2017 Officials Newsletter - August

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August, 2017

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Chair Report


Our Condolences: We are sad to inform the USATF officiating community of the passing of John Melzer, husband of former National Officials Committee Chair, Linda Melzer. John passed away on July 5. During her time in office, Linda laid the foundation for many of the positive changes we have seen for officials over the years and she has served as a friend, mentor, and advocate for many. Please keep Linda and her family in your thoughts and prayers.

Certified Official Pin: A newly designed "USATF Certified Official" pin has been created and is now in the hands of Association Certification Chairs. Over the coming weeks, they will distribute these to all officials certified within their Association.

Background Check Renewals: The required Background Screens for officials are good for two years. That means that the Background Screens for some are expiring. When your screen expiration is drawing near, you will receive email reminder 30-days before your screen expires. Be aware that though it may come from "coaching@usatf.org" and may be addressed to "Coach" it still applies to officials. If your Background Screen expires, your certification becomes invalid. If you have questions about when your Background Screen is set to expire, contact your Association Certification Chair.

N.O.C. Committees: Much of the work of the National Officials Committee is carried out by our Sub-Committees. Those committees and their chairs are listed below. If you are interested in becoming a part of one of these committees, let me know.

Special Sub-Committees (led by elected Vice-Chairs):

  • Awards: Scott Rose
  • Certification: Roger Burbage
  • Rules: Laurie Boemker
  • Training: Martin Johnson

Standing Sub-Committees (led by Chairs appointed by the N.O.C. Chairman):

  • Affirmative Development: Raymond Pierre
  • Appeals Selection (Selection Inquiries): Delores Murray
  • Communications: Scott Rose
  • Ethics and Goals: Betsy Reed
  • Equipment and Facilities Specifications: Bob Springer
  • Evaluation: Rich Schornstein
  • Insurance: Irene Herman and Bob Tice
  • Law and Legislation: John Murray
  • Nominations: Valaree Langley Foss
  • Selection: Mike Armstrong
  • Uniform/Merchandise: David Smith
  • Technology: Mark Heckel

Be Athlete-Friendly: I have been sharing the "officiating philosophy" that I teach in my university class on Track and Field Officiating, as well as in clinics. The first three points are "Be Safe", "Be Fair", and "Be Professional." The final point is "Be Athlete-Friendly". In summary, that means:

  • Be positive and polite with athletes and coaches.
  • Be proactive and preventative in your officiating.
  • Create an environment where each athlete has the opportunity to compete to the best of his or her ability.
  • Remember that the event is about the athletes and their competition. Officials shouldn't be a distraction or attract attention.

Mike Armstrong;
Chairman, USATF National Officials Committee


Nominations Needed for Annual N.O.C. Awards

It is that time of year that the request for nomination for the Annual N.O.C. Awards goes out to our group of officials. These N.O.C. Awards are presented at the USATF Annual Meeting. The N.O.C. Awards webpage is slowly being update by the National Office. On the N.O.C. Awards webpage you can access information on each of the awards. This includes what the award represents and process for making the nomination and selection. You will also find the past award winners and the nomination form. The form is a fillable PDF that can be used by most PDF readers including Adobe and your iPad.

Do you know someone that deserves to be recognized for USATF? If so, download the respective form, fill it out and return it to the Vice-Chair Awards via email before August 30. When filling out the respective form, be complete. Explain why you believe this individual should be recognized. Include a brief resume to justify your comments. Return only the form to the Vice-Chair AwardsNO attachments will be accepted. What is on that form is what the reviewers will use to make this year’s selection.

Selection Process for USATF Championship Meets

Soon the process of selecting officials for the USATF Championship Meets (USA Indoor Championships, the USA Junior/Senior Outdoor Championships, etc.) will begin. This article is designed to help officials understand the selection process. This process applies to those who serve as competition officials. Referees and members of Jury of Appeals are selected by the Men’s and Women’s Track & Field Committees. Race Walk Judges and Referees are appointed by the Race Walk Committee. Continue Reading . . .


Starting with officials’ evaluations completed during calendar year 2017, individual officials may ask to see evaluations written about their performance by sending an e-mail to our Evaluation Subcommittee Chair, Rich Schornstein, at kidz1023@comcast.net. Evaluations are completed for most, but not all, officials who worked the Senior/Junior, Masters, and Junior Olympics national championship events.

IAAF World Championship Schedule

Do you need a schedule of the IAAF World Championships now underway in London? Randy Brown has sent the schedule to us for sharing with you.

Officials’ Best Practices

The Best Practices library experienced many problems as it transitioned from the old website to the new USATF website. Those issues have now been mostly resolved, plus we’ve added several new and revised items. You can find the library of documents at this link. As always, if you have an idea for an improvement to a document, or a new subject that should be addressed, send your comments to the Best Practices Editor, Rich Schornstein at kidz1023@comcast.net.

USATF Rule of the Month

Athletic Attire ~ USATF Rule 143.3 (b)

The sole and the heel of the shoes shall be so constructed as to provide for the use of up to 11 spikes. Any number of spikes up to 11 may be used, but the number of spike positions shall not exceed 11.
Note: For Youth Athletics Javelin exception, see Rule 302.5(f).

NCAA Focus

Email Mark Kostek, NCAA Secretary-Rules Editor at Kostekmt@gmail.com for NCAA interpretations, questions or Rule Recommendation Changes for next year.

Did You Know?

Long Jump History - The athletes carried a weight in each hand, which were called halteres (between 1 and 4.5kg). These weights were swung forward as the athlete jumped in order to increase momentum. It was commonly believed that the jumper would throw the weights behind him in midair to increase his forward momentum; however, halteres were held throughout the duration of the jump. It was most likely a simple board placed on the stadium track which was removed after the event. The jumpers would land in what was called a skamma ("dug-up" area). The idea that this was a pit full of sand is wrong. Sand in the jumping pit is a modern invention.


Be Athlete-Friendly


Important Links

In case you were not able to open the links embedded in the above news items, they are below:

Announcements for the Newsletter

If you have an item you would like included in the newsletter, please send your submissions to NOCnewsletters@gmail.com. The submission deadline is the 25th of each month in order to be included in the subsequent issue. We will accept announcements, articles and other news-type items that are national in scope. Local announcements and opinion pieces will not be included. Please be aware that all submissions are subject to approval by the N.O.C. Executive Committee.


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