USA Triathlon

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What is Sanctioning?

The term 'USA Triathlon Sanctioned' indicates to the event organizer, participant athletes, host communities and others that race planning and preparation has met the requirements established by USA Triathlon.

It signifies that the Race Director has completed a thorough review of the swim, bike and run courses, has evaluated and planned for medical, emergency, safety and volunteer support and will conduct the event according to the USA Triathlon Competitive Rules. Among the materials submitted for USA Triathlon review and approval are safety plans, course maps and event details. The process is online so it can be adjusted for changes and effectively integrated as a planning tool for race directors. For sanctioning price details, click here.

If you have any questions about the sanctioning process, please email us at or call (719) 884-5612.

Documents Required for Sanctioning

  • Detailed and updated course maps
  • Course details
  • Event plans
  • Security
  • Transition area design
  • Emergency and medical plan
  • Rules Enforcement
  • USAT membership and waiver signature check

Real Time Account Validation (RTAV)

Utilizing a Real Time Account Validation (RTAV) registration platform helps to streamline the packet pick-up process on race day and minimizes the amount of funds and paperwork that a race director must submit during the post-race process. 

RTAV registration platforms direct athletes to USA Triathlon’s website during your event registration flow where they purchase one-day and annual memberships or validate annual memberships. Athlete’s accounts will be updated instantly, they will sign the USAT membership waiver and then receive their member number at the end of the purchase process before being returned to your registration platform. 

This saves you and the athlete time at packet pick-up because you don’t need to verify their membership or have them sign a waiver. You just check their ID, give them their packet and that’s it! 

Did you know that you can also use the RTAV system to sell one-day licenses on site at packet pickup? It will speed up your post-race submissions and eliminate all cash, check, and card payments onsite.

Below is the current list of RTAV connected registration platforms:

SafeSport and Background Check Requirements

  • If you are hosting an event with athletes aged 17 and younger, you must have an active SafeSport training and cleared background check.
  • SafeSport training must be completed on an annual basis and only SafeSport Trained, Refresher 1, Refresher 2 or Refresher 3 meet the annual requirement.
  • Race Directors must submit and receive a cleared background check every two years.
    • Background checks take an average of 10 business days to process once the application has been submitted to NCSI.
  • Race Directors should complete their annual SafeSport training and submit background check requests through their USAT Member Hub account.

If you have any questions about the SafeSport or background check requirements, please email our Compliance Team at

USA Triathlon Membership Requirements

When a Race Director sanctions with USA Triathlon, it is required that each participant has either a USAT Annual Membership $50 (membership must be valid on the date of the event) or purchase a One-Day License $15 in order to participate in said event.

  • A USA Triathlon Annual Membership eliminates the requirement to purchase a One-Day License for any USA Triathlon sanctioned event and comes with a variety of exclusive benefits and sponsor discounts from USA Triathlon Partners, inclusion in the USA Triathlon national ranking system, as well as eligibility to qualify for Team USA and compete at World Triathlon World Championship events.

  • A One-Day License allows an athlete to compete in a USA Triathlon sanctioned race without purchasing a USA Triathlon Annual Membership and provides the athlete participant accident medical coverage while they are participating in a USA Triathlon Sanctioned Event.
    • One-Day Licenses are purchased for a specific race, are transferable, are non-refundable, and are NOT sold directly through USA Triathlon (as they are race specific).

  • Youth Annual Memberships (age 17 and under) cost $10.
    • Youth One-Day Licenses are not available.
    • All membership money, forms and event waivers for youth membership purchases must be submitted to USAT after the event for processing.

  • Plan how Annual Memberships and One-Day Licenses will be checked and/or purchased to ensure all participants have signed a USAT waiver.
  • Click here to learn more about USAT Memberships.

Post-Race Requirements

Post-Race materials should be submitted to USA Triathlon within 15 business days.

  • Event Reporting form
  • USAT membership money collected
  • Signed waivers and membership forms
  • Incident reports
  • Electronic results
  • Officials evaluation if USAT certified officials were utilized
  • Swim Course Report
  • If you hosted a Youth Clinic/Event or an Adult Clinic, you also need to submit a registration list as part of post-race.
    If you hosted an Adult Event, submitting the results already completes this requirement.

