USATF Newsletter - September 2020

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Sept., 2020

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N.O.C. Executive Committee Elections for 2020

According to our National Officials Committee Operating Procedures, 2020 is an election year for four national offices: Chair, Secretary, Vice-Chair of Rules, and Vice-Chair of Training. Each of these offices has a four-year term. The nomination letter and nomination form are attached to this newsletter. Nominations are now being accepted and should be sent to Valarie Langley-Foss and Lillian Mahoney. The instructions can be found in the nomination letter. Nominations will also be taken from the floor. Though we do not know at this time if the USATF Annual Meeting will be held in person or virtually, it is our plan to hold our elections if at all possible.

2020 Nominating Committee Letter
Nomination Form 2020



Announcement of the National Officials Hall of Fame 2020 Class

The National Officials Committee wishes to congratulate the 2020 Class for the Officials Hall of Fame. The voting was incredible and we have selected an outstanding class. The plan of course would be to welcome them into the fraternity of members currently in the hall. However 2020 is a very different year and we will wait for a final decision on how the annual meeting will be held. However that does not stop us from the announcement of the class. Please make sure you reach out and congratulate each of these outstanding officials. They are in alpha order listed below:

     Jim Hume, Pacific Association
     Delores Murray, Southwestern Association
     John Murray, Pacific Association
     Fred Newhouse, Gulf Association
     Eric Smith, Kentucky Association

Karen Krsak
Chair, National Officials Hall of Fame


USATF 2021-2024 Officials' Certification Rules Reviews

The USATF 2021-2024 Officials' Certification Rules Reviews are available. The paper version has been finalized. The online Basic Rules Review is available. The other online rules review versions have a few updates and should be available soon. For specific requirements and access to the reviews, please contact your Association Certification Chair. As of 9/1, they are not available on the USATF website. The target date in the past for USATF to have them on their website is November 1st.

Laurie Boemker
USATF NOC Vice-Chair Rules



In last month’s Training Tips there were two noticeable errors:

  1. I mistakenly identified Michael Serralta as the NACAC President. Mike Sands is the NACAC President. Michael Serralta is the NACAC Director of Competition. Apologies have been tendered to both gentlemen, and they have been graciously accepted. I apologize for any confusion this caused.
  2. In my Tip, I wrote that the pole vault zero line was 10 cm wide – the pole vault zero line is 10mm wide. Apparently, I can’t type.

Martin Johnson
USATF NOC Vice-Chair Training


Marty’s Training Tip


After my last Training Tip, I received emails from several officials telling me about how they teach new officials the background of rules to help them understand. That is exactly the type of conversation I hope to start with these Tips. I am not the be-all and end-all for training methods and rules interpretations, and even though I have been doing this for over 35 years, I still enjoy learning from folks around the country and hearing how they go about the work of training, inspiring, and mentoring new and existing officials. Now, let’s take a look at a few more rules and see how they came to be.

False starts – For those of us that deal with NFHS, NCAA or USATF Open competitions, the false start rule is pretty clear: one and you’re done. However, there are caveats to that rule for a very good reason.

Have a great day, and as always, if you have any suggestions for new training tips, please forward them to me at


September Para Update by Carroll DeWeese

Information and updates on USA Paralympics Track and Field can be found at the following website:

USA Paralympics Track and Field post an email newsletter intended for coaches and para athletes but sometimes contains information useful for officials. You can get on the list to receive it by contacting can asking to be added to the distribution list. Please provide your name and email address and indicate that you are an official interested in receiving it. If you have any questions about what is happening with USA Paralympics Track and Field you can also contact them ar the same email address

Now, not much is happening at the USA or International level. Due to Covid-19, few meets around the world are occurring or scheduled at this time.


N.O.C. Awards Nominations are Closed; The Nominees are . . .

The N.O.C Vice Chair of Awards, Gordon Bocock and his dedicated awards committee have really been busy this summer for they have put together a total of 150 nominations for six awards. Click on the award’s name below to view all the nominees.

     The Andy Bakjian”, Sponsored by the Southern California Association
     The Horace Crow”, Sponsored by the Pacific Association
     The Charles Ruter”, Sponsored by the Kentucky Association
     The John Davis”, Sponsored by the Illinois Association
     The James Grey”, Sponsored by the Maine Association
     The Lori Maynard”, Sponsored by the National Race Walk Committee

Congratulations and good luck to each of the nominees.

You can contact Gordon Bocock via email at


State Association Profile ~ USATF New Mexico Association

Geographic area covered by the Association: The entire state of New Mexico.

The number of USATF Certified Officials: 40

Recent training clinics for officials: Our last clinic was held at one of the libraries in Rio Rancho, NM. ALL officials are encouraged to use “Best Practices” modules to be better prepared at their positions. We have recently added the Power Point presentations developed by Mike Armstrong for Association officials to use as a reference.

Activities to recruit new officials: Current officials are asked to actively recruit new officials when and where they can. Word of mouth does work. We have added six new officials since mid-2019, including one “youth” official. USATF New Mexico pays the Official’s certification fee and provides one free year of USATF membership in return for the person serving as a Certified Official for one year.

We actively recruit college athletes at meets to assist with USATF youth summer meets. We hopefully retain them after graduation. We also have our current officials recruit as they are working meets. We are currently in the process of beginning a campaign to recruit graduating, or soon to graduate, high school and college athletes, and provide an extensive training and mentoring program for them.

Contact person for questions about the New Mexico Association: Rhiny Williams,, (575) 748-6487.

What Association will Phil Sutton be featuring next month’s newsletter? Please check back to see if it is your association.


Newsletters from the Associations

If you would like to share your association’s newsletter, we would be happy to include it. Just reply to this newsletter or send it to the following:


World Athletics News ~ August, 2020 Newsletter

The World Athletics (formerly international Association of Athletics Federations) has posted their monthly summary of World Athletics news dated August 27, 2020, Edition 215. Click here to download your copy today.


Laurie’s USATF Rule of the Month

THE START - Rule 162.18

In races with more than 12 competitors that do not start in lanes, competitors may be divided into two groups with one group of approximately two-thirds of the competitors on the regular arced starting line and the other group on a separate arced starting line marked across the outer half of the track. The outer group shall run as far as the end of the first turn on the outer half of the track. See Rule 160.9.

* When competitors are divided in two groups, we often call them alley starts, barrel starts or double waterfall starts. The regular arced starting line or curve line includes all of the lanes (for two-thirds competitors) and the arc starts with Lane One. Sometimes lane one is open. The second arced starting line (for one-third competitors) starts halfway across the track. On a track with an odd number of lanes the arc begins in the middle lane. For example, if there are nine lanes the arced starting line begins in lane five. Please note, the Games Committee or Referee can make appropriate changes involving races with more than 12 competitors. 


* Congratulations Jim, Delores, John, Fred and Eric *


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Important Deadlines

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  • You Are Late: Complete online SafeSport review

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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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