, is an American Sports Builders Association Certified Track Builder. We are extremely well versed in the strict parameters for each governing body. It’s important to us that our clients also fully understand those rules and regulations; below you will find resources to help you learn more.

Budget For Typical 8-Lane Facility Elite High Performance Advanced Competitive
Rekortan® Rekortan® Spurtan® Spurtan® MaxFlex MaxFlex
M99 G10 BV BS Black Speed BL
Precast Drain & Underdrain $80,000 $80,000 $80,000 $80,000 $80,000 $80,000
Stone & Asphalt $185,000 $150,000 $150,000 $150,000 $150,000 $150,000
Concrete Structures $75,000 $75,000 $50,000 $50,000 $50,000 $25,000
Track Systems $450,000 $265,000 $240,000 $170,000 $150,000 $85,000
Misc. Equipment $100,000 $50,000 $50,000 $35,000 $35,000 $20,000
TOTAL $890,000 $620,000 $570,000 $485,000 $465,000 $360,000
Grading and storm water structures are not included, but are mandatory on most projects. Extent of grading required varies greatly per site. Other options are available. Above are some of the more commonly purchased systems. Contact your Civil Engineer or Architect.
Track Use and Maintenance Guidelines PDF

Acceleration Zone

Used in the 4x100m and the 4x200m relays, these are 10m sections of each lane prior to the beginning of a baton exchange zone where the second, third and fourth relay leg runners may begin accelerating to match the speed of the previous runner preparing to pass the baton. Acceleration zones are typically denoted by a small triangle, pointing in the running direction.

Advanced Polymer Technology Corporation

A manufacturing company based outside Pittsburgh, PA. APT has manufacturing facilities in the United States, West Germany, Australia and China. APT has been in business for twenty years.

Aggregate

Larger particles of construction material, usually referring to crushed or natural stone, as found in stone base, asphalt or concrete.

Back Straightaway

The straight section of a running track between PC (Point of curve) 2 and PC3, usually on the visitor’s side of a stadium, commonly abbreviated to “back straight."

Base Mat

A surfacing designation used to describe the combination of polyurethane binders with rubber granules. The mat is either premanufactured or applied (paved) using a screed machine specifically designed to place the mixture.

Bituminous Asphalt Mixture

A mixture of liquid asphalt and aggregate, commonly abbreviated to “asphalt.”

Box Alley Start

A curved start line for two separate groups of runners, with one group sharing lanes one through four, and another group sharing lanes five through eight. An alternate method involves three separate groups of runners, sharing lanes one through four, lanes five and six, and lanes seven and eight. This start is sometimes used for the 800m race, and is sometimes called “California Start."

Broken Back Track

Also referred to as a “Double Bend Track.” A method of design for a track that utilizes three radius points to form three intersecting arcs (typically two shorter of equal dimension, and one longer), forming one complete complex curve of the track. This design is rarely utilized, but is one way to fit a track around a wide soccer infield.
PDF (diagram and details)

Blanking Board

A component of a “takeoff board system” used in the long and triple jump and serves as an off-season replacement for the wooden takeoff and scratch boards used during a track meet, to prevent trip hazards and can also be used for practice jumps. The blanking board is typically covered with rubber, matching the elevation of the runway surface.

Break Line

The marking at end of a curve (usually PC2) denoting the location where runners may depart, or break, from their respective lanes and move to the inside lane of the track to complete a race.

Catch Basin

A ground level water collection structure that has a grate on top and one or more discharge pipes, that exit to an outfall point. Catch basin type, sizing and placement are critical components for infield drainage and proper track design.
PDF (diagram and details)

Chute

The extension of a straightaway beyond a PC providing the added straight distance to run the 100m and 110m events, with sufficient room to position starting blocks and warm up room for runners behind the start lines. The typical placement for a single required chute is on the home straightaway at PC4, enabling the runners to utilize the common finish line at, or near PC1. Optional chute placement(s) can be made at other PCs, to take advantage of wind direction or to accommodate other site specific requirements.
PDF (diagram and details)

D Area

Also referred to as the “D Zone.” The area of the infield which is made up of all or part of the semicircle inside the curve of the running track, typically beyond the backline or end zone of the playing field.

Daylight

A term used to describe the discharge of a storm water outfall system that does not require treatment, lower in elevation than the collection point(s), but not below surface grade, typically a ditch or swale, directing surface flow away from desired areas of drainage (i.e., tracks and infields.)

Discus

A field event involving the throwing of a heavy disc for distance from within a 2.5m circle. The discus landing sector is now universally an area 34.92 degrees such that, if extended, the angle would close at the center of the circle, opening wider into the landing sector. A safe landing sector distance depends on the level of competition. High school competition landing sector distances are typically a minimum of 200 feet. The world record discus throw is more than 243 feet.
PDF (diagram and details)

Double Bend Track

Another name for "Broken Back Track." A method of design for a track that utilizes three radius points to form three intersecting arcs (typically two shorter of equal dimension, and one longer,) forming one complete complex curve of the track. This design is rarely utilized, but is one way to fit a track around a wide soccer infield.

