Below is a list of questions frequently asked by event organisers. Please check here if you have any queries whilst planning your next event or completing your licence application.
All athletics events (track and field, road running, cross country, hill and fell running, trail running or Highland Games/heavy throws) organised within Scotland MUST hold a scottishathletics licence under UKA rules. scottishathletics will provide the following benefits to licensed events:
You can apply for your licence at any time, once you have all of the information required to complete it. Please ensure your application is made at least 8 weeks before the date of the event, in line with UK Athletics rules. If you need to submit your application closer to the event date, please also contact the scottishathletics events team to ensure your application can be processed in time. The application process opens seasonally: Winter applications can be submitted from the end of the Winter season before, and Summer applications from the end of the Summer season before.
There are six types of licence available from scottishathletics: cross country, heavy throws/Highland Games throws, hill, road and multi-terrain, track and field and trail (including ultra). Each event-type is defined in the UKA rule book, with further information available there to help you to determine which type best-fits your event. If you are unsure which category your event falls into, please contact us.
All virtual events will fit into one of the six types of licence available from scottishathletics: cross country, heavy throws/Highland Games throws, hill, road and multi-terrain, track and field and trail (including ultra). Each event-type is defined in the UKA rule book, with further information available there to help you to determine which type best-fits your event. If you are unsure which category your event falls into, please contact us. If you are hosting a virtual road race, for example, complete the licence application for a road/multi terrain race and tell us within the application that your event will be virtual. This is most simply done through the event title: we would assume that “The scottishathletics Virtual 5K” would be taking place virtually!
Licences can only be granted to organisations that are members of scottishathletics.
If you plan to award prizes for placings, or published times, your event is a ‘race’ under UKA rules and must be licensed. If you will not be recognising places nor timing runners, you do not require a licence as your event is a true ‘fun run’ free from competition. scottishathletics can license fun runs for insurance purposes if the event organiser wishes, provided they still comply with UKA rules regarding ages of participation, etc. It must be made clear at the point of applying that an event will not be recording results in order to be licensed as a fun run.
If your event covers more than one of the six disciplines, you will need to apply for more than one licence. A road and multi-terrain race licence can only cover road and multi-terrain races, whilst a track and field licence can only cover track and field events. If you plan to host a road race and track race at the same event, for example, you will need two licences. Some events may require three or more licences to cover everything.
A single licence can cover multiple events, as long as all of the events are of the same type and the event dates are listed on the licence application. If you have all of the required details at the time of making the initial application, you only need to apply once: just tick ‘series’ on your application form and add the details of the other dates. If you do not have all of the information available at the time of applying for a licence for the first event, you can still apply for separate licences for the rest of the series later.
All races/field events to be covered by an event licence (including insurance, etc) must be listed on the licence. We cannot insure events we do not know about, so make sure you list all of the events you plan to offer, even if one is a fun run or children’s race alongside your main event. As many races as required can be listed on your licence application form.
Under UKA rules, restrictions apply to young athletes and the events they can enter. More information can be found by checking the UKA rule book, the ‘rules’ section of our website or by clicking the ‘view max. distances’ button within the licence application whilst adding your events. Licences will not be issued to events exceeding the maximum permitted distances.
Even if you plan to host just one race at your event, for hill, road, MT, trail and ultra races, individual races for all gender and age categories must be added separately to the application form to clarify who can take part and how results will be split. For example, a licence application for a half marathon open to any runner (17+) should list at least three ‘individual events’ on the application form: senior men half marathon, senior women half marathon and senior non-binary half marathon. Licence applicants may list as many or as few age/gender categories as they wish, but must ensure all athletes who can enter their event are covered in the ‘individual events’ listed in your application. We do not need to know whether Masters awards will be divided into 5/10/other-year age bands: simply list ‘Masters’ in this case.
We are looking for a list of categories that results will be split into, not just the distance of your race. A mass participation race will typically have multiple ‘races’ within it. Even if the overall race is run by athletes from a mixture of age and gender categories, if results are split male/female, this becomes two races as the men are competing against other men, and the women against other women. Similarly, there may be a third gender category offered, or athletes may compete in different age groups. Even if these races are combined into one physical ‘race’ on the day, for licensing purposes, please list the different categories reflected in the results to clearly tell us the ages and genders of all athletes eligible to take part.
Provided your event doesn’t breach UKA rules, you can add additional events to those already listed on the application form. To do this, use the ‘other’ box when setting up the events included at your competition to include, for example, additional track and field events, or use the ‘further information’ box at the bottom of the page to tell us about what you would like to do. You can also add events for different gender categories in the same way. Once your application is approved, all events listed will be covered by your licence. If you are unsure, please contact the scottishathletics events team.
If you plan to offer events specifically for athletes with a disability, great! To list these on your licence application, select the race distance being offered when adding events, and later in the process you will be asked whether the event is open to wheelchair/para athletes. At this stage please state that the, for example, 100m will be offered for ambulant athletes, wheelchair users and racerunners. Similarly, please add any throws events at the ‘add an event’ stage, and later tell us that seated throws will be offered.
Should you have any questions about offering competition opportunities for para-athletes within your event, please contact our National Disability Pathway Officer for advice.
When you begin an application, you will be able to save your progress and come back later. You can make as many changes as required before submitting your application, and the most up to date version will remain in your portal for further updating.
After you have submitted your application, you will also be able to make changes before your licence is approved – just remember to resubmit it once you have made your updates so that the most up to date form is saved. If you re-open a submitted application, it will return to draft and you will need to resubmit it before we can view and issue it.
After your licence has been issued, you can still make changes by e-mailing us, but this will invalidate your current licence and require you to wait until your application has been re-approved. This may take some time, so please do ensure your application is as complete as possible before you submit it to avoid any delays to receiving an updated licence close to the event date.
After your event, make sure you complete an event return form, regardless of your event type. This can be found within your licensing portal and should be completed within 28 days of your event taking place. You will receive a reminder of this soon after your event date.
Unaffiliated athlete levies of £2 per person should be paid by non-scottishathletics members who take part in any licensed event, regardless of discipline. These levies should be collected by the Event Organiser and paid to scottishathletics within 28 days of the event taking place.
Whilst it is an extremely difficult decision to call off a planned event, extenuating circumstances occasionally leave an event organiser no option. If possible, consider postponing the event until another suitable date, adapting your plans to work around changed circumstances (Can you divert your road race around road works? Can you deliver the event to local athletes only if travel is a problem?) or hold the event as a virtual competition if circumstances allow. However, if it is not possible to proceed with the event in any format, please let us know that you would like to cancel your licence. You can do so by completing this short licence update request form.
A variety of materials are available from the scottishathletics website under the ’Organising an Event’ tab. The UK Athletics rule book may be able to clarify some issues, and if you have any further questions, contact the scottishathletics events team.