USATF Officials Newsletter - February 2020

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February, 2020

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Notes from the Desk of the Chair

2020 USATF Membership: Please make sure that your USATF membership is renewed for 2020. A current membership is needed for certification, along with a current background screen and SafeSport certification.

Take the Time to Update Your SafeSport: If you have not completed SafeSport in 2018 or 2019, you will need to do that. You can renew at Also remember that, starting in 2020, an annual "refresher" course will be required. This will take 20-30 minutes to complete. The Refresher course will populate into your SafeSport profile 30 days after you complete the prerequisite course. Members should receive a communication from USATF with information on when their next SafeSport training is due.

2020 U20 National Championship Meet: At this time, the site for this meet has not been announced. World Athletics Rule Book Order Form: Some have asked about how to order a copy of the new World Athletics Competition Rules. Here is the order form.

Young Officials Grant Recipients: The N.O.C. annually awards grants of $500 to help officials age 40 and under to work USATF national championship meets and gain valuable experience. Congratulations to our 2020 recipients:

  • Lyndsay Barna, Mid-Atlantic Association
  • Andrew Barron, New England Association
  • Sasha Benjamin, Connecticut Association
  • Kristen Bradley, New Jersey Association
  • Jacob Clark, Nebraska Association
  • Lucas Cook, Iowa Association
  • Ryan Cowley, Pacific Association
  • Kewanna Donaldson, New York Association
  • Kekelly Ketemepi, New York Association
  • Ayoia Mirza, New Jersey Association
  • Timothy Odie, Southwestern Association
  • AmyLyn Schmidt, Utah Association
  • Rashonda Venyah, South Carolina Association
  • Akilah Webb, Georgia Association
  • Molly Winchenbach, Maine Association

Technical Manager and Implement Inspector Grants: This year the N.O.C. will award two $500 grants to Implement Inspectors and two $500 grants to Technical Managers to gain experience at championship meets. The evaluation of those applications is still in process. The recipients will be named soon.

You can contact Mike Armstrong via email at


Marty's Training Tip

I've done my fair share of traveling to meets all over the country. I've worked with officials that have decades of experience at high level meets, and I've worked with many that are in the first year or two doing meets at the local level. I've seen things I like, and things with which I disagree. With all of that, unless someone doesn't know the rules or willfully ignores them, I can be happy under most any condition.

Except. . .

Folks, we need to remember why we are here. No one, and I repeat this with emphasis, no one buys a ticket to watch the officials! As my good friend Dan Reynolds related in his Hall of Fame acceptance speech, even his mother didn't want to see him on TV during the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

When you attend an officiating clinic, as a new recruit or as an experienced official getting a little pre-season refresher training, you will hear every presenter say that our job is to make sure the event/competition is SAFE and FAIR. That is and always will be our number one priority, but what you don't hear all the time is that we also need to be "athlete centered" in our roles as officials.

Does being "athlete centered" mean that we let the athletes dictate how the event is run? NO!

Does it mean that we ignore the rules because "that was a really good throw/jump/time and they didn't foul by much"? NO!

Does it mean that we give preferential treatment to the top athlete(s) in the field and work the event around them? NO!

We still need to run the event safely, fairly, and efficiently. That means calling the rules all the time, no matter the level of competition, no matter the individual(s) involved, and following the correct, professional procedures.

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


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 sharing 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

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

Laurie Boemker, Officials" Vice-Chair - Rules


N.O.C. Hall of Fame Ring

To those who are currently in the National Officials Hall of Fame there is an opportunity to purchase a Hall of Fame ring from Joston. At the Annual Meeting in Reno we had a few that were wearing the ring. Hopefully you had an occasion to see the ring and how well they are done. If you are interested in purchasing one of the rings, please let me know via email at so I can send you an order form which will detail everything you need to know about ordering a ring.

Karen Krsak, Chair N.O.C. Hall of Fame


NOC Webpages Update from Rich

As noted in an earlier newsletter, our webpages on the updated USATF website involve a new appearance and method of navigating. Here are a few tips for you:

NOC Website - go to the website, on the top horizontal menu bar and click on "Programs" and then scroll down to the bottom right of the screen and click on "Officials." Or, go directly to then save the site as a bookmark to easily go back to it in the future.

Best Practices -“ from the officials' main page, click on "Resources & Best Practices". Then click on the appropriate icon for the general area you want. For example, if you wish to see the Best Practice document for Clerking, click on the "Track" icon. You'll now see four major headings. None of them have Best Practices listed under them, but if you click on any of them, you'll bring up a "booklet" with all of the documents for that heading. In our example, you would click on "Clerking" which brings up the Clerking booklet, and then click on the right hand arrow to see the index of documents, and find the specific document you want and note the page number. Now, either continue to click on the right hand arrow or use the small scrollbar at the bottom of the page to go to the document on page 15 in this instance. To prompt a document, on the booklet page, click on the printer icon above the booklet, and be sure to specify the page(s) you want to print.


