Pacific Assocation of USA Track and Field

Officials FAQ

Officials FAQ

1. I would like to become an official. How do I get certified?

For a new official to be certified the following items must be completed. These are also listed on the
NOC website at: (Click Here) Recertification

  1. Contact the Certification Chair at [email protected] or the Training Chair at [email protected] to get started
  2. Create a Profile at (if none exists)
  3. Membership – You must join USATF. Memberships are $40.00 for 1 year or $140.00
    for 4 years. Memberships purchased after November 1 are good until December 31 of
    the following year.
  4. Photo (Upload a photo of your head and shoulders w/monotone background and pleasant
    lighting – no hats, no sunglasses)
  5. Emergency Contact Information – Enter your Emergency Contact Information. This is mandatory. Without this information, the uploaded photo won’t be saved.
  6. SafeSport Training (there is an initial training, and then refreshers each year with notification coming from the National SafeSport Office). The initial or first-time training is about 2.5 hours long; annual refreshers are about 15-20 minutes long. There is no cost to the officials for any of these trainings.
  7. Background Screening – Required every two years - current cost is $22 per renewal. Please do the Officials Background Screening, unless the official already has a current background screening as an athlete or a coach, etc.
  8. Rules Reviews – all new officials must complete a 75 question Basic Rules Review
  • The Following Link will take you through the step-by-step process to complete the above items: Certification Document

New officials who intend to be Race Walk officials will need to complete that Rules Review as well. All Rules Reviews are open book reviews based currently on the 2021 USATF rule book. These Rules Reviews will be included as part of the required Introduction to Track and Field clinic.

  • New Officials Certification Application (includes signing Code of Ethics & Performance Guidelines) – Found on the NOC website: Certification
    New officials use the NEW CERTIFICATION application.
  • Completion of the Introduction to Track & Field Clinic: Mandated for the new officials - (via ZOOM or in person – there is currently no cost for this clinic).
  • Certification Fee (USATF Pacific Association pays this fee for you – DO NOT PAY
2. My certification has lapsed. How do I become certified again?

If your certification has lapsed and you have been certified in the current Olympiad, you need to
become 3-way compliant. Being 3-way compliant means that you are current in the following
3 areas:

1)   Membership – Your membership is good for either 1 year or 4 years and may or may not
renew automatically.  A 1-year membership runs from January 1 – December 31 and may
be renewed for the following year any time after November 1. A 4-year membership can be
renewed after November 1 of the year that it is due to expire.

2)    SafeSport – SafeSport is good for 1 year from the date that you complete the original
SafeSport or one of the refreshers. You will first take the Core course which is two and
one-half hours long. Then each year for three years around the anniversary date of your
original completion, you must complete a thirty minute refresher course. After those three
years, the process starts over from the beginning
3) Background Screening – The National Center for Safety Initiatives (NCSI) is good for two years from the date of the previous Background Screen.
If your certification has lapsed and you have NOT been certified in the current Olympiad, you need to complete:

  • The above three requirements (Membership, SafeSport, Background Screening)
  • The appropriate Rules Review(s) for your certification level(s)
  • A Recertification application
  • To gain access to Membership, SafeSport, and Background Screening you need to log into your account by going to org click on USATF Connect Login and enter your username and password. This will take you to your home page at where you will find the Center for SafeSport Training and Background Screening links
  • Add a photo in your profile if you do not already have one

Add Emergency Contacts in your profile if not already entered

3. How often do we need to renew my USATF membership

Once a year. To gain access to Membership you need to log into your account by going to (CLICK HERE),
click on USATF Connect Login and enter your username and password. This will take you to your home page at From there, click on Membership

4. Which SafeSport review do I need to take this year?

SafeSport is good for 1 year from the date that you complete the original SafeSport or one of the refreshers. You will first take the Core course which is about two and one-half hours long. Then each year for three years around the anniversary date of your original completion, you must complete a thirty minute refresher course. After those three years, the process starts over from the beginning. For example, if the official’s current record shows refresher course 2 was previously completed, then course 3 would logically be the next one.

