USATF Officials Committee Newsletter - December 2018

USATF Officials Monthly Newsletter Is this email not displaying correctly?
View it in your browser.


December 2018

Follow on Twitter Follow Us On Twitter
Friend on Facebook Join Our Group On Facebook
Forward to Friend Forward To A Friend

Notes from the Desk of the Chair

Thanks to all who were a part of the USATF Annual Meeting in Columbus, Ohio, It was a productive meeting that was made possible by the efforts of many. You can find much of the meeting documented at the Annual Meeting Document Library. Plan now to be in Reno for next year's meeting on Dec. 4-8.

2018 was a year of continued progress for the National Officials Committee. Some examples are:

We made advancements in our certification process:

  • The number of certified officials has increased by almost 20% over the past year.
  • We more than doubled our Electronic Measurement Judges who are qualified to train and certify officials in the use of Electronic Measuring and Recording equipment.
  • We have our first levels of rules reviews in an online format, as well as our meet application and our evaluation processes.

We received evaluations on 450 officials at USATF national championship meets. These evaluations provide valuable feedback to officials in help in their development as well as to the committee that selects officials for Senior and U20 National Championship meets.

We put our priority on safety into action by establishing a permanent Safety Sub-Committee and are creating a more intentional safety training curriculum.

In our efforts to encourage younger officials, several positive steps were taken:

  • We had a record number of 37 applicants for our Young Officials Grants to help officials 40 and under work 2018 national championship meets.
  • We worked in conjunction with the USATF Diversity & Leadership Committee and Masters' Track & Field Committee to send three apprentice Referees to work with the Referees at the 2018 USATF Masters Outdoor Championships.
  • The average age of the officials selected to work our Senior and Junior National Championship meets is younger for each meet than the previous year.
  • We are launching a Junior Official Program for 14-17 year-olds that will provide mentoring, training in officiating, and community service opportunities.

We are finalizing a pathway to help USATF Certified Officials prepare for the IAAF certification and evaluation process for International and Area Technical Officials.

Our Training Sub-committee worked on some great projects:

  • They prepared an excellent USATF Quick Reference Guide (QRG). You can get a digital copy from your Association Certification Chair or by emailing our Vice-Chair of Training, Marty Johnson, at
  • They have started work on video training modules and are waiting on approval from the USATF National Office.
  • They conducted a set of outstanding clinics at the USATF Annual Meeting.
  • They once again provided valuable training for officials around the country through the NFHS’s Pre-Meet Notes.

Young Officials Grant: The deadline to apply for our Young Officials Grants is Dec. 15. These are designed to help officials under-40 gain championship experience at USATF Youth, Junior Olympic, or Masters' national championship meets. You can find more information on the Young Officials Grant web page.

2019 USATF Membership: Please make sure that your USATF membership is renewed for 2019. A current membership is needed for certification, along with a current background screen and SafeSport certification.

You can contact Mike Armstrong via email at

Reminders from Rich, N.O.C. Secretary

BACKGROUND SCREENING: This follows up on comments from the N.O.C. Chair in the September Newsletter. Background Screens are required for all certified officials and are good for two years. If your screen expires, your certification is suspended. If you have questions about when your Background Screen is set to expire, contact your Association Certification Chair. You should receive email reminder 30-days before your screen expires; it may come from "" and may be addressed to "Coach”, but it still applies to officials.

  1. To apply for a new screening go to:
  2. Click on "Begin the Application" at the bottom of the page.
  3. Log-in with your 10-digit USATF membership number and password.
  4. Click on "Submit Application"
  5. Click on "I understand, Continue on"

There’s a requirement to upload an image of your ID (driver's license or Passport). You can submit your ID using a *.jpg, *.pdf, *.bmp, *.gif, *.tiff, or *.png format. Make sure the document is readable before uploading it. The file size cannot be larger than 4 MB (megabytes). One way to get an image of the ID is to take a photo of it; then e-mail it to yourself; then download it to a location where you can find it; and then upload it when requested on the NCSI site. If you encounter difficulties, call or email the company (NCSI) at 866-833-7100 or

2019 CHAMPIONSHIP SELECTIONS: Selections were made during the USATF Annual Meeting in Columbus, Ohio for officials for the 2019 USATF national championship meets. We had 410 National and Master level officials apply for the Indoor, Outdoor, and U20 (Junior) Outdoor meets. There were 100 officials selected for the Indoor meet, 162 for the Outdoor meet, and 141 for the U-20 meet. Congratulations to all! See all the selections at the N.O.C. Championship Selection webpage. In addition, you can find the selections at the same place that you completed your application at

N.O.C. ANNUAL REPORT: Reports from all National Officials Committee officers and Subcommittee Chairs appear in the N.O.C. Annual Report, posted at the N.O.C. Meeting Minutes & Reports webpage.

National Officials Awards Ceremony and Hall of Fame Induction Banquet

The 2018 USATF National Official’s Committee Award Banquet and Hall of Fame Inductions ceremony was attended by 244 guests at the Hyatt Regency in Columbus, Ohio. This year’s award winners were:

N.O.C. Awards Recipients: 

  • Lori Maynard Award: Jo Burrows, USATF North Carolina
  • James Grey Award: Robert Kerns, USATF Wisconsin
  • John Davis Award: Joe Monks, USATF Florida
  • Charles Ruter Award: Lloyd Bert Garcia, USATF New Mexico
  • Horace Crow Award: John Murray, USATF Pacific
  • Andy Bakjian Award: Justin Kuo, USATF New England

Hall of Fame 2018 Inductees: 

  • John Blackburn, USATF South Carolina
  • Dennis Olafson, USATF Oregon
  • Bob Springer, USATF Pacific Northwest

Congratulations to each and every one of these deserving individuals. Pictures of the N.O.C. Award winners by clicking here.

