The event programme was half that of a full traditional track and field programme, with events alternating each edition. For example, a men's 100 metres and women's 200 metres were contested in 1985, but not vice-versa – that arrangement was reversed in 1986 and reversed again in 1987, and so forth. Middle-distance running was particularly prominent as a 1500 metres or a mile run were held at every edition of the tournament.
From 1982 to 1992, the winners of the Grand Prix title in an event were decided by the overall seasonal points rankings gained from competing on the IAAF Grand Prix circuit. This was amended in 1993 when seasonal points served as a method of qualifying for the final, with the event winner being the victor at the Grand Prix Final event. The athlete with the greatest number of points accumulated in the season across all events was declared the overall Grand Prix Final champion.