The relay race and the relay baton
How does the relay race work?
In the relay race, the runners of a team run a specified route one after the other and then pass on the baton, also called relay baton, to the next runner. The baton has to be handed over within a defined change zone, if the change takes place outside of this zone or if the running runner is initially outside the change area, this is a change error and leads to the disqualification of the relay team. If a runner drops the baton, only he can pick it up again. In the relay race, the runners also start from starting blocks, as is usual in the running disciplines.
The following standard routes for relay teams are specified in the International Competition Rules of the IAAF:
- Swedish relay (100m - 200m - 300m - 400m)
- Sweden long relay (1200m - 400m - 800m - 1600m)
At the Olympic Games only the 4x100m and the 4x400m relays will be held, in indoor competitions a 4x200m relay will be run instead of the 100m relay. For the student classes, the distances of the sprint relay are shorter, instead of 100m, depending on the age, either 50m or 75m relays are held. In Germany, long distance scales over 3x800m for women and 3x1000m for men are also held. Less often there is the so-called Olympic relay, in which the runners have to cover the distances 400m - 200m - 200m - 800m.
What should a baton / relay baton look like?
For official competitions, baton sticks must comply with the guidelines of the International Competition Rules (IWR). The length of the baton must be 28 mm - 30 mm, the outer diameter 38 mm - 42 mm and the rod must be at least 50g. In addition, the baton must be made of a smooth hollow tube made of wood, metal or a similar solid material. In the past, baton were usually made of wood, which is why they are still often called baton today.
The baton should be colored so that the baton is easily recognizable to runners and spectators during the run. At Kübler Sport you can buy baton in different designs: We offer official baton made of colored plastic or metal for competitions, but also baton made of wood as well as smaller and lighter junior baton for training with children or relay games in physical education.