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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:

  • Medaled in either of the two (2) most recent world-major championships (i.e. World Championships in Athletics [Track & Field] in 2013 and Olympic Games in 2012); or
  • Have achieved a top-10 world rank in 2013 by Track & Field News (year-end ranking for 2013) or All-Athletics.com (year-end ranking for 2013); or
  • Have achieved a top-5 world rank in 2012 by Track & Field News (year-end ranking for 2012) or All-Athletics.com (year-end ranking for 2012); or
  • • The above criteria apply to athletes who competed in the first round and/or final on a relay team.

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:

  • Placed among the top 8 in either of the two (2) most recent major championships (i.e. World Championships in Athletics [Track & Field] in 2013 or Olympic Games in 2012); or
  • Have achieved a top 20 world rank in 2013 by All-Athletics.com (year-end ranking for 2013); or
  • Have achieved a sixth through tenth world rank in 2012 by Track & Field News (year-end ranking for 2012) or All-Athletics.com (year-end ranking for 2012).

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:

  • Be an Immediate Post Collegian (IPC) in the first or second year out of college (2012 or 2013) and
  • Have achieved the 2013 World Championships "A" standard in 2013 for their respective event.

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:

  • Be ranked among the Top 2 U.S. by Track & Field News in its 2013 year-end rankings, or
  • Achieved a Top 2 place finish at the 2013 US Outdoor Track & Field Championships, 2013 USA 50 km Race Walk Championships, or 2013 USA Marathon Championships.
  • For both categories above, the athlete must have also achieved a minimum of the 2013 World Championship "B" standard.

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.

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