AV-ANSW Officials Development Exchange Program 2017

On February 3rd this year, on a very warm and sunny Friday afternoon, three Victorian officials Tina Miller, Jeffrey Hughes and Michael Brazel met at Melbourne Airport and flew to Sydney for the ANSW Junior and Youth Track & Field Championships. Little did we know of the weather that was to confront us that weekend!

The AV office coordinated all the travel and administrative details – flights with Jetstar, transfers to and from Sydney Airport and accommodation at the Ibis Olympic Park – just a short stroll from the SOPAC track. A big thank you to Andrea, Ross and AV staff for making our travel arrangements go like clockwork.

We woke on Saturday to a view of the athletic stadium set within the Olympic precinct. It was a hot and relatively humid morning which was to get even hotter, peaking at about 37C mid-afternoon and high humidity (at least for us Vics). After breakfast and a stroll to the track our adventure had begun with the goal to broaden our collective experience and practical knowledge as officials, exposure to a different State-level Track & Field Championship environment and to have fun.

The ANSW Junior State Track & Field Championships were structured similarly to the way AV had prior to this year, with a Friday night twilight and full days on Saturday and Sunday. We also had the Sydney Invitational (first night of Nitro) which we also officiated too. James Constantine from ANSW was our Sydney host, who together with Kim Owens and Tony Okulicz did a fantastic job integrating us seamlessly into the ANSW experience. Jeff was part of the Start Crew and Track Umpires and both Tina and Michael assigned to Field event teams across the weekend.

What did we see as the differences between the way AV and ANSW conducted similar championships?

  • No Call Room used; athletes were required to report to TIC at the start of the day to register, but then go straight to the event site 20 minutes before the advertised start time. Thus not exactly sure how many athletes would show or at event clashes.
  • Club Helpers were not used to assist at events, instead all event teams/crews comprised ANSW qualified officials. Chiefs for field events were appointed and rotated across the day from amongst the team which is a good initiative to both broaden officials experience and spread the workload. AV has recently commenced doing this following feedback from a previous AV exchange program – an example of shared learning.
  • Teams were often allocated across various events each day, thereby giving a variety of experiences and roles to officials. This was exemplified by the roles each of us had across the Championships:
    • Tina – Discus, High Jump (Chief), Shot Put (including Chief for Sydney Invitational) and Triple Jump
    • Michael – Javelin (some as Chief), Triple Jump (including Chief for a Sydney Invitational), Pole Vault (Chief) and High Jump (some as Chief).
    • Jeffrey – Starters Assistant & Starter (including for Sydney Invitational), Track Umpire.
  • The official 20-minute event check-in requirement was not strictly applied, but events did start on time and ‘late’ arrivals got limited or no warm up.
  • The Field Program ran to time with reasonable/realistic time allocations which reflected the size of the fields. The program was closely managed and Referees and Chiefs worked with Tony as Competition Director to ensure timings were achieved. However, in Michael’s Pole Vault event an athlete severely bent the crossbar support arm which meant a significant unscheduled delay through having to drop an upright, locating and then replacing the arm.
  • Although everyone worked under the IAAF Competition Rules, there were subtle variances in some events due to personalities and cultures but this was all part of the learning experiences we benefited from whilst working as a united team to deliver a successful event in a fun, enjoyable way.

By far and away the biggest point of difference we experienced is the way AV officials “creature comforts” are catered for across a Championship weekend. As we’ve heard it said before “They don’t have an Andrea Hallett or Craig Morrow”’ to ensure officials are adequately fed and watered not only in the Cathy Freeman officials’ room before, during and after competition but also out on the field.

And boy did we miss it during Saturday’s 37C and then especially on Sunday when the temperature peaked at around 42C on the track – oh for one of Andrea’s frozen ice blocks! On the Sunday, it was left to Referees and the Competition Director to deliver water to officials at events which was very much appreciated but did highlight what appeared to be the lack of someone with the expressed purpose to cater and adequately support officials. Admittedly, ANSW are hamstrung by their venue being entirely within the SOPAC precinct which means there is no freedom to self-cater or engage external catering. We won’t, nor should other AV officials, ever take this point of difference for granted.

