Running Club North is responsible for officiating all of the High School Track & Field Meets in Fairbanks. The passion that we have for running extends easily into promoting and encouraging High School running. We began providing Track Meet officiating services in 1987. Since 2000, our role has grown to become a significant effort requiring volunteers from the community at large; some members of the Club and some not. We now also provide these services to the statewide ASAA office, and have been providing all of the officiating and judging for the State Meets since 2005. These Track & Field Meets are officiated in accordance with the Rules as published by the National Federation of State High School Associations. RCN Officials receive training utilizing guidelines from the US Track and Field Association, and many are Certified.
The services we provide vary throughout the Track season; partial services for the first two meets, through full services for the last three including State. The season runs from the last half of the month of April to the end of May, typically including seven Meets. While there are a few events on Friday afternoons, the significant effort is on the following Saturdays. Typically that effort runs from 9:00 until 12:00 for field events and from 11:00 until 3:00 for the running events. We provide officials for all of the sprints, hurdles, middle and long distance runs, as well as the jumping and throwing events. There are a multitude of roles involved and we are always looking for more volunteers.
The roles we provide are as follows:
- Meet Director: General organization of the officials including coordinating with Region 6, the host High School, and all officials.
- Head Referee: Responsible for the enforcement of the rules and interpretations in the case of conflicts or judgment calls.
- Clerk of the Course: Responsible for checking in all athletes before their event starts, and giveing instructions about the rules, and answering questions. The Clerk coordinates with the Timers about who is actually participating in each event. This can take from one to three individuals depending on the Meet.
- Starter: This includes both the Head Starter as well as a second False Start Judge. They organize the athletes at the starting line for all running event, answers any last minute questions and then start the races.
- Finish Line: Responsible for recording the finish of the individuals that have completed in the events. This can take from two to five individuals depending on the Meet.
- Timing: These individuals set up the Timing Shed at the finish line and all of the electronic equipment that records the start and finish of all events. We have a primary fish line system known as FinishLinks, as well as two electronic video backup finish systems utilizing older VCR technology. This can take from three to five individuals depending on the Meet.
- Recording: This is very important position and requires one or two individuals to download all of the finish information from the Timers, organize it, keep a running score, and publish the results. All of the records are uploaded to a web site for coaches and others to access.
- Running Officials: We need a large number of volunteers to help with the many tasks that help keep the Meet functioning. Roles include watching for lane infractions, judging and moving hurdles, and judging relay handoffs. The largest number of individuals is for the relay judging. During the busiest part of the day we will typically have over 50 officials working during the 4 X 100 relay, not counting all of the starters, finish line workers, and timers.
- Throwing Judges: At the busiest Meets, Region 6 and State Championships, we typically need three individuals to officiate the Shot Put, and seven more to officiate the Discuss. They are run at the same time with the Boys and Girls alternating their events.
- Jumping Events: These judges work at either of the two long jump pits, or the high jump pit. At the busiest Meets, we will need five at each running jump and three at the high jump.
We encourage anyone who is interested to contact us if they would be willing to help. That includes anyone who has a love of Track and Field meets, or even if they are just parents of students that are participating. We will provide the training that is needed and will not put anyone in a position that they do not feel comfortable in. This effort benefits the athletes that are competing as well as the community as a whole. Needless to say it is also quite enjoyable for the officials. This is aptly demonstrated by their return every year. Join us in supporting a great group of kids, making this a better community, and having a lot of fun!