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Elite Membership Qualification Standards

2015 Forms
2015 Elite Qualification Criteria
2015 Elite License Application
2015 New Applicant Form
2015 Elite Eligibility Extension Form

Please mail all applications to:

USA Triathlon
Membership Services
5825 Delmonico Drive
Colorado Springs, CO 80919

To inquire about the status of your submitted elite application, please contact USAT Membership Services.

Important Information

You MUST present proof of elite status at all USAT-sanctioned events; therefore you must carry your license to all events. If you have lost your license, you may print a temporary card at the membership section of the USAT web site for proof of your status.

Unlike the amateur license, an elite license is based on a calendar year. It expires on December 31, regardless of when the license is purchased.

Depending on qualification criteria met, athletes must submit proper documentation (ex: race results, copy of elite UCI license, copy of national federation elite license) to the USAT National Office along with the elite license application. A printout of the actual race results must be provided with the application. A race resume, e-mails with race web site links or race results that have been cut and pasted are not acceptable. You only need to print out the first few pages of the results, but make sure to note the number of total finishers, the web site address and date of event at the top of the first page.

Once an elite license expires, an athlete can choose to go back to amateur racing but only when that card has expired.

Once approved as an elite, athletes must resubmit race results that extend their eligibility expiration date for three years from December 31 of the year they were approved. Updated Elite Eligibility Extension Exception Resolution 2/2011.

Application and race results must be received at least 14 days before the event at which the athlete wants to compete as an elite. Once an athlete has submitted paperwork, it is their responsibility to contact the USAT National Office for proof of their new status.

Amateurs must consider elite finishers when calculating their finishing place if the elite field raced the same course and format as the amateurs. For instance, if the elites are not drafting and racing the same race course, an athlete may have been first among the amateurs, but 11th when comparing their time with the elites of their gender.

Athletes registered as elite/pros CAN compete in events with less than $5k prize purses but they are competing in events according to the age group rules of USAT, not pro/elite rules AND they cannot accept age group awards or be included in those results; they can be listed in the overall finish position and receive any prizes offered for overall placing.

USAT recognizes six classifications within its elite license structure:

  • Elite Triathlete or Collegiate Elite (covered as an elite in all categories)
  • Draft Legal Pathway
  • Elite Duathlete (covered as an elite in duathlon, amateur in triathlon)
  • Elite Off Road (covered as an elite in off road events, amateur in all on road events)
  • Elite Foreign
  • Special consideration  

 

ELITE TRIATHLETE LICENSE:
This license is for athletes wishing to race as an elite in any USAT sanctioned event, at any distance (from sprint to ultra) and format (triathlons, duathlons, off road events, winter events, etc.). Athletes have the option to obtain either the elite triathlete license or the collegiate license designation (see below). Both licenses costs $45 and expires December 31st of the year in which it was issued.

 

      COLLEGIATE ELITE LICENSE DESIGNATION

 

  • The Collegiate Elite License Designation is an option of the regular elite license for current or soon to be NCAA athletes who do not want to jeopardize their NCAA eligibility but want to compete in elite events sanctioned by USAT to gain experience. These athletes are NOT eligible for prize money but may race when it is offered. Collegiate athletes should check with the NCAA or their university’s compliance personnel regarding the most current rules regarding eligibility and prize money acceptance.

 

 

Qualification criteria: Any athlete who chooses to compete as an elite triathlete or an elite triathlete with a collegiate license designation must meet at least one of the criteria listed below:

 

CRITERIA A: Finish within 8% of the winning elite time on the same course as the elites (distance and format) in three USAT sanctioned events that offered a prize purse of $5,000 or greater. All three results must be from the same calendar year.

 

CRITERIA B: Finish top-10 overall and within 8% of the winner’s time at the ITU Age Group Olympic Distance World Championships.

 

CRITERIA C: Finish top-10 overall in the amateur field at Ironman 140.6 World Championships in Kona.

 

CRITERIA D: Finish top-5 overall and within 8% of the winner’s time at USAT Age Group Olympic Distance National Championships.

 

CRITERIA E: Finish top-5 overall and within 8% of the winner’s time at USAT Collegiate Olympic Distance National Championships.

 

CRITERIA F: Finish top-3 overall in the amateur field at an Elite Qualifying Race.

 

2013 Elite Qualifying Races:
All triathlons on US (including territories) and Canadian soil that have a corresponding elite race in the same distance with $20,000 or more in elite prize money shall be Elite Qualifying Races. Please confirm prize purse amounts directly with race organizers.

 

DRAFT LEGAL PATHWAY:
Athletes who qualify via these criteria can choose either the standard Elite Triathlete License (described above) or the standard Elite Triathlete license with Collegiate designation. This license costs $45 and expires December 31st of the year in which it was issued.

 

Qualification criteria: Any athlete who chooses to compete as an elite triathlete through Draft Legal Pathway must meet at least one of the criteria listed below:

 

CRITERIA A: Finish Top 10 at ITU Junior Elite Sprint Distance Triathlon World Championships.

 

CRITERIA B: Finish Top 5 at ITU Pan Am Junior Championships

 

CRITERIA C: Overall Junior Elite winner at North American Junior Championships OR any other USAT Junior Elite Series Cup event.

