Talk:Track and field

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New article[edit]

Here is the basic draft I have been working on for track and field. Certainly, there are plenty of improvements to be made and many red links to create articles for. Anyone looking to add information about road running and cross country events should add that information to either the specific articles or to the parent Athletics (sport) article. Sillyfolkboy (talk) (edits)Join WikiProject Athletics! 11:33, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

  • For ease of discussion, let us use Talk:Athletics (sport) to discuss whether we should have both a track and field and an athletics article, or whether would should have just one combined article. This talk page should be used to discuss improvements to the track and field article. Sillyfolkboy (talk) (edits)Join WikiProject Athletics! 11:40, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Agreed; I've moved the earlier discussion from here to there accordingly. jnestorius(talk) 13:18, 29 May 2010 (UTC)


Many of the descriptions of the events, particularly under Stadia are extremely detailed. They might follow the ideal stadium layout of the IAAF's diagram, but in reality, most facilities have some exceptions. For example, here in the United States, with the advent of Artificial turf, many throwing events have been relegated to adjacent fields, many jumping events sent to the end zones. Even without those limitations, architects frequently take liberties so the IAAF diagram is just a dream. Thusly, the article has been so overly generous with the details that it is misleading. I'll probably be editing out those details. The first detail that is particularly bothersome is the statement that a cage "removes" the danger. Sorry, you can see from my bio I am a track official. We've had spectators, competitors and fellow officials hurt or killed by flying implements. It is always dangerous to have flying heavy and sharp projectiles. I am sensitive to this. Its irresponsible of us to mislead the public to think they are safe behind a cage. You must always pay attention. Trackinfo (talk) 05:41, 24 September 2010 (UTC)

high school 300 meter hurdles[edit]

If I am not mistaken, high schools are running 300 meter hurdles in lieu of the 400 meter hurdles.Plantedpotroast (talk) 20:51, 30 October 2010 (UTC)

You are correct, that is an American High School modification. Lots of other divisions also make modifications. This article is written from the perspective of International competition, the top level of the sport. We could spend a lot of space trying to explain all those various modifications, or make separate articles to describe those divisions, but that level of detail doesn't seem practical for the main article. Trackinfo (talk) 04:38, 31 October 2010 (UTC)
I agree. However, such information would be relevant to a prospective sub-article such as Track and field in the United States or Collegiate track and field. These do not yet exist, but I think they are both certainly topic areas worth exploring in future. SFB 19:05, 4 November 2010 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: rough consensus opposing the move. Andrewa (talk) 04:31, 12 March 2011 (UTC)

Track and fieldTrack and field athletics — The main name of the sport is Athletics, so it should be included in the title of the article. Outside of America, the term used is generally athletics on its own. For instance the international governing body is called the International Association of Athletics Federations. The article for the world championship is named IAAF World Championships in Athletics. An alternative would be something like Athletics (track and field). --Cjc13 (talk) 13:20, 4 March 2011 (UTC)

