WESTERN MASSACHUSETTS                             TRACK AND FIELD 
                       Serving High Schools and Colleges in Western Massachusetts for over forty years
2016-17 OFFICERS
President- Rick Lajoie Vice President- Lisa Helpa  
Secretary- Deb Pelletier  Treasurer - Jon Dias

2015-16 Executive Board
​​​​​​Rick Lajoie   Lisa Helpa  Deb Pelletier   ​Jon Dias​​​   William Kane  Susan Petzold   ​Christina Crocker     ​​​Elizabeth Haygood    Karen Gomez
    CONCUSSION TRAINING:                  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: http://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) ​​HERE'S HOW YOU DO IT.​!

1.  E-mail Jonathan Dias (jon.dias@hotmail.com) to obtain a membership form.
2.  Take the "open book" rules examination (Click here for exam - Click here for Answer Sheet) and return the answer sheet to Lisa Helpa.
3.  Attend an instructional clinic (held annually in January or early February depending on site availability).
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.net)​.

                           WMTFOA OFFICIALS CODE OF ETHICS

1.  Be knowledgeable 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.​​​​ ​​​​

                              WMTFOA PERFORMANCE GUIDELINES

​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:
​​FYI - 2016 Mid-Season MIAA RULES CHANGE*

As of mid-season 2016 the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association has changed their participation limits rule.  Athletes may now compete in ANY 4 EVENTS in a REGUALR SEASON MEET.  The PVIAC will follow this rule change and ignore its own By-Law for the remainder of the 2016 season.

*Please note:  this is a change to the rules that govern  regular season Massachusetts high school competitions and do not affect MIAA or PVIAC post season competition or NCAA or USATF competitions.​​​​

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.​​ ​​​​

​​​​​​​​Did you know??? -- Both the PVIAC (www.pviac.net) and the MIAA (www.miaa.net) have By-Laws that apply to cross country, indoor track, and outdoor track?  I would suggest that you vist these websites and print out the appropriate By-Laws for the sports you officiate! ​
            2016 WMTFOA AWARD WINNERS

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)

PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE -- End of Season 2016 

​Greetings everyone,

After a rough weather week, the final stretch run looks to be a much more pleasant one. Of course the rain-outs of last week could mean a crowded run down the stretch but I am confident we have the people to handle it.
As for more seasonal updates, a couple of issues have come up that we need to address. First, there continues to be a concern about the length of meets and second, there have been some complaints about the meet management of double duals and other multi-team meets. Regarding the time of the meets, we all know some meets are longer and that multi-school meets in particular are longer. Some schools take this into consideration and hire more officials or pay extra. My advice to you is know what you’re getting into and if you don’t want that assignment, refuse it.
As for meet management, that is not our call. The league outlines the standard order of events and allows a change if all the coaches agree. We, as officials, can make suggestions, but we can not dictate how the meet is to be run. Again, my advice is to know what you’re getting into and if you don’t want to do that meet, refuse it. If you chose to accept the meet however, we expect that you will fulfill your duties in a professional and positive manner.
The executive committee has also gotten some feedback from our officials regarding rude, offensive and very unprofessional behavior of coaches toward the officials. This is not to be tolerated. Coaches, like athletes have a code of conduct that they must adhere to. Coaches’ poor behavior should be addressed firmly and professionally at that time and then reported to the executive committee. Excessive coaches mistreatment should also be reported to the school’s athletic director and and if necessary to the PVIAC and MIAA board.
Please note that during the off-season, it is the intent of the executive committee to address these issues with the PVIAC to hopefully have a more consistent format in place for meet management and the subject of coaches sportsmanship
Looking ahead to May 20 and 21, we have the Western Mass. Division I and Division II Championships and Mackenzie Gray will be contacting some of you to work the meets at Holyoke and at Mohawk. The MIAA West/Central
​meet will be at Westfield State again this year the week after, and the MIAA State Meet is also at Westfield State on June 4. Some of you have also signed on to work the district meets in Connecticut and the New England Championship meets in New Britain, so there still is a lot of track left.
While the season may run into the middle of June, the WMTFOA Annual meeting and Award’s dinner has been scheduled for June 7 at the Bluebonnet Diner in Northampton again this year. Please note that this is also an election year. The full agenda of the meeting will be sent out to all of you before June 1, but I ask that you all start letting us know if you will be attending the dinner. Your response should be submitted to Sue Petsold at gbpetzold@aol.com.
On a sad note, I regret to inform you that longtime western Mass official a Harry Brooks passed away on May 7th. For those of you that worked with Harry, you will remember him as a very positive official and a pleasant person to work with. It may have been a while since Harry was on the track, usually as a starter, but many of us have Harry Brooks stories to share.
So while we say goodbye to our brother official Harry a Brooks, here’s hoping we all finish the final leg of this season on a positive note, and I am looking forward to your input at the annual meeting on june 7.

Rick Lajoie