SECTION VII - RACE WALKING EVENTS
1. Race Walking is a progression of steps so taken that the walker makes
contact with the ground, so that no visible (to the human eye) loss of
contact occurs. The advancing leg shall be straightened (i.e. not bent
at the knee) from the moment of first contact with the ground until the
vertical upright position.
2. (a) The appointed judges of Race Walking shall elect a Chief Judge,
if one has not been appointed previously.
(b) All the Judges shall act in an individual capacity and their
judgements shall be based on observations made by the human
(c) In competitions held under Rule 1.1(a), all Judges shall be
International Race Walking Judges. In competitions held under
Rules 1.1(b), (c), (e), (f), (g) and (j), all Judges shall be either
Area or International Race Walking Judges.
(d) For road races, there should normally be a minimum of six to a
maximum of nine Judges including the Chief Judge.
(e) For track races, there should normally be six Judges including
the Chief Judge.
(f) In competitions held under Rule 1.1(a) not more than one Judge
from any Country can officiate.
3. (a) In competitions held under Rules 1.1(a), (b), (c), (d) and (f), the
Chief Judge has the power to disqualify an athlete inside the
stadium when the race finishes in the stadium or in the last 100m
when the race takes place solely on the track or on the road
course, when his mode of progression obviously fails to comply
with the Rule 230.1 regardless of the number of previous Red
Cards the Chief Judge has received on that athlete. An athlete
who is disqualified by the Chief Judge under these
circumstances shall be allowed to finish the race. He shall be
notified of this disqualification by the Chief Judge or a Chief
Judge’s Assistant by showing the athlete a red paddle at the
earliest opportunity after the athlete has finished the race.
(b) The Chief Judge shall act as the supervising official for the
competition, and act as a Judge only in the special situation
noted in Rule 230.3(a) in competitions under Rules 1.1(a), (b),
(c), (d) and (f). In competitions held under Rules 1.1(a), (b), (c)
and (f), two or more Chief Judge’s Assistants shall be appointed.
The Chief Judge’s Assistant(s) are to assist with the notification
of disqualifications only and shall not act as Race Walking
(c) For all competitions held under Rules 1.1(a), (b), (c) and (f), an
official in charge of the Posting Board(s) and a Chief Judge’s
Recorder shall be appointed.
4. Athletes shall be cautioned when, by their mode of progression, they
are in danger of failing to comply with Rule 230.1 by showing the
athletes a yellow paddle with the symbol of the offence on each side.
An athlete cannot be given a second caution by the same Judge for the
same offence. Having cautioned an athlete, the Judge shall inform
the Chief Judge of his action after the competition.
5. When a Judge observes an athlete failing to comply with Rule 230.1
by exhibiting visible loss of contact or a bent knee during any part of
the competition, the Judge shall send a Red Card to the Chief Judge.
6. (a) When three Red Cards from three different Judges have been
sent to the Chief Judge on the same athlete, the athlete is
disqualified and he shall be notified of this disqualification by
the Chief Judge or a Chief Judge’s Assistant by showing the
athlete a red paddle. The failure to give notification shall not
result in the reinstatement of a disqualified athlete.
(b) In all competitions, either directly controlled by the IAAF or
taking place under IAAF permit, in no circumstances shall the
Red Cards of two Judges of the same nationality have the power
(c) In track races, an athlete who is disqualified shall immediately
leave the track and, in road races, shall, immediately after being
disqualified, remove the distinguishing bibs and leave the
course. Any disqualified athlete who fails to leave the course or
track may be liable to further disciplinary action in accordance
with Rules 60.4(f) and 145.2.
(d) One or more Posting Boards shall be placed on the course and
near the finish to keep athletes informed about the number of
Red Cards that have been sent to the Chief Judge for each
athlete. The symbol of each offence should also be indicated on
the Posting Board.
(e) For all Rule 1.1(a) competitions, hand held computer devices
with transmission capability must be used by the judges to
communicate all Red Cards to the Recorder and the Posting
Board(s). In all other competitions, in which such a system is not
used, the Chief Judge, immediately after the end of the event,
shall report to the Referee the identification of all athletes
disqualified under Rule 230.3(a) or 230.6(a), by indicating the
bib identification, the time of the notification and the offences;
the same shall be done for all the athletes who received red
7. The races shall be started by the firing of a gun. The commands and
procedure for races longer than 400m shall be used (Rule 162.3). In
races which include a large number of athletes, five-minute, threeminute
and one-minute warnings before the start of the race should
Safety and Medical
8. (a) The Organising Committee of Race Walking events shall ensure
the safety of athletes and officials. In competitions held under
Rules 1.1(a), (b), (c) and (f), the Organising Committee shall
ensure that the roads used for the competition are closed to
motorised traffic in all directions.
(b) In competitions held under Rules 1.1(a), (b), (c) and (f), the
events shall be scheduled to start and finish in daylight.
(c) A hands-on medical examination during the progress of an event
by the official medical staff appointed by the Organising
Committee and identified by armbands, vests or similar
distinctive apparel shall not be considered assistance.
(d) An athlete shall retire at once from the race if ordered to do so
by the Medical Delegate or a member of the official medical
Drinking / Sponging and Refreshment Stations
9. (a) Water and other suitable refreshments shall be available at the
start and finish of all races.
(b) For all events up to and including 10km, water only drinking /
sponging stations shall be provided at suitable intervals if
weather conditions warrant such provision.
Note: Mist stations may also be arranged, when considered
appropriate under certain organisational and/or climatic
(c) For all events longer than 10km, refreshment stations shall be
provided every lap. In addition, water only drinking / sponging
stations shall be placed approximately midway between the
refreshment stations or more frequently if weather conditions
warrant such provision.
(d) Refreshments, which may be provided by either the Organising
Committee or the athlete, shall be placed at the stations so that
they are easily accessible to, or may be put by authorised
persons into the hands of, the athletes.
(e) An athlete who collects refreshment from a place other than the
refreshment stations renders himself liable to disqualification
by the Referee.
(f) In competitions held under Rules 1.1(a), (b), (c) and (f), a
maximum of two officials per Country may be stationed behind
the refreshment table at any one time. No official shall, under
any circumstances, run beside an athlete while he is taking
10. (a) For competitions held under Rule 1.1(a), the circuit shall be no
shorter than 2km and no longer than 2.5km. For all other
competitions, the circuit shall be no shorter than
stadium, the circuit should be located as close as possible to the
(b) Road courses shall be measured in accordance with Rule 240.3.
with the permission and under the supervision of an official, provided
that by going off course he does not lessen the distance to be covered.
12. If the Referee is satisfied on the report of a Judge or Umpire or
otherwise that an athlete has left the marked course thereby
shortening the distance to be covered, he shall be disqualified.