National Officials Committee Newsletter – October 2023

October 13, 2023

Thank you, Conor! As of October 6, Conor Naughton has left the USATF to move on to a new job. Conor will be missed as he has worked hard as our Officials Coordinator and helped us in numerous ways. We are in a better position because of his efforts. USATF will be moving quickly to fill this position. In the meantime, if you have issues that need USATF National Office attention, you can email: Officials who previously emailed Conor on or before October 6 do not need to resend their request.

Officials Oval Table – One of the most helpful things in growing as an official is the ability to talk with other officials, ask questions, and learn from their experience. Unfortunately, many officials do not have that opportunity. That is why we created the Officials Oval Table. On Monday, October 23, at 8:00 p.m. Eastern, we will have a virtual Zoom meeting that will allow folks to ask their officiating questions. NOC officers and other veteran officials will be available to share their experience. More information is in this newsletter. If you have questions, submit them in advance to: 

New Officials Town Hall – We invite all new officials and Certification Chairs to a virtual New Officials Town Hall on Monday, November 20, at 8:00 p.m. Eastern. The purpose of this meeting is to give the NOC Executive Committee a chance to let new officials know about the National Officials Committee, our purpose, ways to serve within the NOC, and to answer any questions new officials might have as they start their USATF officiating career. More information is in this newsletter.

Read Mike’s information about the meet application processDo Not Miss These Two Virtual NOC Meetings!

The National Officials Committee (NOC) will host two virtual meetings, one in October and another in November.

Officials Oval Table

This meeting is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. (Eastern time) on Monday, October 23. NOC officers and other experienced officials will share their knowledge and expertise during this meeting. Attendees are encouraged to ask questions. If you have questions, submit them in advance to Mike This is a major learning opportunity for all officials. The meeting link:
Meeting ID: 836 1635 2544  Passcode: 587468

New Officials Town Hall

This meeting is set for 8:00 p.m. (Eastern time) on Monday, November 20. The meetingprovides new and prospective officials the opportunity to learn about the NOC, ways to serve inside the NOC, and is a perfect opportunity to ask questions you might have as you start your USATF officiating career. Certification Chairs across the nation are invited to attend. The meeting link:
Meeting ID: 879 2888 6087  Passcode: 762109Semi-Finalists Announced for Six NOC Awards

Gordon Bocock, NOC Awards Committee Chair, announced the semi-finalists for six NOC awards honoring outstanding officials in several key areas of officiating.

The six awards are: 

Andy Bakjian Award – Outstanding Service
Charles Ruter Award – Outstanding Running Event Official
Horace Crow Award – Outstanding Field Event Official
James Grey Award – Outstanding Leadership
John Davis Award – Outstanding Humanitarian
Lori Maynard Award – Outstanding Racewalk Official

The winner of each award will be announced at the Officials Awards Ceremony and Hall of Fame Induction Banquet that will be held Friday, December 1 during the USATF Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida.Go here to see the list of semi-finalistsNOC Awards and HOF Banquet 
Set for December 1

By Gordon Bocock, NOC Awards Committee Vice Chair

The USATF National Officials Awards Ceremony and Hall of Fame Induction Banquet will be held at 6:00 p.m.(EST) on Friday, December 1 during the USATF Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida.

Winners of the six national outstanding official awards will be announced during the banquet. Also, these officials will be inducted into the Hall of Fame: Shirley Oliver Connors, Dr. Carol A. Coram, Kathy McLymond, and Pete Saenz Torres Jr.

Go here for the form to reserve your seat(s) at the banquet and pay for your banquet ticket(s). The deadline to submit your reservation is November 27. Our committee is not comfortable with the ticket price, but this is the best our committee could negotiate.

Please do not wait until you get to Orlando to purchase a ticket. Last year at the Annual Meeting, I had to turn down over 30 people who wanted banquet tickets. Those people were unhappy and so was I.

You must register for the Annual Meeting to attend the banquet.October 15 is the Deadline!

The deadline to submit your application to officiate one of the USATF championship meets in 2024 is October 15.

Here is a shortcut to the application process on your USATF Connect account. Use a computer, not a mobile device (phone or tablet), to complete the application.

Applicants should have their 2023 USATF membership number available as well as their resume of meets they have officiated over the past three years.

The dates and locations of several championship meets had not been announced when this newsletter was published. If you apply and are selected for a meet and then discover after the date and site are announced that you are unavailable, that will not be held against you.

Go here and read Mike Armstrong’s important details about this application process.

You must be a National or Masters level Certified Official to apply for these meets: 

  • Olympic Team Trials
  • Senior Indoor Championships
  • Indoor Combined Events Championships
  • U20 Outdoor Championships

See the other meets available to all officialsThe 2024 United States Olympic Trials – Track and Field will be held at Hayward Field in Eugene, OR. The ten-day competition will run from June 21 to June 30. This meet will also serve as the USATF National Championships. Masters and National level Certified Officials can apply to officiate this meet. See the article in this newsletter.FacebookTwitterInstagramLinkedInWebsiteEmailVideo Added for Rules Reviews;
XC Course Certification Clarified 

This is a Law and Legislation year and not a rule change year, so there will be a limited number of rule additions/changes reviewed this year at the USATF Annual Meeting.  Many of these items are related to rules that were tabled from last year.  Rules will also be presented from World Athletics for consideration. These will keep the USATF Rules Committee, chaired by John Blackburn, very busy despite it not being a competition rules change year. 

The committee will also be considering editorial changes discovered in the 2023 USATF Rulebook.  Editorial changes focus on grammatical and structural issues in writing. So, as you read through the rulebook and discover editorial changes, please forward them to me and I will present them to the Rules Committee. 

