The age groups for athletics competitions can be confusing and coaches and club officials are often asked how they work, so we hope this summary explains them.
The current athletics ‘competition year’ runs from 1st October 2023 to 30th September 2024.
Within this, the summer competition year runs 1st April 2024 to 30th September 2024 and the winter competition year runs 1st October 2023 to 31st March 2024.
Juniors (i.e. under 13/under 15/under 17 athletes) move into their new age groups on the 1st of October every year.
Under 13 boys and girls
School years 6 and 7 – for summer track & field season 2024
School years 7 and 8 – for winter road running, cross country and indoor track & field season 2023/2024
Under 15 boys and girls
School years 8 and 9 – for summer track & field season 2024
School years 9 and 10 – for winter road running, cross country and indoor track & field season 2023/2024
Under 17 men and women
School years 10 and 11 – for summer track & field season 2024
School years 11 and 12 – for winter road running, cross country and indoor track & field season 2023/2024
NB: historically, England Athletics have always designated under 17’s as men and women, rather than boys and girls, even though they are still juniors.
Under 20’s men and women
School years 12 and 13 – for summer track & field season 2024, plus first year after leaving school (except for those whose birthdays are September to December).
Anyone aged 17, 18 or 19 on 31st August prior to 1st October 2023 – for winter road running, cross country and indoor track & field season 2023/2024.
Athletes making the transition from juniors to seniors is a key event in their development and often follows athletes having had a great time training and competing as a junior. Representing your club for the first time as a senior is a proud moment and ahead lies a great future of being an athlete during what is regarded as an athlete’s peak years.
Seniors are men and women who are at least 20 as of 31st December 2023.
Masters are athletes who are at least 35 years of age on the day of competition.
NB: Under 11’s
UK Athletics rules do not specifically cater for athletes under the age of 11 years. This does not mean they cannot compete but if competition organisers put on events for under 11’s, the distances run are likely to be reduced and lighter implements will be used. (Under 11 athletes will mainly be in school years 4 and 5).