USATF Officials Newsletter - August 2019

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August 2019

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Notes from the Desk of the Chair

Current USATF Certified Officials: The latest report shows around 5,000 Certified Officials. However, there are at least another thousand who have let either their USATF membership or Background Screen expire. If you have any questions about your certification, contact your Association Certification Chair.

USATF National Championship Applications: Next month, applications will be open to National and Master officials for the 2020 USATF Championship meets. These meets include the Senior Indoor Championships, the U-20 Outdoor Championships, and the US Olympic Trials. Please make sure your certification is current - including your Background Screen - and that your membership profile has a correct email address. I would also encourage you to apply for more than one of the meets. Just applying for one does not increase your chances of selection. If you have any questions, let me know.

USATF Annual Meeting Schedule: This year's Annual Meeting will be in Reno, NV on Dec. 4-8. Details on N.O.C. meetings, events, and clinics will be posted soon. Make plans to join us!

You can contact Mike Armstrong via email at

Marty’s Training Tip

Hi Folks,

The summer track season is almost over. The major US championships have all been held, and except for a few international meets for our US teams and Diamond League athletes, it’s time to rest, recuperate, and most of all – LEARN.

What did we learn over the past season? Every meet I work, whether as an official, crew chief, or referee is an opportunity to learn. Sometimes I pick up tips that I immediately incorporate into my own preparations and techniques. Sometimes I modify what I have seen elsewhere and make it more user friendly. Sometimes I find out that I never want to do that again! With that in mind, let’s look at a few areas.

Throws: I recently worked a . . . Continue reading . . .

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

IAAF Rule Change Impact on World Para Athletic Rules by Carroll DeWeese

World Para Athletics (WPA) typically follows and implements IAAF rule changes with only those modifications needed to provide fair competition for specific disabilities and limitations of para athletes. For para ambulatory athletes the WPA rules are virtually the same. The differences between IAAF and WPA rules are greater with those athletes doing seated throws.

On June 8, 2019, the IAAF approved some new rule changes. WPA has not yet adopted any of these changes but can be expected to implement many of them before the end of this year. When WPA adopts and implements rule changes, other para athletics governing bodies will likely follow.

The following link gives all the changes in IAAF rules adopted in on June 8:

The IAAF rule changes provide a guide to potential changes in USATF and WPA rules for the future. Anyone acting as a para athletics official needs to be familiar with and understand IAAF rules. In most instances, the only difference between IAAF and WPA rules is the adaptations needed to provide fair competition for various classes of para athletes.

NCAA Rules Corner ~ Rules Interpretations

We have been advised that there will be no new rule interpretation updates until this Fall when the cross country kicks off. Those wishing to review the updates that Mark Kostek posted during the past year may still visit the rules blog at The last posted update was May 7, 2019.

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

Focus on the IAAF: Important Changes Coming by Betsy Reed

In June, the Council of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) voted to approve a change in the organization’s name, and its logos. At the biennial meeting of the Congress in September, right before the world championships begin in Doha, Qatar, the membership will vote to change the name of the international federation that governs our sport. The change will become official after the world championships end, and the IAAF will become World Athletics.

The rebranding process began in 2018, and the members of the Council voted to make the change in part to help the organization move forward in the twenty-first century. Lord Sebastian Coe, President of the IAAF said, “The hope is that our new brand will help attract and engage a new generation of young people to athletics. We have now created a brand that can come to life in the digital world while reflecting the changing nature of the sport. And at the same time bring into focus the athletes, the heroes of our sport.”

The organization’s new logo incorporates several important elements. As noted by the IAAF, “The logo design is comprised of three main elements: the 'W' of World, which is also a symbol of an athlete's arms raised in victory; the 'A' of Athletics, which also represents an athlete's focus as they prepare for the road ahead; and an arc over both to represent the entire athletics community coming together. The logo also includes the sweep of a running track which appears in an upward trajectory, symbolizing the desire to continually push beyond limits. The patterns capture the energy present in all four of athletics' group disciplines: running, jumping, throwing and walking.”

This is the new logo:


IAAF News ~ July 2019 Newsletter

The International Association of Athletics Federations has emailed the IAAF News Edition 205 dated July 31, 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.

Turbo Jav Screamer(tm) Update from Bob Springer and Ivars Ikstrums

We have had a Turbo Jav Screamer(tm) presented for a meet as a mini-javelin. There is a part that is easily removed, but that would be weighed in micrograms and so is not a concern. There are batteries in the javelin, but they are not easily removed and so we have determined that the Screamer (tm) is legal as long as it meets specifications at the meet.

