The Primary goal is to win as many relays as possible. The Secondary goal is to involve as many Team USATF Masters athlete applicants as possible in the relays.
MOST IMPORTANT POINT
The only way to be considered to run on a Team USATF Masters relay is to submit a written and signed Relay Application to the Team Manager at the championships.
RELAY SELECTION PANEL (RSP)
The RSP shall consist of the USATF Team Leader, the Team Manager, the Assistant Team Managers, and the Active Athlete Representative. As needed, other athletes may be called upon to assist. The Team Manager will chair the RSP and plan meetings. Those not fully participating will be replaced.
The RSP has complete responsibility and is the final authority for selecting Designated Relay Teams. The RSP will vary from the Guidelines below only if, in its opinion, the Goals can be more fully achieved by deviating from them.
Each WMA Member (country) determines how its relay teams are selected. There is no entry fee for the relays. The youngest person running determines the age group of the relay team. If an athlete is a designated team member (one of the first four listed), they cannot be an alternate on another relay team. An alternate can be an alternate on any number of teams. The RSP shall follow the current WMA/IAAF Rules for relays recognizing that they quite often change from Championship to Championship.
There are two main deadlines that TEAM USATF must meet in entering its teams.
- Relay Declaration Deadline (RDD), which is usually about noon on the day before the relay events. No extra athletes may be added to the relay team after the RDD. Only the 4 runners and the 2 or 3 alternates listed on the form submitted before the RDD are eligible to run.
- Final Relay Declaration Deadline (FRDD), which is usually one to two hours before the scheduled time of any given relay. The four actual runners and their order may be changed up until the FRDD but no changes of any sort are permitted after the FRDD. Example: if one of the four designated runners gets hurt at the last moment, alternates cannot be moved in if it is after the FRDD.
**Note that these deadlines are subject to change by the championship Local Organizing Committee (LOC) but are usually published before the championship.
All Team USATF members entered in the championships are eligible to run relays. Relay participation is entirely voluntary. Athletes MUST submit a relay application to the Team Manager to be considered for selection to a relay team. If anyone sees a mistake or oversight at any stage of the selections, they are encouraged to bring that to the Team Manager’s attention as soon as possible.
COMMUNICATION BETWEEN RSP AND ATHLETES
All Relay Applications, initial selections, and final selections will be available on a GoogleDoc spreadsheet available to all Team USATF athletes and administrators continually throughout the championship. The URL address of this spreadsheet will be in the “Team USATF Masters Championships Notes” that are sent to each of the USA championship entries before each championship. It will be sent out on various social media channels. And it will be circulated to all those on the Team USATF Championship WhatsApp group. Whenever possible, this spreadsheet will be updated at least each evening of the Championship. The spreadsheet is the key document showing the status of the relay teams at all times; first all those that apply, then prospective teams, and finally the actual selections for teams.
TYPES OF RELAY TEAMS
DESIGNATED TEAMS (DT): Teams selected by the RSP from the overall pool of athletes that completed Relay Applications. The RSP strives to create as many DTs as possible.
VOLUNTEER TEAMS (VT): For age groups with no DT, Volunteer Teams may be self organized by athletes and will be officially entered by the Team Manager. A VT member must contact the Team Manager to obtain the WMA Relay Team Declaration form. The VT will complete the form and return it to the Team Manager prior to the Team Declaration Deadline so it can be submitted. The Team Manager will contact the VT should a DT be created in their age group.
To be considered for a relay, each athlete MUST submit a signed paper Relay Application Form for each relay the athlete desires to run to the Team Manager during the Championship anytime up until 5 PM the evening before the Relay Team Declaration Deadline. These application forms will be available at every daily Team Meeting and from the Team Managers at any time. It also will be available for download once it is available (after relay deadlines are published). The application is an agreement that the athlete (including alternates) will practice for the relay and compete to the best of their ability if selected. Each relay team will select a Team Captain at the relay practice or at relay warm-up time as appropriate.
Athletes may withdraw from consideration for selection up to two hours before the Relay Team Declaration Deadline by contacting the Team Manager. Such withdrawal makes the athlete immediately eligible for a VT. Athletes who were not selected as relay members or alternates are released when final selections are published and are immediately eligible for a VT.
The Team Manager will plan relay practice and communicate this information online and at every Team Meeting. 4×100 and 4×200 designated runners and first alternates MUST practice (attendance will affect the final selection decision). Practice for 2nd and 3rd 4×100 and 4×200 alternates and all 4×400 runners is encouraged but optional. 4×400 runners will select their Captain, plan, and practice their visual handoffs during their warm-ups. The Team Manager will brief all teams on the current relay rules and relay best practices during the practice session as international relays are run differently than common US practice.
- The relays and the related events that will be considered in order for each DT are:
a) 4×100 – 100/200/400/Short Hurdles/Long Hurdles
b) 4×200 – 200/400/60/60 Hurdles/800
c) 4×400 – 400/Long Hurdles/200/800/100/Short Hurdles
- Performances achieved at the current championships in the individual events listed above will be given primary consideration, including performances in Combined Events.
- Other current championship performances and other recent verifiable performances will be considered if needed to determine selections.
- Relay experience (recent preferred) will be an important consideration for selection of 4×100 and 4×200 relay teams and will be a question on the relay application form.
- The top 4 athletes will be selected for the DTs, and the allowed number of alternates will be the next athletes in line.
- The RSP will consider moving athletes down from an older age group but only if the RSP feels that the move would contribute to achieving the overall goals of the RSP.
All those selected as alternates to Relays MUST be available & ready on relay day with their equipment and competition uniform. Alternates are sometimes needed at the very last minute on relay day, so it’s crucial that they be close to the Team Manager or in the area and can be immediately reached by phone.
INJURIES & SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES
Injuries and other special circumstances arise, so the RSP will attempt to consult with all pertinent parties to make adjustments to the team makeup as needed. The RSP will make the final decision whether or not to replace any injured relay member with an alternate prior to the Final Relay Declaration Deadline. Timely reporting of injuries and special circumstances to the Team Manager will usually preclude sanctions.
Any athlete selected for a relay team that does NOT compete, or any athlete that does compete but does not exert honest effort, will be placed at the bottom of the relay pool for their next championship meet. After the championship, the Team Manager will notify athletes who are sanctioned, and maintain the list of sanctioned athletes. A sanction does not mean that an athlete cannot run on a relay team at their next championships, only that they will be considered last in the Relay Pool.
*Adopted by the MTF Committee Dec 1, 2018