Race walking is a progression of steps so taken that the walker makes contact with the ground, so that no visible (to the human eye) loss of contact occurs. The advancing leg must be straightened (i.e. not bent at the knee) from the moment of first contact with the ground until the vertical upright position. This is the international rule of walking. It simply means: The walker must never have both feet off the ground at the same time (CONTACT).


The front leg must be straight from the first moment of contact with the ground until directly under the body (KNEES).
These are the only two rules for which an athlete may receive a report (RED CARD).


The term REPORT means one or both of the rules have been broken. The term CAUTION means a warning, the rules haven’t been broken yet, but by continuing in that manner they most probably will be.


An athlete may safely receive two CAUTIONS from every judge, one for contact and one for knees, but if three REPORTS (RED CARDS) are received, from three separate judges the athlete will be disqualified. A judge shall not REPORT an athlete more than once in an event.


A Judge’s CAUTION shall be given by displaying a yellow and black indicator board with the symbol of the offence (a caution is given only once per possible infringement). However once a Judge has REPORTED an athlete for an infringement no further caution or report can be made for that athlete by the same Judge.


Cautions ARE PERMITTED in the last lap of an event. Cautions have no bearing on disqualification. An athlete can be given a caution and report at the same time.