Victorian Officials Starters’ Seminar

On Sunday 15th November, a Starters’ Seminar was held at Athletics House in Albert Park.

The Seminar was presented by Geoffrey Martin OAM, who is an inaugural member of the IAAF Panel of International Starters. The seminar was attended by 20 people, and included starters who officiate at Little Athletics Victoria and Athletics Victoria competitions. The seminar included a theory component, followed by a practical component out on the Lakeside Stadium track.

During the seminar, Geoffrey covered a number of key topics regarding starting. Attendees were taken through details of the latest edition of the IAAF Starting Guidelines. This included the structure and organisation of the Starting Team. The roles of Start Coordinator, Starter, Recallers, Starters’ Assistants and Start Referee were all covered in detail.

Particular emphasis was given to what constitutes a false start (Rule 162.6), and how these should be handled. Geoffrey also encouraged the use of disciplinary warnings (yellow and red cards) by the Start Referee as a tool to ensure that athletes do not intentionally delay the start of a race, or cause another athlete to false start.

During the theory session, the ideal positioning of the starter, recallers, starters’ assistants and start referee, for each type of race, were shown and discussed. This was then reinforced with a session on the Lakeside Stadium track to give participants the opportunity to put what they learned into practice.

We would like to thank Geoffrey Martin OAM for taking time out of his busy schedule and travelling to Melbourne to conduct the seminar.

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Geoffrey Martin OAM shows where Starters’ Assistants should position themselves during the start of a 400 metre race.


Attendees are shown where the starter, recallers and start referee should position themselves for the start of a 400 metre race.