Skip to toolbar

Community & Business Groups

OpenTrack Community Group

This group aims to develop an open standard for interchange of data in Athletics (including Track and Field), running and related disciplines. Such a standard should allow the development of better software to manage the sport, resulting in major savings of time for volunteers; more efficient management of events and federations; and more enjoyment for participants and fans.


Group's public email, repo and wiki activity over time

Note: Community Groups are proposed and run by the community. Although W3C hosts these conversations, the groups do not necessarily represent the views of the W3C Membership or staff.

drafts / licensing info

Sports Competition Data Model and Vocabulary

Chairs, when logged in, may publish draft and final reports. Please see report requirements.

Publish Reports

Standards in AthTech 2021

Athtech, the international conference for athletics, data, and technology, will recap this year. Many group participants took part in previous editions, where we discussed the standardization topics related to athletics data. This year, AthTech will keep the same popular combination of keynote speakers, interactive sessions, and opportunities for B2B interaction. It has proven to be a successful format where national sports federations and IT specialists can meet and exchange ideas about data interoperability and cutting-edge technologies applied to athletics. This year’s conference will take place in Zadar, Croatia, on the 22nd-24th of September.

There are some slots on the conference agenda for relevant topics on the standardization of data models to represent competitions, athletes, organizations, and other related aspects of this sport. Also, other topics related to streaming, common and shared calendars, fan engagement, and standardization of in-competition data flows among the sessions. Registration is open, and contributions are welcome. 

After the event, we will publish a report with the main insights that might affect this community group, hopefully also with some concrete proposals for defining and implementing standard solutions to solve the everyday challenges, making the sport more efficient.

Read more details and register now on the main website of the event. 

Open Athletics for a global sport

800 mark on a track

Back in 2017, we launched the OpenTrack Community Group, motivated by Andy Robinson, who had already begun to play with open data in the field of Athletics —his proposal was awarded the third prize in the European Finodex Open Data Accelerator. Andy’s idea was evolving the concept of Open Data towards sports, a world full of interesting data and similar rules in all places. Nicolas Launois, Technical Manager at European Athletics (EAA), quickly showed interest and started to draw a vision on the future Athletics data management in Europe: having a common (distributed or centralized) database with data of all competitions, athletes, federations, clubs, etc. Something far from the current reality. The OpenTrack Community Group aimed at achieving a common vocabulary to model and describe athletics competitions all around the world, from elite World Championships to charity fun runs.

The group started developing a conceptual data model for track and field data. It includes high-level entities such as athletes, clubs, venues, and competitions, but also others to describe competitions in depth (i.e., field trials, results, lists of starters, etc.). This model was discussed and refined during a meeting organized in Portugal (Athletics Data Conference or AthTech’17). The conclusion was that the model was complete, but too complex to be implemented in short term, so we decided to focus on something of interest for most of the people: calendars of competitions, competitors and organizations.

In October 2018, we organized the latest edition of AthTech, where we presented a proposal for a common vocabulary to describe the information that most of the athletics federations already exposed on their websites —so we believe that is non-sensitive information and can be published as open data. After some iterations, we are pleased to present the first draft of the Sports Competition Data Model and Vocabulary.

The Sports Competition Data Model and Vocabulary specify a lightweight schema, based on, to represent the main concepts and relations about sports competitions, venues, athletes, and other stakeholders as a common representation of information in this realm. This document includes examples of implementation that may clarify doubts about the usage of Semantic Web technologies such as RDF and JSON-LD. We also have created a large JSON-LD context with aliases for classes and instances in order to simplify its notation and subsequent adoption. The flexibility of gives the vocabulary more chances to be adopted by all the prospective stakeholders.

Some quick examples

In you can find some implementation examples, including both human and machine-readable formats.

Competition Calendar

Competition calendar is perhaps the most interesting information in terms of audience. It is relevant for athletes, clubs, federations, event organizers, media agencies, public bodies, and many other stakeholders. We have created some examples derived from the EEA’s 2018 calendar, imported and delivered in a lite JSON version of the vocabulary (see the JSON file). This list of competitions was enriched semantically using the Sports Competition Data Model and Vocabulary.

     "schema:name":"8th Adana Half Marathon",
     "schema:description":"International Road Races Meetings with National Permit …",
     "schema:competitor":[ ],
     "ath:competitionAction":[ ]


Competition Categories are key in the interoperability of multilingual systems. Although IAAF defines a common set of rules for age and gender categories, there are thousands of variants in every country. So organizers may have specific and unique criteria to create categories, but most of them will use the same but named differently. The semantic approach of this model tries to solve this, offering also multilingual capabilities.

Example of the definition of the Female Under 23 category:

     "schema:name":"Female Under 23",
     "schema:description":"Female athletes of age in between 20 and 22 (included), on 31th December in the year of the competition",

Using this approach, we can reuse categories or indicate that categories defined by different federations are the same.


