Further to the recent conversations on various social groups, the BMAF would like to try and explain the reasoning behind the selection of officials for BMAF events.
Historically, BMAF Track and Field Championships made a loss – mainly due to the high officials expenses which ranged from circa £10-14K outdoors and £10-12K indoors. If not managed, this would have used up all of the BMAF cash reserves and therefore it was decided by the BMAF executive that Maurice Doogan, working with others, put in place an Officials Expense Policy which was agreed by the BMAF Exec in 2020 and implemented by Kay Reynolds, our new T&F Secretary in 2021. This resulted in a reduction in officials costs in 2021 Outdoor Championships to circa £8K and for the first time ever the BMAF made a small profit.
This money is now being reinvested into future T&F events, and the first to benefit is the Indoor BMAF Championships in March. These will be live-streamed, with the recording made available afterwards on YouTube. This is a trial addition to our champs which we feel the athletes will appreciate. Other ideas for development are welcomed and athlete forums will be arranged to establish what changes athletes would like to see.
The policy does not preclude officials from outside the area where the competition is taking place, but it does say that we will initially source from a local pool before going further afield. That said, we had officials from the South and North as well as Scotland at our 2021 Outdoor Champs in Derby and a number from the North East are at the Pentathlon and 3K champs in Sheffield, but none from the South. Using more local officials not only saves money and time, but allows more people to get involved in Masters events, by widening the pool of officials we have to call upon for the future. We have also been lucky enough to get our Main Champs both indoors and outdoors added to the national officials availability lists. This has significantly increased the number of Level 4 officials available to choose from and it is great to see so many wanting to get involved in masters athletics, enabling us to maintain high standards of officiating, whilst also managing costs.
Sadly, without the external funding or commercial income from ticket sales that UKA/British Athletics have, we cannot select our officials on the same basis, otherwise the costs would become prohibitive and the athletes suffer financially. We wish to maintain our regular
officials who have supported BMAF events for some time but will not be possible to have them all at every event.
Please note that the money we spend on events is YOUR money and we endeavour to make every penny count for the athletes. Having said this, the Officials Expenses Policy will be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure it remains fit for purpose.