WESTERN MASSACHUSETTS                             TRACK AND FIELD 
                                           Serving High Schools and Colleges in Western Massachusetts for over forty years
2019-20 OFFICERS
Lisa Helpa Vice President- Karen Gomez  Secretary- Deb Pelletier  Treasurer - Jon Dias

2019-20 Executive Board
​​​​Lisa Helpa  Deb Pelletier   ​Jon Dias​​​  
​William Kane  Susan Petzold   ​Christina Crocker ​​​Elizabeth Haygood    Karen Gomez  Bob Neimic
    CONCUSSION TRAINING:             Not Just a Good Idea-                      IN MASSACHUSETTS                       IT'S THE LAW!!
Since the Fall of 2011 the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has required that EVERY YEAR all game officials complete a Department of Public Health approved concussion training program and provide independent verification of completion of the training program to schools and school districts upon request.  To assist in concussion management education, the Natuional Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) offers, AT NO COST, a course titled "Concussion in Sports - What You Need To Know". Successful completion of this half-hour on-line course has been approved by the DPH as satisfying the required concussion training component.  Log on to: https://www.nfhslearn.com/electiveDetail.aspx?courseID=38000 to learn how to recognize the signs and symptoms of concussion and a step-wise process to return to the sport.  Take the course, print your certificate, and keep it in your officials bag.  

Click here for a menu of free and credible concussion education materials and resources.​​

IT'S EASY! -- If you are at least 18 years of age and have finished high school (MIAA rule).


1.  E-mail Jonathan Dias (jon.dias@hotmail.com) to obtain a membership form and clinic info.
2.  Attend the WMTFOA Clinic in the Fall
​3..  Take the "open book" on-line rules examination.
4.  Become "field certified" by an association trainer (this involves working a meet under the supervision of the trainer).
5.  If you have questions please contact Jon Dias or Membership Chair Lisa Helpa​​​​​​​​​ (lhelpa@comcast.ne


1.  Be knowledgeable of and abide by the WMTFOA Constitution​​, Code of Ethics, and other policies, procedures, and guidelines.

​2.  Be fair, consistent, and impartial to ensure equitable treatment for all competitors.

​3.​.  Have a thorough knowledge of the rules and procedures for the particular event or position assigned and review them prior to a competition.

4.  Cooperate with fellow officials to conduct competition in a safe and professional manner.  Be courteous and avoid confrontations or making derogatory comments to athletes, coaches, spectators, or other officials.                                
5.  Demonstrate respect and courtesy for other officials.  Avoid interfering with duties assigned to other officials or publicly questioning the performance of other officials. Assist in correctly applying rules and support final decisions rendered by chief officials. Provide and accept performance feedback in a positive manner.

​6.  Honor all assignments and agreements made for performance of officiating and support duties.

​​7.  Not discriminate against any individual or group on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, or other protected characteristic.

​8.  Not engage in harassment by making unwelcome advances, remarks, or display of materials where such would create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment.

​9.  Not fraternize with athletes or coaches, provide tips or comments which could be construed as coaching for any athlete, nor cheer for or provide encouragement to particular athletes or teams during a competition.

​10. Not use tobacco products while in the field of competition, nor consume alcoholic products befoe or during a competition.

​11. Not seek recognition or attention during a competition

​.12. Conduct an honest self-evaluation after each competition, to identify errors made and areas of improvement; and be receptive to suggestions for conducting events in the best possible manner in the future.​​​​ ​​​​


​1.  Comply with the WMTFOA Code of Ethics.

​2.  Be punctual in reporting for assigned officiating duties, including allowing time for venue inspection and set-up prior to the warm-up period and competition.  (recommended report time is no less than 30 minutes prior to the scheduled start of competition).

​3.  Possess the appropriate rules book(s) for the competition.

4.  Possess​​ and maintain clean and presentable uniform items.  Wear the uniform prescribed by meet management neatly.  Be prepared to continue duties in all types of weather.

