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Officials Pathway Level 1-3 Update / Health & Safety Guidance for Track & Field Officials

01/05/2024 00:00, In Blog /

The four Home Countries Athletics Federations (HCAFs) are in a position to confirm the Officials Pathways for levels 1 to 3 of the track/field and endurance disciplines. This has been based on feedback from the officials community and multiple stakeholders, throughout the last 12 months and is part of a continuance to enhance the pathway. The four HCAFs are committed to reducing any perceived barriers for new and current officials developing and progressing within their chosen discipline(s). 

The graphics below, outline the pathways for both track/field and endurance disciplines.

We recently held two evening webinars highlighting the changes to the pathways and the rationale(s) for these changes. 

Both sessions were recorded and will be circulated to all tutors and officials in each HCAF who are unable to attend. 

Health & Safety Guidance for Officials

Officials play a vital role in ensuring that athletes have a great experience at events. As the outdoor track & field season begins, it is important that officials refresh knowledge and awareness of the Health & Safety rules and processes. 

It is recommended that every referee and chief judge briefs their team of officials at the start of every competition with the below guidance and any additional stadium specific requirements. Please familiarise yourself with the Health & Safety guidance ahead of any event you attend.

Not only do officials make sure the rules are enforced but officials have a responsibility for ensuring the safety of athletes, spectators, coaches, and fellow officials. Thank you for your continued support of athletics events in Wales. 

Here are some hints and tips for officials/chief judges/referees to familiarise themselves with, ahead of any event(s) to ensure the safety of you and your fellow participants.


  • Be alert and aware of your surroundings including kerbing, cables, starting blocks and hurdles
  • Always look in both directions before crossing the track or any runway 
  • Do not cross or enter the infield or throwing sectors unless you are officiating on an event
  • Check any equipment/implements/facilities are positioned safely and correctly and in good working order e.g., judges stand, starters podium
  • Immediately notify/report to meeting management/event organiser any concerns, accidents, injuries or near misses
  • Please speak to your event leader, chief or referee if you are uncomfortable or not confident enough to undertake any role or duty assigned to you, so an alternative duty can be identified for you. This is especially important if you have limited mobility that does not allow you to officiate in front of the throwing line/cage/circle
  • If you suffer from any medical condition, that can impact on your concentration levels, please let the referee/chief know in advance or on the day, so appropriate duties and support can be arranged for you
  • If you wish to watch a race or athlete, let the chief judge or referee know, so that a temporary replacement can be found to let you go and watch the race

Field Specific

  • Always face the cage/runway/circle at all times – including warm-up and competition
  • Always acknowledge the warning horn/wave from the chief judge on all throwing events
  • Do not let the athlete enter the cage/circle/runway until all judges within the vicinity of the throwing sector have acknowledged the warning horn/wave.
  • Follow the process of – calling athlete(s) up, blow the warning horn/wave, receive acknowledgement by all judges in and around the throwing sector, inform athlete to head onto/into the cage, circle, runway
  • Officials with duties around the throwing sector e.g., spiking, validity and retrieving – should position themselves in a safe location, with plenty of space around them to move, for their allocated duty. After acknowledging the chief judge, officials should not take their eyes off the implement until it has landed.
  • Always check the pit is ready before removing the cone or stepping back for the next trial
  • Ensure that athletes/parents/coaches not competing in the event, are asked to relocate to the outside of the perimeter of the track

For officials who have previously completed the Health and Safety module, this is available via Athletics Hub > Online Courses > MyLearning to refresh your knowledge/awareness at any time. If you have not completed the Health and Safety module previously, this can be completed by clicking here.  

For more information and in depth health and safety guidance please visit Safe-Athletics-Competition-Printer-Friendly.pdf (