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Track and Field

Track and field is an Olympic kind of sports that combines cross-country types, race walking, running, and technical types. Track and field are considered one of the most popular sports.

track and field

The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) was founded in 1912 and it unites all the national federations. Its headquarters is located in Monaco.


Track and Field History

Track and field are considered to be a very ancient sport. Numerous archaeological finds (coins, vases, sculptures, etc.) prove this. The oldest athletic kind of sports is running. By the way, running was carried out at a distance equal to one stadium, which is one hundred and ninety-two meters and the word ‘stadium’ comes from this name.

The ancient Greeks called all physical exercises athletics, which, in turn, was usually divided into "track and field" and "weightlifting." Track and field included the exercises that developed speed and endurance (running, jumping, archery, swimming, etc.). Accordingly, all the exercises that enhanced strength were classified as “weightlifting”.

Koroibos is commonly known as the first Olympic champion in athletics (776 BC). This date is considered to be the beginning of the history of athletics. The modern history of athletics originates from the 2 km race of college students in the town of Rugby (United Kingdom) in 1837. Later, the competition program began to include short-distance running, obstacle racing, weightlifting, and long as well as high jumps.

In 1865, the London Athletic Club was founded. It was engaged in the popularization of athletics.

In 1880, an amateur athletic association was created uniting all the athletics organizations of the British Empire.

The rapid development of athletics was attributed to the Olympic Games (1896) where it played the most significant role.

Track and Field Rules

The winner in athletics competitions is a person or team that demonstrated the best result in the final races or in the process of taking part in final technical disciplines.

rules of track and field

Running types of track and field are usually divided into several stages and they include the following:

  • qualification;
  • quarter-final;
  • semi-final;
  • final.

The number of participants is determined by the competition regulations. According to them, men and women do not take part in the mass start.


Athletics stadiums may be outdoor or indoor. Usually, the athletics stadium is combined with a football pitch and field. The outdoor stadium consists of an oval-shaped 400-meter track, which, in turn, is divided into 8 or 9 tracks as well as sectors for technical disciplines. Often a javelin or hammer throw competitions take place outside of the stadium for the safety reasons.

track and field stadium

Indoor stadiums (arenas) differ from the outdoor ones by the shorter track (200 m) and the number of tracks into which it is divided (4-6).


Race walking is an athletic discipline that differs from various types of running because the athlete must have constant foot contact with the ground. Race walking competitions are held on a track (10,000 m, 20,000 m, 30,000 m, 50,000 m) or on a highway (20,000 m and 50,000 m).

race walking

Running is one of the oldest sports based on which the official rules of the competition were developed. It has been included in the program since the very first Olympic Games of modern times that took place in 1896. Running types include sprinting, middle-distance and long-distance running, hurdling, and relay race.


Jumps are divided into vertical (high jump and pole vault) and horizontal (long jump and triple jump) ones.


Throwing is an exercise of athletes that requires "explosive" muscular effort. In this case, the goal is to move the gymnastic apparatus to the maximum distance from the sportsman.


Multiathlon is a sports discipline which includes competitions in several disciplines of the same or different types of sport.


  • Summer Olympic Games.
  • World Championships in athletics have been held since 1983 every two years, during odd-numbered years.
  • Indoor World Championship has been held since 1985, every two years during even years.
  • European Championships in Athletics has been held since 1934, every two years.
  • Junior World Championship has been held every two years since 1986. Only the athletes under the age of 19 are allowed to participate in it.
  • World Championship for young men and women has been held every two years since 1999. Athletes who turn 16 and 17 in the year of competition are allowed to participate in it.
  • Indoor European Championship has been held since 1966 every two years (in odd-numbered years). The last championship was held in 2015 in Prague.
  • IAAF Continental Cup is held every four years. The last Cup was held in 2014 in Marrakesh (Morocco).
  • World Cross Country Run Championships is held every two years.


Who invented the track and field?

Track and field has been around since the start of the Olympics in Ancient Greece.

Why is it called track and field?

The name is derived from where the sport takes place, a running track and a grass field for the throwing and some of the jumping events.

How many events are in track and field?

44 events.

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