The track and field events and equipment that we recognize today have their roots in Ancient Greece and Rome. In fact, many of the field events held at the first Olympic Games—including the long jump, discus, shot put, and javelin—are still practiced today. Below, you will find information on the development of track and field governing bodies as they professionally sanction the sport in the United States.
- IC4A – The first college track and field event occurred in 1864 between Oxford and Cambridge in England. Around this time, professional track and field events were also beginning to take shape in the United States. In 1873, the Intercollegiate Association of Amateur Athletes of America (IC4A), the nation’s first national athletic group, held the first collegiate track and field in the United States.
- AAU – On January 30, 1878, runner William B. Curtis founded what became the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) in New York City. The AAU (which governed the sport for nearly a century) held the first track and field championships. In 1979, the Amateur Sports Act of 1978 declared that the AAU could no longer hold international franchises for more than one sport.
- TAC – Shortly after the AAU was disbanded, The Athletics Congress (TAC) emerged. In 1979, TAC held its first annual track and field meet in Las Vegas in conjunction with that year’s AAU Convention. The first stand-alone meeting occurred in Atlanta in the late fall of 1980.
- USATF – In 1992, TAC changed its name to USA Track & Field (USATF) to increase awareness of the professional organization of the sport in the United States. The USATF inherited 57 regional associations from the AAU, which are responsible for organizing and promoting the sport in a particular state or locality.
While the above organizations were/are the official governing bodies in the U.S. (subsidized by the U.S. Olympic Committee), the United States Track & Field and Cross Country Association (USTFCCCA) is a private organization funded through sponsorships and coach memberships. The USTFCCCA is a driving force in track and field – they represent the interests of coaches and they have become the biggest influence in track and field education, leadership and public relations in the United States. The USTFCCCA represents about 94% of all NCAA track and field programs.
Whether you are a professional track and field athlete or an aspiring amateur, Everything Track & Field has the equipment you need to perform at your best. We also have a terrific selection of training aides and equipment to help you improve your track and field abilities. If you are looking for a particular piece of equipment, please call us at (888) 556-7464.