MASH Measurements by Carroll DeWeese

"More double leg amputees are competing in USATF competitions. Even if it is not a para competition, USATF officials need to insure that the athlete's standing height in their prosthesis is not too tall. USATF Officials in the Call Room need to know how to insure that the height of a double leg amputee is not too tall and how to measure the height of the double leg amputee. No maximum height requirement exists for athletes using only one orthotic (e.g., one leg amputee) or none. The following attachment sent to me by Denise Hutchins describes now to measure and determine the MASH (maximum allowable standing height)"

MASH Measurement


Para Event Needing Officials

Lane Gram on behalf of the Desert Challenge Games and World Para Athletics Grand Prix, which is an international competition for youth and adults with physical or visual disabilities, is looking for a few good officials. The Desert Challenge is an annual event and will be held April 1-5, 2020 so that they can continue to host International Classification and also allow athletes to qualify for the Paralympic Games. April is a busy month and they are struggling to recruit USATF officials due to conflicting events.

They are seeking USATF certified officials for the track and field competition during the event which will start Friday, April 3 and end on Sunday, April 5. They have a number of officials confirmed for Sunday's competition, but could always use more. The bulk of our need is for Friday and Saturday. Prospective officials would need to be in Mesa, Arizona (suburb of Phoenix) by Thursday and could plan to leave on Sunday afternoon.

The local organizing committee, Arizona Disabled Sports, is prepared to compensate officials. Here is the typical package offered to officials:

  • Roundtrip Airfare or Mileage Reimbursement + Hotel room (typically shared with another official) + Meal stipend


  • Hotel room (typically shared with another official) + Per session rate ($50-100 depending on role x 5 possible sessions)

If interested and availability you can contact the Lead Official, Mike Pekar at

If you have questions, email Lane Gram, Recreation Supervisor, Mesa Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities at

To visit the Desert Challenge Games follow this link:


World Championships Preparation ~ Passes Initial Inspection

By Phil Sutton, USATF Oregon Association

A 20-person inspection team from World Athletics (formerly IAAF) recently visited Eugene, OR to check on the preparation for the 2021 World Outdoor Track & Field Championships scheduled for Hayward Field on August 6 thru 15 of next year.

The team was headed by Jon Ridgeon, World Athletics CEO. Following the site inspection, Ridgeon said he liked what he saw, "We'll walk away being very satisfied."

That stamp of approval is important since the World Athletics is the governing for international track and field, and oversees the World Championships.

This will be the first time the World Outdoor Championships have been held in the continental United States. There is a lot at stake for Oregon21 the local organizing committee, the TrackTown USA organization, the University of Oregon, the city of Eugene, and the State of Oregon.

It has been reported that the World Championships will be the largest sporting event in the world during 2021. An estimated 3,000 athletes, coaches, and track and field officials representing more than 200 countries will participate in the meet. Several thousand members of the worldwide media are also expected to attend. The meet will be broadcasted to some 190 countries. Approximately 60,000 fans are expected to visit the Eugene area during the meet.

Ticket information for the World Championships has not yet been announced. You can sign up for the Oregon21 World Championships newsletter: Go here.


Navigating Through the New World Athletics Rules System

When the international federation for Track & Field, Race Walking and Long Distance Running changed its name from the International Associations of Athletics Federations [IAAF] to World Athletics [WA], it also undertook the task of reorganizing its operating regulations and its technical rules. This resulted in a radically different numbering system. Book C addresses Competitions and contains all of the sections most relevant to officials. Chapter C1 addresses Competition Rules, and Chapter C2 addresses the Technical Rules. All of the following are located at:


NCAA Rules Corner ~ Rules Interpretations

The newest rules clarifications and interpretations (2019-2020) are being posted at Editor's Note: there has been interpretations added since our last newsletter.

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


World Athletics News ~ January 2020 Newsletter

The World Athletics (formerly international Association of Athletics Federations) has posted their monthly summary of World Athletics news dated January 30. 2020, Edition 209. Click here to download your copy today.


USATF Competition Rule Amendments

In the every-other back and forth between Rules and L&L, 2020 is a year to consider Competition Rule Amendments. The procedure for submitting these amendment is set forth in Article 21-E. Please send your ideas for amendments to me. I will review them and submit them to the Rules Committee.

Laurie Boemker, Officials' Vice-Chair - Rules


Laurie's USATF Rule of the Month
Throwing Events - General Rules - Rule 187.1

In all throwing events from a circle, the throw must commence from a stationary position within the circle. A competitor is allowed to touch the inside of the iron band or stopboard, excluding the top inside edge. However, it shall be a foul throw if, after commencing the throw and prior to its completion, the competitor:
(a) Does not start from a stationary position within the circle,
(b) Touches with any part of the body the top of the iron band or painted circle, including the top inside edge of each, or the surface outside the circle, NOTE: It will not be considered a failure if the touch is made without providing any propulsion and occurs during any first rotation at a point completely behind the white line which is drawn outside the circle running, theoretically, through the center of the circle.
(c) In the Shot Put, touches with any part of the body any part of the stopboard other than its inner side. The top inside edge is considered to be part of the top,
(d) Releases the shot or the javelin other than as permitted under Rule 188.2 or Rule 193.1, or
(e) Leaves the circle improperly or before the implement has landed

*Rules Misconceptions (It is not a foul)

The following are either obsolete or non-existent, but commonly believed to be rules within the competition:

  • The athlete must enter the circle from the back (none of the rule books contain such a clause).
  • Loose clothing, shoelaces, or long hair touching outside the circle during a throw, or an athlete bringing a towel into the circle and then throwing it out prior to the put, results in a foul.
  • Glasses, including sunglasses or a hat falling off and out of the circle or runway.

Continue Passing the Baton


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Important Deadlines

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Coming Next Issue

  • We are adding a new feature from Dan Pierce covering Race Walk Officiating.

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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