What is DNA?

Dynamic New Athletics, or DNA, is an innovative, team-based competition concept for athletics created by European Athletics to complement the classical athletics format. The aim of the DNA project is to bring the sport into the 21st Century, enhancing it with a new dimension targeting younger audience and participant groups.

Key Features

DNA integrates modified rules, presentational possibilities and digital communications elements that can be adapted for every level of the competition pyramid while remaining true to the essence of athletics. Key features include:

  • Mixed gender teams.
  • A compact programme of interchangeable disciplines .
  • Head-to-head competition in the field events with every attempt counting towards the team match score.
  • Team match results remain open and unpredictable until the final competition discipline.

Added Value

Launched at the 2019 European Games in Minsk, the DNA format for elite showcase events offers new value to in-stadium spectators and media audiences through:

  • One event taking place at a time in the arena, making the event easier for casual fans to follow.
  • A new element of team strategy and tactics, highlighting the role of the team captain and the importance of team spirit.
  • High quality event presentation through the integration of multiple video screens, music, lights and spectator engagement activities.
  • A two-hour timetable that is the perfect length for live broadcasts.

DNA’s flexible school and club level formats, which are being rolled out from 2021, offer new value to participants through:

  • The compact timetable makes it easy to integrate competitions into modern, time-scarce lifestyles.
  • Smartphone applications that include competition management, statistics, educational and promotional elements.
  • The enhanced team element of the sport helps keeps athletes engaged throughout the season, thereby increasing participation rates.
  • The compact programme means fewer athletes per team, making it possible for larger clubs and schools to field multiple teams and smaller clubs and schools to be competitive.

Excited by this? Have a look at the rest of the DNA website, visit the FAQs and check back for updates as we continue to develop athletics for the 21st Century.