Another feature to highlight is the type of discipline or athletics event (i.e., marathon, sprints, jumps, throws, etc.). There was no common taxonomy for that, so we made a proposal that will be compatible with all the possible disciplines —even with the Cooper’s Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake. Common disciplines are important to characterize records or personal bests (e.g., outdoor and indoor races over the same distance are not considered equivalent).
For instance, a description of the Half Marathon discipline:

    "schema:name":"Half Marathon",

Check some other examples, read the main specification and give us feedback. You are also welcome if you join the Community Group!

First Draft of Sports Competition Data Model and Vocabulary published by OpenTrack Community Group

On 2019-01-16 the OpenTrack Community Group published the first draft of the following specification:

Participants contribute material to this specification under the W3C Community Contributor License Agreement (CLA).

If you have any questions, please contact the group on their public list: Learn more about the OpenTrack Community Group.

AthTech Conference [October 5-6]


The OpenTrack Community Group is pleased to announce AthTech (Athletics Technology), a conference aiming at standardising Athletics competition technical management, with a strong focus on data. This two-day conference will be held at the IAAF High-Performance Training Centre in Algarve (Portugal) on October 5-6 2017.

European Athletics is putting efforts on the homogenization of competition data structures, building a common infrastructure that guarantees data interoperability between all stakeholders: regional/national federations, sports clubs, associations, event organisers, media agencies, and the public in general. This conference will serve as the discussion forum to define requirements, look for use cases, and present existing solutions to solve this challenge in sports management.

Standards for Athletics

A standard infrastructure for Athletics data management would enable a common mechanism to gain effectiveness and efficiency in the process of collecting and sharing data on a global scale. Thus we would be able to: federate resources in an automatic way; establish universal identifiers for athletes, clubs, and other entities; access better reports; track competition issues, and records; have centralised up-to-date rankings; create and publish live results; create new services and products on top of the data.

We will discuss the European and global requirements of Athletics management systems to implement a standard to collect, process, publish and share Athletics information (athletes, teams, governing bodies, participation in competitions, results, issues and results, etc.). This event will serve as a forum to search for a common solution built on top of the existing local platforms to share Athletics information in a common way.

Register now

Anyone is welcome to AthTech. Athletics federations, clubs and event organisers, as well as open data experts, are invited to present their experiences on competition management (how information is collected during a competition, how entries are registered, how/where results are published, etc.).

Read more about AthTech, and register now on the website of the event.


Photo by Kolleen Gladden on Unsplash

OpenTrack Community Group Launch

Athletics is maybe the most global sport, being the flagship events of the Olympic games in terms of both participation and popularity. Due to this universal interest, information about these events — athletes’ bio and performance, timing, competition, venues, etc. — is considered as of great value for an international audience. Statisticians and journalists find it immensely useful.

In addition to professional athletics, amateur running competitions are increasing year after year with a direct, multi-billion impact on the markets. In this case, where business is between private corporations and runners, there is a similar competition process (registration, timing, results) but there are no common standards to represent and share the information among stakeholders. Most of these companies collect and manage information in their systems without any potential integration with external systems. Thus, open standards in the amateur running industry would enable opportunities, such as international partnerships, to enhance the services for runners (athletic history, complex reporting, social network integration, etc.) and new business models behind this trend-setting pastime.

This kind of information, published (and reused) as open data, could bring us opportunities in terms of business and new services to organizers and supporters.  Most of this information is non-sensitive and extremely valuable. Companies such as ReportLab and Tilastopaja have been using athletics data to create tools and services to process and analyze the information, so all of this is already a reality.

Now, with the support of European Athletics, we launch this OpenTrack Community Group in order to evolve the technology in this sport. Within this group we will discuss standards for representing and sharing athletics information. The main objective is to define the basic schemas and vocabularies to describe the world of athletics.

As part of the final specifications we would like to produce, we will have:

  • an abstract vocabulary to model athletics competitions;
  • specific schemas and taxonomies ready to be used as reference;
  • making it compatible with (or proposing an extension).  

Hard work but good news! We won’t start from scratch. Reportlab has already defined a first approach to represent results (see a sample of results in Rio 2016 as JSON), also tools to manage this information.

If you are either a sports or open data enthusiast, join the group and take part in our discussions to create this specification that hopefully will become standard. We are defining the charter and scope of works so now it’s time to join us!

Call for Participation in OpenTrack Community Group

The OpenTrack Community Group has been launched:

This group aims to develop an open standard for interchange of data in Athletics (including Track and Field), running and related disciplines. Such a standard should allow the development of better software to manage the sport, resulting in major savings of time for volunteers; more efficient management of events and federations; and more enjoyment for participants and fans.

In order to join the group, you will need a W3C account. Please note, however, that W3C Membership is not required to join a Community Group.

This is a community initiative. This group was originally proposed on 2017-01-28 by Andy Robinson. The following people supported its creation: Andy Robinson, Stian Soiland-Reyes, Peter Kennedy, Tom Conlon, Martín Álvarez, chiheb Kaibi, Nicolas Launois, Nicholas Gould. W3C’s hosting of this group does not imply endorsement of the activities.

The group must now choose a chair. Read more about how to get started in a new group and good practice for running a group.

We invite you to share news of this new group in social media and other channels.

If you believe that there is an issue with this group that requires the attention of the W3C staff, please email us at

Thank you,
W3C Community Development Team