NCAA Officials Selection Process





Why was the NCAA Track and Field National Officials Assignor position created? 

The position of assignor of officials is the NCAA’s commitment to improving the overall quality and consistency of officiating throughout collegiate track and field. 

What is the role of the national assignor? 

1. Establishing criteria for the selection of officials working NCAA championships. 

2. Creating the application process for officials to demonstrate interest in working NCAA championships. 

3. Managing the selection process for the entire roster of officials necessary to work each championship. The national assignor will be responsible for selecting all key official positions and working with the host site officials coordinator to determine all other additional officials necessary for the championships. 

4. Interfacing with the host site officials coordinator to notify all selected officials and communicate necessary information prior to and during the championships. 

5. Creating a database of officials. 

6. Collaborating with the NCAA secretary rules editor to communicate pertinent rules related information to the officiating community. 

7. Enhancing officials training and education specific to NCAA rules and best practices. 

8. Creating an evaluation process for officials selected to serve at NCAA championship meets. 


The national assignor will not serve as an active NCAA coach, official, or conference coordinator/assignor while serving in this role. 

Who was selected to serve as the national assignor? 

Nathan Smurdon was selected to serve as the first NCAA Track and Field National Officials Assignor. Nathan was a cross country and track and field student-athlete at Butler University from 1993-1998. As many of his teammates went down the coaching path to stay connected to the sport, Nathan had opportunities to work behind the scenes at the 1999 and 2000 DI Indoor Championships while also serving as the meet director for numerous Butler hosted meets. 

Along the way he fell in love with officiating and is currently a Master level USATF official. Over the course of his 17-year officiating career he has worked 22 NCAA championships, 13 of which have been in key roles as either a starter or running referee. 

Which meets will the assignor be leading the officials selection process? 

(3) NCAA Indoor Championships (Divisions I, II, III) 

(2) NCAA Outdoor Championships (Divisions II, III) 

(3) NCAA Division I Outdoor Championships (East Prelims, West Prelims, Finals) NCAA Track and Field National Official Assignor FAQ September 14, 2017 Page No. 2 _________ 


What will the selection process entail? 

Historically the selection process for NCAA track and field officials was fragmented and spread across numerous groups and individuals. Typically, the sport committee for each division would determine the officials that would be invited to work in key roles such as referees, starters, clerks, etc. The host institution would identify a local officials coordinator that would conduct an application process to identify and select the rest of the officials roster for the meet. Methodology, communication, timelines and overall execution was not consistent. 

Moving forward, all officials interested in applying for any of the eight championships will go through the same process. 

1. Interested officials will fill out an online application and indicate each and every championship they are interested in working. (September – November) 

2. The assignor will work closely with the host site officials coordinator to apply the selection criteria to the available officials to determine the roster of officials for each meet. (October – November) 

3. Selected officials will be notified and required to confirm their assignment. (December) 


Some host site officials coordinators have already distributed applications for their championship. Will the national assignor receive those or will a separate application be required? 

A separate, online application form will be required. The information required in the NCAA championships application will be similar (but not identical) and will allow an official to demonstrate interest in more than one championships opportunity. 

Will applying to more meets increase the chance that I’m selected? 

While this is possible, it is more important that any meet an official applies for should be one he/she is willing to work if selected. Applying for multiple meets in the hopes of being selected for only your preferred choice and then declining an assignment for one of your non-preferred meet choices will be highly frowned upon and may impact future consideration. 

For meets on the same weekend, will officials be able to apply for a single meet, or for multiple meets and list their preferences in order? 

All eight championship meets will be listed on the application form and officials may apply for more than one meet – even if they are on the same weekend. An applicant that demonstrates interest in working more than one meet on the same weekend will have the opportunity to indicate their preferred meet. NCAA Track and Field National Official Assignor FAQ September 14, 2017 Page No. 3 _________ 


Will officials be assigned to a meet for which they have not applied? 

Officials will not be assigned to a meet for which they are not interested and willing to work. 

What will be the deadline for submitting applications? 

For the 2017-18 season, the application process will run from September through December 6. 

When and how will applicants be notified of the selection results? 

Selected officials will be notified of their assignment via email in December. 

What is the overall approach in making the selections? 

The goal is to ensure that the officiating talent at each meet site is of the highest quality to ensure a safe & fair opportunity for the student-athletes to compete. Selecting a team of officials that are able to work well together to accomplish this goal is the highest priority. 

There are many variables taken into consideration during the selection process. The national assignor will work closely with the host site official’s coordinator to evaluate the officials that applied for each championship. 

Together they will make selections based on the information requested in the application which includes questions related to overall officiating experience, desired positions an official is able and willing to work and references that can speak to the official’s performance through their first-hand experiences working with that official. 

Is USATF certification a requirement for selection? 

Per NCAA rule 3-1.3, USATF certification is not a requirement to officiate NCAA competitions. 

We will be asking for an official’s certification status in the application as it is one of many ways of demonstrating a level of commitment to officiating track & field. However, a non USATF certified official will not be eliminated from consideration for that reason alone.