BASIC TRAINING FOR NEW TRACK & FIELD OFFICIALS

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1 BASIC TRAINING FOR NEW TRACK & FIELD OFFICIALS The fifth of a set of modules developed for the training of new officials. AT THE LINE Starter & Assistant Starter Timer, Finish Judge, Lap Counter Clerk of the Course USATF Officials Training Subcommittee Initial Training Group

2 Module Overview Unit I: Starter & Assistant Starter Overview Duties & responsibilities Rules Venue and Equipment Mechanics Credits Questions and Review TABLE OF CONTENTS Unit II: Finish System Timer, Judge, Lap Counter Overview Duties Timer Judge Lap Counter Rules Venue and Equipment Mechanics Credits Questions and Review Unit III: Clerk of the Course Overview Duties Rules Venue, Equipment, and Personnel Mechanics Credits Questions and Review Appendix Split Timer/Lap Counter Instructions Lap Scoring Sheets (3) Reporting Times Forming Heats and Assigning Lanes

3 MODULE OVERVIEW Its Purpose and Use The module, At the Line, focuses on the officials responsible for assembling, organizing, and transiting the athletes to the starting line. After arriving at the starting line other officials At the Line are responsible for the start of the race, the correct finishing order, and times. It is the purpose of this module to provide training for the beginning starter, timer, lap counter, finish judge, and clerk of the course.

4 UNIT I: STARTER & ASSISTANT STARTER OVERVIEW Assisted by two or three assistant starters, the head starter is responsible for all start and finish lines, test all equipment, position the start crew to appropriately monitor the starting process, provide necessary starting instructions to the competitors, and assure that all competitors have a fair start. The head starter must be aware of starting rules as they apply to different levels of competition, i.e. IAAF, NCAA, NFHS, special equipment used at the start, and communications with other finish line officials to insure the smooth operation of the meet. The task of the starter and recall starter is to make sure there is no unfair advantage to any runner. For this reason, the starter has complete control of the competitors at the start line. When the electronic blocks are used the starter shall use the system s recorded reaction time tape to back up the false start recall or determine which competitor false started. Only the IAAF allows a review of a starters decision.

5 DUTIES and RESPONSIBILITIES Purpose: To understand the role of a starter at a track meet. 1. The chief starter shall assign a specific task and position to each recall starter. They shall have the authority to recall competitors by appropriate means if the start was not fair. 2. The starters shall be clearly identifiable and positioned so that there is full visual control over all runners during the start of the race. 3. Starters shall provide very brief information on the procedures governing the start. 4. The starter is in complete control at the starting line. 5. The starters shall insure that all competitors have a fair start.

6 RULES Purpose: To know and understand the rules of track & field as they apply to starting a track meet. Rule USATF IAAF NCAA NFHS Starter s Position a Starting Blocks d c Commands , Starting Device False Start d 9-2-2b 332-2c 8-6 False Start e Notification

7 VENUE & EQUIPMENT Purpose: To be properly equipped and in the most strategic position to fulfill the duties of a starter. Venue At the starting line area, the starter shall be positioned so that he/she has full visual control over all runners during the starting procedure. It is recommended that the starter be positioned to be equidistant from all runners particularly in staggered races. For races using crouch starts, it is necessary that the starter be so placed as to be able to ascertain that all runners are currently steady and in a set position before the gun is fired. In races up to and including the 110m hurdles, the starter shall be placed in front of or on the extension of the starting line. The start line shall be marked by a white line 5cm wide on the track or ground. Equipment 1. The starters must be dressed in a manner that makes them clearly identifiable to the competitors. 2. Where a pistol is used, it should be of no less than.32 caliber with powder giving a distinct flash/smoke, except in indoor competition, where a.22 caliber pistol with black powder shells may be used. 3. When an electronic tone is used, it shall be of suitable loudness and shall simultaneously activate a flash/strobe. 4. A step stand is needed for staggered races. 5. Ear plugs are recommended for protection.

8 MECHANICS Purpose: To accurately and consistently fulfill the duties of a starter. 1. Starting Blocks In all races up to and including the 400 meters and lead off relay legs not exceeding 400 meters, a crouch start and blocks must be used, unless prohibited by a permanent physical disability. Exceptions for Youth and Masters. NCAA allows crouch or standing at less than 800m. NFHS does not require blocks or crouch start. 2. Starting Line The hands and feet of the runner may be up to, but not touching the starting line. The recall starters shall share this responsibility. In races 800 meters or longer the assembly line is normally 1-3m behind the starting line. 3. Pre-Commands Prior to the start of the race the starter shall give instructions to the competitors concerning the commands to be used. The starter shall ascertain that timers, judges and other applicable judges are ready before giving the starting commands. 4. Commands Races up to and including 400 meters On Your Marks Command The competitor shall assume a position completely within the assigned lane and behind the starting line. Both hands and one knee must be in contact with the ground and both feet in contact with the starting block. No later than the on your marks command, the starter shall raise the hand with the starting device. The hand shall remain extended above the head until the start has been generated. The hand without the starting device shall remain at the starter s side. Set Command At the set command the competitor should immediately rise to a final starting position retaining contact of the hands with the ground and the feet with the blocks. The starter will raise the hand without the starting device at this time. The pistol is fired When the competitors are all in the set position and motionless, the pistol shall be fired. 6. False Start a. If a competitor begins the starting motion after assuming a final set position, before the device is fired, it shall be considered a false start. b. If the competitor does not assume a set position within a reasonable amount of time, it shall constitute a false start.

9 c. If a competitor disturbs other competitors in the race through sound or otherwise, it may be considered a false start. d. If the competitor does not remain motionless after assuming a final set position, the starter may call a false start or call all competitors up. e. The starter or recall starter, who is of the opinion the start was not fair shall recall the competitors by firing the pistol. f. At any point, if the starter is not satisfied that all competitors are ready to continue he/she may call the to stand up. 7. Disqualification (USATF or IAAF) a. No penalty shall be imposed on the first false start in a race. All competitors shall be notified that a disqualification will result in the next false start for any competitor. On the next false start, the competitor responsible shall be disqualified. The competitor shall be shown a red card. b. NCAA and NFHS provide for disqualification on the first false start for any competitor. The NCAA makes exception for combined events and cross country. c. The starter shall report any misconduct of a competitor to the referee. The referee has the authority to disqualify.

10 CREDITS USATF National Officials Committee Manual USATF Competition Rules Track and Field Rule Book Differences Jim Hanley

11 REVIEW QUESTIONS 1. The has complete control of the competitors once they take their positions at the starting line. A. Clerk of the Course B. Referee C. Starter D. Meet Director 2. The starter should be positioned at when starting the race. A. a position equidistance from all runners so he/she has full visual control over all runners. B. the starting line extended for races up to 110m HH. C. the last stagger so he/she can look down on all of the competitors. D. None of the above 3. In starting an outdoor meet: A. The commands should be on your marks; set; and the gun for races 800m or less. B. The pistol should not be less than.32 caliber or electronic with a simultaneous flash. C. If the FAT device malfunctions, the race shall be recalled. D. Starting blocks are mandatory for races up to and including 400m. 4. It may be considered a false start if: A. The competitor does not assume a set position within a reasonable amount of time. B. The competitor disturbs other competitors through sound or otherwise. C. The competitor begins the starting motion after assuming a final set position before the devise is fired. D. All of the above ANSWERS: 1. C, 2. A, B 3. B, C, D 4. D

12 UNIT II: THE FINISH SYSTEM TIMER, JUDGE, LAP COUNTER OVERVIEW The suspense and drama of the track competition are often focused on the activities at the finish line. Here the effective coordination of the various skills and abilities of the finish officials becomes evident. The officials who assign times to each competitor compliment other officials who determine the correct finish order whether a lap counter or finish judge. These tasks are supervised by the Chief Finish judge. Lap scorers, Timers, and Finish Judges should work as part of a team, seeking accurate finish results for every finisher.

