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Shot Put - Is Throwing a T Shirt Out of the Ring a Foul?

June 05, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 198

A couple of weeks ago, we were at a meet where a competitor was in the process of entering the shot put circle and realized he had not taken the Tshirt that he was wearing over his jersey off. With one foot in the circle and one foot out of the circle, the athlete took his shirt off and threw it to the ground a couple feet behind the circle. Upon seeing this, the event official looked over to the athlete's coach who was sitting just a few feet away and asked him if that action should be called a foul. The coach nodded in agreement. The athlete completed the attempt, and foul was called.

Should this have been called a foul? Let's take a look at the NCAA rulebook.

First of all, in Rule 6, Section 1, Article 1, states that, "an attempt is defined as all of the competitor's actions that occur from when the time limit begins until the official has determined through the use of the flag, a fair or foul trial." A clarifying note below that statement goes on to define a trial as,"the purposeful action of completing the requirements of the athletic challenge (jump or throw) of the event."

Section 8 gets into the specifics of the shot put. A key statement is found in the second paragraph of Article 1, "A competitor must start from a stationary position inside the circle."(p 100) Article 3 goes on to define a foul put. Under statement c, the rulebook specifically says that it is a foul if, "after entering the circle and starting the put, the competitor... Touches with any part of the body, before the shot hits the ground: 1) Any surface of the metal band except the inside surface, 2) Any surface of the stopboard except its inside surface, or 3) The area outside the circle;"(p 101)

So working with these rules, throwing the shirt out of the circle before the shot is thrown, should not be a foul. Only the body can cause a foul, once a legal trial has been initiated. That means that glasses falling off, tape falling off the fingers in the hammer, headbands falling off, shoe laces touching the toeboard, etc., should not be considered fouls. I even saw a foul called when a quarter fell out of an athlete's pocket during a throw and bounced out of the circle.

As a coach, what should you do in this situation if you see a call made that you know is incorrect? First of all, it is always helpful to have a copy of the rulebook for your governing body. Then you actually have to read it and have a basic understanding of how it is laid out and where you can find specifics when you need to find them. The vast majority of field event officials are volunteers and haven't studied the rule book. Oftentimes, the brief overview of rules before the competition is as much to remind them of what they are doing, as it is for the competitors. And for the vast majority of attempts, that is all they need to know. However, for the 1% of calls like this one, it is the coach's responsibility to respectfully educate.

In this particular instance, the athlete was a decathlete that was just getting some shot put work in. The attempt would have little bearing on the overall competition, and the athlete and his coach were not overly concerned about the mark. At the conclusion of the flight, I went over the to the official and told him my interpretation of the rule. Nothing need be changed in this case, but simply making him aware of it for the future. He and the coach nodded in agreement.

Would you have done anything differently? Does your governing body have different rules that would have changed this scenario?

To post your comments about this article, or for more articles, videos and other information about the shot put, discus, and hammer throws, check out http://www.coachthethrows.com.

Source: EzineArticles
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