Clerk of the Course


Duties – NCAA (Rule 3-6)

  • Maintain the track time schedule.
  • Call together and place athletes in proper positions; place all relay teams in proper places on the track.
  • Give athletes necessary instructions for their event and explain advancement procedures.
  • Enforce athletes’ uniform, competitor number, shoe, and logo rules.

Duties – USATF (Rule 138)

  • Notify athletes to appear at the starting line or other assembly area before the start of their event.
  • Enforce uniform, shoe and number rules; issue hip or other numbers.

Head Clerk of the Course

  • Report 1½ to 2 hours before the 1st event to prepare the clerking station. Locate it to facilitate movement of runners to the starting line.  Set up check-in, report-in, and staging areas, as appropriate
  • Post signage, meet schedule, and event/check-in/report-in/escort timeline
  • Separate heat sheets by event & gender, build packs of hips numbers for each, and attach with clips
  • Obtain necessary information and equipment from meet management
  • Walk the track with Assistant Clerks to note markings, all start and break lines, SC pit & route
  • Meet with the starter, to review procedures and instructions to be given by the starter and the clerk
  • Meet with the finish line coordinator, to review procedures for handling event/heat sheets
  • Coordinate with the announcer on timing for calls for runners to report in and check in
  • Be familiar with all track markings, and all rules governing the start, running, and relays
  • Assign Assistant Clerk duties, provide copies of meet schedule, and brief on the information sheet contents
  • Mark on the master copy of the meet schedule:

⇒Type of start for each race – lanes, alleys, or waterfall, and break-in point as applicable
⇒Starting line markings for each race – color and type, and relay passing zone markings
⇒Advancement procedures for the event
⇒Number of laps for each race (principally for indoor meets)
⇒When to: move blocks; set cones; set hurdles & barriers; give lap times

 Check-in Clerk

  • Be aware of the progress of the meet vs. schedule; advise athletes of any schedule delays
  • Maintain master set of event/heat sheets
  • Check-in or scratch runners on event sheets; communicate these to finish line or announcer as appropriate
  • Inform runners of heat & lane assignments; time and place for report-in; effect of failure to report-in
  • Check for competition numbers or provide numbers, pins, and instructions on where they are worn
  • Check runners for compliance with uniform, shoe, spike, logo, and electronic devices rule
  • Have info and advise athletes on the location of: warm-up areas, restrooms, water, trainers, and awards
  • Combine/eliminate heats or sections in races with multiple scratches (if okayed by Games Committee); or
  • In championship meets, deliver list of actual starters to Games Committee/Referee to determine the number of rounds or heats required
  • Help the athletes and be cheerful.

Report-in Clerk

  • Check-in or scratch runners on the event/heat sheets; communicate these to finish line or announcer
  • Issue hip numbers and instructions on where they are worn; check for competition numbers
  • Inform runners of:  time until start of event, if must stay in the area; where to take strides; rules for advancement to next round; starting line & break line markings; starting commands; false starts allowed; number of staggered turns; lap counters & lap times; final lap bell; basket crew or where to leave gear; timing & movement to staging area or starting line; get spikes on
  • Escort runners to the track; place in proper order/lanes; check for hip numbers-carry extras; remove sweats
  • Deliver event sheet/final list of runners to finish line coordinator or announcer
  • Relays: check for identical uniforms; check/hand out batons; brief on exchange zones; assist in placing 2nd, 3rd, & 4th runners in proper order on track
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