5.  Inspect assigned venues to ensure the safety of athletes, officials, and spectators.  Correct  and report apparent or suspected dangers to meet management before beginning a competition.

6.  Be calm, positive, and polite.  Refrain from dialog with athletes, coaches, and spectators regarding disputed calls  or decisions, and instead refer coaches to the referee, protest table, or games committee for resolution.​​  Report abusive behavior towards officials to meet management

​.7.  Not use any electronic or photographic devices, INCLUDING CELL PHONES, while officiating.

8.  Assist in submitting competition results, cleaning the event area, and returning equipment​​.  Before departing the site determine if any other venues need officiating assistance

​​9.  Attend training sessions and clinics to maintain or update officiating skills.  Assist, as appropriate, in developing and presenting training materials.

10. Maintain your own personal fitness, and advise assigners of officials of physical limitations on the ability to perform any assigned duty.

11. Mentor less experienced officials by sharing information and techniques, demonstrating the use of equipment​, identifying potential problems or issues and recommending solutions, and encouraging questions.

12. Assist in recruiting new officials.

13. Consider active involvement in association committees.

14. Make recommendations for rules changes as appropriate.​​
From the Rules Interpreter:  The most significant 2020/21 NFHS rules changes are:

​​4-6-5g, 8-6-1: Clarifies that a competitor should not be penalized for helping another competitor whois distressed or injured when no advantage is gained by the competitor who is assisting.

5-3-3, 5-3-4, 5-10-6 thru 11:  Clarifies that in the 4X100, 4X200, and other relays with legs of 200m or less the exchange zone will be 30m long.  All exchange zones for races with legs in excess of 200m will remain at 20m.​

6-2-6: clarifies that it is illegal to run backward (away from the board) on a horizontal jump pole vault, or javelin runway​.


​If you have a rules question or need an opinion on a situation that has come up in a meet please feel free to contact the WMTFOA Rules Interpreter Bill Kane at kaner5000@comcast.net.

​​​​​​​​​Click here to read the PVIAC and MIAA By-Laws that govern the running sports in our area.  It might be a good idea to include them in your officiating kit.

MISSION STATEMENT:  To provide knowledgeable personnel and to encourage improvement in officiating in all phases of track and field athletics.
​(WMTFOA Constitution - Article II. Click here for the entire Constitution of the WMTFOA)

SAFETY is a major concern for everyone at a track meet.  Please take the time to click here and read the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association's Track and Field Safety Manual, prepared by the MIAA in conjunction with the Massachusetts State Track & Field Coaches Association.
by J. Shelby Sharpe

Track and field officiating has never been easy. Mistakes can be very consequential. In
today's world, these mistakes can precipitate litigation. If avoiding litigation or winning
unavoidable litigation is important, then this paper will be very valuable. In fact, it is a paper
that a track and field official should carry to every meet that requires officiating responsibilities.
It is as important to an official as the competition rule book for the m
eet. (click here to continue)

Mr. Sharpe is an attorney who has specialized in insurance defense for almost thirty years and has been 
officiating track and field events since 1963, including international, national and conference championships as well
as other major track and field competitions. He is general counsel for the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association, and the U.S. Track Meet Directors Association.


​Due to the cancellation of spring sports at high schools across the country, the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) will not be publishing new rules for 2021 in track and field. Because very few schools were able to compete in these sports prior to the March shutdown of schools due to the COVID-19 pandemic, competition in these sports in 2021 will be conducted under 2020 NFHS rules.

       2020 NATE HALE AND VINCENT FALARDEAU                               AWARD RECIPIENTS NAMED

Typically the recipients of the WMTFOA's Nate Hale and Vincent Falardeau Awards are announced at the PVIAC Championship meets.  This year however, the recipients of this year’s awards were notified by email and presented with their awards at a small ceremony on June 23 and June 26 at Holyoke High School's Bill and Eileen Kane Track & Field Facility. 
Click here to read more and view photos.