Sports Relays For Kids

Sports Relays are a great team sport and offer a variety of skills to develop. These include handoffs, running in lanes, and navigating curves. Handoffs are the most critical part of the relay and require concentration. The team with the cleanest handoff will win. Modified relays such as number, letter, or word-calling are also fun and teach the kids to be alert when their name is called. Source

Relays begin with the runner in the lead leg, and then four other runners in a designated lane run one or more legs of the race. The runners must transfer the baton (a hollow cylinder of wood or plastic) from one teammate to another within a certain distance from the starting line, called the exchange zone. A changeover that occurs outside the exchange zone can disqualify the entire team.

Anatomy of a Winning Team: The Secrets of Successful Sports Relays

The outgoing runner may start accelerating before entering the exchange zone, and when he/she is near enough to the incoming runner, he/she must open his/her arm behind them to grasp the baton. Runners will usually give an auditory cue, such as “stick!”, when they are close to making the pass.

Generally, teams put their second-fastest runner in the first position, followed by their third fastest, then their slowest and lastly their fastest (anchor) runner. This allows them to cover the most ground, but some teams choose to switch the order to take advantage of a specific runner’s skills. For example, a runner with the best start in the blocks is often moved to the second leg.

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