AGNC 2020

Qualifying for Age Group Nationals

Have you qualified for Age Group Nationals? The following information will explain the qualification process. Please read all of the following information before contacting USA Triathlon to inquire about your qualification status.

The only way to register is by clicking the unique link provided in your qualification email.

Some qualification details and percentages have changed from previous years. Be sure to read thoroughly to know if you qualified! 

If you believe you qualified but did not receive an email, please read the information here.

New for 2020: Sprint and Olympic-Distance Qualification

New for 2020, both Olympic-distance and Sprint Age Group National Championships will require qualification! Please thoroughly read the qualification criteria below as criteria differ between Olympic and Sprint races. Please note that each Olympic-distance and Sprint race will also have a Time to Tri Open wave, open to anybody. The Time to Tri Open waves are not eligible for National Championship awards or Team USA qualification, but they are eligible to qualify for the 2021 Age Group National Championships.

What events qualify for Age Group Nationals? 

To qualify for Age Group Nationals, you must finish a USAT Sanctioned age group triathlon of any distance. Distances can be as short as super-sprint and as long as ultra-distance (full IRONMAN). These events can include on-road and off-road races. Age Group Nationals is the only USA Triathlon National Championship which requires this strict qualification. 

What Category Must I Participate In To Qualify?

To qualify, you must participate in an age group category. Participating in an Elite, Open, Athena, Clydesdale, etc. category will not qualify you. Qualification is based on the finish in the athlete's age group, not where the athlete is extended an award. For example, if an athlete wins an overall award at an event and is removed from their age group, they will be placed back in their respective age group for purposes of qualification and the USAT rankings database.

If Jane Doe is the overall female champion at an event and does not take first place in her age group at that event (because the race director removes her), Jane Doe will be placed back in her respective age group in the results that the race director submits to USAT for qualification purposes.

Note: Clydesdale and Athena athletes can still qualify for Age Group Nationals if, at the event in which they are trying to qualify, their starting wave is the same wave as their respective age group competitors. For example, if Athenas ages 39 and under start with all other women age 39 and under, the Athenas still can qualify for Age Group Nationals since they started in the same wave as their normal age group as required by the USA Triathlon Competitive Rules.

What Age Must I Be To Qualify?

Olympic-Distance: To qualify for 2020 Olympic-Distance Age Group Nationals, athletes must beat least age 17 as of December 31, 2020. Athletes can be age 16 on the day of the event as long as they are going to turn 17 by December 31.

Sprint: To qualify for 2020 Sprint Age Group Nationals, athletes must beat least age 15 as of December 31, 2020. Athletes can be age 14 on the day of the event as long as they are going to turn 15 by December 31.

What is the Qualification Period for 2020?

The qualification period for 2020 Age Group Nationals begins on July 1, 2019. The qualification period will end on July 31, 2020. Registration will close eight days before the event occurs or when the event sells out (whichever comes first).

What is the Qualification Period for 2021?

The qualification period for 2020 Age Group Nationals will begin on July TBD, 2020. The qualification period will end on July 30, 2021. Registration will close eight days before the event occurs or when the event sells out (whichever comes first).

Please note: If the event you qualified in falls in both qualification periods (2020 and 2021), then you qualify for Age Group Nationals in both years. You will be able to register for the 2021 event once registration opens. After registration opens for 2021 in late-summer/early-fall 2020, qualified athletes will receive the same qualification emails as they did for 2020, but with a new link for 2021 registration.

How Do I qualify?

There are five different means of qualification.

Qualification Path #1: General USAT Sanctioned Age Group Triathlons  

The first way to qualify is through a normal USAT Sanctioned age group triathlon of any distance. These events include all non-championship events.

  • Olympic-Distance: To qualify, athletes must either place first or in the top 15% of finishers in their age group.
  • Sprint: To qualify, athletes must either place in the top 3 or in the top 25% of finishers in their age group (whichever is greater).

Qualification Path #2: Regional Championships and State Championships 

The second way to qualify is through a USA Triathlon Regional or State Championship event.

Olympic-Distance:

  • Olympic-Distance Regional championships will qualify the top 35% or top five (5) finishers in an age group (whichever is greater) in only the Olympic-Distance race at that event. No other distance or discipline at Regional Championships will allow for Olympic-distance qualification. Regional championships are listed on this page.
  • Olympic-Distance State championships will qualify the top 25% of finishers or top three (3) finishers in an age group (whichever is greater) in only the Olympic-Distance race at that event. No other distance or discipline at State Championships will allow for Olympic-distance qualification. State championships are listed on this page.

Sprint:

  • Regional championships will qualify the top 45% or top five (5) finishers in an age group (whichever is greater) in only the Sprint race at that event. No other distance or discipline at Regional Championships will allow for Sprint qualification. Regional championships are listed on this page.
  • State championships will qualify the top 35% or top 3 finishers in an age group (whichever is greater) in only the Sprint race at that event. No other distance or discipline at State Championships will allow for Sprint qualification. State championships are listed on this page.
  • High School State Championships Exemption: All finishers of High School State Championships will automatically qualify for Sprint-distance (pending they are at least age 15 as of December 31, 2020.) High School State Championships are listed on this page.

Qualification Path #3: Last Year's Age Group National Championships

The third way to qualify is by participating in the previous year’s Age Group sprint, Olympic-distance, or long course triathlon national championships.

  • The top 33% or top ten (10) finishers (whichever is greater) in each age group at any of the above 2019 National Championships will automatically qualify for 2020.
  • Note: This rule equally applies to athletes that participated in open divisions at the Age Group National Championships.

