The Royaltv01 of relays involves four sprinters running one lap of the track and then handing off to their teammates. The team that completes the race with the fastest time wins. The athletes running a leg have to be fast and efficient, but the most important factor is a smooth and precise handoff. Coaches spend a lot of time on improving the handoffs since it can be the difference between winning and losing.
The first leg is often called the “Lead-off Leg.” This runner must be very quick to accelerate and get ahead of other competitors, but he or she also needs to be able to hold that speed through the curve. The final runner on the team, known as the “Anchor,” is usually not a sprinter at all, but instead a great curve runner.
The Social Impact of Sports Relays: Building Communities through Athletics
Before the start of the race, each team draws a number for a lane and then assembles its runners. In some events, such as the 4 x 100 m and 4 x 400 m relays, there are starting blocks to help the sprinters jump out quickly.
The incoming runner must run at full speed to catch the outgoing sprinter and then hand the baton off within a defined exchange zone, which is situated 10 metres before and after the starting line for each leg of the race. A drop of the baton can disqualify the entire team. The incoming runner typically makes a verbal signal to the outgoing sprinter to indicate when they are nearing the exchange zone.