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Minutes of 2017 USATF RRTC Meeting (December 1, 2017)

Last year minutes


Registrar report
This is available on RRTC website.

West Vice Chair Report
This is available on RRTC website.

East Vice Chair Report
This is available on RRTC website.

Validation Chair Report
This is available on RRTC website.

Training Chair Report
This is available on RRTC website.

RRTC name change
Most think it should change because we measure courses that are not on roads and because of the confusion with the long distance running groups. Mike Wickiser said it has been Road Running Technical Council for a very long time and he is not comfortable changing it. It was decided that the acronym should stay RRTC because that is very familiar to many people. Two suggestions for the change were Road Race Technical Council and Race Route Technical Council. A vote was taken and Race Route Technical Council won 7-4 (?).
Note the name change was not submitted to the Rules Committee in time so the name is now Road Racing Technical Council. This needs to be revisited in 2018 because it uses the word ROAD and we are currently working on expanding our definition of measurable to accommodate MUT (Mountain, Ultra, Trail) events. See the next topic below.

Certification of non-paved courses
Need to decide what percentage of unpaved surface will be allowed for the course to still be certified. Also need to decide what percentage of unpaved surface will be allowed for records.
Committee set up to look into this: Bob Thurston, Jim Gilmer, Camille Herron, Mike Wickiser.

Amending the rules for ultra records to allow non paved certification courses
Course that was used for a recent world record was not paved. However, the course was certified. Records are set based on the rules in place at the time, so the record is good and will not be taken away even if the rules are changed going forward. We will look at the issue of non-paved courses this year. We will let people think about the ultra records issue for a while before doing anything.

Certification of cross country courses
USATF has not certified cross country courses since 1996. Certification of Cross Country courses was dropped due to concerns over 2nd measurement agreement and year to year reproducibility. The cross country committee said they don’t really think it’s necessary. One idea is to establish and share a methodology for measuring cross country courses that we think is best. The point was made that the vast majority of cross country courses are created for college and high school races, which is not USATF/RRTC responsibility. But it would be good to have some guidelines for college and high school coaches for measuring courses.

Olympic Trials and the RRTC
After a recent agreement, RRTC has total control over course measurement and setup of Olympic trials road courses. USATF has the final say in all technical issues regarding the trials. For the RRTC, this will eliminate problems between the local organizers and the way the course is measured. Specifically there was an issue with the last Olympic Trials in regards to how turn-around points were to be measured.

Liability for errors made by course measurer
This is being looked into. A course measurer would need to become a certified USATF official to be covered by the insurance. For the USATF club system there is an online system where officials record ahead of time when they will be at an event, so it is likely a similar thing would have to be done. The goal is to make this insurance free for measurers who become certified officials. The accident/health insurance part of this is pretty much set up, but the liability part is still under discussion.

Measurers as USATF Certified Officials
The consensus was that this should remain optional. It would be under the umbrella of the certified officials association. There is a small fee every 4 years. Must be a USATF member and must take Safe Sports class online. Background check is also necessary (although it was mentioned that this may only be necessary for people who will deal with children). There will be a short test about structure of LDR. The fact that a measurer is a certified official would be shown on USATF membership card.

Certifying courses outside of the USA, NACAC Certification Program
RRTC/USATF should not be certifying courses outside the US. Rather, IAAF certification is what should be done.
American Samoa, Guam (will be checked), US Military facilities are okay for USATF certification. Puerto Rico and some other US Territories have their own associations, and therefore should not have courses certified by USATF.
Mike Wickiser will create a NACAC (North America Central America Caribbean) certificate for courses that are certified in these regions.

Ted Corbitt Award: Gene Newman, Bob Letson, Mike Wikiser
Alan Jones was recognized for his Ted Corbitt award from last year. Biographies of all Ted Corbitt Awardees are available on the USATF website at

Measurement contest
The true length of the course was 324.175 meters.
Name Measurement Error
1st place Jane Parks 326.5 +2.32
2nd place Bob Thurston 320.0 -4.18
3rd place Ron Pate 328.846 +4.67
4th place Jeff John 318.45 -5.77

IAAF – new rules and A & B status
IAAF is reviewing their process for establishing A and B measurers.
5k is now IAAF would record distance., while 15k, 20k, 25k, and 30k are not.
For a world record, the original measurer or a designee has to be at the course to make sure it is set up correctly and the runners follow it correctly. David suggested that whenever possible we should offer this service to high profile events to help reduce problems with course set up. It is required for USATF Open Road Championships.

The future of the JR counter
Tom shared a brief history of the development and production of the JR Counter. Tom is concerned that the sales of the counter have dropped off dramatically over the past couple years. This may be due to competition from a new counter being sold out of Wales, UK, but it’s possible other factors are at play. But Tom says at the present level of sales the business is not sustainable.
David says he will look into possible solutions to the problem, including USATF/RRTC subsidizing or even owning the counter production business.

Certifying tracks
David made it clear that we do not have the authority to call a track certified. There are over 500 measured points on a track, and we do not have the skills or equipment to measure all those points.
It was decided that we can measure a “road” course that includes a track or is completely on a track, but it is important to make the distinction that we are nt certifying the track.
Jane Parks suggested the following statement that will be put on the certificate and map that indicates the certification is only for a course on the track and not a certification of the track itself. “This course is certified on a track. This is not a certification of the track itself.”
David explained how he measured a track with a steel tape.
Mark Neal and Mike Wickiser both made the point that riding a bicycle around a track may not be a very accurate way to measure it, and suggested a calibrated measuring wheel (either commercially available or constructed from a bicycle wheel).

New online course certification application system
Jim Gilmer along with ARE Event Production interns Kyle Farmer, Kevin Becker, and Nathanial Galluzzo, led an interactive demonstration of the new web-based application submission process. The system, approved by USATF, will be rolled out to a small number of test measurers in early 2018, and then will be opened to all measurers later in the year. This an end-to- end system that allows measurers and
RRTC reviewers — regional certifiers, vice chairs, and course registrar — to submit
and review certification applications and maps and upload the approved certificates
and maps to the course search database.

Measuring a turn-around committee
The procedures manual shows the single point method as the only one way to measure and set up a turn-around. We need to change this to include a turn-around with a radius.
Mark Neal, Bob Thurston, and Jim Gilmer volunteered to write up a description for the manual. Jane Parks volunteered to help with this if needed.
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