USATF Officials Committee Newsletter



March, 2018

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Notes from the Desk of Our Chair


As we move into the outdoor season, I want to remind you of that the safety of officials, athletes, coaches, spectators, media, etc. is the top priority of every official. Watch out for one another. Make sure those who are assigned positions are physically capable of safely doing the job. Communicate safety protocols to volunteers and closely monitor them. If you see a situation that you feel is unsafe, communicate that to your head official, referee, and/or meet director. Let's make this an accident-free season.

2018 USATF Membership: Please make sure that your USATF membership is renewed for 2018. A current membership is required for certification, along with a current background screen and SafeSport certification.

2018 USATF Rule Books: Certified officials can purchase the 2018 USATF Rule Book for $10 at this link:

Paralympic Officials Certification: The Paralympic Committee has updated their certification exam. Both the 2021 IAAF World Championships and the 2028 Olympic Games will include Paralympic competition so, if you're interested in working those meets, you should get your certification and start working Paralympic events now to position yourself as a candidate for those events. To be certified as a Para official, go to, review the course and take the test. Upon submitting the test for scoring, your test will be graded and, if you pass, your results will be sent to the USATF National Office and the N.O.C.

Officials Insurance: We have added the presentation made by our insurance carriers at the 2017 USATF Annual Meeting to official’s website at It provides valuable information on the insurance coverage available to certified officials. A special thanks goes to our Insurance Sub-Committee, co-chaired by Irene Herman and Bob Tice, for all of their work on our behalf and in making sure this information was available to us.

Recruiting New Officials: A priority for all Associations is the recruitment of new officials. We have a need to continually add new officials and to train and mentor them. We need new officials to adequately staff meets with qualified officials both now and in the future. I want to ask a couple of things of you:

  • Check out the information on Recruiting and Mentoring Officials in the Best Practices library of the official’s page at
  • If you have found an idea that has been effective in recruiting new officials, let us know so that we can share it with others. As an example, the Southern California Association created three short videos designed to recruit officials and posted them on their Facebook page and Association website. In about six weeks, they have had 85 inquiries about officiating and have at least 20 individuals who have started the certification process. You can see the videos here:

National Officials Shirt: Just a reminder that, as of Feb. 28, there are 340 officials who have not received their national shirt because they have not entered their shirt size. If you have not received your shirt, please check your USATF membership profile. You can enter your size there or contact your Association Certification Chair.

Officials Uniform Page: If you are like me, you may have found that your access to the page to order USATF Certified Officials merchandise (extra shirts, rain gear, and more to come) has been lost. If you find that to be the case, send me an email and let me know. Those pages require a current certification for access.

You can contact Mike Armstrong via email at

International Women’s Day- March 8th

March is declared as National Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day is March 8th. Big thanks to the ladies for what you do and paving the way for generations to follow. There is indeed an International Men's Day and it falls on November 19th every year.

Equipment & Facilities Specifications Newsletter

Just as I was putting the finishing touches to this newsletter I received in my mailbox the latest edition of the Equipment & Facilities Specifications Newsletter 28-1. If you are not a subscriber to this newsletter that Ivars Ikstrums publishes periodically you need to download your copy today.

Previous issues of the newsletter are available on the Pacific Northwest Associations website.

USATF Rule of the Month


The measurement of each jump shall be made immediately after the trial. The measurement of the jumps shall be made at right angles from the take-off line, or the take-off line extended, to the nearest break in the landing area made by any part of the body of the competitor or anything while attached to the body at the time it made a mark. The measurement mark in the landing area, for each attempt, shall be preserved until removal is authorized by the Chief Judge for the event.

NOTE: In order to insure correct measurement of any jump, it is essential that the surface of the sand in the landing area should be accurately controlled so as to be level with the top of the take-off board. For measurements, see Rule 148.3(b).

Rule 148.3 (b) 

(b) Distances in field events:

i. Shall be measured in meters and shall always be recorded to the nearest 0.01m below the distance measured if the distance measured is not a whole centimeter (i.e., fractions less than 0.01m must be ignored).

Unless video/electronic measuring is being used, for every valid trial a marker (usually metal) should be placed in a vertical position at the place of the imprint left by the athlete in the landing area nearest to the take-off line. The marker is passed through the loop at the end of the graduated metal tape so that the “zero” is on the mark. The tape should be pulled out horizontally taking care not to place it on any rise in the ground. It is a good idea to check the measuring tape. Double sided tapes (imperial/metric) can often have a different “zero” mark. Some tapes may have the “zero” mark at the end of the metal clip or it may be on the tape.

IAAF Rule of the Month - The Start, Rule 162.10

The Starter or any Recaller, who is of the opinion that the start was not a fair one, shall recall the athletes by firing a gun.

The reference to a fair start does not relate solely to cases of a false start. This rule should also be interpreted as applying to other situations such as blocks slipping, a foreign object interfering with one or more athletes during a start etc.

World Para Athletics - 2.24 Call Room Judges Duties

Unlike USATF or IAAF competitions, for WPA or Para Athletics, Call Room Judges may play another extremely important role which relates to the inspection of the equipment being used by some athletes such as tethers, eye patches, eye masks, wheelchairs and throwing frames. In addition, when Classifiers are not present or have not been appointed, the Call Room Judges are responsible for ensuring that the Maximum Allowable Standing Height (MASH) measurements are taken. For events which require guide-runners or assistants, the Call Room Judges are responsible for ensuring that both the athlete and his guide-runner or assistant are both checked; just like they would for an individual athlete.

It is important to note that in Throwing Events for Sport Classes F11-12, F31-33 and F51-54 one (1) assistant, per athlete, per event, is permitted in accordance with Rule 7.14 and Rule 7.16. The same applies for T12 athletes in Jumping Events, see Rule 7.20. However, for T11 athletes in Jumping Events, up to two (2) assistants are permitted, per athlete, per event in accordance with Rule 7.18

It should be noted that T11 athletes must have one (1) guide-runner and may have two guide runners for 5000m or longer races, whereas a T12 athlete may have one (1) guide-runner or two if it is 5000m or longer. If T11 athlete intends to run with two guide-runners, such request must be submitted to the Technical Delegate(s) in advance and the specifics of which lap the guide-runner exchange will occur must be indicated on the request document.

Did You Know?

The 2012 Olympic Games in London were the first Olympics where every participating country included female athletes. They were also the first Olympics in which women competed in all sports in the program. Women have competed in the Olympics since 1900, following all-male Games in 1896.

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Make This an Accident-Free Season


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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.

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