False start

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A reduced starting lineup after Kame Ali was disqualified due to a false start in heat 3 of the men's 110 metres hurdles at the 2012 London Olympics Off they go. There had been a false start and the runner was shown a great big red card then marched off. So mean. (7745214550).jpg
A reduced starting lineup after Kamé Ali was disqualified due to a false start in heat 3 of the men's 110 metres hurdles at the 2012 London Olympics

In sports, a false start is a disallowed start, usually due to a movement by a participant before (or in some cases after) being signaled or otherwise permitted by the rules to start. Depending on the sport and the event, a false start can result in a penalty against the athlete's or team's field position, a warning that a subsequent false start will result in disqualification, or immediate disqualification of the athlete from further competition.

Contents

False starts are common in racing sports (such as swimming, track, sprinting, and motor sports), where differences are made by fractions of a second and where anxiety to get the best start plays a role in the athletes' behavior.

A race that is started without a false start is referred to as a fair start or clean start.

In sports

Association Football (soccer)

Football games cannot be restarted unless certain conditions are met. For example, both teams need to be in their own half of the field for the start of the game or restarts from goals or half-time and free kicks require players to be a certain distance from the dead ball position. A referee may call the players back if one or more encroach into the wrong part of the field. There is generally no penalty for this type of encroachment, although if the referee considers it to be delaying the restart of the game they can award a yellow card. One famous example was during the 1974 World Cup when Brazil had a free kick near the Zaire penalty area was booted far away by Mwepu Ilunga before the restart. [1] At a penalty kick, the restart is blown by the referee before the actual kick takes place. In this situation, "encroachment" may take place, where one or more players from either side go into the penalty area or penalty arc before the kick is done. The goalkeeper can also be called for this offence if one foot leaves the goal line before the kick. A variety of punishments exist depending on which sides were involved and the result of the kick, or the result may stand if one team defends the kick or scores it but their opposition infringed.

American and Canadian football

In American football and Canadian football, a false start is movement by an offensive player (other than the center) after he has taken a set position. For offensive linemen, this movement might be as minimal as a couple of centimeters, although the rule's intent is to prevent offensive players from unfairly drawing the defense offside. A false start brings a 5-yard (4.5 m) penalty. Unlike an offside penalty, where the play is run as usual, the play after a false start penalty immediately becomes dead. This is done to prevent a defensive player reacting to a false start from hitting the quarterback while he is going through the snap count, which would make the quarterback more susceptible to injury.

At the end of the 2005 NFL season, owners complained regarding false start penalties on players whose flinches have little effect upon the start of the play, such as wide receivers. In response, the NFL competition committee has said that they plan to inflict fewer false start penalties on players who line up behind the line of scrimmage. [2]

In the 2021 season the false start penalty was the second most issued penalty in the NFL with 573 penalties being issued for 2,736 penalty yards. [3]

Athletics (track and field)

Pressure-sensitive starting blocks at the start line of the 100 metres at the 2007 Pan American Games in Joao Havelange Olympic Stadium PressureSensitiveStartingBlocks.jpg
Pressure-sensitive starting blocks at the start line of the 100 metres at the 2007 Pan American Games in João Havelange Olympic Stadium

In track and field sprints, the sport's governing body, the IAAF, has a rule that if the athlete moves within 0.1 seconds after the gun has fired the athlete has false-started. [4] This figure is based on tests that show the human brain cannot hear and process the information from the start sound in under 0.10 seconds, [5] even though a IAAF-commissioned study indicated in 2009 that top sprinters are able to sometimes react in 0.08 s. [6] This rule is only applied at high-level meets where fully automated force or motion sensor devices are built into the starting blocks that are tied via computer with the starter's gun. In the vast majority of lower-level meets, false starts are determined visually by the officials.

If there is a false start, it is signalled by firing the starting gun twice, and the race is stopped. Since 2009, the offending athletes are immediately disqualified. [7] Before 2003, an athlete making a false start would be allowed another start and would only be disqualified after a second false start. [8] Between 2003 and 2009 (inclusive), if there was a single false start, then the whole field would be warned, and the original offender would be allowed a second start. If anyone made a false start on the second start, then they would be disqualified (even if they did not false start the first time).