This Turbo Jav is meant to make noise as it flies and so can be annoying.

The stock "normal" mini jav has a small plastic cap that covers a hole in the back end of the javelin.

When a Screamer was first presented to us, we noticed the sound that it made (obviously), and further inspection revealed that the cap was missing. Our first impulse was to suspect that a home-made modification had been made.

Some research indicated the noise function was a factory-installed feature, and that enabling or disabling the noise required the mini-jav to be disassembled, which is not something a competitor would do during a jav event. And the aft-end cap was intentionally missing so the noise could be better heard.

Questions regarding this Turbo Jav can be sent to Bob Springer or Ivars Ikstrums

Miscellaneous Tidbits from Our N.O.C. Secretary

Officials’ Best Practices: Our Best Practices & Resources library has over 180 useful documents in it, but we’re always looking for ideas on how to improve the content. If you have suggestions for changes to an existing paper, or for a new topic, please send those to the Best Practices Editor, Rich Schornstein at .

Also, check out the following documents which were recently updated. Each item has a current date at the bottom of the document; check any copies you’ve made to ensure you have the most recent version in hand. Visit the Best Practices Library to see all our resources.

  • Clerking - USATF Rules
  • Evaluations - Templates for Crew Members & for Event Heads
  • Officials’ Coordinators - Officials’ Pre-Meet Notes
  • High Jump - Instructions & Rules – USATF; Rules Comparison
  • Throws - Instructions & Rules – USATF; Ultraweight Instructions & Rules

Certification Chair Guide: Certification Chairs should be sure to read through the newest version of the Certification Chair Guide for helpful information and tips on certification matters. See the Guide at this link.

Certification Upgrades: With much of the track & field year behind us, if you believe you may now be eligible for an upgrade in your certification level, check the upgrade criteria at this link,  and then contact your association Certification Chair to determine how to proceed.

Uniforms: Be sure to look over the revised content on the Officials’ Uniforms page at this link.

Recruiting New Officials: All of us are aware of the need to continually recruit new, young, enthusiastic individuals to become certified officials. We have a handy bi-fold recruiting brochure to help you in your recruiting efforts; see it in the Best Practices Libraryunder Recruiting & Mentoring.

Alabama Association Notes from Dora Sims

Greetings from Alabama,

This month, we are continuing to see great strides in membership and increase in officials being certified. We are a Team working to make Alabama one of the best places for athletes to compete with the best and finest officials across the state making it “Sweet Home Alabama.”.

Certification Chair, Connie T. McClinton, reported 36 certified officials at the USATF Alabama Meet in June. She held an EDM Clinic on the Horizontals Saturday, and went live testing training of the EDM working the total station and electronic recorder with the Shot Put. Cert Chair reported 80 Certified Officials a diverse mixture of Apprentices, Association, National and Master Level. Cert. Chair just returned from the USATF Toyota Outdoor Championships 7/25-28 in Des Moines, IA on the EDM Crew featured in the photo above. Great things are continuing to happen in Sweet Home Alabama.

To download the entire newsletter from Dora and the Alabama Association, click here . . .

USATF Rule of the Month from Laurie Boemker

Field Events - Markers ~ Rule 146.4, 146.5 and 146.6 

180.23 (a) No marks shall be placed on a runway, but a competitor may place one or two markers, supplied or approved by the Games Committee, alongside the runway to assist in the run-up or take-off. If such markers are not supplied, a competitor may use adhesive tape but not chalk or similar substance or anything that leaves indelible marks. For the High Jump, markers may be placed in the runway apron.

*One or two markers would include the Javelin.

180.24 For throws made from a circle, a competitor may use one marker only. This marker may be placed only on the ground in the area immediately behind or adjacent to the circle. The marker must be temporary, in position only for the duration of each competitor’s own trial, and shall not impair the view of the judges. No personal markers may be placed in or beside the landing area.

*For IAAF, the Rule is 180.3 (a) (b) 


180.3 (a) - In all Field Events where a runway is used, markers shall be placed alongside it, except for High Jump where the markers can be placed on the runway. An athlete may use one or two markers (supplied or approved by the Organizers) to assist him in his run-up and take-off. If such markers are not supplied, he may use adhesive tape but not chalk or similar substance nor anything which leaves indelible marks.

180.3 (b) - For throws made from a circle, an athlete may use one marker only. This marker may be placed only on the ground in the area immediately behind or adjacent to the circle. It must be temporary, in position only for the duration of each athlete’s own trial, and shall not impair the view of the Judges. No personal markers may be placed in or beside the landing area. Note: Each marker shall be composed of a single piece only.

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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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