Technical Director Update
Officials

Technical Director Update - Dec. 2018

By: Randy Shafer  December 21, 2018

Holiday greetings to everyone.  I hope this finds you well and you are looking forward to capping off 2018 with some kind of celebrations; parties, time out of doors, relaxing by a fire or a pool!

Renewal assistance:

I wanted to catch up with some items that have popped up as we wind down for the year. As noted in my last update, I was hoping to assist people in a seamless renewal system for the technical memberships-Officials with an informational email that would address all of the things that you would need for renewals such as links, dates of expiration and invitation to renew once all of the eligibility requirements were met.  We got there, but only sort of. Apologies that this process went out late and had several unintended consequences.  The biggest issue is that the notice was sent per each discipline you hold as an official, not just simply your member number.  Most of you received 3 and perhaps more notices. Apologies.  The information in those emails is good, with the caveat that a coding issue has rendered the SafeSport expiration date a year off for most people.  We are correcting that between our IT department and SafeSport.  If you want to see the current dates of expiration for these items, log in to your account and scroll down under your member information.  We will honor those correct dates and hopefully this issue is corrected in the next 24 hours.

Change is inevitable:

Not everything!  While there were slight increases for nearly all USA Cycling licenses and programs this year, the Official’s License costs remain the same for 2019.  While no increase here is a good thing, this year we’ve added some increases for our hardworking officials you can appreciate.  First, reimbursement for mileage has been elevated to reflect the current IRS minimum.  After January 1, the reimbursable mileage rate will be $.58/mile. The rate will be adjusted based upon IRS announcements. This was a long overdue increase that I’m pleased to announce for those of you providing transportation to, from and in races.  Secondly, we’ve increased Official’s fees for C, D and E level events to reflect the significant time and effort that our officials invest, especially for lead officials, in their pre-race duties. See Officials Fees here.

Assignment requests:

Our National and UCI Road assignment requests have been collected and the assignment review process is underway. Thank you to all those that were eligible that worked their way through our new system this year and submitted requests.  As always, there are mixed reviews when we try something new, but we received generally positive feedback.  We tried to automate as much of the process as possible to create better analysis of requests and tracking of returns.  

Email Communications:

It’s the digital age.  Contact with officials hasn’t been through the postal service for many years, so if there is a reason that you don’t want to receive emails as an official, you aren’t going to know about things like assignment requests or updates or, well….even this email!  Please review your account and make sure your email contact is up to date.  Take a moment and chat with another official to make sure they are up to date as well. Some of the many benefits we now have as members include significant discounts on many things you normally use throughout the year, not just as an official, that are worth taking the time to review.  All of that is managed through your email contact information in your account.

Renew:

I’d like to thank all of you again for the service and support you provide the sport of cycling.It’s truly appreciated and I hope that this short down time for some will be used to energize and refresh your desire to work again in 2019.  Across the sporting spectrum, official counts are significantly down. USA Cycling is proud of the work our officials do and the support you provide.  Please reach out and let me know personally if there is something we can do better to foster appreciation and longevity in your work and membership as a USA Cycling official. You can email me with feedback here.

I personally understand the hurdles to become an official and to renew each year.  Some items, like SafeSport, are USOC mandated. While we might object that it doesn’t apply to us as officials, I’m happy to comply because I know that it means I can be a part of protecting our athletes. Our Background Checks help provide integrity and maintain our athletes’ confidence and appreciation of our professionalism as officials. Together, these create a well-trained, knowledgeable, and informed corps of officials.

Once your eligibility items (SafeSport, Background Check and MVR as required) are completed, please take the time to renew your license.  Fingers are crossed that the delivery of that renewal email goes well! I appreciate your commitment in taking that step to another year of service to the sport we love.

Best wishes and have a great New Year in 2019,

RANDY SHAFER | Technical Director