Drainage

Properly designed and executed drainage controls are the most important investment a track owner can make. Without adequate drainage, all other aspects of the construction of a track and field facility are jeopardized. Drainage control is often an under-emphasized aspect of running track and field event construction. Track and field facilities are a large, long term investment for an owner. The construction effort required to properly build a quality facility is a time-consuming and disruptive process. It is imperative to build it right the first time. If drainage issues are not adequately addressed up front, it will, at a minimum, lead to costly repairs, and additional disruption to the owner. If the problems are severe enough, it can result in total failure, and an unusable facility.
Drainage controls must be made to eliminate surface water from puddling on, flowing across, or ponding adjacent to, the track and field event facilities. The grades on both the hard-paved surfaces and the adjacent ground must be shaped to drain readily. Site selection is critical, as some areas cannot be expected to drain, regardless of the most aggressive drainage efforts. This is particularly true in low lying areas, with shallow ground water. Excessively wet subsoil cannot be compacted, and cannot be paved over successfully. If the subsoil, stone base course, and asphalt layers constantly remain wet, it WILL result in settling, asphalt deterioration and rubberized surface de-lamination.
PDF (diagram and details)

EPDM

Acronym for ethylene-propylene-diene-M class rubber. An elastomer which is characterized by wide range of applications. The M refers to its classification in ASTM standard D-1418. The “M” class includes rubbers having a saturated chain of the polymethylene type. EPDM granules are commonly used in the construction of running tracks. The EPDM rubber produced by Melos is known to be the best available on the planet. This is the product Precision Sports Surfaces, Inc. uses in their systems.

Equal Quadrant Track

A track design which features four sections of equal length. A 400-meter equal quadrant track has a distance of 328.083 feet (100m) between radius points, and a single radius distance to the measure line of 104.43 feet, therefore each straight and curve measure 100m.
PDF (diagram and details)

Exchange Zone

Used for the relay race events, these are 20m sections of each lane, centered at quarter marks for each race, where runners must successfully pass the baton. Exchange Zones are typically denoted by large triangles, color-coded for specific races.

Finish Grade

A construction term used to define the finished design elevation of construction features, such as paved track and field event surfaces, playing fields, and drainage structures.

Flush Curb

Primarily a cosmetic track design feature, typically built with concrete, which has no dimensional bearing on the track measure line, as opposed to a “Raised Curb”. Flush curbs serve a viable function where they are needed as an edging anchor for artificial turf installations, and/or as encasement for a pre-manufactured channel drain system.

French Drain

A subsurface drainage system that consists of an excavated ditch that is backfilled with a porous stone, with or without a bedded pipe. Proper installation of this type of drainage system usually incorporates the use of the ditch liner with porous geo-textile fabric to prevent silt infiltration. Discharge from this system typically “day lights” to the surface at an elevation below the area requiring drainage.
PDF (diagram and details)

Full Pour

A surfacing designation generally referring to a non-porous poured-in-place polyurethane track surface installation. This is the longest-lasting, best-performing track surface available.

GPS

Acronym for “Global Positioning System.” A U.S. space-based radio navigation system that provides reliable positioning to users on a continuous worldwide basis. In construction, GPS provides accurate location and grading equipment control.

Hammer Throw

A collegiate field event involving the throwing of a heavy ball attached to a wire handle for distance from within a seven foot circle (the same circle used for shot put). The hammer throw event requires a safety cage similar to a discus cage. The hammer landing area is the same as the shot put landing area, but requires a greater distance. The world record hammer throw is more than 284 feet.
PDF (diagram and details)

High Jump

A field event involving the jumping over a horizontal bar and a cushioned landing pad, also called a pit, for safety. The event requires a relatively large surface area for the running approach to the bar. This area is typically surfaced with the same material as used on the track. The modern approach path taken by most high jumpers is longer and more direct, enabling the jumper to gain greater speed. This technique, called the straddle approach, has made the made the old 50 foot radius high jump pad obsolete, which was made popular after the 1968 Olympics, when Dick Fosbury took the gold medal, using a short, curving approach, ending with a jump commonly called the “Fosbury Flop.” The world record high jump is over eight feet.
PDF (diagram and details)

Home Straightaway

The straight section of a running track between PC4 and PC1, usually on the home side of a stadium, commonly abbreviated to “home straight.” This straight is typically where the 100m and 110m sprints are run.

IAAF

Acronym for the International Association of Athletics Federations; the governing body for international athletic competition. website: http://www.iaaf.org

International Standard Track

A track design recommended by the IAAF; a non-equal quadrant track with straightaway of 84.39m and measure line radii of 36.8m. This design accommodates the dimensions of an International soccer layout within the infield.
PDF (diagram and details)

Invert

The flow line of a pipe. The elevation shown on a set of plans for an invert is the elevation above sea level at the bottom of the drainage pipe.

Interceptor Drain

A feature that collects and disperses storm water from outlying areas, thereby preventing adverse impacts to the designed facility. Common examples would be flush-mounted drain channels at the base of stadium bleachers, or diversion swales at the base of slopes outside the track perimeter.

Isocyanate

A component of polyurethane.

Javelin

A field event involving running and throwing a spear-like implement for distance. The javelin runway is typically 110 feet long and approximately 14 feet wide. A javelin runway is usually surfaced with the same material as the track. The landing sector is approximately 29 degrees. The current world record javelin throw is over 323 feet.
PDF (diagram and details)

Laser Grading

A precise method of fine-grading materials where the machine is controlled by sensors on the machine that read a consistent beam of light that is emitted from a laser-generating device.

