USATF Newsletter - July 2020


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July, 2020

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Tribute to Jim Hume and Jim Carlisle

2020 has been difficult in so many ways. It has also been a year in which we have lost far too many of our officiating family. Since our last newsletter, we have lost two of our most influential leaders. Some of the details of Jim Hume’s and Jim Carlisle’s lives are below but the words do not do justice to the influence they had nationally. Both had long and distinguished careers as officials, though one was most often working behind the scenes while the other was on the field of play. Both served as Certification Chairs and the Associations they served were the two largest in the number of officials certified – the Pacific and Southwestern Associations. Both of these Associations have a history of producing officials of the highest level. Both were men whose opinions and perspectives I often sought and always welcomed as they brought wisdom and common sense to any issue facing officials around the country. Both were men who gave of their experience and wisdom to mentoring others and making them better officials and better people. Their passing will not only leave large holes in their Associations but across the country and in the lives of all who loved and respected them.

Jim Hume passed away on June 26, 2020. Jim was active in the Pacific Association for more than 50 years as an administrator, official, trainer, and coach. He had officiated since 1968. He was a Master Level official who, once computers became available to run the paperwork part of a meet in the 1980s, spent most of his time behind a computer as the Competition Secretary, including for the 1996 Olympics. In 2004 he headed the FieldLynx crew at the Olympic Trials. He also served as the Pacific Association Official’s Certification Chair for most of this century. In 2012 he received the N.O.C.’s James Gray Award for Leadership.

As a coach, Jim worked with the Millbrae Lions Track Club (one of the first women’s track and field clubs) from the 1960s to the 1980s and saw the transition from club-only opportunities to school-sponsored opportunities for women to participate. He spent 15 years at Hillsdale High, and in 1997 he was recognized as a CIF-CCS T&F Honor Coach.

Jim taught for 32 years and coached cross country and track for 15 years.

Jim Carlisle passed away on July 12, 2020. Jim served as an official for 34 years, working meets at all levels, including the 1996 Olympic Games and World Championships. Jim also officiated 6 US Olympic Trials, over 20 USATF Open Championships, as well as USATF Junior, Youth, and Master Championships. He also officiated many NCAA Championships at the national, regional, and conference level, Texas Relays, and Texas High School championships. Though he often served as a Referee, Jim was an experienced technical official.

Jim served as the N.O.C. Vice-Chair of Rules and on the N.O.C. Awards Committee, the USATF Rules Committee, and USATF Men’s Track & Field Committee. He was the Official’s Certification Chair for the Southwestern Association from 2000-2004 and from 2015 until his death.

Jim received the N.O.C.’s Charles Ruter Award (2005), the James Grey Leadership Award (2010), the Andy Bakjian Service Award (2012), and the N.O.C. Chair’s Award (2015). In 2016, Jim was inducted into the USATF National Officials Hall of Fame and in 2019 he was honored by the Men’s Track & Field Committee with Roy Griak Distinguished Service Award.

Jim was a retired high school counselor at Wakeland High School in Frisco, Texas.


Notes from the Desk of the Chair

As we wait to see what develops in our sport over the next few weeks, I wanted to address some questions that have recently come up.

Some have asked if there will be a USATF "Championship" or "Open" meet this fall. The reports that I have received is that this is in discussion but no final decisions have been made if it will be held or, if so, where or under what conditions. As soon as I know something definitive, I will let you know.

Many have also had questions about reports online regarding recent developments with the USATF Board of Directors. I asked Len Krsak, our N.O.C. Representative to the Board, to give us an update on recent developments. His report is below.


From: Len Krsak, USATF Board Member / N.O.C. Representative

Subject: Up Date / USATF Board of Directors Recent Transactions

The following is to clarify some of the recent transactions and information going around concerning USATF Staff and USATF Board matters. Recently there have been some articles written regarding Board meetings, resignations, discord, governance changes, etc. Below I will address many of these situations and issues that have transpired over the past several months.

CEO’s Compensation
This was a compensation package agreed to by both parties several years ago which resurfaced due to the 2018 tax filing (form 990) being submitted late due to the extensive amount of research and work it takes to submit an accurate filing.

