Descriptions of each of the Short Track Relay Events

1. TRADITIONAL SHORT TRACK RELAY

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Relay races normally involve four teams of four skaters per race.

Each skater must take at least one turn out on the track. A Skater from a team can only come on the track to make an exchange.

Normally, the skaters will exchange turns in rotation, with those not on the track either resting, covering the skater on the track, or preparing to receive a relay, all on the inside of the track. The non-racing members of each team must stay out of the path of the racing Skaters and in an area that is clearly inside curves, marked by track marking blocks and a virtual line between the last block and the first block of the curves. Only to make an exchange, a Skater may leave this area.

Instead of passing a baton, the skater on the track needs to only tag the incoming skater to complete an exchange. However, in order to maintain momentum, it is more common for the incoming skater to crouch and receive a push from behind. As shown here:

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A Skater may be relayed at any time except during the last two (2) laps. These laps must be skated by one Skater. A warning shot will be fired to indicate the start of the last three (3) laps. The gun means that each team may only complete one more exchange (before the start line). The last skater must complete the final two laps, unless the skater falls.

In the event of a fall, a covering skater may tag the fallen skater and continue the race.

Exchanges are to be made without interference to other teams.

During exchanges, changing the lane is not allowed and exchanges are to be made straight forward, directly in front of the Skater who is pushing, and the skates have to be kept out of blocking.

Interference inside the track with Skaters coming in to take an exchange may also be considered an infringement.

Skaters entering before an exchange and skaters exiting after an exchange are also subjected to the applicable racing rules.

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 2.   ISU MIXED SHORT TRACK RELAY

All basic racing rules and Relay racing rules apply also to the Mixed Gender Relay.

For each Race, the Team shall compete with 2 Ladies and 2 Men.

The ISU distance is 2000m (18 laps).

It is to be run with a fixed schedule for the exchanges as follows: first 4 x 2,5 laps, then 4 x 2 laps, and in the following order of exchanges: Lady-Lady-Man-Man, Lady-Lady-Man-Man.

The order of skating between the 2 Ladies in the Team can be changed from the first time they skate (2,5 laps each) to the second time they skate (2 laps each). The same will apply for the two Men in the Team.

In case of a fall, only a Skater of the same gender can cover the relay for the Team. However, the following exceptions apply:

  • • If a fall happens during the last corner before a scheduled exchange to a Skater of the other gender (the corner right before 13, 8 or 4 laps to go), then a Skater of the other gender can cover the relay. In this case the Skater taking the relay can just keep on skating until the next scheduled exchange.
  • • If a fall happens during the first corner after a scheduled exchange to a Skater of the other gender (the corner right after 13, 8 or 4 laps to go), then a Skater of the other gender can cover the relay. In this case that Skater must make an exchange back to the other (proper) gender at the latest in the next straight.

3.   ADAPTED TEAM PURSUIT

This is adapated from the Long Track Team Pursuit.  Four skaters will start this relay, but it is only necessary that 3 finish. 

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The third skater across the finish is the skater who counts.  Therefore you must finish with three skaters.  The fourth skater may drop out and go into the center of the rink at any time. If a skater drops out, they may not rejoin the race.  If a skater falls and the team cannot complete the race they will receive a DNF.  Two teams compete at a time.  If a team is over taken by another team the race is over and the overtaking team wins.  To be overtaken, the third skater of the overtaking team must pass the leader of the opposing team.

Since only 2 teams can compete at a time, this event may be run in a round robin fashion or as a single or double elimination bracket.

 4.   TRADITIONAL SHORT TRACK TEAM PURSUIT

Only 2 teams compete at a time.  Teams start at opposite sides of the track.   If a team is overtaken by the opposing team the race is finished and the overtaking team wins. Only 1 skater needs to complete the full distance.  Other team members may drop out after completing one lap.  Otherwise this follows the traditional relay rules.

Since only 2 teams can compete at a time, this event may be run in a round robin fashion or as a single or double elimination bracket.

5.   TEAM SPRINT RELAY

This is a no-touch relay.  

The first group of skaters starts at the 100m start/finish line – called Primary Start Line (regardless of whether they are skating on a 111m or 100m track).  Each group completes a single lap or two laps depending on the distance.  As the racing group of skaters cross the 100m finish line, the next skater on that team starts his/her lap.  For longer distances skaters simply line up in their respective groups and do a second sprint at their turn.

Skater 2,3 & 4 start from a special Team Sprint start line called the Secondary Start.  This line is drawn  between the first and seventh block. It is parallel with the 100m start line.. As the racing skater crosses the finish line, the next skater in the group starts his/her 1 or 2 lap sprint.  If the line judge, starter or referee determine that the Waiting skater started before the racing skater crosses the finish line that team will be given a 2 second penalty. There is one lap counter per team.  The lap counter will signal when his/her team has crossed the finish line, notifying the skater at the secondary start line they can proceed.

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The block on the second corner may be stretched into a larger arc to accommodate the team sprint start line.  After the skater completes his/her lap s/he will head to the center of the ice.

 6. BUCKET RELAY

All the rules of the traditional relay apply. Except, that instead of a touch, exchanges will be made by passing a bucket between skaters.

The skater in the race must have one hand on the bucket at all times. 

The bucket must remain on the ice surface.

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 7. TRAIN RELAY

All the rules of the traditional relay apply

All four racers are on the track at the same time.  All racers must be connected together by touch for each lap.

Teams may exchange lead skater at the start line.

Time/placement is based on the last skater in the train.

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