How do I read PDF files? Why don't you publish results in a different format? Many of the results pages on this site are in PDF format. This is a standard format for displaying pages in a form ready to print. This format is easy for us to produce and doesn't require us to do any extra work. Publishing in other formats requires us to spend a lot of extra time which we simply don't have.

To view these files you need to have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer. Most computers systems come with this already installed. If you don't already have Adobe Acrobat Reader you can find a copy on virtually all of the free disks you get with magazines, or you can download a free copy of Adobe Reader here.

The download version is around 16Mb so will take a long time if you don't have broadband. Please ask a friend to set this up for you if you need to - the ESAA cannot assist with setting up your computer or browser.
I can't find XXXX on the website, why not?

I click on a link and nothing happens.
The ESAA is a voluntary association and the website is also run on a volunteer basis, mostly by just one person. The available time to do this is limited. We try to publish as much as we can from County level upwards, but a great number of events either do not compile results in a computerised format, or don't send their results to us. Unfortunately we don't have the time to go hunting for information and don't have the resources to type up anything not already in a form suitable for display.

This website often displays information in separate windows - particularly when pages exist on other sites, and when displaying PDF files. We do this so that you don't lose your place in our own menu structure. Many computers now have pop-up blockers installed which prevent the display of new windows (the fact that something has not been displayed should be shown as a message in your browser status line). We advise you to add this website ( to your pop-up blocker's list of permitted websites so that all the information you need becomes visible to you.

Can you tell me the date of the National Championships? The National Cross Country Championships are normally always on the 2nd Saturday of March although recently this date has been taken over by the UK Athletics National Championships so it may well be on the 4th Saturday in March. The date cannot be assumed until the fixtures meeting in September.
The National Track & Field Championships are normally always on the 2nd Saturday of July and the day before. Whilst every effort is made to stick to these dates, circumstances may require that they be changed in any particular year, although this has only happened once in the last 20 years.

The full event calendar is always updated at the end of September, it isn't possible to publish it any earlier as all our dates have to be agreed with other athletics bodies in September. Please click the event calendar link on the main menu.
How are International Teams selected? Teams to represent England at the Schools International Athletics Board (SIAB) competitions between England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland are selected by the ESAA Team Managers after the Cross Country and Track & Field Championships. There are teams at Junior and Intermediate level, and normally the leading athletes at the National Championships are selected.

Where finances permit, the ESAA may also select a small team to compete at the World School Games - this team is selected by the ESAA Team Managers based on performances by athletes over the past year whilst also taking into account various other factors such as perceived future potential and general standards of behaviour. There are no qualification standards and there is no qualifying competition - selection is entirely at the discretion of the Team Managers. Because the cost of taking a team abroad is so high and the ESAA has very limited funds, only a few athletes may be invited to participate.

The ISF Jean Humbert World Schools Cup is an athletics competition between school teams. A school is selected to represent England by the ESAA Team Managers. Selection is based on the school's team performances in competitions during the year.
We need to book a holiday in Summer and Bart/Lisa expects to be selected to compete in the National Championships.

Can you tell me what day and time their event will be held?
Sorry, no.

The National Track & Field Championship timetable cannot be determined until a week or so before the event. It is impossible to do this until all the entries have been received from the Counties and the number of competitors in each event is known. We cannot determine the number of rounds and heats required for each event until we have all the entries. The final date for entries is approximately two weeks before the event and it takes a few days after that to work out the timetable.

It is not possible to assume anything from previous year's timetables as each venue has a different range of facilities available. The number of staff available also varies from year to year - events must be scheduled so that staff with a valid qualification to officiate at each event are available.

The full timetable is published on the website as soon as it has been determined. This is usually 7 to 10 days before the event.
I want to compete at another event the same weekend as the National Championships. Can you tell me what day and time my event will be held? Please see the previous answer.

Also, athletes competing in ESAA Championships must stay with the team for the full duration of the Championships unless written permission has been obtained from the Event Referee. Any athlete leaving the event without permission is liable to disqualification.
Our Lisa has been selected for the County Team and has been told that they must travel with and stay with the team.

