This version of the relay rules was approved by the juvenile committee in May 2023
When are relay team events and how many athletes are on a Team or Squad:
- Relay Team events are held at both Indoor and Outdoor competitions. The Indoor competitions normally run from January to April and consist of Galway, Connacht and National championships. The Outdoor competitions also consist of Galway, Connacht and National championships and normally take place between May and July. A Relay Squad consists of 6 athletes, out of which 4 will be selected to run the race, plus 2 substitutes to step in if and when required.
Who is eligible for Relay Team selection:
2. All children that are members or have applied for Club membership on or before 15 February annually are eligible to represent the Club in the Indoor relay events.
3. All children that are members or have applied for Club membership on or before 31 May annually are eligible to represent the Club in the Outdoor relay events.
Who will select and supervise teams:
4. The Coach Co-ordinator will oversee the selection process. In the event of disagreement, the Coach Co-Ordinator will have the final decision. The Coach Co-Ordinator will appoint 3 Relay Lead Coaches.
5. The 3 Relay Lead Coaches will Lead the relay teams in the Under 9-12, U13-14 and U15-19 age categories. The 3 Relay Lead Coaches will appoint a Coach (or 2 if possible) to act as Team Managers for each individual Relay Team. They will also agree and ratify Relay team selection with each Team Manager.
6. The Team Manager will be responsible for training and managing the team format. They will
a. Advise the athlete of their team/squad.
b. Ensure every team member attends relay training. Training will take place well in advance of competition to allow teams to get familiar with relay zones and baton changing in order to become proficient in the skills required.
c. Advise all Squad members to be present on the day of competition.
d. Together with the Relay Lead Coach, will decide on who will run on the team and who will be a substitute. They will finalise this prior to competition day and advise each athlete. Changes may be made on the day of competition due to absence, illness or injury. Any such change will be made and communicated by the Team Manager. On the day of competition, the final decision on all team matters will rest with the Lead Relay Coach and Team Manager.
e. The Team Manager, together with the Club Secretary, will ensure all Athletes and Parents /Guardians are notified in advance of competition details, giving the date and time and requesting confirmation that athletes will be in attendance at the event.
f. The Team Managers must be available on the day of competition to look after the team or must have assigned another Coach prior to competition day.
7. Parents, Guardians, Athletes or other third parties will have no input into any relay team decisions. Any attempt to influence such decisions will be a disciplinary matter.
What is the Selection Process and Rules and what are Run-Offs:
8. The main consideration of Coaches in selecting a team/ squad will be the result of the Run-off. The Coach may also consider application and attendance at general training/ relay training and experience. In all cases, the final selection of the Team/ Squad will be agreed by both the Relay Lead Coach and the Team Manager. However, should a Coach wish to select a member for the team/squad who has not qualified through the run-off result, the decision must be ratified and recorded by the Coach Co-ordinator. The Team Manager will then communicate the decision to everyone within 48 hours of the final run-off.
9. Run Offs:
a. A Run-off is a race between members who wish to take part in a Relay Team / Squad. Where more than 6 members wish to be part of the Squad, a Run-off takes place to determine which are the fastest over the race distance. Coaches may hold more than one run-off if required, but additional run-offs should only occur where athletes are injured or cannot attend the initial run-offs with good reason. Places, times and names will be recorded.
b. If a second run-off is required, all athletes wishing to win a place on the team must participate (time trials for individuals are not allowed).
c. The time and date of run-offs will be agreed with coaches within the various groups. All Parents/ Guardians will be notified by email of the date and time.
d. The Coach Co-Ordinator (or their appointed substitute) will oversee all run-offs.
e. Coaches will step away from the Run-off and selection process when the process involves their own children. Then Coaches from different age groups will act as starter, time-keeper and finishing judges. Once selection is completed, the Coach will step back into their allocated team role.
10. The make-up of teams/squads may change between competitions within a season, and selection will be made separately for the Indoor and Outdoor seasons.
11. Where the Club is entering a B team, the A team substitutes will be allowed to run in the B team, if not required to run for the A team. They cannot run for both.
12. Step-ups for U9-U11s at indoors are not allowed. For older age groups, step-ups are only allowed when the younger athlete is part of the running team (so one of the fastest four). Where a 5th or 6th person is required to simply fill a squad, it cannot be a younger athlete (a step-up). It must be the next fastest from that age group based on the run-off result.
13. If an athlete, parent or guardian considers that the athlete has been unfairly treated in respect of team selection, they should report the issue to the Coach Co-ordinator within 48 hours of the team/squad decision. The Coach Co-ordinator will investigate and make a final decision and advise all parties, including the Club Committee.