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Sanction Program Updates

USA Track & Field, Inc. (USATF) takes great pride in its ability to offer a comprehensive insurance and sanction program to its constituents. As the national governing body for track & field, long distance running, and race walking, we strive to meet the needs of all competitors in our sport and wish to see that all events they participate in are properly insured and organized to provide the best experience possible. Therefore, each year USATF provides race sanctions to nearly 8,000 events of varying sizes, age groups and levels of competition.

USATF has not modified its sanction fees for at least thirteen years, yet inflation costs have risen in excess of 25% during that time. In addition, USATF’s ability to continue offering this program is threatened by increased risks and costs incurred due to a rising number of, and increased severity in the, claims received. Given the changing climate, USATF reviewed the fee structure in the current sanction program and has decided to make some adjustments in order to ensure the viability of this program.

In reviewing this program, USATF also noted that there were some inconsistencies in the pricing structure that caused certain tiers to be priced below our actual costs to run the program. In other instances, the high end of the tier structure was not varied enough to address the increased risk associated with larger events.

As a result, we have adjusted the sanction fee pricing structure to account for increases in inflation, as well as made adjustments to certain tiers in order to create a model that consistently reflects the associated risk in each tier. The new pricing structure, which will go into effect on November 1, 2016, includes a total of 12 tiers, as opposed to the prior 9 tier structure. Below is the new pricing structure:

Number of Participants in the
Sanctioned Event
USATF National Fee
1-100 $60.00
101-250 $95.00
251-500 $185.00
501-1,000 $370.00
1,001-2,000 $615.00
2,001-4,000 $1,110.00
4,001-6,000 $1,600.00
6,001-10,000 $3,075.00
10,001-15,000 $4,900.00
15,001-25,000 $7,400.00
25,001-35,000 $9,850.00
35,001+ $12,300.00

Not only does USATF strive to provide a superior product, we also strive to provide impeccable customer service to our constituents. In order to continue to do so, we must encourage event directors to plan well in advance of their event start dates and submit their sanction application and certificate of insurance requests in a timely manner, in compliance with our existing requirements in the USATF Governance Handbook. Doing so will minimize the number of sanctions and certificate of insurance requests received at the last minute, which subsequently creates unnecessary liability for USATF and event directors. In light of this, USATF will institute a late fee structure to both the sanction application and requests for third-party certificates of insurance. Per our Governance Handbook, event directors should be applying for sanctions at least 30 days in advance of their event. Note, USATF does not charge a fee for third-party certificates of insurance with the exception of any late fee that may be assessed. Below is the new late fee structure:

Application Late fees:

  • Applications Received 29 days – 16 days prior to event = 10% increase in the sanction fee
  • Applications Received 15 days – 8 days prior to event = 25% increase in the sanction fee
  • Applications Received 7 days - 4 days prior to event = 50% increase in the sanction fee
  • Applications Received 3 days or less prior to event = 100% increase in the sanction fee

Late fees for Certificate of Insurance Requests:

  • Requests Received 7 days – 4 days prior to event = $25 fee
  • Requests Received 3 days or less prior to event = $50 fee

Furthermore, USATF will impose a 10% administrative fee on any refunds for cancelled sanctions.

USATF has also reviewed the ancillary fee structures within the sanction program and determined that an adjustment is needed to the pricing structure for those events that wish to be sanctioned by USATF, but elect to waive USATF liability insurance. The USATF National Fee for all sanctioned events that elect to waive USATF liability insurance will be 25% of the regular sanction fee, not to exceed a total charge of $1,000.

In addition to the changes noted above, USATF is committed to providing better resources to both our Associations and event directors to improve overall support for the sanction program. USATF will provide enhanced educational resources on best practices with regard to event management and with the assistance and collaboration of our partners in the field, USATF plans to create training courses for event directors in order to increase their knowledge on topics such as risk management, medical safety, security and event management. Look for those additional resource tools over the coming months.

As the national governing body, USATF understands the role event directors and local Associations play in the exposure and growth of track & field, long distance running, and race walking across the country. We thank you for your support and hope you will continue your service to the sport.

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