13 DUTIES & RESPONSIBILITIES Purpose: To understand the role of a finish line official at a track meet. Finish Line Judge Having the lead responsibility for supervising the conduct of the finish line, the chief finish judge is assisted by the head timer, the finish line coordinator, the lap counters and the photo finish panel. When an approved imaging device is properly functioning at the finish of an event, the image must be referred to the photo finish judge for primary determination of the order of finish. In the absence of such a device, the primary determination of the order of finish shall be made by the judges at the finish. Timers When an approved imaging device is properly functioning at the finish of an event, the image must be referred to the photo finish judge for primary determination of the finish times for each competitor. Timers shall act in a back-up capacity when FAT equipment is in use. In the absence or failure of such a device, the primary determination of the finish times shall be made by the timers at the finish in accordance with rule 165. Lap Scorers Lap scorers are assigned to keep track of the number of laps completed by each competitor in races of 3 miles and over (3000m indoors). A special lap scorer shall be assigned to notify each runner concerning the number of laps remaining. Another lap scorer shall indicate the final lap by ringing a bell.

14 RULES Purpose: To know and understand the rules of track & field as they apply to the officials at the finish line. Rule USATF IAAF NCAA NFHS Lap Scorer# b,3-4-7 Lap Counting Official b Lap Times-Announced Lap Times-Recorded 131-2, , None Lap, Last Systems ,10b Timers ,4, c ,2c Judges , Timing,FAT b None Timing, Hand None 128-3c ,4, Timing, Watches , c 3-9-4

15 VENUE & EQUIPMENT Purpose: To be properly equipped and in the most strategic position to fulfill the duties of a finish line official. Venue The finish line officials shall be located in the immediate area of the finish line. When possible, judges should be located on the same side of the track, approximately sixteen feet back from the track in an elevated position. Equipment 1. A fully automatic timing system such as Omega, Finish Lynx, Pyroflash or Accutrac. 2. Stop watches for hand timing. 3. Elevated stand for times and judges. 4. Clipboard, pencil, lap recording form 5. Lap indicator with final lap bell

16 MECHANICS Purpose: To accurately and consistently fulfill the duties of a finish line official. 1. There are two methods of determining the order of finish and times hand timing/place selection and an approved digital recording, video, or photographic device with fully automatic electrical timing. a. If a FAT device is used, the official photo or image shall be turned over to the Photo Finish Panel/Judge for review and preparation of official results. b. If the referee determines the FAT device is not properly functioning or none is available, the hand times shall be official. 2. Timers and judges a. The Chief finish judge shall assign duties at the finish line. b. The Chief finish judge observes the finish line and renders a decision only in a case of a disagreement over the order of finish. c. There should be at least four judges and usually one more than there are lanes used. d. The most experienced timers should be assigned to places three through six. e. There should be four more timers than the places being timed. Chief timer, two extra on first place and one alternate. f. Split times should be given to all runners in races over 400 meters. 3. Start and finish The competitor s time shall be taken from the flash/smoke of the starter s pistol or approved apparatus to the moment at which any part of the competitor s torso (not including head, neck, arms, hand legs, or feet) reaches the perpendicular plane or the nearer edge of the finish lane. 4. FAT recording a. The photo, copy of the computer disk and the panel s findings are attached to the recorder s results and submitted to the meet competition secretary. b. In the event of a record performance, the Referee should certify the times and duly note them on the records of the photo finish judges. 5. Finish Line Coordination While the times and places are being recorded, the finish line coordinator shall raise a red flag from the middle of the track. As soon as the timers and judges have returned to their positions and the chief finish judge indicates that the finish line area is ready, the finish line coordinator shall raise a white flag to indicate to the starter the finish line area is prepared for the next event.

