Elite track and field athletes in the United States have multiple avenues through which to obtain funding and other types of support.
The information below covers the funding and support available to elite track and field athletes on an annual basis:
- USATF High Performance Plan (Tier System) – Money, Medical and Meets
- USATF Talent Protection Program (TPP) for post-collegians
- Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center (CVEATC) Programs
- Funding for “Development Athletes”
- USATF Foundation Grants
- Women’s Sports Foundation Grants
- For the latest announcements about upcoming funding opportunities, CLICK HERE or check the Calendar for application deadlines.
High Performance Plan
USATF implements a “High Performance Plan” (HPP) on an annual basis that lays out how funds given to the organization by the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) will be used to ensure as many Olympic and World Championship medals as possible for Team USA.
Athletes qualify for the programs in the HPP through the “Tier System,” which is a way to use objective criteria to determine which athletes should get different levels of support. There are 4 Tiers plus the Talent Protection Program (TPP), which is a program specifically for emerging elites.
Each year in January, once the national and international rankings have been released, the USATF national office will work to determine which athletes meet the criteria below for the upcoming season and notify them of the benefits they’re eligible to receive.
- Medaled1 in either of the two most recent World Champs/Olympics; or
- Have achieved a top-10 world rank in the year-end rankings by Track & Field News or All-Athletics.com; or
- Have achieved a top-5 world rank in in the past 2 years by Track & Field News or All-Athletics.com; or
1The above medal winning criteria will also apply to athletes who competed in the first round and/or final on a medal-winning relay team at either/both 2015 World (Outdoor) Track & Field Championships and 2016 Olympic Games.
- Placed among the top 8 place finishers in either of the two most recent World Champs/Olympics; or
- Have achieved a top 20 world rank in the year-end rankings by All-Athletics.com; or
- Have achieved a top 10 world rank in the past 2 years by Track & Field News or All-Athletics.com.
Tier 3 (also known as Immediate Post Collegians):
- Be an Immediate Post Collegian (IPC) in the first year out of college (completed or forfeited collegiate eligibility during the most recent season) and have achieved the most recent World/Olympics qualifying standard in their respective event.
- Be ranked among the Top 2 U.S. by Track & Field News in its year-end rankings; or
- Achieved a Top 2 place finish at the previous year’s USATF Championships (Marathon, 50k RW, Track & Field)
- For both of the above, the athlete must have also most recent World/Olympics qualifying standard in the event in which he/she place in the Top 2.
FINANCIAL SUPPORT IN EACH TIER:
$2,000 Medical Stipend
$2,000 Coaching Stipend
$1,500 Medical Stipend
$1,500 Coaching Stipend
$1,000 Medical Stipend
$1,000 Coaching Stipend
$500 Medical Stipend
$0 Coaching Stipend
INTERNATIONAL COMPETITIVE OPPORTUNITIES STIPEND:
All 2019 Tiers 1-4 and TPP athletes will be able to apply for the “International Competitive Opportunities Stipend.” This stipend helps athletes defray the costs of competing internationally. Athletes must have competed in an international event during the spring/summer season to be considered for this stipend. If athlete is awarded the grant, payment will be contingent upon USATF verifying that the athlete competed internationally and also providing/submitting documentation (i.e. housing, airfare itinerary). Awarded stipend amount range anywhere from $1,000-$2,000 (the amount of these grant is subject to change, based on number of qualified athletes who apply/approved and the set program budget). The application process begins (mid-July). Program details and the application will be emailed to all 2019 Tiers 1-4 and TPP mid-July.
If you have questions or want to apply, please email Sariyu.Suggs@usatf.org
DOMESTIC COMPETITIVE OPPORTUNITIES:
There are 3-4 meets in the U.S. each year that the High Performance Program funds. This means that athletes who qualify for this program can have their travel, lodging and per diem paid for. The goal of these meets is to provide quality opportunities for U.S. athletes to achieve the Olympic or World standard for that season.