An analysis of start times by sprinters at the 2008 Beijing Olympics demonstrated that male and female sprinters can achieve reaction times of 0.109 s and 0.121 s in one out of 1,000 starts. [9] The same analysis showed fewer false starts among the women and it suggests that the apparent sex difference is caused by the use of the same starting block force threshold for males and females. The authors calculated that were the force threshold to be reduced by 22% for females, to take into account their lower rate of developing muscle strength, then males and females would exhibit similar reaction times and numbers of false starts.

Horse racing

In thoroughbred horse racing, a false start occurs when a horse breaks through the starting gates before they open. There is usually no penalty, and the horse is simply reloaded into the gate. In some events, a horse who breaks through the starting gates is disqualified. A notable example was the 2006 Preakness Stakes when Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro broke through the gate early; he was reloaded and the race was started properly. The 1993 Grand National was declared void because the recall flag to signal a false start was not unfurled, so that most jockeys continued to race. [10]

Ice hockey

In ice hockey, a false start occurs when a team commits a faceoff violation. When this occurs, the player taking the face-off from the offending team is disqualified from the face-off and replaced by a teammate. A second faceoff violation by the same team results in a minor penalty.

Motorsports

In motor sports that have a standing start (e.g. Formula One), if there is a false start then the offender is subject to a time penalty and the race is normally not restarted. One notable exception was the 1999 European Grand Prix, where six drivers, including the top five qualifiers, jumped the start due to the starting lights malfunctioning. No driver was penalized and the race was restarted. In drag racing, if there is a false start, the driver who jumped worse is provisionally disqualified, pending the result of the run (if a worse violation occurs during the race, that offender instead is disqualified, and the false start is nullified, with that offender declared the winner. In motorsport with a rolling start (lane violations, passing the leader before the start), the penalty may be positions lost or a pass-through penalty.

Sailing

In sailing, the race committee decides at the preparatory signal (usually 4 minutes before the start) what the rules on false starting will be by display the P, I, Z or Black Flags.

A P Flag means any boat on the course side (OCS) of the start line at the starting signal must return, clear the start line and then restart. The I Flag means a boat which is OCS must round either end of the start line by coming back to the pre-start side and then restarting (the 'round the ends' rule). The Z Flag means a boat which is OCS in the minute leading up to the start or at the start itself is given a 20% scoring penalty. The Black Flag means a boat which is OCS in the minute leading up to the start or at the start itself is disqualified.

Failing to return to start correctly under the P or I Flag rules means the boat is scored O.C.S and receives points equivalent to disqualification.

Skiing/Biathlon

The sport's governing body, the FIS, prohibits any athlete from moving before the gun sounds or within 0.1 second after, since 2009. As in track and field, in biathlon or cross country skiing, any false start from any athlete(s) risks immediate disqualification.

Speed skating

According to the rules set by the ISU a false start occurs when one of more competitors are intentionally slow at taking their starting positions, or leave their starting positions before the shot is fired. The first false start by an athlete will be cautioned, and the next, immediate disqualification.

Swimming

In swimming, any swimmer who starts before the starting signal risks immediate disqualification. [11] If a step-down command is given before the race starts, the swimmer is not disqualified.

A notable example during the 2008 Olympics occurred when Pang Jiaying was disqualified due to a false start. This allowed Libby Trickett to advance to the final round, in which she won a silver medal.

At the 2012 London Olympics, Chinese swimmer Sun Yang jumped into the water too early in the 1500 m final, but was not judged to have false started because Sun Yang misunderstood 'stand please' as beeping sound by the article 101.1 0.3 D Archived 2016-08-05 at the Wayback Machine . A similar incident occurred in the women's 100 m breaststroke final.