 

CRITERIA D: Rank within the Top 5 Junior Elite End of Season Rankings

 

CRITERIA E: Meet the qualification standards at an Elite Development Race or Collegiate Nationals draft-legal individual race as outlined below:

 

The first three (3) finishers in the race will become eligible for a USAT Elite Triathlete License.  These athletes must finish within five percent (5%) of the winner’s overall time.  If there are fewer than 30 starters, only two (2) athletes will earn eligibility.  If there are fewer than 20 starters, only one (1) athlete will earn eligibility.  If Elite license holders or non-U.S. athletes are permitted to start in the race, elite eligibility spots will roll down to the next amateur provided he or she is within five percent (5%) of the first amateur’s overall time.  Elite and non-U.S. starters will not count toward the total number of starters used to determine the number of Elite licenses awarded. 

 

ELITE DUATHLETE LICENSE:
This license is for athletes wishing to race as an elite in any USAT sanctioned duathlon. Athletes approved for this license remain amateur in triathlon events. This license costs $45 and expires December 31st of the year in which it was issued.

 

Qualification criteria: Any athlete who chooses to compete as an elite duathlete must meet the following criteria:

 

CRITERIA A: In the amateur field, finish top-10 overall and within 10% of the overall winner’s time, according to gender, in at least two (2) USAT sanctioned duathlons having at least 200 total participants (combined genders) that occurred within the current calendar year.

 

Special Consideration to the above criteria will be considered by a three person committee made up of two elite duathletes (approved by the Athlete Advisory Council) and one member of the AAC. Exceptions will be considered if the applying athlete meets at least one of the below criteria:

SPECIAL CONSIDERATION A: In the amateur field, finish top-4 overall and within 7% of the overall winner’s time, according to gender, in at least one (1) USAT sanctioned duathlon having at least

200 total participants (combined genders) that occurred within the current calendar year OR

 

SPECIAL CONSIDERATION B: In the amateur field, finish top-2 overall and within 7% of the overall winner’s time, according to gender, in at least one (1) USAT sanctioned duathlon having a minimum of 125 total participants (combined genders) and a maximum of 200 total participants (combined genders) that occurred within the current calendar year.

 
ELITE OFF ROAD LICENSE:
This license is for any athlete wishing to race as an elite in any USAT sanctioned off- road event (e.g., Xterra). Athletes approved for this license remain amateur in all on road events. This license costs $45 and expires December 31st of the year in which it was issued.

 

Any athlete who chooses to compete as an elite off road athlete must meet one of the criteria below:

CRITERIA A: Finish within 8% of the winning elite time on the same course as the elites (distance and format) in three USAT sanctioned events that offered a prize purse of $5,000 or greater. All three results must be from the same calendar year.

 

CRITERIA B: Finish top-5 overall and within 8% of the winning amateur time at the ITU Cross Triathlon World Championships.

 

CRITERIA C: Finish top-10 overall in the amateur field at the Xterra World Championships in Maui.

 

CRITERIA D: Finish top-5 overall and within 8% of the winning amateur time at the Xterra National Championships in Ogden, UT. Athletes must compete and qualify in the “full or long distance” division (1500 swim, 28k mountain bike, 10k trail run)

CRITERIA E: Finish top-3 overall in the amateur field at an Off Road Elite Qualifying Race.

 

2013 Off Road Elite Qualifying Races:
All triathlons on US (including territories) and Canadian soil that have a corresponding elite race in the same distance and format with $15,000 or more in elite prize money shall be Off Road Elite Qualifying Race. Please confirm prize purse amounts directly with race organizers.

 

 

ELITE FOREIGN LICENSE:
This license is for foreign athletes who compete in multiple USAT sanctioned events and want to avoid paying the $10 one day license fee multiple times. This license costs $45 and expires December 31st of the year in which it was issued.

 

Qualification criteria: Any athlete who chooses to compete as a foreign elite athlete must present proof of elite status from his/her National Triathlon Federation or meet the USAT elite license qualification criteria outlined above under item one (Elite Triathlete License) described above.

 
SPECIAL CONSIDERATION:

Special consideration for exceptions to all elite membership rules will be granted by the AAC, who will only consider exceptions for athletes who meet the following criteria:

 

  • Applying athlete has been on a USA Swimming, USA Cycling, or USA Track and Field Olympic or Pan American Games Team or National Elite Team (recognized by that NGB). The athlete must have finished in the top ten overall and within 10% of the overall winner’s time in at least one (1) USAT sanctioned event having at least 200 participants that occurred within the past 12 months.

Click here to contact us with any questions regarding the qualification criteria.

 

 

Athletes wishing to race as an elite triathlete/duathlete or off-road triathlete in any USAT sanctioned event must hold a USAT elite license in their respective category. Elite annual membership will be available to certain qualified, highly competitive, and experienced athletes who meet the qualifications respective to their license category as outlined below. Only athletes holding an elite license are eligible to compete in the elite wave of any USAT sanctioned event that offers a minimum prize purse of $5,000. The terms "elite" and "professional" are used interchangeably but USAT prefers that these athletes be referred to as "elites" in order to align with ITU and USOC.

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