The high quality of track and field, cross country, and road events in the New England association at all levels - youth, scholastic, collegiate, open - can be attributed to the officials who work the many meets to ensure fair and safe competition.
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 years. Minimum age for officials is 18 years old. The current 4 year certification period begins January 1, 2020 and runs through December 31, 2024, but officials may join at any time. .
Recertification for current officials begins November 1, 2020.
All certified officials are required to have current USATF membership (and may get a 4 year membership at a discounted fee), a USATF background screening (good for 2 years, $18), and must.complete the SafeSport course online (90 minutes, no fee). SafeSport is valid for 365 days and an annual refresher (20 min) is required. A officials fee for the 4 year Olympiad ($30 for 2021-24) includes the testing/rules review.
Prospective officials complete a written or online, open-book rules review. There is a general track and field module, as well as tests covering various event groups and specialty areas of officiating. New officials may complete the rules review and become certified at any time. Certification runs from date of approval to the end of the Olympiad (up to a 4 year period). The rules review - either completing the test or attending a review session - must be done every 4 years.
USATF-NE offers several new officials review sessions each new certification period - watch your member email, the website, and Facebook for notices. There are also several specialty clinics planned for 2021 in pole vault, race walking, Electronic Distance Measurement, and cross country.
"Apprentice" or "Association" are the first levels of certification, depending on prior officiating experience.
After a full Olympiad and practical experience at different types of meets, 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 by either completing the written rules review or attending a recertification review for their certification level at the beginning of each Olympiad.
The application and certification review exams for 2021-2024 are available and are posted on the USATF Officials 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: If an official did not renew during a full Olympiad (currently, last certification being prior to 2017), the process must be re-started from step 1. That is, no automatic renewals if there are 4 year gaps in service.
Bob Gidari (NH Track & Field Officails Association) is the current USATF-New England certification chair. He can be contacted at email@example.com