This article needs additional citations for verification .(May 2012)
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 (usually with a baton in the fist). 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 (4 × 100-metre) and 1,600-metre (4 × 400-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.
A swimming relay of four swimmers usually follows this strategy: second-fastest, third-fastest, slowest, then fastest (anchor). However, it is not uncommon to see either the slowest swimmer racing in the second slot (creating an order of second-fastest, slowest, third-fastest, and then fastest), or an order from slowest to fastest (an order of slowest, third-fastest, second-fastest, fastest).[ citation needed ]
FINA rules require that a foot of the second, third or fourth swimmer must be contacting the platform while (and before) the incoming teammate is touching the wall; the starting swimmer may already be in motion, however, which saves 0.6–1.0 seconds compared to a regular start. Besides, many swimmers perform better in a relay than in an individual race owing to a team spirit atmosphere. As a result, relay times are typically 2–3 seconds faster than the sum of best times of individual swimmers.
In medley swimming, each swimmer uses a different stroke (in this order): backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly, and freestyle, with the added limitation that the freestyle swimmer cannot use any of the first three strokes. At competitive levels, essentially all freestyle swimmers use the front crawl. Note that this order is different from that for the individual medley, in which a single swimmer swims butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, and freestyle in a single race, in that order.
The three standard relays raced at the Olympics are the 4 × 100 m freestyle relay, 4 × 200 m freestyle relay and 4 × 100 m medley relay.
Mixed-gendered relays were introduced at the 2014 FINA World Swimming Championships (25 m) (4 × 50 m freestyle and medley) and the 2015 World Aquatics Championships (4 × 100 m freestyle and medley). The event will debut at the 2020 Summer Olympics (4 × 100 m medley).
In open water swimming, mixed-gendered relays were introduced at the 2011 World Aquatics Championships (4 × 1250 m).
In athletics, the two standard relays are the 4 × 100 metres relay and the 4 × 400 metres relay. 4 × 200, 4 × 800, and 4 × 1500 m relays exist as well, but they are rarer. Mixed-gendered 4 × 400 metres relays were introduced at the 2017 IAAF World Relays, repeated at the 2018 Asian Games, the 2019 World Championships in Athletics and will be added to the 2020 Summer Olympics. In addition, a 2 × 2 × 400 m and shuttle hurdles mixed relay races were introduced at the 2019 IAAF World Relays.
Traditionally, the 4 × 400 m relay finals are the last event of a track meet,[ citation needed ] and is often met with a very enthusiastic crowd, especially if the last leg is a close race. It is hard to measure exact splits in a 4 × 400 (or a 4 × 100) relay. For example, if a team ran a 3-minute 4 × 400, it does not mean every runner on the team has to run a 45-second open 400, because a person starts accelerating before they have the baton, therefore allowing for slightly slower overall open 400 times. A 4 × 400 relay generally starts in lanes for the first leg, including the handoff. The second leg then proceeds to run in lanes for the first 100 metres, after which point the runners are allowed to break into the first lane on the backstretch, as long as they do not interfere with other runners. A race organizer then puts the third-leg runners into a line depending on the order in which they are running (with the first place closest to the inside). The faster teams pass first, while the slower teams have to slide in to the inside lanes as they come available.
According to the IAAF rules, world records in relays can only be set if all team members have the same nationality. Several superior marks were established by teams from a mixture of countries and were thus never ratified.
Major USA Track and Field events, f.e. the Penn Relays, Drake Relays, Kansas Relays, Mt. SAC Relays, Modesto Relays, Texas Relays, West Coast Relays, include different types of relays.
Each runner must hand off the baton to the next runner within a certain zone, usually marked by triangles on the track. In sprint relays, runners typically use a "blind handoff", where the second runner stands on a spot predetermined in practice and starts running when the first runner hits a visual mark on the track (usually a smaller triangle). The second runner opens their hand behind them after a few strides, by which time the first runner should be caught up and able to hand off the baton. Usually a runner will give an auditory signal, such as "Stick!" repeated several times, for the recipient of the baton to put out his hand. In middle-distance relays or longer, runners begin by jogging while looking back at the incoming runner and holding out a hand for the baton.
