OFFICIALS FOR THE SPORT
*** For an informative history of rules of the sport, check out the Evolution of Track and Field Rules researched by Dr. Eric Zemper of Michigan, an IAAF Interational Technical Official. (used here with permission) ***
The high quality of track and field, cross country, and road events in the New England association at all levels (youth, scholastic, collegiate, and open) can be attributed to the officials who work the many meets to ensure fair and safe competition.
Joining the ranks of officials is not a difficult process. One becomes a certified official through their home association (New England for MA, NH, RI, VT). USA Track & Field certification runs for the Olympiad - between Olympic Games. The current 4 year certification period began in September 2012 and runs through 2016, but officials may join at any time. Officials who joined in 2012 will be certified through the next Olympiad, 2016. There is a fee covering the Olympiad which includes the testing, and one copy of the USATF rule book. All certified officials must be individual USATF members.
OFFICIALS CERTIFICATION - new and renewal
Prospective officials take a written, open-book rules review which is in several parts. There is a general track and field module as well as tests covering various event groups and specialty areas of officiating. New officials may take the rules review and become certified at any time; the certification runs from date of approval to the end of the Olympiad. New officials certified for the first time in 2012 have their certification extend through 2016."Apprentice" or "Association" are the first levels of certification, depending on prior officiating experience.
After several years of practical experience at different types of meets and an additional test, an official may apply to move up to National level ranking, and, ultimately, Master level ranking.
Every four years, at the start of the new Olympiad, officials must be be recertified. Officials who renew either take exams or attend a general recertification review for their certification level at the beginning of each Olympiad. The certification review exams for 2013-2016 are available and are posted on the USATFOfficials web site.
Most renewing officials will only need to complete the review for their current level of certification - but some specialty areas do require retesting.
NOTE: Starting in 2013, if an official did not renew for an Olympiad (last certification prior to 2009), then the process must be re-started from step 1. That is, no automatic renewals if there are 4 year gaps in service.
Officiating at higher levels of events requires the two highest levels of certification. There are many regional and National level competitions hosted in the New England association so there are many opportunities to have one of the best seats in the house for meets!
For National level events, selection is partially based on officials having worked at their local association meets including open, youth, and masters competitions, and whether officials have officiated outside their immediate home area.
There are only small numbers of officials positions available at the prestigious USA Championships and Olympic Trials, and consideration requires a formal application and resume. However, there are many opportunities to work at major national events such as the USA Junior, Junior Olympic, and Masters Championships.
There is also certification available for road race, cross country, and race walk officials.
BECOMING AN OFFICIAL
The procees to become or renew as an official in the New England association:firstname.lastname@example.org for Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont
While an official can be independent of a "club" or officials association, one will find that many assignments, particularly for high school and collegiate events, are made through one of the local officials groups in the New England association. Many officials in these groups are USATF certified. To become involved with one in your area, contact one of the following.
|Massachusetts Track & Field Officials Association
(primarily eastern Mass.)
web page: www.mtfoa.com
|Central Mass. Track & Field Officials||Charles Butterfieldemail@example.com|
|Western Mass. Track & Field Officials||Michael Buddfirstname.lastname@example.org
web page: www.wmtfoa.blogspot.com
|Rhode Island Track & Field Officials Guild||Ron Boemkeremail@example.com|
|Granite State Track & Field Officials Association||Bob Gidarifirstname.lastname@example.org
web page: www.nhtrackofficials.com
|Dartmouth College Track Officials||Barry Harwick||Barry.Harwick@dartmouth.edu|
|Vermont Track & Field Officials Association||Pavel Dvorakemail@example.com
web page: VT Officials
|Beyond the USATF New England association boundaries||.||.|
|Connecticut USATF||Yvonne Grimesfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Maine USATF||Don Berryemail@example.com|
- Lap sheets
- Cross Country and Road Running forms
- Race Walk
- Time Machine
- Electronic measurement and recording
- Track Starter's Guide by Charles H. Dailey, Kelly D. Rankin (1990), 59 pages
- Safety concerns for officials from the Pacific association of USATF.
Absolute "Must" reading for officials of all levels of competition.
- USATF Officials Resource Center all sorts of useful materials and "best practices" reviews for all events
Check the National web page for lots more information on officiating www.usatf.org/officials.
The USATF Competition Rulebook is updated every two years; this is done after rules change reviews at the USATF National Convention. Thus, a new book is generally only needed every other year. New rule books are available in 2013 and then in 2013. However, every year, there are some changes annually to comply with international rules or after approval of tabled items. Those updates can be found at the USATF website.
The Rulebook is available online at http://usatf.org/about/rules/ and the book may be purchased from the National Office.
There are separate rule books for College and Scholastic competition. While most rules are the same, there are differences - some significant - in some events.
On a higher level, there is also an international (IAAF) rule book. That can be found on the web at iaaf.org.
The IAAF also has an excellent book, "The Referee", that covers many aspects of officiating.
Check the USATF-NE track and cross country pages to find association meets that may need officials. The USATF Officials web site has more opportunities out of the region.
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