Track and Field General Rules

Ambulatory Athletes
  •  Many ambulatory athletes do not require special modifications in training or in competition
  • This will be a state issue regarding the implementation of sections for ambulatory athletes
  • The ambulatory para-athletes must choose to compete in para-division or the traditional division at the beginning of the season
  • Many of these athletes have the ability to compete with their traditional counterparts and have already been doing so within the traditional model
  • Athletes with limitation or special requirements (blind, severe cases of cerebral palsy, dwarf), under the rules should be considered for a para-section.
Visually Impaired Athletes
  •  May use a guide runner to assist them either tethered or non-tethered. Those athletes needing guide runners (blind or severely restricted vision) will need a lane for the athlete and one for the guide
  • A blind athlete in participating in field events needs minimal assistance
    • The athlete is allowed to have one aid
    • The athlete’s aid can walk them into the ring and position them and then call or clap to guide them to throw the discus into the sector
  • The athlete who is blind is required to wear an eye mask
  • If the throwing or discus area is standard and uses a raised circular ring, let the thrower with visual impairment know where the exact front and back are
    • The athlete can stay within the throwing circle because it is tactual and he/she can tell where the front of the circle is because of the stop board
  • Consider leaving towels or other articles just outside at those points, so the thrower can reach down and touch or use limited vision to see the center front and center back
    • A towel or other article left just outside the back center can help for exact lining up at rear of ring for initiating the approach.
  • The center front marker should obviously not be something easily tripped over.
  • If there is only a painted circle and no raised ring, make a raised rope ring using two-inch vinyl tape and 1/8th inch cord taped and place towels or other articles just outside the front and back of ring for orientation
Track Race Rules


  • The center of the front axle (axle plane) may not extend over the starting line


  • The finish of the race occurs when the center of the front axle (axle plane) crosses the finish line

Wheeling in Lane

  • In the 100m, competitors must stay in their designated lane
  • Touching or crossing the lane line for more than 10 consecutive feet is a disqualification
  • Crossing a lane line for any distance and impeding another competitor is a disqualification


  • Athletes may not touch or obstruct another competitor during an event. Obstruction of an athlete will result in disqualification
Wheelchair Shot Put Rules


  • All competitors must put the shot from a chair. This could be a manual wheelchair, throwing chair, or power wheelchair.
  • The upper most part of the cushion/seat on any chair may not exceed 75 cm
  • The chair will be considered an extension of the athletes’ body. For example: any part of the chair touching the top of the stop board is a foul
  • One buttock cheek must remain in contact with the seat during the throw
  • Footplates, if used, are for support and stability only
  • Side and back rests for safety and stability may be attached to the seat, they must be nonflexible and non-movable
  • The frame may have a holding bar

Putting the Shot

  • From start to finish, the movement shall be a straight, continuous putting action
  • The shot shall touch or be in close proximity to the neck or chin and the hand shall not be dropped below this position during the action of putting.
  • The shot shall not be taken behind the line of the shoulders
  • Distance is measured in meters

Time Limits

Seated Throwers

  • A competitor will be given a time of one minute between each throw. The one minute time will begin when the implement is handed to the competitor

Standing Throwers

  • A competitor will be given a time of one minute between each throw. The one minute time will begin when the competitors name is called

Failed Throws

A throw is considered a failure if an athlete in the course of a trial:

  • Improperly releases the shot
  • After he or she has stepped into the circle and begun to make a throw, touches with any part of his or her body the top of the rim or the ground outside the circle
  • Touches any part of his or her body with the top of the stop board

Holding Device Failure

If a holding device should break or fail during the execution of a throw then the overseeing official should:

  • If the athlete does not foul, offer the athlete the option of retaking that trial
  • If the athlete fouls, then the trial should not be counted and the athlete should be allowed to retake the affected trial

Suggested Shot Put Weights

  • Boys Class 1: 8.81lbs
  • Boys Class 2: 6lbs
  • Girls Class 1 & 2: 6lbs 

For more track and field rules details, visit: Wheelchair and Ambulatory USA Track and Field


Guideline Table of Contents
State Models

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