Long Jump: Basics
Before we move onto all the technicalities and formal rules of long jump, here are some long jump basics to get you started. As you all know, the long jump is a sport in which (as the name suggests), the athlete who jumps the longest by legal means, wins. Basically, this is all that the sport is about. The athlete begins running from his or her starting position and after attaining sufficient velocity, jumps, landing in a sand pit, which is fitted with distance markers. There is a foul line, in the run-up area, that the athlete has to be aware of; jumping from beyond this line results in a 'foul jump'. Jumpers try to get as close to the foul line as legally possible before initiating their jump. This entire process is governed by a certain set of rules. Let us see what they are.
Rules and Regulations
*No part of the athlete's foot should cross the front edge of the foul line. If, at the point of take-off, any part of his foot (even the toe edge of his shoe) crosses the front edge of the foul line, then the jump is termed to be illegal or a 'foul jump', and does not count.
*Typically, in International track and field events, a long jumper has three attempts to register his or her best legal jump. A foul jump accounts for an attempt, but the time isn't registered. Only the farthest legal jump counts.
*The distance, or the 'jump' is measured from the front edge of the foul line to the first landing point of the athlete. To better understand this, consider an athlete taking off legally from the foul line and landing on his feet 15 ft from the foul line. However, if, while landing, his hands touch the ground before his legs and a foot behind his farthest landing point, he would be awarded a jump of 14 ft, since the hands are nearer to the foul line than the feet and are the first point of contact.
*Similarly, even if the athlete takes off from behind the foul line, the starting point is still considered to be the front edge of the foul line, rather than the athlete's actual point of take off.
*Somersaults are not permitted during the jump.
*The maximum allowed thickness for a long jumper's shoe sole is 13 mm.
*Records made with the assistance of a tailwind of more than 2 m/s are not considered.
However, the time is registered in the ongoing competition, since all the athletes benefit from the same wind conditions.