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 Ajay Padgaonkar. Contact Ajay at [email protected] 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.

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

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.