Why can't we take her ourselves and let her stay in our hotel since we're going to watch the event anyway?

The simple answer is: the rules of County Associations say so. However, this particular rule exists for a number of reasons, some of which are explained here:

Firstly, ESAA Championships are team events, not events for individuals. They are not club events. When an athlete is selected for a County Team they are being invited to become an integral part of the whole County team and a full commitment to the team is expected and required. National Championships aren't a matter of just turning up, running, then going home again (one could just as well do that at home as a time trial and post the results on the internet later).

Being part of a team includes the whole range of shared team activities which include travelling, overnight accommodation, and also any training weekends (or sometimes weeks) which may be organised by the Team Managers. A team needs time together to get to know each other and build up a good team spirit - there is very little time in which to do this. Being part of the team environment is as much a major part of the sport as any individual competition.

Secondly, ESAA events are school events, and operate within the legal framework of schools. Attending an ESAA event as part of a team is effectively a school trip, not a private weekend out, and it is the appointed Team Managers who have legal charge over pupils during the entire duration of the trip, just as they do while at school. Incidentally, it is for this reason too, that parents/family/friends/coaches etc are not allowed to make themselves part of the school trip: teachers must be vetted by police in order to work with other people's children, parents/family/friends/coaches etc may not be vetted and thus it is inappropriate for them to be part of a school trip.

I'm confused about age group definitions which refer to the August at the end of the current school year... Age groups vary according to the competition (see the rules for each competition) but are normally defined as being under a specified age at midnight of 31st August at the end of the current school year. For interpretation purposes, the ESAA school year is considered as starting in September, irrespective of whether some schools actually start the new year one or two weeks earlier - ie. age groups are computed to the end of the August which forms part of the summer holiday at the end of the current school year.
How can I enter my Bart/Lisa into ESAA competitions? Sorry, you can't.

ESAA competitions are SCHOOL events, and can only be entered by virtue of your school entering a team in local or district competitions.

There are two types of competition:
  • The Schools' Cup competitions are for full school teams which much be entered and controlled by the school. School teams compete in local competitions, the best go through to Regional finals, then the best from each region go through to the National Final.

  • Participation in County and National competitions is by virtue of being selected to represent your local district after participating in local district Inter-School competitions. District teams are then selected to compete at the County Championship. County teams are then selected for the National Championships. Entry to these competitions is via schools entering teams to participate at the local level inter-school matches.
There is no individual element in these competitions.
Our Bart/Lisa got the Entry Standard for the National T&F last week but hasn't been selected for the County team. This is unfair.

Our Bart/Lisa won the County Championship but hasn't been selected for the County team. This is unfair.

Our Bart/Lisa didn't win the County Championship but got the Entry Standard earlier in the season and still hasn't been selected for the County team. This is unfair.

Our Bart/Lisa didn't do very well at the County Championship but has been better at other events earlier in the season. Can he/she still be considered for selection for the County team?

Our Bart/Lisa has got to the National Championships but finds that they have to throw/jump outside of the main arena. This is unfair.
You need to be aware of the limitations within which the ESAA must work.

The ESAA is an association made up of County members and is an organisational body, not a controlling body. The ESAA therefore have absolutely no say in how each County selects their team - selection is entirely in the hands of each County's selection committee.

Because of the limitations of space, time, and finance, the National Track & Field Championships can only be held over two days, normally at just one venue. Counties are thus limited in the maximum team size depending on the size of the County. Large Counties can select 60 athletes, medium sized Counties can select 35, small Counties can select 25. This normally results in over 1600 athletes competing each year in just two days - just fitting these into the timetable sometimes requires 3 races to be on track at the same time (eg. sprints down the finish straight, hurdles down the back straight, with maybe a 1500m heat going round at the same time).

With 3 age groups in each of Boys and Girls, this gives a minimum of 18 long throwing events (although qualifying pools are often required which can increase that number considerably), and at least 22 jump events (again many may require qualifying pools).

