The IAAF Diamond League series replaced the Golden League in 2010. The Golden League was a more loosely-organized series that awarded a total of $1 million in prize money for athletes within a select few disciplines, if somebody won his or her event at every meet.
The Diamond League promotes head-to-head match-ups between the top performers in each discipline. For example, in 2010 Usain Bolt and Tyson Gay committed to three head-to-head races (although injuries prevented their first scheduled meeting). The pair met only once in 2009.
The series features most of the standard Olympic disciplines. The series doesn’t include the hammer throw, decathlon or pentathlon, and the longest race is 5,000 meters.
The 2010 season featured a 14-meet schedule. Each discipline is staged seven times, with the top three finishers at each meet gaining points: four for first place, two for second and one for third during the first six meets in each discipline. Points are doubled for the final meet.
The athlete with the highest number of points in each discipline at the end of the season wins the “Diamond Race” award which includes, as you’d expect, diamonds.