How Does Club Track & Field Work?
Spike Up Athletics is a USA Track & Field member club. USA Track & Field (USATF) is the national governing body for track & field, long-distance, and race walking in the United States.
Divisions and Regions
When it comes to the club level, USATF consists of 5 divisions: Northeast, South, Midwest, Southwest, and West. Each of the 5 divisions consists of regions. The Northeast division consist of Regions 1 and 2. The South division consist of Regions 3, 4, and 6. The Midwest division consist of Regions 5, 7, and 8. The Southwest division consist of Regions 9 and 12. The West division consist of Regions 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, and 16. The regional breakdowns by state or territory are as follows.
Region 1 – Adirondack, Connecticut, Long Island, Maine, New England, and New York
Region 2 – Mid-Atlantic, New Jersey, Niagara, and Three Rivers
Region 3 – Potomac Valley, Virginia, and North Carolina
Region 4 – Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina
Region 5 – Kentucky, Lake Erie, Michigan, Ohio, and West Virginia
Region 6 – Alabama, Southern, and Tennessee
Region 7 – Illinois and Indiana
Region 8 – Dakotas, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, and Wisconsin
Region 9 – Arkansas, Missouri Valley, Oklahoma, and Ozark
Region 10 – Arizona, Border, Colorado, and New Mexico
Region 11 – Montana, Snake River, Utah, and Wyoming
Region 12 – Southwestern, South Texas, and West Texas
Region 13 – Alaska, Inland Northwest, Oregon, and Pacific Northwest
Region 14 – Central California
Region 15 – Hawaii, Nevada, San Diego, and Southern California
Region 16 - Pacific
Idaho is divided into two regions and associations: Region 11, Snake River; and Region 13, Inland Northwest. Snake River consisting of the part of our state that is south of Idaho County; and Inland Northwest consisting of the part of our state that is north of Idaho County.
Spike Up Athletics’ Breakdown
Spike Up Athletics is also a member of the Snake River Association, which consists of about 20 southern Idaho teams. The Inland Northwest Association consists of about 24 teams from northern Idaho and eastern Washington.
Until we become better established and growth warrants expansion, Spike Up Athletics will only participate in two competitive seasons: a fall/winter (indoor) season, and a summer (outdoor) season. Our winter program typically starts each year around the end of October and concludes around mid-February. Our summer program typically starts each year around the end of May and concludes around the last week of July. In our summer programs, kids have an opportunity to compete in events they don't get to compete in during their school seasons, such as javelin, 400 meter hurdles, and combined events (Pentathlon, Heptathlon, and Decathlon). And regardless of which season our athletes choose to compete in, he or she only competes against other athletes in his or her age group. The age groups our athletes will be competing in are: 11-12, 13-14, 15-16, and 17-18.
What to Expect During the Fall/Winter (Indoor) Season
Our fall/winter (indoor) season typically starts around the end of October and finishes around mid-February with the Simplot Games in Pocatello, Idaho. The fall/winter (indoor) season is also the most challenging of our two seasons by default of where we live, the ages of our athletes, and the USATF competition schedule. The most economical way for Spike Up Athletics to travel to/from competitions is by van. However, the winter weather conditions can sometimes make traveling to other meets (whether they’re in-state or out-of-state) very difficult. The other challenge we face is finding meets in which both our middle and high school athletes can compete; there seems to be plenty of meets that cater to high school-aged athletes but not middle school-aged athletes. Because we make every effort to compete as a complete team, we will most always opt to compete in meets that allow both our middle and high school-aged athletes, which means the team having to travel to places such as Pocatello, Idaho and Provo, Utah. There will also be opportunities for us to compete in one or two local meets at the Jackson Indoor Track Facility, which is near the Ford Idaho Center in Nampa, Idaho.
Unlike the summer (outdoor season) the fall/winter (indoor) season will not have a Snake River Association Championship, it will not have a Region 11 Junior Olympic Championships, and it will not have a National Junior Olympic Championships. However, if we have an athlete who is competing at a high level and meeting national qualifying standards, he or she may be invited to one of the prestigious indoor championship meets such as the New Balance Indoor Championships or USATF Indoor Championships, which are both held in New York typically around early and mid-March respectively.
Our fall/winter (indoor) season is a good way for those athletes who run school track in the spring to prepare and be in top form by the time their school track season begins.
What to Expect During the Summer (Outdoor) Season
In our summer (outdoor) program, athletes have an opportunity to compete in events they don't get to compete in during their school seasons, such as javelin, 400 meter hurdles, and combined events (Pentathlon, Heptathlon, and Decathlon).
Our summer (outdoor) season typically starts the week after the Idaho High School State Track & Field Championships around the end of May each year. Our summer season typically ends with the National Junior Olympic Championships, which is moved around the county each year to make it financially feasible and accessible for teams that maybe couldn’t afford to travel the previous year because of the expense.
Unlike the fall/winter (indoor) season, Spike Up Athletics will face very little challenges finding meets for all our athletes to compete in as a team, and we won’t be hampered by poor weather conditions either. During our summer (outdoor) season, we will compete in local YMCA community meets and meets hosted by other nearby USATF member clubs. And unlike the fall/winter (indoor) season, there will be a Snake River Association Championship, a Region 11 Junior Olympic Championships, and the granddaddy of summer meets…the National Junior Olympic Championships. Our athletes must compete in the Snake River Association meet in order to compete in the Region 11 meet. In order to advance from Region 11 into the National Junior Olympics (NJO), an athlete must place in the top 5 in his or her individual event(s) or in the top 2 in his or her multi events (Pentathlon, Heptathlon, or Decathlon). Athletes can also advance to the NJO by being on top 5 relay team.
The NJO is a huge, premier track & field event, giving your athlete an opportunity to compete against some of the very best athletes he or she will ever see. For many of our athletes, they won’t reach the medal podium at the NJO yet…the key word being YET!! The NJO is a week-long competition and most families who decide to go, make a vacation out of it. However, Spike Up Athletics leaves it to each individual family to determine whether their athlete or family can afford to travel to/from the NJO (as we do with any of our travel competitions), but if the athlete earned it, we recommend letting him or her go compete. If nothing else, once he or she sees how good other athletes from around the country are, it will often serve as motivation for him or her to train harder and eat better so that he or she raises his/her chances of reaching the medal podium someday, which is Spike Up Athletics’ vision.
We’ll often hold fundraising events throughout the year to make travel to/from the NJO a little more affordable for those athletes who qualify. Donations and sponsorships also play a major role in helping athletes compete at the big track meets, so if you know individuals or businesses who like to help athletes reach their dreams, please send them to this website to donate or inquire about sponsorship.