On the 26th of August 1950, eleven “track nuts” met in Brussels, Belgium, during the 4th European Athletics Championships, and founded the Association of Track and Field Statisticians with the dual aim of of documenting the present and recovering the past, in order to commit to future memory the efforts of thousands of athletes, men and women, who have given luster to the sport all over the World. Their aim was to promote such a work at both national and international levels. And these aims continue today.
The original Founding Committee along with a listing of all subsequent Office Bearers is listed here: ATFS Honor Board
From modest beginnings of 128 pages contained in the inaugural edition in 1951, the Association's main publication, the A.T.F.S. Annual (1951-1985), known now as The International Track and Field Annual, has grown to a publication of in excess of 600 pages (and is a most sought after publication for all die-heart and casual followers of the sport and used by many media personnel and outlets as valuable reference source on the past season's performances.
A listing of the Editors and Publishers of the A.T.F.S. Annual thru the years is listed here: A.T.F.S. Annual
Working methods have developed similarly, from early “artisan” forms — typewritten material often requiring laborious proof-reading before it could be turned into book style — to the present advantages offered by modern technology. To most of the membership of the A.T.F.S., the collection and distribution of track and field statistics is not an end in itself. At the international level, for example, it may well serve to “break down the walls” separating men and women of different languages and cultures.