This area of our site answers frequently asked questions about Cincinnati Track CYO.
Q - How old is CYO Track & Field?
A - CYO Track & Field began in 1965 when its first meet was held at Roger Bacon Stadium. The running surface was made of cinder, and the lanes were marked with chalk. However, there is evidence of large Parochial Grade School Track and Field Meets taking place as early as 1920. A newspaper article from 1921 (see our "Archives" page in the "Results" section) that makes reference to the "Second Annual Track Meet of Parochial Schools" which was held on May 28, 1921 at Avon Field.
Q - Are spikes allowed at CYO Track & Field Meets?
A - Spikes are permitted for girls and boys in the 7th and 8th grades only. The CYO Track & Field Advisory Board and its General Membership of Coordinators voted on Thursday, January 30, 2014 to allow girls and boys in the 7th and 8th grades to wear spikes beginning in the 2014 season. The 20-7 majority vote overturned a 49-year-old rule that has been in effect since the creation of the League in 1965. Since the word “spikes” is—in itself—a non-descriptive word, this is how it should be interpreted. "Spikes" are a special form of track & field shoe. Many of them are factory designed with removable pins, but some are not. Some of these shoes are for running, some are for field events. The approved use of "spikes" for 7th and 8th grade boys and girls includes any specialty shoe used for sprinting, middle distance, and long distance, as well as any specialty shoe for throwing and jumping. The pins in these shoes may not exceed the 1/4" Pyramid style.
For all other grades, track & field shoes are permitted for running, jumping, and throwing as long as they have not been factory designed for pins. Track & field shoes that have been engineered for pins where the pins have been removed or plugged, are not permitted. The rule (or the spirit of the rule) is to permit athletes to use specialty shoes for running, throwing, and jumping as long as they have been designed with flat rubber soles and no holes for pins. The League realizes that these types of specialty shoes are also occasionally referred to as "spikes," but the League does not want anyone to get caught up in the vernacular.
Q - How are teams divided between Division 1 and Division 2 for the CYO City Championship Meet?
A - Starting in 2017, the CYO Track & Field Advisory Board made enhancements to the methodology it uses to determine Division 1 and Division 2 schools. Teams are now evaluated on the basis of three criteria:
Team Roster Size
All of these factors are weighted evenly (33.3%), and no appeals are permitted. The Board will re-evaluate the data every three years, because the data is meaningless without some sort of history behind it.
Q - How is the CYO Track & Field Meet Schedule determined?
A - Generally, the CYO Track Meet Season starts on the last weekend in March and runs through the third weekend in May. This affords the League 7 weekends on which to hold track & field meets (8 weekends minus the Easter weekend when no meets are scheduled). The CYO City Championship Meet is always the last meet of the season. The process for filling in meets for the other 6 weekends is determined by the CYO Track & Field Advisory Board. A major factor in this process is the date(s) when track & field sites are available to CYO teams. While any CYO team may request permission to host a track meet, there are certain guidelines for hosting meets:
1. Is a requirement that all Meet Hosts serve on the CYO Track & Field Advisory Board--including high schools that sponsor meets for the League.
2. Hosting a meet is a great privilege and a smart way to raise money for Track & Field programs--not other sports and/or general expenses of an Athletic Association or Booster Club.
3. The Parish/School is required to have a Track & Field Team for the respective season and has made Track & Field available to all boys and girls in all grades during that season. In the absence of an organized team, the CYO Track & Field Advisory Board will not permit a Parish/School to host a Meet. The Board wants to remove any chance that our League is being used as a fundraiser to support other sports and/or the general expenses of Athletic Association or Booster Club bank accounts.
These policies were created in 2009 to encourage Parishes/Schools to keep Track & Field teams alive and well in Cincinnati. Without teams, our program has no solid foundation upon which to build and grow. Teams who have held meets in the past, but do not meet our new guidelines, will not be considered for inclusion in the next season's meet schedule. Since 2005, we have begun the process of determining the next season's track & field meet schedule at the Meet Director's Forum held in mid-June.
Q - Why are non-CYO teams allowed to participate in invitational meets sponsored by CYO teams?
A - While the invitational meets subscribe to and follow the CYO Track & Field Rules for their meet, they are not restricted to just CYO Team participants. The decision to allow or not allow non-CYO teams to compete in an invitational meet is the responsibility of the meet director for each invitational meet. Some reasons for allowing non-CYO teams to participate in invitational meets are Christian friendliness, the promotion of community, the increased level of competition that non-CYO teams bring to a meet, and the increased revenues that the addition of non-CYO teams afford a meet. Beginning with the 2010 Season, liability release forms will be required of all non-CYO Teams before the non-CYO team is permitted to participate in any portion of the season.
Q - Why aren't track & field meets cancelled when the weather forecast may call for threatening conditions?
A - Since all of our meets are now run on "all-weather" surfaces, the only conditions that would warrant the cancellation of a track meet are severe winds, lightning, or extreme heat/cold. It is the responsibility of the meet director and the official starter of a meet to "make the call" about cancelling/postponing a meet or going ahead with a meet. The conditions that may affect this decision are generally not clear beforehand and often this information is not available until the meet director and official starter are at the meet location right before the scheduled start time for a meet. Unfortunately, this may mean that some people may be en route to a meet or actually at the meet location when the decision to cancel/postpone a meet is made. Some of this uncertainty has been eliminated by the creation of rapid-response text messaging service known as GroupMe. If you are a Team Coordinator, you may create a GroupMe account (free of charge) and link your account to the CTCYO Weather Hotline group. If you are a parent or an athlete, you may contact your Team Coordinator, and they will add you to the list.
Here are some other thoughts to consider: If it is raining moderately or even snowing lightly, a track meet can be run on an all-weather surface as long as the runners are not placed in a dangerous situation. The situations concerning extreme cold or extreme heat are more clearly determinable and as such may warrant the early cancellation/postponement of a meet. However, the presence of extreme conditions during the early afternoon before a Friday night meet may not warrant the cancellation of a meet. These conditions may clear up by meet time. All of us who have lived in Cincinnati know the cliche "If you don't like the weather in Cincinnati, just wait five minutes. It'll change." Also, the threat of heavy rains or rains with high winds and/or lightning for the Greater Cincinnat area may or may not be present at the site of a track meet. We all are aware of situations when the weather conditions are frightening in Loveland, but nothing is happening in Colerain Township. Since many weather conditions are fast moving, it may also be that a delay of 30-60 minutes will allow a meet to continue after the weather passes. In the case of lightning, the procedures are more clear. A meet is suspended for 30 minutes after the latest lightning strike is seen.
Q - How does the League determine the official start date for CYO Track & Field practice?
A - The official start date for junior high school teams in Ohio is identified on the OHSAA web site. CYO Track & Field follows this guideline.
Q- Why are athletes allowed to participate in only three events at a track meet?
A - " Per the Ohio High School Athletic Association for grades 7 & 8 : In any one track and field contest , a participant may compete in a maximum of 3 events . The events may be any combination of track and field events including relays , or may be 3 track events or 3 field events. Participation limitation Penalty : An athlete who exceeds the participation limitation becomes an ineligible athlete. Per Federation Rules Penalty : All individual points, team points, and places earned by that competitor exceeding limits in the meet shall be forfeited and the competitor disqualified from further competition in that meet." CYO Track & Field adheres to the three event limitation rule for all athletes in all grades of CYO Track & Field.