Long Jump

A field event involving running and jumping from a set point for distance. The long jump event incorporates both a sprint approach runway and sand pit landing area. A clean jump is measured from the set point on the runway (take off line, or board) to the closest impression made by the athletes’ landing in the sand. The typical minimum length of the runway is 40m behind the take off point, or approximately 150 feet from the back end to the sand pit. Long jump runways are typically surfaced with the same material used for the running track. The minimum recommended width of the runway is four feet. The world record long jump is over 29 feet.
PDF (diagram and details)

Lynx System Developers, Inc

The company that produces the automatic timing systems that are most commonly used at track and field meets. www.finishlynx.com

Measure Line

An imaginary hairline that defines the length of a track. The theory of this line is to establish a measuring point where runners are placing their feet while runner in competition. The standard for this measure line is 20cm from the inner lane line for a track without a raised curb, or 30cm for lane one for a track with a “raised curb”. This theoretical line should never be shown on a set of construction plans, as nothing is ever built to it. The presence of this dimension on construction plans has caused major problems. The measure line is used to ascertain the proper offset construction dimensions for paving limits, curb construction and perimeter drain placement. Once these offset dimensions are established, relative to the proper geometric 400m measure line, denote only measurements for tangible features on construction drawings.

Mercury

A hazardous heavy metal contaminant that is found in some track surfacing materials. Precision Sports Surfaces, Inc. does not use any materials that contain mercury. Design professionals and track owners should insist that any potential track surfacing suppliers provide certification that their products are “mercury-free.”

Melos

A European manufacturer of the finest quality EPDM rubber granules.

Meter

A unit of measure which is currently used in track and field. A meter is 3.28083 feet.

MDI

Acronym for the yellowish polyurethane that is used to bind rubber particles together for what is commonly referred to as a base mat. Pigments and colored rubber particles can also be blended with this type of material to create a coating that is commonly sprayed over base mats.

NCAA

Acronym for the National Collegiate Athletic Association, the governing body for track and field at the collegiate level. www.ncaa.org

NFHS

Acronym for the National Federation of State High School Associations, the governing body for high school track and field. website: www.nfhs.org

PC

Acronym for “point-of-curve." The four points on a running track that form the departure from the straightaways to the curved portion of the oval.

Pavement Extension

An added width of pavement to the required width of the running track, most commonly placed around the outside edge, to eliminate the need to mow grass between an outside perimeter fence and the track edge. This extension, if made wide enough beyond the fence line, can also serve as a spectator walkway to prevent crossing traffic on the track. This term is also used to describe a stone base that is slightly wider that the asphalt that is placed over the stone base.

Pole Vault

A field event involving running with, and using a long pole as a fulcrum, to launch an athlete over a raised bar for height. The event incorporates a sprint runway, a pole plant box, vertical standards and a relatively large landing pad area, equipped with a large, cushioned landing pad for the safety of the competitors. The size of the landing pad, which is also called a pit, is mandated by the governing bodies for each level of competition. The pole vault runway is typically surfaced with the same material used for the running track. The recommended minimum length of the pole vault runway is 40 meters, with a width of four feet. The world record pole vault is over 20 feet.
PDF (diagram and details)

Pre-cast Polymer Concrete

A very hard, non-porous material used for casting sectional channel, or slot, drains and drainage catch basins for flush-mounted perimeter drains on the inside edge of a running track. A common assumption that athletic surfacing can adhere to this type of material is erroneous. The slick, non-porous surface of this material does not permit a lasting bond, and any design utilizing this type of material should keep this fact in mind.

Radius Points

A point used to locate and create a uniform curve of the track. A standard track utilizes two radius points, one at each end. A broken back, or double bend track, uses six radius points, three at each end to form both complex curves. Because of their importance, permanent radius monuments are often installed at these points.

Raised Curb

A permanent, or semi-permanent curb, two inches high by two inches wide, secured to the track surface, used to denote the inside edge of lane one. When a track incorporates a raised curb, the 400 meter “measure line” distance is 30cm into lane one from the curb edge, as opposed to 20cm for a track without a raised curb. This “measure line” distance only applies to lane one.

Rotating Laser

A machine that features a rotating laser beam that can assist in the accurate layout and quality control of close-tolerance construction grades.

Sand Pit

The landing area for the long jump and triple jump events. There are numerous ways to construct this feature.
PDF (diagram and details)

SBR

Acronym for styrene-butadiene rubber.

Shot Put

A field event involving the throwing of a heavy, round ball for distance from within a seven foot circle. A raised “shot put toe board” is used to denote the point from which the thrower cannot step beyond, and from where a clean throw is measured. The thrower may swing a leg beyond, and above, the toe board, but not touch the surface, or step beyond the front edge, which matches the inside edge of the circle. The shot put landing sector is the same (34.92 degrees) as the discus sector. The world record shot put is more than 75 feet.
PDF (diagram and details)

Staggers

Markings on a track designed to equalize the distance that competitors run a race, regardless of which lane they are assigned to. Staggers relate to the number of curves in a race, not the total length; i.e., a one turn stagger means the runner will round one curve before finishing the race or breaking to lane one. Staggers are used not only for start lines, but also for hurdle placement, acceleration and exchange zones for relay races, to ensure that the distances to those features are equal for all contestants.

Steeplechase

A collegiate distance running event that involves the hurdling of both solid horizontal barriers and a “steeplechase water jump.” The standard distances for the steeplechase course are 2000 and 3000 meters.
PDF (diagram and details)

Sub-grade

A construction term referring to features that are found below the “finish grade” elevations, usually regarding rough grade work of existing, or imported earth fill material. It also can refer to features such as drain lines, base course construction materials placed in lifts below “finish grade” and special construction such as sand or water jump pits.

