Team USA FAQ

What is Team USA?

Team USA was created in 1989 by USA Triathlon at the request of the International Triathlon Union (ITU), which was starting the first World Championship at the Olympic-distance in Avignon, France. Team USA is the group of age-group athletes that qualify for the right to represent the United States and compete in the ITU World Championships, which attracts the best athletes representing over 50 countries each year. 

  • Short Course (Olympic) triathlon *(1.5K swim, 40K bike, 10K run)
  • Long Course Triathlon *(4k swim, 112k bike, 30k run)
  • Sprint Triathlon *(750m swim, 20k bike, 5k run)
  • Standard Duathlon *(10K run, 40K bike, 5K run)
  • Sprint Duathlon *(5K run, 20K bike, 2.5K run)
  • Long-Distance Duathlon *(10k run, 150k bike, 30k run)
  • Middle-Distance Duathlon *(10k run, 60k bike, 10k run)
  • Aquathlon *(1000m swim, and 5K run)
  • Cross (Off-Road) Triathlon (distances based on the location- disciplines: swim, mountain bike, trail run)
  • Winter triathlon (distances based on the location - disciplines: trail run, mountain bike, cross country ski)

Qualifiers exist for all World Championship teams. Visit each event link for qualification standards. 
*Distances are subject to change depending on location and course availability.

 

Who can qualify?

All members of Team USA must be current USAT annual members on the day they plan to qualify. Aged-up results are used to determine qualification and roll down eligibility. All athletes eligible to represent the United States must be at least 16 years old (sprint distance) or 18 years old (standard distance or longer) as of December 31st of the year of the World Championship AND 

  • Be a U.S. citizen

               OR

  • Be a U.S. national – someone who has resided in the US for three consecutive years and has not competed for their country of citizenship in the prior year.

*Athletes who choose to be recognized as nationals who have competed for their country of citizenship in the last year may get dispensation by obtaining a letter from the NGB of their home country allowing competition as a U.S. athlete.

What is the age up rule?

Whatever your age is as of December 31, during the year in which you want to compete for Team USA will be the age-group used to determine your Team USA qualification status

If an athlete "ages up" into another age group for the year of the World Championship, a separate set of results will be issued accounting for those athletes who aged up and Team USA slots will be awarded based on these results. Therefore, their finish time will be compared to those athletes in the older age group.

For example, if John Doe is going to be 49 years old by Dec. 31, 2019, he will age-up up into the 50-54 age group for the 2020 World Championships since he will be 50 years old by Dec. 31, 2020. Thus, for Team USA qualifying purposes, his time at the qualification event will be compared to the men currently in the 50-54 age group.

We will post the age-up results at the awards ceremony Age Group Nationals. At other national championships, age-up results will not be posted, and athletes will claim their spot through email within 2-3 weeks post-event.

 

How does an individual qualify?

For information about qualifications, please click HERE


If I qualified for Team USA this year, do I automatically have a slot on Team USA next year?

No, you do not automatically qualify for Team USA next year. However, if you were on Team USA this year, you do automatically qualify for nationals in the next year.

On the other hand, if you podium in your age group at a World Championship race, you automatically qualify for that same race the following year. For example, if you win your age group at 2019 Long Course Triathlon World Championships, you automatically qualify for 2020 Long Course Triathlon World Championships.

 

How many athletes are on Team USA?

Between 18 and 20 athletes per age group per gender, depending on the event. Age groups are fielded in five-year increments from 18-19, 20-24, etc up to 90+ years of age.

 

How long is an athlete eligible for Team USA once they are on the team?

Athletes are current Team USA members up through the completion of the world championship event at which they qualified for and in which they competed.

 

How is Team USA funded?

Team USA is funded through the remaining registration funds and national sponsors.


I qualified for the Team!

 

I qualified to be on Team USA, what are the next steps?

Congrats on making the team! You’ll get an email from Team USA within shortly after the event which qualified you for the team covering next steps, confirming you are on the team, and requesting payment of the $75 deposit. You’ll receive an email from teamusa@usatriathlon.org.

 

How Long am I on Team USA?

Athletes are current Team USA members up through the completion of the world championship event at which they qualified for and in which they competed. If you qualify for the team but don’t elect to go, you are not considered members of Team USA (sorry!).

 

How much does it cost to be on the team?