17 6. Lap Scorers a. Lap scorers shall keep a record of laps covered by each competitor in races longer than one mile. b. Lap scorers shall also record the times for each lap of their competitors. c. No lap scorer shall be responsible for more than four competitors. d. At the completion of each race, lap scoring sheets shall be delivered to the referee. e. One lap scorer shall be responsible for maintaining at the finish line a display of the laps remaining. f. Transponder systems complying with Rule 165 may be used for lap scoring. Lap Scoring sheets and instructions for their use can be found in the appendix.

18 CREDITS USATF National Officials Committee Training Monogram 2008 USATF Competition Rules Hanely, Jim Track & Field Rule Book Differences

19 REVIEW QUESTIONS 5. Matching 1. Responsible for supervising the conduct A. Timer of the finish line. 2. Signal the starter when places and times B. Photo finish judge are being determined, and when they are completed and ready for the next race. 3. Serves as back up to FAT equipment or C. Lap Scorer primary source if there is no FAT device. 4. Records the number of laps completed by D. Chief Finish Judge each competitor. 5. Determines the order of finish when FAT E. Finish Line equipment is used. Coordinator 6. At the finish line: A. One half of the finish judges should be placed on each side of the track. B. Lap times and places should be recorded for all races of three miles and longer C. Split times should be given for races longer than 400m. D. There should be one lap counter for every four runners. 7. Mechanics at the finish line include: A. Split times need only to be given to the race leader. B. In hand timing the watch should be started based on the sound of the gun. C. The photo from the FAT device should be saved for the race winner if requested. D. None of the above ANSWERS: (5) 1. D, 2. E, 3. A, 4. C 5. B 6. B, C, D 7. D

20 UNIT III: CLERK OF THE COURSE OVERVIEW The heart of all track and field is the Clerk of the Course Station. Excluding delays caused by weather conditions, malfunctions of the automatic timing equipment, false starts, etc., the clerks have the primary responsibility for maintaining the meet schedule, which has been established by the Games Committee. With this point in mind it is important to note that the efficient operation of a clerk s station is directly related to the abilities of a number of assigned personnel, the size of the station and its location, and availability of required equipment and supplies. The following information is presented to serve as a guide for determining how to set up a clerk s station, personnel required, and equipment and materials needed to operate a clerk s station.

21 DUTIES OF THE CLERK OF THE COURSE Purpose: To understand the role of the clerks at a track meet. 1. The clerk needs to be well organized, flexible, and appropriately assertive. 2. The clerk shall receive heat sheets and lane assignments from the referee and meet director. 3. The clerk of course shall be in charge of the assistant clerk s of the course and assign them the duties deemed necessary. 4. The clerk shall check in athletes and verify lane assignments. 5. The clerk shall notify the competitors when and where to report to the starting line or assembly area before each race. 6. The clerk shall supervise the transit between the warm-up area and the competition area to ensure the competitors after being checked in are present and ready for the scheduled start of their event. 7. The clerks shall ensure that the competitors are wearing clothing, shoes, and spikes in accordance with USATF rules. 8. In handicapped races, the clerk shall inform the starter and see that the competitors are placed behind the proper mark.

22 RULES APPLICABLE TO CLERKING Purpose: To know and understand the rules of track & field as they apply to clerking. Rule USATF IAAF NCAA NFHS Numbers 143-4, , 4-3-1b d,4b Jewelry None None None Shoes 143-3a,e 143-2,3e a Uniforms b f,2b 4-3-1b,1d 4-3-2,4

