Outdoor track and field

Typical oval track consisting of two semicircles joined by straight segments.

The outdoor track and field season usually begins in the spring and lasts through the summer. Most tracks are ovals of 400 meters in circumference. However, some older tracks are 440 yards in length, while there are some tracks that are neither oval nor 400m/440y due to geographic considerations. Modern tracks are made with a rubberized surface, while older tracks may be made of dirt or cinders. Tracks normally consist of 6-10 lanes and many include a steeplechase lane with a water pit on one of the turns. This steeplechase pit can be placed either inside or outside the track, making for a tighter turn or a wider turn. It is common that tracks will surround a playing field used for American football, football (soccer), or lacrosse. This inner field is usually known as the infield and has a surface of either grass or artificial turf.

All field events can be contested on the infield. However the javelin, hammer and discus throws are often contested on fields outside of the track stadium because they take up a large amount of space, the implements may damage the infield, and the implements could end up landing on the track.