Board Members Resigning
Information being passed on regarding two Board members resigning is correct, however they resigned for personal reasons and not because of lengthy meetings, tensions within the Board or Governance issues.

Governance Structure / L & L Issues
This I will admit is a hot button issue; however this issue has been brewing for several years regarding updating the structure and by laws of USATF in order to be in compliance with the USOPC. By not complying with USOPC demands and the possible action Congress may be contemplating, the Board had no choice but to address these issues in order to avoid decertification.

Auditors’ Resignation
Resignation was due mainly to USATF not following best business practices regarding governance of the organization, thus the Board had no choice but to restructure several L & L issues in order to be compliant with USOPC request and align with organizational best practices.

I realize this is a brief explanation of the Board’s activities the past couple of months. If anyone would like to discuss any of these matters further please do not hesitate to call 614-395-4592 or e-mail

Len Krsak
USATF Board member, N.O.C. Representative


You can contact Mike Armstrong via email at


USATF Competition Rule Amendments Due

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.

The deadline to submit proposed rule changes to be considered by the USATF Rules Committee is Tuesday, September 1, 2020. Proposals can be sent

Laurie Boemker, Officials' Vice-Chair - Rules


Marty’s Training Tip

Last month I was traveling and building things for family, and somehow the time slipped away from me before I had a chance to write my monthly Tip for the newsletter. Now that I’m retired, I wonder when I had time to work!

Sorry about that…

So, this month let’s talk about life as an official in the time of COVID 19. How do you work a meet, can you work a meet, should you work a meet?

Usually these tips are prompted by something I saw recently at a meet, and this month’s is no different. Recently a local track club organized a competition, aimed primarily at high school age athletes, so that they could have marks to submit to a national high school web site for college coaches to see. After much discussion and communication between the local coaches and the web site folks, it was determined that certified officials – running an event properly – was all that was necessary for marks to be submitted.

What did we do, and how did we do it?

What precautions were taken?

First, we ran everything just like a real track meet. No courtesy marks. No letting athletes come and go as they please. There was a schedule, and it was followed. USATF rules were enforced throughout regarding false starts, video, etc. This means that time limits were enforced (I had consecutive athletes in the HJ with time limits of 1:00, then 1:30, then 2:00 – come up with the scenario on your own as an exercise *. We did have a wind gauge for the LJ and TJ, and those readings were recorded with each attempt. The LJ, TJ and all the throws were contested as four attempt finals.

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

Para Athletics Update for July by Carroll DeWeese

US Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) is over the Para Track and Field Program in the USA. USATF is not directly involved in the oversight and governance of US Para Athletics, except in helping train and certify officials. The USATF role is similar with NCAA and the National Federation of State High School Associations which govern their activities but USATF does training and certification of officials. Eric edits the para rules section of the USATF Rulebook. Various information concerning USA Para Track and Field can be found at

USOPC is in a state of transition. Sherrice Fox is handling most of the workload for the group. The USOPC has also undergone a lot of changes due to the Covid-19 outbreak, as they have had a reduction in workforce as well. Their budget is limited, and patience is warranted.

A group called the Para Athletics Committee holds meetings at the USATF Annual Meeting to discuss para concerns, but it appears to have no formal authority within USATF. Its head is Richard Robert

As far as I am aware all 2020 para competitions have been cancelled. With few or no competitions worldwide in 2020, the likelihood of significant para rule changes is minimal.

Once track and field becomes active again, officials can do a great service for para athletics. Some para athletics compete in college in regular, non-para competitions. USOPC has found several arm amputees (or brachial plexus) in the collegiate ranks along with some VI (visually impaired). Officials can be “scouts” for disabled athletes while working meets and letting Sherrice Fox know ( “See someone, tell someone”. . .


Implement Inspections with Richard Messenger

Implement Inspection Safe Social Distancing Ideas

All of us are concerned about the COVID-19 virus that has spread across the country. Dave Soeth, of the Pacific Association, started thinking of how this virus will impact the implement inspectors. It is important to be proactive in times like this and Dave has put together a list of ideas for Safe Social Distancing for the Implement Inspector. Please download and review this plan that Dave has put together. Change can sometimes be difficult but the impact of the COVID-19 virus warrants that we protect not just ourselves but our fellow officials and the athletes. Thanks to Joe Nemeth, also of the Pacific Association for forwarding it to me.

