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July 2019

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Notes from the Desk of the Chair

I hope you are getting a chance to catch your breath in the midst of a busy outdoor season. While you do that . . .

  • I want to thank those officials who worked their Association Championships. Those meets are the "grassroots" of our sport and require a lot of officials to run well and provide the quality opportunities to compete that those athletes deserve. The same is true of the USATF Regional Junior Olympic meets that are coming up in the next couple of weeks. I have never known those meets to have enough officials. Please consider making yourself available to help.
  • I want to announce a couple of appointments to Chair National Officials Committee Sub-Committees: Mica Barton of the Southwestern Association will Chair the Ethics and Goals Sub-Committee and Vicki Rowland of the Kentucky Association will Chair the Safety Sub-Committee. If you have any interest in these areas, please make yourself available to help them.
  • Finally, be safe out there. Be aware of the safety issues that are inherent in our sport. Be watchful and proactive. Communicate with one another, as well as with volunteers, spectators, media, and anyone else who is in the area of the event. And be aware of the weather-related issues that arise during the hot summer months. Hydrate. Use sunscreen. Watch out for one another. And if the heat is getting to you, talk to your crew and find some relief.

You can contact Mike Armstrong via email at

National Official’s Hall of Fame Nominations Closed

The nominations are now set for voting for the National Officials Hall of Fame for 2019. The winners will be inducted during the Friday night banquet that will be held during the USATF Annual Meeting to be held in Reno, Nevada.

The candidates are in alphabetically order:

  • Doug Allen
  • Roger Burbage
  • John Chaplin
  • Carroll DeWeese
  • Lane Dowell
  • Marty Goldberg - Deceased
  • Jim Hume
  • Sonny Maynard
  • Delores Murray
  • Fred Newhouse
  • Bill Reeves - Decreased
  • Larry Seifert
  • John Shirey
  • Eric Smith
  • Elinor Tootle

Please plan on getting your ticket early and join us in Reno for an evening where our National Officials Chair will be handing out his awards, the induction ceremony for our new Hall of Fame class and rounding out the evening with our National Awards to deserving officials for their hard work on and off of the field.

Karen Krsak
Chair, National Officials Hall of Fame

Marty’s Training Tip

Hi Folks,

It’s time again for another edition of Marty’s Training Tips. In the last couple of months I have worked meets in Iowa, Oklahoma, Colorado, Texas, and North Carolina. These meets have included youth, high school, NCAA conference championships, NCAA national championships, and the New Balance Outdoor. Every one of these meets lasted multiple days, and no matter the level of competition or the quality of the athletes involved, they all had to stay on schedule in order to give the athletes a fair chance to compete.

That means that TIME is a very valuable commodity.

As officials, we set the pace for the meet. Clerks make sure the athletes are checked in and report to the venues on schedule. Starters begin races as planned to make sure the athletes know when to complete warm ups. Hurdle crews and Umpires make sure the proper barriers are in place (and in the right place!) for races on the track. All of that is very obvious to parents and coaches in the stands, but what they may not see is what happens before the meet, and what happens in the field events.

As officials, we are obviously not in this sport to make money. Most of have worked for years with a sandwich or piece of cold pizza as our only reward, and even now that stipends have become the norm, they still don’t equate to much on an hourly basis. Let’s face it, when you spend ten or more hours at a meet for $50, you could have made more working fast food! So while the stipends are much appreciated, and they do help offset the cost of gas and tolls, we are still primarily volunteers that donate our time and talents.

So . . . if you are going to donate that much time, let’s talk about how to use it wisely. Continue reading . . .

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

Para Athletics Reference Guide by Carroll DeWeese

The USATF National Officials Committee and the NOC Training Subcommittee put together a quick official’s reference guide for conducting track and field meets. Phil Galli and several other para athletics officials modified it to assist officials as a handy reference on major rules and officiating mechanics for use when working para athletics meets. The modified guide is designed to address events conducted under World Para Athletics (WPA) & Adaptive Track & Field USA (ATFUSA) rules. The guide is not meant to replace the WPA or ATFUSA Rule Books or Best Practices. The guide is still in draft form, but it is still useful for its intended purpose. It can be views or downloaded at the following link: (

NCAA Rules Corner ~ Rules Interpretations

Check out the most recent NCAA interpretations at Last update was May 7, 2019 which means there have been no updates since our last edition.

If you find this helpful, please let Mark Kostek know.

IAAF News ~ May 2019 Newsletter

The international Association of Athletics Federations has emailed the IAAF News Edition 204 dated June 28, 2019 to their subscribers. As of this writing, this edition has not been posted their webpage. You can click here to download your copy today.

NFHS Rule Changes from Laurie Boemker

The Link below lists the recent NFHS Rule Changes. Some of those changes are also mentioned.

