USATF Officials Newsletter - December, 2017

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December, 2017

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Notes from the Desk of Our Chair

2017 USATF Annual Meeting: 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: Vice-Chairs, Committee Chairs, clinicians, committee members, those who shared their opinions and perspectives, and those who pitched in to help. I am excited about the direction that the National Officials Committee is heading and what is in our future. You can find much of the meeting documented on the Annual Meeting Document Library. Plan now to be back in Columbus for next year's meeting on Nov. 28 through Dec. 2.

Young Officials Grant: The deadline to apply for our Young Officials Grants is Dec. 20. 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 N.O.C. web page.

2018 USATF Championship Selections: Official selections for the 2018 USATF Junior and Senior Championships are now posted on-line at Thank you to all who applied. As always, we had more qualified applicants than we had positions available.

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

2018 USATF Outdoor Championship Sites: As of the publication of this newsletter, sites for the Junior (June 15-17) and Senior (June 22-24) Outdoor Championships have not been announced.

National Officials Shirt: Just a reminder that, as of Dec. 11, there are 612 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.

Plan now for future meets: There are exciting days ahead for track and field in the US with the 2021 IAAF World Championships and the 2028 Olympic Games on the calendar. These are meets that many desire to officiate and for which hundreds will apply. If that is your desire, whether you are a new or experienced official, begin to take steps now to position yourself to be considered for these competitions. Though there is never a guarantee of selection, as there are always more qualified applicants than spots available, there are things you can do to position yourself for consideration. Some of these things are:

  • Travel to meets outside of your association. Traveling allows you to see how events are run in other places and learn how to function as a part of a team of officials from different places. This can include NCAA meets, conference championship meets, and major relay meets.
  • Work USATF Youth, Junior Olympic, and Masters Championship meets. These meets give you a chance to work in a championship setting. They also allow other officials get a sense of your abilities so that you aren't just a name on an application, but a known official. Most of these meets also include evaluations by head officials which provide valuable information to selection committees and to you on how to improve as an official.
  • Build your resume' in a variety of areas. There are some events that require fewer officials than others. It is wise to be experienced in multiple areas so that there are more spots that you can fill. But make sure that your resume' reflects that you have worked and are knowledgeable in the areas for which you apply.
  • Begin applying now and continue to apply. Don't be discouraged if you aren't selected. It is not unusual for officials to not be selected every year. But if you don't apply you can't be selected.

You can contact Mike Armstrong via email at

National Officials Awards Ceremony and Hall of Fame Induction Banquet

The 2017 USATF National Official’s Committee Award Banquet and Hall of Fame Inductions ceremony was attended by 240 guests at the Hyatt Regency in Columbus, Ohio. This year’s award winners were:

N.O.C. Awards Recipients 

  • Lori Maynard Award: Patricia Hanna, USATF Ozark
  • James Grey Award: Donald P. Berry, USATF Maine
  • John Davis Award: Richard Robert, USATF Southern California
  • Charles Ruter Award: Tiffany Chin Aleong, USATF Southwestern
  • Horace Crow Award: Kathy McLymond, USATF Niagara
  • Andy Bakjian Award: Roger Burbage, USATF North Carolina

Hall of Fame Inductees 

  • Tom Hott, USATF Arizona
  • David Katz, USATF New York
  • Richard Messenger, USATF West Virginia
  • Robert P. Tice, USATF North Carolina

Congratulations to each and every one of these deserving individuals.

As the 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 work this year to make it a fantastic banquet.

In addition, I would like to thank a few that worked during the banquet. Ken Morton (Kentucky) and David Clark (Kentucky) for taking pictures, Randy Hopkins (Colorado) for the video, Linda Melzer (Ohio), Win Eggers (Illinois), Sue Polansky (Long Island) and Ken Morton for decorating the tables.

A special thank you to Ron Clarke (PVA) and his ushers, Sue Polansky (Long Island), Warren House (PVA), Cindy Slayton (Georgia), Dan Reynolds (Arizona), Gail Barna (North Carolina) and Earl Edwards (Mid-Atlantic) and Don Berry (Maine) who manned the will-call table. It couldn’t have been done without their help. Check out their pic below.

Best Practices – Clerking

Calling all clerks to share your expertise with the next generation of officials by providing your “Tips of the Trade.” These “tips” would consist of your ideas, procedures, and practices that you use to provide efficient and successful clerking. Jim Smyth (North Carolina Association) is collecting these tips to develop a “Best Practice” document which newer clerks can use to speed up their learning curve. All clerks can benefit when you share those unique “ways to do things” that you have learned over time. Please e-mail your proposals to Jim at

Examples of "Tips of the Trade": 

  • If the meet is on a rolling schedule, establish athlete report back and clerk escort times based on the start of other track events.
  • Be sure that the line clerk, and all who escort athletes, have extra hip numbers.

Contact Jim Smyth today and be a part of this project.

N.O.C. Newsletter Subscription Link

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Final USATF Rules Committee Scorecard

The Final Scorecard regarding the Proposed Amendments is at the link below. There will be a few editorial and housekeeping changes. Plans are that the 2018 USATF Competition Rule Book will be available online by the first week in January.   

The January N.O.C. Newsletter will highlight the major rule/amendment changes.

USATF Rule of the Month

Rule 180.11(c) - Editorial Change for Clarification Accepted 

In the High Jump and Pole Vault, any change in the time period allowed for a trial shall not be applied until the bar is raised to a new height, except the time specified for consecutive trials shall be applied whenever any athlete has two or more consecutive trials within or between a bar height. . .

Did You Know?

The standing high jump was an athletic event that was featured in the Olympics from 1900 to 1912. It was performed in the same way as the high jump; with the difference being the athlete had no run-up and must stand still and jump with both feet together.


The new IAAF rule book is available at the following link:

Have Fun Out There


Important Deadlines

  • Young Officials Travel Grant: Deadline this year is December 20.

Coming Next Issue

  • major rule/amendment changes
  • results of rule review survey.

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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