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NCAA Track and Field/Cross Country Rule Proposals

Featured, Rules • June 20, 2024

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA (June 20, 2024) – The NCAA Men’s and Women’s Cross Country and Track and Field Rules Committee recommended rules for shoes competitors can wear and a modification to lane violations. All rule proposals must be approved the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel before becoming official. Panel members are scheduled to discuss cross country and track and field recommendations Aug. 8. 

Under the proposed shoe rule, the committee wanted to bring the NCAA in line with the current language of the World Athletics rules regarding eligible shoes worn in cross country and indoor and outdoor track competition. If approved, it would allow student-athlete performances to be accepted for eligibility for world competitions.

“The shoes really came up two years ago, but we didn’t have enough information to move forward,” said Jack Hoyt, committee chair and director of men’s and women’s track and field at Azusa Pacific. “We knew a lot of college programs had purchased shoes, and we didn’t think it was financially fair to make that rule at that time. Since then, there has been more communication from World Athletics about the shoes.” 

The lane violations proposal centers on indoor and outdoor track and field races run on a curve. Competitors would face disqualification for stepping on or over the lane line to their left with more than one step anywhere on a curve for the entirety of the race.

Again, this rule change would bring NCAA competition in line with World Athletics compliance.

“It’s good practice for athletes to learn to run in the middle of the lane,” Hoyt said.

Other rules proposals

  • As of Dec. 1, 2026, it would be required that equipment used for timing, weighing and measuring implements be certified on an annual basis.
  • Pacing light technology would be allowed in nonchampionship competitions.
  • A set of rules was recommended to better define the roles of meet management (meet director, competition manager and referees).
  • The failure to participate rule would be redefined to only pertain to scored competitions.
  • The competition manager position would be added as part of meet management.
  • Immediate protest in field events would be more clearly defined by renaming it as a challenge. Challenges would have to be done before the next competitor competes. If the last competitor in a field event wants to challenge, it would have to be done within 60 seconds of the conclusion of the event. 


World Athletics Cross Country Shoes Track and Field NCAA Rules