Know Your Events
Any running race at full speed or over a short distance is referred to as a “sprinting event”.
Championship sprints include races over 50m, 70m, 100m and 200m distances.
The 400m is also considered a sprinting event however, for young athletes this may also be more appropriately classed as a middle distance event.
All sprints are run in lanes.
Middle distance events generally consist of 800m, 1500m and 3000m events.
Middle distance events by nature require more endurance than sprinting events and are not run in lanes.
Starting formations vary depending on the age and event (Staggered starts are used for 800m).
Hurdles are considered a sprint race which includes obstacles that must be cleared.
Little Athletics hurdles are designed to easily collapse when knocked, providing that they are approached from the correct direction.
Knocking the hurdles over unintentionally does not result in disqualification, however, hurdles must not be purposefully pushed over by hands or feet.
Hurdles are set at the specified height and distance relevant to each age group.
Racewalking requires unbroken contact with the ground.
The advancing leg shall be straightened (i.e. not bent at the knee) from the moment of first contact with the ground until the vertical upright position.
Competition distances are 700m, 1100m and 1500m depending on age.
Verbal warnings are given by officials for athletes up to and including the U/11 age group. U/12 to U/17 athletes receive non-verbal warnings.
The main aim of High Jump is to clear the bar without making it fall off it’s two supporting uprights. After each successful attempt, the crossbar is raised. Athletes are allowed three attempts to clear their next height. Failure to clear the bar within three consecutive jumps leads to elimination from the event.
There are two main methods used at Little Athletics to clear the bar – Fosbury Flop and Scissors.
All athletes should begin by learning the Scissors method first. As the athlete becomes older and more competent the flop technique can be introduced.
Only proper High Jump mats should be used with mat covers to ensure that the landing area is safe and secure.
Finally, all athletes should be taught to clear the bar in a way that ensures they land in the centre of the landing area.
The aim of Long Jump is to simply run up and jump as far as possible into the landing pit.
For take-off, athletes up to U12 use a 0.5 x 1m sand rectangle whilst U13 and above use a 20cm board. The athlete may not take-off for a jump beyond this designated area.
The distance achieved in Long Jump up to U12 is measured from the front of the take-off point (imprint in the sand) to the nearest break in the landing pit. Distances for U13 and above are measured from the front of the take-off board.
The Triple Jump involves a hop, step & jump action.
Most of the rules for Triple Jump are similar to those used in Long Jump.
Triple Jump is an event conducted for ages U11 and above.
Shot Put is a simple pushing event involving the use of a steel ball (shot).
The aim of the event is to obtain the greatest possible distance whilst performing within the accepted rules of the event.
1) The shot must initially be in contact with the neck near the shoulder and in close proximity to the chin. The hand cannot drop below this position during the pushing action.
2) The shot must fall completely between the edges of the landing sector.
3) The athletes must exit from the back half of the circle.
Discus is one of the oldest athletic events, being part of the pentahlon during the ancient Olympics.
The discus is thrown using a slinging action from within a circle and must land wholly within a marked landing sector.
All Discus throws must be made from an enclosure or cage to ensure the safety of spectators, officials and athletes.
For an effective result, on release, the discus should preferably spin over the index finger rather than be let out of the back of the hand.
As with Shot Put, the athlete must exit via the back half of the circle.
Javelin is a throwing event. The Javelin itself is a spear-shaped object with a metal point. Competitors aim to throw it as far as possible so that the point strikes the ground before any other part of the Javelin.
The Javelin is not required to stick in the ground for a throw to be valid.
It is very important to follow the safety rules when competing in or practising Javelin throwing.
Javelin is an event conducted for ages U12 and above.
Play Training involves the learning of athletic-related motor skills in a fun, game-based environment.
With imagination and adaptation, these types of activities are suitable for all age groups involved with Little Athletics.
The younger the athletes, the greater the role play training should take in their athletic development.
Research indicates that athletes involved in a wide variety of play training experiences early on will find more complex skills easier to acquire in future years.