4, Jul 2023
Sports Relays

The Royaltv01 important aspect of a relay is the changeover. Runners must exchange the baton within the 20 m long changeover zone (preceded by an acceleration zone of 10 m). If runners do not hand off correctly in the changeover zone they are disqualified. This is why coaches must teach their teams to look back and put the baton in their teammate’s hand. The incoming runner will often give the teammate an auditory cue (such as “stick”) to tell them they are close to the changeover box, and the outgoing runner will open their arm outstretched to receive the baton.

Runners in sprint relay events start the race in starting blocks, and must be in position to receive the baton at the beginning of the first leg of the race when the starter announces “On your mark.” Runners must begin running as soon as they hear this announcement. Those who do not move at the first sign of the starter’s gun are called “false starts” and are disqualified from the race.

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The first leg of a sprint relay is run by the fastest runner on the team, also known as the anchor runner. The second runner is usually the team’s best curve runner, and the third runner should be their strongest sprinter. Team coaches generally try to put their best runner in the first leg of the race and then place their weakest runner in the last leg to minimize the possibility of a false start.