December 2013 Technical Director Update



December 2013 Technical Director Update


Hey Everyone,

Wow, once again I find myself saying, “where did that season go?” It started out with a bang with my department hosting a World Championship, and is ending with another type of bang as we launch several new programs at the end of the season.

2014 Rulebooks

The 2014 rulebook was posted today and the hard files are heading to the printer. This is the earliest that has ever happened since I have been here, largely due to making few changes this year, and also because my Technical Manager, Tom Mahoney is just that good. We will let the smoke clear with officials’ renewals for a few weeks, but at some point we will pull the trigger on sending out hard copies to the officials that have renewed. The sooner you renew the better, as it allows us to get your rulebook heading your way in our first mailing. You can also download the rulebook at

To better keep track of everyone attending our webinars, we've updated our officials clinic page to now include all of our archived webiniars as well as any of the new upcoming webinars. That being said, we've added 2 new webinars to the list.

  • SafeSport Training: Part of the new SafeSport initative is to educate and spread the word on what SafeSport is. This training is manadatory for any member that's required to do a background check.

  • Archived: 2014 Rulebook: New Rules and General Overview: Shawn Farrell, Technical Director of USA Cycling, goes over what's new and important in the 2014 rendition of the USA Cycling rulebook.

2014 Assignments
We are madly tinkering with our officials’ assignment tools to get them fully functional. National-level assignments will be done within a week or two and then submitted to Race Directors for comment, and then published so that you see yours. For NRC and NCC races, the local associations also complete the process for the positions that the Technical Commission and I did not assign, so we will be sending what we have to them at about the same time.

National Commissaire Class
We are hosting an Elite Road National Commissaire course in March of 2014, our typical timeframe for that. Our approved dates from the UCI are March 6-9, 2014. We will bring people in on March 2 if they want to upgrade in track. Cyclocross day will be March 5th. The instructors for the course will be Wayne Pomario, UCI International Commissaire from Canada, and Randy Shafer, UCI International Commissaire from Colorado.  So far we have over 20 Americans that will be attending, as well as a handful of Canadians, so this will likely be the biggest Nat Comm class ever. It also will be the hardest Nat Comm class in recent history, so start studying!!! I probably have heard from all interested and qualified applicants, but just in case, now would be a good time if you wanted to attend and I have not heard from you yet.

Background Checks (encore description in case you missed it)
A lot has happened politically in the world of sports in the last year. Less than a year ago, we received information about new programs that were coming from the USOC. They had a very short timeline for implementation, expecting National Governing Bodies to enforce these programs beginning 1/1/14. Their programs include several pieces, but the two that most impact all of you, and which we have been telling you about for a few months, are the criminal background checks (CBC) and the SafeSport training. The USOC has mandated that the criteria for being required to do these two pieces. There were many of these criteria but the most specific was:

“….Anyone in a position of authority over athletes.” Most NGB’s could not look at that without concluding that officials are, indeed, in a position of authority over athletes, and therefore on the list of members that must do SafeSport and CBCs.

Yes, it is a lot more work to renew your official’s license. You have to follow one link to NCSI to launch your CBC. You have to go to a USOC link to take the SafeSport seminar. The latter is free but does take a couple of hours. The former will cost around $20.

Officials are in a critical position with respect to the member experience. You are USA Cycling’s main point of contact with all other stakeholders of our sport. We have a duty as a company to protect our members. Both pieces speak to the attempt to make sure we can trust the people in authority over our athletes. I have no doubt we will lose some officials who no longer find it financially or logistically worth the effort. It is an unfortunate reality, and I am sorry for that. I am also confident that the ones who remain will be just a little better for the experience. Most of the lawsuits against USA Cycling drag our officials into it, calling into question their competence and motives. These procedures will help all of us, making sure we can say we did everything we could do to ensure the integrity of the officials. We will also continue to look for ways to make this cheaper and easier to accomplish.

All that being said, the USOC’s mandate has really just pushed a timeline forward that we had been discussing for a few years. USA Cycling believes in increasing the professionalism of our officials’ crews. We all believe in the concept.  A big part of that is increased training and increased screening. Our job at USA Cycling is to make it work and make it less burdensome for all of you.

We also believe in continuing education, another topic we began mentioning years ago. This is the first year where every official had a CE requirement for renewal. For level C officials, this would just be the single CEU that you would earn from taking your local association’s new rules seminar, or the new rules webinar that we hosted yesterday.

That is all for this year. Have a great holiday season, and remember, cross natz is only a couple of weeks away.

Shawn Farrell
Technical Director




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