Track and Field

Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field

Track and field is one of the oldest sports in the world, if not the oldest. The origins of this sport date back to the Olympics held in 776 b.c. and the only event during this version was the standard race on foot. There are two varying seasons for this sport in modern times and they are the indoor season, which usually takes place in the winter months, and an outdoor season, which takes place in the milder times of the year. This is a sport that has evolved since its inception close to 3,000 years ago. Today this sport is contested at levels all the down from high school up through college and then to the professional world. Thousands of men and women each year compete in track and field with these numbers increasing each year.

For indoor track and field events, athletes contest the same events that are held at an outdoor meet except the 100 m and 110 m/100 m hurdles (which are then replaced by the 60 m sprint and 60 m hurdles at most levels and sometimes the 55m sprint and 55m hurdles at the high school level), and the 10,000 m run and steeplechase 3,000m. Indoor meets also have the addition of a 3,000 m run normally at both the collegiate and elite level instead of the 10,000 m. Even though situations have dictated longer ones, the longest event usually held indoors is of 5,000m. During the middle 1900s, there did happen to take place a series of races 'duel races' at Madison Square Garden's (NY) indoor track, some of which featured two men racing a marathon (26.2 miles). Occurrences such as this are rare for easy reasons to comprehend. In additional occasions, there may also be a 500 m race replacing the 400 m normally ran outdoors, and in many collegiate championship races indoors they will consist of both events.

The outdoor track and field season gets up and going during the spring and allthe way through the summer months. Usually the tracks are an oval shape track of 400 meters. However, some old tracks are still measured in yards, so they measure 440 yards. The track consists of 6-10 lanes and, for the bigger tracks, a steeplechase lane with what is known as a water pit area. This can be inside or outside the track, making for a tighter turn or a wider turn. Due to size and shapes of these tracks, schools tend to put areas in the middle of the track for such things as lacrosse and soccer, even football, which is commonly referred to as the infield. In a recent trend, some fields are being constructed of artificial turf surfaces as opposed to natural grass areas. The main events that are contested in the field area for these events are the pole vault, jumps (triple, long, high), shot put, throws (hammer and discus), and the javelin.

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