This topic contains 19 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by southlondonllad 9 months, 3 weeks ago.
I wish all the volunteer Track & Field Officials well for the forthcoming season. I shall be attending Open events on Saturday , and probably another on Sunday. Hopefully all events this weekend will be well supported by Officials to ensure the events run smoothly and fairly. However I do have concerns. Last year I witnessed several events struggling to recruit the ideal number of Officials …..we just about mucked through. Knackered at the end of long days, often with no respite…..But back for more the following week….and the next…and the next.
There appears to more and more Opens , plus long day League matches , supported by willing ,but ageing, experienced officials.
Has there been a successful recruitment drive in your neck of the woods ?
We tried hard to get new officials trained over the winter. We ended up with 5 new field judges who are all starting to gain experience, mentored by experienced officials.
Open meetings are a nightmare, particularly when entries are allowed on the day. Tomorrow (Sat 1st April – ironically), there are 3 Midland based Open Meetings at Stoke, Loughborough and Rugby. I estimate there will be in excess of 1,200 athletes competing across the 3 venues. A lot of work for us in the field and thankfully there will
be EDM for long throws at all 3 meetings.
Well , just to say that the two T&F meetings I supported this weekend were run exceedingly well ( as usual) and please to say that a few ‘new and younger ‘ faces were officiating too.
On a different subject but connected to Open events was the question of ‘taking photos of juniors’ ? It was not too many years ago that each Open event and League match ‘photographers’ were asked to register their name and be issued with a sticker to did[play on their chest. It was obvious this weekend that nearly every single person (parent, athlete, visitor) was taking photos and videos……I guess that the past policy on this issue is now non police-able ?
Open meetings are usually quite hectic. We had huge entries in the Long Jump competitions, meaning they took a long time to complete.
We limit the number in Throws but still had a tough task. To control the time we put in a standard (for additional throws) of 25m in the long throws and 9m in Shot. With mixed age groups and gender it also offers real variety. The prize for me was seeing some top age group performances and lots of PB’s.
We had 5 field judges trainees getting their 1st or 2nd experience following the course. A baptism of fire and they are now looking forward to the more controlled and less chaotic League matches.
MarkE (or anyone else )… I see on the EA website today that 250 Officials attended UKA’s conference on Sunday at Kenilworth…..That’s an impressive turnout considering there were numerous Opens events at the weekend. Did you attend ? …and if so did you get the feeling Officiating was ‘on the up ‘ ?
We had 2 of our experienced Field Judges in attendance on Sunday. They had shared the Field Referee duties on the Saturday at the Open Meeting.
I couldn’t make it.
Posting here incase anyone reading can offer help:
17th May 2017
Surrey are still short of officials especially Field officials for the Senior Inter-counties meeting at Kingsmeadow on 2nd July. As Essex will be sending a team we should have some officials there. If anyone is available to officiate at this meeting please let me know and I will forward your details to Surrey and they will let you know the details. Essex will pay towards your travel expenses for this meeting.
Essex County Officials Secretary
My club has a shrinking number of mostly elderly officials. We have a number of people seeking to go on officials courses but find that very few are available in the South. I am told this is because EA cannot find tutors.
I am also informed that 4 officials courses (including a time keeper course) have been cancelled recently in the South at the last minute. People from south of London and from London are having to decide if they will attend courses in Birmingham and Manchester areas.
Another request passed to me yesterday…so, again ,if you can offer help, it would be appreciated .
Essex County Schools Track & Field Championships at Chelmsford on the Saturday 10th June 2017. We are still short of officials in all disciplines. If you are not already on the list and are available to officiate at this meeting please let me know. I will send out final details later.
Would you also let me know if you are able to officiate at the Schools Year 7 Championships on Wednesday 5th July at Chelmsford even if you have already stated your availability.
Essex County Officials Secretary
Bill…..I too heard that a couple of Level 1 courses in London were cancelled at short notice. So I decided to take a look at the England Athletics on-line booking course link and was amazed at the lack of any courses in London and the South or East……..Is this down on recent years ?.
see link : http://www.englandathletics.org/courses.aspx?siteSectionId=33&postCode=Postcode&distance=5®ion=&keyword=officials&courseType=0001300000030013
In the past, Clubs with an experienced high grade official could arrange ,free of charge , and award the basic Level 1 certs to attendees,……shame this useful method of getting locals (usually parents) was withdrawn by the NGB. I would be grateful if anyone can enlighten me why this decision was made by the NGB ?….Please don’t say its ‘Elf and Safety ”
And……one of the key benefits of Networks was that they arranged, coordinated, promoted Level 1 courses locally. Demise of the Networks = Less numbers to justify local courses.
If you want to arrange an officials course, do it in winter – not during the summer when officials are very busy. My club organised a Level 1 course in March attended by 18 members of my club. Most of these are well on the way towards completing the four events required to qualify as a Level 1 official.
…WELL DONE….But I don’t agree. The best time to do it is Spring/Early Summer …..when the parents are becoming more involve, ,there are early Club Opens…..and the imminent start of the Young Athlete Leagues……..Do it the Winter and many disappear before the next T& season, and there’s very limited opportunities to offer events to put into practise when they have learnt.
Smaller Clubs find it hard to arrange and justify a course on their own. My point was that Networks were better placed .
Smaller clubs don’t need to organise their own courses, they just need to book on the courses organised by the bigger clubs..
…….well the ‘bigger clubs’, often with higher qualified officials were previously allowed to present and issue the level 1 equivalent certs themselves…but now that right has been removed…and with the lack of tutors in the South and less parent volunteers generally we need to grab them when they are most engaged….and that’s not the winter.
Lets be honest about this….if you can get a parent to commit to helping as a level 1 for league matches then that club has done well if he/she lasts more than 3 years…when most children have moved on to other sports or have given up. ….
No-one starts as a Level one. You qualify only after the requisite experiences. Winter is the best time, you then come into Spring ready to gain the experiences. If you are so disposed, a group of clubs can band together to have a course. You demand summer courses but the very people who are tutors or logical nominees are working flat out at meetings. Add to that any coaching they are doing, admin roles at various levels etc and I think you are being unfair.
You run the Network argument yet again but as far as I can see, if someone else is not stumping up the money then clubs do not want networks? Why are these networks you hark to not running development projects that reap a financial reward therefore having an income stream such as a Primary School X/c league or tender for projects?