Frequently Asked Questions
Below are questions we hear often. If you have more to add, please use the e-mail link at the bottom of the page to contact us. SCTC tries to be as informative as possible, but we still forget or overlook some things.
- How old does my youth athlete have to be? We recommend the SCTC Youth Program for children between the ages of 7 and 14, though it can also be a good option for older children who are home schooled. Participants younger than 7 must be supervised by a parent or sibling.
- How much does an SCTC membership cost? A membership can cost from $115 depending on what season(s) you want.
- How do I know what event my athlete should be competing in? This is should be discussed by the coach and the athlete together. Sometimes athletes want to compete in one event, their parents want them to compete in another event, and the coach wants them to compete in a third event. Athletes can compete in multiple events, but the important question is where they will focus their training.
- What kind of shoes should we get? Shoes are a personal item. Get what feels good. Fleet Feet Aptos and many of the shoe stores around town (though not the chain stores) will give you a discount if you mention that you are a SCTC member.
- Do we need to get spikes? Not necessarily, though spikes will enhance an athlete's performance in some events. Check with the coach and see if spikes are needed.
- What is USATF and why do I need it? USATF stands for USA Track and Field, which is the governing body of track and field in the United States. Your athlete only needs a USATF membership if s/he is competing in a meet that requires him or her to have one. Our All-Comer meets do not require USATF membership, but most of the meets we travel to attend do require that athletes be USATF members; this is a way of proving athletes' ages. Memberships are $20.00 and can be purchased online. You will need your athlete's birth certificate and SCTC's club number (#0137). Please note that we are located in the Pacific Region.
- What if we can't attend every practice? Attending practice is generally not a requirement, though the more times a week you attend, the more coaching and training your athlete will receive and thus, the more s/he will improve. However, if your athlete is on a team (4x400 or 4x100), practice is more important; athletes need that time to work with their teammates and the coach. Attending the track meets is a requirement if you are on a team. Do not sign up to compete at a track meet with a team if you cannot go.
- What is a PR? A PR is a Personal Record.
- What are all the track abbreviations? LJ is long jump, SP is shot put, TJ is triple jump, HJ is high jump, PV is pole vault, D is discus, "four by one" is the four by one hundred meter relay (4x100), and four by four is four by four hundred meter relay (4x400).
- What is a bantam? "Bantam" is the term for the 9 and 10 year old age group (i.e., any athlete turning 9 or 10 before December 31st). "Sub-bantam" refers to the 8 and under age group. Eleven and 12 year olds are referred to as "midgets," 13 and 14 year olds are called "youths," 15 and 16 year olds are classified as "intermediates," and 17 and 18 year olds are simply called "young men" and "young women."
- Does my athlete have to compete? NO. Competitions are optional. SCTC's all comers meets are perfect for first time competitors.
- What is an "all comers" meet? "All comers" meets are more casual than most other competitions. Usually there is a small fee to race, but anybody can race, you do not have to be a club member, and usually there is no registration and no medals. Times may not be as accurate as at larger, more formal competitions.