Triathlon

In the men's triathlon at the 2020 Summer Olympics, there was an improper start (commonly reported as a "false start") in the opening 1500 m swim because a camera boat blocked some of the participants from entering the water, [12] which NBC termed "bizarre". [13]

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sprint (running)</span> Running over a short distance in a limited period of time

Sprinting is running over a short distance at the top-most speed of the body in a limited period of time. It is used in many sports that incorporate running, typically as a way of quickly reaching a target or goal, or avoiding or catching an opponent. Human physiology dictates that a runner's near-top speed cannot be maintained for more than 30–35 seconds due to the depletion of phosphocreatine stores in muscles, and perhaps secondarily to excessive metabolic acidosis as a result of anaerobic glycolysis.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Relay race</span> Team sport in athletics, swimming, etc

A relay race is a racing competition where members of a team take turns completing parts of racecourse or performing a certain action. Relay races take the form of professional races and amateur games. Relay races are common in running, orienteering, swimming, cross-country skiing, biathlon, or ice skating. In the Olympic Games, there are several types of relay races that are part of track and field. Relay race, also called Relay, a track-and-field sport consisting of a set number of stages (legs), usually four, each leg run by a different member of a team. The runner finishing one leg is usually required to pass the next runner a stick-like object known as a "baton" while both are running in a marked exchange zone. In most relays, team members cover equal distances: Olympic events for both men and women are the 400-metre and 1,600-metre relays. Some non-Olympic relays are held at distances of 800 m, 3,200 m, and 6,000 m. In the less frequently run medley relays, however, the athletes cover different distances in a prescribed order—as in a sprint medley of 200, 200, 400, 800 metres or a distance medley of 1,200, 400, 800, 1,600 metres.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Racing Rules of Sailing</span> Rules and signals for sailing races

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Portugal at the 2004 Summer Olympics</span> Sporting event delegation

Portugal competed at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece, from 13 to 29 August 2004. Portuguese athletes have competed at every Summer Olympic Games in the modern era since 1912. The Olympic Committee of Portugal sent the nation's second-largest team to the Games. A total of 81 athletes, 64 men and 17 women, were selected by the committee to participate in 15 sports. Men's football was the only team-based sport in which Portugal had its representation at these Games. There was only a single competitor in badminton, canoeing, equestrian, artistic and trampoline gymnastics, triathlon, and wrestling, which made its official Olympic comeback after an eight-year absence.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Indonesia at the 2004 Summer Olympics</span> Sporting event delegation

Indonesia competed at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece, from 13 to 29 August 2004. This was the nation's twelfth appearance at the Olympics, excluding the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, and the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow because of the United States boycott. Krisna Bayu was originally the flag bearer, however the role was later done by Christian Hadinata because Bayu was suffering from flu at the eve of opening ceremony.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Malaysia at the 2004 Summer Olympics</span> Sporting event delegation

Malaysia competed at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece, from 13 to 29 August 2004. This was the nation's twelfth appearance at the Olympics, although it had previously competed in two other games under the name Malaya. Malaysia, however, did not participate at the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow, because of its partial support to the United States boycott.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Belarus at the 2004 Summer Olympics</span> Sporting event delegation

Belarus competed at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece, from 13 to 29 August 2004. This was the nation's fifth appearance at the Summer Olympics in the post-Soviet era. The Belarus Olympic Committee sent a total of 151 athletes to the Games, 82 men and 69 women, to compete in 22 sports.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Poland at the 2004 Summer Olympics</span> Sporting event delegation

Poland competed at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece, from 13 to 29 August 2004. This was the nation's eighteenth appearance at the Summer Olympics, except the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, because of the Soviet boycott. The Polish Olympic Committee sent a total of 194 athletes to the Games, 132 men and 62 women, to compete in 21 sports. Men's volleyball was the only team-based sport in which Poland had its representation in these Olympic Games. There was only a single competitor in women's taekwondo.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sweden at the 2004 Summer Olympics</span> Sporting event delegation

