Track and field competition guide

Track and field athletics is built on the skills of running, jumping, and throwing. Below is a break down of the different types of competitions.


Championships are held at county, region and national level. Some may lead to team selections and further competitions for example, inter-counties, some will have entry criteria but it is up to the individual to enter and pay entry fees.
Championships are held for both individual events and combined or multi-events. South of England and England Championships hold both outdoor and indoor championships.

Hampshire Championships
South of England Championships:
England Championships:

Athletes are encouraged to discuss their plans with their coaches, who will advise whether an athlete is ready to compete in these. This is particularly important if the athlete is new to athletics as there are no published entry standards.

English schools

Entry and initial selection is through the school and is focused on selection for school, district and then county team selection. If selected there are also inter-county competitions. It can lead to representing England at a home international competition.


Teams for leagues are selected by team managers and participation is free to registered club members.

Wessex league
This is a development league for Quad Kids U11 and age groups U13 to U17

Youth development league (YDL)
YDL is for U13 to U20 athletes and is separated into lower age group U13 & U15 and upper age group, U17 and U20.

Southern athletics league (SAL):  Regional mixed senior league, U17s and U20s can compete, but only senior weights (throws) and heights (hurdles) are used.

National athletic league: National senior mens and womens league for U20  and seniors. U17s can compete at the discretion of team management if they meet the senior AAA Grade 3 standard. Senior weights (throws) and heights (hurdles) are used.  Tends to be a higher standard of competition than the SAL and selection is based on performance.

Open meetings

Open meetings are competitions organised by atheltics clubs. Entry fees apply for opens. SAC host four opens at the track each year. You can find out more about local opens here. 

Open meetings are a good introduction to competition for new athletes. They also provide an opportunity for experienced athletes to get an official performance score for events if they want to be selected for the league teams.