First claim second claim

Does anyone on here know what the rules are for joining 2 clubs. I thought that the only restriction was that if my first club is in a competition as club then I had to run for that club (no problem).

Having contacted UK Athletics they say yes that is the case but that the vast majority of competitions are restricted to first claim runners only. As the only reason for me joining a 2nd club would be to run X country races and other team competitions in which my first claim club don't compete - is there any point - or were UK athletics only talking about the upper echelons of the sport rather than little local leagues such as I am likely to compete in? And if UK athletics are right why would they want to stop people taking part in races just because their first claim club haven't entered them ?


  • You can compete for your 2nd claim club if your 1st claim club is not involved in the competition. However, you can't compete for your 2nd claim club in an open competition - whether your 1st claim club is involved or not.

    The best way to clarify is with an examples.
    1: Say your your 1st claim club is a member of the Surrey X/C league and your second claim club is in the Kent X/C league. Both leagues are 'closed' so you can run for either club.
    2: Both clubs are in the same X/C league - you can only compete for your 1st claim club, even if they are in different divisions.
    3: An 'open' road race has a team event - you can only score for your 1st claim club, regardless of whether they have a team entered.
    4: Bear in mind however, that leagues and associations don't have to allow 2nd claim members. For example, you can run in the Surrey X/C league as a 2nd claim member, but not in the Birmingham X/C league .

    Hope that makes sense.
  • bazza, I run for a London club (first claim) but often spend time in Suffolk and have run in several races there in club colours. However I was thinking of joining one of the suffolk clubs so that I could run as part of their team. Do I understand you correctly, this will be illegal?


  • Thanks Bazza, given that my only reason for joining the 2nd club is to run team events that my own club has not entered the key seems to be to find out whether that league allows second claimers or not.

    It does seem a bit bureaucratic if people like Jenks or myself do end up running illegally.
  • Jenks - technincally you will breaking the rules if run for your Suffolk club in an open race. However, you're situation is not unique. Many people 'get away with it' simply because no one notices (and most are really bothered). The 1st/2nd claim thing has been a topic for debate for many years but no one has ever got to grips with it.

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