Technical Director Update for November 2012


November 2012 Technical Director Update

Dear Official:

Officials Clothing Program

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Please see this link for our store:

Officials Summit 2013

Mark your calendars. The second bi-annual officials’ summit is going to take place in Colorado Springs, March 8-10, 2013. We are very happy to have our own facilities now to run meetings like this. We opened the new conference center with the coaches’ summit a few weeks ago, followed that with the sport committee meetings this week, and are going right into the local association and race directors summits. It’s a great facility and so handy.


Other good news is that we have a killer deal with the Marriott hotel just up the hill. We have locked in a room rate of $79 per night, and that includes breakfast. To add to the package, the hotel has a shuttle that will pick people up at the airport, as well as deliver you to the meetings and take you back.


We are currently putting together the list of topics to be covered. As we did last time, we will have some speakers from outside the officiating world. We will also be having a more relaxed timeframe to allow groups to meet and discuss, which was the main suggestion coming out from the inaugural version of the summit.


Even in a lousy snow year, we should have snow in that time frame. The Technical Commission will be coming out on March 6th and some of us will be going skiing, so any of you that want to come out early and do some skiing, I would be happy to help with making some plans.


At present we are still thinking about logistics of how to best handle registration. The reality is that we cannot host all 1700 of you. Last time we restricted it to level B and higher and pretty much filled up with that, so we will probably have some sort of staggered registration period to give the most people we can handle a chance first before opening it up. I will send out a specific email on this once we have that figured out.


Rulebook Revisions

After discussing some proposed rule changes with the sport committees this week, we are madly doing the revision for 2013. This is the most major rewrite since I have been here, both in form and content, so set aside some time this winter to give it a good read. We are changing the book a lot, mainly to accomplish the following:

· Make it follow the UCI rules more closely when appropriate. There are still times when we would not want to blindly follow international rules, but the day to day racing rules should be similar

· Remove legacy/historical rules that are really a history lesson of every bad decision made by an official in the last 30 years. I even have one in there. First person outside of the NTC to identify it gets a prize J

· Remove things that are really business rules and should not be in a competition rulebook

· Harmonize the content and format between chapters so the book reads like the same person wrote every chapter.

· Actual rule changes

· Move all penalties to a penalty chapter instead of having the penalties strewn throughout the book with the racing rules.

As of this writing, I have finished updating chapter 1 (where most of the changes are) and chapter 2. Now getting to work on Chapter 3 and beyond.

“Survey says….”

In the fall each year, we send out lots of surveys. Some of the results are definitely relevant to officials. The first category we looked at is that of non-returning members, and we asked them why they did not renew their licenses. Of course the answers were many and varied, but there are a few that stand out. Polling riders that did not renew from multiple years gave us a pool of around 11,000. Of those polled, about 2700 responded. Of those that responded, about 50% were “one and done”, meaning they did one race and never came back.

Of those that responded, about 70% cited that they had a negative racing experience, and that is why they did not renew. Of those that had a negative experience, about 35% cited a crash as their reason for their negative experience. Another 17% (or over 300 riders in the sample) cited a negative interaction with an official as their reason for not coming back. A smaller percentage stated that they got caught by a rule they did not know about. Clearly these are the metrics that are concerning. We don’t have all the details, of course. Perhaps this negative experience with an official was being pulled. I know I had that experience twice a weekend my first year racing. Not sure why I came back. Perhaps it was being told to unfold their numbers or that they could not wear that RadioShack jersey. We will never know unless we mine through individual responses for individual interactions. Still, this is why we have been trying to stress to all of you the importance of professionalism. If the first time riders manage to survive the cat 5 field and not crash, we don’t want the officials driving them away from the sport.

A big push for USA Cycling in the next couple of years will be the “first time experience” of our riders. This is going to be addressed at the coaching level as well as the officials’ level.

Now on the flip side, we have the same survey of officials, asking them why they did not renew their officials’ licenses, and again there were many, many reasons, leaving us with much to sort out regarding officials’ retention. Over half of the respondents cited that they did not renew because they don’t officiate often enough to justify maintaining a license. About 40% cited the cost of the license being too high. Next on the list was that they were going back to racing or being involved in the sport some other way. About 30% said the pay scale was too low. A little over 20% said they had a bad experience with a race. About 20% said that there were not enough opportunities for them to officiate.

Online Forms

Another piece of good news is that we now have consolidated the old CR report with the old post-event report and made the entire thing online. This should streamline your work as a CR. Make sure to check out the article on the USA Cycling website. It can be seen here.

National-Level Assignments

We are about ready to send out the spreadsheets for national level assignments. You will get one of these via email assuming your account has an active email associated with it. If it doesn’t, you won’t have gotten this TD update either. You also will have to be qualified in at least one area to apply for the National Technical Commission-based assignments. That means you are a level A official in something or a level B motoref or higher. If you do not fall into one of those categories, it does not mean you cannot work the races on the list. It just means you will be applying for them via another route, which would be through your local association and Regional Technical Commission. We will be continuing with the process we started last year where three different groups are involved in the assignments – the NTC, RTC, and LA. For the NTC-level assignments, we hope to have those out by Christmas.

That is about it for this one. Happy slide into winter. Happy Thanksgiving.


Shawn Farrell

Technical Director


This Article Updated November 3, 2012 @ 01:30 PM For more information contact: