- Track and Field FAQ

1. What is a track meet?
A track meet is a one, two, or three-day event that takes place rain or shine at a stadium or outdoor track. Meets generally take place at the club or school that is hosting the meet. The club or school will send out details about the meet to other clubs in advance. The clubs will then send back information on the athletes that will be competing at the meet.

2. What is a track event?
Any event that takes place on the track surface is a track event. This includes sprints, hurdles, middle distance, distance, relays, race walks and steeplechase.

3. What is a field event?
A field event is any event that takes place off the track on areas surrounding the track, such as throws and jumps. Events such as javelin, discus, shop put, long jump, high jump, triple jump, or pole vault are considered field events.

4. Can my child compete in all events?
The events your child can compete in are determined by their age. Refer BC Athletics Track and Field Events and Technical Specifications for Athletics manual, a link to which can be found in Our Programs section.

5. How do we register our child for a meet?
Refer to the Registering to Compete in Meets section for information on how to register.

6. What is a BC Athletics number?
Each registered athlete will receive a card from BC Athletics with a designated number. This number is used for identification and tracking of the athlete. The athlete carries the same number through their entire athletic career.

7. How many events does the club cover?
Please see the Registration page for details.

8. What if my child wants to compete in more than three events?
Parents pay the additional cost.

9. How much does an extra event cost?
If you wish to enter in more events per season the cost is approximately $11.04 per event. At the end of the track season the registrar/treasurer will invoice parents for the extra event fees.

10. What happens if an athlete does not compete at a meet or misses events they have signed up for?
Because the Cheetahs pay for all events once an athlete is registered for a meet, any event that an athlete misses will count towards the maximum events covered for the season (see question 7 above).

11. When I get to a meet, what do I do?
Locate the person assigned by the club to pick up our meet package. Pick up your meet participant number and attach it to your Cheetah singlet. Check the area where the event information is set up to determine the event locations and starting times for each one. Find out where the events are being marshaled. Listen to the P.A. system, and when your age group is called make your way to the marshaling area. Events are allowed to run 30 minutes early, but many times run late. You will have to keep tabs on how events are being run throughout the day.

12. What do you mean by ‘being marshaled’?
This is where all the athletes that are competing in a specific event gather together before the event.

13. When should an athlete arrive at the track?
An athlete should arrive at least one hour before their event is scheduled to start.

14. What happens if I have a conflicting track event and field event?
This scenario happens often, and sometimes you need to make a choice on what event you would prefer to compete in and scratch the other one. Officials will not generally hold up a field event for a track event unless they are ahead of schedule. This is a track and field reality and you will just have to accept that things are not always going to run on schedule and you may not be able to compete in all the events you wanted to. In many situations, you may be able to register and get one attempt in at the field event, then run your track event and return to the field event. At this point, you may have missed a round, but may be able to get back in at the round they are currently running. It is a long season and you will have plenty of time to participate in events.

15. How many attempts does the athlete get in field events?
JD athletes ages 9-13 are allowed three attempts. For older athletes the top eight competitors, after the three initial attempts, get three more.

16. What is an official?
Those dedicated souls that volunteer their time and effort, and try to make sure that events are run on time and are judged fairly.

There is no reason to be rude or abusive to any official. Remember they are giving up their weekends so that your children can enjoy the track and field experience.

17. Do events run on time?
More often than not, NO! The number of athletes competing is the major reason that events run behind the scheduled time. It is not unusual to have 30 or more athletes waiting to compete in the long jump. When you consider that each athlete gets three jumps, each jump needs to be measured, and the pit raked each time, you realize how time consuming this can be. In some instances, events can be run up to 30 minutes ahead of time – listen carefully for announcements at the meet.

18. What should I take to a Meet?
Your Cheetah uniform, spikes, running shoes, blankets, chairs, tarps, pop up canopies, umbrellas, a change of clothing, a healthy picnic lunch and snacks, water, sun screen, hat, patience, and a positive attitude!

19. Do I have to attend all meets?
No. Choose the ones you want to go to, but be advised that Junior Development athletes need to compete in a championship meet (the JD Championships or JD Pentathlon Championships) and two other approved meets in order to be considered for a BC Athletics Award.

20. What is a BC Athletics Award?
At the end of the year, BC Athletics hosts a banquet to recognize those athletes that have had outstanding performances during the season. BC Athletics keeps track of all time top ten performances in the Junior Development age group, which go back many years. If an athlete achieves a top ten performance they will be considered for an award. The top ten lists can be accessed on the BC Athletics Web Page.

21. What about the Cheetah Club? Is there recognition for outstanding performances?
Yes. The Club encourages athletes to always strive for THEIR PERSONAL BEST. At the end of the season, usually in November, we host a banquet and recognize many of our athletes for their outstanding results, effort and attitude.

22. How can I learn more about track and field?
BC Athletics offers workshops. The Club will pay the fees for members that want to learn how to coach and officiate.

23. What is the best advice that I can give my child who is just starting?
Emphasize development (personal bests), not winning or losing. The top runners in the world are in their late twenties and early thirties - think of all the years you have to develop. Think of the positive aspects of running; being outdoors, having a healthy heart and lungs, and running can be a lifelong skill. Enjoy and have fun!

24. Are the fees paid to the Coquitlam Cheetahs eligible for the Children's Fitness Tax Credit?
Yes, the annual fees qualify for the Fitness Tax Credit for children under 16 years of age at any time during the year effective January 1st. A tax receipt will issued during the track season.