Indoor Track and Field

There are two seasons for track and field. There is an indoor season, run during the winter and an outdoor season, run during the spring and summer. Most indoor tracks are 200 meters and consist of four to six lanes. Often an indoor track will have banked turns to compensate for the tight bends.

In an indoor track meet athletes contest the same track events as an outdoor meet with the exception of the 100 m and 110 m/100 m hurdles (replaced by the 60 m sprint and 60 m hurdles at most levels and sometimes the 55m sprint and 55m hurdles at the high school level), and the 10,000 m run, 3,000m steeplechase, and 400m hurdles. Indoor meets also have the addition of a 3,000 m run normally at both the collegiate and elite level instead of the 10,000 m. The 5,000 m is the longest event commonly run indoors, although there are situations where longer distances have been raced. In the mid 20th century, there was a series of races 'duel races' at Madison Square Garden's (NY) indoor track, some of which featured two men racing a marathon (26.2 miles). However, this is an extremely rare occurrence, for obvious reasons. In some occasions, there may also be a 500 m race instead the open 400 m normally found outdoors, and in many collegiate championship races indoors both are contested.

In field events, indoor meets only feature the high jump, pole vault, long jump, triple jump and shot put. The longer throws of javelin, hammer and discus are added only for outdoor meets, as there is normally not enough space in an indoor stadium to house these events.

Other events unique to indoor meets (especially in North America) are the 300, 600, 1000, and 35 lb. weight throw. In some countries, notably Norway, standing long jump and standing high jump are also contested, even in the National Championships.

For multi-event athletes there is the Pentathlon for women (consisting of 60m hurdles, high jump, shot put, long jump and 800m) and heptathlon for men (consisting of 60m, long jump, shot put, high jump, 60m hurdles, pole vault and 1000m) indoors. Outdoor there is heptathlon for women and decathlon for men.