USA Track & Field (USATF) is the National Governing Body for track and field, long-distance running and race walking in the United States. USATF encompasses the world's oldest organized sports, the most-watched events of Olympic broadcasts, the #1 high school and junior high school participatory sport and more than 30 million adult runners in the United States. Led by President Stephanie Hightower and CEO Max Siegel, USATF is a volunteer-driven, not-for-profit organization with a staff of professional program administrators at the National Office in Indianapolis.
USA Track & Field drives competitive excellence and popular engagement in our sport.
A Sport for Everyone ... For Life!
When we say that USATF is a "Sport for Everyone ... For Life," we mean exactly that. Just a few of the ways we serve our sport include:
- Establishing grassroots programs, such as the Junior Olympics, to help develop future stars who will follow in the footsteps of Jeremy Wariner, Allyson Felix, Sanya Richards, Bryan Clay, Lauryn Williams, Adam Nelson, Deena Kastor and Meb Keflezighi.
- Developing, selecting and leading Team USA - the World's #1 team - at the Olympics, World Championships and more than 12 other international events each year. Roughly 700 athletes of all ages wear a Team USA uniform in any given year.
- Promoting programs of training and competition for men and women and boys and girls of all ages.
- Establishing and enforcing the rules and regulations of our sport.
- Sanctioning more than 4,000 events each year.
- Providing insurance to sanctioned events, member clubs and member-athletes.
- Certifying race courses for accuracy and validating records.
Nearly 100,000 Americans are members of USATF. Our member organizations include the U.S. Olympic Committee, NCAA, NAIA, Road Runners Club of America, Running USA and the National Federation of State High School Associations. Fifty-seven USATF Associations oversee the sport and its 2,500 clubs at the local level.
Although our sport traces its roots back to ancient Greece, USATF is on a mission to put track and field at the cutting edge of the 21st-century sports scene. In 1999, USATF began a series of elite competitions that gives American athletes what they've requested for years - to compete at home, to receive increased television and other media coverage, and to be paid significant prize money based on performance.
Known in previous years as the Golden Spike Tour and Visa Championship Series, beginning with the indoor season in 2013, USA Track & Field started the USATF Championship Series. For the first time in the history, all events during the 2013 indoor season featured live coverage, which marked a significant moment as USA Track & Field’s broadcast platform continues to move forward. In just a short window of competition, the USATF Championship Series, which includes events ranging from the iconic Millrose Games to the USA Indoor and Outdoor Championships and Olympic Trials, has already witnessed world and American records and consistently features top competition on an international level.
From an organizational perspective, USATF has been one of the greatest financial success stories in sport, more than doubling its overall revenues since 1997. The organization currently has an impressive line-up of sponsors and suppliers that includes Nike, St. Vincent Sports Performance, BMW, Lynx, Gill Athletics, Gatorade and Ludus Tours.
This surge in revenue has coincided with a hefty increase in the number of track meets broadcast on television and TV ratings. Our sport has upwards of 40 national TV broadcasts in any given year, and average Nielsen ratings for track and field broadcasts are higher than those of the NHL, the WNBA and Major League Soccer. In addition to securing national TV coverage, USA Track & Field has worked with ESPN, NBC, Fox Sports Net, Universal Sports, ESPN3 and the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) to bring same-day, prime-time coverage of major international events to the American airwaves throughout the summer season.
USA Track & Field and our partners also reach out to the community. In 2003, USATF launched its ZERO TOLERANCE policy, featuring a comprehensive anti-drug messaging plan that calls for lifetime bans of steroid cheats. One of its main tenants is to educate athletes, coaches and officials on all levels about the dangers of drug use, and to spread the message that drug use is morally wrong - and cheaters will be caught.
To help deliver that message, beginning in 2004 USATF joined with the American College of Sports Medicine to launch an elite athlete outreach program, now called "Win with Integrity." At each Visa Championship Series stop, and at other events around the country, USATF's star athletes speak with local schools and community centers about the importance of fitness, a healthy lifestyle, living with integrity -- including a drug-free life -- and setting goals. To date, thousands of children have been reached in person with more than a million being exposed to "Win with Integrity" through television messaging. "Win with Integrity" has been enthusiastically embraced by USATF athletes and the students to whom they speak and is a key component of the rich history of voluntarism displayed by Team USA.
USATF conducts instructional programs such as Coaching Education courses, designed to elevate and standardize the level of coaching across the country. More than 14,000 coaches have been educated under USATF programs. Athlete clinics are held nationwide, covering a wide range of disciplines, from race walking to pole vault. Activities such as Cultural Exchange trips and Association Workshops allow our members opportunities to share ideas and information.
USATF Annual Meeting
Traditionally held the week following Thanksgiving, our Annual Meeting brings together more than 1,300 of the sport's officials, coaches, administrators, athletes and supporters. The yearly gathering serves as a forum to chart the future of our sport by considering policy changes, selecting national team staffs and Championship meet sites, and electing national officers. It is a forum where the individual's voice can be heard.
But it is not all business. The Annual Meeting also gives us the opportunity to recognize the achievements of our sport's volunteers and athletes. Each year, USATF inducts a new class into the National Track & Field Hall of Fame and makes presentations for year-end award winners, including the Jesse Owens Award for the top American athletes.
Members attending the Annual Meeting have the opportunity to meet the sport's top stars, and USATF offers various social and recreational opportunities for attendees throughout the five-day event.
USATF's Expo Show at the Annual Meeting offers national sponsors, equipment suppliers, book and magazine publishers, committees, travel bureaus, local sports commissions and other groups the opportunity to showcase their organizations and products in front of the country's largest gathering of track and field conventioneers.
Check out the complete listing of our past and future Annual Meeting sites.
Membership - Join Us!
"Card-carrying" members of USATF receive an array of Member Benefits, including insurance benefits, discounts on subscriptions to track and field and fitness-related magazines, and reduced prices on a variety of other items.
Members also receive USATF membership publications and can access the "Members Only" section of our Web site. The site offers information on every aspect of our sport, including elite athlete and Hall of Fame biographies, event information and results, late-breaking news and other topics of interest, in addition to vital membership details and contact information.
Perhaps most importantly, all of USATF's membership categories offer individuals the opportunity to show their support for our sport in the United States and to be actively involved with the programs and activities that keep us dominant throughout the world.
The "pursuit of excellence" may best characterize who we are and what we do, but it also reminds us that USA Track & Field is your organization. It begins - and ends - with you.
For more information about USA Track & Field, visit our Web site, www.usatf.org; write us at USA Track & Field, 132 East Washington Street, Suite 800, Indianapolis, IN 46204; or call our National Office at (317) 261-0500.