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History of Track and Field

  • 776 BCE

    The Beginning

    The Beginning
    In the beginning of 'Athletics,' competing was generally held for religious festivals. The Olympic Games in ancient Greece were truly the start of track running. However running was only for men. The event of actually competing in running events changed the way people looked at running as a skill and talent rather than a survival tactic.
  • 776 BCE

    The Beginning

    The Beginning
    When track and field began, it was held in the Olympic games in ancient Greece as a religious festival. The event was held only for men, and only once a year. This event of competitive running changed the way people saw running. They saw it as a skill and talent rather than a survival tactic.
  • First Organized Modern Meet

    First Organized Modern Meet
    In 1849 the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst held the first organized track and field meet of modern times. This event is important because, up until this point track and field had mostly gone off the map due to dark ages and such. However this first meet got athletics back on the map, however the sport was still only for men.
  • First Championship

    First Championship
    The first English championship was held the first amateur athletics club, (First of many!) The competition was held still for gentlemen only, and had no money reward and that idea has lasted to the present day and is the basis of the rules governing the sport. Also this competition has been a every year competion sense 1886!
  • First modern Olympic Games0

    First modern Olympic Games0
    The first Olympic games were held in Athens, and track and field events were a main focus, making Track and Field a international sport for the first time, and creating a more widespread appreciation of the sport
  • Modern Rules Approved

    Modern Rules Approved
    In 1913 representatives from 16 countries decided to form the International Amateur Athletic Federation or IAAF, The association established standard rules for the sport, approved world records, and made sure the amateur code was followed at all times. And it continues to do these actions today. A very crucial point for Track and Field.
  • Women join the sport

    Women join the sport
    In 1921 representatives from six countries formed an athletic federation for women! That soon later merged with the IAAF. Thanks to this event women have been able to compete and show there talents in track and field, and schools that were formally only supporting boys track, allowed girls to have a track team!
  • Track and Fields first rivilary

    Track and Fields first rivilary
    In 1952, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics sent its first Olympic team ever to the Summer Games Finland. where they scored several medals. Starting Tracks first rivalry between Us and the USSR, (Not to mention the tip of the iceberg for the cold war!) This rival made head lines and a new sport to capture the country attention, and inspire amateurs to get involved!
  • Professionalism within Athletics

    Professionalism within Athletics
    In the 1970's a professional stature was formed so that athletes can compete annually in events AND be getting paid while still be able to compete in the Olympics. This is important because it brought track and field up from a sporting event, to a actual professional sport and career.
  • The Athletics Congress

    The Athletics Congress
    The Athletics Congress or TAC/USA became operational in 1979 with its very first annual meeting, held in Las Vegas with that year's AAU Convention and constitutional convention held in months later in Dallas/Fort Worth in 1980. This is important because the governing bodies of Athletics have made numerous positive changes to the sport over time!
  • New Name Same Game

    New Name Same Game
    In 1992, the formally known name was changed to USA Track & Field (USATF) to increase recognition for the sport in the United States. And it did! And over time and over all the changes leading up to the name change, has basically brought new athletes to the sport. Resulting in the continuation of the Athletics legacy and popularity of the sport!