USATF New England Officials


*** For an informative history of rules of the sport, check out the Evolution of Track and Field Rules researched by Dr. Eric Zemper of Michigan, an IAAF Interational Technical Official. (used here with permission) ***

The high quality of track and field, cross country, and road events in the New England association at all levels (youth, scholastic, collegiate, and open) can be attributed to the officials who work the many meets to ensure fair and safe competition.

Joining the ranks of officials is not a difficult process. 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. The current 4 year certification period began in September 2012 and runs through 2016, but officials may join at any time. Officials who are certified in 2016 will have their certification extended through the next Olympiad, 2020. There is a fee covering the Olympiad which includes the testing. All certified officials are required to have current USATF members.


Prospective officials take a written, open-book rules review which is in several parts. 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; the certification runs from date of approval to the end of the Olympiad. New officials certified for the first time in 2016 have their certification extend through 2020.

"Apprentice" or "Association" are the first levels of certification, depending on prior officiating experience.
After several years of practical experience at different types of meets and an additional test, 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. Officials who renew either complete the rules review or attend a recertification review for their certification level at the beginning of each Olympiad. The certification review exams for 2017-2020 are available and are posted on the USATFOfficials 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 2012), then the process must be re-started from step 1. That is, no automatic renewals if there are 4 year gaps in service.


Officiating at higher levels of events requires the two highest levels of certification. There are many regional and National level competitions hosted in the New England association so there are many opportunities to have one of the best seats in the house for meets!

For National level events, selection is partially based on officials having worked at their local association meets including open, youth, and masters competitions, and whether officials have officiated outside their immediate home area.

There are only small numbers of officials positions available at the prestigious USA Championships and Olympic Trials, and consideration requires a formal application and resume. However, there are many opportunities to work at major national events such as the USA Junior, Junior Olympic, and Masters Championships.

There is also certification available for road race, cross country, and race walk officials.


The procees to become or renew as an official in the New England association:

The rules reivew forms can be obtained online (see below at bottom), or from the New England Association Office:
USATF New England office, for Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont

While an official can be independent of a "club" or officials association, one will find that many assignments in New England, particularly for high school and collegiate events, are made through one of the local officials groups in the association. Many officials in these groups are USATF certified. To become involved with one in your area, contact one of the following.

Organization Contact E-mail/web address
Massachusetts Track & Field Officials Association
(primarily eastern Mass.)
Brian Moody
web page:
Central Mass. Track & Field Officials Charles Butterfield
Western Mass. Track & Field Officials Michael Budd
web page:
Rhode Island Track & Field Officials Guild Ron Boemker
Granite State Track & Field Officials Association Bob Gidari
web page:
Dartmouth College Track Officials Barry Harwick
Vermont Track & Field Officials Association Pavel Dvorak
web page: VT Officials
Beyond the USATF New England association boundaries . .
Connecticut USATF Yvonne Grimes
Maine USATF Don Berry


Check the National web page for lots more information on officiating


The USATF Competition Rulebook is updated every two years; this is done after rules change meetings at the USATF National Convention. Thus, a new book is generally only needed every other year. New rule books are available in 2015 and then in 2017. However, every year, there are some changes annually to comply with international rules or after approval of tabled items. Those updates can be found at the USATF website.
The Rulebook is available online at and the book may be purchased from the National Office. USATF certified officials receive a significant price discount.

There are separate rule books for College and Scholastic competition. While most rules are the same, there are differences - some significant - in some events.

On a higher level, there is also an international (IAAF) rule book. That can be found on the web at
The IAAF also has an excellent book, "The Referee", that covers many aspects of officiating.


Check the USATF-NE track and cross country pages to find association meets that may need officials. The USATF Officials web site has more opportunities out of the region.

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USA Track & Field New England

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