A team may be disqualified from a relay for:
Based on the speed of the runners, the generally accepted strategy used in setting up a four-person relay team is: second-fastest, third-fastest, slowest, then fastest (anchor); however some teams (usually middle school or young high school) use second-fastest, slowest, third-fastest, then the fastest (anchor). But if a runner is better in the starting blocks than the others, he is sometimes moved to the first spot because it is the only spot that uses starting blocks.
The largest relay event in the world is the Norwegian Holmenkollstafetten, 2,944 teams of 15 starting and ending at Bislett Stadium in Oslo which had a total of 44,160 relay-competitors on May 10, 2014.
Another large relay event is the Penn Relays, which attracts over 15,000 competitors annually on the high-school, collegiate and professional levels, and over its three days attracts upwards of 100,000 spectators. It is credited with popularizing relay racing in the sport of track & field.
Long-distance relays have become increasingly popular with runners of all skill levels. These relays typically have 5 to 36 legs, each usually between 5 and 10 km (3.1 and 6.2 miles) long, though sometimes as long as 16 km (9.9 mi).
The IAAF World Road Relay Championships was held from 1986 to 1998, with six-member teams covering the classic 42.195-kilometre (26.219 mi) marathon distance.
Races under 100 kilometres (62 mi) are run in a day, with each runner covering one or two legs. Longer relays are run overnight, with each runner typically covering three legs.
The world's longest relay race was Japan's Prince Takamatsu Cup Nishinippon Round-Kyūshū Ekiden, which begins in Nagasaki and continues for 1,064 kilometres (661 mi).
For the 2017 IAAF World Cross Country Championships, a mixed relay race was added (4 × 2 km).
The Crusader Team Sprint Cross Country Relay Race is a fun and unique venue specifically designed to get runners familiar with distance running and excited for the rest of the cross country season. Teams will be pairs of runners. The team will run four loops of a 1-mile course. Runner “A” will run loop 1 and hand off to Runner “B.” Runner “B” will run the same loop and hand off back to Runner “A.” “A” runs one more loop, hands off to “B,” and “B” finishes. 3 race categories: boys, girls, and co-ed. Awards will be given in each of the three categories.[ citation needed ]
The Shuttle hurdle relay is a Men's and Women's competition that is part of Relay meetings like Drake Relays or Penn Relays. A mixed version was introduced at the 2019 IAAF World Relays, it consist of a race in which two men and two women on each team, are running a 110 m hurdles.
Medley relay events are also occasionally held in track meets, usually consisting of teams of four runners running progressively longer distances. The distance medley relay consists of four legs run at distances of 1200, 400, 800, and 1,600 metres, in that order. The sprint medley relay usually consists of four legs run at distances of 400, 200, 200, and 800 metres, though a more uncommon variant of 200, 100, 100 and 400 metres (sometimes called a short sprint medley) also exists. See also Swedish relay.
Relay race events have been selected as a main motif in numerous collectors' coins. One of the recent samples is the €10 Greek Relays commemorative coin, minted in 2003 to commemorate the 2004 Summer Olympics. In the obverse of the coin three modern athletes run, holding their batons while in the background three ancient athletes are shown running a race known as the dolichos (a semi-endurance race of approximately 3,800 metres' distance).
The FIS Nordic World Ski Championships features a relay race since 1933, and a women's race since 1954. Each team has four skiers, each of whom must complete 10 kilometres / 6.2 miles (men) or 5 kilometres / 3.1 miles (women).
In biathlon, the relay race features a mass start, with teams consist of four biathletes. Each competitor must complete 7.5 kilometres / 4.66 miles (men) or 6.0 kilometres / 3.73 miles (women). Each leg is held over three laps, with two shooting rounds; one prone, one standing.
A mixed biathlon relay race was first held at the Biathlon World Championships 2005 in Khanty-Mansiysk, and it was added to the 2014 Winter Olympics.
There are two major relays in orienteering:
There are other relays in autumn with requirements about the age and gender distributions:
The ITU Triathlon Mixed Relay World Championships is a mixed-gendered relay triathlon race held since 2009. Previously, the Triathlon Team World Championships were held in 2003, 2006 and 2007. Also, the triathlon at the Youth Olympic Games has a mixed relay race since 2010, and the event will be introduced at the 2020 Summer Olympics. As in standard triathlons, each triathlon competitor must do a segment of swimming, cycling and running.
