USATF Youth Age Group Divisions
The athlete will participate in the age group determined by the athlete’s age as of December 31 of the current year. See the USATF web site for the youth age group divisions.
In preparation for the USA Track & Field Junior Olympic competition we compete with other local clubs in developmental, or practice, meets.
The clubs who host these meets are youth track clubs just like ours. These meets are run by parent volunteers from the host club (with help from other teams as needed.)
The purpose of these meets is to give our athletes competitive experience in a relaxed environment.
We participate in developmental meets for both track & field and cross country.
You can view the practice and meet schedule here.
Additional information parents need to know to prepare for the day of the meet.
Some facts about developmental meets
All abilities are welcome, from beginners to advanced.
Participation in developmental meets is encouraged but not required. We have many athletes who participate in as many meets as possible.
Use your Meet Entry URL to indicate the events in which your athlete will participate.
Cross Country Meets
Normally, about 30 minutes is allotted for each race.
This makes scheduling, i.e. "when do I run?", very simple.
The number of athletes per race depends on the meet. It can be as few as 40, or as large as 400.
USATF cross country meets
The event distance is based on age division
2K - 8 & under
3K - 9-10 and 11-12
4K - 13-14
5K - 15-16, 17-18 (though, for our developmental meets, they usually run 4K)
The events are run for the youngest age division to the oldest, girls first, then boys.
8 & under girls
8 & under boys
These are typically middle school meets that allow clubs (i.e. non-school teams) to participate
Normally, 6th - 8th grade athletes compete
The distances are typically 3000m, 3200m or 2-miles. It depends.
Typically, the girls run first, then the boys.
How the meets are run - the volunteer's guide [Download] [View]
Each meet has Competitor EVENT LIMITS (for example, 2 Field Events, 2 Relays and 3 Running Events). The event limits differ for each meet and will be described on the meet entry page.
With the exception of the 3000m run, we cannot tell you when a particular running event will start. The "pace" of the meet depends on the number of athletes competing, the number of heats required, and the ability of the meet hosts to keep things running quickly.
The meets are on Saturdays and typically begin around 8:00 am and end around 2:00 pm. The only guaranteed starting time is the first event; from that point forward, the events follow a rolling schedule. Here is an example time frame and should not be used as an absolute schedule:
3000m run - start time 8:30 am
USATF Rule 301 - Only athletes in the 11-12 age division (and older) are eligible for the 3000m run.
80m hurdles (11-12 G/B)
100m hurdles (13-14 B & 13-18 G)
110m hurdles (15-18 B)
9:30 am 4x100m relay
10:00 am 1500m run
10:55 am 400m dash
11:35 am 100m dash
12:10 pm 800m run
12:35 pm 200m dash
1:20 pm 4x400m relay
Full size javelin (ages 13+) 8:00 am
Shot put, Mini-javelin (ages 12 & under), long jump, high jump begin at 8:30 am and will be open to all athletes on a first come, first serve basis
Meet announcers will give a first call, second call, and final call for each event. Prior to the first call, athletes should start their warm-up. Between the first and second call the athletes need to go to the check-in table and check-in for the event. Between the 2nd and final call they need to report to the staging area on the infield. Athletes should have time to put on their spikes and do their final warm-up sprints during this time.
Most of the coaches will be on the field, monitoring the athletes as they prepare, race and finish their events.
Though parents are not allowed on the field, we ask that they help get the athletes to their events by listening for the announcements.
Running events take precedence over field events. Athletes can check in at their field event and then tell the volunteer official that they need to leave for their running event. The field event official should allow this, but be sure to let them know.
The meet will last well into the afternoon. The 3000m should take about 25 minutes to run. The 4x100m is another lengthy event as there are a large number of participants and it takes some time to setup for each heat.
Event heats are run in order of Age Division and Gender:
8 & under - Girls, then 8 & under - Boys
9 - 10 - Girls, then 9 - 10 - Boys
The coaches can guide the athletes and help them choose the events to participate in, but it is the athlete's (and parent's) decision as to what they want to compete in. The athletes can try multiple field events and running events. The purpose of the developmental meet is to give the athlete experience in competing in a particular event.