Monday, August 29, 2011

False Start On False Starts

Little notice in the blizzard of storm news (HA!) was the disqualification of sprinter Usain Bolt in the 100m dash at the world championships this weekend.
He false started twice. The second time is controversial as it appears on some replays that the neighboring runner may have been responsible for the false start.
But I digress...
Immediately, calls went out to review the rule (that has been long-standing in track and field) to disqualify runners after a single false start. It used to be after two false starts by the same athlete, but runners would often deliberately false start to psyche out their competitors, and to sneak a peek at start tactics. In 2003, the IAAF ruled the first false start by anyone would serve as a warning to everyone, but that didn't stop the head games, so now it's one and done.
Which makes sense. You know the rules, you live with them. Bolt anticipated the gun in order to get an edge on the field. He lost his gamble.