Definition of Pass the Baton

What does the term "pass the baton" mean? What is meant by the term "pass the baton"?

If you are running a relay race in track and field (something like the 4x400 metre), a "baton" is passed from one runner to another.

The King explains the meaning of the term Pass the Baton when it comes to sports such as the relay race in track and field.  In photo:  Female runners doing the switch.This "baton" is a piece of metal that is required to be passed from one member of a team to another. This ensures that runners don't cheat by getting off to an early start, as they can't start their leg of the 400 metres until they receive the baton.

"Passing the baton" in regular life refers to when one person passes something to another.

For instance, let's say that a CEO of a company is planning on retiring, and they hand-pick their replacement.

The retiring CEO is said to be "passing the baton" onto his replacement, as he is passing his job to somebody else.

Another example - a teacher is retiring and they also coach the school basketball team. Their assistant coach will be taking over the head coaching duties after the retirement. The retiring teacher would be said to be "passing the baton" onto their assistant coach.