Important change to USATF Youth Indoor Program

The USATF Youth Indoor Program was a collaborative effort between the Youth Athletics Committee and USATF National Office. The goal was to provide more, competitive opportunities to youth athletes. Started in the early 2000s, the organization began offering “Zone Championships” in late winter. The success and increased participation in each of the zone competitions, ultimately led to the 2011 National Youth Indoor Championships in Illinois!

For that last seven years, The National Youth Indoor Championships has been a great addition to our Youth Outdoor Championships and Junior Olympic Track & Field and Cross Country Series. Its continued growth from a participation and competitive standpoint proves it will be another staple in USATF’s Youth and grass roots programs.

As we continued to evaluate the youth indoor competition, the requirements for hosting indoor events, and the impact on youth athletes, coaches, and clubs, it has been decided to remove zone meet “qualifiers” from the indoor program. This means athletes can now participate in the National Youth Indoor Championships without attending a mandatory qualifying event! Just like the Youth Outdoor Championships, athletes may enter directly into the championships provided they meet the youth athletics age requirements.

Additional benefits of this change:
• More resources directed toward the National Youth Indoor Championships
• Associations who choose to host indoor competitions will no longer have boundary restrictions for participation
• Reduced travel expense for athletes, coaches, clubs and parents
• Less time away from school and work during the year

We are confident this will be a positive change for USATF Youth Programs. We appreciate the initial reception, support and commitment to the indoor program and look forward to hosting an outstanding 2018 National Youth Indoor Competition. Information on dates and location for the 2018 event will be coming soon!

Tricia Myers
USATF National Youth Division Chair

(posted November 3, 2017)