MTFOA updates‎ > ‎

Former BMR coach lauds Mass. officials

posted May 13, 2016, 2:24 PM by Paul Williams   [ updated May 13, 2016, 2:24 PM ]
Praise from one of the best is high praise indeed.

Longtime, now retired, Blackstone-Millville Regional High School Coach Kevin Maloney recently sent MIAA Assistant Director Dick Baker an email describing the “terrible” performance of Florida officials compared to his experience with MTFOA “officials who know how to officiate.”

Maloney has the credentials to support his view. A former Blackstone-Millville Regional High School guidance counselor, Maloney spent more than 40 years coaching track and field and cross country at BMR. He was a longtime officer of MSTCA, and was a 1992 inductee to MSTCA’s Hall of Fame. Maloney is Director of Foss Running Camp.

Blackstone-Millville won nine district cross country championships under Maloney and at one point set a national record with 265 straight dual meet victories. Maloney’s team was undefeated for 19 straight years during that stretch, which ended at the start of the 1993 season.

Here’s the text of Maloney's email to Baker, who is MIAA’s T&F/XC liaison.

Subject: Track officiating in FL - terrible!

Hello Dick,

Thought I'd let you know how much better, significantly so, Mass. officiating is compared to my experience for these past two springs here in Florida.  I finished my final season of XC this past fall at Blackstone-Millville, and my wife and I have been snowbirds for three winters now and I've coached at the local high school here for two seasons.  As a volunteer, I coach the throws (no javelin down here), so I am at those events at our major meets.  Last year at our conference, district and regional championship meets I had to inform the officials in the shot put (discus in one of these meets because they were measuring it to the half-inch) that it is measured to the nearest 1/4", not the whole inch. Twice they didn't believe me so I insisted they talk with the Referee or Meet Director before continuing, the third time I simply pulled out the rule book. Most of these incidents resulted from using coaches to officiate, but these are veteran coaches!  Guys my age, and I'm 69.  

This year at our Regional Meet, from which the top four qualify for the State Meet, again the officials (certified FL state officials this time) were measuring to the whole inch, and from the outside edge of the toeboard.  I first went to the Meet Director, simply because we weren't allowed onto the infield where the Referee was, and told him what was going on, and he said he'd check into it.  Then later the Referee came to the fence to tell me that at least everyone was being measured in the same way, even if it was wrong! He actually said that!!  I told him that in the finals it needed to be corrected, but if you look at the 3A results from our meet, every single thrower’s results, all three trials, and all three finals, were recorded to the whole inch.  It blows my mind that in a state known for track excellence in so many areas that the officiating (in my experience in the throwing events) is so inept.  My 40 years in Mass. has spoiled me because there we have officials who know how to officiate.  

I'm equally amazed that I have been the only coach who seems to care.  This situation has been going on for years I'm sure.  I doubt that what I've witnessed in these past two seasons is unique to these meets only.

I have a renewed respect for what you and the Mass. Track & Field Officials Assn. do so routinely each season.  I thought you should know.

Best Regards,