* * Implement Inspection Safe Social Distancing Ideas * *

If you have any comments or suggestions, please send them to me, Richard Messenger at and I will forward them to Dave.


Hayward Field ~ Looking Good

Check out this short video posted on the @GoDucks twitter page of the newly renovated Hayward Field. Oh how I miss being there. Thanks Phil Sutton for sending the link.

* * * *


Annual Call for N.O.C. National Official Awards Nominations

Our N.O.C. Vice Chair of Awards Gordon Bocock has sent out his annual call for nominations for the Andy Bakjian Award, The Horace Crow Award, Charles Ruter Award, James Grey Award, John Davis Award and the Lori Maynard Award. Consider nominating that outstanding official that you have had the pleasure of working with. Get the respective nomination forms by emailing Gordon at or by replying to this newsletter with the name of the specific award you are interested in. Specific information on the awards can be found by visiting the N.O.C. Awards webpage.


NCAA Rules Corner ~ Proposed Rule Changes

The link below is to a story from the NCAA communications department regarding the recently completed Rules Committee meeting. This article again is only a highlight summary of the meeting, The proposed rule changes will be released for a membership comment period in mid-July and then will be sent to the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Committee (PROP) for final review and approval. If all goes well with these next few steps the new rule book will enter into its final edits and be released for publication the first of October with a scheduled release date of November 1. To read the article, follow this link:


Oregon Indoor Track Project, Moving Forward By Phil Sutton, USATF Oregon

The idea for an indoor track facility to complement the University of Oregon’s Hayward Field is still alive and making progress.

The proposed indoor track, multi-sports, and community events center will be in Springfield, Oregon, the neighboring community to Eugene. The project is the brainchild of a group of business and community volunteers. This group formed the Springfield Community Development Corporation (SCDC) in 2019. The SCDC is a nonprofit corporation that is focused on planning the new events center and raising funds to construct the building.

The indoor track would be in Springfield’s Glenwood district, approximately two miles east of Hayward Field, where Springfield Mayor Christine Lundberg noted that Steve Prefontaine had once lived. “Bill Bowerman started Nike shoes in downtown Springfield, and part of Pre’s Trail is in Springfield,” she added. “So, we have a strong connection.”

A best-in-class six-lane, 200-meter hydraulic banked track will be a key feature of the facility, to be designed by Pivot Architecture. In a matter of minutes, the track can be raised for indoor track competition and training. Then it can be lowered to accommodate a full array of sports from basketball to volleyball, gymnastics, pickleball, martial arts, archery, and more. This would be the first hydraulic banked track in Oregon and in the Interstate 5 (I-5) corridor running along the west coast from Mexico to Canada. Spokane, WA has an indoor track planned for construction.


State Association Profile ~ USATF Georgia Association

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

The number of USATF Certified Officials: 168

Recent training clinics for officials: Georgia Association-Berry College EDM Training, Georgia Association-Atlanta Track Club Certification Clinics, Georgia Association-Clark Atlanta University Certification Clinic, Association Certification Clinic at the State Association Championship, Association Implements Inspector Training, and Association Starters Training.

Activities to recruit new officials: We actively recruit coaches and parents through the Georgia High School Association website to become certified. We recruit volunteers from Georgia Association meets and local college meets to become certified. We host an onsite certification clinic on Friday night at our Georgia Association Youth Track and Field Junior Olympic Championship with newly certified officials officiating Saturday and Sunday of the meet. These new officials are assigned to veteran officials. We advertise clinics on our Georgia Association webpage. We work with the Atlanta Track Club to provide certification clinics. We often partner with Georgia high schools and colleges to host certification clinics. We currently have a Junior Officials Program with plans to provide extensive training for the Junior Officials and their Mentors. We currently have a Mentoring Program for Apprentice Officials.

