Q: How do I register my child for the 2016 Team Membership?
A: Please see the Registration Information Handout. You must provide payment information in order for the registration to be complete. If you did not get to the payment screen, you have not yet completed the registration. You can pay for the registration online via credit/debit card or with CASH at practice. Payment plans are available online if you provide your credit/debit card information. Payment plans are not available if you opt to pay with cash.

Q: Why do we need to submit our child’s birth certificate?
A: The USATF requires age verification which means that we must send a physical copy of your athlete’s birth certificate to the North Carolina USATF Association office in Raleigh so that they can verify your athlete’s date of birth once we have initiated the athlete’s USATF membership. As this verification is good from year to year, we only need to collect the birth certificates in your first year of membership. If there is a lapse in membership of 3 years or greater, we may need to collect the birth certificates to send for age verification again.

Q: Why does my child need a sport physical this year?
A: This is a new requirement this year. As such, we are making this an optional requirement for this year providing that you (the parent) sign a waiver. The physical must be performed by a qualified physician within the past 12 months. There are several local clinics that perform student sports physicals at a reduced rate. Please see information in the attached Registration Information Handout. The doctor may utilize any generic physical form, annual well-child physical form, Boy/Girl Scouts physical form, school sports physical form, or Our Official Athletic Physical Form. Beginning in the 2017 season, this will be a requirement for all athletes, no exceptions, no waivers.

Q: Please explain the USATF Age Groups. What age group does my child fall into?
A: The USATF Junior Olympic program divides athletes by age groups for the purposes of competition. Your athlete’s age is determined by the year in which they were born regardless of whether their birthday is early in the year or late in the year. For example, a child born December 31, 2010 is currently 5 years old by age. However, the USATF recognizes them as a 6 year old, therefore, they are eligible to participate in the program in the 6-8 Age Group. Another example: a child was born October 13, 2003 and is currently 12 years old. The USATF recognizes their age as 13 years old, therefore, they must compete in the 13-14 Age Group in the 2016 competition season.

The USATF Age Groups are as follows:
6-8 years old – born in the year 2008, 2009, or 2010
9-10 years old – born in the year 2006 or 2007
11-12 years old – born in the year 2004 or 2005
13-14 years old – born in the year 2002 or 2003
15-16 years old – born in the year 2000 or 2001
17-18 years old – born in the year 1998 or 1999 (children born in 1997 can participate as long as their 19th birthday is on or after August 1, 2016)

Q: What events can my child participate in?
A: We haveĀ a document outlining the specific events available through the USATF Junior Olympic program by Age Group.

Q: What type of shoes does my athlete need?
A: Initially, we recommend a quality pair of running shoes. For younger children (ages 6-10), this is likely the only pair of shoes they will need for track and field. For older children (ages 11-18), specialty shoes may be desirable in addition to the running shoes based on the event(s) the athlete chooses to participate in. If your child intends to participate in Race Walk, please check with Coach Cece Meredith prior to the purchase of any running shoes as there are specific qualities that make a running shoe a good shoe for Race Walking as well. Also, please check with your child’s coach(es) before purchasing any specialty track and/or field shoes.

Q: Where is good place to get shoes?
A: A good fitting pair of shoes that properly support the athlete’s foot is important in track & field. JusRunnin’, Foot Rx, and Dick’s Sporting Goods are all good places to obtain a good pair of running shoes as well as specialty track & field shoes. If you ever have any questions about shoes, please check with your athlete’s coach before making a purchase.

Q: When will uniforms be distributed?
A: We will distribute all purchased uniforms in early June at one of our practices. We will announce the date as we get closer to that time.

Q: Will there be a Developmental meet my athlete can attend?
A: The Asheville Lightning will not host a developmental meet this year. However, we recommend attendance of other Developmental meets prior to the State/Association meet in June. This is especially recommended for children ages 6-14 who have limited competition experience so that they get the feel for the environment of a large track meet. We are currently investigating a one-day developmental meet that will take place over Memorial Day weekend in Raleigh/Durham. We will distribute meet information in the near future.

Q: What is the fundraising event all about?
A: We do an annual fundraising event where we ask each athlete to collect donations from family and friends. At this time, we also put a focus on obtaining new team sponsors. We will begin fundraising near the end of May, culminating in a Walk-a-thon Fun Day on Sunday, June 12th. The money we raise through this program helps us fund the overhead of running a competitive track and field club (i.e. equipment replacements as needed, assisting with travel expenses for coaches so that they can attend the major competitions with their athletes, etc).