  • Luke Schultheis ([email protected]) at the USATF national office is our liaison for SafesSport related questions.
  • To gain access to SafeSport you need to log into your account by going to . Click on USATF Connect Login and enter your username and password. This will take you to your home page at From there, click on Center for SafeSport Training.
5. How often do we need to do SafeSport, and what is the cost?

Once a year. See Question 4. There is no cost.

6. How do I renew my Background Screen? What will it cost me?
  1. Below are the instructions the Certification Chair wrote based on when he did his NCSI background renewal in September 2021. At that time, it cost $22 for NCSI and $1.18 processing fee for a total of $23.18. The background check is valid for 2 years. Both the steps and the cost may change from time to time but hopefully those steps are a guide to help.
  2. To gain access to the Background Screen you need to log into your account by going to USATF Connect Login and enter your username and password. This will take you to your home page at
  3. Then click on the link "Officials - Background Screening" tab
  4. Start the renewal by clicking green "current" (or orange "lapsed")
  5. Click on next (may need to scroll down to see this at the bottom right) and follow through instructions on each screen
    Note: even though your email and postal address are already on the profile, the check is
    done by a third party so some repetitive questions need to be answered
  6. On the last screen (one about Code of Conduct) click renew (not just save)
  7. You are not done yet – Now click on the cart icon in the top right near your picture
  8. This is the shopping cart - You must pay the fee to complete your renewal request
  9. On the first screen, click checkout (may need to scroll down to see this at the bottom right)
  10. On the second screen, enter your credit card payment information and click pay
  11. Once you get confirmation, your application is complete
  12. Depending on your location, the results may be available in 1-3 weeks
  13. You will receive an email once the background check is complete
  14. Your profile will update indicating the renewal if there were no issues with the check
7. How often do we need to do a Background check?

Every other year

8. Where do I obtain a resume form?

It is the highlighted Excel sheet under OFFICIAL’S MEET RESUME FORM on the PAUSATF officials website: (Click Here) PAUSATF Officials' Meet Resume Form. (Downloadable) The Excel sheet is fillable on your computer while the PDF form must be printed and filled in by hand.

9. How often do I send my resume to my Mentor/RRC/Certification Chair?

The resume needs to be sent to the Certification Chair at least once every 4 years at the time of recertification. It is also required as part of the upgrade request. It is recommended for officials to send it once a year, especially if they are seeking guidance in upgrading.

10. Who can look at my resume and give me feedback? Am I headed in the right direction?

Your Mentor, your RRC, or the Certification Chair with guidelines from the certification regulation which can be found in the Certification Document titled Certification Regulation on the USATF (CLICK HERE) Certification page.

11. How do I get a mentor?

There are several ways to get a mentor.

    1. Contact the Mentor Chair at [email protected]
    2. Contact your Regional Resource Coordinator (RRC)
    3. Ask someone you know to mentor you
12. What do I need to do to get upgraded?

Pages 6, 7, & 8 of the National Officials Certification Regulation covers the upgrade requirements. (Go to the Certification page of the USATF website.)

Some notes to highlight:

  • Upgrades are credential specific; each application is for one credential, e.g., shot put, at a time. So, multiple applications may be needed to cover all credentials (e.g., umpire, throws) in which the official wishes to upgrade. Although the regulation implies a separate application is needed for each throw and each vertical jump, depending on the specific case, all throws or vertical jumps may be combined (this is by exception).
  • Each application must show 8 meets of experience specific to that credential.
  • A recommendation letter from an official (National or Master) must accompany each application. This letter can be in the form of an email, but it needs attestation that the recommender saw the applicant perform satisfactorily at one or more of the meets listed in the application.
13. What is a qualifying (eligible) event which will count toward my upgrade?

