Road runners in action (Getty Images) © Copyright
Press Release

Rule 5 reminder issued to meeting organisers and Member Federations as more athletes return to the track


As more athletes around the world return to the track for national championships, one-day meetings and other record-breaking attempts, World Athletics has issued a reminder to Area Associations and Member Federations today about the recently introduced Rule 5, governing competition shoes.

The amended rule, which puts a sole height limit of 25mm on all shoes worn in track events of 800m and above in distance (including Steeplechase), came into force on 28 July 2020, when it was published.

The rule does not prevent a road running shoe from being worn on the track but a 30mm or 40mm road running shoe cannot be worn for track events because of the 25mm limit.

As this is a transition period, all results currently in the World Athletics database will be processed, but any result of an individual athlete who has worn non-compliant shoes for the race will be marked “Uncertified” (“TR5.5”).

In the case of National Championships and other domestic competitions, for results to be validated and recognised by World Athletics for statistics purposes, such competitions must be held under World Athletics Technical Rules and Competition Rules.

This means that Rule 5 of the Technical Rules must be applied in full for the competition results to be recognised by World Athletics as valid.

To preserve the integrity of national records and statistics, the responsibility lies with the Member Federation to ensure that all athletes, officials and competition organisers are fully aware that Rule 5 of the Technical Rules will be applied in full.  

If a Member Federation or competition organiser permits an athlete to compete in non-compliant shoes, then the athlete’s individual results from the competition will be marked in World Athletics’ records and statistics as ‘Uncertified (‘TR5.5’) i.e. invalid. In some cases, this may apply to the entire race.

Results achieved before 28 July, where an athlete has worn a shoe above the current track limits, are valid provided the results were achieved in shoes that complied with the sole thicknesses in the previous rule. For example, if an athlete wore 40mm non-spike shoe on the track or 30mm spike between 31 January 2020 and the notification and publication of change of rules on 28 July 2020, then the competition result is valid.

The list of shoes that were submitted to World Athletics by manufacturers for assessment, and have been approved, will be published on World Athletics’ website shortly to assist Athletes, Member Federations, Technical Officials and meeting organisers.

World Athletics