Return to Competition (updated 21 October 2020)

England Athletics have been working with Sport England and DCMS on the implications of the tiers for a return to athletics training and competition. The tables and guidance detailed below now reflect the latest position as of 21 October 2020. The key changes, affected by the tier structure are travel restrictions, and indoor training and competition especially for Over 18s

The sport has successfully organised over 250 track and field competitions through the summer, in a safe environment. We are committed to seeing this great record continue through the winter season of cross country and indoors. We recognise the challenges faced by all clubs and event organisers and this update reflects the current prevalence of Covid in different parts of the country by detailing what activities can take place in the different tiers.

Tier structure guidance

Click here to download PDF of all Tier Structure Guidance tables as shown below (PDF 600kB)

Tier restrictions - outdoor at 21 October

Tier restrictions - indoor at 21 October

Tier restrictions - travel at 21 October

Latest Return to Competition guidance documents

See below for our guidance documents for a return to restricted track and field competition in a Covid-19 secure setting. These are written in full recognition of, and adherence to, government guidance that is in place at the time on Covid-19:  we will update our guidance if and when necessary.

Competition providers need to be aware of any local lockdown restrictions enforced in their area at short notice. A list of areas with Local lockdown restrictions can be viewed here.  If you are delivering a competition event, and local lockdown restrictions are put in place in your area, please contact your local authority for further advice.  If you are attending a competition event which has been permitted by a local authority within a local lockdown area then please ensure you check the local-specific guidelines and restrictions (see above link) and maintain government and competition social distancing and hygiene requirements.

Update 19 October: Applications for Cross Country event licensing are now open - please click here for details or scroll down this page for more details (see 'Cross Country Licensing' section).

Update 1 October: We have worked with the Trail Running Association to provide guidance for trail events (see link above). Please be aware local restrictions may impact some events & national guidance can change quickly - we continue to work with the TRA to update info as it becomes available.

Update: 18 September: A collaboration of England Athletics, the English Cross Country Association and other competition providers are pleased to publish the return to limited competition guidance for Cross Country (see links above). Click here to read an update and watch a video from Martin Rush (Head of Coaching & Athlete Development, England Athletics).

General considerations

  1. Athletes will need to be prepared properly before they undertake any competition. Coaches, club managers and parents (where relevant) should ensure any athlete is confident that they are ready to compete.
  2. UKA has undertaken an officials’ survey which details the current availability of officials for competition.  Event organisers will need to ensure all mitigation and wellbeing factors are in place prior to a competition taking place and that these are communicated to officials beforehand.
  3. Flexibility around the number and level of officials will be needed: this may affect licensing options. (Updates to follow)
  4. Venues are obviously a key part of competition and the venue’s management must be confident that they have undertaken the relevant risk assessments and initially err on the side of caution with regards to numbers and events to ensure the risk is managed.
  5. This whole process must be considered as a phased return, where pilot events lead to small local events, then potentially regional and possibly national. It is likely that numbers at each event will be restricted, age groups may be restricted and certain events not possible in the early stages.
  6. Safety, wellbeing and confidence in the systems and organisation of events should be our watch words and actions.

New resources

Please see below for links to new resources in our Resources section:

Cross Country Licensing

England Athletics is aware of the rapidly changing situation in the country with regards to Covid-19 but is pleased to confirm that applications for cross country competitions for the 2020/21 season are now open. Please use the below link to apply for a cross country licence. Applications will only be accepted via this online method, unless you are in Isle of Man.

Visit to apply.

Your application in the first instance will be directed to your Regional Council Representative, and a Licence issued by England Athletics. We are adopting this partnership approach to ensure that local and national restrictions are considered.

Pilot competitions have been confirmed for the 24th /25th October and the 31st October. There will be three pilot competitions which England Athletics is working with and fully supporting. The local authorities have approved these competitions; however we are aware that circumstances may change, and we will continue to monitor the situation closely with all parties.

Pilot competitions:

  • 24th October – East Surrey League
  • 24th / 25th October – Chelmsford AC Cross Country Relays
  • 31st October - L&R Schools Cross Country and open schools meeting