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The persistence of two relay baton-passing techniques - the upsweep and the downsweep - indicates that coaches have found advantages and disadvantages to both.
The upsweep exchange unquestionably offers the receiving runner a more natural hand position. However, it also requires some adjustment of the baton before the next handoff. The upsweep advantage favors three runners (2nd – 4th leg), while the disadvantage affects two (2nd and 3rd leg).
The downsweep exchange requires no baton manipulation. But it does require that the outgoing runner accept the baton with their arm/hand in an unnatural position. The downsweep advantage favors two runners (2nd and 3rd leg), while the disadvantage affects three (2nd – 4th leg).
In the end, it's usually the coach's personal preference that determines which baton exchange method is used.
thanks 4 this tip i really needed it.
Upsweep is clearly superior in my (and those who I speak to who have some experience) opinion. I have just started coaching a kids relay team and the club policy is the downsweep. It is disappointing to have to support such an inferior technique. Upsweep is a far more natural motion for both giver and receiver. It is also far more forgiving in that it allows the giver to adjust the baton far more easily.
there is always the push pass which requires the incomming runner to aim for the outgoing runners elbow and push it on command as the hand will then be on the same plane as the elbow.