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Latest IAAF Rule Changes!

Latest IAAF Rule Changes!

16 October 2001

In the latest news just out from the IAAF, some further rule changes have been announced:

To eliminate the unbearable risk the hammer and discus events pose to spectators, officials and the world at large, and not least of all to protect the throwers from themselves, it was decided that instead of a cage, there will now be a 1 metre thick brick wall with a plexiglass roof surrounding the circles. The mouth will now be only one meter wide. Athletes who are too fat to enter the enclosure are advised to lose weight. A plastic surgeon is on standby at major competitions for emergencies. Cameras will be installed in small niches and should anyone be able to throw out onto the field, that attempt may or may not be shown on a small video board in the stadium. In addition to these imperative measures, all spectators are required to wear a steel helmet just in case.

As for the javelin, the implement now weights 2.137kg, is made of the cheapest available plastic and has neither tip nor end. The javelin must be fitted with a satellite tracking device that makes it easier for the anti-missile weapons, which are constantly on alert, to destroy or deflect any javelin that is headed for an official, runners on the track, or any spectators that may be running around the field naked. To prove the effectiveness of this defence system, the IAAF has ordered officials to be blindfolded. Distances are measured by the spectators: Spectator seats are fitted with a voting device, just like the voting button in TV game shows. After each throw, they can dial in the number of meters they believe the javelin travelled. Journalists have 2 votes, IAAF delegates 4, the president 8, and TV broadcasters and sponsors 16 per person. That is, if anyone cares. From now on, only one competitor is allowed to enter each competition, and he or she has only 2 attempts. Furthermore, fouling by overstepping the line is punished by a powerful electrical shock.

The running track now has 20 lanes. Every competitor’s complete curriculum vitae must be announced in at least 4 different languages before the race. By the way, runners are now protected from the field activities by a laser shield one meter from the inside lane. To make the 100m race even more attractive, it has been reduced to 88.79m, to reduce the possibility that a runner might accidentally run into one of the photographers sitting just past the finish line. This should give the photographers ample time to retreat. The measures were put into place following an incident where a sprinter stepped on the toe of a TV crew member, who sued the meet directors for 1.7 billion dollars and 2 cents for pain and suffering and the cost of the band-aid.

Just in case you wonder, the rather odd 100m distance is the result of a 10 year study into the behaviour of sprinters after a race with a particular emphasis on how long it takes them to come to a complete halt. The balance of 11.21m is merely an average of breaking distances over all races observed. Some victory laps were included in the statistics, but critical observers concede that those would have been cancelled out anyway by the vast amount of hamstring injuries, which brought down many sprinters long before they even reached the line.

All long distance runners are required to complete most of their race on the warm up track. They may enter the main stadium for their final lap. Some spectators were simply getting too dizzy watching the runners go round and round and round and round, and demanded compensation for pain and distress, as did TV cameramen, who complained of constant headaches due to chronic neck stiffness. The latter also threatened industrial action and refused to take any more footage, so the IAAF quickly caved in and took these necessary and unavoidable steps.

Many spectators complained about being intimidated by the constant roaring and grunting of male and female shot putters. Some even said it would give them nightmares. Henceforth, shot putters are to be handcuffed and attached to a ball with a chain. Athletes complained that this will change the technique and nature of their event and destroy the sport of shot putting altogether, claims which were dismissed as ludicrous by the Kenyan and Ethiopian IAAF delegates. They issued a joint statement where they said that the event will become much more entertaining and therefore more telegenic, due to the comical contortions the athletes would now perform. Both countries plan to build their own shot put circles now.

The changes to the women's high jump are minor, but important. The winner is now the prettiest athlete, determined again by the spectators.

Because the pole vault always takes the longest in any meet, this event is now permanently cancelled to allow for more time to introduce track athletes before the race.

In the long and triple jumps, female athletes are required to wear track pants, to avoid the all-too common wedgie upon landing. An appeal by various TV broadcasters is likely to succeed. Instead, the IAAF considers replacing the sand with either hot coal or concrete, recycled from throwing circles. The sounds of crushing bones and sizzling skin have an undeniable appeal these days.

Race walkers have long been the forgotten athletes - they are now allowed to run, just like everybody else.

Finally, the 3000m steeple chase is to be spiced up by placing hungry crocodiles, piranhas, sharks or other potentially deadly local wildlife (depending on where the race is held) in the water pit. To avoid lawsuits, competitors must be advised of the danger that lies ahead and are strongly urged to jump over the water obstacle every time. Needless to say, world records are expected to improve drastically as a result of the flight-response.

Whether you agree or disagree with the rule changes, let's face it: it doesn't matter whether you agree or disagree.

Enjoy your athletics.

Jörg Probst

This page last updated: Saturday 20 March 2010

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