Monday, May 13, 2013


Meets are available in Belchertown with a 4pm start on the following days-
Monday the 13
Tuesday the 14
Wednesday the 15

Please contact Lisa at Do not reply to this email!

-Mac Gray

Saturday, January 19, 2013

College Rules Exam


1.      What rule book do you need to use when officiating a College meet?
a.      The current National Federation Rule Book
b.      The Current MIAA Rule Book
c.       The Current NCAA Rule Book
d.      The Current USA Track and Field Rule Book
e.      All of the above
2.      The College Uniform Rule
a.      Says nothing about Jewelry
b.      Has the same rule as High School
c.       Permits Midriffs
d.      All of the above
3.      Men�s and Women�s Steeplechase cannot be run at the same time because:
a.      The distances of the barriers are different
b.      The starting lines are different
c.       The barrier heights are different
d.      None of the above
4.      All measurements at a College Meet are taken in
a.      Feet and inches
b.      Meters
c.       Either one
5.      The Rules of the javelin at the college level call for
a.      The throw to be marked from the first part of the javelin to touch the ground
b.      The Javelin must strike tip first and stick in the ground
c.       The metal head of the javelin must strike the ground first
d.      The throw is marked from the center part of the javelin.
6.      What are the correct hurdle heights for the men�s 60/ women�s 55 meter race
a.      36�/30�
b.      42�/33�
c.       39�/30�

d.      None of the above

7.      What are the proper Hurdle heights for the Men�s 110/women�s 100 meter race?
a.      42�/33�
b.      36�/30�
c.       39�/30�
d.      None of the above
8.      All competitors are required to wear shoes for all events.
a.      True
b.      False
9.      In the long and triple jumps, how many active boards can you use during the competition?
a.      1
b.      2
c.       3
d.      As many as are needed for all jumpers.
10.  In the heptathlon/decathlon, the time limit between the end of one event and the beginning of the next event shall be:
a.      At  least 30 minutes
b.      15 minutes
c.       As much time as needed for warm ups
d.      45 minutes

11.  An athlete�s failure to participate in one event is barred from all remaining events in the current meet.
a.      True
b.      False
c.      Determined by the meet director
d.      There is no official ruling

12.  Protests should be made
a.      At once and no later than the end of the meet
b.      At once and no later than 30 minutes after results are announced or posted
c.       Can only be made by the coach
d.      None of the above

e.      All of the above

13.  In the Hammer throw it is considered a foul if you
a.      Leave the circle from the rear
b.      Leave the circle prior to the implement hitting the ground
c.      None of the above
d.      All of the above

Answers should be mailed or e-mailed to: Lisa Helpa, P.O. Box 67, North Hatfield, MA  01066

E-mail address

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

2013 Rules Changes Examination

2013 Rules Changes Examination

(Below is WMTFOA's first attempt at an "on-line" exam. In any year that you do not attend the clinic, you are required to take and pass a "Rules Changes" exam in order to insure that you're up on current rule changes. This must be done prior to the end of the enrollment period in order to maintain your certification. This year, that deadline is March first.)

·         Refer to the new (2013) NF rules book to answer each question.
·         You can either print out the answer section or attach it to an e-mail, or just list your 10 answers on an e-mail to Lisa.
·         Please save a copy of your answer sheet until such time as you are credited with passing the exam. 

1.  Washington reports to the shot put with a legal weight 16 lb. college shot.  Jefferson reports with a girl's 8 kg shot.  Both athletes inform the official that they would like to use these implements to warm-up for the boys' event.  The official should:

a.  Allow warm-ups with the college shot since it is heavier than the regulation high school implement.

b.  Allow both athletes to warm-up with their implements but remind them that they must use regulation implements in the competition.

c.  Disallow warm-ups with either illegal implement.

d.  Consult with the field referee before making a ruling.

2.  The referee notices that there are:  (a) hurdle carts just inside the curb of the track and (b) an electrical box 2 feet outside the track that sticks up about 8 inches.  The referee should:

a.  Inform the host coach that the meet cannot proceed until the carts and the electrical box have been removed to an area 1 meter or more outside the track.

b.  Inform the host coach that the hurdle carts should be moved and the electrical box should be covered and padded if possible.

c.  Do nothing, as there is no rules violation in either case.

d.  Cancel the meet.


3.  In the 4X100m relay the second and third runners from Madison High School are simultaneously touching the baton as they move from the acceleration zone into the exchange zone, where the third runner takes sole possession of the baton.  The zone judge should:

a.  Signal a fair exchange since sole possession did not take place until the baton was in the exchange zone.

b.  Raise the red flag and disqualify Madison HS.

c.  Raise a yellow flag and report the violation that both runners touched the baton outside the exchange zone.

d.  Consult with the head umpire to discuss whether there was a violation or not. 