Contact person for questions about the Georgia Association: Cindy Slayton,


World Athletics News ~ June, 2020 Newsletter

The World Athletics (formerly international Association of Athletics Federations) has posted their monthly summary of World Athletics news dated June 30, 2020, Edition 214.Click here to download your copy today.


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:


Laurie’s USATF Rule of the Month

Laurie sent two rules for this month and August but I couldn’t decide which rule to use and which to save so why not just do two rules this month.

RULE 202 ~ Throw-A-Thon
1. The competition consists of the following five (5) events: Hammer Throw, Shot Put, Discus Throw, Javelin Throw and Weight Throw. The events shall be contested above mentioned order and at such intervals as shall be determined by the Games Committee.

2. Three trials shall be allowed in each of three weights for each event. The three weights, and the order of their throw, shall be the standard weight, the next higher weight and the next lower weight for the age and gender of the competitor. If the higher or lower weight is not available, the standard weight for the age and gender shall be thrown.

3. The winner shall be the competitor who has scored the highest total points after combining the best performance for each of the three (3) weights in each event for all five (5) events, scored on the basis of the Official International Scoring Tables or similarly prepared tables for the individual events.

RULE 252 ~ Mountain And Trail Running
1. Course 
(a) The discipline of Mountain and Trail Running takes place on various types of natural terrain (sand, dirt roads, forest paths, single track footpaths, snow trails etc.), and in various kinds of environment (mountains, forests, plains, deserts etc.). Races take place mostly on off-road surfaces; however sections of paved surfaces (e.g. asphalt, concrete, macadam etc.) are acceptable as a way to reach or link the trails of the course but should be kept to a minimum. Preferably existing roads and trails should be used.

(b) For Mountain races only, some special exceptions do exist where races are held on a paved surface but are only acceptable when there are large elevation changes on the course.

(c) The entire course shall be clearly marked.

2. Race organization
The Games Committee shall, prior to the race, announce the distance and total ascent / descent of the course which must have been determined. The Games Committee shall also provide a map and detailed profile of the course together with a description of the technical difficulties to be confronted during the race. Time limit and cut-off barriers (if applicable) shall also be announced.

3. Equipment
The use of hiking poles is permitted only if authorized by the Games Committee. The Race Organizers may permit, recommend or impose mandatory equipment (including traction devices such as crampons, micro-spikes, etc.) due to the conditions expected to be encountered during the race. Competitors may carry and use cellular phones during the event.

4. Start
Mountain and Trail races typically have mass starts. Competitors can also start separated by gender or age-related categories. See Rule 242. Time Trial Mountain Running races have individual start times at various intervals and are considered time trials. The results are ordered by the individual finish times.

5. Water, Sponging, Refreshment and Aid Stations
Water and other suitable refreshments shall be available at the start and finish of all races. Additional drinking / sponging stations may be provided at suitable places along the course. For other than national championships, the Games Committee may waive rule 241.2(g) and permit athletes to collect refreshments outside official aid stations.

6. Specific provisions for Mountain Races
(a) The course length may vary from 1km to the Marathon distance.

(b) The average incline should include a minimum of 5% (or 50 meters per kilometer).

(c) Race Types
   a. Classic Mountain Running (up to approximately 20 km) races have mass starts in which all competitors start together or separately by sex or age categories.

   b. Vertical category, where the incline shall be not less than 25%.

   c. Time Trial Mountain Running races have individual start times at various intervals and are considered time trials. The results are ordered by the individual finish times.

   d. Long Distance Mountain Running race courses include distances of approximately 20km to 42km.

   e. Mountain Running relay race composition, course distances and course types could vary widely, depending on the natural conditions and the plans of the Organizers. Any course or team combinations, included mixed gender/age group, are possible as long as they are defined and communicated in advance. Distance and elevation gain of each individual leg should respect the parameters of the “Classic” category.

7. There shall be no set limit on distance or altitude gain or loss for Trail Races.


* * Thank You * *


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Important Deadlines

  • Sept 1: Proposed USATF Competition Rule Amendments are Due
  • Now: Review your background check status
  • You Are Late: Complete online SafeSport review

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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