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The president's post

posted Mar 22, 2016, 9:33 AM by Paul Williams
Welcome to Spring and Spring Track (even as we anticipate a snow storm)...

-- Congratulations to Kathy Doherty and Steve Kiley for being the MTFOA Nominees for the MIAA Official of the Year. Both of these officials are incredibly deserving of this honor. They constantly put others before themselves, are incredible role models for both other officials as well as competitors, and truly care about our sport and what they can always be doing to improve it.

-- I got a wonderful note from Frank Ronan. Even during tough health times this past winter, track was still on his mind. Part of his email:

“Congratulations on another successful season. I am just disappointed I was unable to participate. I especially want to thank the dozens of members who sought out my son, Pat, to inquire about my health and where I stood as well as the many, many cards, letters, emails, etc. Thanks guys, it was a real boost.”

It is always nice when I hear that not only are we colleagues when working meets, but we build friendships along the way. I know that Frank appreciated these friendships this winter, and we all hope he is on his way to recovery soon.

-- During our March meeting, Chris Lane gave an impassioned speech about some recent incidents at MIAA Divisional meets. As you probably know, Chris is one of the MTFOA reps to the MIAA. He works tirelessly for us and works well in conjunction with the MIAA to provide high school athletes in Mass an excellent venue for them to showcase their talents. Because not everyone was present at the March meeting, I asked Chris to summarize his speech for the benefit of the whole membership:

"Somethings for Members of MTFOA to Think About”

Our sport is unique and calls for our Officials to have and demonstrate some different and unique behaviors and skills that other sports and other Officials might not be called upon to possess or demonstrate. Track/ Field provides positive experiences for any student athlete, from “the athlete since birth” to athletes who never thought of themselves as athletes

This uniqueness of track/field is evident for both participants and officials. There are opportunities for competitors to form and develop lasting friendships thru respectful competitions. There are opportunities for Officials to work with student athletes as they strive to achieve personal goals. All of these opportunities are grounded in and built upon working with others. For these experiences to be satisfying and successful, it calls upon MTFOA members to demonstrate high interpersonal skills of communicating and working with the student athletes and fellow officials. Positive communication and working with others is the key.

There was some very positive written feedback about the recent MIAA meets that Chris had received from an Architectural Engineer who is also highly experienced in Athletics. This individual shared that he was at a Divisional meet and loved the professionalism that MTFOA officials showed, and the respect they showed athletes.

However, there was some negative feedback from the recent MIAA Tournament Committee meeting at which the actions of a MTFOA member when checking on competitor uniforms was questioned. Rather than conduct an investigation the MIAA accepted Chris’ offer to address the membership on the topic of WORKING WITH OTHERS (fellow officials, meet administrators, coaches, competitors) and NOT WORKING AGAINST any of these individuals or groups.

Chris closed by emphasizing the expectation that track and field be conducted in a totally and completely positive environment. He also stressed and warned members that this expectation is being monitored and that those who do not act in positive and respectful ways will be held accountable.

-- Thank you to the presenters at the March clinic: Mark Young, Bob Muldoon, Joe Bullock, Steve Vaitones. Also, thank you to Paul Croft for putting together an informative, interesting night.

Kathleen McCarthy, MTFOA President, March 21, 2016