All costs are borne by the athlete and can be broken down into several categories:

  • $75 non-refundable deposit: USAT user fee that all athletes are required to pay to join Team USA
  • $160 - $400 ITU world championship event entry fee: to be paid when ITU announces the fee
  • $200 - $300 average cost of mandatory Team USA uniform provided by ROKA (goal is to keep this for a few years)
  • $185 - $230 average cost of mandatory Team USA ITU Parade of Nations kit (worn for team photos, parade, awards and at other times that USAT defines; goal is to keep this for a few years)
  • $150 - $250 USA typical land travel package cost, per person per day, provided by Andavo Meetings & Incentives (A division of Christopherson Business Travel) which usually includes airport/hotel transfers, bicycle transportation at destination, lodging and more. Foreign travel can be more expensive.
  • $40 - $50 average food costs, per person per day, depending on what and where you eat.It is a good idea of try and secure a hotel where breakfast is part of your fee.Also, you can save money but purchasing lunch food and keep in your room.
  • $3.25/day recommended Travmed Abroad insurance provided by MEDEX, which gives the traveler $100,000 in coverage, with only a $25 deductible per illness or injury. The insurance also covers international medical evacuations, help with minor travel emergencies, medical, and security related issues. Note, this can also be purchased for each family member that travels with you to the event. For coverage information or to purchase coverage for family, please click HERE. Team USA members can purchase coverage separately at the reduced price.
  • USA Triathlon will typically partner with a transport company to help athletes ship their bikes to World Championships locations (Tri Bike Transport currently). Specific shipping packages will be created for most World Championship locations.

What if I change my mind down the road or have a situation where I can’t attend the ITU World Championship. What then?

All cancellations must be received in writing to teamusa@usatriathlon.org.  The $75 deposit is non-refundable. If you cancel between two and four months prior to your respective race, you will be granted a refund of the ITU entry fee minus a $25 administrative fee via a check from USA Triathlon. Note that travel insurance is a wise purchase decision regardless of what package you book.

 

Do I have to book travel arrangements myself?

USAT provides travel packages for most world championships, which usually includes airport/hotel transfers, bicycle transportation at destination, lodging and other benefits. Most U.S. athletes travel as part of the prepared package and with other U.S. athletes. All costs are borne by the athlete. Land package costs usually run between $150-$250 per person per day (foreign hotels can be very expensive). Athletes are free to book housing separate from the package but do so at the expense of lost team camaraderie. USA Triathlon is currently working with Andavo Meetings & Incentives (A division of Christopherson Business Travel) to coordinate these packages and to help facilitate your travel questions.


Am I required to have a Team USA uniform?

Yes, Team USA uniforms are required to compete on the team at the ITU world championships. Athletes that don’t, are subject to not being a place on the start line.  This will not be known for most until they check in on race morning, at which time ITU is doing uniform checks.

 

If I already have a ROKA uniform, do I have to buy a new one? 

If you already have a ROKA uniform from 2017 to 2019, you do not have to buy a new one. TYR or any other previously assigned uniform are not allowed.

 

Am I required to have the parade apparel?

Yes, to participate in the ITU Parade of Nations you are required to wear the Team USA parade apparel.  We also have the parade apparel for the team photo, required wear for the Awards Ceremony and other needs that might be presented race week. It is also our goal to keep the same uniform in place for as long as we possibly can.


When do I order my uniform and parade apparel?

We will email you in early 2020 to order the items. 


Roll-Down List Information

 

What is the roll down list?

The roll down list is essentially the “waiting list” for athletes and in the case that athletes finishing within the qualifying spots do not claim their spot, we will offer spots to those on the roll down list.

 

I’m on the roll down list, when will I know if I am able to be on the team?

We will open up roll down slots as they become available to fill the team for each age group/gender. This process takes time. We will work as fast as possible until 60 days prior to the world championship date.

The roll down process for Sprint-distance Triathlon will not begin until after the ITU Draft-Legal Sprint Triathlon World Championship Qualifier event has taken place. 

 

I’m on the roll down list, do I need to claim my spot?

Athletes on the role-down list will be contacted, if selected, via email. In the case that athletes decide not to join Team USA at a later date, we will again open spots on the role-down list. Roll downs can happen because athletes that qualify might not have interest in the world’s spot and due to those who cancel their spots after confirmation. Once offered a roll down slot, you will need to make a decision within a short time frame, please be prepared accordingly.