USATF Officials Monthly Newsletter 10, 2018

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October, 2018

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Notes from the Desk of our Chair

Thinking About SafeSport - For those of us who are involved in USATF as officials, coaches, administrators, medical staff, etc., SafeSport is a requirement of our involvement. The policies that brought us SafeSport come to USATF from Congress, the USOC, and the Center for SafeSport. And, though there will be changes, it is not going away.

I serve on a SafeSport Task Force. As we have talked about the program and its implementation, I realized that I had been more focused on the SafeSport course than on making sure ours was a safe sport. One thing that we can learn from the issues facing other organizations is that a SafeSport course is not enough in itself. What is needed is a culture where all stakeholders - athletes, officials, coaches, administrators, parents, medical staff, etc. - take responsibility for the safety of our athletes and are proactive in observing and reporting situations that are not healthy.

We, as officials, prepare ourselves to observe and deal with situations that create an unsafe competitive environment. In a similar way, SafeSport prepares us to observe and deal with other unsafe environments. We have "front row" seats on how others interact with our athletes. Rather than just "checking off" the SafeSport requirement, we need to see ourselves as key parts of an effort to create and maintain a safe sport for the thousands of athletes we officiate.

Appointments - Recently, these were appointed to fill roles with the N.O.C.:

  • John Shirey - Chair, Evaluations Sub-Committee
  • Patty Mitchell - Chair, Uniform and Equipment Sub-Committee
  • Ashley Newton and Mike Trego - Co-Chairs, Junior Officials Program

If you are interested in being involved in any of our Sub-Committees, let me know and I will forward your name on to the Chair.

You can contact Mike Armstrong via email at

Reminders from Rich, N.O.C. Secretary

USATF Annual Meeting: The USATF Annual Meeting will be held from Nov 29th to Dec 2nd in Columbus, Ohio. Plan to join us there if you can; register at this link. We plan to conduct meetings of the following Subcommittees, as well as conduct clinics for attendees: Executive Committee; Training; Certification; Rules; Awards; Evaluations; Equipment & Facilities; and Law & Legislation.

2019 USATF Championship Meets: Master and National level officials can apply to work the USATF Indoor, Senior Outdoor, and U-20 meets by completing the application at this link. The deadline for applications is October 15th. Officials at any level of certification can use the same link to indicate an interest in working the following meets, and their information will be passed along to the respective Officials Coordinators: Master’s Indoor, Master’s Outdoor, National Youth Indoor, National Youth Outdoor, and National Junior Olympics.

Official’s Meet Applications: If you’re the Officials’ Coordinator for a conference, regional or national championship you may have your officials’ application posted on our N.O.C. webpages by using this link. Officials who have an interest in traveling to work a conference, regional or national championship meet may check the listings at the same link, and contact the listed Officials’ Coordinator, or submit the application posted there.

Young Officials’ Grant: The National Officials Committee has created grants in order to encourage the development and advancement of younger officials (age 40 and below), and to thereby expand the pool of experienced officials for national level meets. The N.O.C. will provide a $500.00 grant for up to 15 younger officials per year, to help offset expenses involved in officiating one of the following USATF national championships meets: Masters' Indoor; Masters' Outdoor; National Youth Indoor; National Youth Outdoor; Junior Olympics T&F; Junior Olympic Cross Country. Access the application for these grants at this link.

Boathouse Sports Store is Open

The Boathouse Sports have opened their doors and will remain open until October 29. In my part of the country it has been the fourth wettest September on record and I know some areas have set records for both rainfall and temperatures. Is it time to purchase the national officials rain gear and outerwear? You can enter the store by just clicking here. Delivery of the new gear will be the first week of December.

National Officials Awards Ceremony and Hall of Fame Induction Banquet

If you are planning on attending the USATF Annual Meeting in Columbus, please join us as we present the winners of Andy Bakjian, Horace Crow, John Davis, James Grey, Lori Maynard and Charles Ruter Awards. We will also be inducting three outstanding officials into our Hall of Fame.

Join us Friday, November 30 at the Hyatt Regency Columbus at 6:00 p.m. More information on the N.O.C. Awards and the banquet including the banquet flyer, please visit the USATF Certified Officials web page and you will see in the side bar menu Awards. If you have questions don’t hesitate to contact Scott Rose or Karen Krsak. Reservations are required.

