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Track and Field Meets

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Track and field meets are competitions between two or more teams in which highly skilled and trained athletes compete in running, jumping, and throwing challenges to determine which team will be declared the winner. They range from small scale competitions between two middle school club teams to professional level competitions between the best athletes in the country. Most track and field meets follow a similar structure across all locations and at all skill levels.

Before the Track and Field Meet Begins

Almost all athletes arrive well before the track and field meet begins in order to adequately prepare for the competition. Often athletes must check in, either with their coaches or with an official, before they begin to prepare for the competition. Then athletes may prepare by putting on their uniform, eating, using the restroom, or anything else they might need to do. Athletes are allowed to take advantage of nearby facilities to warm up and complete drills so long as they abide to standard track and field etiquette. The officials and volunteers that will help administer the track and field meet must arrive early so they can make sure that everything is going according to plan.

Track Events

In order to notify athletes of upcoming events and their relatively scheduled times, an official will announce warnings to the entire track using something like a bullhorn or the sound system of a stadium. A 400m athlete should be listening for an official to announce something along the lines of "first call girl's 400 meter dash" indicating that her race will begin soon. Usually an official will announce three calls to warn athletes of the times of events. By the third call, athletes should be very close to where their race will start if not already on the starting line. Then the athlete competes in the race. While officials record the results of a short distance event, athletes must stay in their lanes, but while officials record the results of a middle or long distance event, athletes must form a line off the track from first place to last place.

Field Events

Field events are handled a little differently than track events. Field events have their own standard order, though an official will still announce their relatively scheduled times to the entire track. Athletes have three attempts for almost all field events. The best attempt of each athlete is recorded as their final score. However, field events such as high jump and pole vault have a starting height; each athlete has three attempts to surpass the said height or else they are eliminated. After all athletes have gone, the height is increased slightly and the athletes attempt to surpass it three more times. This is repeated until only one athlete remains and is declared the winner.

Standard Order of Track and Field Events:

Standard Order of Outdoor Track Events:

  • 1. 4x800m relay
  • 2. 110m high hurdles
  • 3. 100m
  • 4. 4x200m relay
  • 5. 1600m
  • 6. 4x100m relay
  • 7. 400m
  • 8. 300m intermediate/low hurdles
  • 9. 800m
  • 10. 200m
  • 11. 3200m
  • 12. 4x400m relay


  • Standard Order of Outdoor Field Events:

  • 1. Discuss throw
  • 2. High jump
  • 3. Javelin throw
  • 4. Long jump
  • 5. Pole vault
  • 6. Shot put
  • 7. Triple jump


  • Standard Order of Indoor Track Events:

  • 1. 4x800m relay
  • 2. 55m high hurdles
  • 3. 55m
  • 4. 4x200m relay
  • 5. 1600m
  • 6. 400m
  • 7. 55m low hurdles
  • 8. 800m
  • 9. 300m
  • 10. 3200m
  • 11. 4x400m relay


  • Standard Order of Indoor Field Events:

  • 1. High jump
  • 2. Long jump
  • 3. Pole vault
  • 4. Shot put
  • 5. Triple Jump


  • Traditionally women compete before men, meaning the standard order of outdoor track events is women's 4x800m relay, men's 4x800m relay, women's 110m high hurdles, and so on and so forth. However, the order of field events is reversed for men in comparison to women. For example, during an indoor meet, the women's high jump will be held near the beginning of the meet while the men's high jump will be held near the end of the meet.

    After the Track and Field Meet Ends

    After the track and field meet ends or after athletes have competed in all of their scheduled events, they may use the nearby facilities to cool down and complete drills just like when before the track and field meet began. Depending on the scale and size of the track and field meet, an award ceremony may be held after all of the times, lengths, and heights have been finalized and winners determined.



    Running Events
    Jumping Events
    Throwing Events
    Track and Field Meets
    IAAF
    Track and Field Glossary and Terms

    Athletes
    Jesse Owens
    Jackie Joyner-Kersee
    Usain Bolt
    Carl Lewis
    Kenenisa Bekele






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