In NSW there are about 200 Little Athletics Centres. For Championship purposes, these are divided into 24 Zones. Ku-ring-gai is in the North East Metropolitan Zone (NEMZ), along with our neighbours, Hornsby, Manly Warringah, Mosman and Northern Districts.
Athletes from these four Centres compete at our NEMZ Championships. Then athletes from our Zone compete in the Region 5 (NEMZ / NMZ) Championships. Finally, athletes representing the eight Regions compete at the NSW State Championships.
To select and manage our competitors in all these championships, Ku-ring-gai uses a Selection Panel (including members of the Executive Council and Life Members) and a team of Age Managers.
Under 6 athletes do not compete in Championships. Children whose parents have not fulfilled their parent help duties will not be eligible for Championships.
Notification of Selection: Age Managers notify selected athletes by telephone, notice or email as soon as possible after the selection meetings.
Uniform: All selected athletes must wear Ku-ring-gai Centre uniform. This is NOT the Club uniform worn at Bannockburn Oval. The uniform is:
- Ku-ring-gai singlet top with plain black shorts or sports briefs, or
- Ku-ring-gai crop top with plain black shorts or sports briefs.
Centre uniform tops can only be purchased at the Centre. The uniform shop will be open for several weeks before each Championship.
Note: During actual competition, uniform tops must be tucked in. Board shorts and cargo pants are not acceptable. Logos on clothing must not be visible. Athletes may wear short branded compression garments under their shorts.
Competition Numbers: All athletes must wear:
- their own registration number (white background) on the front of their top,
- their correct age patch on the front left hand side of their top or shorts
Footwear: Shoes are compulsory at all Championships. Spikes may NOT be worn by: – any Under 7 to Under 10 athlete, or
- any U11 – U12 competitor in the 800m, 1500m or 3000m events, or
- any competitor in the Walk events.
Starting Blocks: May be used. Blocks are compulsory at the SOPAC, Homebush – these are supplied; athletes may not use their own blocks at this venue.
Wet Weather: State Relays and State Championships take place regardless of weather conditions. Zone and Region Championships go ahead even if raining, but can be delayed in exceptional circumstances, such as if the ground is flooded.
Ground Entry Fees: Adults are usually asked to pay a small fee at most grounds. Competitors and other children are admitted free of charge.
Parent Helper Roster: As soon as the athletes are selected, parents will be asked to choose a time slot for assisting. These slots are normally about 3 hours long. Vacant slots will be allocated by the Assistants Officer, and details published prior to the Championships.
Facilities: Programmes can be purchased at the grounds. These contain the rules of competition, the names of all competitors, and details of lane draws and the order of competition for field events. A Canteen always operates and lunches are usually available. The availability of seating and shade varies considerably from venue to venue.
Age Managers Age Managers organise and finalise the teams to compete at each Championship for their allotted age group. They are responsible for the management of athletes on competition days and are the point of contact for athletes and their parents for queries or problems with the conduct of events.
Age Managers do not select athletes to compete at Championships, although they may be asked to participate on the Selection Panel. They notify athletes of their selection and arrange substitutions if a selected athlete is unavailable. They are able to assist athletes in choosing their events where they qualify for more events than the number in which they are allowed to compete.
Ranking and Selection of Athletes: Every Saturday morning all athletes’ performances in each event are recorded. These records are then sorted in order of performance for each age group and event. The results are used to determine the “ranked heats” for track events each week and to select athletes for Championships.
In order to be considered, athletes wishing to participate in the State Relays must advise their availability to their Age Manager prior to the selection meeting (a reminder is sent in the Newsletter). Parents must also have fulfilled their parent help duties.
Prior to the State Relays and Zone Championships, the top 20 athletes this season in each event and age group are identified. These performances are listed in order, checked for correctness, and passed to the Championships Officer for the purpose of making team selections.
To be eligible for inclusion in this ranking process parents must have filled their parent help duties and for any event, an athlete must have recorded during normal Saturday morning competition at least:
- 2 performances to be considered for State Relays
- 3 performances to be considered for Zone Championships
For events held less than four times, one performance is sufficient for an athlete to be included. For events held four or five times, two performances are necessary.
Athletes who do not meet the above criteria may be considered in exceptional cases, for example, where they have been injured, ill or absent (eg overseas or on vacation). In these instances, at least one performance must have been recorded since their return, and this performance must rank in the top twelve individual performances for the event. In these cases, justification must be submitted in writing or by email to the Championships Officer prior to the selection meeting.
Some athletes may have tickets for performances that have not been recorded – for example, when competing as a triallist or while not in full uniform. If you would like these performances to be considered for selection purposes, please contact the Records & Rankings Officer well before the date of the relevant selection meeting
Further information on the process of selection for State Relays and Championships is included below in the relevant section.
State Relay Championships
This Championship is for U8-U17 athletes and is held over two days with a wide range of events. Events for younger athletes (U8-U11) will be held on the Saturday, and those for older athletes (U12-U17) on the Sunday. Full details, including the program of events, will be published in our newsletter and on our website when available. We are not advised of the starting times for individual events, but may be given some block timing. Parking may be some distance from the track so parents should allow plenty of time to park and get to the stadium.
