Athletics is overwhelmingly a voluntary sport and this applies to the people that make competition happen, the officials. They are the people that ensure the rules are followed, competition is fair and safe, timetables kept to and results compiled.
Officials are needed in events we put on eg club championships and track and field leagues we compete in, currently the Southern Athletics League and Kent Young Athletes League. In the track leagues it’s a requirement that we provided officials and we score points for doing so.
You can help out at these events without becoming a qualified official. There will be people on hand to show you what to do. Duties aren’t onerous and indeed are fun.
The t&f leagues are typically a whole day and we have to provide a timekeepers, track judges and any number of field officials and helpers. We are usually required to do four field events.
To qualify you need to do a course (some electronic, some in person) put on by England Athletics, complete their health and safety course, provide a DBS certificate and complete a certain number of experiences in a log book. There are courses as starter, track judge, timekeeper and field officials and they go from Level 1 to Level 4 or 5. Currently to get a license for an event where results go on Power of 10 some Level 1 and Level 2 officials are required.
The courses can be found here: https://www.athleticshub.co.uk/course-list/eng?what=Official
Then filter ‘course type’ to ‘officials’ and off you go. You will need an athletics hub registration to do a course. Registration is free and the links on that page are obvious.
The club provides the following incentives
- It will pay for your course
- It will pay travelling expenses (to the level of a cheap rail return) to out of London events where you come specifically to officiate
- If you qualify as Level 1 and help out at four t&f league events in one summer it will give you a track pass for a year
- If you qualify at Level 2and help out at four t&f league events it will it will pay your sub and give an annual track pass
- Timekeeper – recording times in road or track races
- Track judge – record finishing times in road or track races, and responsible for everything else on the track in athletics meeting such as hurdle height & positions, relay takeovers etc.
- Field judge – organise, measure and record field events such as high jump, discus etc.
- Starter/marksman – organise the start, lane assignments etc. and/or fire the gun
Further information: https://www.englandathletics.org/officiating/
For more info contact me
Len Reilly (Official Sec.)