Most tracks only have 2 or 3 long jump / triple jump pits, so at best this gives us 12 sessions - around half the number required. Some tracks only have 1 high jump area - there are 6 or sometimes 8 or 10 High Jump competitions to fit into just 4 sessions. Consequently, many field events must be located either at adjacent tracks, or in fields adjacent to the main arena, depending on where the Championships are being staged.

Track events are called track events because they require to be run on a track - obviously it isn't possible to move them outside of the arena. Field events are called field events because they originated in fields and that is where they should take place. There are many reasons why field events cannot be held inside the track arena: many stadia in the Country cannot allow throws to be held inside the arena because the infield is used for many other events during the year which bring considerably more income to the stadia owners. A single hammer or discus landing can render the inside arena unusable for other sports such as football or rugby. Many stadia thus prohibit implement throwing.

Also, for safety reasons, it is not allowable to hold more than one long throw in the main arena at once, and we only have 4 sessions in which to hold competitions. The size of the Championships means that the arena is constantly occupied by events in all four corners. Many of these events have children helping to marshall them - some as young as 11 - and these can be found anywhere around the track. No matter how good hammer throwers, discus throwers, or javelin throwers are, they cannot guarantee that their implement won't go astray. No one in the ESAA is prepared to accept the responsibility for loss of life or other damage to children which could result from this.

We are not aware of any facility which provides more than one Pole Vault runway and certainly none have two sets of Pole Vault equipment and landing areas. In 2003, to allow Inter Girls to compete in a Pole Vault event their competition was merged with the Senior Girls to ensure that the 5 competitions can be held within the 4 available sessions.

There are approximately 90 County Champions in each County each year so it is not possible to select even just those who actually won their County event. Athletes who don't win at County Championships must have a really good reason to be considered for selection. Athletes who maybe could have won on past history, but for some reason didn't, can't be given any special favours over those who actually did win the County Championship.

ESAA Entry Standards are set for the guidance of team selectors so that they can judge which of their 90 County Champions may be more eligible for team selection. Entry Standards are advisory - they are targets which should be met, not triggers for automatic selection.

As far as team selection goes, most Counties treat their County Championships with the utmost importance: performances at other events fade into insignificance in much the same way as athletes winning heats qualify themselves for subsequent rounds in any major Championship - personalities, reputations, and previous or subsequent times/distances don't usually count. Performance on the day does. However, team managers can, and do, take other performances into account when making their selection, it is just that the County Championships are the prime consideration.

The ESAA National T&F Championships has often been likened to a mini-Olympics, and so they are. The ESAA well appreciate that it can be very hard to win selection for County teams, but this is the whole essence of the sport, Championships are everything in Athletics - Olympic Medals only come from winning at that event, previous performances count for nothing.
I don't go to a school in England, why can't I compete in the Championships? Sorry, the name of the association might give this away a bit....ENGLISH SCHOOLS Athletic Association. Not the Scottish Schools, Welsh Schools, French Schools, English Clubs, Australian Clubs etc.. etc.. etc..

Schools must be a properly constituted, government recognised school in England - this MAY include some 'foreign' schools which are located in England, for instance the French School in London, although French, is based in London and is therefore eligible.

I'm a club coach. Why can't I have access to my athletes in warm up areas and during competitions? Sorry, the name of the association might give this away a bit....English SCHOOLS Athletic Association. Not the English CLUBS Athletic Association. ESAA Championships are school based, not club based. Athletes at ESAA Championships are not your athletes - they are school pupils in the care and control of teachers, participating in a school activity. Just as it is not permissible for people to wander into school classrooms at any time they wish to, we cannot allow just anyone to wander into the areas reserved for use by pupils and teachers at school events.
Why is there no Under 15 Girls Pole Vault competition in the National Championships when it exists in Club Competitions? There is no rule (nor right) that states that schools have to provide a full range of all competitions to match what clubs might do. The ESAA is a SCHOOLS organisation, not a club organisation.

