USATF Officials Newsletter - March 2020

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March 19, 2020

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Special Spring Message

Dear Colleagues,

I know that, like me, you aren't sure what to do with all of the free weekends that have now appeared on our Spring calendars (though I do think my wife has some plans for me). Our world is facing some new territory as we deal with the current pandemic. And I realize that everyone organization and business in the country as issued their own "COVID 19 Update". I have tried to avoid joining that trend as I don't have much to add to what others have said. But please be safe, take appropriate precautions, and watch out for one another.

There are also a few issues that have been raised that I want to address:

Summer Championships: As of this time, the USATF Championship meets scheduled for the summer are still on the calendar. These include the U20 Championships, the US Olympic Trials, the USATF Youth Nationals, the Hershey's Junior Olympics, and the USATF Masters Championships.

Association Championships: USATF's official statement is that Associations should follow the recommendations of their local health authorities. We are encouraged to err on the side of safety.

Dealing with Cancellations: I know that it is disappointing and sometimes expensive when meets are cancelled. But I want to encourage you to not take your frustration out on the messenger when the news arrives. Typically, the Officials Coordinator is not the one who makes that decision - just the one with whom you have been working. Give them some grace and realize how much work he or she has done to prepare for the meet that has now been cancelled.

Finally, Vin Lananna, President of USATF, asked that I share this message with you:

Dear Friends: 

I hope that you are well and that you are navigating through these challenging times. I am thinking about you. 

When I attended the ACC conference championships a few weeks ago I was so glad to see many of my friends on the official’s team. As usual each official arrived early and departed late. You clerked, measured, refereed, marshaled, enjoyed the hospitality, and even started off a few races. 

It was not too long ago that I referred to our core of officials as "elderly". Now as I join that new demographic, I refer to US as distinguished or highly experienced. 

I am sure that you share my sadness for the collegiate and high school athletes whose seasons have ended abruptly. Our professional runners, jumpers, and throwers are confused about the upcoming Olympics. Our young track and field girls and boys are waiting for decisions about the summer events. I started to think about our thousands of officials who provide the services that help to create the experience that we all enjoy. 

I wanted to let you know that you are not forgotten. We know that you are disappointed by the cancellations and the chaos of postponed events. Quite frankly I am heartbroken. But I really care about the health of you and your families. My son reminded me the other day that "my demographic" must be extra vigilant so I heeded his advice. 

As I reflect upon seeing so many of my friends at the various meets this year and think about the outdoor season, I am going miss seeing you. Intellectually I know this will all pass, but for today, I wanted to wish you good health and a safe spring. 

Best regards, vin 

As always, if you any questions let me know.

Mike Armstrong
Chair, USATF National Officials Committee


Stay Safe


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Important Deadlines

  • Now: Renew your background check
  • Now: Renew USATF Membership
  • End of March: 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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