Tier athletes and Development athletes will be invited to these events by the USATF national office (Michael Nussa). Athletes who do not quite meet the Tier criteria may be able to still qualify.
Talent Protection Program (TPP):
The Talent Protection Program (TPP) is a new program designed to capture immediate post-collegians with high potential and ensure they are guided and supported in their transition from collegiate to professional athlete.
- Must be in your 1st year out of school
- Must have 2 legal marks within the IAAF qualifying window that average better than the IAAF “A” standard
- Must be ranked in the top 25 in the world outdoor or in the top 10 in the US outdoor by the end of the USATF Outdoor Championships.
- If you are selected for the TPP, you will be contacted by USATF. You can opt out if you qualify for the Tier System as well and would rather go that route.
What the Program Offers:
- $16,000 yearly stipend
- Free NormaTech
- $3,000 yearly medical savings account (you must submit receipts for reimbursement for things like massage, chiropractic care, etc)
- Guaranteed qualification for the USOC’s Elite Athlete Health Insurance (see below, under Medical Support)
- Domestic competitive opportunities that are fully funded
- Other programs USATF offers on an annual basis
- Athletes in the TPP will need to attend multiple events throughout the year, including a fall summit with presentations by USADA, sports psychologists, nutritionists, etc.
- Must complete the USOC Elite Athlete health profile
- Must meet with sport science department, nutritionist, sport psychologist once a quarter
- Complete at least 2 blood tests each year
- USATF must approve of your primary coach
USOC Elite Athlete Health Insurance is offered to ALL athletes in Tiers 1, 2, and 3, Talent Protection Program, and the Chula Vista Olympic Training Center resident program. This is health insurance for a full year, with the premium paid by the USOC1. It covers general medical care, plus (NEW) “chronic” injuries. You can see your local, in-network physician for 10% co-pay, no deductible, $1500 out of pocket maximum (individual).
EAHI starts/renews on January 1st each year. More information can be found on the USOC website.
1 Note: While the premium is paid in full by the USOC, the USOC is obligated to file IRS Form 1099-misc to report premiums paid on behalf of athletes on an annual basis, and the monthly taxable amount is considered added income. This means you will have to pay taxes on the premium amount, which is > $5,000.
USATF Sport Accident Insurance covers”acute” injuries that occur at meets and practices. Coverage of up to $10,000, with a $200 deductible and a 20% co-pay on the first $5000 of medical expenses. Athlete must file a claim form within 30 days of injury.
MEDICAL SAVINGS ACCOUNT:
As noted above, athletes in the Tier System are able to be reimbursed for medical expenses, chiropractic care, massage, etc., up to a certain amount. Tiers 1, 2, and 3 can also opt in (one time) for a NormaTec for $1000 of the medical savings dollars ($2400 value).
You can email your receipts to Tyler.Noble@usatf.org.
NEW in 2017: You can now submit receipts through the Teamworks app
MEDICAL CARE OPTIONS:
USOC National Medical Network (NMN)
Athletes who qualify for USOC Elite Athlete Health Insurance also have access to the USOC National Medical Network:
- Treatment at a USOC NMN facility (Colorado Springs, Chula Vista, Lake Placid, Salt Lake City, Pittsburgh).
