The DNA concept was presented to EOC members at their General Assembly ©DNA

European Athletics have presented their Dynamic New Athletics (DNA) concept to National Olympic Committees (NOC) prior to its adoption at the Minsk 2019 European Games.

Details of DNA were released earlier this year, with European Athletics billing the format as an "action-packed new mixed-gender team event built on tactics, competitiveness and grit".

The team competition will feature 100 metres events for men and women, along with sprint hurdles races.

It will also include a mixed 4x400m relay, as well as men's high jump and women's long jump and javelin.

In addition to the more traditional events, new disciplines "The Hunt" and "Track’athlon" will both feature on the programme.

European Athletics' head of new business development Marcel Wakim admitted the latter had proved the most controversial part of the programme.

It will consist of an athletics assault course featuring a sled run, shot put toss, standing long jump, water jump and a medicine ball run.

A parachute run had been initially proposed for women instead of the sled run, but concerns over safety and gender equality have led to the sled run being adopted for both men and women.

Under the existing plans, the athletes would conduct the sleigh pull over around 40m, before dropping the harness to take part in the shot put.

Athletes must clear 14m with their first throw, otherwise they have to surpass 12m in either their second or third attempts.

Athletes then have to tackle three steeple barriers, before clearing either 2.5m for men and 2m for women in the standing jump.

This would be reduced to 1.5m for the second attempt.

Athletes then have a choice of clearing a water jump or running a longer distance in the outer lanes.

The Track’athlon has been the most controversial aspect of Dynamic New Athletics ©European Athletics
The Track’athlon has been the most controversial aspect of Dynamic New Athletics ©European Athletics

The male athletes, who compete first, will take part in the medicine ball run before handing over to their female team-mate.

Female athletes will not take part in the medicine ball run on the second lap, but will instead conduct a normal sprint to conclude the event.

"The Hunt" is a distance-medley race in which the best-performing teams in the first nine events will get a proportionate head start.

The two male runners will race either the 800m or 400m parts of the relay, while the two women will race over 600m and 200m.

Teams will take part in matches during the European Games, with points awarded depending on their performances during the first nine events to determine their position going into "The Hunt".

The winner of each event will receive 12 points.

Wakim stated that European Athletics were looking at either penalising teams by distances or time, with the Gundersen method used in Nordic combined under consideration.

"Teams after the nine events will be allocated a starting order with penalties," he said.

"The leading team will go off first, with the other teams' points determining the penalty in either time or metres.

"The test we did was by a staggered start where we penalised them by metres.

"We would like to use the Gundersen method, where they all run the same distance with a time penalty.

"We are looking to work this out with Mircoplus.

"It would be the first ever time penalty race we have seen in the sport."

A total of 30 nations will take part in the competition, with a tournament structure established.

Six teams will feature in each match, with the winners and highest second place team advancing from the first round to the semi-finals.

The remaining 24 teams will compete in the second round, with the four winners and two best runners-up reaching the semi-final.

The top three teams in both semi-finals will qualify to the final stage of the tournament, where the team medallists will be decided.

An additional change has been devised for the field events with the six competing teams in each match seeing their athlete featuring in two groups of three where they will contest a round-robin format.

The winners of each group will then go head-to-head to decide the outright winner and earn maximum points, with the remaining athletes battling for either third or fifth place.

In the men's high jump, athletes will decide the heights they will attempt prior to the competition.

European Athletics claim this will make athletes analyse their opponent in collaboration with their coaches, before deciding to take risks to win the head-to-head competition or opt for security.

Twists on the traditional format of field events have been incorporated by European Athletics ©Minsk 2019
Twists on the traditional format of field events have been incorporated by European Athletics ©Minsk 2019

Organisers state that coaches will be given a more prominent role during the event, while the competition enhanced crowd and media interaction is also being targeted.

With one event taking place at a time, sport presentation has been highlighted as crucial to ensuring the concept proves a success.

Each match is expected to take place over a maximum of two hours, with up to 23 athletes featuring per team.

Team medals and individual medals for best performance in each discipline will be awarded.

The DNA format has been designed with a view to complementing the traditional sport by attracting elite and sub-elite athletes, with the concept viewed as adaptable for clubs and schools.

Live music during the competition looks set to form part of the final product, as European Athletics seek to attract a younger audience.

At the inaugural European Games in Baku three years ago, athletics competition comprised a Third League competition.

It was the lowest level within the European Team Championships - that involved 17 teams from smaller athletics nations, including the hosts.

Plans were then laid by European Athletics to develop an athletics vehicle that would sit more happily in future editions of the European Games.

A test event was held in Minsk in September, with an international test set to take place in Belarus' capital city in May.

Four days of athletics competition will be held during the European Games, with finals scheduled for June 28.