Track and Field Lingo

Every sport has its own lingo – slang, acronyms, and terminology – that you’re expected to know when communicating with others in your sport. Track & field is one of the many sports that has its own unique lingo. I will break down a few key terms that people must know in the world of track and field.

Related: Soccer Terms You Need to Know

PR/PB– A staple for athletes in the U.S and internationally, people refer to their best times as their personal best or personal record. For short, most just say “PR” or “PB” in reference to their best performance. PR is more commonly used in the U.S while PB is more popular internationally.

Sandbagging- A term designated for those who don’t try until their last repetition of a workout. The athlete that is last on every 400m run when doing repeat 400s but wins the last rep is sandbagging. This type of athlete is unpopular among their teammates because sandbagging is a major pet peeve for track and field runners. 

Related: Rate your Coaches, Facilities and Campus Visits.

Dogging it- Used in other sports as well, “dogging it” is typically used in reference to someone putting in subpar effort in a workout. 

Example: He dogged the workout and was behind on all of the reps. 

Hawked/Scooped/Walked down- The usage of these terms are dependent on geographic location; however, they all refer to the same phenomenon. Getting hawked or scooped or walked down in a race occurs when a runner has a substantial lead and loses it due to a faster athlete chasing him down from behind. This is a common occurrence in the 4x400m relay.

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