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Indoor Track & Field: An Overview

In addition, the world and national indoor championships have recently dropped the 200 meters from their schedules after concluding that the tight turns gave an undeniable and unfair advantage to the runners who competed in the outside lanes (lanes five and six). However, the 200 meter event is still contested at many invitational, collegiate and age-group level meets.


  • Events added. While some events are dropped when the sport moves inside, several events are added to the indoor line-up:

    • 50, 55 or 60 meters dash(to replace the 100 meter dash)

    • 50, 55 or 60 meter hurdles (replacing the 100 meter (women/girls)/110 meter hurdles (men/boys).

    • 3,000 meters (frequently replacing the 5,000 meters)

    • Indoor weight throw (to compensate for the omission of the three outdoor throws; it is most similar to the hammer event, but because it is heavier than the hammer, it doesn't travel as far and this makes it suitable for an indoor arena)

    • Pentathlon (five events over two days) (replacing the outdoor decathlon (men) and heptathlon (women). Sometimes in a one-day event there might be a triathlon.

A chance to have fun

Because of the variation in track size and events, indoor track is attractive to track and field athletes for a number of reasons:


  • It allows athletes a chance to be creative with their event choices and to try a new event or a different event from their specialty,

  • It provides athletes the opportunity to work on a particular aspect of their main outdoor event:

    • Sprinters love to use the shorter distance to work on their start.

    • 400 meter hurdlers benefit from racing the shorter hurdles used indoors to perfect their technique.

    • Distance runners like to race a longer event to build strength or try a shorter distance to work on their speed.

The end result is that indoor track is usually more low-key and provides a chance to have fun and try something new.

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