How to Play Sports Relays

Relays are a great way to introduce students to the concepts of speed, timing, and teamwork. It’s also a good way to get kids moving and having fun!

The Royaltv01 leg of a relay race is known as the lead-off leg. The runner on this leg runs the longest distance in a short period of time and is usually considered the fastest runner in the team. The second runner of a relay race, or the second-leg runner, has to be fast enough to catch up to or overtake the lead runner in order for his team to win. The third leg of a relay race, or the anchor leg, is usually run by the slowest member of the team. The anchor is responsible for making up the most lost time and/or maintaining the team’s lead.

The Unsung Heroes: Celebrating Coaches in Sports Relay Successes

When choosing a team for each leg of a relay race, priority should be given to those runners who can perform the starting and turning movements well, who are confident in receiving and passing the baton, and who have good endurance. Ideally, the fastest runner should run the first leg.

Each runner in a relay race must hand off the baton within a certain zone, often marked by large triangles on the track. Runners who fail to reach this zone or drop the baton are disqualified. Some races only allow a single false start for a runner; other races are more lenient. Using cones, chairs or large water bottles to mark the starting, ending and turning points of a relay can be helpful to prevent confusion amongst players.

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