Sanctioning Benefits for Race Directors:

  • Availability of an affordable, comprehensive insurance program
    • Protects race directors, athletes, volunteers, sponsors, and race staff
    • Includes general liability and participant accident medical coverage
  • Opportunities to host National Championship events and Special Qualifying Events
    • These high profile events attract many participants
  • Opportunity to utilize USA Triathlon Certified Officials
    • Relieves responsibilities of enforcing USA Triathlon Competitive Rules
    • Participants recognize the event is safe, fair, and credible
  • Outstanding exposure and advertising opportunities
    • USA Triathlon membership continues to grow and these athletes have easy access to the USA Triathlon Sanctioned Events Calendar to search for multisport events
    • Advertising opportunities through various newsletters with above industry- standard open rates
    • Ability to reach high volumes of multisport athletes receiving USA Triathlon online communications
    • Inclusion into TriFind the largest calendar of Multisport events
    • Access to our Annual Race Guide mailed to 400,000 of our members
  • Access to Event Planning Resources such as:
    • Educational Tools
    • Event Consultancy
    • Events Location Guide
    • Insight for risk management and industry best practices
    • Race Director Forum
    • Race Director Resource Guide
    • Sponsorship Opportunities
    • Webinars

Benefits of Sanctioning for Event Participants:

  • Inclusion in the USA Triathlon National Ranking System: Opportunity to qualify for All-American and Honorable Mention Titles
  • Participant Accident Medical Coverage: Access to comprehensive and affordable insurance for injuries sustained at events
  • USA Triathlon Competitive Rules enforcement and USA Triathlon Officials: Participants are ensured a safe, fair, and creditable competition environment
  • Sponsorship Opportunities: Athletes receive samples and discounts when race directors participate in sponsorship programs
  • USA Triathlon Annual Membership: View USA Triathlon Member Benefits here 

Why Sanction with USA Triathlon?

Athletes expect a worry-free experience when they register for an event. Participants should be able to arrive at their event with minimal distractions, leaving their sole focus on racing. Sanctioning with USA Triathlon provides that positive experience in the following ways:

  1. Providing the collective wisdom of over 35,000 sanctioned races completed over the last 30 years.
  2. Delivering athlete peace-of-mind by ensuring industry-wide safety standards.
  3. Sanctioned races ensure a fair race; governed under the industry-standard Competitive Rules.
  4. Sanctioned races provide the Gold Standard of insurance protection for the event, athlete, and venue.
  5. Sanctioned races provide ranking points for regional and national rankings, including annual designations of USA Triathlon All-American status.
  6. Marketing your events through the brand-new Sanctioned Events Calendar, the second-most viewed page on our website behind the homepage.
  7. Only sanctioned races provide the opportunity to qualify for National Championships and then qualify for World Championships as a member of Team USA.
  8. Results are stored for all sanctioned events on one centralized website.
  9. Support of the National Governing Body by enabling it to develop new programming, grow the sport, and fund initiatives including youth participation, Olympic programming and paratriathlon.
  10. USA Triathlon’s mission is “to grow and inspire the triathlon community”—a virtuous cycle that directly benefits each race director and all athletes at all sanctioned even

How Do I Start the Sanction Process?

Click here to watch the Sanction Site Walkthrough video tutorial

Sanction Application Tips: 

  1. Adult and youth events must be sanctioned and insured separately therefore each event must have a sanction application on file.
  2. Course maps are required (itineraries are required for clinics) each year for safety and insurance purposes.  Please be sure to include a map of the transition area(s) and pool course.  
  3. Five-year age groups in increments starting with 20-24 and going through 85-plus are required.  There are no age group requirements for youth events except that all participants must be 17 and under.
  4. Mass swim starts or wave starts of more than 150 athletes require a rules dispensation request. Hybrid swim starts also require a rules dispensation request. This request must be resubmitted each year for approval. You will be notified by an Event Services staff member reviewing your event to send responses to the following questions. 
    How many athletes are in the mass start?
    How many athletes total are in the event?
    What is the width of the start area?
    What is the distance from the start line to the first turn?
    How will the mass start enhance the safety of the event?   
    Please Note - the same mass start rules that govern a swim also apply to duathlon starts and a rules dispensation request is required.
  5. Water testing is a requirement, even for pool swims. USAT recommends that you follow the guidelines established by the agency that governs your body of water, such as the county, city, EPA, pool management, etc. USAT will accept whatever criteria the permitting agency has established for swimability and human contact. Please obtain a copy of the certificate that is issued nearest to the event date and keep it with the event files for seven years, as it may need to be provided to USAT after the event.

Need a USAT membership account?

You will need a USAT profile to access the Sanction System. If you have a USAT membership number and password, you’ll use that log in information to access the Sanction System. If you do not have a USAT membership please email and our Service team will generate a Race Director profile for you.

If you have any questions about the sanctioning process, please email us at or call (719) 884-5612.