USATF Officials Newsletter - January 2018

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January, 2018

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Notes from the Desk of Our Chair


From now through July, we are in our busiest time of year. I want to encourage you to Be Safe, Be Professional, and Be Athlete-Centered. Athletes of all ages will benefit from your service and expertise. I hope that both your Indoor and Outdoor seasons are rewarding.

2018 USATF Membership: As of January 1, approximately 1,500 officials were no longer actively certified because their USATF membership expired at the end of 2017. 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.

Young Officials Grant: The deadline to apply for our Young Officials Grants was Dec. 20. This year we have 31 applications for the 15 available grants. That is the most we have ever had! I especially want to thank those who encouraged these officials to apply. Decisions on the recipients will be made in the next couple of weeks.

Young Officials Committee: At the 2017 USATF Annual Meeting, the National Officials Committee amended our Operating Procedures to add a Young Officials Sub-Committee. The purpose of this group is "to develop and implement programs for the recruitment, training, mentoring, and retention of new and young officials throughout USATF." Monica Joannes of the Missouri Valley Association has agreed to Chair this Sub-Committee.

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. There is also a Demographic Report of the selection posted on-line here.

Officials Under-18: The N.C.O. is working with the USATF national office on a program for those who would like to officiate but are not yet 18 years old. Those discussions are still ongoing. We will keep you updated on the process.

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. 21, there are 590 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.

You can contact Mike Armstrong via email at

2017 N.O.C. Chair Awards

During the 2017 USATF National Official’s Committee Award Banquet and Official’s Hall of Fame Inductions ceremony the Chair Awards were presented by our Chair, Mike Armstrong. The 2017 Chair Award winners were:

Chair Awards

  • Laurie Boemker ~ New England Association
  • Ron Boemker ~ New England Association
  • Connie Brand ~ Missouri Valley Association
  • Roger Burbage ~ North Carolina Association
  • Desiree Friedman ~ National Office
  • Patricia Hanna ~ Ozark Association
  • Mark Heckel ~ Three Rivers Association
  • Len Krsak ~ Ohio Association
  • Gloria Louis ~ Southern Association
  • Wanda McNeil ~ Ozark Association
  • Richard Schornstein ~ Colorado Association

Thank you for your contributions to USATF National Officials Committee and USATF. It is truly appreciated.

Best Practices Library

The Best Practices and Resources library has over 200 valuable documents, ranging from one page “cheat sheets”, to clinic presentations, to lengthy monographs on our various officiating disciplines. In 2017 we added or updated more than 40 of these items. Visit the library at this link.

Throws Safety

With the indoor season upon us, it’s wise to review protocols for safety when conducting throws events. Please see the “Throws Safety Considerations” page in the Throws section of the Best Practices. Event heads should review this with every crew member and volunteer at every meet. Let’s make this a safe year!


We will again have evaluations of officials working at the USATF indoor and outdoor national championships, at the Masters indoor and outdoor championships, and the Junior Olympics. Event head officials will prepare two evaluations on their crew members:

  1. A selection recommendation - for the USATF Selection Committee for next year’s championship meets – seen only by the Selection Committee.
  2. A performance appraisal - for feedback to the official on their performance at that meet – seen only by the official being evaluated.

We’re working with on-lineto create the means for officials to view their evaluations online, but for now they may request a copy from the Evaluations Subcommittee – send an e-mail to:

USATF Rules Changes Made Simpler

This is not the official report of the Rules Committee and does not in some cases have the exact language of the new rules but summarizes the change. I am sending this to hopefully give you a simpler “guide” that highlights the basics of what happened at the Annual Meeting. In those areas you officiate, you should review the new rules in their entirety. ** If you plan to print this document, it is set up with 1” margins on all sides. As always, anyone finding mistakes or needing clarification can contact me through email at

Plans are the on-line2018 Competition Rule Book will be available online by 1/10/2018. I'm guessing they will try to get it to print and have some available for the Indoor Championships. Although not a "Rules" Year, there were a large number of changes including IPC (Para) amendments.

Click here to download your copy of "Rules Made Simpler".

Laurie Boemker, Officials’ Vice-Chair – Rules

USATF Rules Review Survey

As promised, the complete results of the rules survey can be found at the link below. Officials overall agreed with the current reviews design. Some of the areas for consideration to improve rules reviews are as follows:

  1. Have reviews available sooner
  2. Role of review for levels and upgrades
  3. Simplify the reviews - grouping skills, Masters, Youth, NCAA, sequence, etc.
  4. Construct sentences carefully to enhance audience's comprehension
  5. Construct formats (multiple choice, true & false) to enhance learning outcomes
  6. Include short essays rather than long ones
  7. Length of reviews (comments varied at Certification Levels)
  8. Optional supplemental NCAA review regarding differences

Again, thank you to all who participated in the survey. A special thank you goes to Mike Trego for compiling ALL of the results. Download your copy of the Rules Review Survey Results.

USATF Rule of the Month - Relay Races, Rule 170.3 (New)

In the 4x100m, the 4x200m, the first and second exchanges in the ‘Swedish’ Medley and the outdoor Sprint Medley relays, each takeover zone shall be 30m long, of which the scratch line is 20m from the start of the zone. For the third exchange in the ‘Swedish’ Medley Relay and in the 4x400m and longer relays each exchange zone shall be 20m long of which the scratch line is the center.............

Thanks to Jim Hanley (NCAA & High School Passing Zones) and Bob Springer (Exchange Zone Q & A), both have put something together regarding the new relay rules to help reduce any confusion.


IAAF Rule of the Month - Starter's Assistants, Rule 130.1

The Starter’s Assistants shall check that the athletes are competing in the correct heat or race and that their bibs are worn correctly.

* This is the Clerk of Course responsibility under USATF. 

Did You Know?

The Stone Put is still a modern-day event. Similar to the Shot Put, a large stone of variable weight is often used instead of a steel ball. There are also some differences in allowable techniques and rules.

Open Stone Put

  • Stone weighs between 16 and 22 pounds (men)
  • Stone weighs between 8 and 12 pounds (women)
  • Put with one hand and stone resting cradled in the neck until the moment of release
  • Any style of throwing is permitted

Braemer Stone Put

  • Stone weighs between 20 and 26 pounds (men)
  • Stone weighs between 13 and 18 pounds (women)
  • Put with one hand and stone resting cradled in the neck until the moment of release
  • Must be thrown from a standing position

January is National Mentoring Month

Thanks to all Officials who have provided support and guidance, including helping our new and next generation of officials. Don't forget to celebrate your role as a mentor. Please continue passing the baton and making a lasting difference.

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Be Safe, Be Professional, Be Athlete-Centered


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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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