Takeoff Board System

A unique “sub-grade” equipment feature used for the long and triple jump events to serve as a clearly defined launch, or take off, point to initiate the jump. The best systems incorporate removable, wooden competition boards, including a contrasting color “scratch board”, which can be replaced with a flush-mounted “blanking board” except during a track meet. The takeoff system incorporates a tray, which is permanently installed at specific points within the runway. Proper installation of the takeoff board tray is critical both in lateral placement to meet varying levels of competition requirements, and elevation placement to match the track surfacing, to prevent a trip hazard.
PDF (diagram and details)

Theodolite

A surveying instrument that allows the precise measurement of angles. In track construction, it is used to accurately locate points of curve (PCs), and start lines, exchange zones, etc. in the curves sections of the running lanes.

Timing Systems

This term refers to the automatic timing systems that are used to measure the results during a track and field competition. The systems have grown in sophistication and integrate computer software and hardware with a digital finish-line camera. www.finishlynx.com

Track Specifications

All track and field governing bodies have their own detailed specifications for each event. Some are shared, or rather, are the same, but in some cases vary significantly from one governing body to the next, particularly from the collegiate to the high school level. These specifications, or rules, are subject to revision from year to year. For the current rules for all governing bodies, please refer to the Track Rules and Specifications documentation on this website.

Triple Jump

A field event similar to long jump, but involving three total elements after the jumper reaches the takeoff position, commonly referred to a hop, skip or step, then jump. In the triple jump, a contestant takes one stride from the takeoff board and lands on the same leg once (hop), then immediately launches again from the same leg again, landing on the opposite leg (skip/step,) then launches from this opposite leg to land in the sand (jump,) completing the jump. This is all accomplished in one continuous motion, after reaching maximum speed prior to takeoff. The jump is measured the same as long jump, from the takeoff board to the nearest impression in the sand. The world record triple jump is over 59 feet.

USATF

USA Track & Field is the National Governing Body for track and field, long-distance running and race walking in the United States.  http://www.usatf.org

Waterfall Start

A curved start line for distance races of 800m or greater, not requiring lane staggers. Competitors line up, shoulder-to-shoulder, as close to the inside as possible at the start of the race. Each runner may break to lane one as quickly as an opening permits, without disrupting, or fouling, another competitor.

Length of Track

IAAF: The length of a standard running track shall be no less than 400 meters and no greater than 400.04 meters. It shall consist of two parallel straights and two bends whose radii shall be equal.

USATF: The nominal length of an outdoor track shall preferably be 400 meters. It shall consist of two straights and two turns.

NCAA: A 400 meter track is standard.

NFHS: A 400 meter track is standard. It shall consist of two straights and two curves. The radius of tracks may differ depending on the configuration for activities inside the oval and available space.

Width of Track

IAAF: Oval: at least 4 lanes.
Straight: at least 6 lanes.
International Competition:at least 8 lanes (Rule 1a, b & c)
Safety: at least 1 meter on inside and 1 meter preferred to the outside of the track.

USATF: 8 lanes standard.

NCAA: Minimum width of 6.40 meters; 9 lanes of 1.067 meters desirable for larger meets.

NFHS: No minimum width.

Width of Lane

IAAF: 1.22m +/- 0.01.

USATF: Same as IAAF, under special conditions lane width can be decreased to as little as 91.3cm (36 in).

NCAA: Lanes shall be the same width. Recommended minimum width is 1.067 (+/- 0.01) meters (42 in). Maximum width to be 1.22 (+/- 0.01) meters (48 in).

NFHS: Standard lane width is 42 in (1.07m). Each lane is the same width

SPECIAL NOTE: The 5cm lane line on the right is included in the lane measurement.

Radius Requirements

IAAF: Standard 400m track radius is 36.50m to the inside edge of the track (36.8m to measure line)

USATF: Same as IAAF.

NCAA: No recommendation.

NFHS: No recommendation.

Inclination

IAAF: Maximum lateral inclination shall not exceed 1:100 (1%). Lateral inclination shall be towards the inside lane. Inclination in the running direction shall not exceed 1:1000 (0.1%).

USATF: Same as IAAF.

NCAA: Same as IAAF except inclination is preferably toward the inside.

NFHS: Maximum lateral inclination is 2:100 (2%). Inclination in the running direction is the same as IAAF.

Curb Dimensions

IAAF: Height: 5cm.
Width: Minimum of 5cm, recommended maximum width 25cm.

USATF: Same as IAAF, except may be raised to 6.5cm to allow for drainage.

NCAA: Height: Approximately 5cm.
Width: 5cm minimum.

NFHS: Height: 2 in (5cm).
Width: No recommendation.

Curb Material

IAAF: Suitable material.

USATF: Same as IAAF.

NCAA: Suitable material. Edges shall be rounded.

NFHS: Solid curb. Edges shall be rounded.

SPECIAL NOTE: For World, American, Collegiate and NCAA championship meet records a regulation curb must be in place.

If No Curb

IAAF: Curb is mandatory.

USATF: Same as IAAF.

NCAA: When a curb is not used, then a 5cm (2 in) white line denotes the inside lane marking.

NFHS: When a curb is not used, then a 2 in (5cm) or wider line denotes the inside lane marking.

Measurements

IAAF: Lane 1 is measured 30cm (0.984 ft.) outward from the curb. Remaining lanes are measured 20cm (0.656 ft.) outward from the left hand lane line.

USATF: Same as IAAF.

NCAA: Lane 1 is measured 30cm outward from the curb, or 20cm outward from the inside painted line if no curb is used. Remaining lanes are measured 20cm outward from the left hand lane line.

