Track & Field Meetings – Useful Information

Cleckheaton track

This is a work in progress


(I’ve put this first because you need to read it before you set off!)

You must wear club colours (i.e. VS T-shirt or vest)

You must wear numbers front and back for all events except high jump. You’ll need 8 pins.

You should wear track spikes for track races, long jump and high jump. If it is raining you may not be allowed to compete in long jump or high jump if you don’t have spikes (or the officials may ask parents that they are happy for their child to compete)

You mustn’t wear spikes for shot or discus, just normal trainers.


(I’ve put this second for the same reason)

York has a covered stand the length of the track but other venues have limited seating (Cleckheaton a small covered stand at the finish line and Wakefield no “accommodation” whatsoever) so you may want to consider taking some folding chairs because there will be a lot of sitting around!


Parents aren’t allowed on the track but can lean over the fence which is adjacent to the track and where the athletes will be assembled for each event.

Long jump tends to be close to the track edge, but shot is generally in the middle of the track, so difficult to give advice while the competion area.

Note that athletes may not leave the competition area while the competition is taking place.

Tips for Track Events

Sprints –

  • you’ll be called up to behind the start area while previous races are in progress, and asked for your estimated time, then arranged in lanes in the same way as we do at GSAL.
  • When called to the start, you’ll be lined up 2 metres behind the line.
  • When called “On Your Marks”, line up on the start line,
    • crouch start (U13 and older) – fingers behind (not on) the line, in crouch position, with at least one knee on the ground. When called “Set”, lift the other knee into your start position.
    • standing start (U11 and may be allowed in U13) – lead foot with toes just behind the line. When called “Set” get arms ready.
  • The gun will be fired whenever the starter can see everyone is up and steady, could be within a second. If one or more athletes are wobbling, the starter may say “Stand Up”, and everyone should go back to 2 metres behind the line

Middle distance general – all distances over 600m. Same as sprints, you’ll be called and arranged while previous races are in progress, then lined up 2 metres behind the line. “On your marks” brings you up to the line and get ready to start (both feet behind the line) (opposite arm and foot forward!). There is no “Set” command. The gun will be fired when the starter can see when everyone is steady.

Middle distance 600m start. This is diagonally across from the finish. There you’ll see a white curved line. You’ll get ready in lanes, just as for the other races, and when you move forward , stay in your lane until you are 2 metres behind the curved line (ignore any other lines). When called to your marks, stay in lane but move up to the curved line. When the gun goes, you need not stay in lane, my advice would be, if you are in one of the outer lanes, head for lane 3 or lane 2 to avoid the crush.

Middle distance 800m start – if in lane 1 you start on the finish line. For all other lanes you’ll see 3 sets of markings across the track, one white with a green dash one with a full white line and one white with a blue dash (in that order). You start from the first one (the green dash). You’ll be asked to line up 2 metres behind the green dashed line. You run the first bend in lanes, and the coming out from the bend you’ll see some small green blocks at the edge of each lane. You must keep in lane till you pass the “your” green block on the inside. Then you can move towards the inside, but note that the shortest route is to head diagonally, aiming to get to lane 1 at the next bend.

Middle distance 800m alternative start – NB sometimes the 800m starts on a curved line,similar to that described for 600m

Middle distance 1500m. This starts at the end of the first bend.

Tips for Field Events

For all field events you’ll need to give your name to the official leading the event. They may have a list of competitors in which case the order of competition is the order on their list. Otherwise they’ll write your name on the form that they’ll use to record distances – if you don’t want to be first to compete then stand a bit back when the official is taking names!

For each event, you’ll usually get 2 practices and 3 jumps, but this may vary. You will be told how many of each.

Long Jump

  • video
  • place a marker about the length of 10 sprint paces from the front of the white take-off board. Your leading foot to start running should be the foot you’re going to use for take-off. For your practice, go at full speed and don’t try to adjust to hit the boards – it doesn’t matter if your take-off is well short or well past the board. Adjust your marker accordingly
  • when jumping in competition, after landing, take three or four paces forward and then exit the pit sideways. The judge will not measure your jump until you’ve exited the pit


High Jump



For all competitions/locations, timetables are an indication of order and start time, but it is always best to (a) listen to announcements (b) keep an eye on the events going on in the stadium to gauge when your next events will be on.

For West Yorkshire League (Cleckheaton and Wakefield)

  • The track events will occur in the sequence exactly as in the programme, but note that some events will have heats and some may be merged, so as the evening progresses, ascertain which is the current track event so you can work out when your junior athlete will next be running
  • The field events don’t occur in the sequence in the programme. Prior to the meeting they will publish on the website which gender/age group will compete first in each event (this is new for 2024!) and the sequence of age-groups for the rest of the meeting. If your junior is on first, no problem, but if on second or third, keep an eye on the progress of the current competitors.
  • Click on and then you’ll see, for each meeting, “Download list of events”, and, just before each meeting there will be a link “Order of Field Events”.

For events at York

  • There is a timetable for track and for field, usually keeps pretty good time

Getting to Cleckheaton

Venue is Princess Mary Stadium 124 Bradford Rd, Liversedge WF15 6LW.

Take M62 to junction 26 then second exit is A638. Continue for about a mile through Cleckheaton, then just over half a mile further on the road becomes a dual carriageway and after about 100 yards turn right into the stadium car park.

For evening meetings, the first track event and all the first field events will start at 6:30 prompt, so be there at least 15 minutes beforehand. And remember you’ll be battling with rush hour traffic on the M621 and M62.

And also a few minutes to find somewhere to park you car. If you’re very early, you’ll get in the stadium car park, fairly early you get on the light industrial estate next to the stadium, if you’re late, then possibly on the main road (but check on parking regulations) and also there are some side streets on the left hand side just past the stadium.

Getting to Wakefield

Recommended route is to use postcode WF2 8DA, this is Cross Lane, Wakefield.

Satnav should take you down M1 and off at junction 40, head for Wakefield. When you see Morrison’s petrol station on the left, get in the right hand lane and bear right (not sharp right) at the traffic lights, this will take you into Cross Lane. It’s a short, narrowish road with speed bumps.

At the end, turn left and then after 40m turn right into Thornes Park.

You’ll see the stadium on your right and a car park on your left. There may be space in that car park.

Otherwise keep going for about 100m and turn right (uphill) into another car park. If you keep right, the car park goes downhill and park as low as possible, this is by a little ginnel, walk down and you’ll be back on the access road quite near the stadium gates.

You’ll see the park and cross country course and club tents on the left and a bit further on you’ll be directed to turn right into the car park. Plenty of space and your walk back will be 50m at most.

Getting to York

Venue is University of York Sports Centre. YO10 5NA. Or use postcode YO10 5DY (this is Fulford Golf Club, see directions below)

Use your preferred route from Leeds to get onto the A64 east of the A1(M) and head towards York. Continue on to the York by-pass. Take the exit for the A19 signposted Selby, York and Designer Outlet. At the end of the slip road, turn left towards York.

After 600m, there are some new traffic lights for a new housing estate “Germany Beck” – carry straight on. Continue for another 600m (Fulford – some shops and pubs) and at the next set of lights, turn right (there is a separate lane and filter for the right turn).

Continue for 800m (NB 20mph and speed bumps) to a mini-roundabout.

Turn right, continue for 600m, pass Fulford Golf Club (on your right) and on your left you’ll see (over the hedge) the athletics track. Turn left into the University Campus, and then park in the car park on your right.

On foot, follow round the outside of the track anti-clockwise to the entrance to the track.

There is a stand (with seating) on your left, this looks over the sprint track, the finish and two long jump pits.