IAAF News ~ Newsletter

The international Association of Athletics Federations has posted their monthly summary of IAAF news for September 2018. Click here to download your copy today.

Marty’s Training Tip

Usually in these tips I talk about some small aspect of our duties as officials that makes the job easier, more efficient, or enables you to conduct a competition well. Today I will do that… with a twist.

Halloween decorations are in the stores and on your neighbor’s mailbox. Costco has Christmas trees on display, and we all know that in between these events, Thanksgiving looms with its groaning table and post-meal coma. In short, the holiday season and the requisite winter padding for our frames is upon us. We also know that January is when indoor season ramps up, that runs through the end of March, then outdoor season is rapidly upon us in April and runs until August. We don’t have time to breathe the first eight months of the year (and that is if you haven’t already started cross country season by now)!

So when do we take care of ourselves and get in shape for track season? Well, it has to start now. Jim Ryun had a great quote, “Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.” My goal for each of you this month, before the influx of candy, turkey, holiday baking, and cold dark days, is to start an exercise program now. You all know how much better you feel around the track when you aren’t dragging that extra winter poundage through a hot, humid day in June, and let’s face it, we aren’t getting any younger. Take this opportunity to start – walk, swim, bike, run, dance, yoga, martial arts. The method is up to you, just get out there and get moving. If you need motivation, go work a masters meet and realize that 80+ athlete could kick your tail in a sprint! Next season let’s make a goal to see a lot of each other, but for there for to be less of us to see.

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

National Outstanding Officials Awards

The association certification chairs have continued to submit their nominees for the 2018 National Outstanding Official Awards. We still have ten associations that have not submitted a name. The National Outstanding Official Award is an opportunity for the association to show appreciation to officials for their dynamic officiating, contributions to the organization and support to the athletes. This award is not to replace any local programs but in addition as this lets the National Officials Committee show support to you and your officials.

The Southwestern Associations recently presented their awards and have shared a picture of their outstanding officials. Thanks to Jim Carlisle for sharing and a big thank you to these officials for what they do to support USATF.

Front row, L-R Jann Bailey, Jayme Kiraly, Gerry Graves
Top Row, L-R Lester Mount, Mark Stephens, Mike Farish, Don Ostermann, David Collins

Certification chairs are encouraged to contact the N.O.C. Vice-Chair Awards with their respective nominees.

October Is National Learning and Development Month

National Learning and Development Month encourages us to focus on broadening and advancing our skills. It’s important as an official to keep learning. The beautiful thing about learning is no one can take it away from you. (BB King)

Next Olympiad USATF Rules Review

In preparation for the next Olympiad Rules Review David Fergus (Track & Field) will be coordinating questions along with Mary Onken (Combined Events), Patricia Hanna (Race Walk) and Lloyd Cornelius (LDR). If there are specific types of questions or topics you would like to see or not see, please email to the individuals below. Plans are to include more information relating to Masters and Youth.

    David Fergus -
    Mary Onken -
    Tricia Hanna -
    Lloyd Cornelius -

As always, feel free to contact me with any questions or if you are interested in helping.

You can contact Laurie Boemker at or 401-286-9281.

USATF Rule of the Month

Section VIII – Cross Country, Mountain and Trail Running
1. Rule 252.1 - Start 

Cross country and mountain running races shall be started by the activation of a suitable starting device. The commands for races longer than 400m should be used. See Rule 162.8. However, where a race will be started using a different procedure, such procedure should be clearly conveyed to all competitors either in writing or by public address announcement. A race may be recalled upon a false start or a fall which impacts the field within the first 100m.

2. Section Ii-B - Masters Long Distance Running
Rule 341.2 - Masters Long Distance Championships 

Masters Championships may be held at any distance of one mile or longer off the track (i.e., road, trail, mountain or cross country), and at any distance longer than 10,000 meters on the track.

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Are You Getting in Shape?


Important Deadlines

  • October 15: National Championship Application due
  • October 29: Boathouse Sports Store closes

Coming Next Issue

Next month the focus of the newsletter will be on what to expect at the Annual Meeting.

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.

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