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.