4.  Filmore enters the shot put circle, pauses, and proceeds to initiate his put using a "cartwheel" technique.  The shot lands fairly in the sector and the Filmore exits the rear half of the circle after the throw.

a.  This attempt is fair on all accounts and should be marked and measured.

b.  This attempt should be ruled a foul and the athlete should be disqualified from the event.

c.  The attempt should be ruled a foul, as the "cartwheel" technique has been banned in high school competition.

d.  The attempt should be ruled a "not throw" and the athlete should be given a second attempt.

5.  During his approach, Tyler's javelin makes contact with the runway, causing a portion of the tail to break off.  Tyler completes the throw and the javelin lands (a) within the sector or (b) outside the sector.   The official should:

a.  Mark and measure in situation (a) and call a foul in situation (b).

b.  Call both (a) and (b) a foul.

c.  Mark and measure in situation (a) and award a replacement attempt in situation (b).

d.  Declare both situations a "no throw" and award a replacement attempt.


6.  At the change of bar height there are 3 athletes remaining in the high jump competition.  The time limit for initiating a trial after being called shall:

a.  Remain at 1 minute until there are 2 or fewer competitors.

b.  Be increased to 3 minutes for the remainder of the competition.

c.  Be increased to 3 minutes until only 2 competitors remain.

d.  Be increased to 3 minutes until only a single competitor remains.


7.   At the change of bar height there is only one athlete remaining in the pole vault competition.  The time limit for initiating a trial after being called shall:

a.  Remain at 1.5 minutes for the remainder of the competition.

b.  Be increased to 3 minutes for the remainder of the competition.

c.  Be increased to 6 minutes for the remainder of the competition.

d.  Be increased to 10 minutes for the remainder of the competition.


8.  Clinton reports to the pole vault wearing covers on her forearms to prevent injury and gloves to improve her grip.  The event official should:

a.  Disallow the wearing of both the forearm covers and the gloves.

b.  Allow the forearm covers to be worn but disallow the gloves.

c.  Allow the gloves but disallow the forearm covers.

d.  Consult with the field referee.


9.  To speed up the shot put event the field of 14 has been divided into two flights of 5 and a flight of 4 based on previous performance.  The coach of Kennedy High School protests.  The referee should:

a.  Deny the protest since meet management has the power to set up flights.

b.  Deny the protest since the flights have been set up according to performance.

c.  Uphold the protest since flights must be drawn randomly.

d.  Uphold the protest since one of the flights contains fewer than 5 competitors.



10.  Johnson High school's high jump area requires a jumper to go from the grass field onto the rubberized track surface.  The coach from the visiting team protests to the referee.  The referee should.

a.  Allow the event to be contested since there is no obvious safety hazard.

b.  Cancel the event and award no points to any competitor.

c.  Cancel the event and divide all points equally among the visiting teams.

d.  Attempt to adjust the approach so that it is of an unvarying surface.  If that cannot be done the event should be cancelled and all points will be divided among the visiting teams.


Answer Sheet: Copy and e-mail this section to Lisa Helpa at (Should you decide to mail in your answers via the post office, Lisa's address is Lisa Helpa, Box 67, N. Hatfield MA 01066)

Your name ____________________________________________

Your e-mail address _____________________________________

Date submitted _________________________________________











Tuesday, November 27, 2012

shotput rules change

The 2013 National Federation Rules Book has added a new rule in the shot put.  The new rule, 6-5-9j bans the use of the "cartwheel" technique in the shot put.  If you are unfamiliar with the "cartwheel" technique you can view several good videos of it in use at the following website:


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Good official" defined

"Only Good Officials, please."

        Are you a "good" official? I don't mean "great" or "outstanding," but one of the several dozen competent, workmanlike officials who make-up the solid and steady core of WMTFOA's workforce. Are you one of them?
        Those who assign officials will privately admit that there is an unspoken obligation to supply "only good officials." We all know there is a difference between "good" and "not so good," but we might not be able to accurately define why one official is welcome at meets and another is not. What's below is an attempt to codify that definition.
In my opinion (and only my opinion) being a good official has very little to do with actually being an official per se. In truth, we're all pretty good at marking and measuring and timing and picking places. Further, I've never had a coach or an AD come to me and ask that I not re-hire someone because of a bad call or a mistake that person made.
        It follows, then, that being a good official is not necessarily about officiating. Rather, it's all about the very same things that make for a good employee. Good officials all have four common attributes:
1.    They show up on time and ready to work
2.   They do their job
3.   They are good co-workers
4.   They create no problems

Show up on time… 
        Being on site a half hour before your event begins is the minimum requirement for a passing grade here – if you're not there at least a half hour early, you're late. There are pre-meet duties to be taken care of and warm-ups to be supervised, to say nothing of the aggravation your lateness will create for the guy with the clipboard and the checklist of assignments. 
        At the other end of the meet, bugging out before the final handshake won't make you popular with your employer, either.

and be ready to work:

        The first part of "being ready" is to look the part: Good officials show up in uniform and look professional. Some officials routinely come to work looking like slobs – wrinkled clothes, faded sweatshirts that used to be yellow, blue jeans. Nobody wants to work with (or hire) someone they have to apologize for. 
        The second part of "being ready to work" involves your personal equipment. At every recent clinic we have had a different official go over the various items that he carries with him. In every case, the demonstrator has stressed the idea that everything should be in a dedicated bag of its own and not used for other purposes. There is a minimal checklist of "officials' equipment" on the reverse of every certification card. Showing up without a clipboard or a tape measure or a stop watch are not among the practices of a good official.