NFHS: Same as IAAF.

Finish Line Location

IAAF: General practice is to place the finish at the juncture of the straight and curve.

USATF: Same as IAAF.

NCAA: A common finish line is recommended for all races.

NFHS: When a common finish line is used, it is recommended that the finish line be located at the point of the curve or within 20 meters of that point.

Start Line Locations

IAAF: In all races not run in lanes the start line shall be curved so that all runners start the same distance from the finish.

USATF: Same as IAAF. (Races start from alleys; the lines shall be curved).

NCAA: Same as IAAF. (Races start from boxes; the boxes shall be curved).

NFHS: Same as IAAF. Recommended that a dashed line of the same color and curvature be placed 1 meter behind the start line. Boxes also shall be curved.

Color of Lane Lines

IAAF: All lane lines as well as start and finish lines are to be white.

USATF: Same as IAAF.

NCAA: All lane lines and finish lines shall be white. Start lines see NCAA Rule 1.1.4.

NFHS: Lane lines do not have a specified color. Finish lines are white. Start lines see NFHS Rule 5.2.4.

Steeplechase Course and Water Jump

IAAF: The standard distance shall be 2000m and 3000m. There shall be 28 hurdle jumps and 7 water jumps in the 3000m event. There shall be 18 hurdle jumps and 5 water jumps in the 2000m event. There shall be 5 jumps in each complete lap with the water jump as the 4th. The jumps shall be evenly distributed, so that the distance between the jumps shall be approximately 1/5 of the nominal length of the lap. In the 3000m event, the distance from the start to the beginning of the 1st lap shall not include any jumps, the hurdles being removed until the competitors have entered the 1st lap. In the 2000m event, the first jump is at the 3rd barrier of a normal lap. The previous hurdles are removed until the competitors have passed them for the first time. The hurdles shall be 0.914m (3 ft.) high for the men’s events and 0.762m (2 ft.- 6 in.) high for the women’s events (+/- 3mm for both). Width shall be at least 3.94m (approx. 13 ft.).

RECOMMENDATION: 1st hurdle taken in the race should be at least 5m (16 ft.-5 in.) in width.

Section of the top bar of the hurdles including the water jump shall be 12.7cm (5 in.) square. The top bars should be painted with white and black stripes, or with other distinctive contrasting colors, such that the lighter stripes, which should be at least 22.5cm wide, are on the outside. The weight of each hurdle shall be between 80kg and 100kg. Each hurdle shall have on either side a base between 1.2m and 1.4m. The hurdle shall be placed on the track so that 30cm of the top bar will extend inside the inner edge of the track. The water jump, including the hurdle shall be 3.66m (+/- 2cm) in length. The width shall be 3.66m (+/- 2cm). The water shall be level with the track surface. At the hurdle end, the water depth shall be 70cm for approximately 30cm. From this point, the bottom shall have a regular slope upwards to the level of the track at the other end of the water jump. The hurdle shall be firmly fixed in front of the water and be of the same height as the others in the competition. To ensure safe landing of the competitors, the bottom of the water jump shall be covered at the further end with a suitable material, at least 3.66m wide and 25m long, the thickness of which should not exceed 2.4cm.

USATF: Same as IAAF.

NCAA: Same as IAAF except standard distance is 3000m.

NFHS: Event is not typically held at this level.

EXAMPLE OF STEELPLECHASE HURDLE PLACEMENT

Lap of 390m / Lap of 400m
Race Distance – 3000m / 3000m
Distance from start to beginningof 1st lap – 270m / 130m
Seven laps at distance – 2730m / 2870m

Hurdle Space:
Beginning of 1st lap to 1st hurdle -10m /10m
From 1st to 2nd hurdle – 78m/ 82m
From 2nd to 3rd hurdle – 78m / 82m
From 3rd to 4th hurdle – 78m / 82m
From 4th to 5th hurdle – 78m / 82m
From 5th to Finish Line – 68m /72m

General Information

The construction of a 400m track with a common finish line for all events at the juncture of the straight and the curve is preferred. Direction of the straight races should be with the prevailing wind. Direction of running around the 400m race course is such that the inside lane boundary is to the runner’s left (counter-clockwise.)

High Jump

IAAF: The minimum length of the runway shall be 15m (49.21 ft.)except Rule 1a, b, c competitions where it shall be 20m (65.62 ft.). If possible, the runway should be 25m (82 ft.). The runway and take-off areas are usually covered with the same surface as the track. The maximum overall inclination of the runway and the take-off area shall not exceed 1:250 (0.4%) in the direction of the center of the cross-bar. The take-off area shall be level.

USATF: Same as IAAF except the high jump apron is a 15m semicircle surrounding the standards. For championship competitions, the minimum suggested length for the high jump apron is 20m.

NCAA: It is recommended that the approach be an octagon or square with a surface of at least 21m (approx. 69 ft.). The minimum length provided shall be 15m. The maximum overall inclination of the runway and take-off area shall not exceed 1:250 in the running direction toward the center of the cross-bar. The take-off area is the semicircle enclosed by a 3m radius whose center point is directly under the center of the cross-bar.

NFHS: The approach shall consist of a semicircle or rectangle of level and unvarying surface. The center of the semicircle or rectangle is to be the midpoint between the standards. The depth of the approach should be a minimum of 50 ft. The inclination in the approach shall not exceed 1:100 (1%). Hard and unyielding surfaces, such as, but not limited to concrete, asphalt or wood that extend out from beneath the sides and back of the high jump landing pad shall be padded with a minimum of 2-inch dense foam or other suitable material. It is recommended that hard and unyielding materials that extend out from beneath the landing pad be removed.

