USA Track & Field


USA Track & Field

USA Track & Field (USATF) is the national governing body for the sport of track and field (or 'athletics') in the United States. The USATF was known for a number of years as The Athletics Congress (TAC) after its spin off from the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU), which governed the sport in the US through most of the 20th century.

Based in Indianapolis, Indiana, USATF is a non-profit organization with a membership of nearly 100,000. The organization is led by an elected President [http://www.usatf.org/about/leadership/Roe_Bill.asp Bill Roe] and full time Executive Director/CEO. USA Track & Field is involved in many aspects of the sport at the local, national, and international level - coaching education, sports science and athlete development, youth programs, masters (age 40+) competition, the National Track & Field Hall of Fame, and an annual meeting.

History

On January 30, 1878, in the city of New York, rower and runner William B. Curtis founded what officially became, in 1887, the American Athletics Union. The AAU governed the sport of track and field in the United States until 1979, when the first Amateur Sports Act of 1978 decreed that the AAU could no longer hold international franchises for more than one sport. The enactment of the Amateur Sports Act was prompted by lobbying by amateur athletes, particularly runners, who felt that the AAU imposed artificial rules preventing wide-spread participation in sports.

The Athletics Congress (TAC) emerged from the AAU in late 1979, when its first annual meeting was conducted in Las Vegas, Nevada, in conjunction with the annual AAU Convention. A constitutional convention subsequently held in Dallas/Fort Worth in 1980.

In 1992, TAC changed its name to USA Track & Field (USATF) to increase recognition for the organization and for the sport in the United States.

Affiliations

USA Track & Field is the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) member federation in the United States. USATF is a member of the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and selects teams for Olympic and Pan American Games competitions. USATF also has membership in, or close affiliations with, the NCAA, the National Federation of State High School Associations, the Road Runners Club of America (RRCA), Running USA, and many community-based and disabled sports organizations.

USA Track & Field is a Founding Sports Partner of the Sports Museum of America, joining more than 50 other single-sport Halls of Fame, National Governing Bodies, Museums and other organizations across North America to richly celebrate the history, grandeur and significance of sports in American culture. Set to open in New York City on May 7, 2008, the Sports Museum of America will showcase both USA Track & Field and the National Track & Field Hall of Fame in its Hall of Halls Gallery (along with providing an annual donation) in return for sharing some of the hall of fame's valuable artifacts and their support of the creation of the Nation's first all-sports museum experience.

Competitors

Many of the nearly 100,000 Americans members of USATF participate in athletics competitions through one of the thousands of clubs established in all 50 states. 57 Associations oversee the sport at the local level. While most of these members participate as athletes, coaches, officials and supporters of athletics at the grass roots level, a select few of our members reach the “world class” level and represent the USA all over the world – setting records and winning medals.

During the 1980s and 1990s, USATF encouraged major marathons to require USATF membership as a prerequisite to entering those races. However, after all marathons dropped this requirement for non-elite runners. As a result, the adult membership in USATF dropped dramatically in the 2000s. In some USATF associations, the number of youth members far exceed the number of adult members.

Championship series

In 1999, the USATF established the Golden Spike Tour --now the Visa Championship Series (VCS)-- to showcase track and field in America and to facilitate the broadcast of key events on national television networks. Using innovative meet formats, the VCS helps repackage the sport, draws new fans and new sponsors, and provides increased financial incentives for USATF athletes. The VCS fills indoor arenas and outdoor stadiums across the country. Athletes compete for prize money at each meet, and the top athletes share in a bonus pool of $100,000.run

External links

* [http://www.usatf.org/ USA Track & Field] official website


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