Throwing implements returned to
competitors by officials-
Coaches and officials, including all those who may volunteer to assist with
administration of the throwing events, must always work together to minimize
the risk of injury due to improper return of throwing implements, lack of
throwing sectors being cordoned off and/or lack of adequate training for those
individuals working the event. A
throwing implement should never be thrown or tossed back to the competitor once
a trial is completed. There should be a
predetermined process and individuals designated to have the responsibility to
walk the implements back. This process
should also include the path to follow when walking back to avoid walking
through the throwing sector. This process
should be carefully reviewed with all those working the event prior to any
warm-ups commencing as well as at the coaches meeting and with the athletes as
they report to the event for warm-ups and competition. Everyone involved should always be alert as
the unexpected can always happen.
Equally important is the coach following similar procedures with his/her
athletes during practice.
Proper coaching requires staying up to
date on rules and techniques- The
sport of track and field, like other sports, continues to have advancements
made in equipment, uniforms, techniques and training. Such advancements may be related to improved
performance, better and more efficient training and many times changes which
reduce the risk of injury. As an
example, the new standard for the pole vault plant box padding has the
potential to minimize the risk of injury to a vaulter which 1) makes the event
safer and 2) allows the vaulter to minimize the effects of potential injuries
and enjoy greater amounts of participation.
Coaches have the responsibility to study the rules, attend in person and
online clinics, read current sport literature on training and new equipment and
learn from others to stay current with the advancement and opportunities in the
sport. Just as it is a goal for our
athletes to continue to get better, much of that advancement is contingent upon
the coach staying up to date on rules, techniques and risk minimization in the
Coaches “getting it right” with
uniforms- Track and
field is a sport which traditionally has colorful uniforms and styles that
serve different purposes for performance.
Having the athletes show up for competition in a legal uniform starts
with the coach. Any time there is a
violation due to uniforms it is a violation that could have been avoided. The officials do not have the responsibility
for putting athletes in legal uniforms but do have the responsibility to
enforce the rules. It is the coach who
must know the rules and then take the time each season to educate his/her
athletes on the rules and to come ask questions if the athlete wants to wear a
different garment due to weather or an injury.
This season there are changes in the uniform rule that coaches must
educate their athletes to these rule changes and emphasize the importance and
responsibility of each athlete to be accountable for his/her actions to come
ready to participate in a legal uniform.
Importance of proper training of
volunteers to work the meet- It
takes a number of volunteers to work a track and field meet. Unlike
sports such as soccer, volleyball or basketball where there is a defined
number of officials who are trained and generally certified as an official to
work the contest, track and field meets may only have a few certified officials
and the rest are volunteers to work the meet.
During the regular season these volunteers may or may not know a
significant amount about the details of officiating the events they are
working. They are versed in the basics
and then expected to run off a good event. In order to run a fair, safe and
well administered meet, the schools must take time to adequately train the
individuals with the knowledge and skills necessary to work the event. Athletic directors and coaches should work
together to develop a training system and materials to educate these
individuals who are going to work their meets.
Local officials will also be of assistance as they may be able to
provide training materials or have training materials on a web site. Many state associations have material on
their web sites which are useful. The
NFHS provides and Officials Manual which is suitable for use with
volunteers. To avoid problems and run an
efficient and enjoyable meet, take time to properly train the many volunteers
who will work your track and field meets.