way over the line wrote:
That was ridiculous...these are professionals and they should know that you can switch positions themselves. It's not the officials fault, it's all on the athletes. Better yet, Bahamas did it better keeping his eye on the baton the entire transition, whereas the US took his eyes off of it. Never in my life have I seen that, he should never run for the USA again.
One more time: no, the outgoing runners can't change position on their own. This is per IAAF rules and as followed by USATF.
What all of you blaming the official have wrong is that the athletes are primarily responsible to avoid interference, not the official. Most HS and some college 4x4s, the officials are doing preventive officiating in helping the athletes comply with the rules. I understand that the officials here at Penn had set a precedent by helping earlier 4x4 teams line up, but that is still no excuse. If the outgoing runner decides to switch too late, and interferes with another team, he will be dq'd. In my view, the reason for bad 4x4 exchanges is bad coaching and not enough experience dealing with crowded exchange zones. It is amazing to me that athletes with so much time invested in other aspects of their sport invest very little time practicing the scenarios of crowded exchanges. Do not blame the officials!