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False start

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A false start, in competitive sport, occurs when a competitor starts early, or breaks from the accepted starting stance or position in advance of the starter's gun or whistle. This is also known as jumping the gun or to jump the gun. Penalties for a false start can be as severe as instant disqualification in some sports, (such as swimming) or the athlete can be given a warning. Currently, in track, the first false-starter is given a warning, while the second person to "jump the gun" is disqualified on the spot. This has led to charges of unfairness. In English, to "jump the gun" has come to mean starting rashly or precipitously in any endeavour.

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