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2023/24 Summer Season - Frequently Asked Questions

The 2023/24 Season Calendar is developed in consultation with Athletics Australia, Little Athletics Australia, Venues West and the Athletics West Pathways Advisory Committee.

The Calendar considers local, State and National competitions and other events that impact programming, venue and officials availability. It has been prepared with the intention to provide competition opportunities for the broad range of preferences for athletes, coaches, and officials.

Athletics West use survey data from the annual member survey, to ensure the day/time of competition is determined by athlete/coach/officials preferences. This season, Athletics West has committed to trial Saturday 'Special Programs' in the 2023/24 Season.

In relation to the Strive Program powered by Go for 2&5, it is important to note it is not possible to offer every event at every competition. Most disciplines are offered once a fortnight, which ensures equity across events and is in line with other States’ competition offerings. The four programs (A, B, C and D) offer a range of events and times to cater for the needs of many and noting the wide variety of preferences throughout our community.

The Joint Organisational Review, which formed the basis of the successful vote to merge, provided 16 recommendations. This included the Whole of Sport Competition and Events Framework Review , with the objective “to provide a sport industry leading competition and events pathway, which meets the participation motivations and development needs of all competitors, coaches and officials participating in Athletics competition at local, regional and state levels in WA”. 

At the 2021 Club and Centre Workshop, Athletics West introduced a new Competition and Events Framework. This structure was developed in consultation with the Pathways Advisory Committee and the Athletics West Board, in conjunction with relevant survey results, policies, rules and research, and planned for a staged implementation over the 2021/22 and 2022/23 Seasons. Following feedback and further consultation, the framework was refined and was implemented in the 2022/23 Season. At the conclusion of the season, members and stakeholders had the opportunity to provide feedback and as a result, the new structure will remain for the 2023/24 Season.

The Little Athletics Program and Strive Program age groups align up until the 31 December 2023. For the Little Athletics Program, athletes enrol in their age group at the start of the season, and remain in that age group for their Centre competition. From the 1 January 2024 the Strive Program, or ‘senior athletics’ age groups, under Athletics Australia rules, change and athletes ‘age up’.  It is important to note whilst the age group may be named differently between the two programs, the athletes competing within the age group will remain determined by year of birth. This has been detailed on the State Championships page.

There is an overlap between the two State Championship events - the WA State Championships is for athletes born in 2011 and earlier (both Strive or Little Athletics Program members), and WA State Junior Championships is for athletes born in 2011 - 2015 who are registered in the Little Athletics Program U9-U13 age groups.

Athletes born in 2011 can compete in either, or both, as per the details on the State Championships page. This is to provide a transitional year between the two events.

Athletes born in 2012 are eligible to qualify for the Australian Track & Field Championships under Athletics Australia's rules and can compete at the WA State Track & Field Championships in the Under 14 Age Group if they choose to. However, it is recommended athletes compete in their relevant age group and any 2012-born athlete considering competing in the U14 age group should review the event specifications on the State Championships page as hurdle heights and throws implements will be higher/heavier. 

There is no qualification criteria for members (both Strive and Little Athletics Program members) to enter the WA State Track and Field Championships (22-25 Feb 2024) for the Under 14/Little Athletics Under 13 age groups and older.

For the WA State Junior Track & Field Championships (8-10 March 2024), Little Athletics U9 - U13 members need to have either achieved the entry standard (at their Little Athletics Centre competition or Zones Championships) or achieved the following:

  • Metro athletes only: athletes place at Zones Championships as per the following
    • Top 3 for Long Hurdles, 800m, 1500m, Walks, Discus, Javelin, High Jump
    • Top 4 for Long Jump, Triple Jump, Shot Put (total 12 automatically from Zones)
    • Top 5 for 70m, 100m, 200m, 400m & Short Hurdles (total 15 automatically from Zones)
  • Country/North West athlete only: athletes who place in the top 2 at the 2024 WA Country Championships.

The entry standards will be released in September 2023 (on the State Championships page), and are based on average performances from previous years at the Little Athletics State Championships and Zones Championships. The entry standards are produced with the objective to qualify the targeted number of athletes per field, but in some instances may qualify more athletes to compete at State Championships than in previous years. The entry standards have been introduced based on member and stakeholder feedback and are designed to ensure the top performing athletes in the State are able to participate at the Championships.

Currently, the expected number of participants for the WA State Track & Field Championships (22-25 Feb 2024) and over means there is no requirement to control entry numbers for the older age groups. This is based on historic results and will be reviewed annually.

There will be one State Championship title per event for athletes of the same age, regardless of which program they are registered with including one set of medals. 

Athletics West undertook a gap analysis on the Combined Events Championships across the whole of sport. Key findings included the decline in event numbers, low transition rate, lack of development opportunities and high demand on officials. As a result of these findings, we have reinvigorated the combined event offering across Little Athletics and ‘seniors’ to provide an improved competition format and clearer transition pathways. The changes to the program allow us to spread our Championship events across the season, which in addition to effects on athletes, also reduces the heavy demand on key officials throughout the season. 