The madison is a track cycling event where two riders take turns to complete the race. Riders can alternate at any moment by touching the partner with the hand. The madison is featured at the UCI Track Cycling World Championships since 1995 and the Olympics since 2000. The format has been used in six-day racing. In road racing, the Duo Normand is a two-man time trial relay held annually in Normandy, France. In mountain biking, the UCI Mountain Bike World Championships has a mixed team relay race since 1999.
The game show Triple Threat had a bonus round called the "Triple Threat Relay Round" which was played like a relay race. The winning team had to take turns matching song titles to its corresponding musical artists.
Media related to Relays (sports) at Wikimedia Commons
Hurdling is the act of jumping over an obstacle at a high speed or in a sprint. In the early 19th century, hurdlers ran at and jumped over each hurdle, landing on both feet and checking their forward motion. Today, the dominant step patterns are the 3-step for high hurdles, 7-step for low hurdles, and 15-step for intermediate hurdles. Hurdling is a highly specialized form of obstacle racing, and is part of the sport of athletics. In hurdling events, barriers known as hurdles are set at precisely measured heights and distances. Each athlete must pass over the hurdles; passing under or intentionally knocking over hurdles will result in disqualification.
Matthew Nicholas Biondi is an American former competition swimmer, eleven-time Olympic medalist, and former world record-holder in five events. Biondi competed in the Summer Olympic Games in 1984, 1988 and 1992, winning a total of eleven medals. During his career, he set three individual world records in the 50-meter freestyle and four in the 100-meter freestyle.
Medley is a combination of four different swimming styles—backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly, and freestyle—into one race. This race is either swum by one swimmer as individual medley (IM) or by four swimmers as a medley relay.
The 4 × 100 metres relay or sprint relay is an athletics track event run in lanes over one lap of the track with four runners completing 100 metres each. The first runners must begin in the same stagger as for the individual 400 m race. A relay baton is carried by each runner. Prior to 2018, the baton had to be passed within a 20 m changeover box, preceded by a 10-metre acceleration zone. With a rule change effective November 1, 2017 that zone was modified to include the acceleration zone as part of the passing zone, making the entire zone 30 metres in length. The outgoing runner cannot touch the baton until it has entered the zone, the incoming runner cannot touch the baton after it has left the zone. The zone is usually marked in yellow, frequently using lines, triangles or chevrons. While the rule book specifies the exact positioning of the marks, the colors and style are only "recommended". While most legacy tracks will still have the older markings, the rule change still uses existing marks. Not all governing body jurisdictions have adopted the rule change.
The 4 × 400 metres relay or long relay is an athletics track event in which teams consist of four runners who each complete 400 metres or one lap. It is traditionally the final event of a track meet. At top class events, the first 500 metres is run in lanes. Start lines are thus staggered over a greater distance than in an individual 400 metres race; the runners then typically move to the inside of the track. The slightly longer 4 × 440 yards relay was a formerly run British and American event, until metrication was completed in the 1970s.
Mark Anthony Kerry is an Australian former backstroke and freestyle swimmer of the 1970s and 1980s, who won three Olympic medals, including a gold in the 4 × 100 m medley relay at the 1980 Summer Olympics as the backstroker for the Quietly Confident Quartet. During his career, he won twelve Australian Championships.
Robert George Windle is an Australian freestyle swimmer of the 1960s, who won four Olympic medals, including an individual gold medal. Windle won the 1500 m freestyle and took bronze in the 4 × 100 m freestyle relay at the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, and silver and bronze in the 4 × 200 m and 4 × 100 m freestyle relays respectively at the 1968 Summer Olympics. Known for his versatility, he is the only male swimmer to represent Australia at the Olympics in all freestyle distances from 100 m to 1500 m. During his career, Windle set six world records and won six Commonwealth Games gold medals. He won 19 Australian championships in all distances from 220 yd to 1650 yd.
The anchor leg is the final position in a relay race. Typically, the anchor leg of a relay is given to the fastest or most experienced competitor on a team. The athlete completing the anchor leg of a relay is responsible for making up ground on the race-leader or preserving the lead already secured by their teammates.
Andrew George Lauterstein is an Australian swimmer and a three-time Olympic medalist.
