Track and Field History

Athletics was the original event at the first Olympics back in 776 BCE where the only event held was the stadium-length foot race or "stade".

There were several other "Games" held throughout Europe in the classical era:

Other peoples enjoyed athletic contests, such as the Celts, Teutons and Goths who succeeded the Romans. However, these were often related to combat training, and were not very well organized. In the Middle Ages the sons of noblemen would be trained in running, leaping and wrestling, in addition to riding, jousting and arms-training. Contests between rivals and friends may have been common on both official and unofficial grounds. Many athletic sports have found favour in Europe throughout the ages. However, in Britain they fell out of favour between the 13th and 16th centuries due to government restrictions on sports aiming to reduce the practice of archery.[citation needed] After this ban was lifted in the 17th century sports began to flourish once more, but it was not until the 19th century that organization began to appear. This included the incorporation of regular sports and exercise into school regimes. The Royal Military College, Sandhurst has claimed to be the first to adopt this in 1812 and 1825 but without any supporting evidence. The earliest recorded meeting was organised at Shrewsbury, Shropshire in 1840 by the Royal Shrewsbury School Hunt. There are details of the meeting in a series of letters written 60 years later by CT Robinson who was a pupil there from 1838 to 1841.

Modern athletic events are usually organized around a 400 metre running track, on which most of the running events take place. Field events (vaulting, jumping, and throwing) often take place in the field in the centre of the running track.track and field history

Many athletic events have an ancient origin and were already conducted in competitive form by the ancient Greeks. Athletics was included in the first modern Olympic Games in 1896 and has been part of the program ever since, providing the backbone of the Olympics. Women were not allowed to participate in track and field events in the Olympics until 1928. An international governing body, the IAAF was founded in 1912. The IAAF established separate outdoor World Championships in 1983. Other major events include the World Indoor Championships and the European Championships. The sport has a very high profile during major championships, especially the Olympics, but otherwise ranks well down the list of sports by public interest in almost all countries. The leading regular circuit of events takes place in Europe each summer, and includes the Golden League events.

The AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) was the governing body in the United States until it collapsed under pressure from advancing professionalism in the late 1970s. A new governing body called The Athletics Congress (TAC) was formed, it was later renamed USA Track and Field (USATF or USA T&F). An additional, less structured organization, the Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) also exists in the USA to promote road racing. Both organizations allow athletes to receive money for racing putting an end to the "shamateurism" that existed before

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