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A Guide to AAU Track and Field

The Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) is a non-profit sports organization founded in 1888 that promotes amateur sports. The AAU organizes amateur sports competitions across the country for all age groups, but it has a long history of promoting youth sports, good sportsmanship and fair competition. 

While the AAU hosts various sports, like baseball, basketball and karate, one of its most popular options is track and field.  

What is AAU Track and Field?

The AAU Track and Field program provides opportunities for young athletes to participate in track and field competitions at local, regional or national levels. 

The AAU Track and Field Program aims to create a safe and supportive environment for athletes to learn and compete at younger ages. It also aims to promote physical fitness, integrity and healthy competition. 

AAU Track and Field membership

An AAU Membership is necessary to participate in AAU Track and Field events, and a membership runs from September 1 to August 31. Here’s what else you should know. 

How do you qualify for AAU Track and Field? 

You can qualify for AAU Track and Field if you fall into the age range (18 and under). However, athletes who want to participate in AAU need a membership first.  

For Youth Program athletes, the cost is $20 for a regular membership or $22 for an extended coverage membership. Regular memberships cover AAU-sanctioned events, while an extended coverage membership covers certain events hosted by other sports entities (not AAU). 

Qualifying to participate in different AAU events requires specific placement. For instance, to participate in the AAU Junior Olympics Games, an AAU Track and Field Regional Qualifier must finish in the top six of a running event, field event and relay, as well as top four in a multi-event. 

What are the age groups for AAU Track and Field?

There are nine divisions for different age groups in AAU Track and Field: 8 and under, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, and 14 year olds, 15-16 year olds, and 17-18 year olds.

The 9 age division of AAU track and field

Athletes who are 18 through the last day of the AAU Junior Olympic Games can still compete. 

AAU Track and Field events

Specific events for AAU Track and Field will vary based on your location. But, some of the typical events you’ll see include: 

How competitive is AAU Track and Field?

In AAU, with so many talented athletes and teams, some participants are more competitive than others. It all depends on who you’re up against and how seriously they take the sport.  

With AAU Track and Field athletes working hard with their coaches or honing natural talents, you can expect different skill levels and experience at each division level. Many athletes may participate in AAU because they want to improve in their sport over time and have a higher chance of being noticed by college recruiters. With this in mind, they’ll be more competitive because they want to do their best and win. 

Overview of NCSA

A huge benefit of participating in AAU Track and Field events is that recruiters may see you play. College sports recruiters often check out AAU tournaments in addition to high school games, which gives you even more chances to land a recruitment offer.  

If you want help getting set up with AAU, we are here for you. NCSA has a massive network of coaches and athletes, and we can connect top talent with excellent college opportunities. Check out our services and create a free profile today