Wednesday, August 12, 2009

IAAF Adopts No False Start Rule....Finally!

As an individual who competes in an event that seems to take two to three starts per race sometimes, I am happy that the governing body of my sport has decided to go this route.

I can count on two fingers the amount of times I have false started: 2006 at the meet in Zaragoza, Spain and this indoor season at the Florida Invitational (if that competition was a "real" meet, I wouldn't have been hit with it, but whatever.)

If you think about it, it's never your top flight guys who commit this infraction. Can you recall when you saw Terrence Trammel, Dayron Robles, David Payne, myself, etc false start, let alone false start out of the competition?

Now I do understand that stuff does go wrong sometime and false starts just happen. I believe that at your major meets (Olympic Games, World Championships, National Championships) the rule in which we are governed by now should be used, but at your Golden League, Super Grand Prix meets, this zero tolarance for false starting should be in full effect.

Do you know how hard it is in that restart? The thought that always comes to my mind is "We could have been done already!" But you just have to focus and re-focus.

A quick thought of mine goes back to the 2008 Olympic Trials where one individual felt the need to false start every single round, too bad he was in three of my four heats.

I don't understand why hurdlers think that they need to get to the first hurdle before everybody else, just to give it back later on down the track.

Off the top I my head, I can think of these instances in which the guy who was first, didn't finish with the win:
2000 OG- Colin was out ahead of Garcia
2004 OG- Liu was a hair behind Terrence, but went on to set the Olympic record
2005 WC- Allen touched down first, Ladji wins
2006 in Liu's world record race, he comes from behind
2007 WC- Terrence and Robles were out stepping Liu, who once again comes from behind and wins the race and runs sub-13

Personally my Olympic Trials win as well as first sub-13 performance were of the come from behind variety.

Only Robles world record race and 2008 Olympic Gold come to my mind as major races where the guy won start to finish.

I'm not going to claim to be an aficionado of the history of 110 hurdling, I only started paying attention recently. I'm sure people can point out instances going against what I said, but I'm sure the runners they will bring up aren't going to have to deal with this new rule anyhow.

Bottomline, I nor anyone else has heard of a 13.7 meter hurdle race, so why all of the jumping? I chalk it up to either bad coaching, teaching athletes to anticipate the gun instead of react to it or the said athlete allows the nervous energy to control him instead of vice versa or the guy is just doing it on purpose. I tend to go with the guy doing it on purpose.

I have been flat out told before by a notorious false starter "I am faster than 95% of you guys (hurdlers), so I'll take one and make you guys sit even longer on the re-start."

Do I agree with his assesment, no, but can you blame him? If they aren't going to punish you for it, you might as well take advantage.

I would never do it for the simple fact that I DO NOT want to feel the wrath from one Brooks Johnson for false starting. I can not even write what was said to me on that Monday at practice after I did so in Gainesville, nor the three page email I received prior to that. The FCC might shut me down! LOL.

I am happy that the IAAF finally took notice and became proactive in this situation.


soreloser24 said...

Agreed. If high schoolers can handle No False Starts, pros should be able to handle it as well.

QT said...


Aunt Celest said...

About time. Amen to that. Pros should be able to handle "NO FALSE STARTS"

Hector Cotto said...

i must point out that Trammell actually was one of the favorites in 2004 OG and he false started in the Final, Also when AJ won his very first WC Gold Tony Jarret false started like 3 times and he too was the fav. But I agree, no false start rule is best. NCAA has implemented the rule for years and its never been a problem. If you dont anticipate the gun you should never have a problem.

ejheat said...

Rev. EJHEAT agrees with you and members of my EJHEAT congregation and says how about 1 "Big Guy" Amen! This is 1 of the most intelligent articles you have ever written on your blog! David, you are a very intelligent and articulate young man, and just another reason why I respect and admire you so much!

I know Usain Bolt is thanking God that this rule only comes into effect next year! Just incredible how he would not have been in the finals if this rule was already in effect! I'm sure the people who are in charge in track and field were thanking God as well! Just imagine all the positive publicity they would have missed out on with track and field getting their U.S national exposure that they normally don't get outside of the Summer Olympic years! I'm sure Tyson Gay and Osafa Powell wished the new rule was already in effect! They both got so forgotten for running a real good race as well! But, Bolt is just in a world of his own right now! I sure hope Bolt is all clean, and don't find out later something bad! We certainly do not need anymore phony records in sports these days! Always speculation these days in sports! I will give Bolt the benefit of the doubt, and he is great for track and field, but 2 guys I love to watch besides Bolt in the 100m are certainly Tyson and Osafa!

Bolt false starting in the semi's shows that anyone in track is capable of false starting! I like the new rule now because the culprit who 1st false starts now won't punish the rest of the field! The analogy I use for the false start rule now is when in baseball a pitcher throws intentionally at a batter and gets away with it only to have the umpires give a warning to both teams which means the next pitcher on either team that throws at a batter immediately gets thrown out of the game! This is a stupid and horrible rule! It gives the culprit 1st pitcher a free shot at the other teams best hitter at the plate! This is a rule I wish MLB would change!

I rememeber witnessing your rare false start in the finals of your indoor meet in Gainesville! I know that Coach E was real pissed off and made Brooks sound like he was rated G! On the other hand, I was so happy to see you perform in person for the 1st time, and so excited to meet you for the 1st time that I was ok with the false start because you had a descent 1st race despite being bumped by the guy next to you! I was happy to give you my EJHEAT love when I saw you, and get our blog father and blog son beautiful pictures together with you! Your blog father has spoken! That is the bottom line because me and cursing Coach E said so!!!!



As an athlete (specializes 100m) i would agree and not agree with the new 'no false start' rule in some points (eg flick or slightly side motion on the pedal particularly among the schools level). It's a bit strict and brutal for them. Yet, i've no problem to handle it. My best reaction time is 0.145s so far and i've to react the fired quicker now.