For the first time in the history of U.S. high school track and field, the best athletes from the country’s East and West coasts will compete against one another on the same track, when they meet at the New Balance National Indoor Championships at the Armory in New York City, March 11 – 13, 2011. In the past, athletes from high schools in California or Texas High (in the West), for example, never competed against those from places such as New York or Florida (in the East).
Traditionally, two separate national indoor championships were held, one for East Coast and the other for the West, with the National Scholastic Sports Foundation (NSSF) operating one of the meets, the Indoor Nationals (previously called the Indoor Classic) since 1999, most recently hosting at the Reggie Lewis Sports Complex in Boston. The overall national ranking of the athletes was based, therefore, on comparative times from the two meets, instead of the athletes competing head-to head-against one another. The new three-way partnership of New Balance, the NSSF, and the New Balance Track & Field Center at the Armory will combine the two distinct events into one high school track & field championship meet. In a December 8 press release, New Balance said it was “thrilled to partner with the NSSF and the Armory for the New Balance Indoor Nationals.” Meet director Jim Spier said, "We recognize the passion and commitment both entities bring to high school running and are eager to work together. Now, having one indoor high school championship means that the most talented student-athletes in the country will be competing head-to-head in one unified meet, which will bring this event to new unprecedented levels." Similar to the New Balance Outdoor Nationals, the New Balance Indoor Nationals event will feature a team-scoring element in addition to the individual championships. Points will be awarded to the top eight places (10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1) in each event. Trophies will also be awarded to each of the top three boys and girls teams. In addition, New Balance will award the top program for each gender with uniforms for the upcoming 2010-2011 season.
The Armory, a non-profit organization based in New York City, hosts more than 100 indoor track and field meets yearly with approximately 125,000 individual athletes. Besides its many youth sports and educational programs, the Armory directs the Hispanic Games, The New Balance Games, and the New Balance Collegiate at the Armory, the largest indoor college meet nationally. The Armory is additionally the owner of the Millrose Games at Madison Square Garden in New York.