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Code of Ethics & Performance Guidelines

USATF Officials shall:

  1. Be fair, consistent, and impartial to ensure equitable treatment for all competitors.

  2. Have a thorough knowledge of the rules and procedures for the particular event or position assigned and review them prior to a competition.

  3. Cooperate with fellow officials to conduct competition in a safe and professional manner. Be courteous and avoid confrontations or making derogatory comments to athletes, coaches, spectators, or other officials.

  4. Demonstrate respect and courtesy for other officials. Avoid interfering with duties assigned to other officials or publicly questioning the performance of other officials. Assist in correctly applying rules and support final decisions rendered by chief officials. Provide and accept performance feedback in a positive manner.

  5. Honor all assignments and agreements made for performance of officiating and support duties.

  6. Not discriminate against any individual or group on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, or other protected characteristic.

  7. Not engage in harassment by making unwelcome advances, remarks, or display of materials where such would create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment.

  8. Not fraternize with athletes or coaches, provide tips or comments which could be construed as coaching for any athlete, nor cheer for or provide encouragement to particular athletes or teams during a competition.

  9. Not use tobacco products while in the field of competition, nor consume alcoholic products before or during a competition.

  10. Not seek recognition or attention during a competition.

  11. Conduct an honest self-evaluation after each competition, to identify errors made and areas for improvement; and be receptive to suggestions for conducting events in the best possible manner in the future.

Official's Performance Guidelines

The USA Track & Field Officials Committee expects all officials to be prepared and to conduct themselves in a professional manner. These Performance Guidelines outline several characteristics which should be demonstrated by all certified officials.

USATF Officials shall:

  1. Comply with the USA Track & Field Officials Code of Ethics.

  2. Be punctual in reporting for assigned officiating duties, including allowing adequate time for venue inspection and set-up prior to the warm-up period and competition.

  3. Possess the appropriate rule book(s) for the competition.

  4. Possess and maintain appropriate uniform items and wear the national uniform or other dress prescribed by meet management, and be prepared to continue duties in all types of weather.

  5. Inspect assigned venues to ensure the safety of athletes, officials, and spectators. Correct or report apparent or suspected dangers to meet management before beginning a competition.

  6. Be calm, positive, and polite. Refrain from dialog with athletes and coaches regarding disputed calls or decisions, and instead refer them to the referee, protest table, or games committee for resolution. Report abusive behavior toward officials to meet management.

  7. Not use any electronic or photographic devices, including cell phones, while officiating.

  8. Assist in submitting competition results, cleaning the event area, and returning equipment. Before departing the site, determine if any other venues need officiating assistance.

  9. Attend periodic training sessions or clinics to maintain or update officiating skills. Assist, as appropriate, in developing and presenting training materials.

  10. Keep physically fit, and advise their association or coordinator of officials of physical limitations on their ability to perform any assigned duty.

  11. Mentor less experienced officials by sharing information and techniques, demonstrating use of equipment, identifying potential problems or issues and recommending solutions, and encouraging questions.

  12. Assist in recruiting new officials.

  13. Consider active involvement with the officials’ committees of the local association and USATF.

  14. Make recommendations for rules changes as appropriate.


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