Officials

Technical Director Update - Nov. 2018

By: Randy Shafer  November 27, 2018

Giving thanks:

It’s Thanksgiving time and I want to say thank you to each and every official that serves USA Cycling with your efforts.  Thank you for your time, patience and willingness to serve the sport as an official in your unique way.  It is your efforts that ensure bike racing is available to our racing members.

I’m sure many of you have followed the big changes that are happening at USA Cycling in the cycling media. Derek Bouchard-Hall’s leadership will be coming to a close at the end of the year.  That means a new CEO, but more importantly, Derek has assured a lot of stability and respect within the organization by his choices and direction of staffing and leadership to ensure a lasting legacy.  There are many of us who are here because of his leadership. I’m grateful and thankful to be a part of that.

Save the date:

USA Cycling Official’s Summit 2019 is set for the weekend of February 16-17, 2019 (President’s Day Weekend).  The details of the summit will be announced over the next two months, but I hope that you will seriously consider setting aside the time to attend and experience the strength and bond that comes from associating with a large community of officials from around the country.  Growth in numbers, Developing new and Retaining existing officials and even the Future of Officiating are all on the agenda. Officiating is changing, just as sport is changing.  In Cycling, as in all other sports nationwide, we are feeling the decline of officials.  We need to understand the changes and we need to look hard at our contribution to the sport. I look forward to sharing that experience with you.

Renewals:

USA Cycling has undertaken a massive reorganization of its Information Technology.  The most visible has been the web site.  The web site is the portal for all of the IT changes that have been in  process of reorganizing for the last several years.  Technical Memberships (Officials, Coaches, Mechanics, Support Staff, etc.) will be the final push in our changes to our IT platform.  Considering this, I’ve worked with Membership to create an email that will show up in your mailboxes soon, explaining changes in procedures and hopefully simplify your renewals for 2019.  

For 2019, Eligibility requirements must be fulfilled in order to renew your license.  The current eligibility requirements are; SafeSport Education (this shows up as a CEU), a Criminal Background Check, and if you are a motor referee, a Motor Vehicle Report.  Each of these eligibilities are good for two years.  In the past, people were able to purchase their license and not be forced to complete their required eligibility items before the purchase process was complete.  Those licenses were "pended", but since the purchase was complete, there have been many instances that these "pends" were never resolved.  These eligibility requirements are important for you, USA Cycling and the US Olympic Committee. Starting in December, you will be required to have these items complete (or have already completed these within the previous 2 years) before you can renew.  

The email you will receive will document the expiration dates and provide links for you to process them directly from the email if they need to be renewed.  Once all of the eligibility items are completed, a follow-up email will be sent to let you know that you are ready to complete your renewal. I hope this will help your 2019 renewal and by this time next year, your membership renewal will be on par with the rest of our community.

Official’s Assignments:

Assignments have not become automated as we’ve searched for appropriate technologies.I’ve now worked on 5 separate assignment processes that are slow and painful.  Most of all they are not easily transparent.  While we have kept counting on an automated process to establish the ability to see assignments, it hasn’t happened.  Further, with people having life commitments that change, meaning reassignments occur frequently, has made it hard to document the "final" assignment for a particular discipline.  I will commit to having the assignments for 2017-2018 posted before the end of the year. I will conclude an evaluation on two assignment tools by the end of the year and have a better idea of how this will be handled in the future.  In the meantime, expect the next National Road Assignment Requests to be sent out shortly, using our trusty spreadsheet process. 

Road B Modules/Chief Referee Management courses:

After several trials this year, our B Modules have been reduced and refined to help alleviate some of the concerns for redundant experience and in general, some frustration with record keeping and sign-off.  To create more value for the B Modules, we are now introducing them in the Category C class and setting up shareable documents so that candidates that want to pursue their B certification can easily share that document with their reviewers.  For those of you that have  good experience as B’s and may not have gotten everything signed off, we are utilizing this same documentation to assist with deserved upgrades.  Upon completion of the modules, candidates will be eligible to attend a Chief Referee Management course to cap off the B Modules with a practical and insightful teaching experience for those ready to take the next step forward to develop leadership skills as the Chief Referee.

Have a great holiday season and again, I’m thankful for your work.

RANDY SHAFER | Technical Director