Pole Vault – Runway

IAAF: The minimum length of the runway shall be 40m (approx. 132 ft.). The width shall be 1.22m (4 ft.) +/- 0.01 and shall be marked by white lines 5cm in width. Maximum allowance for lateral inclination of the runway is 1:100 (1%). Overall inclination of the runway in the running direction shall not exceed 1:1000 (0.1%). At the end of the runway, the box must be mounted flush with the runway and installed such that the top inside edge of its end board lines on the 0-line and at the same height. The 0-line shall be marked by a white line 0.01m wide which extends beyond the outside edges of the uprights.

USATF: Same as IAAF.

NCAA: The minimum length of the runway shall be 40m. Recommended width of the runway is 1.22m. Maximum allowance for lateral inclination of the runway is 1:100. Overall inclination of the runway in the running direction shall not exceed 1:1000. The center of the runway shall be marked by a maximum of seven permanent lines at 30cm (0.984 ft.) increments from the plant box back toward the start of the runway. These lines shall be a maximum of 90cm (2.95 ft.) in length and 5cm in width. See NCAA Rule 1.5.3.

NFHS: The minimum length of the runway shall be 40m (approx. 132 ft.), 45m (approx. 148 ft.) is recommended. The minimum recommended width of the runway is 1.07m (3 ft.-6 in.). Maximum allowance for lateral inclination is 2:100 (2%). Overall inclination of the runway in the running direction is not to exceed 1:1000 (0.1%).

Pole Vault – Vaulting Box

IAAF: The vault box shall be constructed from metal, wood or other suitable rigid material. If constructed of wood, the bottom shall be lined with sheet metal for a distance of at least 0.80m from the front of the box. It shall be sunk level with the ground and shall be 1.00m in length measured along the bottom of the box, 0.60m in width at the front end and tapering to 0.15m wide at the bottom of the stop board. The angle between the bottom of the box and the stop board shall be 105 degrees and the stop board shall be 0.224m long. The side walls of the box shall slope outwards to form an angle of approximately 120 degrees to the base.

USATF: Same as IAAF.

NCAA: The vault box shall be constructed of suitable rigid materials. Dimensions are the same as IAAF. The box shall be painted a contrasting color to the runway.

NFHS: Same as IAAF. The box shall be painted a contrasting color to the runway.

Pole Vault – Landing Area

IAAF: The landing area shall measure not less than 5m by 5m (recommended for Rule 1a, b, c meets 6m by 6m). The sides of the landing area nearest the box shall be placed 10cm to 15cm from the box and shall slope away from the box at an angle of approximately 45 degrees. The distance from the back of the landing area to the front of the side pads shall be at least 7m (recommended for Rule 1a, b, c meets 8m).

USATF: Same as IAAF except minimum landing area shall measure not less than 6m by 6.15m.

NCAA: The pole vault pad measurement beyond the vertical plane of the back of the vaulting box shall be a minimum of 6m wide by 5m deep. For more information see NCAA Rule 2.6.1.

NFHS: The overall size of the pole vault landing system shall be a minimum of 19 ft, 8 in (6m) wide by 20 ft, 2 in deep. The landing surface measured beyond the back of the standard bases, shall be a minimum of 19 ft, 8 in (6m) wide. The dimension of the landing surface in back of the vaulting box to the back of the landing system shall be 16 ft, 5 in (5m) deep. Hard or unyielding surfaces such as but not limited to concrete, metal, asphalt or wood around the landing pit, or between the planting box and the landing system, shall be padded or cushioned with a minimum of 2 in (50mm) of dense foam or other suitable material(s). It is recommended that any excess material such as asphalt or concrete that extends out from beneath the landing pad be removed. For more information, see NFHS Rule 7.5.7-9.

Long Jump – Runway

IAAF: The minimum length of the runway shall be 40m. The width shall be 1.22m +/- 0.01. The maximum allowance for lateral inclination of the runway shall not exceed 1:100. Overall inclination of the runway in the running direction shall not exceed 1:1000. The runway should be marked by white lines 5cm in width or broken lines 0.05m side, 0.10m long and 0.50m apart.

USATF: Same as IAAF.

NCAA: For new construction, the minimum length of the runway shall be 40m from the edge of the takeoff board nearest the pit. Runway width is the same as IAAF. When the runway is not distinguishable from the adjacent surface it may be bordered with lines 5cm wide.

NFHS: Minimum runway length is 130 ft (147 ft 6 in recommended). Width of the runway should be between 42 in and 48 in. Lateral inclination shall be a maximum of 2:100.

SPECIAL NOTE: All runway lengths are measured to the respective foul line. When possible, the runway lengths should be at least 45m (approx. 148 ft.).

Long Jump – Takeoff Board

IAAF: The takeoff shall be marked by a board sunk level with the runway and the surface of the landing area. The edge of the board which is nearer to the landing area shall be called the takeoff line. Immediately beyond the takeoff line there shall be placed a plasticine indicator board for the assistance of the Judges.The takeoff board shall be rectangular, made of wood or other suitable rigid material, and shall measure 1.22m +/- 0.01 long and 20cm (+/- 2mm) wide and 10cm +/- 10.01 deep. It shall be painted white.