- Airfare, ground transportation, housing, and all medical costs are covered by USOC / USATF
- Can be used for cost free care fore acute or chronic injuries
You can access medical resources through the Teamworks App
- EAHI program booklet, USATF sport accident claim form
- New – request USOC / St Vincent visit through Teamworks
- New – TPP and Tier 1, 2, 3 athletes can opt in for quarterly blood work
St Vincent partnership – “No barriers” program
- Treatment at St Vincent’s Indianapolis facility
- Airfare, ground transportation, housing (for us to 72 hours), and all medical costs covered by USATF
- Can be used for cost free care fore acute or chronic injuries
USOC Short Term Medical Program
- Rehab / daily care at CSOTC or CVOTC
- No travel or housing costs if Tier 1 – 3 or TPP
- Examples of medical options you have in different scenarios
- Sports Medicine Resources
- USATF High Performance Plan Resources
The Development program is a way for USATF to provide travel assistance to domestic meets for highly performing and emerging elite athletes who fall outside of the USATF Tier system. As part of the Development program, you have access to the following resources through USATF:
- Travel funding for up to 4 Domestic meets per year. 3 of these meets are pre-determined for each event group. The 4th (“Wildcard”) meet can be any domestic meet you choose, including the USATF Outdoor Championships. For your Wildcard, you will submit receipts after travel, which will be reimbursed up to $850. For the other 3 meets, you will receive instructions from myself or another National Office staff member regarding travel booking information.
- NACAC Competitive Grant: This is an opportunity to receive funding to compete outside of the United States in the NACAC (North America, Central America, and the Caribbean) Region for up to 50 Development Funded athletes. The grant will be $1,000 to defray costs of traveling abroad to compete. You may apply for this grant before or after competing in a NACAC Area Meet and we will accept applications through May 31, 2019. Grants will then be awarded in June. Email Michael Nussa at Michael.Nussa@usatf.org to apply!
- Sports Performance Workshops: USATF supports various Sports Performance Workshops throughout the year. These workshops vary by event group and your Event Chair will be in touch with you regarding any workshops that may be available for your event area. If you have any questions, you can contact Nick Polk, USATF’s Sport Science & Medicine Manager (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Development Committee Directory:
Contact your event group’s development chair with any questions you have.
|Jumps||Cathleen Cawley (LJ/TJ)|
Dave Kerrin (HJ)
|Throws||Kristin Heaston (SP/Jav)|
Amber Campbell (H/D)
|Racewalk||Anthony Garciaemail@example.com||(619) 592-2929|
|Pole Vault||Brian Yokoyamafirstname.lastname@example.org||909.896.6265|
|John Green||Chair/Decathlon/Heptathlonemail@example.com||(303) 906-5233|
|Ken Brauman||Junior/HS Liasonfirstname.lastname@example.org||(407) 421-7516|
|Anthony Garcia||Race Walkemail@example.com||(619) 592-2929|
|Travis Geopfert||Horizontal Jumpsfirstname.lastname@example.org||(865) 850-9326|
|Eric Heins||Long Distanceemail@example.com||(928) 606-0263|
|Tom Pukstys||Throwsfirstname.lastname@example.org||(708) 218-7510|
|John Rembao||High Jumpemail@example.com||(650) 919-3519|
|Scott Slade||Mid Distancefirstname.lastname@example.org||(210) 410-7308|
|Wes Williams||Hurdlesemail@example.com||(760) 855-1440|
|Brian Yokoyama||Pole Vaultfirstname.lastname@example.org||(909) 594-5611|
USATF Foundation Grants
USATF Foundation is funded and led by passionate fans of the sport. We believe in the pursuit of lofty goals and in the value of first class athlete role models. Our elite athlete grant program has delivered $3 million in grants of $1500 to $25,000 to 253 athletes since 2006. We evaluate candidates on their character, financial need, performance and performance potential in as objective a manner as we can.
New and renewal applications are accepted all year round, but our target timing is October through December to receive applications, with most grant awards announced in February of each year.
Women’s Sports Foundation Travel & Training Grants:
The goal of the WSF Travel & Training Fund is to provide financial support to female athletes with potential to be elite who have demonstrated financial need and would not otherwise be able to afford basic necessities like coaching, travel and equipment to achieve even higher performance levels and rankings without our help. Individual amounts vary between $2,500 and $10,000. Applications are due annually in March. Please visit their website for current information.
NOTE: You must get an official letter of recommendation from the national office, on USATF letterhead, as a part of your application. The national office is happy to write this letter on your behalf. But do not wait until the last minute to apply! They will need time to complete this letter for you.