Upgrades are credential specific; Each meet is to be used only once even though it may be a multi-day meet with the same event competed multiple times. For example, officiating Javelin at JO across all boys/girls all ages events may lead to an official officiating multiple times during the multi-day meet but on the upgrade application it will be a single line consolidating the various duties performed. Ironically a single day meet with only 1 Javelin event also gets a single line on the upgrade application. However, a multi-day meet may expose the official to variety of rotating duties whereas a single day meet may see the official doing only one duty e.g., field marker. Across the 8 meets, a variety of roles is an important consideration in the upgrade (not explicitly stated in the certification regulation but captured under the “positive written upgrade recommendation”). If different events are officiated at a meet, that same meet can be used in multiple upgrade applications, one for each of those events assuming each upgrade application has the required number of meets and the recommendations (and rules reviews if applicable).

Special note on Combined Events:

Some meets use events crew and only have a Combined Events coordinator assigned to guide the crew from event to event and other meets use a crew which rotates with the athletes at each event. USATF only has a credential for Combined Events Coordinator (CEC). This credential requires the official to be familiar with guiding the athletes through the competition, tracking start/finish times, etc. Merely being on a Combined Event crew would not qualify for the Certification.

However, the Combined Events crew members can treat each of the individual events of the Combined Events as separate events on their resume and upgrade applications. For example, if an official worked as the head of the Shot Put crew in the Combined Events, that official would put “Shot Put, CE crew” in the column Event(s) Worked and “Head” in the column Position(s) of the row listing the meet name. If an official is also submitting an upgrade application for another credential, say Javelin, they can list “Javelin CE crew” in the column Event(s) Worked and “Called Fouls” in the column Position(s) on the line listing that meet on the Javelin upgrade application.

At meets where the crew rotates through all events, sometimes a Referee or CE Crew Chief assumes the role of the Combined Events Coordinator. If it is the latter, that Crew Chief can use that meet on their upgrade application for the CEC credential but otherwise they are like the rest of the crew members treating all those events individually.

The following is an example of recording Combined Events on a Resume


USATF Official's Experience Record (Resume)
First Name: Joe Last Name: Smith
USATF Official #           (6 digit) 123456 USATF Member #     (10 digit) 1112223334
Meet or                     Clinic Name USATF,          College, HS Venue, City,      State Date Event(s)        Worked Position(s) Crew Chief or       Instructor
Chico State Multis College CSU, Chico 02/16/21 Hep 100MH Umpire B. Strong
Chico State Multis College CSU, Chico 02/16/21 Hep High Jump Flight      Coordinator B. Strong
Chico State Multis College CSU, Chico 02/16/21 Hep Shot Put Head of the Event B. Strong
Chico State Multis College CSU, Chico 02/16/21 Hep 200M Umpire B. Strong
Chico State Multis College CSU, Chico 02/17/21 Hep Long Jump Worked                 the board B. Strong
Chico State Multis College CSU, Chico 02/17/21 Hep Javelin Marked in             the field B. Strong
Chico State Multis College CSU, Chico 02/17/21 Hep 800M Umpire B. Strong
14. What do I need to know about the 10 meet requirements for the National level upgrade as well as the other requirements specifically regarding Throws?

Summary specifically answering the question about the balance:

  1. Choose meets that give experience in multiple throws. That way there is enough coverage
    across the throws and not an unbalance towards one.
  2. If this is difficult to do due to the needs of a meet, balance the coverage across 10 meets
  3. The number 10 is a minimum. More meets may be listed, if needed to show a breadth of experience.

Check Certification Upgrade Criteria on the Certification page of the NOC website for detailed upgrade criteria.

Fictional example of what one might to turn in when applying for a National upgrade in Throws.