Exceptions for 2020 Age Group Nationals:

  • ONLY for the inaugural qualification-based Sprint race in 2020, all participants at the 2019 Sprint Age Group National Championships will qualify for 2020.
  • During Tier 1 of 2020 Age Group Nationals pricing, all qualification criteria will be waived for any athletes who wish to register during this period for Olympic or Sprint distances. Tier 1 pricing for 2020 will only be available on-site at the 2019 Age Group National Championships in Cleveland and will end at the conclusion of the event.

Qualification Path #4: Team USA and All-American Status

The fourth way to qualify is to be a member of Team USA or be an All-American.

Any athlete who competed as a member of Team USA in 2019 in triathlon (sprint, Olympic/standard, or long-course distances) will automatically qualify. Qualification can not be met from participation more than one year prior.

All-Americans from the 2019 USA Triathlon National Rankings automatically qualify.

Qualification Path #5: Race Score Earned based on Age

The fifth way to qualify is by earning a race score equal to or greater than the score listed in the table at the bottom of this page for your current age group and discipline. For instance, in 2020 if your race age is 49, you are a man, and you participated in an Off-Road Triathlon, you would need to earn a score of TBD. The table at the bottom of this page is based on national rankings scores earned by All American athletes in 2019, for that gender, age group, and discipline. To check your score from a race you have completed, please click here, then search for your name or your race.

This table will be posted in January 2020.

Note on Rounding:

When performing qualification calculations, USA Triathlon will round to the next whole number. For instance if there are twenty-five (25) people in and age group and only the top 15% qualify, the top four (4) finishers in that age group will qualify. This is because 15% of 25 = 3.75. Therefore, we will round up to fourth place (4).

Time to Tri Open Waves - No Qualification Needed to Participate

Beginning in 2020, a Time to Tri Open wave will be included in both Olympic and Sprint distance races. No qualification is needed to participate in the open waves. However, Time to Tri Open wave participants are NOT eligible for national championship awards or Team USA qualification. Time to Tri Open wave participants will receive the same shirt, goody bag and other items as qualification-based participants. Time to Tri Open wave participants may qualify for the qualification-based age groups at the following year's Age Group National Championships through Qualification Path #3. Register and learn more here.

How Do I Know If I Have Qualified?

If you have qualified through the above criteria, you will automatically receive the “You’ve Qualified” email from USA Triathlon (see sample picture at the top of this page). Your unique registration link is in that email. That link will be valid until registration closes.

I Believe I Qualified, But I Have Not Received Notification

If you believe you have qualified, but have not yet received notification, please first check your email and spam or junk folders. Once you have checked your email and confirmed that you have not received notification of qualification, please consider the following:

  1. Results are not submitted instantly to USA Triathlon. Race directors have fifteen (15) days to submit results to USA Triathlon. Regardless of when the race director submits results, you cannot qualify until USAT receives official results from the race director. Once results are received by USAT, they are processed by the rankings department within a few business days. Qualification emails will then go out automatically. Please wait at least fifteen (15) days before contacting USAT to see if results have been submitted for your event.
  2. Athletes in your age group may have been removed for an overall award. If an athlete in your age group won an overall award (I.E. overall male, overall masters, overall grand masters, etc.), they will be placed back in to their respective age group for qualification and rankings purposes. If you placed first in your age group at your race, but the overall winner is normally in your age group, they will be placed back into your age group and you will have officially finished in second place for qualification purposes.
  3. If you competed in an elite, open, Athena, or Clydesdale wave at an event, you cannot qualify. The only category you can compete in to qualify is an age group category. (If you raced in a Clydesdale or Athena division at an event and the Clydesdale or Athena wave occurred at the same time as your respective age group wave, you qualify).
  4. The only events that can qualify must be USA Triathlon Sanctioned. If the event you competed in was not sanctioned by USAT, you cannot qualify. If an event is sanctioned by USAT, you will know this because you should have either signed the USA Triathlon waiver for a one-day membership, entered your annual member number at registration, and/or showed your USAT annual membership card to pick-up your race packet.
  5. If none of the above options apply to you or if you are unsure, please email the National Events department.

How Can I Check The Results USAT Currently Has On File?

To view all USA Triathlon sanctioned events that you have participated in, please click here. Then, either enter your full name or USAT annual member number. Please note: if results have not yet been submitted by the race director, they will not appear on this database yet.

Can I Defer My Qualification To Next Year?

No. Qualification cannot be deferred to the following year. Athletes must re-qualify each year. Additionally, USA Triathlon has a strict no transfer, deferment, or refund for any reason policy that you must agree to in order to register for the event. Please note: when registering for the event, you can purchase registration insurance in Active through BookingProtect.com Insurance.

Note on Athenas and Clydesdales

Since ITU does not support a division for Athenas and Clydesdales at its Sprint and Olympic-Distance World Championships, USA Triathlon will not be supporting an Athena and Clydesdale division at the Age Group National Championships. If the athlete’s intent is to qualify for either the Sprint or Olympic-Distance World Championships, they will need to compete in the wave corresponding with their age group at the USA Triathlon Age Group National Championships. Again, since the Age Group National Championships will no longer support the Clydesdale and Athena division, all athletes will need to meet qualification in the athlete’s respective age group at a Sanctioned Event when qualifying.

Note on Event Changes Due to Unsafe Conditions

If a triathlon is changed to a duathlon more than 24 hours before the scheduled start of the event, it will be considered a duathlon and will not qualify for Age Group Nationals. If the triathlon is changed to a duathlon less than 24 hours prior to the scheduled race start, it will still be ranked as a triathlon and will qualify for Age Group Nationals.

Qualification Path #5 Table

Coming in late-January 2020 once the 2019 All Americans have been calculated.