Do your job:

          Running an event involves a lot more than just calling names and watching the scratch line: Sign the athletes in, supervise warm-ups, give instructions, then run the event with a minimum amount of delay, all the while enforcing the common-sense rules of safety and respect. Nobody expects to notice a good official, because they run an event in a quiet, workmanlike manner. It's what you're being paid to do. Do your job.
        Work quickly. The most common complaint I hear about new officials is that they're slow. Most become less so once they establish a working routine and become surer of their own abilities, but others remain persistently pokey. Experienced people who work slowly will tell you they are methodical and won't be hurried, but in the opinion of other officials who have to work with them, they're just plain slow. An unfortunate aspect of track is that delays are all additive – you can't later make up for time lost. If you are new (or slow, or both) you should make a study of the practices that will allow you to work more quickly. Slow officials universally are fussy and exact in situations that don't call for fussiness or exactness. No one expects you to rush or cut corners. But if you work briskly you will become efficient, and efficient officials are good officials.
        Are you a talker? I am, and I'd give up officiating if I couldn't talk to the kids, but save such conversations for times when there's nothing else going on. It's always possible to talk too much and become a distraction to athletes who might be trying to concentrate. 
        Similarly, some officials can't stop themselves from coaching, even though it is never a good idea. The list of reasons why you shouldn't coach the kids you're officiating is extensive, but here it's enough to say it's not what you're being paid to do.

Be a good co-worker:
        Very high on the list of things a good co-worker does at a track meet is something commonly called "moving the meet along." Since I routinely serve as a starter, the example I like to sight involves the people at the finish line: When I return from the far end of the track after starting the 100m or the 200m, if I'm working with good officials they will already have called out the runners for the next race and positioned them on the track. That would normally be the starter's job, but good co-workers know when to step-in and step-up. The total time saved is just two or three minutes, but it's a wonderful example of how good officials keep things moving. 
        When your event is over, help another official. We're not being paid by the event, but by the meet – the whole meet. There are never enough officials, so there is always something you can be doing. Even if you're not needed to time a race, there are hand-off zones to be watched, a break line to be inspected, curves to be watched in non-lane races, hurdles to be inspected, athletes to be mustered for the next race. You might wait around and be asked to do these things. Good co-workers don't need to be asked.

Create no problems:
        When it comes to facilities, you'd be hard pressed to find ANY high school facility that isn't wanting in some respect – particularly in field events. As high school officials, our constant wrestling partner is the difference between what's not-up-to-the-letter-of-the-rule and what's actually dangerous. If something isn't quite right, bring it to the attention of the coach. Better yet, write him a note that can be passed along to the Athletic Director. But don't create a problem that isn't there.
        A real problem that officials themselves bring to meets is an inability to do certain jobs. There are seven field events at the high school level. You might prefer one event over another, but a good official should be able to work all of them. Officials who "can't start" or "can't work the pole vault" or "can only mark in the field" or "can't get more than one time" are preventing themselves from being complete officials, and represent a problem for those they work with.
        At every meet there's going to be problems that crop up. It's inevitable. Be willing to discuss questions and disagreements with coaches. Hear – that is, really listen to - what the other person has to say. Don't be argumentative. Refer to the rule book when you state your conclusion. If you can't solve the problem, at least don't make it worse. Be part of the solution, not part of the problem.

        We all try hard to do a good job – we all like to think of ourselves as good officials. Sometimes, the unsolicited opinion of another official can confirm an opinion we have of ourselves, or might point out a blind spot. I hope this will serve that purpose. 


Friday, September 21, 2012


Two officials are needed for Sunday's Massachusetts Senior Games, starting at 9:00 and concluding around noon.  If you are interested, please contact Michael Budd at

They shall pay on the spot, give you a commemorative tee shirt and feed you.

Thank you

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


If you encounter a message that does not have a heading but simply a link, discard it without opening.

From time to time the members that have access receive spam on their regular e-mail addresses and it gets transitted here because this is an established e-mail address for them in order to post often.

Sorry for any incomvenience. Each real message you get from a recognized board member shall have a heading as well as pertinent information. If there is a link, it shall be explained why it is there and won't try to sell you something "unusual" or offer your computer a virus.

The Board of Directors