Sebastian Coe hopes the new Nitro Athletics series will "revolutionise the sport" ©Getty Images

Sebastian Coe, the President of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), believes the new Nitro Athletics series is an example of "what needs to be done to revolutionise the sport".

The double Olympic champion, who became IAAF President in 2015, has been pursuing a strong reform agenda within the sport and believes athletics must look at methods to attract new audiences.

Organisers claim the six-team tournament in the Australian city of Melbourne will "revolutionise" global track and field.

The series begins next month and will see Australia take on Usain Bolt’s All-Stars, China, England, Japan and New Zealand in a new look athletics format at the Lakeside Stadium.

Competition is due to be held on February 4 and 9, before a final on February 11, with more "innovative" disciplines sitting alongside traditional track and field events. 

"Athletics, in its traditional form, remains the cornerstone of the Olympic Games," said Coe.

"However we need innovation and more opportunities for our athletes to interact with fans and show their personalities - and Nitro Athletics is a great example of what can be done and what needs to be done to revolutionise how we present our sport and how our fans connect with the sport and the athletes.

"Why not change the format of how athletics is presented?

"We need brave, bold ideas that engage fans in events and across a range of platforms.

"The only thing stopping us is our imagination and the courage to try something new."

The IAAF President, who will be in Melbourne for the final, has also hailed Bolt's impact on the format. 

The six-team tournament is set to take place in Melbourne in February ©Nitro Athletics
The six-team tournament is set to take place in Melbourne in February ©Nitro Athletics

"Usain Bolt has embraced Nitro Athletics and is lending his weight and speed to the event," added Coe on the Jamaican nine-time Olympic champion who will skipper his own team. 

"That’s a powerful ambassador to have leading the way with a product made for both television and the in-stadium fans."

A hurdles relay, the 60 metres "speed sprint" and an "elimination mile" have been confirmed as new disciplines.

Also included is the 150m, "a three minute run" and the 4x100m mixed relay, with all events classified as either power, technique, endurance or teamwork.

The 100m, long jump, pole vault and javelin are among the traditional disciplines that will take place.

Team performance rather than individual displays will be rewarded, as although some events will feature solo results, many will focus on combined placings and team efforts.

Points will range from 100 for first to 40 for sixth and last.

Teams will be able to utilise three strategies - the "Nitro Power Play", the "Nitro Steal" and the "Nitro Turbo Charge".

The Power Play allows double points for teams in one selected event, which will be made in advance and drawn by lot.

Using the Nitro Steal will pinch 50 per cent of an opposing team's points from a particular event, with the Turbo Charge applying only in the long jump.

Teams will be able to nominate one jump where an athlete must achieve a declared distance to gain a bonus.

There will also be penalties for false starts - 50 points for the first offence and then 100 for the second.