Further to recent conversations on various social media platforms, the BMAF would like to try and explain the reasoning behind the selection of officials for BMAF events.
Historically, BMAF Track and Field Championships made a loss. This was mainly due to high expenses for officials, which ranged from circa £10-14k outdoors and £10-12k indoors. If not managed, this would have used up all of the BMAF cash reserves. Therefore, it was decided by the BMAF Executive that Maurice Doogan, working with others, put in place an Officials Expenses Policy.
This was agreed by the BMAF Executive in 2020, and implemented by Kay Reynolds, our new Track and Field Secretary, in 2021. This resulted in a reduction in costs of circa £8k for the 2021 Outdoor Championships. For the first time ever, the BMAF made a small profit.
This money is now being reinvested into future T&F events. The first to benefit is the BMAF British Indoor Championships in March. These will be live-streamed, with the recording available afterwards on YouTube. This is a trial addition to our championships which we feel the athletes will appreciate. Other development ideas are welcomed and athlete forums will be arranged to establish what changes athletes would like to see.
The policy does not preclude officials from outside the area where the competition is taking place. However, it does say that we will initially source from a local pool before going further afield. That said, we had officials from the South, North and Scotland at our 2021 Outdoor Champs in Derby. A number from the North East are at the upcoming Pentathlon and 3K Champs in Sheffield, but none from the South.
Using more local officials not only saves money and time, but allows more people to get involved in masters events by widening the pool of officials we have to call upon for the future.
We have also been lucky enough to get both our Indoor and Outdoor Championships onto the national officials availability lists. This has significantly increased the number of Level 4 officials available. It is great to see so many wanting to get involved in masters athletics. This enables us to maintain high standards of officiating, whilst also managing costs.
Sadly, without the external funding or commercial income from ticket sales that UKA/British Athletics have, we cannot select our officials on the same basis, otherwise costs would become prohibitive and athletes would suffer financially.
We wish to maintain our regular officials who have supported BMAF events for some time, but it will not be possible to have them all at every event.
Please note that the money we spend on events is your money. We endeavour to make every penny count for athletes. Having said this, the Officials Expenses Policy will be reviewed regularly to ensure it remains fit for purpose.