The Eden Prairie Track and Field Association (EPTFA) is a not for profit charitable organization dedicated to the promotion, teaching and fostering of amateur track and field skills and competition. The primary audience shall be Eden Prairie youth but yo
Are athletes competing against their teammates or the entire grade level?
In general, our first few meets are for competing within your teams. The Open Meet will be the one chance for athletes to compete against their entire grade level for each event. Here are some more details specific to each event at all meets except the Open Meet:
Long Jump, High Jump, Shot Put - Athletes are competing within their own team, and not the entire grade.
400 M and 800 M - We typically do a grade level start or a separate boys and girls start per grade level. Even though this event has teams combined we encourage coaches to award ribbons based on their athletes place within their own team.
100 M, 200 M, and Hurdles - We try to do heats only within a team, but depending on the number of kids and how we are doing on time we may have a few heats with athletes from multiple teams. The high school track has 9 lanes and we are planning on only using the odd numbered lanes. This will allow athletes to pull their masks down during the race itself. They should still have them on at the start and end of the race.
Relays - We typically have multiple teams competing against each other. Since it's rare to have a perfect multiple of 4 per team we may request that athletes from separate teams are combined to form one relay team. If we are short an athlete or two we may allow one athlete to run two legs of the relay.
Do I need to record my athletes performance?
Yes! Whenever we have enough volunteers we will have people assisting with each event to measure distances for long jump and shot put and use the timers for timing the track events. It is the responsibility of the coaches to write down the distances, and to get the printout from the timers for the track events. These should be saved for the full season. At the end of the year coaches will present each athlete with a certificate and will list their personal bests for each event.
What etiquette should I be aware of as a coach?
The current etiquette policy is on the Resources page under the Coaches section, or available here: EPTFA Meet and Practice Etiquette
We will make changes to that document in the next week or two. One of the major things we want to stress is getting your athletes in the practice of treating the track as a road and looking both ways before crossing. In addition, they should be crossing as a group with direction from their coach whenever possible.
Why aren't we doing relays at the first meet?
We don't have enough time. We have a shorter amount of time available at the high school versus what we had at CMS. Relays tend to be our most time consuming events, so for at least the first meet we had to eliminate them from the schedule. We know a lot of kids love the team aspect of relays, and we will try to incorporate relays at upcoming meets or even add a relay challenge during practice.
What about spectators?
Please make sure spectators are staying in the bleachers unless they are signed up as a volunteer. No spectators are allowed inside the fenced in area. In past years parents would stay in the infield area, and that is no longer allowed. Athletes need to stay with their coach and the rest of their team. They should not be heading into the bleachers between events.
What etiquette do I need to know for long jump?
When doing long jump we want to encourage the kids to return to the starting line on the outside of the runway, rather than using the middle space between the lanes. Coaches or volunteers should be continually raking the pits and making sure athletes are not starting their approach until volunteers and other athletes are out of the way.
Do we use the take off board?
No. The take off board distance to the long jump pit is set for high schoolers. All of our athletes will be jumping from the chalk line (~3 feet from the pit).
What if the athlete scratches/faults (takes off with their foot beyond the line)?
Scratches/faults will be strictly enforced at the open meet. At the rest of the meets we leave it up to coach's discretion. My recommendation for 1st to 3rd grade is to let the athlete know they scratched, reduce the approximate length of the scratch from their measured distance and still record it as a successful attempt.
What etiquette do I need to know for shot put?
Coaches and volunteers should be the only ones in the field measuring and returning the shot puts. Only one athlete may be in the ring at a time, and other athletes need to stay behind that area.
What about fouls or scratches?
If the athlete steps outside the ring (falls forward over the line) the attempt does not count. Please enforce that the shot must be "put" or pushed. It may not be thrown. The volunteers measuring the distance will not be looking for these fouls. The key thing to look for is making sure the athlete starts with the shot against their neck or chin. If it comes away from their body it will result in a throwing motion.
How many teams will race at a time?
We will be using most of the 9 lanes available in order to only have two heats per grade.
How are the relay teams created?
Coaches are responsible for creating the relay teams. Ideally, each relay team should be only kids from the same team. If you don't end up with a perfect multiple of 4 there are two options. Either a kid can run multiple legs (but no more than 2 legs) or we can combine teams together.