Outdoor track and field

The outdoor track and field season begins in the spring and may last through the summer. Usually the tracks are an oval shape track of 400 meters. However, some old tracks are still measured in yards, so they measure 440 yards. The track consists of 6-10 lanes and, for the bigger tracks, a steeplechase lane with a water pit. This can be inside or outside the track, making for a tighter turn or a wider turn. Often schools will place a playingfield in the middle of the track, usually football/soccer/lacrosse, due to their size and shape. This inner field is usually known as the infield. Recently, some of these fields have been made out of AstroTurf or FieldTurf instead of grass.

outdoor track and fieldField events consist of the high jump, pole vault, long jump, triple jump and shot put. They also consist of the javelin, hammer and discus throws; however, often these are outside of the stadium because they take up a large amount of space and may damage grass fields. However, many tracks without a playing field in the middle use the infield for the throwing events.

Events

There are other variations besides the ones listed below, but races of unusual length (e.g. 300 m) are run much less often. The unusual races are typically held during indoor season because of the shorter 200m indoor track. With the exception of the mile run, races based on imperial distances are rarely run on the track anymore since most tracks have been converted from a quarter mile (402.3 m) to 400 meters; almost all recordkeeping for imperial distances has been discontinued. However, the IAAF record book still includes the mile world record (currently held by Hicham El Guerrouj of Morocco for men and Svetlana Masterkova of Russia for women) because of its worldwide historic significance.

Men and women do not compete against each other. Women generally run the same distances as men although hurdles and steeplechase barriers are lower and the weights of the shot, discus, javelin and hammer are less.

Source: Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Track_and_field