USATFNow this has to be one of the coolest things I’ve heard about in the past couple of years.

Doug Logan, the USATF CEO, hand delivered a proposal to the Jamaican NACAC Representative Teddy McCook.

The proposal calls for a pair of dual meets between the two countries, one on US soil and one on Jamaican soil.

Rather than racing for medals, the meets would be scored by team and would include these events:

  • 100 meters
  • 200 meters
  • 400 meters
  • 100/110m hurdles
  • 400m hurdles
  • long jump
  • 4×100 relay
  • 4×400 relay
  • sprint medley relay

While my favorite events are conspicuously absent (what can I say, I prefer distance events) there is no denying that the US and Jamaica are both sprint powerhouses and that this would be a great way to see some of the world’s best face off against one another.

The general idea is that the meets will be in May and June, although dates haven’t been proposed yet. I’ll update you once I find out more.

Here is the full text of the letter delivered to McCook:

Dear Teddy;

I was among the millions of captivated observers in Beijing who watched as Jamaican short sprinters dominated their events at the Olympic Games. It was obvious to everyone that with the rise of your country’s great sprinters and hurdlers, a compelling rivalry between Jamaica and the United States had developed. This rivalry showed signs of ramping up at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens and began in earnest in 2005 when Asafa Powell broke the men’s 100m world record. Whether it has been Powell-Gatlin, Campbell-Felix or Bolt-Gay, it has been these rivalries that have captivated the imaginations of track fans the world over.

As the IAAF indicated when it announced its new Diamond League, it is rivalries and head-to-head competition that will do the most to increase the popularity of track and field around the world. And of course, our sprinters are not ready to concede Jamaican dominance. Let us not forget that less than two years ago, it was the United States on top of three of the four short sprints and both sprint relays at the 2007 World Championships.

We have all seen how wildly successful and popular USA vs. The World at the Penn Relays has become, thanks to the USA-Jamaica rivalry at this event and the good-natured “competition” between our countries’ fans at Franklin Field. All these factors lead me to believe that feeding the USA-Jamaica rivalry would be a thrilling addition to the Athletics schedule, not just for our athletes and fans, but for global Athletics.

On behalf of USA Track & Field, and with the greatest excitement, I propose a USA-Jamaica Challenge that will pit our countries in two head-to-head, home-and-home team scoring competitions in the spring of 2009. I would ask that you convey this challenge to the esteemed President Aris and General Secretary Gayle of the JAAA. The concept of this challenge is briefly outlined as follows:

Dates: Projected to be in May and June, nations’ schedules permitting.

Sites: One in the east or southeast United States; the other in Jamaica.

Events: Men’s and women’s 100m, 200m, 400m, 110/100mH, 400mH, long jump and 4x100m, 4x400m & Sprint Medley Relays.

Competitors: 3 or 4 per country in each individual event and 2 teams per country in relays.

Scoring: Cumulative scoring meets.

Financials: To be discussed following preliminary agreement to compete.

Television: Conceivably 2 one-hour live shows, either stand-alone or as part of USATF Visa Championship Series show(s).

I think you’ll agree that these competitions would offer a means to showcase our phenomenal strengths to the NACAC region and the world, as well as offering each of our nations’ fans the chance to see the very best competition track and field has to offer, on home soil.

I earnestly thank you and your country for entertaining this challenge. We have before us a tremendous opportunity to serve the sport, our athletes and fans. I am hopeful that through good planning and promotions, we will be able to stage these potentially ground-breaking meets. I eagerly await your reply.

Warm personal regards,

Douglas G. Logan

General Secretary and Chief Executive Officer

Would you watch? I know I would.

(More Info: USATF)