Name Sam Hope
Officials Number 654321
Membership Number 3332221111
Meet City, State Date Event Event Duty Head Ref or Event Head
CCCAA Track & Field Championships (NCAA) San Mateo, CA May 5-6, 2015 Women's Hep Javelin (Recorder),                  Shot Put (Marker) Unknown
Chico State Invite       NCAA Chico CA April 2, 2016 Men's Hammer Wom. Hammer Men's Discus Wom. Discus Marker                                                        Ring Judge                                                   1st Recorder                                              Flt Coordinator J. Cruise                J. Cruise                K. Long                 K. Long
PA Masters Meet          USATF Sacramento CA March 18, 2017 Men's Hammer Wom. Hammer Men's Discus Wom. Discus Flight Coordinator                        Pulled Tape                                          Event Head                                           Event Head M. Tyson            M. Tyson              P. Jones               P. Jones
Pac 12 Championships NCAA Seattle WA May 18-19, 2017 Men's Hammer Wom. Hammer Men's Shot Wom. Shot Event Head                                           Event Head                                               Ring Judge                                                   Flt Coordinator M. Larkin            M. Larkin              P. Jones               P. Jones
Mountain West Outdoor Championships (NCAA) Clovis, CA May 9-12, 2018 Men's Dec Shot Put (Marker), Discus (Recorder), Javelin (Timer) R. Shore
CCAA Conference Championships (NCAA) San Diego, CA May 1-4, 2019 Women's Hep Shot Put (Recorder),  Javelin (Marker) B. Smith
USATF U20s Miramar, Fl June 12-15, 2019 Men's Hammer  Wom. Hammer Marker                                                                                                       1st Recorder L. Carson             L. Carson
National Women's Decathlon Championships (USATF) San Mateo, CA Aug. 21-22, 2021 Women's Dec Shot Put (Ring Judge), Discus (Marker), Javelin (Called Fouls), P. Jones
Stanislaus State Combined Events (NCAA) Turlock, CA April 7-8, 2022 Men's Dec Discus (Flight Coor.), Javelin (Marker), Shot Put (Marker) D. Simmer
CCAA Conference Championships (NCAA) SF, CA May 5-7, 2022 Women's Hep Shot Put (Marker), Javelin (Called Fouls) J. Lynch
Men's Dec Shot Put (Flight Corr.), Javelin (Called Fouls J. Lynch
Mountain West Outdoor Championships (NCAA) Clovis, CA May 11-14, 2022 Men's Dec Discus (Flight Coor.), Javelin (Marker), Shot Put (Marker) R. Shore
Javelin 8
Shot put 10
Discus Throw 8
Hammer Throw 8
15. How do I get to the USATF store to purchase general merchandise?

The USATF general store sells general USATF merchandise and is for everyone, has no passwords and no discounts for officials:
USATF General Store

16. What is the Officials Uniform?

The following link will take you to the USATF National Official’s Committee (NOC) official’s
uniform policy: (CLICK HERE) Uniforms and Equipment

The Pacific Association has the same uniform requirements as above with the exception of the polo shirt. A white polo shirt is the norm and may have “Pacific Association” and your name embroidered on the shirt. The Officials Coordinator or Meet Management may dictate what shirt(s) is/are to be worn at a particular meet.

17. How do I order official’s uniform items?

There are currently 3 places to buy uniform items for officiating

  1. – this is a new website for certified USATF officials only. Your USATF membership number is required. New officials, go here for your free, navy blue national shirt. Once certified, your account will be credited for the cost of the shirt. Other items are available for purchase, however, there are only a limited number of items. White polo shirts purchased through this store may have “Pacific Association” embroidered on them. Navy blue shirts cannot have any additional embroidery. For issues related to the shirt (e.g., size/fit or exchange) please contact our official’s coordinator at the USATF national office, Conor Naughton at [email protected]
  2. - This store for certified officials is where you will be directed to if you go through You must use a password to buy uniforms items at this store. The password is Official2019
  3. - Company Casuals is located in the San Jose area and has a license to use the USATF logo but is NOT an official USATF store. White and red polo shirts purchased here may be embroidered with “Pacific Association” and your name.
18. How many Rule Books are there and where may I purchase them?

There are 4 Rule Books (paper and digital copies are available for most):

  • NCAA
  • NFHS
  • World Athletics (WA)

The rule books may be ordered from the Rule Books page of the USATF site by CLICKING HERE .

19. How will I know which Rule Book will be used at a meet?

USATF – The USATF rule book will be used at all sanctioned meets that are not Collegiate or High School. It is used at USATF sanctioned Youth meets, USATF sanctioned Masters meets. USATF National meets and at meets with that have multiple levels of competition such as the Mt. Sac Relays or the Stanford Invite. Always check with the Officials Coordinator or Meet Management as to which Rule Book will be used.

