First Claim: When an athlete signs up for a club they automatically become a first claim member of it. There is one exception to this relating to athletes still at school. In this case the school always has first claim on their services. Other than that an athlete becomes a first claim member of the first club they join. It is actually possible to be a first claim member of two clubs at the same time. If the original club does not cater for all the disciplines of athletics, athletes can become first claim members of another club purely for those disciplines not covered. For example, if the club ‘A’ participated only in track & field, an athlete who wished to compete in road or cross-country events as well could join another club ‘B’ for that reason. He or she would then be first claim to club ‘A’ for track & field only and to club ‘B’ for road and cross-country.
Second Claim: An athlete may join more than one club. For a variety of reasons (which could include social or coaching). Athletes could then compete for their ‘second claim’ club, when not required by their ‘first claim’ club, but only in competitions that permit this. Some leagues, for instance, specify that participation is restricted to first claim members only, but there are some competitions that allow second claim members to take part. This is different to the case above where an athlete can be a first claim member of two clubs for different disciplines. An athlete could compete for their second claim club in the same disciplines as for their first claim club in competitions where second claim members are accepted.