History of the starting block


Cole Broyhill

The History of the Starting blocks for track and field. Track and Field became a sport in 776 B.C as it was created alongside religious events and celebrations of Greek Gods. The “Starting Block” hadn’t come to be until 1937 but the blocks were being developed in the late 1920’s and before that time runners of 50m, 100m, 200m, and 400m dash would use a trowel to scoop up dirt and place their feet into the divots in the dirt. If you have seen “Race” a story about Jesse Owens one of the greatest runners of all time they have a close up of how they would dig divots into the dirt. The starting blocks have always been a subject of controversy when it came to the term “a fair start” for everyone, then in the late 80’s and early 90’s they had blocks high enough to provide complete foot contact including the heel for one entire foot. This was so the runner could have enough power in their start to where they could be in the lead and to win the race. Most blocks if not all have a setting to where you could put up the platform up or down to where you feel comfortable enough to have a good start. The greatest runner of all time Usian Bolt would set his blocks up by rising the platform about 1 inch above the ground. If you believe in having your heel exposed for the stretch reflex then rising on your blocks will allow this but also having big feet helps as well. How to set up your blocks it’s quite simple really but let’s start from the beginning. If you don’t know what foot to place first, stand in front of your blocks and have someone push you the foot that didn’t move would be your starting or push off foot then your other foot would be right behind it. Now how to set the blocks up: put your heel on the front line of the start line and put your whole foot behind the start line. After that make sure both ends are in the track strong enough so the blocks don’t move. Next put your heel at the start of the block then place the platform underneath your big toe then you would want to do the same thing but heel-to-toe and place the platform underneath your big toe. Now your blocks are set up. Now how to get into your block there are multiple ways you could do it but I like to back into the blocks, by doing that you get on all fours and back in with the back leg going into the blocks first then the push foot. When you get down make sure no body part expert your shoulders and head can only be across the start line not your fingers, hands or knees and have your thumb the index finger facing down your lane and make sure your arms and straight and locked then lean forward to were there is enough pressure on your fingers.