For First Time, IAAF to Rank Global Track and Field Athletes

The move by the International Association of Athletics Federations to add global athlete rankings could make the sport of track and field easier to follow whenever the Olympics aren’t going on.

The International Association of Athletics Federations has a broad impact on the world of track and field—but never has it gone the route of global athlete rankings in the mold of, say, tennis or golf.

But that’s about to change. Working with the vendor Elite Ltd., which runs the ranking platform All Athletics, IAAF will build a comprehensive results and statistics database for the sport, the organization announced last week. It plans to launch the database next year.

It’s part of a broader effort to revamp the current IAAF infrastructure after the organization has been tied to doping scandals. But the platform also will make the sport a little easier to follow for both fans and the media, says IAAF President Sebastian Coe.

“For the first time in the sport’s history, athletes, media, and fans will have a clear understanding of the hierarchy of competitions from national through to area and up to global events, allowing them to follow a logical season-long path to the pinnacle of athletics’ top two competitions,” Coe said in a news release.

The revamped competition structure, which will come with an easy-to-follow points system, will also help to define who ends up in both the Olympics and the 2019 World Championships.

IAAF is also working with Elite Ltd. to build a new department, IAAF Heritage, to  highlight the sport’s long history.

“The rankings will bring much-needed clarity to what is today a confusing competition picture even for those from within the sport,” IAAF CEO Olivier Gers said in a statement, “while Heritage will be an important tool to help inform, inspire, and engage interest through the extraordinary story of athletics.”

(stefanschurr/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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