Competition Rules

The competition will be conducted according to the World Athletics (WA) Handbook and variations according to Athletics Canada and NLAA rules.
  • Timing: FinishLynx Photo Finish System and Hy-Tek Meet Manager will be used for the meet.
  • Starting Commands:
    1. Races 400m and shorter: “On your marks,” “Set,” the gun will be fired
    2. Races longer than 400m: “On your marks,” the gun will be fired. Standing Start!
  • Running in lanes:
    1. Races 300m and shorter: all runners must remain in their assigned lanes for the race duration, from start to finish.  Each athlete will be assigned a separate lane in the 50m/60m/200m/300m, and races will be run entirely in lanes.
    2. Races longer than 400m: runners begin from a common start line and may cut to the inside lane after the first turn or crossing the break line.
  • In the 400m, a two (2) turn stagger start will be used with one (1) competitor per lane at the start; runners must stay in their assigned lanes during the first two (2) turns after they cross the “break line” runners can cut into Lane 1.
  • False Start: Athlete(s) responsible for the false start will be disqualified.
  • A crouch start and starting blocks are mandatory for races 400m and shorter.

Modified Rules for athletes competing in the Elementary School category:
Track Footwear
- Athletes part of the Elementary Schools Competition are NOT ALLOWED TO WEAR SPIKED SHOES.
False Start
- one false start will be allowed per race without disqualifying an athlete. Any further false starts shall result in disqualification of the athlete making the false start.
Starting Blocks
- The usage of Starting Blocks is not allowed
Starting position
- Starting position is optional for races 400m and shorter: Crouch Start, Standing or 3-point start.

  • It is the responsibility of each competitor to promptly report for their events.
  • Athletes should be ready to compete shortly after they are called to the start. Practice time before each start will be kept to a minimum of 1-2 minutes.
  • Participants may compete in up to three events, plus a relay.
  • All events will be run as Timed Section Finals (TSF).
  • Standing Long Jump: each athlete is allowed three trials, one attempt per round.
  • Afternoon session: Junior HS category athletes will compete first, followed by the next category. However, meet organizers reserve the right to combine some events to avoid empty lanes.
  • Combined races: The events will be ranked separately, where we have to run together two or more competition categories.  There will be one race, instead of two or more races, in such a case, and participants from all categories will run together.  For example, in the 60m, we may have one participant in each division.
  • Male and Female participants compete in separate categories.
  • Mixed races: Male and Female Athletes competing in the Wheelchair may participate together in some of the events but will be ranked separately. Based on NLAA and Athletics Canada rules, mixed-gender (female and male) races are not allowed for all other categories.

  • School/Club Coach must register their RELAY TEAMS by submitting school name, competition category, and participants’ names in running order to the NLAA office via email to before the registration deadline (Thursday).
  • There is no limit to the number of relay teams a school/club can enter. Only one (1) team per school/club will score.
  • Relay Team Changes: No relay teams will be added following the registration deadline.  Should there be any changes to the team’s running order, substitutions, or scratches, the team coach must submit these changes on Meet Day to the Athlete Control Area during the following times:
    • Morning Session 9:15 am - 9:30 am
    • Afternoon Session 4:00 pm - 4:15 pm
  • Passing zones are 20m long, centred on the starting line for each leg.
  • The baton must be carried by hand, and if dropped, it must be retrieved by the runner who dropped it.
  • The baton must be exchanged within the passing zone.
  • In the 4x200m race, all the first leg and the first bend of the second leg up to the nearer edge of the break line must be run in lanes.
  • The second, third and fourth athletes are not permitted to begin running outside their takeover zones and must start within this zone.
  • The waiting athletes in the third and fourth legs of the 4x200m race must, under the direction of a designated official, place themselves in their waiting position in the same order (inside to out) as the order of their respective team members when they enter the last bend.

Track Footwear and Pins

All participants must wear indoor sneakers or gym shoes. No outdoor footwear is allowed on the track. Any shoes designed for turf sports are not allowed. Participants may not compete in their bare feet, slippers or socks.

  • Athletes part of the Elementary Schools Competition are NOT ALLOWED TO WEAR SPIKED SHOES.
  • Junior HS and older: Only athletes approved by the NLAA Office may wear track spikes (3mm).
  • STRICTLY ENFORCED: Athletes wearing spikes with spike lengths longer than 3mm will be asked to remove their spikes and run wearing their indoor sneakers.
  • Athletes wearing spikes without permission will be disqualified and barred from further competition in the meet.
  • Absolutely no spikes are permitted on the green synthetic surface as it will damage the floor. Field house staff and NLAA volunteers/officials will strictly enforce this regulation.
  • Only 3mm spiked shoes will be permitted for competition! 5mm, 6mm, 7mm or 9mm spikes are not allowed. Any athlete who does not follow this policy will immediately lose access to the Competition.
  • Athletes using approved spiked shoes must stay on the track surface at all times.

Wheelchair Racing Basic Rules
  • The racing chair shall have two large wheels (not to exceed 70cm in diameter) and one small wheel (not to exceed 50cm in diameter).
  • No part of the racing chair may protrude behind the vertical plane of the back edge of the rear tires nor extend in front of the center of the front wheel hub.
  • One push rim is allowed for each large wheel.
  • Mirrors are not allowed.
  • The athlete’s responsibility is to ensure that no part of their lower limbs can fall from the wheelchair to the ground or track during an event.
  • The racing chair must be manually-propelled (no gears, levers or electronic steering). The athlete can propel a wheelchair independently.
  • There will be no delays due to equipment failure.
  • Athletes must wear a racing helmet that is a hard protective shell and recognized with an international safety standard.
  • Athletes can use racing gloves (soft or hard gloves).
  • In wheelchair races, the time shall be taken to the moment in which the centre of the axle of the leading wheel reaches the vertical plane of the nearer edge of the finish line.