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March 2004
George Mathews

There has been much controversy concerning the value of USATF sanctions. Most of us know that all our USATF Championships must be and are sanctioned. But what about all those other meets that are held around the country? Many of which USATF members participate in. This is a large number.

I wonder if our members who participate in many of these meets realize they may not be sanctioned, and do they ask if they are? Do our members realize that if they break an age group record in a non-sanctioned meet, it will not count? For rankings, we will start to indicate non-sanctioned meets with an asterisk. At some point, we may not even include non-sanctioned meets in our USATF rankings.

Why would we rank meets that arent sanctioned by us if we arent sure the USATF rules of competition are followed? Would we be ranking apples and oranges?

Yes, a sanction costs money, but isnt it worth it? USATF stands ready to help facilitate competitions. There are series discounts. Associations and the Masters T&F Committee are there to help if financial aid is needed.

Im not saying we will help every Seniors Games meet with money, but there are other ways we may help. Every USATF Masters Athlete should also be a VOLUNTEER. Why not? If we can criticize, we should help to try to make things better.

USATF is the National Governing body for Track & Field. As such, all meets sanctioned by USATF must follow the USATF rules of competition. Hopefully that gives one the some confidence that they are competing on a level playing field. I know it isnt perfect, but it is a good place to start.

Also, the meet, the athlete and officials get group insurance. Pretty great benefit for little money. I cant imagine that USATF officials would want to participate in a meet that wouldnt have insurance for them. Hopefully none do.

The National Senior Games Association, which by the way is a member of USATF, recommends that all its members have their meets sanctioned by USATF. We need everyone to help get this message out. Every athlete, every official and every volunteer. Thanks for your help in advance.

Why so few U.S. athletes competing in the 1st WMA Indoor Championships? Sixty-five is a pretty small number. Yes, I didnt like the way New York lost its bid for those championships, but I am not punishing myself for that. Hopefully we will all see value in this meet in the future.

Regional coordinators needed! Midwest is open again. I have one candidate. I would like more.

After nine years, Roz Katz would like to retire from the East Regional Coordinator position. I have one candidate. I would like more.

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