NCAA – The NCAA Rule Book is used for all Collegiate Meets.

NFHS – The NFHS Rule Book is used at all High School meets

World Athletics (WA) – WA Rule Book is used for international competition.

NOTE: Meets that have multiple levels of competition may use two or three different Rule Books. Contact the Officials Coordinator or meet management if you are not sure which Rule Book(s) is/are going to be used.

20. Some of the rules are confusing. Who do I call with questions about various rules?

Your Mentor or RRC are a good place to start.

Many of the rules in the USATF Rule Book have one or more Notes after them which are intended to clarify the rules.

NCAA uses Monthly Interpretations to clarify certain situations. Check the NCAA website at under Media Center/Playing Rules. (Do not go to

NFHS has a webpage of rule interpretations on their website. This can be accessed at NFHS T&F Resources

21. I have read the rule book, but at a track meet _________ happened. I called a foul, and the athlete protested. Did I interpret the rule correctly?

Your mentor and/or your RRC are knowledgeable about many different situations. Another good resource is the referee at the meet you are working. Keep in mind that a protest is not necessarily an indication of interpreting something incorrectly. An athlete may protest because he/she is unsure of what happened. Don’t take a protest personally. See question 20 for additional information on rules interpretations.

22. Where do I find documents that I can study to help me better prepare for an event?

Read the rule book pages corresponding to the event you will be working before every meet.
In addition, read the relevant best practices on the USATF officials website. The Best Practices can be accessed through the following link: Best Practices

See question 20 for additional resources.

23. I was at a track meet, and I witnessed something that concerned me. It was not a SafeSport violation. This is how I handled it. Was that the correct way to deal with it?

Contact your Mentor and/or your RRC. They are knowledgeable about many different situations. If they are uncomfortable with answering the question, you will be directed to someone else who can help you out. Do not let things fester. Contact someone ASAP.

24. I witnessed a SafeSport violation. Whom do I contact?

A good place to start is by reading the information at Reporting a SafeSport Complaint

Contact the Officials Chair, Phil Leake, at [email protected]

25. Do officials carpool? Who can I contact to get or share a ride?

Officials living near one another often carpool. This is something you will have to arrange yourself as you get to know other officials. Due to privacy issues, we are not allowed to share information such as addresses or phone numbers.

26. I really enjoyed working with ______________. How can I work more track meets with her/him?

Talk with the official after a meet in which you work together and ask if you could work with her/him again. You can also talk to your Mentor or RRC.

27. I would like more experience in being a timer, flight coordinator, field judge, ring judge, etc. How do I get that experience?

Your Mentor and RRC are able to suggest meets. They will work with the Officials Coordinators or Event Heads to help get you to the proper assignment.

28. I signed up for two meets on the same day. What should I do?

Pick one or the other. Then work with the Officials Coordinators as soon as possible to resolve the conflict. There will be times where this situation is unavoidable, but in general, we encourage you to honor your commitment. Look the calendar over carefully before choosing. It may also help to talk to your Mentor or RRC about which meets might be best for you.

29. I'm primarily focused on officiating a particular event. What equipment do I really need?

The best thing you can do for now is to keep it simple. It’s best to become knowledgeable in all of the events and to see what other officials are carrying before you decide with what you are going to fill your cart. Start with the basics:

  • Backpack
  • Rule Book(s)
  • Clipboard
  • Pencils and erasers
  • Highlighters
  • Red, Yellow, & White flags
  • Stopwatch
  • Official’s Badge
  • Water & Snack

For discipline specific equipment lists, the USATF officials website has such lists under best practices:

30. I want to officiate at Stanford and Berkeley. I don't know if I am ready. What do you think?

If you are a certified official in the Pacific Association, you can apply to work at any meet. Work with your Mentor, RRC, and/or the Officials Coordinators to find the role that is commensurate with your experience and one that also meets the needs of the meet.

31. I had a great time during track season, how do I get involved in LDR, Cross Country or Race Walking?

On the lower left side of the main page of the Pacific Association website is an events calendar. Click on the link of the meet you want to work to see the contact information.

