2014 Athlete Criteria and Tier System
In conjunction with the USATF Athletes' Advisory Committee, the Tier System was instituted in 2011 and 2012, with consistent criteria to ensure the participation of the highest potential open athletes and their coaches in all Olympic event-related USATF and USOC high performance and athlete support programs.
Applicable events are the forty seven (47) events on the Olympic Games program and events approved by AAC and the High Performance staff as supporting development of Olympic and IAAF World Championships in Athletics' participants. Athletes who qualify for the various tiers will have primary access to HP Programs such as: domestic competitive opportunities, domestic relay program, international competitive opportunities, sport performance workshops, medical reimbursement, stipends, elite athlete health insurance, St. Vincent's medical program, and coaches' stipends.
Tier 1: Athletes in this category qualify for all USATF and USOC benefits, provided they have achieved any of the following:
Tier 2: Athletes in this category qualify for the majority of USATF and USOC benefits, albeit sometimes at a lower dollar amount, provided they have achieved any of the following:
Tier 3: : Athletes in this category qualify for a special package of benefits. However, as Immediate Post Collegians (IPC's), they have exclusive access to the Post Collegiate Scholarship Fund. Further, there are also many IPC's who, based on their ranking and or performance profile, qualify for and are entitled to the benefits of the Tier 1 or Tier 2 programs. Athletes in this category must have achieved the following:
Tier 4: Athletes in this category qualify for a limited number of benefits, albeit sometimes at a lower dollar amount, and they must have achieved the following:
HP Development Programs
USATF recognizes that there are elite and emerging elite athletes who do not meet the above criteria and, therefore, might be excluded from receiving some valuable benefits. There are also athletes who have achieved these standards in the past, but have experienced a recent injury, illness or maternity leave, which may have caused an interruption in their competitive schedule. To provide funding for these additional athletes, USATF has put in place an annual "developmental funding" program to support identified, emerging elite athletes who are not Tier qualified in 2014.
Many of these athletes will be included in a number of HP Programs, such as domestic and international competitive opportunities, summits and workshops as much as possible and to the limit of available funds for such. However, first priority for all HP Programs will be given to Tier athletes
To receive any or all 2014 tier benefits, an athlete must currently be training and competing at elite level or, if injured, expected to recover and be able to compete at an elite level.