23 VENUE, EQUIPMENT, and PERSONNEL Purpose: To be properly equipped and in the most strategic location to fulfill the duties of clerk of the course. VENUE The clerk s station, if possible, should be located in close proximity to the warm-up area and medical/trainer s station, rest room facilities and adjacent to the track and field events competition area. The station should be tented, and the tent should be large enough to accommodate the required number of check-in tables. If the tent is to also serve as the athlete s staging area, it should be large enough to accommodate the largest number of athletes to be escorted to the event. EQUIPMENT 1. Heat sheets 2. Meet schedules and daily time schedules including check-in time, report time, escort time, and start time 3. Blank competition numbers 4. Stadium plot plan with all facilities listed 5. Hip numbers and hip number rack 6. Athletes information manual 7. Clip boards 8. Pens, pencils, large marking pens, paper clips, highlighters 9. Stapler and staples 10. Plain copy paper 11. Copy machine 12. Tape 13. Safety pins 14. Batons 15. Balls to draw for lanes 16. Guide cards for track markings 17. Walkie-talkie for communication with announcer and finish line 18. Spike gauge and spike wrench 19. Posting board 20. Chairs and tables 21. Signage 22. Lighting 23. PA system 24. Clock

24 PERSONNEL Purpose: To have the officials necessary to fulfill the duties of clerk of the course. 1. Chief clerk 2. Assistant clerks based on the size of the meet (8-12 for a major meet) 3. Escorts if assistants are not used for this purpose 4. Clerical assistants

25 MECHANICS Purpose: To accurately and consistently fulfill the duties of the clerk of the course. The mechanics of clerking involve: 1. Checking in 2. Staging 3. Escorting the athletes to the event The chief clerk would be best organized by assigning clerks to: 1. Announcing 2. Checking in athletes 3. Organizing athletes in the staging area 4. Escorting athletes to the competition area Mechanics for the three areas of clerking are: Announcing The assistant doing the announcing should make announcements for check in and report times. First, second and third calls can be given for check in. Checking In 1. Set up two separate table, one for track events and one for field events. Set them up close to each other, so the assistants can help each other. 2. Depending on time constraints, separate line can be set up for men and women; and for individual heats and flight to speed up the process. 3. A marking system should be used to denote that the athletes has been checked in. At check in time check to see that the athlete has the proper number, worn properly, and that the is wearing legal shoes and uniformed properly. Staging 1. The staging area should be in a separate area adjacent to check in. 2. Chairs and benches should be provided. 3. Call out names by heats and lanes for running events and flights for field events. 4. Re-check numbers, shoes and uniforms. 5. Issue hip numbers. 6. Turn over athletes and start list to the escorts. Escorting 1. Escort the athletes to their event via the shortest or pre-determined routs. 2. Athletes should take all of their gear with them. 3. The escort should turn the athletes and start list over to the line clerk/starter s assistant or designee. If there is no one assigned to this task, the escort assumes the responsibility of placing the athletes in the proper lane or position. Guidelines for assigning heats and report times can be found in the appendix.

26 CREDITS USATF National Officials Committee training Monogram 2008 USATF Competition Rules Hanley, Jim Track and Field Rule Book Differences

27 REVIEW QUESTIONS 8. The clerk of the course: A. Checks in competitors. B. Distributes hip numbers. C. Supervises transit of competitors to the competition area. D. Ensures that competitors are wearing clothes and shoes in accordance with rules. E. All of the above 9. According to the USATF: A. A competitor cannot be wearing jewelry. B. Bib numbers cannot be folded or cut. C. The midriff cannot be bare. D. Any under garment must be a solid color. E. None of the above. 10. The chief clerk needs assistants to: A. Announce at the clerk of the course tent. B. Check in competitors. C. Provide pre-race staging. D. Escort competitors to the competition area. 11. The clerk s station should be: A. Large enough to care for the largest number of competitors to be staged. B. Adjacent to the competition areas. C. Located in close proximity to the warm up area and restroom facilities. D. Covered (tent) E. All of the above 12. At check in: A. Only competitors for running events are checked in. B. Competitors are checked for proper uniforms. C. A system is used to note that competitors have checked in. D. Hip numbers are issued. ANSWERS: 8. E, 9. B, 10. A, B, C, D 11. E 12. A, B, C

28 APPENDIX (From the National Officials Committee Training Monograph Series) A. General Split Timer/Lap Counting Instructions (page 6) B. Lap Scoring Sheets (pages 10, 14, 18) C. Clerks competitor reporting times (page 6; different) D. Forming heats and lane assignments (page 4)

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