The term “athletics” covers a variety of disciplines such as:

  • Race
  • Jump
  • The pitches
  • The combined Tests
  • Walking on the track or the road
  • Cross-country
  • Off-stage events (road race and trail / Mountain Race)

Outdoor athletics (stadium)

Stadium athletics is divided into races, jumps, throws, combined events and walks with variations according to age and sex categories (see: age categories). Here are the events that we officially find in the directory of the Quebec, Canadian and Senior World Championships:


  • Races: 100m-200m-400m-800m-1500m-5000m – 10000m-Marathon (with start and finish at the stadium) – 110m hurdles-400m hurdles-3000m steeple – 4x100m – 4x400m
  • Jumps: height-pole-length-Triple jump
  • Launchers: weight (7,260 kg) – disc (2kg) – Hammer (7,260 kg – – Javelin (0,800 kg)
  • Combined events: the decathlon including :
  • 1st day: 100m-length-weight-height-400m;
  • 2nd day: 110m hedges-disc-perch-Javelot-1500m
  • Walking: 20km and 50km (starting and finishing at the stadium or in a closed circuit outside the stadium).


  • Races: 100m-200m-400m-800m-1500m-5000m – 10000m-Marathon (with start and finish at the stadium) – 100m hurdles-400m hurdles-3000m steeple – 4x100m – 4x400m
  • Jumps: height-pole-length-Triple jump
  • Launchers : weight (4kg) – disc (1kg) – Hammer (4kg – – Javelin (0.600 kg)
  • Combined Tests: Heptathlon including :
  • 1st day: 100m hedges-height-weight-200m; 2nd day: length-Javelin-800m
  • Walking: 20km (starting and finishing on the stadium or closed circuit))
  • There are other world record events even though they are not part of the World Championships program. :
  • 1000m – Mile – 2000m – 3000m – 20000m – Hour – 4x200m – 4x800m – 4x1500m
  • These events can be organized at a national or regional level or meetings

Indoor Athletics

Indoor Athletics is based in part on the stadium events but adapted due to the small size of the facilities. The IAAF World Championships are held on 200-meter slopes with steep curves.

  • Races : 60m – 200m – 400m – 800m – 1500m – 5000m – 60m hurdles – 4x400m
  • Jumps: height-pole-length-Triple jump
  • Throws: – Weight Hammer (on the short handle. Not included in the program of the world championships)


A course in the middle of nature, on various soils and in Profiles, with natural obstacles (tree trunks, small ruses, mounds of Earth, etc.), it is practiced over distances ranging from 3 to 10km depending on the age and sex categories. Cross-country is mainly practiced in winter and is very often the subject of Team Rankings.

Out-of-stadium events

As a result of the jogging trend, they were the subject of often private organizations before being integrated into the federal fold. From free distances or city-to-city routes, road races evolve towards defined and precisely measured distances to obtain a ‘label’ then recognize records and award national and international titles such as the 10km, the semi-marathon and the marathon (42km195), but also long-term events such as the 100km or the 24 hours. In recent years, mountain races have been organized, which play more on the profile than on the distance.

International competitions

Olympic Games: they take place every four years (even years), since 1896, with an interruption in 1916, 1940 and 1944. They include several sports and are organized by the International Olympic Committee with the support of International Federations. Athletics has always been represented at the Olympic Games.

World Championships: created in 1983, they were held every four years, initially, then every two years since 1991, odd years. They are organized by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

Junior World Championships: since 1986, they are held every two years, even years.

World Youth Championships: from 1999, they were held every two years, odd years. The IAAF decided to abolish the championships, and the last edition was held in 2017.

World Indoor Championships: the first took place in 1987 (after the World Indoor Games held in Paris-Bercy in 1985), they were held every two years in odd years until 2003. In 2004, they took place in even-numbered years.

World Cross Championships: they took place every year from 1973 to 2011 and are the result of European International Championships existing since 1903, going through the Cross of the 6 Nations, before being under the supervision of the IAAF. From 2011 to the present, they are held every two years, in odd-numbered years.

IAAF Half Marathon World Championships: every year from 1992 to 2005. Since 2010, they take place in even years.