Contact your Mentor, RRC, or the officials coordinator for the meet in which you are interested.

There are clinics specifically for LDR/XC and Race Walk that must be taken to be certified in those disciplines. Race Walk officials also need to take a Rules Review.

32. What Clinics do you suggest I attend?

Apprentice officials should first take the Introductory clinics in Horizontal Jumps, Vertical Jumps, and Throws. You also can take any of the Track clinics (Clerk, Marshal, Umpire, Race Walk, & LDR). The next level of clinics for Field Events are Advanced clinics. Those clinics focus on getting you ready to be the head official of an event. As one progresses “up the ladder” there are clinics for Referees and Officials Coordinators. If you are interested in becoming a Starter you should take an Introduction to Starting clinic. Those looking to advance their starting skills should take Advanced Starting. There are also other clinics that pop up from time to time that cover other aspects of officiating.

In the spring there are a number of All-Comer meets, as well as some specialized throwing events, that are used for on-the-job training. These are a great way to get instruction and gain experience.

Your Mentor, RRC, and/or the Training Chair will keep you apprised of all training opportunities. Some of these clinics will be in-person, some will be on Zoom, and some may be put on by other Associations.

33. How do I apply for championships with NCAA, USATF, etc. What is the Championship application process? When and how to apply.

Officiating assignments for USATF Senior and U20 National Outdoor Championships and the USATF Senior Indoor Championships are open only to National and Master level officials who are selected through an application process. The application period is usually in September/October of the year prior to the championships. Selections are typically announced at the USATF Annual Meeting in early December.

  • USATF Youth and Master Championships are open to officials of all levels and may or may not involve an application process.
  • Officiating assignments for NCAA Regional and National Championships (DI, DII & DIII) are open to Apprentice, Association, National and Master Officials, however, preference is given to National and Master Officials. The applications period for these championships is usually in September/October of the year prior to the championships. Selections are typically announced in December or early January.
    • NCAA uses RefQuest as their registration website. Registration is not an application. Only those who register on RefQuest will be invited to apply.
  • NCAA Conference Championships (PAC12, Mountain West, Big Sky, Big West, CCAA, etc.) are open to all officials and may or may not involve an application process. Junior College Championships also fall into this category.
  • The California State High School Meet is open to all officials. Contact your Mentor, RRC, or Brian Weaver at [email protected]

Volunteering is also a way to get to a championship meet if you are not selected. USATF and NCAA meets often utilize certified officials in a volunteer capacity. This is an excellent way to meet and socialize with officials from other regions who may be selection committee members for other meets you may want to work.

34. I lost or never received my officials' badge. Who do I contact about this?

Contact the Certification Chair at [email protected]

In most cases of an official contacting the Certification Chair saying they did not receive the badge, they had misplaced and later found it. Since the badges are typically shipped from June-September and often not used until the following season, many officials forgot where they put that badge. In any case, if your badge is indeed lost, a replacement badge will be ordered for you.

35. What is the difference between my official’s badge number and my membership number?

All USATF members have a 10-digit membership number. It is your unique identification and is needed for purchasing equipment through the officials uniform store (, membership renewal, applications to championships, upgrades etc. This number is shown on the home page of your the USATF Connect Sport80 profile as well as on your Profile page and when you click the Membership tab. The membership tab also shows the membership expiration date.

The 6-digit Official’s Number is only for certified officials and is used to identify a certified official. It can be seen on the USATF Connect Sport80 profile by clicking the Official’s Certification Status tab. That tab also shows your Certification Status. Green: Current if currently valid, Red: Action Required if it was valid in the past but no longer valid, and Orange: Pending Approval if the profile is 3-way compliant but other officiating related requirement(s) e.g., rules review, certification application or Olympiad fee payment are not complete. Status is blank if the certification process is not completed or not renewed.

36. I heard the National Official’s Committee sends out a monthly newsletter to all officials registered to get it. How do I register myself?

Follow this self-subscription link (preferred):
or send an email to [email protected]

For previous issues of the newsletter, go to: Officials' Newsletters