Age groups for Athletic Competition
The UK athletics rule book lays down the age groups for track & field athletics, cross country running and road running. In addition senior and masters track and field leagues set minimum ages for competitors. The rule book is updated every two years and these rules are from the 2012 rule book.
Track & Field competition
For all age groups the competition year runs from 1 October to 30 September of the following year. Young athletes To be within the age group the athlete must be under the age limit on 31 August at the end of the competition year. For example athletes competing in the Under 13 category for the summer 2019 T&F season must be 11 or 12 on the 31 August 2019 of the competition year. The competition age groups for young athletes rise in 2 year band as follows.
- Under 13 – under 13 on the 31 August of the competition year.
- Under 15 – under 15 on the 31 August of the competition year.
- Under 17 – under 17 on the 31 August of the competition year.
The rules also prohibit younger age groups from competing in certain events. For example U13’s may not run more than 1500m or Triple Jump.
The events allowed and restrictions on how many events an athlete can participate in can be best seen from the young athlete league programs. No league competition is provided for Under 11’s.
Under 20’s / Junior Athletes
Junior athletes will normally be competing with senior athletes in the senior leagues. To be within this age group the athlete must be 17 or over on the 31 August of the competition year but under 20 on 31 December in the calendar year of competition.
A Senior athlete is a competitor who is at least 20 years of age on 31 December in the calendar year of competition.
A Master must be at least 35 years of age on the day of competition.
Masters then compete in 5 year age groups again the athlete must be at least the specified age on the day of competition.
For men the typical age groups for team competition are M35, M45, M55 & M65, for women the groups are W35, W45 & W55 etc. Masters athletics is governed by the British Masters Athletics Federation (BMAF). Some Men's masters team competition uses the age ranges M40, M50 etc. typically South of England events.