ESAA Championships reflect what is actually taught in schools and what competitions are held in schools and within County Associations, not what might go on in clubs. Schools are limited in what they can teach by their staff capabilities and the time they have available. Clubs have specialist coaches for specialist events, schools generally don't have this capability, and where such skills exist they tend to be restricted in scope. Currently, there are very few schools with the capability to teach Pole Vault to under 15 girls and there is not yet sufficient take-up of the event across all Counties to make for a valid Championship.

To be a valid National Championship, there needs to be sufficient competitors of a high enough standard right across the whole Country - it isn't sufficient just to have keen interest in a small number of regions, nor a small number of keen athletes across the Country. This is no different to the way Olympic events are determined - for instance, while Rugby League, Baseball, and Cricket is very popular in a few Countries, these sports aren't widespread across the World so aren't included in the Olympics.

One question which is often posed is if Under 15 Boys have a Pole Vault competition and the Girls don't, surely this is discrimination? No, it isn't. This is simply because the event is currently much more widely taught to Under 15 Boys in schools than to Under 15 Girls. One might think of many sports where 'discrimination' could be claimed: there is no Men's Syncronised Swimming in the Olympics and boys rarely get taught Netball or Rounders so is this discrimination too?

Decisions on which events to include are reviewed annually, in recent years other events have been added as they became more widespread in schools, eg. Under 17 Girls Pole Vault and Triple Jump. Once a sufficient level of interest and capability exists across the whole Country, the inclusion of under 15 girls Pole Vault will no doubt then be given due consideration.

I live in Africa / America / Asia / Europe and want to compete in the National Championships. How do I go about getting an entry? ESAA Championships are closed competitions for pupils in English Schools only (hence the name of the association). All ESAA events are run under the legal structure of schools in England - teachers cannot take responsibility for children not registered in English Schools.

National Championships are team competitions between County Teams and there is no individual element. The only way to enter a National Championship is to be selected to represent your County team. The only way to gain selection is to be registered full-time in a school in your County and to work your way through the local, district, and County Championships.

The ESAA simply don't have the resources or legal structure to organise Open International events.
Can you email me the lane draws for the XXXX event?

Can you tell me who has been entered for the XXXX event?
Sorry, No. The ESAA publish on the website whatever information is available as soon as it is reasonably practicable to do so.

You need to be aware that all ESAA activities are done in the spare time of volunteer teachers and associates. The National T&F Championships have over 1600 athletes - to answer emails from them all would take over 100 hours - it is simply not possible for anyone to do this in their spare time!
You've not updated the XXXX page on the website yet... Please refer to the answer above.
Why don't you put the full programme for the National Championships on the website? The sale of event programmes is a major source of income for the ESAA. Publishing the full programme of each event on the website would not only require us to spend a lot of extra time, but would also result in a significant loss of income without which events can not be organised. It would also be very unfair on our sponsors and advertisers who contribute towards the programme's production.
How do I qualify for SIAB team selection? The ESAA competes in international events organised by the Schools International Athletics Board. Competitions are at Junior (under 15) and Intermediate (under 17) level. The English teams are selected by the ESAA International Team Managers mainly based on performances at the National Championships, although other performances may be taken into account where appropriate. There is no automatic qualification.
Can you send me information to help with my PE studies at school/college? Unfortunately, no. The ESAA doesn't have the resources to individually send you any information which isn't already on the website. The ESAA is an enabling association, not a controlling body and as such has no say in how athletics is run in the Country, neither does it conduct research into provision of athletics facilities throughout the Country. The ESAA organises schemes and competitions which schools and County Associations are at liberty to enter or not at their discretion. The ESAA don't have any power to direct schools in any particular manner, but offers advice on good practice only.