I disagree. This sport is overwhelmingly known as track and field, even a quick Google search reveals a difference of almost ten million hits for track and field, while track and field athletics garners just 84,000 hits. I understand your point about other "track" sports and field sports made here, but this is not a matter for misunderstanding or disambiguation. This is akin to saying American football should be changed because it could mean any form of football in America. While that interpretation is possible, it is also unlikely to arise as an issue of comprehension. Track and field is the most common name by which the subject of the article is known and should remain at the current title. SFB 19:50, 4 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment The sport is not overwhelmingly known as track and field; it is universally know as athletics. Repeat that Google search for Track and field excluding Wikipedia, and you will get about 41 million hits. Do the search for Athletics excluding Wikipedia and you will get about 297 million hits. I haven't checked all 297 million, but the first couple of pages all link to what would also be called track and field. However, on Wikipedia the article on Athletics also includes Road running, Cross country running and Race walking, so disambiguation is required for the specific article here. While track and field may be a common abbreviation in the North America, and even in the wider athletics community, it is pretty meaningless to the general public in the rest of the world unless the word athletics is included. On balance, I think I would favour a move to Track and field athletics, but to be honest, I'm not going to lose any sleep over it! Skinsmoke (talk) 13:37, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Comment. There does seem to be an ambiguity to the term "Track and field". In USA, it is used to mean athletics as a whole, see USA Track and Field, whereas here it is being used to exclude athletic events such as cross country running and racewalking. Cjc13 (talk) 15:43, 6 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose The level of confusion over the term "athletics" may overwhelm a vast majority of readers, especially in the United States, which gets the highest level of readership. Track and Field is generally understood to be "athletics" in most other English speaking countries.--Jojhutton (talk) 15:53, 6 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose. As has been discussed elsewhere on many occasions, "track and field" falls under the umbrella sport of "athletics". Calling it "track and field athletics" does not reflect its common usage in the United States or elsewhere, nor is the "athletics" portion needed for disambiguation purposes. The sport of athletics is governed by the USATF in the USA, but even they distinguish between track and field events and other sports that fall under the umbrella of athletics: "USA Track & Field (USATF) is the National Governing Body for track and field, long-distance running and race walking in the United States."[1] The point is that even in the USA, athletics is not synonymous with track and field. Location (talk) 16:37, 6 March 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose. This sport is not universally known as athletics – unless the US is no longer part of the universe? Athletics (sport) deals with that kind of athletics, as opposed to athletic sports in general. Track and field, XC and marathons etc are all considered to be sports within athletics in the European sense of the word. While track and field competitions are often referred to as simply "athletics" in Europe, this doesn't mean that track and field is the only form of athletics. Athletics is not solely track and field, just as in a similar way, not all rodents are rats. Alongside the broader athletics term, the phrase track and field is also used extensively in British English [2] to refer to this sport specifically, which excludes other forms such as cross country and road walking. Track and field is never used to mean the European sense of athletics in the US. One obvious dismissal of this view is that no American would consider cross country a form of track and field. SFB 22:01, 6 March 2011 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Start of Races on 400 Meter Tracks[edit]

I would like to know how the staggered lines are set on a 400 meter track for the starting od a race. If the staggering is based on the distance the runner on the outside lane has to run before getting to the cut in line, then it is unfair to the outside runner. The outside runner has to angle in to the inside lane which takes time the runner is already at the same line. If this is the case, it is only fair that the staggering of the lines include the time it takes to go from the outside lane to the inside lane at an angle. Without this adjustment, the runner(s) on each lane closer to the frst lane are given an unfair advantage.

Please email me how the staggered lines are determined. My email address is: (redacted).

Thank You,
Carl F. Zielke — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:53, 2 May 2012 (UTC)
Where the runners cut in, if at all, depends on the race. A properly marked track takes into account the adjustments to which you refer: . Location (talk) 20:15, 2 May 2012 (UTC)


The section 'Requested Move' makes for an interesting read. The impression I get from its main points is there's really no such sport as 'track and field'. The sport is (evidently) called 'athletics'. The governing body in the US simply rebranded itself (1992?), introducing the term 'track and field'. And all that's happened since, on the assumption that this must mean something, is that some have reasoned that track and field refers to events within the stadium, while (taking note of the admin responsibilities of IAAF) the term athletics is believed to cover events within and outside. But apart from speculation, nothing seems to support this distinction. In the US and the world over a single governing body administers all these activities under one roof. Most obviously at the Olympics and the World Athletics Champs no distinction is made between events inside the stadium and events outside (race walks, marathon). Essentially there's nothing called 'track and field' at either of those competitions. At the end of the day 'track and field' is just a synonym for athletics, sometimes used as if to refer to events with an athletics stadium exclusively. Basically guys, that definition is really all this article needs to consist of, it seems to me. Hakluyt bean (talk) 02:07, 22 August 2012 (UTC)

Rules section[edit]

Large parts of the rules section appear to be copied word for word from the IAAF rule book (since it's creation and merge from Rules of track athletics). Although the rule book doesn't appear to be subject to copyright (it is not stated on the published version), it is less than ideal for us to simply copy the information. We should be summarising the points for a general audience – leave the most technical aspects for the rule book which we've given a link for. This section will need a complete rewrite at some point. SFB 15:35, 13 April 2013 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Track and field/GA3. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Wugapodes (talk · contribs) 04:23, 6 January 2016 (UTC)