Read about the new rules review videosMinority Officials Survey Results
To Be Presented at the Annual Meeting

By Raymond Pierre, NOC Affirmative Development Committee Chair

The USATF Minority Officials Focus Group extends a heartfelt thank you to everyone who completed the Minority Officials Survey a month ago! 

The focus group is currently hard at work compiling the data from the nearly 500 respondents. Results and recommendations are planned to be presented at the December USATF Annual Meeting!  Afterward a report will be published! Stay tuned to this newsletter for further updates.

Officiating Industry Data
NASO Survey Covered
A Wide Variety of Topics

The National Association of Sports Officials (NASO) recently released results of its 2023 National Officiating Survey. The survey collected 35,813 responses from officials representing over 20 sports. There were 1,873 track and field and cross country officials who participated in the survey.

The 162 questions on the survey covered a wide variety of topics, including why individuals officiate, why they stay, why they leave, issues of sportsmanship, recruitment, retention, compensation, plus many others. Go here to view the survey results.

The USATF Utah Association has a “Mentors Committee” and lists the members of the committee on the officials leadership page of the Association website. Visit the list and note how they have a mentor assigned to oversee each event. Some of the events are lacking a lead mentor, but the concept is an idea other Associations might adopt. The Utah Association covers the entire state of Utah.

Four Fundamental Principles of Athletics

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has four fundamental principles set out in its Rules and Regulations against which the evolution of competition equipment is judged:

Safety – the equipment must be safe for competitors, officials, spectators, and the environment.
Fairness – the athlete must not receive an unfair advantage against the spirit of the event being contested.
Universality – the equipment must be reasonably commercially available to all.
Physical Prowess – human performance is the critical endeavor, not the impact of technology and equipment.

Read how the principles apply to all sports

Impressive Testimonial Letter

Southern California Association
Stages Successful Para JO Events
By Richard Robert, USATF Para Athletics Committee Chair
Thanks to the inaugural USATF Para Athletics Pilot Program, para events were contested at various USATF Association and Regional Junior Olympic Track and Field Championships (JO) during the 2023 season. By all accounts, the JO para events were very positive experiences for the para athletes, Certified Officials, the USATF Youth Committee JO organizers, and spectators.
At the 2022 USATF Annual Meeting, a Youth Para Athletics Pilot Program was formalized that paves the way for eligible youth athletes with intellectual, physical, and visual impairments to compete in USATF Association Junior Olympic Championships with advancement to Regional Junior Olympic meets. An article about the programwas published in the June 2023 NOC newsletter.
The USATF Southern California Association (SCA) JO Championship meet was held on June 9-11, 2023, at California High School in Whittier, CA. The JO para athletics events went off flawlessly in the SCA meet. The SCA JO organizer did a great job of setting up and managing the para event entry process. The execution and officiating of the SCA JO para events were a huge success.

Read a mother’s letter about her son’s experience

Bell Lap News

Robotic Dogs Fetch the Discus: The 2023 Asian Games were held in Hangzhou, China. The meet used robotic dogs to retrieve discuses. Go here to see the video. The discus is on the robot’s back.

Olympic Business Model: Gene Sykes, Chairman of the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee, said the Olympic business model needs reinventing.
Cannabis Recommendation: The NCAA Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports recommended that cannabis be removed from the list of NCAA banned drug classes.
A Guide to Meet Differences: An online basic guide to the differences between the NCAA outdoor season versus the NCAA indoor season.

Wrong Track & Field Answer: A Jeopardy contestant was given this question: “1964 saw the first time a man threw this 300 feet & the first time a woman threw it 200 feet.” His answer: “What is a Shot Put.” See the video
New Director: Marton Gyulai, the Executive Director of Sport for the widely acclaimed World Athletics Championships Budapest 23, has been appointed Director of Competition and Events for World Athletics.

Important Dates and Deadlines

Today: Renew your USATF membership for 2023 using your USATF Connect account.  Also, check your Connect account to make sure everything is up-to-date.

Today: Recruit a new official. Refer the prospect to your Association Certification Chair.

January 1 – December 31: Renew your Background Screening. The renewal deadline varies by individual. Your Background Screening expires two years from the date of your last screening. Login to your USATF Connect account to determine your Background Screening status.
January 1 – December 31: Renew your SafeSport training. SafeSport training is now an annual requirement, meaning it should be completed once every 365 days. Login to your USATF Connect account to determine your SafeSport status. Or, you can search for your name on the SafeSport Compliant List

October 15: Deadline to apply for the USATF major championship meets. See the article in this newsletter.

November 1: You can renew your USATF membership for 2024 starting on November 1, 2023. Membership renewal is available through your USATF Connect account. All members have the same renewal date: December 31. 

November 27: Deadline to purchase your tickets for the USATF National Officials Awards Ceremony and Hall of Fame Induction Banquet that will be held on December 1 at the USATF Annual Meeting. See the article in this newsletter. 

November 30 – December 3: USATF Annual Meeting, Orlando, Florida. Go here to register.

December 15: The deadline to apply for one of the NOC grants. Go here for information.

First day of every month: Deadline to submit an article and/or photographs for the next issue of the NOC newsletter. Send your material  to: newsletter is published monthly
by the USATF National Officials Committee.

Editor: Phil Sutton, Associate Editors: Mike Cahn and Bettina Huber, Support: Mike ArmstrongRobert KernDavid Gercken, Jay Marshall, and the many frequent newsletter contributors. Contact the newsletter team at:  Go here to view an archive of previous issues. 

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