There are many areas in which you can become a qualified official and it’s easy to do.
There is a constant need for new officials and this is vital to the future success of the sport.
Whether you would like to help rake a sandpit, marshal a road race, lead teams at the BMAF and other Championships or even progress to officiating at the Olympic Games, there is an opportunity for you!
So where to start? The England Athletics website (there is a South of England, Midlands and a Northern Athletics Officials Association website too as well as similar in Wales and Scotland too) is a good place to get an overview of the officiating opportunities available.
Your best starting point is getting involved as a volunteer. This builds knowledge and confidence. Alternatively, you can start at the beginning with an Assistant Officials course or if you know where your interests lie from those listed, you can enter straight onto the specific discipline course(s) you are interested in e.g. track and field disciplines or those associated with cross country and road races etc. You can usually get financial support from your Club to attend these courses. After attending the course you need to do a mandatory health & safety module and undertake a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check and complete between 2 and 4 competitions depending on the route you take. NB. You can use volunteering opportunities before your course (if recorded) as part of your required competition.
What will I need?
To begin you don’t need anything! Just a willingness to help and maybe a pen!
Once you start to gain experience, you may wish to acquire:
- A clipboard (ideally a weatherproof clipboard)
- A white t-shirt and dark trousers (black or navy)
- Waterproof clothing (it’s not always hot and sunny)
- A sun hat and sun cream (if you’re positive and hopeful)
- A UKA rule book – these are also available online.
Your Progression and Development as an official
Once qualified there are no limits.
As a volunteer, you can stay as a level 1 official or you can progress through the Officials pathway to become an Olympic level official – the choice is yours!
If you wish to progress, there are opportunities and continual support available in the form of:
- Your local Club
- Your County Officials Secretary (CofSec)
- Mentoring from experienced officials.
- The England Athletics website resources
- Opportunities e.g. at Regional and British Masters competitions.
- Further training e.g. EDM training or adding another discipline to your licence
- You can join a regional Officials association (South of England and a Northern Athletics Officials Association website).
- An annual regional and national officials conference to come together as an officiating family and learn together and from each other. You never stop learning – even the Olympic level officials!
- Run Britain guidance.
If you wish to volunteer to officiate at any of the regional Masters Athletics events then please contact the event organiser. For British Masters events please email the BMAF Officials Coordinator