Will review. Wugapodes (talk) 04:23, 6 January 2016 (UTC)


GA review – see WP:WIAGA for criteria

  1. Is it reasonably well written?
    A. Prose is "clear and concise", without copyvios, or spelling and grammar errors:
    B. MoS compliance for lead, layout, words to watch, fiction, and lists:
  2. Is it factually accurate and verifiable?
    A. Has an appropriate reference section:
    B. Cites reliable sources, where necessary:
    C. No original research:
  3. Is it broad in its coverage?
    A. Major aspects:
    B. Focused (see summary style):
  4. Is it neutral?
    Fair representation without bias:
  5. Is it stable?
    No edit wars, etc:
  6. Does it contain images to illustrate the topic?
    A. Images are tagged with their copyright status, and valid fair use rationales are provided for non-free content:
    B. Images are provided if possible and are relevant to the topic, and have suitable captions:
  7. Overall:
    Pass or Fail:


If the comment is numbered, it must be addressed for the article to pass, if it is bulleted, it's an optional suggestion or comment that you don't need to act on right now.
When I quote things, you can use ctrl+f to search the page for the specific line I quoted.

  1. "There are also "combined events", such as heptathlon and decathlon, in which athletes compete in a number of the above events" You should specify how many contests each has rather than simply saying "a number"
    Number of events now stated in main prose – I've left this out of the lead as the sentence is defining combined events, rather than specific types of those events. SFB 23:46, 13 January 2016 (UTC)
  2. The history section is far too long and detailed for an article like this. While interesting, I don't really need to know about paper chases or when certain groups abandoned amateurism to get an understanding of the history of the sport. If someone needs that kind of detail, there is an article on it. The section needs a lot of pruning. See WP:Summary style.
    There is no dedicated article at History of track and field. Do you suggest spinning the current content off into such an article (most major sports have one) then condense the material down? SFB 23:46, 13 January 2016 (UTC)
    That's interesting that this doesn't have its own history article. I recommend it be spun out, but won't require it for GA. Since it's not summarizing anything, and the article is still of a reasonable length, I don't think it's problematic. Though a dedicated article would allow for more detailed coverage. Wugapodes (talk) 00:15, 14 January 2016 (UTC)
  3. "which was literally a race from one end of the stadium to the other" Here literally sounds unencyclopedic and should be removed and reworded.
    Now removed. SFB 23:46, 13 January 2016 (UTC)
  4. In the hurdling section, conversions need to be consistent. For example "Women's hurdles are slightly lower at 84 cm for the 100 m event and 76 cm (2 ft 6in) for the 400 m event." has only the second height converted but not the first.
    Conversions now applied across units. SFB 23:46, 13 January 2016 (UTC)
  5. Per MOS:CONVERSIONS, the conversion should have a similar level of precision as the original number, so "120-yard race (109.72 m)" should be fixed.
    Fixed conversions to zero decimal places where suitable. SFB 23:46, 13 January 2016 (UTC)
  6. The wikilink in this sentence points to Steeplechase (athletics) rather than Steeplechase (horse racing) which is what was expected: "this event was born as a human variation on the original steeplechase competition found in horse racing."
    Fixed (not really sure how that got there as the link was correct in the original!) SFB 23:46, 13 January 2016 (UTC)
  7. "A men's standing triple jump event featured at the 1900 and 1904 Olympics" this sentence needs to be fixed.
    Reworded for better agreement. SFB 23:46, 13 January 2016 (UTC)
  8. "...finally featuring on the women's Olympic programme a century later." A specific date for when the women's hammer throw was first contested should be included.
    It was exactly a century later, but I've now stated 2000 for clarity. SFB 23:46, 13 January 2016 (UTC)
  9. The table in the combined events section doesn't make much sense. What do the sub-columns represent? How are pole vault and weight throw related? why are they in the same column? This presentation should be rethought.
    This wasn't the original design so I've reverted the problem away. SFB 23:46, 13 January 2016 (UTC)
    While much better, I'm still not sure this is the best way to convey the information. It's good though, and I don't have a better idea, so I'm not going to hold up the review, but as it goes forward, I recommend you and others consider if and how it can be improved.
  10. "At most international competitions the commands of the starter in his or her own language, in English or in French, shall, in races up to and including 400 m, be "On your marks" and "Set". When all athletes are "set", the gun must be fired, or an approved starting apparatus must be activated." This sentence is confusing and should be reworded.
    Done a whole load of rewording here. SFB 23:46, 13 January 2016 (UTC)
    Much better! Wugapodes (talk) 00:15, 14 January 2016 (UTC)
  11. The Oscar Pistorius image does not have a caption.
    Fixed to thumb to show caption. SFB 23:46, 13 January 2016 (UTC)
  12. I feel like the article has too many images. While it is good that just about every event has an illustration, it gets out of hand. I would recommend only using illustrations for lesser-known or more complex sports, and limiting them to very high quality ones. For example, the triple jump image doesn't really convey what the triple jump is. And in the meetings section, the text is sandwiched between two images which is discouraged.
    I've replaced the triple jump image with a video showing the jump instead. I've removed the bump-out picture in the meetings section. I think the rest of the images are pretty important to keep, given the broadness of the sport. SFB 23:46, 13 January 2016 (UTC)
    While I still think the number of images could be reduced, it's not a problem for GA. Wugapodes (talk) 00:15, 14 January 2016 (UTC)
Fixed. SFB 23:46, 13 January 2016 (UTC)
  • Perhaps a brief note on where the term "shot" in shot put came from would be nice
Added. SFB 23:46, 13 January 2016 (UTC)
  • "If an athlete leaves the track or steps on the line demarking the track, he/she should be disqualified." Here "he/she" is clunky. I would recommend rewording to avoid needing gendered pronouns, or use "he or she".
Reworded most of this section. SFB 23:46, 13 January 2016 (UTC)
  • The field rules section features no inline citations. While not required, it would be helpful for verification if the sources used were included at the end of the paragraphs.
Will it be OK to give citations from the IAAF rulebook for this? SFB 23:46, 13 January 2016 (UTC)
Yes. You don't even have to include specific sections, just that the information came from the rule book rather than a secondary source would be good. Wugapodes (talk) 00:15, 14 January 2016 (UTC)


