- | sportmuseum
Early Anniversary - IAAF is celebrating its 100th birthday, but it was first founded in 2013 in Berlin - Gerd Steins
The international athletics association IAAF has been extravagantly celebrating its purported 100th birthday with invitation-only parties since the Olympic Games in 2012 in London.
The general public was also invited to share in the early celebration through an extensive trilingual exhibition in the Barcelona Sports Museum (13 Oct to 25 Nov 2012), which, however, was almost more like a book on the wall than a museum exhibit. In 2012, the Berlin Sports Museum was able to acquire a rare copy of the German publication of the protocol and regulations recorded at the IAAF conference in Berlin from 20-23 August 1913. In this document, it is clear that the IAAF was founded in Berlin in August 1913, and it was there that its main regulations were determined (see image in section 9).
The same information can be found in the English edition, which is available online as a PDF from the Library of Congress (http://www.archive.org/details/minutesproposedr00inte.
While on the one hand the celebration of the founding of the IAAF was taking place one year too early, another important anniversary in the development of rules and regulations went unnoticed: At the 1912 Olympic Games in Stockholm, the baton was implemented for the first time for the relay races, with a 20m area designated for the exchange.
Since the establishment of relay races/messenger races simultaneously in the USA and Germany around 1895, the exchange took place through a tap on the shoulder or by passing a piece of cloth on to the next relay runner.
Around 1897 in Germany, small flags were first seen being used in the relays (see the brochure on messenger races); the flag was replaced at the latest at the first major "Potsdam-Berlin" relay race in June 1908, when a wooden baton was passed from runner to runner.
The Swedish organisational committee for the 5th Olympic Games in Stockholm in 1912 created a rule in spring of 2012: "A cylindrical piece of wood with a 12 cm perimeter will be used for the relay races. This will be passed on within a 20 metre area - 10 metres before or after the starting line for each participant."
Only after the Olympic Games in Stockholm was it suggested to create an international rules and regulations commission, which was then called to life as the IAAF in Berlin in August 1913.
Gerd Steins in "Sport in BERLIN" - December 2012