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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 USA Triathlon Membership Services.

PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION CAREFULLY:

  • All athletes MUST present proof of elite status at all USA Triathlon Sanctioned Events; therefore, athletes must carry their license to all events. If an athlete loses their elite license, they may print a temporary card at the USA Triathlon website.
  • Athletes have one year from the date of meeting any of the described elite qualification criteria below to apply for an elite license. 
  • Upon meeting the elite qualification criteria and applying for an elite license, an athlete will retain their eligibility for three years. Regardless of remaining eligibility, athletes must renew and pay their membership fee annually to be considered an active elite athlete.
  • In addition to renewing an elite license yearly, all elite athletes must extend their eligibility to compete as an elite athlete. Elite athletes must submit ONE race result in which the athlete finished within 8 percent of the winner’s time at a USA Triathlon Sanctioned Event that offered a prize purse of $5,000 or greater. By submitting this result, the athlete then extends their eligibility expiration date for three years from December 31 of the year in which they submitted the result. Example: Athlete X is approved for a first time elite license in March 2012 therefore they have an eligibility expiration date of December 31, 2015. That athlete then has all of 2013, 2014 and 2015 to submit ONE race result where he/she finished within 8 percent of the winner’s time at an event offering $5,000 or more. If the race result is from 2013, their eligibility is extended until December 31, 2016. If the race result is from 2014, their eligibility is extended until December 31, 2017. 
  • 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. No exceptions are made.
  • Once an elite license expires, an athlete can choose to go back to amateur racing, but only when the current membership license expires.
  • Depending on qualification criteria met, athletes must submit proper documentation (e.g., race results, copy of elite UCI license, copy of National Federation elite license) to the National Office along with the elite license application. A printout of the actual race results must be provided with the application. A race resume, emails with race website links, or race results that have been cut and pasted are not acceptable. Athletes need only print out the first few pages of the results but should note the number of total finishers, the website address and date of event at the top of the first page.

Athletes still need to renew his/her license each calendar year.

  • Application and race results must be received at least fourteen (14) days before the FIRST event at which the athlete wishes to compete as an elite. Once an athlete has submitted paperwork, it is the athlete’s responsibility to contact USA Triathlon for proof of their elite status. Athletes may not show up at elite events without proof of status.
  • Athletes registered as elites/pros CAN compete in events with less than $5,000 prize purses but:
    • They are competing in events according to the age-group rules of USA Triathlon, not pro/elite rules;
    • 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. 

USA TRIATHLON RECOGNIZES SIX CLASSIFICATIONS WITHIN ITS ELITE LICENSE STRUCTURE:

  1. Elite Triathlete License or Collegiate Elite (covered as an elite in all categories)
  2. Draft-Legal Pathway
  3. Elite Duathlete License (covered as an elite in duathlon, amateur in triathlon)
  4. Elite Off-Road License (covered as an elite in off-road events, amateur in road events)
  5. Elite Foreign License
  6. Special Considerations
1. ELITE TRIATHLETE LICENSE:

This license is for athletes wishing to race as an elite in any USA Triathlon 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 cost $45 and expire December 31 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 USA Triathlon 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 percent of the winning elite time on the same course as the elites (distance and format) in three USA Triathlon 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 percent 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 Championship in Kona.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

2015 Elite Qualifying Races:

All triathlons on U.S. (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.

2. 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 31 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 USA Triathlon 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) amateur U.S. finishers in the race will become eligible for a USA Triathlon Elite Triathlete License. These athletes must finish within five percent (5%) of the amateur winner’s overall time.

3. ELITE DUATHLETE LICENSE:

This license is for athletes wishing to race as an elite in any USA Triathlon Sanctioned Duathlon. Athletes approved for this license remain amateur in triathlon events. This license costs $45 and expires December 31 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 percent of the overall winner’s time, according to gender, in at least two (2) USA Triathlon 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 percent of the overall winner’s time, according to gender, in at least one (1) USA Triathlon 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 percent of the overall winner’s time, according to gender, in at least one (1) USA Triathlon 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.

4. ELITE OFF-ROAD LICENSE:

This license is for any athlete wishing to race as an elite in any USA Triathlon 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 31 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 percent of the winning elite time on the same course as the elites (distance and format) in three USA Triathlon 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 percent 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 Championship in Maui.

 

CRITERIA D: Finish top-5 overall and within 8 percent of the winning amateur time at the XTERRA National Championship in Ogden, Utah. 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.

 

2015 Off-Road Elite Qualifying Races:

All triathlons on U.S. (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.

CRITERIA F:  Any athlete who holds elite status in NORBA, UCI, USAC, AND/OR USAT&F

5. ELITE FOREIGN LICENSE:

This license is for foreign athletes who compete in multiple USA Triathlon Sanctioned Events and want to avoid paying the $10 one-day license fee multiple times. This license costs $45 and expires December 31 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 USA Triathlon elite license qualification criteria outlined above under item one (Elite Triathlete License) described above.

6. 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 10 overall and within 10 percent of the overall winner’s time in at least one (1) USA Triathlon Sanctioned Event having at least 200 participants that occurred within the past 12 months.

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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