Preliminary design and testing of a Running Starting Block

Document Type : Original research papers


1 Ferdowsi University of Mashhad

2 University of Mohaghegh Ardabili


Our objective was designing and producing a mechanical starting block and then compare the results with routine starting block in sprinting. A 2D sketch was designed using SOLIDWORKS Software. The body of the starting block with dimensions of 75×22×7 cm was developed with iron alloys during two stages. Starting block pedals were designed and manufactured with dimensions of 20×12 cm. Each pedal was connected to the starting block body using a 10 cm sliding connector to have the ability to change the horizontal distance between the pedals. The results from the first sample indicated that the board had not sufficient strength during sprinting start. In the second design, inclinable pedals in selectable 30, 45, and 65 degrees fabricated with 6 mm metal plate. Twelve replaceable nails for Tartan surface mounted on the front and end nail-holder plates. In order to evaluate the starting block, 20 athletics with mean age, height, weight and history of exercise  (21.6 ± 2.3 year, 178.1 ± 5.2 cm, 68.7 ± 6.1 kg, and 5.2 ± 0.8 year, respectively) evaluated their sprinting performance under supervision of two referees and five coaches using a questionnaire. By changing the design and new product, the second prototype was evaluated. The final sample indicated that the boards and pedals had sufficient strength and robustness. The level of satisfaction of runners, coaches and referees were significantly different from the traditional starting block (p<0.05). The Test-Retest Reliability test using the Pearson Correlation Coefficient computed from responses to the questionnaires shown perfect correlated (r = 0.83, P < 0.0001). According to the results, the final starting block had sufficient robustness and is suitable for using in the research and official competitions.


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