Probably the most common request is for us to send the following information - it seems that this has become part of an A/S level coursework task:
  • Name, address, and contact phone number
  • Details of the regional structure of athletics
  • Details of athletics coaching awards
  • Details of promotional and grassroots schemes
  • Details of funding and sponsors
  • Details of Regional and National competitions
  • Details about drug controls
It is unfortunate that the examiner who included these tasks in suggested coursework didn't consider the extra workload or costs that this imposes on us! All the above information is contained in the ESAA handbook (100 pages) which should already be available in every school's PE department, particularly if they are teaching PE courses for examinations. If your school does not have a copy, please ask your PE teacher to contact us to obtain one for you (3.50 including postage). We simply cannot respond to hundreds of identical requests from students.
Do the ESAA offer sponsorship for good athletes? Unfortunately no. The ESAA has to exist on goodwill and sponsorship and does not have resources to sponsor others.
Why can't my Bart/Lisa compete this year - he/she is nearly old enough.

Can my my Bart/Lisa compete in the age group above?

There has to a cut-off date between age groups. Whatever date were chosen, someone is going to be the youngest and someone else the oldest in their group. Competitors may only compete in their own age group. It is not possible to make any allowances in any individual case. Unless otherwise stated, the age limits for all Championships and Competitions are:
  • Junior - 13 years and under 15 years of age at 31st August at the end of the current school year.
  • Inter - 15 years and under 17 years of age at 31st August at the end of the current school year.
  • Senior - 17 years and under 19 years of age at 31st August at the end of the current school year.

For Schools Cup Competitions the age groups are:

  • Junior - 12 years and under 14 years of age at 31st August at the end of the current school year.
  • Inter - 14 years and under 16 years of age at 31st August at the end of the current school year.

For Combined Event and Race Walking Competitions the age groups are:

  • Junior - 13 years and under 15 years of age at 31st August in the calendar year of competition.
  • Inter - 15 years and under 17 years of age at 31st August in the calendar year of competition.
  • Senior - 17 years and under 19 years of age at 31st August in the calendar year of competition.
(This is because the final of these competitions is normally held in September, after the preliminary rounds in June and July).
Can I compete for my County of birth (or where I live) instead of where I go to school? No. You can only compete for the County to which your school is affiliated.
Can you send me the address and phone number of the ESAA?

Why don't you publish the address and phone number of the ESAA?
The ESAA is an association of hundreds of volunteer teachers dedicated to promoting athletics in schools, each of whom is responsible for some particular aspect of running the Association's activities. Many of the ESAA activities are run on a local, County, or Regional basis, so it may often be difficult for you to identify which person was the correct one to contact.

Also, apart from breaching staff's own personal privacy, publishing their contact details online would almost certainly result in more unnecessary work for them dealing with queries which are not their responsibility.

Concentrating all queries through this website gives you two benefits:
  • Most factual queries can be answered within a few hours (sometimes a few minutes) by the website host since he is working online for a significant proportion of the day and night.
  • Other queries can be immediately re-directed to the correct person to deal with them.
What is the position of the ESAA regarding taking photographs at events? Photographs of ESAA events are published in the athletics press, local media, and on this website. All pictures are taken in accordance with the guidelines relating to photos in schools published by the Information Commissioner with regard to the Data Protection Act 1998, and are carefully selected so as not to cause offence or distress to children or parents.

Events are held in public areas and therefore it is not possible to prevent photographs of any particular individual from appearing in the media, although we have standards and accreditation for media attending ESAA events. If the possible appearance of any individual in photos poses a problem for you, you are advised not to take part in the event.

If any parent wishes a particular picture of their child appearing on this website to be removed please contact us and we will do our best to resolve any problem.

What is the position of the ESAA regarding athletes taking performance enhancing drugs? The ESAA operate under the rules of UK Athletics and the IAAF, therefore athletes taking part in ESAA competitions are subject to the same regime of random drug testing and sanctions as anyone else in the sport. It is a condition of entry into events that athletes (with the consent of parents/guardians) agree to subject themselves to these rules.

Testing is under the control of the independent National testing body and the ESAA have no control over what they do. The ESAA provide facilities at events for drugs testing to take place when asked to do so by the testing body, and many athletes have already been tested at ESAA National Championships.

