Youth participation represents one the fastest growing areas of the sport today and it is important to emphasis basic fundamentals and FUN. Competition is certainly a part of the sport but kids, parents, and coaches should focus on enjoyment, and learning proper skills and healthy exercise habits that will last a lifetime rather than winning and losing.
The "Youth" age division is comprised of athletes age 15 and under, with racing age determined on December 31st of the competition year. Age categories are generally broken down into ages 7-8, 9-10, 11-12, and 13-15. Distances are short and intended simply to expose our youngest triathletes to basic elements of triathlon and give them a taste of the unique sense of accomplishment that comes with finishing a triathlon.
Suggested Race Distances for Youth Athletes
Beginning at age 12, youth also have the opportunity to compete in draft-legal triathlons, called F1 or Youth Elite Cups. These super-sprint distance races mimic the ITU World Cup and Olympic format of racing. Youth Elites do not have to qualify for these events, but generally should have above-average swim skills, the ability to ride in a peloton, and a strong run.
More questions? Contact your Regional Athlete Development Coordinator (RADC) Shelly O'Brien.
Youth Finisher Awards
USAT-SMW will provide Youth Finisher's Awards to race directors for their next USAT sanctioned event. Race directors can read about the details this program at the link below. To obtain the USAT SMW Youth Finisher’s Award click on the link shown below. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions about this.
W9 Form (to be turned in with all youth finisher award requests)