Rules of Athletics | How it is Played?

Basically it is a combination of different sports but each of these competitions involve great levels of athleticism and physical fitness. Athletics involves chores like running, throwing, walking or jumping. The roots of the events are prehistoric, it is believed that these games were popular among ancient communities and various events were held for the sake of entertainment in which these games were played.

Rules of Athletics

By no means, this is just a random or an ordinary sport. If it had been, it wouldn’t have been part of the Olympics. In the Olympics, each of these games are played in exclusive competitions and each of the athletes from respective countries show their jumping, throwing and running skills.

Object of Playing Athletics

The Objective of these games is very simple, prove yourself a better athlete than your competitors. If you are a jumper, show your skills by jumping higher with perfection. If you are a runner, beat each of your competitors to become the best. If you are a thrower, throw the given object as far as possible. In this way, the best of the best are chosen.

How to Play?

Athletics is a combination of different sports including jumping, running and throwing which are considered an important part of the Olympics. The common thing about each of these sports is they require physical strength, stamina and agility. You have to comply with the rules of each sport, which are often modified after a certain passage of time. In general, the best performer wins the gold medal, second and third best players get silver and bronze medals respectively.

The winning criteria, equipment required and playing field of these sports is discussed below.

General Rules of the Game

Each of these games have separate sets of rules, however, they are very simple. All you have to do is to perform the given task cleanly, with no unfair advantage. Athletes usually compete against each other in the same weight category.

List of Athletics Games

Modern day athletics include following sports:

  • 100 metre race
  • 200 metre race
  • 400 metre race
  • 800 metre race
  • 1500 metre race
  • 5000 metre race
  • 10,000 metres race
  • 100 metre hurdles
  • 400 metre hurdles
  • 4 by 100 metres relay
  • 4 by 400 metres relay
  • High jump
  • Pole jump
  • Hammer throw
  • Discus throw

And these are just a few. You’ll find many other similar sports in which players are supposed to show their running skills, strength and aim. These sports are equally popular among females and separate competitions are held for females where they compete against the same gender opponents from other countries.

Time Duration of Athletics

There is no specific time limit, however, an individual generally completes his turn in this sport in less than 3-4 minutes. Or sometimes, even 1-minute is enough to throw the ball or jump.

Playing Equipment

The equipment required for each game varies from one to another. Mostly, these equipment are running shoes and typical athletes’ dress which athletes wear during the Olympics.

Playing Field

These playing fields are mostly free of measurements and some of the sports included in this category are played in open grounds.


There are a total of 3 winners, the first one gets a gold medal, the second gets a silver medal while the third one gets a bronze medal. In the Olympics, a combined number of gold, silver and bronze medals won by a single country hold cardinal importance. The country with the best athletes ends up winning 100 or more medals in the Olympics.


In some sports, the winner is usually unambiguous as it becomes evident who finished the race first or who threw the farther. But in some sports, judges are required to sit and watch the game and give points to all athletes. Later, based on these scores, top 3 participants are given gold, silver and bronze medals

Famous Athletics Events

Olympics is not the only event where these games are played, but in local competitions organized by sports federations in their respective countries, these sports are included to promote athleticism and encourage players to improve their fitness and running skills.

Governing Body

Most of these sports don’t have a separate governing body but they fall under different federations who sanction the games. Moreover, when countries participate in the Olympics, all these sports are managed and the best athletes are chosen by dedicated bodies in their respective countries.