Remaining 2020 Competitions are Cancelled

After further careful consideration, and in the interests of the health and safety of all involved, the organizing committee of the Running Room Indoor Games has made the decision to cancel the remaining (Saturday) competitions of the 2020 edition (which you may recall were postponed on March 12 to Saturday, May 30, 2020).

This cancellation of the remainder of this year's 42nd Annual Running Room Indoor Games will be a disappointment, not least for your students who were excitedly anticipating their continued involvement and sharing their achievements with their families and friends. However, as important as your teams' time, energy, and efforts in preparation for this event are and have been, we believe that -- in the current health situation (COVID-19) -- cancellation is the most responsible and appropriate decision. Among the considerations:

- Due to current provincial and civic orders and restrictions (e.g.: limitations to groups not exceeding fifteen people; two-metre physical distancing; prohibition on accessing public recreation facilities), it is not viable for your relay teams to train/prepare together for their next round. (For the benefit of your athletes and their parents/guardians, references are included below.)

- As per the World Health Organization (WHO), "...there is no specific medicine recommended to prevent or treat the new coronavirus...". There is no vaccine for COVID-19 (and there might not be for quite some time).

- The optimistic modelling projection by the Government of Alberta has the "Probable" infections peak occurring in mid-May, with infections continuing well past June. As Dr. Theresa Tam has been advocating since mid-March, we must all do what we can to "Plank the curve..." (and to continue to do so, for the benefit of each of us and for each of those we know).

- Alberta does not yet have the capacity to test everyone (and the rate of "false negative" for presymptomatic individuals is significant (nearly a third)) nor to test individuals on an ongoing basis (a "negative" today does not mean the person will be "negative" in two days). There is not yet a test for the antibodies (i.e.: to confirm whether the person had (and recovered from) a COVID-19 infection).

- The WHO has identified familial clusters of infection involving children having only one or two mild symptoms and not realizing they were sick. (This is separate from the health/medical concerns regarding adult asymptomatic transmission of COVID-19.)

- As you may be aware, the Universiade Pavilion (a.k.a.: The Butterdome, our competition facility) has been converted into a COVID-19 clinic and test site, and (therefore) is unavailable for other purposes until further notice.

Information regarding the 2021 (43rd Annual) edition of the Running Room Indoor Games will be posted by mid-December, 2020 after the organizing committee has confirmed key points regarding the operational side of the meet.. We are all looking forward to to seeing you and your enthusiastic athletes in ten months. If you have questions or concerns, please send them via electronic mail to [email protected] .

Irv Barros, Meet Director


- World Health Organization: Myth Busters and COVID-19 Situation Reports (including one noting familial clusters of infection)

- Public Health Agency of Canada: COVID-19 information

- Alberta Health Services: Chief Medical Officer updates

- Government of Alberta

- City of Edmonton

- Modelling Projections: Alberta's and overview document; and Canada's and technical briefing document

- Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine

- Our World in Data

- Universiade Pavilion: conversion into a referral-only COVID-19 clinic and test site

Track Rules and Technical Specifications

To assist you with the preparation of your athletes and teams, please review the rules that will be in effect during the Running Room Indoor Games.

Download a copy of the Track Rules. Click here


Transportation and Parking

Schools, charter bus companies, and organizations must make arrangements directly with Parking Services for staging and parking of buses transporting persons to the University of Alberta, including events at the Van Vliet Centre and the Pavilion (Butterdome). Please contact Parking Services in writing, a minimum of 14 days prior to the event day at [email protected] to arrange a specific location for parking. Parking Services will advise if Jubilee is available and if it is not, will suggest an alternate location. Be aware that there is a limited number of Bus parking stalls. Parking services can arrange for additional areas if needed, but they will not be conveniently located in regards to the Butterdome. Written requests may also be sent to Room 1-051 Lister Centre, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2H6.

Please allow yourself a little extra time to ensure you still arrive on time. Remember the LRT travels to the U of A campus near the Butterdome (see

  Download a copy of the school bus drop locations and traffic flow. Click Here


Event Day Reminders

If you arrive extra-early, please keep your athletes off the track and away from the infield, the back of the track, and the marshalling area. (Your athletes will be invited to the marshalling area when it is safe to proceed. Until then, please keep your athletes in the seating areas.)

Identify in advance an area of the Butterdome (e.g.: middle section, upper bleachers, under your school banner) where you can tell parents to meet your school. Remember there can be up to 6000 kids at the pavilion at one time!

It is to your team’s advantage to have all runners wearing similarly-coloured tops. This makes it easier for the marshals to identify runners for placement on the track. Sets of Indoor Games pinnies are available for use by teams without matching tops.

Athletes should refrain from using washrooms as change rooms; Arrangements have been made to open the pavilion locker rooms. They are located down the east stairs through the lower east pavilion door, and then turn right through the glass doors.

Arrive at least 30 minutes in advance of your competition in order to pick up your registration package and get your students down to the marshalling area.

Track Etiquette

One lap in the Butterdome is 200m. It is a six-lane track. For the first round of elementary relays (February 20 and February 21), eight teams run in each heat (two sets of two teams each share a lane).

During the practice and during the meet, please instruct your athletes to stay off the track, the infield, and the back of the track when they are not running. Athletes should also stay off all high jump and pole vault mattresses. For their own safety, athletes should remain in the bleachers or on the concourse level until they have been directed to the marshalling area.

Two false starts against the same team or individual will result in disqualification.

Video tapes will not be accepted for review of any rule infraction. Our officials are certified by Athletics Alberta.

Relay Coaching Resources

There are various resources regarding coaching relay teams. In no particular order (and keeping in mind that Running Room Indoor Games relay events are 8x200m (except for Teachers Relay)), a few examples include...

-wikiHow provides general notes in a clear manner.
-Nigel Hetherington's Introductory Guide provides some additional considerations.
-RunnerGH notes the mechanics of the relay exchange, as does Coach Up Nation.
-Coaches Corner includes thoughts regarding younger athletes.
-Nebraska Coaches Association has high-level notes about techniques and tactics.
-Speed Endurance's pages on 4x200m and baton passing methods note some historical examples. (If using a visual pass, one approach to consider is for the athlete to receive the baton with the hand they are most comfortable with and to not change hands (reducing the risk of dropping the baton shortly after the exchange, and improving stride efficiency).)