Under the rules of this competition, Ku-ring-gai may contest the following relays:
Under 8 – 9:
- 4 x 100m
- 4 x 200m (mixed – 2 boys, 2 girls)
- 1 x Long Jump, 1 x Shot Put, 1 x Discus
- 4 x 100m
- 4 x 400m (mixed – 2 boys, 2 girls)
- 1 x Long Jump, 1 x Shot Put, 1 x Discus
Under 11 – 17:
- 4 x 100m
- 4 x 400m (mixed – 2 boys, 2 girls)
- 1 x Shot Put, 1 x Discus, 1 x Javelin
- 1 x Long Jump, 1 x High Jump, 1 x Triple Jump
Junior (U8-11) 4 x Middle Distance
Senior (U12-15) 4 x Middle Distance
Note: If not stated, there are separate relays for boys and girls. U8 – U11 Athletes may compete in either track relays or field relays, but not both. U12 – U17 Athletes may compete in both track & field relays but are responsible for their own clashes
The Centre will try to ensure the maximum number of athletes are given the opportunity to compete at State level, but will also try to ensure that our athletes have the best chance of doing well in each event entered. A software model is used to help determine team composition.
Ku-ring-gai representatives are selected for the Relays on their Centre performances and eligibility. A selection panel determines, via the official scoring system, which is the optimal track and field relay team for each age group. If any of the members of the optimal team are unavailable, the Age Managers consult members of the selection panel to determine the next optimal team. Age Managers of U13 to U17 athletes will finalise their teams in consultation with their athletes.
Acceptance of selection in a State Relay team brings with it a commitment to attend and participate. Baton changing practice is compulsory for all athletes selected in track relays. This is both to teach baton changing technique and to decide running order. Athletes who do not attend these sessions will forfeit their selection.
Gold, silver and bronze medals are presented to the first three placegetters, and all reserves who attend the meeting receive equivalent medals. All finalists receive certificates and all participants receive a track suit patch.
These Championships are the first stage towards competing at the State Championships. They are held over both days of one weekend. Athletes compete in a full range of individual events (see Events by Age Group in the Technical Information section), and there are Junior and Senior 4x100m Relays for both girls and boys.
For the Under 7 to Under 12 age groups: Five athletes and two reserves are selected for each event. Selection of athletes to compete at the Zone Championships is undertaken by a selection panel appointed by the Executive Council. Age Managers and Executive Committee members normally participate on this panel, but must not rank their own children.
Performances at official Ku-ring-gai Little Athletics meetings conducted in the current season are assessed and athletes are given a ranking order according to the following criteria:
- quality and consistency of performance, and
- preference is given to the athlete with the most recent good performance
Athletes are then selected by ranking order for four events only, excluding relays. Athletes selected in a relay are notified separately.
For the Under 13 to Under 17 age groups: Each athlete selects up to six events in which he or she wishes to compete. Age Managers can help with this decision.
Children in the Under 7 age group do not compete beyond Zone level. They receive medals if they are placed first, second or third on the day.
Children who accept selection for an event may not withdraw after the heats except if injured or ill. Children who withdraw from an event after the heats to save themselves for the final of their ‘pet’ event may not be seriously considered for selection in another Ku-ring-gai team.
The top eight athletes (first six placegetters plus next two best performances) in every individual event at the Zone Championships qualify to compete in the Regional Championships. These Championships represent a much higher level of competition.
Medals are awarded to the first three placegetters and everyone receives a certificate with their results.
Children in the Under 8 age group do not compete beyond Region level.
Usually the basic order of events at Region is the same as at Zone. Because the Under 7 age group does not compete at Region level, these events are missing from the program. Also, most events will have both heats and finals. Both of these factors affect the overall timing of all events. Some events may be held on a different day, for example, the 3000m.
However, the Carnival Manager has the right to change the order of events, and may do so at short notice. Athletes are advised to arrive early each day and be prepared to wait for their events.
The first two placegetters in individual events at the Region Championships qualify to compete in the NSW State Championships. These athletes comprise 16 of the maximum permissible field 24 athletes per event at State Championships. The other 8 places are filled by the next best performed athletes from across the eight Regions. Athletes who qualify in this way will be notified by the Association the Wednesday following the completion of the eight Region Championship carnivals.
The level of competition is usually extremely high; for most athletes, reaching the State Championships is a major achievement.
Some events will be held on the Friday evening prior to the full weekend of competition.
Medals are awarded to the first three placegetters. All finalists receive certificates and all participants receive track suit patches.
The order of events is published in advance, with an indication of ‘not before’ timing. Please check with your Age Manager.
Australian Little Athletics Championships
At the end of the last day of the State Championships, a team of 22 Under 13’s is selected to compete at these national titles. Two Under 15 boys and two Under 15 girls are also selected to compete in a Multi Event competition held at the same time. (This selection is based on performances at the State Multi Event Championships.)
Athletes from each state, the Northern Territory and the ACT compete in each event.
These Championships are held in a different state each year, over one day, but with several weeks of training and social functions.