Sweden competed at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece, from 13 to 29 August 2004. This nation has competed at every Summer Olympic Games in the modern era, except for the 1904 Summer Olympics in St. Louis. The Swedish Olympic Committee sent the nation's smallest team to the Games since the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal. A total of 115 athletes, 62 men and 53 women, competed only in 20 different sports. Women's football was the only team-based sport in which Sweden had its representation at these Games. There was only a single competitor in boxing, diving, artistic gymnastics, judo, modern pentathlon, and rowing.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Israel at the 2004 Summer Olympics</span> Israels competition at the 2004 Summer Olympics

Israel competed at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece, from 13 to 29 August 2004. It was the nation's thirteenth appearance at the Summer Olympics.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Czech Republic at the 2004 Summer Olympics</span> Sporting event delegation

Czech Republic competed at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece, from 13 to 29 August 2004. This was the nation's third appearance at the Summer Olympics after gaining its independence from the former Czechoslovakia. The Czech Olympic Committee sent the nation's largest team to the Games since the post-Czechoslovak era. A total of 142 athletes, 80 men and 62 women, competed in 19 sports; the nation's team size was roughly denser from Sydney by one sixth of the athletes. Women's basketball was the only team-based sport in which the Czech Republic had its representation at these Olympic Games. There was only a single competitor in equestrian, artistic and trampoline gymnastics, judo, and weightlifting.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Slovenia at the 2004 Summer Olympics</span> Sporting event delegation

Slovenia competed at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece, from 13 to 29 August 2004. This was the nation's fourth consecutive appearance at the Summer Olympics since the post-Yugoslav era. The Slovenian Olympic Committee sent the nation's largest ever delegation to the Games in Olympic history. A total of 79 athletes, 56 men and 23 women, competed in 10 sports. For the second consecutive time, men's handball was the only team-based sport in which Slovenia had its representation at these Games.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Slovakia at the 2004 Summer Olympics</span> Sporting event delegation

Slovakia competed at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece, from 13 to 29 August 2004. This was the nation's third consecutive appearance at the Summer Olympics since the post-Czechoslovak era. The Slovak Olympic Committee sent a total of 64 athletes to the Games, 48 men and 16 women, to compete in 11 sports. There was only a single competitor in artistic and trampoline gymnastics and sailing.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Virgin Islands at the 2004 Summer Olympics</span> Sporting event delegation

The United States Virgin Islands competed at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece, from 13 to 29 August 2004.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Lithuania at the 2004 Summer Olympics</span> Sporting event delegation

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bahrain at the 2004 Summer Olympics</span> Sporting event delegation

Bahrain competed at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Greece, from 13 to 29 August 2004.

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In sports, an ejection is the removal of a participant from a contest due to a violation of the sport's rules. The exact violations that lead to an ejection vary depending upon the sport, but common causes for ejection include unsportsmanlike conduct, violent acts against another participant that are beyond the sport's generally accepted standards for such acts, abuse against officials, violations of the sport's rules that the contest official deems to be egregious, or the use of an illegal substance to better a player's game. Most sports have provisions that allow players to be ejected, and many allow for the ejection of coaches, managers, or other non-playing personnel. In sports that use penalty cards, a red card is often used to signal dismissals.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Penalty card</span> Reprimands issued during various sports matches

Penalty cards are used in many sports as a means of warning, reprimanding or penalising a player, coach or team official. Penalty cards are most commonly used by referees or umpires to indicate that a player has committed an offence. The official will hold the card above their head while looking or pointing towards the player that has committed the offence. This action makes the decision clear to all players, as well as spectators and other officials in a manner that is language-neutral. The colour or shape of the card used by the official indicates the type or seriousness of the offence and the level of punishment that is to be applied. Yellow and red cards are the most common, typically indicating, respectively, cautions and dismissals.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Penalty (gridiron football)</span> Penalty in American football

In gridiron football, a penalty is a sanction called against a team for a violation of the rules, called a foul. Officials initially signal penalties by tossing a bright yellow colored penalty flag onto the field toward or at the spot of a foul.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Israel at the 2012 Summer Olympics</span> Israels competition at the 2012 Summer Olympics

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References

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