Adaptive Track & Field USA

Setting the standards and records
for adaptive athletes in the USA

Competition:        Track       Field        Road Racing


The track events are divided into sprint events, semi-endurance (middle distance) events, endurance (long distance) events, and relay (team events) events.

 Sprint events include:

100m: It is the shortest distance in official sprint events. Every athlete runs in his own lane
Jr. competitions: some athletes compete in the 40m and 60m.

200m: The 200m is the modern equivalent of the ancient “stadium” event of 192.27m. Many 100m athletes also compete in the 200m event since these two events require similar abilities.

400m: It involves total coverage of the perimeter of the stadium and is considered an extended speed event. The 400m is the modern equivalent of the ancient “diavlos” event of 2 x 192.2m.

Semi-Endurance (middle distance) events include:

800m: This distance combines speed and endurance as well as tactics with athletes completing two laps of the stadium.

1,500m: Many 800m athletes also compete in the 1,500m since these two events require similar abilities.

Endurance (long distance) events include:

5,000m: This event is similar to the “Dolikhos” of the ancient Olympic Games, which consisted of 25 laps of the stadium (approximately 4,800m).

10,000m: It is the longest distance run inside the stadium; however, not a part of the Paralympic Games program since 2000.

Relay (team) events include:

4 x 100m event

4 x 400m event

4X100m Universal event (Multi-Sex and Class)

Relay events can be traced to the ancient custom of sending messages via a series of couriers (skytalodromi or ‘runners with a message stick’). Each courier handed the stick over to the next until its destination was safely reached. In the relay event there are four runners from each country. Each runner covers a part of the distance before handing over the baton to the next runner. Changeovers have special rules and techniques and must be made within a specified area.

Para Track Rule Variations: 

The rules and regulations governing Olympic Games track events are also valid for the Paralympic Games, with certain variations per class. The International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) sets the international rules governing Olympic track while the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) sets the exceptions governing Paralympic track. The most notable variations in rules are the following:

In classes T33-34 and T51-54, athletes compete in a special competition wheelchair that must comply with certain specifications. More specifically, it must have two large wheels of up to 70 cm in diameter and at least one smaller wheel of maximum 50 cm diameter. In all events runners must wear a helmet.

In classes T31-T32 athletes compete in a special competition race runner that must comply with certain specifications.  it must have 2 large rear wheels up to 70cm in diameter and 1 front wheel.  The athlete leans on the race runner from the rear and pushes it using a handle bar to steer.  in all events runner must wear a helmet.

In classes T11 and T12 (Blind), the runners are allowed to have a guide on the field of play (T11 must use the Guide). The guide wears a brightly colored waist-coat (gilet) so they can be distinguished from the athlete. Athletes compete, in two lanes. The athlete and guide must run with a tether.  If the guide finishes in front of the athlete, the athlete is disqualified. Finally, runners of class T11 must wear a blindfold and eye gauze on their eyes in all events.

In classes T11-13 and T20 athletes must use starting blocks in the 100m through 400m events.  For T35-38, T40-47, T61-T64 athletes starting blocks are optional.



Field events are divided into throwing events (Shot put, Discus, Javelin, and Club) and jumping events (high jump, long jump and triple jump). Note: The jumping events use Track (T) classifications.

The Club is only available to be thrown for the lower class F30 athletes (F31-32). 

Field is contested either:
Seated:        classes F30-34 and F51-57
Ambulatory: classes F11-13, F20, F35-38, F40-47, F61-F64.

There are specific rules that govern how seated throws are performed from the chair's physical specifications to how athletes are to position themselves in the chair and how they throw
(see the ATFUSA or the IPC rulebook for specifics).

The athlete’s classification and age group will determine the implement weight of the shot put, discus or javelin that the athlete will use.


Road Racing:

ATFUSA sanctions National and Regional road racing competitions for 5K, 10K, 15K, 1/2 Marathon and Marathon events in the USA.

Men’s and Women’s Marathon constitutes the Paralympic Games road events. The Marathon is run over public roads.