Event Organiser FAQs

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.

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What are the benefits of licensing my event?

All athletics events (track and field, road running, cross country, hill and fell running, trail running or Highland Games/heavy throws) held under UKA rules and organised within Scotland MUST hold a scottishathletics licence. scottishathletics will provide the following benefits to licensed events:

• scottishathletics, as a constitutional member of United Kingdom Athletics (UKA), will provide third person public liability insurance cover for the event. A schedule of insurance cover is available from the scottishathletics website under ‘Organising an Event’ and ‘Insurance’.

• The event date, details and event organiser’s contact e-mail will be included in the scottishathletics online events calendar. Organisers of licensed events will be able to add further details of their event to the listing once their licence has been issued.

• Access to an electronic scottishathletics logo for use on event promotion, demonstrating its licensed status to prospective entrants.

• The event entry form, or link to the online entry form, will be promoted on the scottishathletics website when possible.

• scottishathletics, Power of 10 and Run Britain will only publish the results of licensed events held under UKA rules. Licensed events will have their results published on these sites, provided the event also complies with the license standards set out for that event-type.

• Access to advice and support from scottishathletics staff regarding choosing a suitable date, course measurement, and any other issues brought to us. Access, too, to equipment, on loan from scottishathletics, for use at the event as/when available.

When should I apply?

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 competitions 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.

What kind of licence do I need?

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.

I want to host a Virtual Event – what kind of licence do I need?

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!

How much does a licence cost?

Licences can only be granted to organisations that are members of scottishathletics.

• If you are applying on behalf of an affiliated athletics club or associate member of scottishathletics, applying for a licence is free.

• If your organisation is not a current member of scottishathletics, but you wish to become a member to apply for an event licence, event organisation membership requires an annual fee, and once confirmed as a member you will be able to apply for as many event licences as your organisation requires within your year of membership at no additional cost. You can join online by clicking on the ‘SignUp’ link at the top of this page.

Levies should also be collected from unaffiliated participants and paid by the event organiser to scottishathletics within 28 days of the event taking place. Further information on levies can be found below.

I am organising a charity fun run. Do I still need a licence?

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.

I want to host two races at my event – a road race and a shorter-distance race on the track. What type of licence should I apply for?

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.

I’m organising a league, with four events in the series. Do I need a licence for each one, or can I apply for one licence to cover all of them?

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.

Please do not list all of the events you plan to organise within a season on the same application if they do not link together in some way to form a series. For example, if a club hosts an indoor open graded meeting, two outdoor open graded meetings and the Club Championships within a year, they might apply for one licence for their indoor OGM (an indoor event), another licence for the Club Championship (a closed event for members only) and a third that could cover both of the outdoor OGMs (open outdoor events). If you are unsure whether your events make up a series or not, please contact us to clarify.

I am organising a children’s race alongside my 10K – will this be covered by my licence?

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.

I heard there are different rules about the distances athletes in different age groups can run. How do I know what I can offer at my event?

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.

Do I need to have qualified officials at my event? If so, how many?

All licensed events should be supported by an appropriate number of officials with the relevant qualifications, as well as additional event volunteers.
In track and field, the minimum number of required officials for a level 1 or level 2 licence is set out in the licensing documentation provided by UK Athletics. A guide to the expected numbers in each discipline, as well as a template officials’ list, can be found here.
In all off-track events, it is expected that a minimum of three qualified officials be in attendance: a Referee (level 2+ endurance official with referee qualification), a qualified starter (level 1+ starter) and a timekeeper (either level 1+ endurance official with timekeeping experience; level 1+ timekeeper or contracted timing company). A template officials’ list, can be found here.
Details of your officials will be requested as part of the post-event returns process.

How do I add a race to my application? (Hill, Road/MT or Trail/Ultra)

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.

NOTE: selecting ‘non-binary’ does not mean your event is open to both men and women. This is a separate third gender option. More information about offering a non-binary category can be found on the ‘inclusion’ page of our website, should you require further information about what this means.

I am organising a mass-participation race – why can’t I just add the distance to my licence?

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.

An event/race distance I want to offer isn’t listed in the licence options. Can I still get a licence for it?

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 competitions team.

I want to offer wheelchair/race running or seated throws events. How do I add these to my application?

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.

Can I make changes to my application after I have submitted it?

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.

Do I need to do anything else after my event?

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.

If unaffiliated athlete levies are due from your event, you should ensure that these are also received by scottishathletics within 28 days of your event taking place. You can make the payment online as part of your event return if the amount if less than £100, or by BACS or cheque. If paying by BACS, please include your event licence number and the name of your organisation in the payment reference so that we can identify it as yours. If you require an invoice before you can make the payment, it is your responsibility to request one from the Competitions Team in good time. If you require a receipt for your payment, one can also be issued upon request.

If your event hosted a scottishathletics Championship, you must also send a copy of your results to scottishathletics within 28 days post-event. We are happy to publish results from other events when they are uploaded to the licensing portal, but results are not a compulsory part of the returns process. You may also wish to send your results to Power of 10 or RunBritain for ranking purposes.

For each event type:
-Completed Event Return Form (completed online within the licensing portal)
-Levies (if required, paid either online or vis BACS/cheque)
-Results (if your event hosted a Championship)

What are levies, and who should pay them?

Unaffiliated athlete levies of £2 per person should be paid by non-scottishathletics members who take part in any licensed event. These levies should be collected by the Event Organiser and paid to scottishathletics within 28 days of the event taking place.

From 1st April 2023 (event date), levies should be collected from unaffiliated athletes entering events in ANY discipline.

Levies are not collected from any event where entry costs £2 or less.

Events open only to children (under 16, or the U17 age group and below) do not need to collect levies, but if an event is also open to athletes over 16 all non-members taking part in the event, regardless of their age, will be expected to pay this fee (ie. in a mass-participation 5K).

If an event is organised by students for students (and this is made clear on the event’s licence application) any non-student entries should pay the £2 levy fee, but scottishathletics will not expect levies to be collected from student entrants if a student discount is offered instead. Levies are also not collected from events held by or for schools, and which are open only to school pupils.

My event has been cancelled – what should I do?

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. We can cancel your licence for you or update it to the new event date (within the same competition year).

Where can I find out more information?

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 competitions team.

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