New start rule: Gay unhappy

Tyson Gay critical of false start rule change, Usain Bolt is not
By Nesha Starcevic (CP) – 4 hours ago

BERLIN — Tyson Gay is highly critical of the rule change that will automatically disqualify every runner who jumps the gun as of next year. Nemesis Usain Bolt is just fine with it.

“No, I don’t think it’s an improvement,” Gay said Thursday, speaking two days before the start of the world championships.

Bolt, the Olympic champion and world record holder in the 100 and 200 who will clash with Gay on the first weekend of the championships, was relaxed about the change.

“For me, I have no problem, I never false started yet,” the Jamaican said. “It will be better for the sport. It will be a problem for some people but not for me.”

The rule change, adopted Wednesday by the world governing body of track and field will not be enforced at this event.

Gay, the defending 100 and 200 champion, said the IAAF should have left the rule as it is - with the second runner to commit a false start being excluded.

"I don’t know the details behind the rules, I talked to (ex-sprinter) Frankie Fredericks about it and he said if he comes to a major championship and someone false starts and is out, that is a waste of a ticket.

“You come to watch people run, not false start. I don’t really agree with it, I don’t know if it is all for television or what not, but I don’t do this for television.”

Gay said that human error was inevitable and that the rule would have an impact on athletes’ approach to competition.

“I am a human being, like the rest of the athletes, I make mistakes. The new rule will affect athletes a lot mentally, because every time you go to a race now, if you move, you are out,” he said.

“People will have to sit more and wait and not react like they want to, people will be more cautious. You move you are out, it will leave certain people out. People train hard all year and then one false start, you are gone.”

The rule was backed by the IAAF’s executive council, and its president Lamine Diack said 2010 was the ideal time to introduce the change since there are no major competitions scheduled.

“We need to change it next year because everyone will have ample time to change by the time of Daegu,” Diack said, referring to the South Korean city where the next worlds will be held, in 2011.

Jorge Salcedo, the head of the technical commission of the IAAF, said the current system favoured runners who deliberately committed a first false start to put their opponents on edge.

“There are athletes who do it on purpose,” he told the rule-making congress, which approved the change by a 97-55 margin with six abstentions.

T gay is right, bolt does not care because he does not have anything to lose.

In my opinion Tyson Gay has the wrong attitude on this. As one of the fastest men in the world, particularly off the mark, surely he’s had occasion to be annoyed by ‘inferior’ athletes wanting to sneak an advantage by going for the ‘fly’ start.

I have never quite understood why one person was allowed a break, but the next person couldn’t. Either you allow everyone at least one break (as in the old days) or you remove the break altogether.

I hate breaking and think it’s a blight on the sport. I have thrown an athlete’s blocks away after getting pissed off at training because someone hasn’t had the discipline or concentration to wait for the gun.

The only time I ever broke in a race was in Scotland in 1986 in a Highland Games event at a low key meet at Ceres, after the starter had told me a gag and I was still thinking about it as I was getting into the set position. I was pretty annoyed that I’d stuffed up and cost myself a chance to advance to a semi final. I never broke in 12 years of running in Australia. In pro-running if one breaks, you receive a 1 metre penalty and after working my backside off to find a metre at training I sure as hell wasn’t going to give it away by doing something stupid like breaking.

The new rule is long overdue, athletes need to discipline themselves not to transgress.

There are already measures in place to prevent inferior athletes from “trying to get a flyer”. With the new rule and the .1s reaction rule the IAAF are penalizing the faster starters - of course bolt with his 9.7x with a .22 reaction time is not going to be concerened. I have said it else where that I think it should be one of these rules or the other; to have both is unnecessary.

Hey I’ve always been curious about the false start rule in pros. If you get moved back a metre but make the next round, which mark do you run off in subsequent races?

Hi Dazed,

The penalty is only for that race - if an athlete can overcome the penalty for breaking he gets to start off his original mark for the remainder of the competition. EG: Break in a heat off say 7.0m, go back one metre to 6.0m. Make it through to the semi and final - and you run off original mark of 7.0m (unless you break again!).

I beg to differ on the notion the new rule may penalise faster starters - in contrast it actually helps the faster starters as they know anyone (ie: inferior starter) caught trying to break will be automatically dq’ed. The faster starters just need to start naturally and legally and their advantage remains intact.

It’s easy to eradicate out of someone’s ‘system’ - one break at training and they pick their blocks up and go home for the night. I can assure you they won’t break the next time.

i had to read this twice - i thought it said, “I can assure you they wont be back the next time” As in, well if coach sent me home, im not gunna bother turn up to training… haha.

Mind you - the 1m rule, imagine that being used at normal track meets! Would make an interesting time of things

G’day Bold,

That happened to me one night - I broke in a 60m training rep. I didn’t need to be told. I just went back, picked up my blocks and went over other side of the track and finished my training.

When I returned I didn’t break again!

Nice story.
I like cf’s story about how to mentally cue yourself to react, and basically, When the gun go off, raise your lead arm - all you think about is “lead arm, lead arm lead arm” then when gun goes off, up goes your lead arm before you even know what happened.

I do this in the car at traffic lights- Light turns green, right foot goes down. literally cannot remember the last time i have been beaten of the lights - even by those who try to “guess it” Those who try to guess it - normally start rolling backwards or hit the breaks just as the light turns green - and suffer majorly.

Learn to react - and you’ll be fine and a no false start rule will be the last thing you need to worry about.

This new rule shifts quite a bit of responsibility to the guy with the gun. There should be more focus on the official’s (starter’s) education.

A few things to think about:

(1): The Olympic Games: the preliminaries in the Olympics are notorious for including athletes who have almost no routine when it comes to starting from blocks; it is sometimes quite a circus. And sometimes their actions in the blocks (random movement) can make better athletes even more nervous, and still being somewhat unnoticed by the starter.

(2): Ridiculously long holds in the set position. Maybe we need another official who monitors the starter’s actions?

Eventually athletes will adopt to the situation. once again. Maybe it becomes a contest who’s the last one into the blocks (making other athletes wait)?

Also Bolt knows that up until now, he can win with a poor reaction.