USATF Minnesota Association Officials
18 December 2015
Dear Fellow Officials,
We want to acquaint you with some of the changes that have occurred or will occur to the USATF officials program both within our Minnesota Association, and nationally. We also want to increase your knowledge of resources available to help you be a better official, and also to make you aware of things you can do over the next year to prepare for recertification at the end of 2016.
Association Officials Committee: We have established a Committee to oversee the USATF Minnesota Officials Certification Program with David Fergus as Chair; and Greg Utecht, Tom Boshart, and Dan Dornfeld as members. We look forward to serving you to ensure that all the track & field and running events within our state continue to have the high quality officiating that the athletes, coaches and spectators expect and deserve.
2017 Recertification: As you know, the Olympics are in Rio de Janeiro, Brasil this coming summer. That means that all current officials must recertify for the next Olympiad after the Olympics at the end of 2016. We tentatively plan to hold the recert clinic on November 19th, 2016 on a Saturday morning. Please “Save the Date”. This is after the 2016 XC season has finished and prior to the 2017 indoor season. Meanwhile, we plan on having several abbreviated clinic opportunities for new officials throughout the year, and if you know in advance you cannot attend the main recert clinic in November, you may attend one of those earlier clinics as a less than ideal substitute. Look for those notices on our webpage under Upcoming Events. We also plan to include the high school league clinics as an acceptable substitute.
One of the changes for the new Olympiad is that some of the tests will be administered online, and there is a goal of the National Committee that there will be discipline specific tests for each level of certification. Thus, if you have a bunch of disciplines on the back of your ID card, you would have to take a separate test for every one of those disciplines to recertify in each of those disciplines. You would be able to reduce the quantity of disciplines you are certified for if you wish. Another change is that maintaining advanced certification in each discipline will require demonstrated experience in that discipline at that level if possible during this current 2012-2016 Olympiad. This will necessitate good documentation on your part as to what meets you did on what date, what event or discipline you participated in and what your role was within that discipline. It would also be smart to record such things as the official who supervised you in that role in case you want to ask for a reference letter. We suggest a template for such a resume below. To summarize, recertifying for 2017 will require (1) attendance at a clinic in 2016 (2) passing a written open book test for each discipline (3) a detailed resume of your experience, and for National and Master officials, (4) reference letters from officials who supervised you. We are telling you this now so you have a year to prepare for it.
National and Master level officials, and those wishing to upgrade from Association level, are highly encouraged, and may in the future be required, to participate in Regional or National level meets to maintain or achieve that certification. We have had some national level meets in our state in the previous three years, and we have the Regional JO meet at Mankato State next July 7-10th. It would be wise for the aforementioned individuals to participate as an official at that meet, and other meets of that caliber or greater in adjoining states, if you can. Remember that selection and assignments at the regional JO meet are influenced but not guaranteed by your participation in other Association meets such as the Association JO meet the weekend after the State High School Meet. Understanding that our out-state officials have less opportunities, major high school and college meets may also help satisfy this requirement.
Important Websites to bookmark:
Minnesota Association specific news. http://usatfmn.org You are here now.
USATF officials http://www.usatf.org/groups/officials/ Through this link, you can renew your USATF membership, buy uniform items, see competitions throughout the country needing officials, and download and print the application and various tests for certification and upgrade.
USATF Officials Resources https://my.usatfofficials.com/resources Here, there are numerous excellent “Best Practices”, as well as access to your very own officiating profile, which is reached through a separate login you may have to establish if you haven’t done so before. You can also apply for major championships through this portal.
Liability Insurance: Maintaining your USATF membership active is vital to maintaining liability insurance for yourself in your capacity as an official, even if doing high school or college meets. If you officiate events like high school and college, you have legitimate liability insurance, provided you maintain your USATF certification status active by renewing your membership with USATF. Part of the annual membership fee with USATF provides insurance coverage for you as an official for USATF sanctioned events, and also events not sanctioned by USATF. For details, you can learn more at: http://www.usatf.org/groups/officials/info/insurance.asp
SafeSport & Background Checks: So far, USATF has not established a background check program, but when they do, it will be similar to other programs you probably already participate in with other youth organizations and/or the high school league. There is a requirement now for certified officials to complete SafeSport training as soon as possible. Safesport is required by USATF’s insurance provider. We plan on including this as part of the recert clinic next November, but it can also be accomplished sooner online at the following website. http://safesport.org/take-the-training If you have done it or will do it online, please snail mail or email a copy of the certificate to David Fergus at the address below.
Upgrades: Some of you have had questions about the possibility of upgrading to a higher of certification. If eligible, 2016 is a good year to accomplish that prior to the new changes in the recertification program taking effect. You can start the conversation with David Fergus via email or phone, and one of the Committee will let you know what your next steps would be, depending on your current experience and certification level.
Other interesting websites for track & field and running sports geeks:
Facebook, “USATF Certified Officials” group; It is Facebook, so take the comments with a grain of salt.
Flotrack, http://www.flotrack.org/ video interviews of athletes/coaches and links to races and results
LetsRun, http://www.letsrun.com/ general news about track and field and running events
Down the Backstretch blog, http://downthebackstretch.blogspot.com/ Minnesota specific news.
Yours truly, For the Committee,
USATF Minnesota Officials Certification & Training Program Chair
19352 Carson Circle
Elk River, MN 55330
Suggested Template for Officiating Experience:
Date Event MyRole Name of Meet Level Location Supervising Official Mileage Pay
Date: If more than one event or more than one role, make this multiple lines on your spreadsheet for that day
Event: Track, XC; or HJ, Jav, LJ, TJ, Shot, Discus, Hammer, etc.
MyRole: Head Judge, Flight Coord., Pit Boss, Umpire, Finish Judge, Wind Gauge, Starter, Field Referee, etc.
NameOfMeet: Assoc. JO, Regional JO, Section 4AA, State Meet, MIAC Conf. Champ., DIII Midwest Regional, etc.
Level: MSHSL, NCAA DIII, USATF
Location: Univ. of St. Thomas, Mounds View HS, Carleton College, Como Park Golf Course, etc.
Mileage & Pay: a useful place to keep track for tax reasons, but we are not interested in this.
For information regarding anything having to do with USATF Certified Officials, or if a Meet Manager is looking for advice in finding officials for a meet, contact David Fergus, USATF Minnesota Officials Certification Chair.