This event will be the qualification opportunity for athletes wanting to compete in the Australian Combined Events Championships in February (dates and location to be confirmed by Athletics Australia). It will also be the qualification opportunity for Under 15 Little Athletics Athletes for the Australian Little Athletics Championships in April 2024. Further information can be found on the State Championships page.

The WA All Schools Championships is scheduled to provide athletes with a minimum of two (2) Strive competition opportunities prior to the Championships, whilst also allowing enough time between the State and National event for selection and travel arrangements to be made.

There are a range of qualification opportunities throughout the 2023/24 Season, with the key national events being:

  • Australian All Schools Championships (December 2023, Perth) - for athletes in secondary school aged between 12-17 as at 31 Dec 2023. To qualify, you must compete at the WA State All Schools Championships (28-30 October 2023)
  • Australian Track and Field Championships (April, Adelaide) - for athletes turning 12 and over by 31 Dec 2024. To qualify, athletes must either achieve the Athletics Australia entry standard or place in the top 3 at the WA State Track & Field Championships (22-25 Feb 2024) or top 3 for Heptathlon/Decathlon in the senior events at the WA Combined Event Championships (18-19 November 2023). NB: Combined Event athletes can use the previous year's performance to qualify by entry standard.
  • Australian Little Athletics Championships - for athletes registered in the Little Athletics Program in the U13, U14, U15 age groups (maximum of 16 male and 16 female athletes will be selected), in addition to the top 3 athletes at the WA Combined Events Championships in the Little Athletics U15 age group. Athletes must nominate to be considered for selection.

For further information, visit the State Championships. The State Teams page will also contain links to selection policies and nomination portals when this information becomes available.

The closure of entries in advance of competition results in accurate timetabling of competition, and significantly increases the likelihood of the program running on schedule. The entry deadline allows time for competition administration, including the timetable, development and distribution of the officials roster and start lists. Entries for Strive open approximately 3-4 weeks prior to competition, providing ample time for online entry. Reminder emails are sent 24-48 hours prior to the deadline to assist members. Members are automatically added to the Athletics West mailing list upon registration.

This year, Athletics West will trial a late entry process, that will open when Start Lists and the Final Timetable are published (approximately early afternoon Thursday) and close at Friday midday. This will be entirely dependent on availability to avoid impact on the final timetable. For track events, the availability of late entries will be dependent on a lane/position being available in the race. Where feasible, late entries will be added base on seed time, but if a lane is not available in a relevant heat, late entries will be added where one in available. Events will not be reseeded to cater for late entries. For field events, 1-2 positions will be available to avoid impact on the timetable. Acceptance of late entries is at the complete discretion of Athletics West.

Late entries will attract a $15 late entry fee, in addition to normal entry fees. Athletes are not encouraged to rely on late entries.

Athletes are required to enter accurate seeding times when registering for competition to ensure they are entered in the appropriate heat. Our Meet Manager software, which is used nation-wide for track and field events, does not allow for validation of these seed times and verifying 250+ athlete performances on a weekly basis is not a practical use of resources. Furthermore, lane draws are randomised by the system that is used. If you have a concern about an athlete’s heat draw, please contact the Athletics West office.

Athletics West are working with our membership platform provider to scope a results system that would potentially be able to store and export athlete results to enable validation of performances. However, this will not be in place ahead of the 2023/24 Season.

To compete at Strive competitions, athletes must be registered with the Strive Program through a senior affiliated club or as an independent member. Similarly, athletes registered with Strive can not participate in the Little Athletics Program unless registered with a Little Athletics Centre.

Senior Affiliated Clubs can offer a 'dual membership', which is a reduced Athletics West membership fee option for athletes registered with both Little Athletics and Strive Programs.

Athletes can request invitational events through the Athletics West office if the requirement for the event is of a high performance nature, e.g. international qualification, State or National record attempt, preparation for national or international competition. Consideration is given to whether there is a specific requirement or purpose for the request, that has not already been provided through the scheduled program. Requests will be assessed on an individual basis.

Requests will only be considered if submitted a minimum of one week prior to competition.

Requests for athletes to pace the race will be considered if the pacing will not disadvantage other athletes in the field and is agreeable with the other competing athletes. The entry fee for pacers will be waived (if they are not competing in other events during the competition). We recommend the requesting athlete/coach should consult with other competitors prior to submitting a request.

Female athletes can request to run in a mixed heat with male athletes if they have recent and consistent results of winning the women's event by a significant margin. Consideration is also given to the male athletes in the field, as mixed gender event results do not count for national rankings, international qualifiers or Australian Records.

Consideration is given to whether there is a specific requirement or purpose for the request, that has not already been provided through the scheduled program. Requests will be assessed on an individual basis.