Traditionally, Little Athletics registration dates have aligned to the commencement of the summer athletics season. Essentially, the age that the athlete turns between 01 Oct and 30 Sep of any given registration year, determined the age group that the athlete was considered ‘Under’.
Across the sport of athletics in Australia the Little Athletics age grouping has been unique in that it is based upon the season rather than the calendar year, whereas national school sport and Athletics Australia determined age groups by year of birth. Consequently, the determination of age groups within Little Athletics has long been a subject of discussion.
- A summary of the changes and impacts is as follows:
- The age group anniversary date will change in the 2018-19 season to 31 December
- Athletes born between October and December will increment two age groups in 2018-19
- Athletes born between January and September are unaffected by the change
- The age groups will align with national school sport competitions
- Athletes will remain in the same age group for the duration of the summer season
- The age groups will align with Athletics Australia for the first half of the summer season
- Event specifications will align with School Sport competitions except for U15-U17 boy’s hurdles
- The Board of Little Athletics Australia will develop a transition plan to ensure affected athletes are provided an opportunity for State Team selection
- Athletes born between October and December 2003 will bypass the U15 age group in 2018-19 and will be in their final year of Little Athletics as an U14 athlete in 2017-18 for state associations that do not offer U16’s and U17’s
- Athletes born between October and December 2001 will bypass the U17 age group in 2018-19 and will be in their final year of Little Athletics as an U16 athlete in 2017-18
- State Associations will be continue to be responsible for the age group determination for winter cross country and race walking competitions conducted by their association