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Track & Field/Can I run unattached


I am 20 years old. I use to run track in high school and I ran my freshman year of college. I had to take a year off so I could get a job because of personal issues at home. I'm currently not enrolled in college and I'm not sure when I will enroll again. I still want to run track though so is it possible for me to run unattached at college meets without being in college? Or is there other meets that I could run unattached?

Dear Tisha:

There are many accessible ways to continue your track athleticism in your community and even the larger stage.  Local or regional track/running clubs are usually in many towns and cities and in some cases multiple such clubs in a city or region.  They organize their own competitions and often run together often on weekends.

USATF is the national organization supporting track and field for all ages from quite young to the late nineties.  If below thirty (about) interested people in any track or field activity should contact USATF which is probably easily contacted by searching "USATF" on your computer because there are many local Organizations (mostly states and regions) but in many different ranges of age and interest.

While that is probably the easiest way to reengage with the sport there are certainly others too many to not such as YMCA and YWCA that also promote track and field as a healthy activity.  If your interest ripens into more intense enjoyment to officiating the sport all of which can be great fun, continuing activity and earning some income.

You should have no problem participating as a club member or just a solo ("unattached") which requires some regular attention with related local running groups so that you learn of where events are staged/.  Good Luck, Dick Howland

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Richard Howland


I am a master USATF Track and Field official and can answer questions about officiating high school (NFHS), college (NCAA), National (USATF) and international in field events. I am not a coach except for other officials. My specialties are the Field events except pole vault.


I delight in meeting athletes from all backgrounds and ages. I have even officiated field events for a one hundred year old long jumper as well as many "Master" and "Senior" athletes. Special olympics is a great event for officials to volunteer and see the essence of good sport on the faces of the athletes. After thirty three years as a trial lawyer in Massachusetts with a focus on sports law, among others, I retired and devote much of my time to officiating. I referee soccer, time football, officiate swimming and diving, and officiate and start all events in track and field. My special focus in field events. In high school and college I played soccer, squash and lacrosse, but track was not available in any depth then. Since I was a lawyer I began officiating and training to officiate sports which I could fit into my schedule. I honestly do not remember when I first started track and field officiating, but estimate that I have been very active for at least fifteen years. I regularly officiate all events and levels.

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