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Sanctioning Your Race

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What is Sanctioning?

The term 'USA Triathlon Sanctioned' indicates the race director (RD) has completed a thorough review of an event's safety. The swim, bike and run courses have been well-planned, and the race director has evaluated and planned for medical, emergency, safety and volunteer support and will conduct the event according to the USA Triathlon Competitive Rules. Course maps and event details must be submitted for USA Triathlon review and approval. The process is online and can be both adjusted for changes and effectively integrated as a planning tool for race directors.

If you have any questions about the sanctioning process, please email us at or call (719) 884-5612.

Sanctioning Policy (PDF)

  • Documents Required for Sanctioning

    • Detailed and updated course maps
    • Course details
    • Event plans
    • Security
    • Transition area design
    • Emergency and medical plan
    • Rules Enforcement
    • USAT membership and waiver signature check
  • Did You Know?

    USA Triathlon sanctions numerous types of multisport events each year, including those with:

    • Kayak/Canoe/SUP legs
    • Cross-country skiing
    • Relays
    • Non-traditional Distances
    • Beginner Focused
    • Indoor Triathlons

    and more! Contact if you have questions about whether your event may be sanctioned.

Why Sanction with USA Triathlon?

Athletes expect a worry-free experience when they register for an event. Participants should be able to arrive at their event with minimal distractions, leaving their sole focus on racing. Sanctioning with USA Triathlon provides that positive experience in the following ways:

  • An affordable, comprehensive insurance program that protects race directors, athletes, volunteers, sponsors and other race staff

  • Sanctioned races ensure a fair race, governed under the industry-standard competitive rules and are able to be officiated by USA Triathlon Certified Officials.

  • Sanctioned races provide ranking points for regional and national rankings and the opportunity to qualify for National Championships and, eventually a spot on Team USA.

  • Marketing your events through the Sanctioned Events Calendar, a comprehensive list of sanctioned events throughout the nation.

  • Results are stored for all sanctioned events on one centralized website.

  • Support of the National Governing Body by enabling it to develop new programming, grow the sport, and fund initiatives including youth participation, Olympic programming and paratriathlon.

  • USA Triathlon’s mission is “to grow and inspire the triathlon community”—a virtuous cycle that directly benefits each race director and all athletes at all sanctioned events.

  • USA Triathlon will only consider Sanctioned Events when selecting which events may host state and national championships or join USA Triathlon Race Series such as the draft-legal, gravel, women's series or Youth Splash and Dash events.

Sanctioning Fees

The following fees apply for sanction applications completed at least 60 days before the event or the start of the clinic and are non-negotiable.

Sanctioning with USA Triathlon proves to my event's athletes that I have their safety and best interests in mind.

Sanction Your Race Today

Looking to renew your race’s sanctioning for next year? Save time by hitting the Copy button to create next year’s application. This saves time and gives you a head start on completing the application.

  1. Adult and youth events must be sanctioned and insured separately, therefore each event must have a sanction application on file.
  2. Course maps are required (itineraries are required for clinics) each year for safety and insurance purposes. Please include a map of the transition area(s) and pool course.  
  3. Five-year age groups in increments starting with 20-24 and going through 85-plus are required.  There are no age group requirements for youth events except that all participants must be 17 and under.
  4. Mass swim starts or wave starts of more than 150 athletes require a rules dispensation request consisting of the following questions. Hybrid swim starts also require a rules dispensation request. This request must be resubmitted each year for approval. You will be notified by an event services staff member reviewing your event to send responses to the following questions. 
    1. How many athletes are in the mass start?
    2. How many athletes total are in the event?
    3. What is the width of the start area?
    4. What is the distance from the start line to the first turn?
    5. How will the mass start enhance the safety of the event?    Please Note - the same mass start rules that govern a swim also apply to duathlon starts and a rules dispensation request is required.
  5. Water testing is a requirement, even for pool swims. USAT recommends that you follow the guidelines established by the agency that governs your body of water, such as the county, city, EPA, pool management, etc. USAT will accept whatever criteria the permitting agency has established for swimability and human contact. Please obtain a copy of the certificate that is issued nearest to the event date and keep it with the event files for seven years, as it may need to be provided to USAT after the event.

Rules Enforcement

  • A USA Triathlon Certified Official talks with an athlete before a race.

    Use USA Triathlon Certified Officials

    Every USA Triathlon Sanctioned Event must enforce the multisport rules, and USA Triathlon Certified Officials are the best way to do so! USAT Officials are trained to provide excellent customer service while educating on and enforcing the rules.

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Pre-Event Requirements for Race Directors

Race directors of sanctioned events must complete the following before their event ends.

Post-Event Requirements for Race Directors

Race directors of sanctioned events must complete the following after their event ends.

Receive $100 off your next USAT sanction application when you double-check the power and effectiveness of your registration platform with TicketSocket’s to ensure you are setting yourself up for ease of use, streamlined processing and increased marketing efficiency. Email to set up a 20-minute call. Once complete, USA Triathlon will either refund $100 off your current sanction application or provide a $100 non-transferable credit towards your next.