Frequently Asked Questions
Will I earn a varsity letter if I come to practice every day? No. A varsity letter is not a certificate of participation. Giving varsity letters for coming to practice every day would be analogous to naming students to the high honor roll for having perfect attendance in school. A varsity letter is something to be earned, not something to be given. It needs to represent something. If everyone gets a varsity letter, a varsity letter won’t mean anything anymore.
Where did the performances in the VARSITY LEVEL PERFORMANCES table come from? The coaches met and mutually agreed on the performance levels in the table in the standard events. For the non-standard events, the IAAF Scoring Tables were consulted to determine equivalent performances to the standard events. For instance, the IAAF Sprint Table was consulted to find the 300-meter performance that is equivalent to the 400-meter performance decided upon by the coaching staff.
What is the IAAF? The IAAF is the International Association of Athletics Federations. It is the international governing body for track and field, cross country, road racing, and race walking. The governing body for these activities within the United States is the USATF.
Do relay splits count? No.
Who keeps track of the points I have earned and my performances? The event coaches keep the official records. Every effort is made to document your performances in every meet. This is done for numerous reasons. Most importantly, it is done to track your development.
Will performances in sub-varsity events be considered? Your times, heights, and/or distances will be considered regardless of the level of competition in which they were achieved. For example, freshman who score lettering marks at a freshman meet will receive credit and a letter for Sentinel High School lettering requirements; these marks will not count towards school records and they are not considered for divisional and state marks.
Can a freshman qualify for the divisional meet and or state meets at freshman meets? No. The states governing body does not count these marks.
What do HT and FAT mean? HT stands for hand-timed. This means that your official time was taken with a stopwatch. FAT stands for fully-automatic timing. FAT times are more accurate than hand times, as an automatic timing system is not affected by human reaction time.
How were times converted from HT to FAT? This was done through the use of the accepted conversion factors given in the Big Gold Book from Track & Field News. For races that start at or very close to the common finish line, 0.14 seconds are added to the hand-time to get the FAT time. For all other races, 0.24 seconds are added to the hand-time to get the FAT time.
What if I go to a meet and all of the field events are measured using the metric system? We will convert from metric system (meters, rounded to two decimal places of accuracy) to imperial system (feet and inches).
Is there a maximum number of letters that will be awarded? No.
Is there a minimum number of letters that will be awarded? No.
What if I earned a letter last spring? This has no bearing on whether you will earn a varsity letter this spring or not. You must earn your letter every season.
What if I earned a letter in cross country and/or winter track & field? This also has no bearing on whether you will earn a varsity letter this spring or not. Again, you must earn your letter every season.
What if I get injured during the season? The awarding of a varsity letter will be at the discretion of the coaching staff. They will evaluate your development up to the point of your injury and determine if you would have earned a varsity letter. If you are injured while participating in another activity, such as a club sport, you may not be awarded a letter, regardless of other factors.
Am I guaranteed a varsity letter if the conditions above are met? No. Factors such as poor attendance may weigh against your favor. You must be at practice and at the meets. The decision as to what qualifies as an excused absence rests with the coaches, not with the athletes. You must also do everything asked of you by the coaches. You must conduct yourself in the appropriate manner at all times, which includes working your hardest and being respectful to your teammates, coaches, opponents, and the officials.