Changes to Rules 5-3-3 and 5-3-4 expand the exchange zone in relays with legs of 200 meters or less from 20 to 30 meters. All exchange zones for races with legs longer than 200 meters will remain at 20 meters.

The rule change does not require that tracks be repainted or resurfaced in order to follow the new NFHS rules. Existing acceleration zone markings, such as triangles, squares or colored tape, placed at that location may be used to denote the beginning of the exchange zones on a track.

Rule 6-2-6 has been amended to prohibit athletes from running backwards or in the opposite direction (non-legal direction) during warm-ups on horizontal jumps, pole vault and javelin runways.

Thanks to Don Berry for keeping me on my toes.

USATF Rule of the Month from Laurie Boemker

PROTESTS - Regarding Starts ~ Rule 146.4, 146.5 and 146.6 

146.4 - In races where a start information system is used, if an immediate oral protest is made regarding a decision by the Starter to charge a false start, the Referee may, if in any doubt, allow an athlete to compete under protest in order to protect the rights of all concerned and provide the time required to determine if the information provided by the system is obviously inaccurate and other evidence is inconclusive with regard to the commencement of the start. For an athlete allowed to compete under protest, a red and white (diagonally halved) card shall be raised in front of the athlete. NOTE: After being allowed to compete under a false start protest, all future false starts charged to the same athlete in the same race shall be treated independently. If in this case a subsequent false start results in disqualification, the Referee may declare all of the athlete’s previous false start protests invalid. 

146.5 - A protest may be based on the failure of the Starter to recall a false start, or under Rule 162.17 to abort a start. The protest may be made only by, or on behalf of, an athlete who has completed the race. If the protest is upheld, any athlete who committed the false start or whose conduct should have led to the start being aborted, and who was subject to warning or disqualification according to Rule 162.12 or Rule 162.17, shall be warned or disqualified. Whether or not there is any warning or disqualification, the Referee shall have the authority to declare the event or part of the event void and that it or part of it shall be held again if in his or her opinion justice demands it. NOTE: The right of protest and appeal for Rule 146.5 shall apply whether or not a start information system is used. 

146.6 - If a protest or appeal is based on a competitor’s incorrect exclusion from an event due to a false start and it is upheld after the completion of the race then the competitor should be afforded the opportunity to run on their own to record a time in the event and consequently, if applicable, be advanced to subsequent event rounds. No competitor should be advanced to a subsequent event round without competing in all event rounds unless the Referee or Jury of Appeal determines otherwise in the particular circumstances of the case, e.g. the shortness of time before the next event round or the length of the race. NOTE: This Rule may also be applied by the Referee or the Jury of Appeal in other circumstances where it is deemed appropriate. See Rule 163.4. 

IAAF Rule of the Month from Betsy Reed, IAAF NTO Subcommittee

Record Requirements

Most officials dream of having an athlete set a world record during a competition we work. But would you know what was required for the performance to qualify? Most of us know that three officials must verify a measurement in a field event, and a throwing implement must be immediately re-inspected to ensure it (still) conforms to the event’s specifications. However, the process involves more than just those steps.

Each issue of the IAAF newsletter contains a section Word Record Watch. Currently, eight marks appear as Pending Ratification, including four set in the United States. In the same section is another heading, Rejected or Unratifiable. In the most recent issue, the IAAF identified five performances that bettered (or equaled) records, but will not be recognized. Two came on the same day and involved race walks that did not include any international judges, making it a non-starter. Two applications could not be considered because the required anti-doping test did not occur, or did not conform to the requirements, and the last one failed because, “No ’zero control' test of the starting equipment was conducted, as required by IAAF Rule 260.14a.” [Recent history in the United States has included the denial of record applications for both of these reasons. A new zero test must be conducted any time the timing system is shut down, and unless documentation shows it was left on, a new test should be conducted before each session (morning/afternoon/evening) begins.]

One requirement for every application involves the certification of the facility. If the venue appears on the current IAAF approved list, the application is much simpler. However, only six facilities within the United States currently appear on the IAAF’s list of Certified Athletics Facilities, one indoor [Ocean Breeze Park in New York, host of the 2019 Indoor Championships], and five outdoor [the Ansin Sports Complex in Miramar, Florida (site of the 2019 U-20 Championships); the Hayes facility at Indiana University in Bloomington (host of the 2018 U-20 Championship); the Home Depot Center in Carson, CA; Hodges Stadium (University of North Florida) in Jacksonville, FL; and Faller Field/Middletown High School in Middletown, NY]. A facility not already certified must have a complete report filed that includes testing of the running surface, a surveyor’s report, and multiple other measures.

Thank You to the Monthly Contributors to this Newsletter


Important Links

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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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