On hold for 7 days pending changes. While it seems like a lot, this is actually a really short list for an article of this size and I'm glad to say that this is a well done article. If you have questions or need clarification, just ask. Looking forward to the changes! Wugapodes (talk) 06:02, 6 January 2016 (UTC)

Wugapodes, I just wanted to point out that the nominator, TheEditor867, has not been as active lately, so it may take longer than seven days for he or she to log on and see that a review has begun. Given that the article was nominated back in mid-May (!), I think extending the hold as necessary would be appropriate. I hope you agree. BlueMoonset (talk) 17:33, 10 January 2016 (UTC)
@Wugapodes: If TheEditor867 doesn't respond soon then please let me know. I'm the largest contributor to the article so am in a good position to pick up the GA nom if they don't. Cheers. SFB 20:32, 10 January 2016 (UTC)
I believe that this is a good article, at least extremely closely. 333-blue 11:50, 11 January 2016 (UTC)
@Sillyfolkboy: (and any other editors who wish to help) since the nominator hasn't returned to address the issues, I would be willing to extend the hold period for at least another week for you to address the issues. Let me know if you're willing. Wugapodes (talk) 18:17, 13 January 2016 (UTC)
@Wugapodes: Responses and updates now done. A couple of questions left. SFB 23:46, 13 January 2016 (UTC)

Listed A very comprehensive article! As all of my required comments (and all but one of my optionally comments) are resolved, I'm going to list it as a GA. I think that it is well on its way to FA status and would like to commend all the editors who helped to make this article as good as it is. Thanks Sillyfolkboy for taking this on, and for all your hard work! I hope to see this at FAC one day soon. Wugapodes (talk) 00:19, 14 January 2016 (UTC)