FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
> Membership Criteria
- Track Xplosion Track and Field Club is open to girls and boys ages 4 to 18. However, athletes, who will not be at least seven (7) years of age on December 31 of the current year, may be subject to limitations in practice days and meets.
- No prior experience with running competitively is required to participate.
- Our program is designed, for all athletic abilities, to introduce kids to running and field events such as shot put, javelin, long jump, high jump, etc.
- Track Xplosion provides an opportunity for athletes, regardless of ability, to challenge themselves to enhance their skills, develop healthy habits and improve overall fitness.
> Age Verificafion
- Age verification is required for all new athletes.
You must provide two copies of the athlete’s birth certificate to the team Registrar for the verification process.
Athletes, who are not age verified, will not be able to compete in any qualifying meets.
> Club Registration Fees
Click on the following link to see Registration Fees for current season.
* ATHLETES WILL NOT BE PERMITTED TO COMPETE UNTIL THEIR REGISTRATION FEES ARE PAID IN FULL *
> Season Timeframe
- Indoor Season normally begins in the late November – Early December timeframe and runs until the middle to end of March
- Outdoor season begins late March and runs until the end of June for those athletes that do not advance during qualifying meets. For those athletes, that advance, the season can run until late July/early August.
> Age Groups
Youth competitions typically take place in two-year age divisions. These age divisions provide young athletes the opportunity to compete with other athletes of similar ability. Click link USATF Age Groups for more information.
All age divisions are determined by Year of Birth. Click link AAU Age Groups for more information.
> Practice Time and Location
For Outdoor Season, Track Xplosion practices at Southeast Raleigh High School, Monday through Thursday from March - June and Monday through Friday beginning in July for Relay Teams. Practice is from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm.
> Athlete Pick-Up
- Practice normally ends between 7:45 pm and 8:00 pm. However, there are days where practice is finished early. Therefore, please plan on being at the track, no later than 7:30 pm, to wait for your athlete to finish practicing. Athletes, who are picked up late, could be assessed a fee and not allowed to participate until fee is paid and/or removed from the team, without refund, for repeat offenders.
- If a parent/guardian is planning to leave the premises, please ensure that a coach is made aware and has a contact number.
- For safety reasons, parents/guardians are asked to come into the stadium to pick up their athlete. In addition, you are asked to notify your athlete’s coach that you are taking your athlete. Athletes are NOT allowed to exit the stadium without an adult!!!
> Hydration During Practice
Water is not provided. It is the parent/guardian’s responsibility to send your athlete to practice with plenty of water. From an environmental perspective and to avoid having to pick up plastic water bottles, we prefer your athlete bring a larger reusable water container. Please write your athlete’s name on their water bottle so that they can easily identify their container.
> Practice Cancellation
In the event that practice needs to be cancelled, a communication will be placed on the Track Xplosion Meet Day GroupMe, the website and Facebook. Though we strive to have this information communicated no later than 4:30 pm, please keep in mind that due to the unpredictability of weather, practice may need to be cancelled even up to the start of practice. Word of Caution: Don’t assume practice is cancelled just because it is raining where you are.
IMPORTANT: In case increment weather (i.e., thunder / lightning) occurs DURING practice, coaching staff will determine the sheltering plan for the athletes, which most of the time will be exiting the stadium and sheltering in a vehicle. Therefore, please do not leave your athlete at practice if you know that inclement weather is possible. In addition, practice could be cancelled all together meaning athletes will need to leave, immediately.
> Meet Expectations
Track meets can last a majority of the day if not the entire day; so come prepared. The meets have many different teams, events, and age divisions competing so bring your patience. For example, if your child is a sprinter and runs the 100m and 200m events, the 100m will be near the beginning of the meet while the 200m is much later in the day. We do not want the athletes running around between events and getting too tired before they compete. Please be patient and considerate of your track neighbors, the officials and other athletes.
Extra Meet Tips
- Pay attention to the information being shared on the Track Xplosion Meet Day GroupMe
- Arrive early - space can be limited and meet schedule can change
- Listen for when events are being called and when its time to warm-up so you don't miss your event
- Bring proper attire (running shoes, spikes (and pins) / specialty shoes, uniform, sweats)
- Athletes are not permitted to wear “flip flops” / Crocs to track meets
- Athletes must wear the official team uniform when competing
> Athlete Events
Prior to the meet signup, your athlete’s coach and/or head coach will communicate the events they recommend for your athlete.
> Meet Location and Schedule
Initially, most track meets are normally held within a three (3) hour distance of Raleigh. However, as the season progresses, we will participate in meets that are out of state (i.e. Regional and Nationals.)
Click on the following link Schedule to get list of meets. Please note that meet schedule is subject to change throughout the season.
> Developmental vs. Qualifying Meets
Developmental meets are normally ran during the first ¾ of the season. They are intended to prepare the athletes for the qualifying meets, which will be contested towards the end of the season. Most developmental meets allow all athletes to participate and there are no standards that needed to have been met to compete. Note: There may be some limitations of events and non-participation due to an athletes age.