In conclusion, we would like to thank Ross Cunningham (interim CEO AV) and Duncan Tweed (CEO ANSW) for supporting the Officials Exchange Program, James Constantine for hosting us in Sydney, Referees Kim Owens, Ron Richter and Barry Pecar and Tony Okulicz for their mentoring throughout the weekend, Katrina & David Morrow too, and the AV office for all the background administration to facilitate this very valuable program. We achieved our objectives personally, and collectively, and look forward to using our new experiences in officiating across Victoria.

We would encourage all Victorian officials to seriously think about putting forward their name for the program next year – there is so much to be gained in helping us all be the best officials and ambassadors we can for the sport of athletics.

Thank you AV and ANSW!

Tina Miller, Jeffrey Hughes and Michael Brazel

Membership Renewal

  •  It’s that time of year to renew your membership.  To access please use this link: https://members.athsvic.org.au/signin
  •  For those who are Independent Members will need to log in – Message comes up “Your pending membership requires approval” Approve Membership – Accept or Decline
  • Officials that belong to a Club –  Want to renew your membership – Yes, copy to form – Check member type and association (club) – tick permissions box then submit – press checkout in the shopping cart
  • Officials that belong to a Club and are athletes – Once logged in go to “Want to renew your membership – Yes, copy to form – Check member type and association (club) – tick permission box and then proceed to check out and pay nominated athlete fee.
  • Officials that are AV Life Members – Membership renewal will be automatic – no need to complete anything

To nominate to Officiate at an XCR event – On the home page of your portal just click on the Events blue button under the Member Services section or Select Events tab on the top tool bar – all the events will be shown – Click the Red Volunteer button for the event you are wanting to nominate for – click the Period button and select “All day” then press the Volunteer button. A message will appear – You have successfully registered for this event.  Then go back to the events page and continue to the next event to nominate.

Victorian Officials Awards / Rewards Function

The Victorian Officials Awards function was celebrated on Sunday April 30 in the Cathy Freeman room at Lakeside.  This special thankyou luncheon for our Officials had the theme of “Countries of the Commonwealth” as a lead up to the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast next April.

Janet Nixon, An International Photo Finish operator was the guest speaker for the day.

During the day, our service badges were awarded to recognize the efforts of our Officials.  Congratulations to the following Officials who reached various milestones in their Officiating careers in the past year.

5 YEARS :       Caitlin Christie, Geoffrey Barnett, Wolf Heiden, Geoff Marshman, Craig McConchie, Murray Smith  

10 YEARS :     David Armstrong, Ralph Bennett, Julie Green, Brenda Felton, Bob Hallett,   Martyn Kibel, Tina Miller, Gina Mirarchi, Peter Price, Colin Segota

15 YEARS :     Jim Baskin, Suzanne Callaway, Jeff Hughes

20 YEARS :     Deb Baskin, Mary McDonald, Helen Rieniets

25 YEARS :     Scott Bowden, Yvonne Glover, Les Wright

30 YEARS :     Peter Vysma

35 YEARS :      Lindsay Beaton, Doreen Giannini, Ronda Jenkins, Kevin Wigmore, Irene Harris

40 YEARS :     May Burling, Ellen Perry, Ian Rickard

50 YEARS :     Ron Stobaus

60 YEARS :     Arthur Whitchell

An important part of this event is to announce and present our awards for the past season. Each Region and Zone was asked to submit their nominations for the outstanding Officials from their area and a sub Committee formed to select the worthy winners.
Congratulations to the winners from the following Zones and Regions:

Red Zone:                                                            Allan Watson

Blue Zone:                                                          Stuart Merrick

Yellow Zone:                                                      Doreen Giannini

White Zone:                                                       Peter Westwood

Ballarat Region:                                                Marita Rieniets

Bendigo Region:                                               Wolf Heiden

Geelong Region:                                              Geoff Marshman

Western Country Region:                             Jenny Evans

Southern Metro Region:                               Mark Henry

Northern Metro Region:                               Jamie Grey

Western Metro Region:                                Jim Baskin

Gippsland Country Region:                          Steve Woolfe

Northern Country Region:                           Aileen Zanelli

Eastern Metro Region:                                  Irene Harris

The highlight of the day were the major awards of Official of the Year and Rookie of the Year.

The Official of the Year is awarded to an Official who has made an outstanding contribution in Athletics officiating over the past season. The award is only given to Officials who have dedicated significant time and effort and is the Victorian Officials Committee’s way of recognizing this.