The distance between the takeoff board and the far end of the landing (sand pit) area shall be at least 10m (32 ft.-10 in.). The takeoff board shall be placed between 1m and 3m from the nearer end of the landing (sand pit) area. The plasticine indicator board shall consist of a rigid board, 10cm wide (+/- 2mm) and 1.22m (+/- 0.01) long and be made of wood or other suitable rigid material. The board shall be mounted in a recess or shelf in the runway, on the side of the takeoff board nearer the landing area. The surface shall rise from the level of the takeoff board to a height of 7mm (+/- 1mm).

The edges shall either slant at an angle of 45 degrees with the edge nearer to the runway covered with a plasticine layer along its length 1mm thick or shall be cut away such that the recess, when filled with plasticine shall slant at an angle of 45 degrees. When mounted in this recess, the whole assembly shall be sufficiently rigid to accept the full force of the athlete’s foot. The surface of the board beneath the plasticine shall be of a material in which spikes of an athlete’s shoe will grip and not skid.

USATF: Same as IAAF.

NCAA: Same as IAAF with the following exceptions:
Length: Takeoff board shall be at least 1.22m long.
Width: Takeoff board shall be approximately 20cm wide.
Thickness: Not more than 10cm thick.
Other: Distance between the takeoff board and the nearer edge of the landing (sand pit) area shall not be less than 1m or greater than 3.66m (12 ft.). The plasticine indicator board, not mandatory, shall be prepared so that the top of the plasticine is level with the takeoff board. Color of plasticine shall be a contrasting color.

NFHS: The takeoff area shall be marked by a rectangular shaped takeoff board, manufactured of wood or synthetic material. The takeoff board must be set firmly in the ground at least level with the runway and the surface of the landing. A firm base must be provided. The width shall be between 8 inches (minimum) and 24 inches (maximum). The length shall be 42 to 48 inches long.

If the takeoff board is 8 inches wide, an additional 8 inches of firm, resilient material may be placed so that it abuts the edge of the takeoff board farthest from the scratch line.

On hard surfaced runways a painted scratch line of contrasting color and with the same size specifications may be used in lieu of a takeoff board. The boys’ recommended scratch line shall be located 12 ft from the nearer edge of the landing (sand pit) area. The girls’ recommended scratch line shall be located 8 ft from the nearer edge of the landing (sand pit) area. These distances may be adjusted to accommodate different levels of competition.

Long Jump – Landing Area

The sand pit is the landing area for the long jump and triple jump events. There are numerous ways to construct this feature.
PDF (diagram and details)

IAAF: The landing area shall have a minimum width of 2.75m (9 ft.) and a maximum width of 3m (9 ft.-10 in.). The landing area shall be so placed, if possible, so that the middle of the runway, if extended, would coincide with the middle of the landing area. The landing area should be filled with soft damp sand, the top of the surface of which shall be level with the takeoff board.

USATF: Same as IAAF.

NCAA: For new construction, the landing area shall be not less than 2.75m or more than 3m in width. The damp sand shall be identical in elevation with the takeoff board.

NFHS: The landing area shall have a minimum width of 9 feet and a minimum length shall be 15 feet. Sand shall be level with the takeoff board.

Triple Jump

IAAF: Same as for Long Jump with the following exceptions:Distance between the takeoff board and the far end of the landing (sand pit) area shall be at least 21m (approx. 69 ft.).

Recommended takeoff board locations for international competitions are:

Men: Not less than 13m (approx. 42 ft.-8 in.) from the nearer end of the landing (sand pit) area.
Women: Not less than 11m (approx. 36 ft.-1 in.) from the nearer end of the landing (sand pit) area.

NOTE: For other competitions, the distance shall be appropriate for the competition.

USATF: Same as IAAF Triple Jump except that the women’s takeoff board location shall be at least 10m from the nearer end of the landing (sand pit) area.

NCAA: Same as for NCAA Long Jump with the following exceptions:

Men: The distance from the foul line to the nearer edge of the landing (sand pit) area shall be at least 11m (recommended is 12.5m, or 41 ft.).
Women: The distance from the foul line to the nearer edge of the landing (sand pit) area shall be at least 8.5m (recommended 11m, or 36 ft.-1 in.).

NFHS: Same as for NFHS Long Jump with the following exceptions:

The boys’ recommended scratch line shall be located 32 feet from the nearer edge of the landing (sand pit) area.

The girls’ recommended scratch line shall be located 24 feet from the nearer edge of the landing (sand pit) area.

SPECIAL NOTE: The length of the triple jump runway is measured from the long jump scratch line.

Shot Put, Discus, Hammer Throw

IAAF: Circles shall be made of banded iron, steel or other suitable material. The top of the circle shall be flush with the ground outside. The interior of the circle surface may be constructed of concrete, asphalt or some other firm, non-slip material.

The surface of this interior shall be level and 14-26mm lower than the upper edge of the rim of the circle. A portable circle meeting these specifications is permissible. The rim of the circle shall be at least 6mm thick and shall be painted white. A white line 5cm wide shall be drawn from the top of the metal rim extending for at least 75cm on either side of the circle. It may be painted or made of wood or other suitable material. The rear edge of the white line shall form a prolongation of a theoretical line through the center of the circle at right angles to the center line of the landing sector.

USATF: Same as IAAF with the following additions:

The metal rim shall have a height of 76mm (3 in.).

NCAA: Same materials as IAAF (rubber is not acceptable). The surface of this interior shall be 19mm +/- 6mm lower than the surface outside the circle.

