The information below is for New Westminster Spartans Track & Field Club members who are new to the club and want a better understanding of track meets.
What is a track meet? A track meet is a 1, 2 or 3-day indoor or outdoor event. Meets are usually at the home venue of the club or school hosting the meet and take place rain or shine. Details about the meet will be posted on the BC Athletics website in advance and we will also send more information to our club athletes.
What is a track event? Any event that takes place on the track surface is a track event. This includes sprints, hurdles, middle distance, distance, relays, horizontal and vertical jumps, race walks and steeplechase.
What is a field event? A field event is any event that takes place off the track but in areas surrounding the track, such as throws and jumps. Events such as javelin, discus, shot put, hammer, long jump, high jump, triple jump, and pole vault are considered field events.
Can I compete in every event? The events for which you are eligible are determined by your age group. Check with your coach.
What is a Personal Best (PB)? A Personal Best is the time, height or distance of your very best performance. It is important to keep a record of all your performances, and especially to know what your PB is for each of your events.
How do I know my performance result? Results will be posted at each meet. Be sure to check your result, and if you have questions, ask your coach. As well, results can be found on the host club website within a day or two of the conclusions of the meet. Keep your best results for each event in your personal statistics. Your results will also be posted on the BC Athletics and Athletics Canada websites under “Ranking.”
What should I think about when signing up for events at a meet? When signing up for events at a meet, check for conflicts. Schedules will be available on the host club website. There are many events occurring at the same time, usually between a track event and a field event so athletes must be aware of the schedule. For example, if 2 field events begin at the same time, the athlete will not be able to do both. In some events, an athlete can go back and forth during field and track competition but it is not always advisable. It’s a good idea to check the schedule carefully BEFORE registering in the meet.
How do I register for a meet? The coaches will select meets that are appropriate for competition and, in discussion with the athletes, will determine events for participation in each meet. Athletes should not over-compete at meets, and coaches work to select the correct amount of competition. Parents should not register athletes for events that are not selected by the coach. When you sign up for events, state your PB for each event as that will aid the organizers in placing you in the correct order of competition. Before the meet, the parents (or athlete) will register and pay at the Trackie.Reg website. The cost varies and is dependent on the price the host club has set for the meet.
Who are the BC Athletics Officials? BC Athletics Officials are trained and experienced judges of the competition. They volunteer their knowledge, time, and effort to make sure events follow the rules and are judged fairly. They are recognizable by their uniform of a white shirt and will be wearing a BC Athletics name tag. Be sure to thank the officials and shake their hands. Always be courteous to the BCA officials. We owe them our total respect. If you have questions during the competition, please talk with one of the Spartans’ coaches right away.
What is a BC Athletics number? BC Athletics is our provincial parent organization, located in Burnaby. Each registered member will receive a BC Athletics designated number. This number is used for identification and tracking of the member. The member carries the same number through their entire membership from 6 to 90+. You will receive your BC Athletics number from the coaches. Please save this number.
What happens if an athlete does not compete at a meet or misses events they have signed up for? If an athlete is registered for a meet but misses the event, no refunds are given.
What should I do before a meet? The night before a meet, have a well-balanced dinner and get a good night’s sleep. Eat a breakfast of simple non-fatty foods and drink plenty of water. Do not eat a heavy meal if you will be competing within 90 minutes.
What should I take to a meet? What you bring is dependent on the weather, which is always changeable. You must have your New West Spartans club uniform and running spikes. Other ideas include running shoes, blankets, warm clothes, lawn chairs, umbrellas, layers of clothing, a healthy picnic lunch and snacks, water, sunscreen, hat, and a positive attitude!
When should I arrive at the meet? Arrive no less than 1 hour before your event is scheduled to start. Remember your warm up is your responsibility and is crucial for maximum performance and to reduce the possibility of injury.
When I get to a meet, what do I do? Pick up your bib number at the Registration Desk or locate the person assigned by the Spartans to collect our meet package from the organizers. Attach your bib number to the front of your club singlet or shirt. This number must be worn for all the days of that particular meet. Athletes will be given a new number for the next meet. DO NOT re-wear a number at another meet!
Once you have your bib on, check in with your coach for suggestions and advice. Look over the area where the event information is set up to determine the event locations and starting times for each one. Find out where the events are being marshalled.
Depending on the meet, the announcer may call age groups to the marshalling area. Do not depend on this reminder, but watch the schedule, the time, and the event. Events are allowed to run 30 minutes early, but sometimes run late. You will have to keep tabs on how events are being run throughout the day.
Will schedules be available at the meet? A copy of the event schedule will be available on the meet website. It is recommended that you print the schedule at home the night before the start of the meet and bring it with you or have it available on your smartphone. Schedules sometimes change at the very last minute.
What should I do during the day of the meet? Hydrate! Drink lots of water (not soft drinks) throughout the day and stay in the shade during summer dates. Keep warm on the cooler days and wear multiple layers. Be sure to eat well but not fatty, heavy foods. Familiar high protein foods, veggies, fruit, and water are the best for competition. The Spartans will either have a tent in the park or a place in the bleachers. When you have down time, join other club members and socialize. Also, you may enjoy socializing with members of other clubs; just because you may compete against each other, doesn’t mean you won’t form friendships!
What do you mean by ‘being marshalled’? This is where all the athletes competing in a specific event gather together before the event. Typically, field events marshall at the individual event area. Track events usually check in at a designated tent that can be called the Call Room. At high level meets (for example the BC High School Championships) all athletes will marshall at the Call Room for all events. It is VERY important to check in for each event by the required time or you may not be allowed to compete.
