USA Triathlon rankings show the number of points accumulated by triathlon competitors. Rankings are organized by criteria such as age and type of race. To be included, races must be sanctioned by USAT and must include more than one racer who finishes the course. Races can be on-road or off-road triathlon, duathlon, aquathlon or aquabike. To be listed, a participant must have completed a minimum of three triathlons.
Any triathlete who completes the minimum requirements is included as a pacesetter for the following season. Pacesetters' finish times are used to calculate a par time, which is the projected time in which the fastest amateur athlete is expected to complete a particular race. The par time in minutes is then divided by an individual member's finish time to calculate the member's ranking. Casual participants are called "age-groupers," whereas serious competitors are known as "elite." Since the first triathlon in southern California in the 1970s, USAT membership has grown to 550,000 in 2014, according to their website. The most common triathlon consists of three legs: swimming, biking and running. According to rules explained by Total Triathlon, a participant leaving the course must re-enter the race at the point of departure, no assistance from a non-official is permitted, no headsets or audio devices are allowed, and glass containers are prohibited.