NFHS: The throwing circles shall be marked with a metal, wood or plastic band which shall not rise more than ¾ of an inch (19mm) above the level of the circle. If the circle has a surface of asphalt, concrete, wood or other hard material, a painted line 2 in (5cm) may be substituted for the band. A concrete surface with 1/64 (1mm) roughness is recommended for shot put. Projecting lines 2 in (5cm) wide and 8 in (20cm) in length lying on the diameter extended and outside the circumferences, shall be used to designate the back half of the throwing circle. The inside edge of the line or band is the limit of the throwing circle.

NOTE: Lines indicating the front and back halves of the circle are painted in the front half of the circle, so that the back edge of the line is tangent with the exact center of the circle.

SHOT PUT, DISCUS AND HAMMER THROW – CIRCLE MEASUREMENTS

IAAF: Shot Put: Inside diameter 2.135m +/- 5mm (7 ft.).
Discus: Inside diameter 2.50m +/- 5mm (8.2 ft.).
Hammer: Inside diameter 2.135m +/- 5mm (7 ft.).

USATF: Same as IAAF.

NCAA: Same as IAAF.

NFHS: Shot Put: Inside diameter 7′ (2.134m).
Discus: Inside diameter 8′ 2 ½” (2.50m).
Hammer: Event is not typically held at this level.

NOTE: When a white line borders any circle, the lines are not part of the circle measurement.

Shot Put Stop Board

IAAF: The board shall be white and made of wood or other suitable material. It shall be made in the form of an arc so that the inner edge matches the inner edge of the circle. The board shall be placed and securely anchored to the ground midway between the sector lines. It shall measure at least 0.112m wide and when firmly in position 0.10m +/- 0.002m high in relation to the level inside the circle.

USATF: Same as IAAF.

NCAA: Same as IAAF with the following exceptions:

The board width shall measure 112 (+/- 2)mm in the middle, 300 (+/-2)mm at its end and 100 (+/-2)mm in height.

NFHS: The board shall be constructed of concrete, fiberglass, metal, wood or other hard-surfaced material. It shall be made in the form of an arc so that the inner edge coincides with the inner edge of the circle and can be firmly secured in this position. The board shall measure 1.22m (4 ft.) long along the inside, 10cm in height and 11.4cm in width. The inside edge of the line is the limit of the throwing circle.

Shot Put, Discus and Hammer Landing Areas

IAAF: The landing sector shall consist of cinders, grass or other suitable material on which the implement can make an imprint. The overall downward inclination of the landing sector shall not exceed 1:1000 in the throwing direction. The landing sector shall be marked with white lines 5cm wide at an angle of 34.92 degrees such that the lines, if extended, would pass through the center of the circle.

USATF: Same as IAAF.

NCAA: Same as IAAF.

NFHS: Effective with the 2006-2007 track season, all shot put and discus will utilize one standard sector of 34.92 degrees.

NOTE: Radial lines 5cm wide marking the sector are not a part of the sector.

Shot Put, Discus and Hammer Safety Cages

IAAF: Shot Put – No Cage required.
Discus and Hammer: Required. Detailed cage design options can be found and explained in the IAAF Handbook as well as in the IAAF Track and Field Facilities Manual.

USATF: Same as IAAF. See USA Track and Field Manual for Construction for details.

NCAA: Same as IAAF. See NCAA rules book for details.

NFHS: Same as IAAF. Discus cage required, but the Hammer throw is not conducted at high school level.

Javelin Throw – Runway

IAAF: The minimum length of the runway shall be 30m (98 ft.-5 in.). The maximum length of the runway is 36.5m (119 ft.-9 in.). It shall be marked by two parallel white lines 5cm wide and 4m apart (lines are not a part of the 4m measurement, therefore the full width of the runway shall be a minimum of 4.3m, or 14 ft.). The throw shall be made from behind an arc of a circle drawn with a radius of 8m. The arc shall consist of a strip painted or made of wood, metal 7cm wide. The arc shall be painted white and be flush with the ground. Lines shall be drawn from the extremities of the arc at right angles to the parallel lines marking the runway. These lines shall be white, 75cm long and 7cm wide. The maximum lateral inclination of the runway shall be 1:100 and 1:1000 downward in the throwing direction.

USATF: Same as IAAF.

NCAA: Same as IAAF with the following exceptions:

For new construction, the minimum runway length shall be 33.5m (109 ft.-11 in.) and the maximum length shall be 36.5m (119 ft.-9 in.). The runway is recommended to be equipped with an artificial surface for its entire length. When artificial surface is used, the surface should extend 1m past the foul line for safety.

NFHS: Same as NCAA, but with no comment regarding artificial surfacing. Lateral inclination is no greater than 2:100 and not more than 1:1000 from the throwing area to the landing area. No minimum runway length.

Javelin Throw – Implement Landing Area

IAAF: The landing sector shall consist of natural grass or other suitable material on which the javelin makes an imprint. The landing sector is marked by 5cm wide white lines which form the inner edge of the sector (not included in the sector). The sector is formed by laying out lines originating from the center point of the runway through the cross section of the throwing arc and the lines of the runway extending out approximately 100 meters, running a line straight through the center of the runway. The distance between the sector lines at this point is approximately 50m. The distance can then be adjusted for the level of competition. This forms a sector of approximately 29 degrees.

USATF: Same as IAAF.

NCAA: Same as IAAF.

NFHS: Not defined.

 

 

  • As host and meet director of the Taco Bell Track & Field Classic and all 8 State Championship Meets in South Carolina, I have seen many great performances on Precision surfaces. I look forward to upgrading with Precision in the near future.

    - John W. Jones, Head Boys Track & Field Coach, Spring Valley High, S.C.