Pacific Assocation of USA Track and field

How to Become an Official

So you’re interested in becoming a CERTIFIED USA TRACK & FIELD OFFICIAL?


What is the first step? If you live in Northern California or certain areas of Nevada, you are a resident of the Pacific Association of USA Track & Field. The Pacific Association Certification Chair is Jim Hume. Contact Jim at [email protected], or by mail at 1561-B Marina Court, San Mateo CA 94403 to have him send you the basic packet to get you started. Or contact Chairman Phil Leake at [email protected].
You may also want to view this information on the USATF website: Certification Levels and Requirements for Advancement.
Also, here is the 2020 Officials Training Clinic Schedule.

Photo by Jim Hume
John Coie – the man with the time

What do I do next? Follow the instructions in the packet you receive from Jim.

Photo by Jim Hume

Lori Maynard – “no violation”

How soon can I start? Right now, if you wish. Included in the packet is the current Pacific Association Track & Field Schedule of meets and instructional clinics. Choose a clinic (held in January through February) for some insight; choose a track, cross-country, long-distance running, or youth meet, come out, introduce yourself and offer to help on an event you particularly like. You’ll be welcome and will receive on-the-job training!

I’m mainly interested in Race Walking/Youth Athletics/Long-Distance Running. Is certification for me? Yes. Certified officials are involved in every sport and discipline under the aegis of USA Track & Field, and certification programs are available for every one of them.


When first certified, you will be an Association Level official.

As an Association Level Official, each year you will receive a schedule of meets in the Pacific Association; news about clinics and other training sessions; invitations to work local and regional youth, high school, college and open track and field meets along with periodic mailings of the Pacific Officials Newsletter, Turns & Distances.

You can start to specialize in the event or events that you like best. After a few years’ service, you can apply to become a National Level official. Now you will receive an application to officiate at National Championships and you’ll be invited to work high-level invitational meets.

A few more years’ service and you can apply to become a Master Level official in your favorite discipline(s). You will be eligible to work at national championships and international events (like Olympics or Pan Am Games) held on U.S. soil.


  • If you are already helping with your children’s meets, the certification process, and officials’clinics later on, will help you improve your skills.
  • If you are a former athlete, officiating will help you keep in touch with our great sport.
  • At most meets, the organizers will give you lunch or at least a snack. Most will provide parking; and you can deduct transportation and other costs on your taxes.
  • At quite a few meets, the organizers will give you a shirt or hat.
  • Mostly, you’ll get the thanks of athletes, coaches, parents, and spectators–and other officials–who know this sport cannot go forward without skilled, dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers.
Photo by Jim Hume
Larry Doutherd (l) and Teddy Hayes