first_imgNo one questions a football or basketball coach putting substitutes into a game.  It is a regular practice.  Think what these games would be like if you had to designate before the game only an exact number of players you were going to use–like 11 in football or 5 in basketball.  That is the rule in track.  You may list alternates in each event for a meet, but you must designate before the meet begins who will run in that event.  After the meet starts, you may not substitute–even if one of your runners gets hurt.  You are allowed to list more than 4 for a relay.The Track and Field Association has tried for years to get this rule rescinded.  The IHSAA always replies that it would be too confusing during the meet and would prolong the time it would take to complete the meet.  Track coaches know that this is not the case with the technology that is available today.  The meet timing system can replace a name on its sheet in the time it takes for the operator to type in the name.  This is no time at all.last_img

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