- Qualifying meets are ran during the last quarter of the season. Qualifying meets normally consist of three rounds (i.e. Association, Regional, National) with the final round being the Junior Olympics. An athlete or relay team must be in a top certain number of spots to “advance” to the next round. If an athlete or relay team do not “advance” their season will end.
> Weather Policy for Meets
Track meets will be contested in heat and rain, so plan accordingly. Please listen for instructions from meet management in the case of inclement weather (i.e. thunder, lightning.) If a rain delay requires you to leave the stadium, please pay attention to the Track Xplosion GroupMe for additional guidance and potential return times.
> Items to Bring for a Track Meet
Review the Track Meet Packing Guide to get more information
> Travel Expectations
Travel varies from year to year depending on the meets that we select. The first part of the season normally consists of meets that are within a three (3) hour distance of Raleigh. However, later in the season, there may be more out of state meets depending on the location of the USATF Regional and National meets.
Travel and transportation costs are the responsibility of the parent/guardian. Limited transportation may be provided for the USATF Association, Regional and National meet participants, on a case by case basis.
APPAREL & FOOTWEAR
> Track Xplosion Uniforms and Custom Apparel
- Athletes must compete in a Track Xplosion uniform or uniform approved by Track Xplosion President or Head Coach.
- Athletes are not to alter or add additional clothing over or under the official uniform (such as leggings or shirts that extend beyond the uniform) unless approved by Track Xplosion President or Head Coach.
- Uniforms can be purchased by seeing the Uniform Coordinator.
- Track Xplosion t-shirts, jackets, tights, sweats, etc. can be purchased by seeing the Custom Apparel Coordinator.
> Practice Apparel
Athletes should dress appropriately for the expected and possible weather conditions of practices/meets. Dress athletes in layers so that they can shed layers as they warm up and add layers when cooling down. Sweats should be worn to keep athlete’s muscles warm. In addition to spikes, athletes should always bring running shoes to practice, as well as meets.
- Athletes should have a good pair of running shoes as well as a pair of spikes. However, before purchasing spikes, please discuss what type of events your athlete will be contesting to ensure you purchase the correct type of spikes.
- Athletes should always bring running shoes and spikes to every meet and practice. In addition, spikes should be check on a consistent basis to ensure that “pins” are in good shape and do not need to be replaced. Spike pins should be ¼ inch pyramids.
- Running shoes and spikes can be purchased on-line (i.e. First To The Finish, Eastbay) and at local merchants such as Dick’s Sporting Goods, Capital RunWalk (discount when you tell them you are with Track Xplosion), Fleet Feet Raleigh.
- Inappropriate practice and meet footwear includes:
- Fashion shoes (i.e. high tops sneakers, Air Jordans; UGGS)
> Throwing Equipment and Shoes
- Athletes use different size throwing equipment depending on their age group. Refer to the Throws Implement Specification charts to find the correct size equipment based on your athletes' age group.
Throwing shoes are recommended but not required.
Throw equipment and shoes can be purchased on-line (i.e. Amazon, Everything Track and Field, First To The Finish).
Athlete should bring their throwing shoes and equipment to meets and practice if they have them. However, it is the athlete's responsibility to keep up with their equipment. These items all look very similiar so be sure to properly label for easier identification.
HEALTH & NUTRITION
Water is the preferred beverage. Please avoid carbonated beverages such as soda and it is suggested that athletes dilute electrolyte drinks such as Gatorade or PowerAde with some water as the high sugar contents often lead to cramping.
> Pre-Practice/Meet Nutrition
There are many different philosophies on pre-competition nutrition. However, a good basic rule of thumb is to only eat foods that easily digest before a practice or competition. Examples include fruits, eggs, and oatmeal. Avoid foods with high fat levels and dairy before a competition. Refer to Nutrition Guide.
> After Race Nutrition
Simple sugars within a half hour to hour after competition such as those in fruits, bagels, etc. are recommended. Foods containing antioxidants will help your athletes replenish their fuel sources quickly and decrease muscle fatigue.
USATF Age Divisions
Youth competitions typically take place in two-year age divisions. These age divisions provide young athletes the opportunity to compete with other athletes of similar ability.
The age divisions for competition year 2020 are as follows:
* Per USATF Rule 300.1 (c) “Athletes must be at least seven (7) years of age on December 31 of the current year to compete at the Youth Athletics or Junior Olympic National Championships.”
** Athletes who are still 18 through the final day of the USATF National Junior Olympic Track & Field Championships are eligible to compete in the 17-18 age division through that meet.
AAU Age Divisions
All age divisions are determined by Year of Birth. The age divisions for competition year 2020 are as follows:
* Athletes who are still eighteen (18) years of age through the final day of the AAU Junior Olympic Games shall be eligible to compete in the 17-18 year old division.