Staff report

Starting at the start of the 2015 athletic season, high school track and field and cross country participants will no longer be prohibited from wearing jewelry of any kind during competition.

The Ohio High School Athletic Association announced the rule change recently, posting the release on its official website.

The rule change was one of many recommended by the National Federation of State High School Associations Track and Field Rules Committee, stemming from the organization's meeting in Indianapolis in June.

Becky Oakes, the NFHS' director of sports and liaison, said that the committee determined that prohibiting jewelry in high school track and field and country is no longer necessary.

"The wearing of jewelry ordinarily presents little risk of injury to either the competitor or opponents," Oakes said.

"Elimination of the rule allows officials to focus on meet administration directly related to actual competition. Coaches continue to have the obligation to see that competitors are properly equipped."

Other rules changes to be adopted by the OHSAA include:

The time limit to initiate a trial in the throwing and jumping events was revised to one minute. This change will go into effect in 2014.

In field events, an additional trial will be allowed if equipment breaks during competition due to no fault of the competitor.

In the discus throw, it will no longer will be a foul if a competitor is out of control when exiting the back half of the circle.

In the discus, shot put and javelin events, the requirement for the judge to call "mark" was eliminated.

In high jump and pole vault, if the crossbar is displaced by a force disassociated with the competitor after he or she legally and clearly over the crossbar will no longer be a fault against the competitor.

The 1,500 meters will be acceptable as a replacement for the 1,600 meters during decathlon and pentathlon competition.

Indoor track meets, which are almost always held at college facilities, will now have the 60-meter high hurdles as an alternate to the 55-meter high hurdles.


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