Track and field is a sport that incorporates various types of athletic events. These events range from jumping to running and throwing. The majority of the track and field disciplines are performed as individual sports, but there are also some that involve a team effort. As the name suggests, track competitions, called ‘meets’, take place on an athletic track that can be located both outdoors and indoors. These sports don’t require the same amount of training that some other sports do, which is why they are accessible to athletes of any age.
The fundamental concept of track and field is obvious — athletes compete in a variety of short competitions based on a track and field. Track and field competitions can last throughout the entire day, usually beginning around eleven a.m. and ending around five p.m. As there are over twenty events that need to take place within that five-hour span, one discipline can overlap with the other. Some activities include over ninety athletes competing for the same spot. In track and field events, accomplishments are not quantified with a win or lose because many wins and losses happen within one meet.
Track and Field Events
Track and field is a sport that involves various types of athletic events. Track events are running events that include long distance marathons, middle distance runs, and short distance sprints. Field events range from strength events (discus and shot put) to throwing events (hammer and javelin). The heptathlon and the decathlon disciplines are a combination of various events that include both track and field competitions in pursuit of the highest score.
Now, let’s take a closer look at some of the most common track and field events and their rules and goals.
- Relay races — they usually take place at the end of the track and field event, mostly because they are the most entertaining races to watch. Relays consist of teams of four runners that take turns around a track. Each participant must pass the baton to the next runner within the restricted area of the track.
- Long jump — it’s a contest where participants try to jump as far as they can in one leap. The long jump discipline is one of the most recognizable events in whole track and field competition, and it was popularized by Jesse Owens, the star of the 1936 Olympics.
- Shot put — it’s a contest where athletes throw a heavy ball as far as they can. At first glance, it appears that the shot put is all about brute strength, but actually, a lot of technique is required.
- Discus — an athletic event in which athletes throw a circular disk as far as possible. This discipline requires a combination of strength, agility, and technique.