Track and field etiquette and safety

Status: Agreed on 14/08/2017

Tracks can be very busy and sessions require respect and consideration to other users, vigilance and your own common sense. Other athletes and members of the public may also be using the track, maybe less familiar with track etiquette than yourself.

The following guidelines should be followed to help everyone get the most from track sessions and to not interfere with other individuals or training groups:

  • Be aware of the activities of other users and avoid hindering their training. If required, agree to share the track without impeding other athletes or groups’ activities. Hurdles and other training aids may be being used. Be practical and helpful, avoid interference with others.
  • Be prompt when preparing to start your session and never be an obstruction to others on the track. Remove yourself from active training areas as soon as practical.
  • Run counter-clockwise, unless recovering or warming up in outer lanes.
  • During sessions stay in lane. If using lane 1, stay close to the inside of the track. Sprint sessions may use parts of outer lanes for designated workouts. Accommodate both sprint and distance repetition sessions.
  • Use the track back straight outer lanes or grassy areas for jogs, recovery phases, warm up and warm down, but take into consideration sprinters and sprint group using outer lanes. Strides are allowed on the track and must be run anti-clockwise
  • When passing other athletes allow reasonable space.
  • When finishing a repetition, get out of inner lanes. Be aware, look behind and move to recovery phase lanes or to the track infield so as to not interfere with other runners.
  • Do not stop or linger on the track. Always run through the finish, at the end of an interval, and off the track (normally) to the right
  • Sprints groups use only the outside lanes on home and back straights. Hurdles can be used only in outer lanes on the home straight.
  • Never cross the infield, even if no infield activity is being undertaken, unless competing or part of a throws group upon request of a throws coach. Never walk in front of the throwing cage or javelin run-up.  Best practice is to never cross the infield.  You must stay outside the safety ropes even if it doesn’t look dangerous at the time.
  • A call of, ‘Track!’ is the prescriptive polite way to warn others they need to respond to avoid hindrance to a workout. The call implies you are not abiding to these track and field etiquettes. Promptly look and move out of the expected course of the athletes calling the warning. Generally this will be out of inner lanes or finishing line area.
  • Earphones or other such electronic devices are not to be used whilst using the track or taking part in field activities. Move to the grass area outside of the track.
  • Do not enter any training or competition event area unless you are taking part.
  • Do not stand or randomly wander around on the track, or jumps areas, when others are training, or at the end of your race.
  • Do not cross the track, or jumps areas, at any time, without looking. Look both ways before stepping onto the track from any direction
  • Do not play in the jumps pits during training or matches.
  • Do not engage in play activities with other athletes in the training or competition areas, other than if specifically instructed to do so by a coach as part of the training activity.
  • Do not sit on or play on the High-jump or Pole-vault beds when there is no coach or match official present.
  • Do not use any throwing implement, or rake, broom etc. except in the way that it is intended to be used and only with permission. You must carry them properly at all times, with awareness of who is around you.
  • Do not interfere with, or make fun of anyone who is training or competing, or try to make someone laugh when they are trying to throw/jump/run.
  • Do not throw anything such as plastic bottles, balls, water etc. around in the area where others are trying to train or compete.
  • Bicycles, scooters, roller blades, etc. are not allowed on tracks