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Page last updated at 17:47 GMT, Thursday, 19 February 2009

Athletics plans 'Twenty20' format

By Matt Slater

Christine Ohuruogu and Graham Napier
UKA hopes the format can have the same success as Twenty20 cricket

British athletics bosses are set to announce a new "Twenty20"-style series that will be staged on summer evenings, BBC Sport has learned.

The "Super 8" series will pit city-based teams against each other in action-packed, two-hour contests.

The brainchild of former GB shot putter Shaun Pickering and UK Athletics (UKA) boss Niels de Vos, the format will be trialled on 10 June in Cardiff.

If that is successful UKA hopes to launch an eight-team league in 2010.

The idea is that athletes will line up for cities that they have an association with - place of birth, residence or some other connection - but each city will also be allowed to field two overseas stars.

It is hoped that cities will bid for the franchises and the right to host the events, which could be staged indoors or outdoors.

606: DEBATE

The events on the programme are believed to be broadly in line with the decathlon's disciplines. There will also be a number of relays, including mixed medleys of varying distances.

Like the hugely popular Twenty20 cricket concept, the key factor will be keeping delays between events down to a bare minimum: a senior UKA source told BBC Sport that "there will be something happening every two minutes".

The plan will be discussed with athletes at this weekend's Aviva Grand Prix in Birmingham.

The source said talk of commercial partners was a little premature but the sport's existing sponsors would be given right of first refusal.

see also
Athletics on the BBC
28 Oct 08 |  Athletics


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