Matthew Grevers is an American competition swimmer who competes in the backstroke and freestyle events, and is a six-time Olympic medalist. He has won a total of thirty-three medals in major international competition, fourteen gold, twelve silver, and seven bronze spanning the Olympics, World Championships, and the Universiade. At the 2008 Summer Olympics, Grevers won gold medals as a member of the U.S. teams in the 4×100-meter freestyle and 4×100-meter medley relays, and a silver medal in the 100-meter backstroke. Four years later, at the 2012 Summer Olympics, he won gold medals in the 100-meter backstroke and the 4×100-meter medley relay, and a silver medal in the 4×100-meter freestyle relay.
Swimming is an individual or team racing sport that requires the use of one's entire body to move through water. The sport takes place in pools or open water. Competitive swimming is one of the most popular Olympic sports, with varied distance events in butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke, freestyle, and individual medley. In addition to these individual events, four swimmers can take part in either a freestyle or medley relay. A medley relay consists of four swimmers who will each swim a different stroke, ordered as backstroke, breaststroke, butterfly and freestyle.
The sprint medley relay (SMR) is a track and field event in which teams of four athletes compete over sprinting distances as part of a relay race. Unlike most track relays, each member of the team runs a different distance. The sprint medley is rather uncommon, run most frequently at non-championship track meets which are focused on relays. Since these are not championship events, specific criteria for the event are not in common rulebooks. This leads to localized variations.
Freestyle is a category of swimming competition, defined by the rules of the International Swimming Federation (FINA), in which competitors are subject to few limited restrictions on their swimming stroke. Freestyle races are the most common of all swimming competitions, with distances beginning with 50 meters and reaching 1500 meters, also known as the mile. The term 'freestyle stroke' is sometimes used as a synonym for 'front crawl', as front crawl is the fastest swimming stroke. It is now the most common stroke used in freestyle competitions.
Robert "Bobby" Hurley is an Australian swimmer and former World Record holder in the short-course 50 metres Backstroke and 2012 World Champion in the same event. In 2009 he won a bronze medal as a team member on the 4 × 200 m Freestyle relay at the FINA World Championships in Rome. He has five FINA World Championship medals to his name, two gold, one silver and two bronze.
James Magnussen is a retired Australian swimmer and Olympic medallist. He was the 2011 and 2013 100-metre freestyle world champion, and holds the record for the fifth fastest swim in history in the 100-metre freestyle, with a time of 47.10, which until 2016 also stood as the fastest swim in textile swimwear material.
Ye Shiwen is a Chinese swimmer. At the 2012 Summer Olympics, she won gold medals in the 400 metres and 200 metres individual medley, breaking the world record in the 400 m event and the Olympic record in the 200 m event.
James George Guy is an English competitive swimmer who has represented Great Britain in the Olympic Games, the FINA World Championships and the LEN European championships, and England in the Commonwealth Games. Guy specialises in the 400- and 200-metre freestyle, and the 100-metre butterfly.
Duncan William MacNaughton Scott is a Scottish swimmer representing Great Britain at the FINA World Aquatics Championships and the Olympic Games, and Scotland at the Commonwealth Games. An all-rounder in the pool, Scott has swum internationally in 100 and 200 metres freestyle and butterfly, and 200 metres individual medley. He has won two golds at the World Championships in 4 x 200 metre freestyle relay, a gold in the 4 x 100 metre medley relay, as well as silvers at the World Championships and Olympics in freestyle and medley relay. Individually, Scott was the 100 metre freestyle champion at the 2015 European Games and 2018 Commonwealth Games, and the 200 metre freestyle champion at the same European Games and the 2018 European Aquatics Championships.
Mixed-sex sports are individual and team sports whose participants are not of a single sex. In organised sports settings, rules usually dictate an equal number of people of each sex in a team. Usually, the main purpose of these rules are to account for physiological sex differences. Mixed-sex sports in informal settings are typically groups of neighbours, friends or family playing without regard to the sex of the participants. Mixed-sex play is also common in children's sports as before puberty and adolescence, sport-relevant sex differences affect performance far less.
The men's 4 × 100 metres relay at the 2019 World Athletics Championships was held at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha, Qatar, from 4 to 5 October 2019.