Who we are

Our organization's roots can be traced back to two track & field clinics held in 1938 and 1939. The first of these clinics was called The Track Officials Institute and was held at the Boston YMCA. This clinic consisted of four meetings held on consecutive Friday nights. William J. Bingham of Harvard University was the Honorary Chairman for this program and Neville A. Booth was the director. The following is a reproduction of the curriculum and probably best illustrates its scope and what it hoped to accomplish.

1. Organization & Supervision of Meets- Edward S Parsons, Chairman NEAAAU Track & Field Committee
2. Interpretation of Rules-Alfred Lill, Past President of the NEAAAU
3. Clerking-Richard C. Floyd, Harvard University

1. Starting-Hugh C. McGrath, NEAAAU and W.J. Marling, Boston University
2. Scoring-Joseph Spear, Northeastern University
3. Timing John McKittrick, Chairman NEAAAU Timing Committee

(Patrick Bendzick photo/MileSplitMass.com)

1. Judging Track Events-Herbert Holm, President NEAAAU
2. Judging and Measuring Field Events-Frank X. McGrath, NEAAAU
3. Walking-Harry “Pep” Clark, Chairman NEAAAU Walking Committee
4. Cross Country and Distance Running-Josiah Lewis, Norfolk YMCA

1. Handicapping & Heat Making-Frank X. McGrath, NEAAAU
2. First Aid-Dr. Henry Knotoff, Northeastern University
3. Attitude of Officials vs. Athletes-Henry Pierce, Coach of Track, Newton YMCA

As you can see from the contents of the program it was quite complete and covered most aspects of officiating. Reportedly this clinic was very well received and so successful that around a year later. Another clinic of a slightly different type was held.

This second clinic was also held at the Boston YMCA and was called "Track and Field School". The stated purpose of this clinic was "To stimulate, interest in track and field athletics and to present the fundamentals of track such as choosing your event, conditioning, training, and using proper form." Clinic participants were told to bring their track suits but no spikes were allowed. Quite obviously this was a hands on type event. The program advertised lectures, blackboard talks, movies, and practical workouts. There was no fee charged for this clinic and it was open to "any young man 17 years of age and over". These clinics all started at 8:00pm on Friday nights December 1, 8, and, 15, 1939.

In June of 1940 and organization committee chaired by Edward (Puttey) Parsons (Northeastern's Parsons Field is named after him) met and laid the ground work for the opening meeting of the New England Track and Field Officials Association. After this June Meeting a sub-committee met at Harvard on December 5, 1940 and voted to hold the organization meeting of the Association at the Hotel Lenox on Monday, January 6, 1941 at 6:30pm. This first meeting was a dinner meeting and the cost was $1.25/person. The original committee members were Neville Booth, Bill Hultgren (Secretary), Edward S. Parsons, C.F. Getchell, Donald Enoch, William J. Bingham, Herbert Holm, and Walter Brown. Other founding members of the association were: Scott McFetridge, Norman Anderson, Everett Eldridge and Wesley Patenode. There were 67 Track Enthusiasts present at that first meeting. 

Since its beginnings the purpose of the organization has been to improve the quality of officiating in the New England area. Sometime during the mid-50's the organization changed its name to the Massachusetts Track & Field Officials Association. It was not until the mid-70's that officials started getting paid for their work. At the present time the organization holds four regularly scheduled meetings a year and on occasion has special meetings. The programs at these gatherings are designed to make better officials of its members.