Types of Track and Field Meets

Masters Meets? All Comers? Senior Games? There are hundreds of track and field competitions open to masters athletes each year, not only in the United States but in other countries around the world. This section describes the type of events that are available and will point you to listings that provide dates, locations and entry information.

There are many track meets available to masters track and field athletes, if you look at the various calendars that are available. The best source for meet listings is our Events page HERE. Also, the USATF SEARCH feature is very useful. Most masters meets are conducted in five year age groups starting at age 30. There are local, regional, national and international meets.

There are many informal meets, better known as “all-comers meets” located throughout the United States. Typically, they are inexpensive & low key events for all ages and all levels of ability, so they provide a great way to get started, to learn a new event, or to prepare for more advanced competition. Local running clubs and running stores often have information about these meets and they are often listed in the USATF Calendar, adjust your search criteria for all ages.

The National Senior Games Association (NSGA) was established in 1985. Every year the NSGA and its affiliates conduct competitions known as senior games in each state. The senior games are multi-sport competitions, which include track and field, and are open to athletes who are 50 years or older. Every two years (odd numbered) the NSGA conducts a National Senior Games Championships. To compete in that event, athletes must qualify in an NSGA state championship the previous years. For more info click www.nsga.com.

The state games are a network of Olympic-style multi-sport competitions, open to all ages and conducted in age-groups, under the auspices of the National Congress of State Games (NCSG). Each year, over 400,000 athletes of all levels of ability participate in the state games. Every other year (odd numbered) the NCSG hosts a national championship event known as the State Games of America. Medal winners from the 49 state games held nationwide are eligible to compete in the national championships. For more info, visit www.stategames.org.

There are a limited number of masters invitational events every year. Typically, these are selected masters events which are included in larger meets. In most cases, the master’s fields are limited in size and an application process is required to participate. For more information, check our Events page.

Every year, there are regular local, association, regional and national masters championship events sponsored by USATF. There are no minimum entry standards required to participate in any of these meets, but membership in USATF is a requirement and advanced registration is often necessary. National Masters Championships include indoor and outdoor national track and field championsips, heptathlon and decathlon, race walking, and throws pentathlons all conducted for men and women 30 years and older competing in five year age groups. Information about all these meets including location, contact info, registration info and past results can be found on our Events page.

World Masters Athletics (WMA) is the organization designated by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) to conduct the worldwide sport of Masters Track and Field. In alternating years WMA conducts outdoor world masters championships (even numbered) and indoor world masters championships (odd numbered). WMA also sanctions regional championships for masters track and field athletes. For more info about WMA visit www.worldmastersathletics.org.

There are no qualifying standards to enter the WMA championships. Athletes age 35 and over compete in five year age groups. American athletes must be members of USATF and must wear USATF sanctioned uniforms.

There are many open and college track meets which accept masters athletes. In most cases, masters athletes compete against younger athletes without the benefit of age group segregation. To enter open events, contact the meet director in advance to insure that masters athletes are allowed to compete.

There are masters track and field meets all over the world. Some are open to all athletes regardless of nationality, while others are restricted to citizens of the host country. The USATF Masters Championships meets are open to all athletes, as are the championships of Canada and Ireland. Check with the national governing body to determine what nationality restrictions may apply.