2009 Sydney World Masters Games facing serious questions
The October 2009 World Masters Games in Sydney — competing with Lahti worlds for masters tracksters — face some serious issues. Despite receiving an unusual meet sanction from World Masters Athletics (a possible first in WMA history), Sydney organizers are planning to tweak track rules for their convenience, according to a knowledgeable source. For example, throwers would get four attempts instead of the usual six, and horizontal jumpers would get four tries instead of six. And 100-meter dashes would be contested as timed finals instead of heats leading to finals, I’m told. I wrote to WMG and officials of Australia Masters Athletics Inc., the nation’s governing body of masters track. So far, only their statman has replied.
Because I’m not on the AMA Board, I’m in the dark regarding most of your questions. However, as AMA records officer, I will accept any record claim if official officials have signed it, all the normal rules applying to records have been adhered to, and the claimant is a financial member of a Masters club. Unless of course AMA direct me otherwise! I’m not surprised by anything that occurs in Sydney relating to Masters. NSW Masters have provided me with a lot of record-related problems over the years.
Despite all the hype and pride surrounding the WMG in Sydney, the host WMA affiliate is studiously ignoring it. AMA’s events calendar doesn’t even list Sydney WMG! (Neither does the South Australian Masters organization. No mention of WMG on its site either.Nor New South Wales masters, the host province.)
A complete freeze-out!
International Masters Athletics Competitions may not be staged in the Affiliate’s country unless the competition, whether as a stand-alone event or as a component of a multi-sport event, has been sanctioned by the Affiliate and referred to and sanctioned by WMA. . . . WMA will not sanction an event if it is not supported by the Affiliate or its controlling sports bodies.
The International Masters Games Association (IMGA) world masters games were awarded a WMA sanction by the WMA Council at its annual meeting held at Riccione, Italy in March of 2006. The motion was presented and spoken for by President Cesare Beccalli and Oceania Regional Delegate Stan Perkins. It passed on the word of these gentlemen that Sydney organizers had promised to strictly follow WMA rules and procedures and the further promise that there would be a sizeable budget for WMA Technical Delegate(s) to advise the organizers and observe the preparations and conduct of the games.It was also represented that the organizers would include Australian Masters closely in their planning. To date, none of this has happened and apparently, Sydney plans to conduct the games using their own rules and procedures.Should that ultimately prove true, of course any records set there could not be accepted unless full documentation of the venue, officials, and procedures were submitted to the WMA Records Committee and accepted by them. It should also be pointed out that no other IMGA games or IMGA regional games have been sanctioned by WMA at this time.This would include the European Masters Games held in Malmo, Sweden 29Aug-7Sep2008 and the upcoming European Masters Games planned for Lignano, Italy 10-20Sep2011.The Riccione General Assembly did pass a motion to continue communication with IMGA, but we also need to remember that the WMA General Assembly in Riccione voted, nearly unanimously, against WMA combining their World Championships with the IMGA.