Lesson 1, Topic 1
In Progress

Relays

Preparation phase

  • Incoming runner maintains maximum speed
  • Outgoing runner assumes a starting position.

Acceleration phase

Runners synchronize their speed by

  • maintaining maximum speed (incoming runner)
  • maximizing acceleration (outgoing runner).

Takeover phase

  • Baton is exchanged with an appropriate technique as quickly as possible.

Alternate Exchanges

OBJECTIVE

  • To maximize the speed of the baton by minimizing the distance run on each lane.

TECHNICAL CHARACTERISTICS

  • First or “leadoff” runner carries the baton in the right hand and approaches the second runner from the inside of the lane (“inside exchange”).
  • Second runner receives the baton in the left hand and approaches the third runner from the outside of the lane (“outside exchange”).
  • Third runner receives the baton in the right hand and approaches the fourth or “anchor” runner from the inside of the lane (“inside exchange”).
  • Fourth runner receives the baton in the left hand.

Zones and Check Marks

OBJECTIVE

  • To make a legal and efficient exchange.

TECHNICAL CHARACTERISTICS

  • Baton must be exchanged within the 30 m exchange zone
  • Outgoing runner must wait within the 30 m exchange zone.
  • Checkmark is placed on the ground in front of the exchange zone to indicate when the outgoing runner should start.
  • Checkmark will usually be 15-25 foot lengths from the start of the exchange zone on the side of the lane upon which the incoming runner will approach.

Technical Preparation

OBJECTIVES

  • To maintain maximum speed (Incoming runner).
  • To assume a starting position and start at the optimum moment (Outgoing runner).

TECHNICAL CHARACTERISTICS

  • Incoming runner approaches at maximum speed.
  • Outgoing runner is positioned on the balls of the feet, knees bent, leaning forward.
  • Outgoing runner looks at the checkmark and starts when the incoming runner reaches it.

Acceleration Phase

OBJECTIVES

  • To maintain maximum speed and give the correct command for exchange (Incoming runner).
  • To accelerate in a controlled manner (Outgoing runner).

TECHNICAL CHARACTERISTICS

  • Acceleration of the outgoing runner must be consistent.
  • An incoming runner gives a verbal command for the outgoing runner to receive the baton as the exchange distance is approached.
  • Outgoing runner extends the receiving arm backward (according to the exchange technique used) and the incoming runner reaches forwards.

Takeover Phase

OBJECTIVES

  • To pass the baton safely and quickly.

TECHNICAL CHARACTERISTICS

  • Incoming runner focuses on the outgoing runner’s hand.
  • Incoming runner pushes the baton into the outgoing runner’s hand.
  • Outgoing runner grips the baton as soon as contact is felt.
  • Both runners stay on their side of the lane during the takeover.
  • The incoming runner must stay in the lane until all exchanges are completed.

Up-sweep Technique

OBJECTIVE

  •   To pass the baton safely and quickly.

TECHNICAL CHARACTERISTICS

  • The outgoing runner’s hand is extended backward at the hip level.
  • An incoming runner moves the baton upwards between the outgoing runner’s widely spread thumb and first finger.
  • The distance between runners is 1 m or less.

Down-sweep Technique

OBJECTIVES

  • To pass the baton safely and quickly.

TECHNICAL CHARACTERISTICS

  • The outgoing runner’s hand is extended backward in a horizontal position, palm up.
  • Incoming runner places the baton across the palm of the outgoing runner’s widely spread hand.
  • The distance between runners is 1 m or more.

Exchange Point

OBJECTIVE

  • To exchange the baton at optimum speed.  

TECHNICAL CHARACTERISTICS

  • Runners synchronize their speed within 30 m of the takeover zone.
  • Optimum exchange point for beginners is the middle of the 30 m takeover zone.
  • More experienced athletes should move the exchange point to the last third of the takeover zone.
  • Correct checkmark and consistent acceleration by the outgoing runner are the keys to a successful exchange.

Visual Exchange

OBJECTIVES

  • To ensure a safe exchange of the baton.

TECHNICAL CHARACTERISTICS

  • The outgoing runner faces the inside of the track and holds the left arm out to receive the baton.
  • The outgoing runner accelerates to match the speed of the incoming runner.
  • Incoming runner holds the baton upright with the right hand and reaches towards the outgoing runner.
  • The outgoing runner takes the baton with the left hand and changes it immediately to the right hand.