CONICA: Everything you need to know when choosing an athletics track.

Certifying entities. What do they certify?

Surfaces such as athletics tracks for practising many different sports – especially outdoors sports – have become popular in recent years. We frequently answer queries from all over the world that reveal a lack of genuine knowledge of the different systems, qualities, uses and certifications involved. The result is that rather unscrupulous companies and people take advantage of this conceptual confusion, often using false arguments or totally unfounded arguments. Understanding ALL the aspects involved in designing a stadium and organising athletic events is a very complex, multi-faceted undertaking that definitely requires a lot of planning, detailed selection and perfect execution of a project. In the present and the following articles by CONICA, we will just see the aspects relating to the regulations that apply to athletics track surfaces. Although everything related to such tracks is governed by rules and technical manuals that apply to the competition infrastructure, there are also general competition rules, competition regulations for different tournaments, regulations for the athletes, certification for the track equipment, throwing elements (shot put, etc.), markings,  the laboratories performing the tests for all the above and much much more. But fear not: in the next articles we will be taking a closer look at athletics track surfaces and we hope that at least this part will be clear enough to help you choose what you really need and want, once furnished with sufficient knowledge and a basis of reliable information.

Which body is responsible for regulating athletics track surfaces?

Depending on the type of competition to be held on a track, the body that regulates the systems for athletics tracks can be World Athletics (WA), (also known as IAAF until recently), the national athletics federations or, in some countries, even the regional or state federations. If you are not planning to hold competitions at all you will not need any certification or approval other than that the products to be installed comply with the standards and specifications governing sports flooring surfaces, such as the EN 14877 for outdoor synthetic surfaces in Europe. Of course, a track with a surface certified by World Athletics (WA) – IAAF, will always provide better guarantees than an unproven solution, even if you are not planning to hold competitions.

Three basic concepts from this chapter:

  • Athletics facilities are governed by specific regulations
  • World Athletics (WA), formerly IAAF, is the regulating body at the international level
  • All outdoor synthetic sports flooring in Europe must comply with EN 14877

In the next article we will examine what WA or IAAF certification is, what Class 1 or Class 2 is, and what an approved track is.
If in the meantime you are interested in learning more about CONICA’s systems for athletics tracks, please feel free to contact us or have a look at our Website: www.conica.com

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