Do events run on time? We hope so, but sometimes they do not. If there is an unexpected number of athletes, events may run behind the scheduled time. It is not unusual to have 30 or more athletes waiting to compete in the long jump. When you consider that each athlete gets three jumps, each jump needs to be measured, and the pit raked each time, you realize how time consuming this can be. In some instances, by the rules, events can run up to 30 minutes ahead of time. If an event is moved ahead, it will usually be announced.
In what age order will track events be run? Track events almost always run oldest to youngest, but you can check the meet website to be sure.
When should I arrive for my field event? Please arrive 1 hour before your event is scheduled. In field events, the start time listed is not the time to arrive, it is the time the event is scheduled to begin. You should have found your mark and warmed up by then.
How many attempts do athletes get in field events? JD athletes ages 9-13 are allowed 3 attempts (rounds). For 14+ athletes, everyone will receive 3 initial attempts and then the top 8 get 3 more. The exception is in the Vertical Jumps (High Jump and Pole Vault) at all age levels. Each athlete is given 3 attempts to clear the bar at each height. Once every athlete in the rotation has had 3 failed attempts or has cleared the bar, that round is over and the bar will be moved up and the remaining athletes will start a new round. Starting heights are usually based on the age group. Athletes do not need to start at that height nor attempt every height if they feel it’s too low for them. Once the bar has been raised (round completed), it will not be lowered.
What happens if I have a conflicting track event and field event? This scenario happens often but will be simplified if you and the coach carefully look at the schedule before you register for the meet and choose non-conflicting events at that time. Sometimes on meet day you need to choose which event you would prefer to compete in and “scratch” the other one. A scratch is a formal notification to the event official or organizing committee that you will not be competing. This should be done 1 hour before the competition begins. If you think you need to scratch an event, talk with your coach first. Officials will not generally hold up a field event for a track event and will never hold up a track event for the field. Things are not always going to run on schedule and you may not be able to compete in all the events you want to. Check in at BOTH events. In many situations, you may be able to register and get 1 attempt in at the field event, then run your track event and return to the field event. At this point, you may be able to get back into the round they are currently running. However, if a round is completed (all the athletes have completed their attempts) and you missed the round entirely, you cannot make it up and you won’t be able to compete in it.
Are there other things I should know? Yes! Here are a few:
- The “Infield” is out of bounds unless you have been directed there by an official.
- Do not cross the track when an event is in progress. Always look, just in case.
- Do not wander away from the area. Make sure your parents or coaches know where you are.
- Listen for announcements. Pay attention to the time and schedule.
- Support other athletes. Be a good sport and show respect at all times. Remember, you are representing the Spartans.
What if I am ill or have an injury? We take our members’ health very seriously. If an athlete is ill and not able to train or compete, that athlete needs to notify the coach. If an athlete has an injury, they must speak with their coach immediately. The coach may have recommendations for athletes to obtain appropriate professional treatment or suggestions for basic first aid. If an athlete is undergoing treatment, it is vital that they keep the coach “in the loop” as to their progress. If an athlete returns from an injury, they should provide the coaches with all relevant medical documents and recommendations.
What is the difference between Club Meets and School Meets? In BC, there are two different organizations that sanction meets: BC Athletics and BC High School Sports. Elementary meets organized by schools are very seldom sanctioned. The High School Track & Field season usually runs from March to the start of June. Athletes wishing to compete for their High Schools in the High School meets during April and May must have a coach/advisor from the school, wear the school uniform and be enrolled with BC High School Sports through their school. If a school doesn’t have a track team please talk to your Spartans coach and we will coordinate with your High School to make sure you get registered.
Club Meets are organized by clubs like the Spartans and are sanctioned by BC Athletics. These meets run from February until August for Track and Field, and September to November for Cross Country. Spartans athletes competing in Club Meets must wear the club uniform and you must register as a Spartans athlete. Talk with your coach!
Do I have to attend every meet? No. Along with your coach, choose where/when you will compete. To be considered for a BC Athletics Award, Junior Development athletes need to compete in a championship meet (the JD Championships or JD Pentathlon Championships) and two other approved meets. If you have signed up for a meet, but do not attend, you will still be responsible for the cost of those entries. Be sure to notify your coach in this situation as a refund may happen if done in time, usually before the entries for the meet close.
What is a BC Athletics Award? At the end of the year, BC Athletics hosts a banquet to recognize those athletes that have had outstanding performances during the season. BC Athletics keeps track of all provincial performances in the Junior Development age group and 14+, which go back many years. If an athlete achieves notable provincial performance, they will be considered for an award. The provincial lists can be accessed on the BC Athletics website.
What is a Making Standard and Making a Team? Making Standard is a term in Track and Field whereby organizations who are charged with choosing teams set a certain standard in events that athletes must achieve throughout the year in order to be considered for a team. Making Standard does not mean an athlete will be chosen to participate on the team but may apply and be considered. Other factors such as the number of athletes the organization is willing to send or a tryout may determine Making a Team. Organizations that use this method are BC Athletics for BC Teams and Athletic Canada for Canadian Teams.
Who pays if an athlete makes a team and what are the costs? When an athlete makes a team there are extra costs involved. Currently there is a $150.00 fee for an athlete to attend the BC Summer Games. There is a BC Athletics athlete fee if chosen to compete on a BC Team, and the costs depend on the age category. Once an athlete makes the team and pays the fees, most other costs like travel, accommodation, meals etc. will be covered by BC Athletics or the games. Based on the yearly budget, the Spartans do not cover or subsidize the cost of travel to meets in or outside of province.
Do we recognize outstanding performances?
Yes! The Spartans encourages athletes to always strive for their personal best! At the end of the season, we host a function and celebrate with all our athletes for their personal bests, outstanding results, effort and attitude. We also recognize coaches, officials and volunteers.