The Official of the Year was awarded to Pam Noden

The Rising Star award is presented to an Official who, in the Victorian Officials Selection Committee’s opinion, has made an outstanding contribution to the sport in their early years of officiating. This year’s recipient has shown great enthusiasm in officiating at several State and National levels.

The Rising Star award was presented to Tina Miller

Congratulations to all our award winners, very truly deserved.

Officials in Schools

 Athletics Victoria supports school carnivals.  Schools request the assistance from our officials to assist with their school events. This is a great opportunity for Officials to gain additional experience and these are paid positions.    Please contact Craig Morrow for additional information if you are interested in joining our band of Officials –   craig@athsvic.org.au or phone 8646 4502.

Contact Us

All officials are welcome and encouraged to contribute to the ‘Official Word’ with viewpoints, information and photos that we can share via the newsletter.

Feel free to submit your items of interest to Andrea – andrea@athsvic.org.au.

Victorian Athletics Officials’ Code of Conduct

It is a condition of appointment as a Victorian Athletics Official that individuals agree to respect and abide by this Code of Conduct.

 This Code extends to any occasion when an individual is wearing the Victorian Officials’ uniform.

Victorian Athletics Officials must:

Behaviour and Ethics:

  • Behave in a manner that does not damage or compromise the standing or reputation of Athletics Victoria or Little Athletics Victoria or that brings the sport of Athletics into disrepute.
  • Treat with courtesy and respect all those involved in Athletics – Athletes, fellow Officials, Coaches, Athletics Victoria and Little Athletics Victoria staff, spectators and any other persons involved in the sport.
  • Respect the rights and worth of every person regardless of their ability, gender, cultural background or religion – treating all as equals.
  • Take a responsible position in relation to alcohol consumption and smoking in association with any Athletics related activity.
  • Dress in accordance with the Victorian Officials’ dress code.
  • Hold a current ‘Working with Children Check’ Card.

A Safe Competition Environment:

  • Ensure the safety of Athletes, Officials and other persons on the Field of Play.
  • Ensure that all equipment and facilities meet safety standards and are appropriate to the age and ability of the participants.
  • Refuse to accept abusive or unsporting behaviour.
  • Support opportunities for people to learn appropriate behaviours and skills.
  • Ensure that they have a current knowledge of the rules and protocols relevant to the competition.
  • Operate within these rules and the spirit of Athletics; promoting fair play and common sense over winning at all costs.
  • Make decisions that are impartial and consistent.
  • Understand that their role is to facilitate competition and assist athletes achieve their best possible performance.
  • Whenever possible, avoid unaccompanied and or unobserved one-on-one activity with people under the age of 18 years and in any situation where a power difference exists.
  • Ensure that any physical contact with Athletes is necessary.

Victorian Athletics Officials’ Code of Conduct

Breaches of the Code of Conduct

If any Victorian Official fails to observe this Code of Conduct the following will occur:

In the first instance:

  1. Any transgressions would be reported to Athletics Victoria or Little Athletics Victoria.
  2. Athletics Victoria or Little Athletics Victoria after obtaining details would refer the matter to the Victorian Officials Committee for review at their scheduled next meeting.
  3. If it was deemed appropriate the matter would be referred to the Ethics and Integrity Committee (a Sub Committee of the Victorian Officials Committee) which would occur to further investigate the situation and consider appropriate action or actions.

The Ethics and Integrity Committee would:

  1. Contact the Official concerned, in writing, stating the breaches of the Code of Conduct
  2. The Official concerned then has the right of reply, in writing, to these allegations
  3. A face to face meeting will then be organised between members of the Ethics and Integrity Committee and the Official concerned
  4. The Official concerned has the right to have a witness at the face to face meeting, but not a legal representative

Options available to the Ethics and Integrity Committee include:

  • Education of the Official
  • Issue of a Warning; possibly involving a probationary period and performance review.
  • In the case of a serious breach, or repeated incidents, an Official’s registration with Athletics Victoria or Little Athletics Victoria may be cancelled.

At all stages of the above process, as appropriate, Athletics Victoria or Little Athletics Victoria will be kept informed of outcomes through their respective Chief Executive Officers and the Officials Administrator.