As the outgoing Awards Chair, I would like to send a very special thank you to our Hall of Fame Sub-Committee Chair, Karen Krsak for all her hard work and dedication this year to make it a fantastic banquet.

In addition, I would like to thank a few that worked before and during the banquet. Roger Burbage (North Carolina), Ken Morton and David Clark (Kentucky) for taking pictures, Randy Hopkins (Colorado) for the video. Win Eggers (Illinois), Sue Polansky (Long Island), Gail Barna (NC), Don Berry (Maine), Earl Edwards (Mid-Atlantic), Bob Gidari (NE), Carolyn Hill (Iowa), Warren House (PVA), Pat Lavelle (NE); Bob Podkaminer (Pacific), Dan Reynolds (Arizona), Cindy Slayton (Georgia), Annette White (Mid-Atlantic) and John Bahakel (Alabama). And a very special thank you to Ron Clarke (PVA) for organizing the ushers. The banquet could only be successful with those working quietly in the background.

NCAA Rules Corner ~ Rules Interpretations

We would like to welcome Mark Kostek, NCAA Men's & Women's Track & Field/Cross Country Secretary Rules Editor to our newsletter. Mark will be our link for rules interpretations and everything NCAA. The most recent interpretations can be found at

To download the new NCAA Rule Book (free), or to purchase it ($10.00 plus shipping), go to the NCAA T&F Rule Book site.

If you find this helpful, please let Mark Kostek know.

Marty’s Training Tip

This month I would like to talk about some of the lessons learned at the recently completed USATF Annual Meeting in Columbus. The Training Committee put on two sessions of the Referee Scenarios, three individual clinics, and one highly successful round table discussion. I would like to highlight a few points from those sessions: Click to continue reading . . .

If you have suggestions for “Training Tips”, let Marty Johnson know via email at


Visit the Best Practices Library to see all that’s there. Compare the date on any documents you may have printed off, vs. the date on documents on the site - - to be sure you have the most current version. As always, if you have an idea for a needed correction or for a new document, send that to the Best Practices Editor. The following are new or recently updated documents:

  • Field Event Time Limits & Absence From Competition
  • Pole Vault Event Preparations
  • Instructions & Rules – NCAA – HJ, PV, Horizontals, Throws
  • Pole Vault Pit Boss Reference Card
  • Rules Comparison – HJ, PV, Horizontals, Throws
  • Pole Vault Head Officials Clinic Outline
  • Implement Inspector's Handbook Vol. 1


This past summer, Laurie Boemker, Vice Chair Rules and Roger Burbage, Vice Chair Certification sent an invitation to all of the certification chairs to complete a survey on the USATF rules review process. The results of the survey were shared at the annual meeting. If you would like to review the results, please click here to download the PowerPoint slide show.

In addition, Laurie has made available the Rule Change scoresheet. Click here to download the final scoresheet.

USATF Rule of the Month

Section VIII – Cross Country, Mountain and Trail Running
Rule 254.1(a) - Trail Racing Course 

Trail Races take place on a variety of terrain (including dirt roads, forest paths and single track footpaths) within a natural environment in open country (such as mountains, desert, forests or plains) that is mainly off-road.

Relay Races - Rule 218.1 

The 4x200 Meter Relay shall be run in lanes for the first leg, as well as that part of the second leg up to the nearer edge of the break line used for the individual 800m at the end of the first turn, as described in Rule 160.8(c), where runners may leave their respective lanes. Rule 170.12 shall apply.

IAAF Rule of the Month

Trail Races - Safety - Rule 252.4 

The Organizers shall ensure the safety of athletes and officials and must have a race specific plan for health, safety and rescue, including the means to provide assistance to athletes and other participants in distress.

Relay Races - Rule 218.1
Conduct of the Races 

In the 4 × 200m race, all the first leg and the first bend of the second leg up to the nearer edge of the breakline described in Rule 214.6, shall be run in lanes. Each takeover zone shall be 20m long and the second, third and fourth athlete shall start within this zone.

Para Athletics ~ “Ambulatory Para” by Carroll DeWeese

When most people think of para athletics, they think of wheelchairs and seated throws. Many para athletes are not users of wheelchairs. They are called ambulatory para athletes. They can stand and compete. They may be visually impaired, intellectually impaired, have missing or deformed limbs, or have other impairments, but they do not use a wheelchair.

If you have experience as an official at a master’s meet under USATF rules, you already have most of the knowledge to deal with ambulatory para athletes.

With only a few exceptions, ambulatory para athletes follow IAAF and USATF rules for open athletes and master’s athletes. Click to continue reading . . .

Have You Renewed Your Membership?

Important Deadlines

  • December 15: Young Officials Grant application due

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 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.


In Need of Officials?

If you are the official’s coordinator for a national championship or major regional meet and would like to have it listed on our calendar, please visit our new Applications page ( and submit it. All applications are subject to review before posting.

Copyright © 2018 USATF Officials Committee, All rights reserved. 
You are receiving this email because you are a current or past USATF Certified Official and previously signed up for our newsletter or other email updates. 

Our mailing address is: 
USATF Officials Committee
132 East Washington Street, Suite 800
IndianapolisIN  46204

Add us to your address book
unsubscribe from this list | update subscription preferences