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Dead-heat procedures announced

Dead-heat procedures announced

Dead-heat procedures announced

USA Track & Field and the United States Olympic Committee announce the following procedures, to be applied to the women’s 100 meters and any other running event for which there may be a dead heat for third place at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Track & Field.

These procedures were developed through consultation between USATF officials and representatives of the Olympic track & field athlete community, and were presented to and approved by the USOC. USATF President and Chairman Stephanie Hightower, CEO Max Siegel, USOC CEO Scott Blackmun and Sport Performance officials from both organizations contributed to the formation and approval of these procedures.

The USOC approves all selection procedures for the Olympic Team in each sport and had previously approved track & field selection procedures entering the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials. Those procedures did not take into account a third-place dead heat.
The affected athletes and/or their representatives have been informed of these procedures. USATF will provide an update when the final means of determining which athlete will fill the third spot on the Olympic Team in the women’s 100 meters has been established.

*             *             *

In case of a tie, the following procedure shall be used for breaking a tie for the final qualifying slot in a running-event final in which a U.S. National Team or Olympic Team is being selected:

  1. If either athlete declines his or her position on the National Team/Olympic Team, that athlete will be named the alternate and the other athlete will assume the final available position.
  1. If neither athlete declines their position, they will be given the option to determine the tie-breaker via coin toss or by run-off.
    1. If both athletes choose the same option, that option will be utilized as the tie-breaker.
    2. If the athletes disagree on the tie-breaker, the tie will be broken by a run-off.
    3. If both athletes refuse to declare a preference regarding the method between a run off and coin toss in regards to how the tie is broken, the tie will be broken by coin toss.

Run-Off Protocol

USATF’s Chief of Sport Performance, in consultation with the athletes and their coaches, will determine the time of the run-off depending on entry deadlines, travel, practice and competition schedules, and the best interests of the National Team/Olympic Team.

If the run-off also results in a dead heat, the tie will be broken by a coin toss.

Coin Toss Protocol

USATF shall provide a United States Quarter Dollar coin with the image of George Washington appearing on the obverse hub of the coin and an Eagle appearing on the reverse hub of the coin.  Each athlete shall inspect the coin to ensure the obverse and reverse hubs of the coin reflect the images of George Washington and the Eagle, respectively.

The athlete with the highest world ranking according to the IAAF rankings as of 8 am PST on the date of the coin toss shall declare his or her choice of “heads” for the obverse hub or “tails” for the reverse hub.  If the athlete with the highest world ranking chooses not to declare his or her choice, that athlete shall be assigned the choice of heads for the obverse hub of the coin. The other athlete shall be designated, by default, the choice either: 1. Not chosen by the highest-ranking athlete or 2. Tails should the highest-ranking athlete choose not to declare his or her choice.

The choices shall be confirmed by a representative chosen by USATF.   Once the choices have been made and confirmed by the USATF representative, each athlete shall face each other and the USATF representative shall bend his or her index finger at a 90 degree angle to his or her thumb, allowing the coin to rest on his or her thumb. In one single action, the USATF representative shall toss the coin into the air, allowing the coin to fall to the ground.

Once the coin has fallen to the ground, the USATF representative shall, without touching or lifting the coin, view the coin and determine whether the coin has landed on the obverse or reverse hub.  In the event that the coin does not fall completely on either the obverse or reverse hub, the USATF representative shall repeat the toss process as described above.

The athlete who chose the hub that is displayed shall be declared the winner by the USATF representative.

In the event either or both athlete refuses to participate in the coin toss, the USATF representative shall assign the athlete with the highest world ranking “heads” and the other athlete “tails” and shall toss the coin in the presence of at least two witnesses and declare the winner pursuant to the procedure set forth above.


  1. Women’s 100 meter tiebreaker update
    USA Track & Field has consulted with the affected athletes and their support teams regarding the tiebreaker for the women’s 100 meters. USATF will finalize the tiebreaker mechanism to be used after reconvening with the athletes and their coach following Saturday night’s final of the women’s 200 meters. USATF will announce the final tiebreaker Saturday evening or Sunday morning.


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