A USATF sanction is an official designation issued by USATF, through a local Association, which approves and licenses the holding of a competitive track & field, long distance running or race walking event in the United States. The sanction is also a contract, which evidences the event's commitment to follow national and international rules and regulations of the sport and to provide a safe environment for the participants and spectators. Additionally, the sanction provides event directors with valuable liability insurance. Once the event has satisfied the sanction requirements, the event's application for sanction is approved.
Frequently Asked Questions
Sanction Objective: A safe and well managed athletic event.
The sanction is an agreement between an event organizer and USATF to ensure that the event is properly conducted. This includes the requirements for:
Providing appropriate safety and medical precautions to protect the welfare of athletes and spectators
Safeguarding athlete eligibility
Compliance with USATF rules (as well as International rules for Elite Sanction events)
Appropriate provisions for validation of records
A Waiver and Assumption of Risk clause in the event application MUST be acknowledged and signed by each participant.
General Liability Insurance Coverage. A USATF sanction provides $2,000,000 in general liability insurance coverage. The insurance becomes effective when the sanction is approved and includes most pre-race and post-race activity. The policy covers the event organizer, sponsors, participants, volunteers, facilities, and the community in which the event takes place. There are also specific exclusions - worker's compensation, rental vehicles, naming paid contractors as addittional insured.
The approved copy of the sanction serves as proof of insurance for the organizer.
New in 2016, there is an Event Directors Insurance Program offering additional benefits, and opportunity to purchase Excess Liability.
Certificates of Insurance. Requests for certificates of insurance, showing insurance coverage and/or naming a third party as additional insured, should be submitted at least four weeks prior to the event. ALSO: It is recommended that the event organizer request a certificate of insurance from its vendors and sponsors, naming the "event organizer" as an additional insured.
An event CANNOT obtain certificates of insurance for vendors or contractors which the event is paying for services. Also, certificates for sponsors providing food or drink are only issued with a reciprocal certificate from the food/beverage supplier.
Authority within the rules of the sport to pay prize money to participants of the event. An Elite Sanction Addendum must be completed for events that offer any one prize of over $500 (see other restrictions under Sanction Instructions).
Recognition of state and national records.
Protection and certification of athlete eligibility and permission to invite international athletes.
Enforcement of the rules of the sport in dealing with athletes, and support of event director in cases of dispute.
Calendar Promotion in the USATF online calendar, highlighted to distinguish from non-sanctioned events.
Assistance from your full-time staffed USATF-New England office.
The National portion of USATF Sanction Fees increased as of Novemeber 1, 2016 - the first increase in 13 years
The local portion has not increased
The fee includes a national fee covering the insurance and a local fee remaining in the association. The total fee is based on the number of finishers in the event, and is paid in advance of the event based on an estimate of the number of finishers. Fees overpaid are refunded if numbers are lower, and additions must be paid if estimates were low.
Self-insured events or those having other adequate insurance (for example, Road Runners Club of America) can sanction their events and waive 75% of the National fee. See the USATF website for specifics.
Fees remained the same for thirteen years, a rarity when dealing with insurance, and an indication of the attention paid to safety and liability concerns by event directors.
Sanction Fees - the total combined USA and association - for events sanctioned in the New England Association are as follows:
New in 2017 - National Late fees
Sanction submitted fewer than 30 days before an event will incur late charges.
16-29 days out - penalty of 10% of National fee
8-15 days - 25% of National fee penalty
4-7 days - 50% of National fee penalty
3 or fewer days - 100% of National fee penalty
Certificates of insurance
Therre is generally no fee for certificates of insurance. Late fees will be charged for requests received by the National office seven (7) or fewer days prior to the event date.
Payment is due with request!
$25 per certificate for requests received by the National office 4 to 7 days prior to the event date
$50 per certificate for requests received three (3) or fewer days prior to event date.
Certificates needed same day cannot be accommodated.
Sanctioning is done online in a two step process.
Add the event to the USATF Calendar
Complete the sanction, request certificates of insurance, and pay online
Payment is by credit card or ACH / "electronic check"
Do this at usatf.org.
First time events should watch the tutorial video.