Thankfully, in the many years that testing has been done at ESAA events, only one positive result has been detected. Further investigations discovered that the result was caused by a rare cancer in an athlete which would in fact have proved fatal within months had the drugs test not discovered the anomaly.

The ESAA continues to stress their complete disapproval of the use of any substance designed to gain unfair advantage in the sport.

You can find further details of the UK drugs testing regime at and click on the Anti-Doping link.
Can you tell me the rule about XXXX The ESAA generally operate under IAAF and UK Athletics rules, modified where necessary to be more appropriate for schools use. ESAA competition rules can be found in the REFERENCE section of the main menu.

You can download all the IAAF rules from

You can download all the UK athletics rules from then follow the link there.
Can you advise me which school is best for my children in order for them to better develop their athletics? First of all, it is not advisable to select any secondary school based on one subject alone, even less so based on a pasttime or hobby. Abilities at younger ages are rarely a good indicator of future interest or potential, and at age 11 it is better that all sports, activities, academic subjects, and hobbies are introduced to give children the best opportunities available. Choose a school which covers the broadest range of activities - many young 'star' athletes end up excelling in something other than that which they originally thought they were interested in or good at.

The prime considerations in selecting a secondary school really should be overall quality of education and ease of access. There's very little point in spending 5 years travelling further than really necessary every day - it gets very wearing on children and parents. Maybe most important of all is the ability for children to maintain contact with friends from school after school hours - it can be very lonely indeed for a child not to have school friends in the same locality in which they live.

However, there may sometimes be a toss-up between one or other local school, so arranging to talk to the local PE staff or departmental heads should help determine which is better for you.

A main aim of schools athletics is to encourage children to enjoy the sport to the point where they want to join an athletics club - this is where the real long term development takes place, so choosing a school based on their athletics participation alone would not seem to be so necessary. A good partnership between school and club is more likely to lead to success than one or the other alone. You can find a comprehensive list of all clubs and their activities from the UK Athletics website click on getting involved then clubs then select your region. Look for clubs with AC or Harriers in their name - those with RR or RC are probably more road based and therefore more likely to cater for adults than children. Even if you don't want to join an athletics club, there will be coaches there who will be able to tell you which local schools take athletics more seriously than others.

To help your decision, you may also like to browse through the OFSTED schools reports - these may initially look boring, but they do contain some very accurate assessments of activities where schools are particularly good, or not so good. You can find an index to all schools at then select the LEA in which you are interested.

Are there any boarding schools which specialise in athletics? This is a difficult question for the ESAA to answer and we can't recommend any school over any other. There are many private (public?) boarding schools in the UK, but many don't affiliate to or participate in the ESAA activities.

However, there are some schools we are aware of:

Millfield School in Somerset takes sport very seriously, and regularly make it to the finals of ESAA Schools Cup competitions. You can find them at

Stowe School in Buckinghamshire includes sport as a major part of activities. It offers what is considered by many to be the best cross country courses in the Country. They hosted the ESAA Schools Cross Country Cup in 2001. Find them at

Christ's Hospital is a boarding school in West Sussex (yes, a school, not a hospital). They have reached the finals of the Schools Cup competitions and had 3 athletes in the County team in 2007. Find them at

Rugby School in Warwickshire has a strong reputation for sport and in the summer term, runs a large and enthusiastic Athletics Club. Both the inter boys and inter girls have reached the National Finals of the ESAA Track and Field Cup. For more information, go to

Truro School is an independent school with a strong tradition in sport. In the last 10 years Truro School has developed a good reputation for Athletics and Cross Country in the South West of England led by John Knowles (Level 3) coach and Kathy Smith (Level 2) Coach and with the huge support of the PE staff under the directorship of Graham Whitmore.

In 2010 in recognition of Truro Schools huge support for the sport they were awarded to host the SIAB International Schools Cross Country Championships and the South West Schools Cross Country Championships.

Find further details at

If you are aware of others please contact us so that we can add them to this page.
You can contact the ESAA here.