USATF Masters T&F Committee to pick new secretary in December

Phil Byrne, chair of the USATF Masters Track & Field Nominating Committee, notes that quadrennial elections will be held at the December annual meeting, with one opening that needs filling: secretary. Phil writes: “We, in the Masters Division, will also be holding our elections for officers and other positions (active athlete representative, WMA delegates and alternates, etc.)  at the USATF Annual Meeting in Daytona Beach, Fla.  The meeting dates are November 28 thru December 2. … We will be electing four officers – Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary and Treasurer – and the Nominating Committee is seeking candidates for each of these positions.  The other positions to be filled do not involve the Nominating Committee, but are filled with an election of candidates who run for these positions from the floor.” Anyone challenging Chairman Gary Snyder or the others?

USATF annual meeting will be held in December in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Phil adds:

The specific duties of these positions are spelled out in the USATF Governance Manual, and we are hoping to have qualified candidates for each position indicate their interest to the Nominating Committee over the next few weeks.  The Nominating Committee will be pleased to discuss the positions with all who may be interested, and those interested may also feel free to discuss the responsibilities of these positions with those currently (or previously) holding them, and/or with members of the Executive Committee.  The other members of the Nominating Committee are Rita Hanscom and Sid Howard.
As of now, it is my understanding that Gary Snyder, Chair, Robert Thomas,Vice-Chair, and Carroll DeWeese, Treasurer, do plan to run for re-election; Jeff Brower, Secretary, does not plan to run.  As of October 22, I am aware of one announced candidate for the position of Secretary, and no additional candidates for the other positions  Those mentioned above obviously have the right to change their mind between now and the election.
Those interested in running for office can nominate themselves or have someone else do so, and nominations can also be made from the floor at the Annual Meeting.  Candidates should plan to be present at the Annual Meeting to address the voters as to their qualifications and to participate in a brief Question and Answer session.  Historically, those with experience as administrators in the sport have been more successful as candidates than those without such experience, and success as an athlete has been relatively less important.
Please feel free to contact me if you are interested in serving on this Committee or if you are interested in running for one of these positions.
Here’s your chance to play a significant role in the leadership of our sport!  Don’t pass it up!
Phil Byrne, Chair
Masters Track & Field Nominating Committee

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October 30, 2012

7 Responses

  1. peter taylor - October 31, 2012

    Gary Snyder set forth some good ideas recently about “growing” masters T&F in the United States. Unfortunately, I can’t find what he said and thus can’t be precise.

    Regardless, I believe that one or more of Gary’s ideas involved a closer relationship with the Senior Games. I think that’s the right approach, as there are so many fine athletes who will go to Senior Games but won’t touch the national masters championships. The difference in numbers, of course, is staggering (Sr Games far ahead).

    I hope that Gary and whoever else will be running for office will take the opportunity at the Daytona
    Beach annual meeting to sketch out a plan to restore masters T&F in the US to its former greatness.

    After all, in the 1989-2000 period, when there was essentially no Internet, we didn’t know about Ken Stone, when there were far fewer Americans aged 30+, and, most important, when women made up a much smaller percentage of participants at national outdoors than they do now, we still managed to exceed 1400 entrants 25% of the time at nationals.

    Beginning in 2001 and continuing through 2012 (Lisle), we managed to break 1400 just once (Sacramento 2010). Just how bad that is can be illustrated by the point above about women. In Provo, Utah, for example, our 1993 nationals, just 199 women competed.

    Now that we have a lot of women competing in the sprints, middle distances, and distance races, the throws, and the jumps, we should have no problem hitting 1700 entrants. And yet we often struggle to break 1000. I wonder why that is.

  2. Phil - November 1, 2012

    Pete, you wonder why? Here is what I think: Bad economy, high entry fees for USATF (heck just joining USATF is a drawback for some), expensive hotels, car rental issues for venues far from airports. Masters aged athletes more involved in their Child’s events and can not spend much time away from home. (Take for example Club Cross Country nationals, a bit over two weeks out from Christmas- many parents have children in events at school, church plays, etc.) Younger masters have jobs that can not be taken away (and there is job uncertainty) and who is going to spend vacation days with the family in Lisle, IL? (etc.) Just a few of my thoughts, any more?

  3. Jeff Davison - November 2, 2012

    Regarding Pete’s discussions above – it might be interesting to see if high school and college participation in track and field had reduced . . . if it had, then Masters would need to see if athletes from others sports would switch sports . . .

    I know my grandchildren prefer other sports, hopefully one day they will change their minds . . .

  4. Phil - November 3, 2012

    See this link (old but interesting):
    I think the real problem is at the college level since many schools are cutting men’s programs.
    Still can not discount my previous thoughts however…

  5. Mark Cleary - November 3, 2012

    I think another meet in California could have a big draw-we would get 600 athletes from California alone-plus it is conducive to better efforts because you don’t have to deal with the extremes. I think a night meet in California could draw over 1500 even in this bad economy.

  6. peter taylor - November 4, 2012

    I agree, Mark. In the long history of US masters T&F (goes back to the late 1960s), the list of states that have drawn more than 1400 entries for outdoor nationals is very short: Oregon and California. No surprise there.

    In 2011, California alone had an estimated 37.7 million people, or 12% of the US population. Furthermore, it has a very large number of masters stars or superstars, not to mention commpetitors who are a step below the star level.

    The fact that only two states have had big turnouts (both more than once) for nationals concerns me somewhat, as it seems that attendance is too dependent on location. For example, one of my favorite sites (Oshkosh, Wisconsin in 2009) had a piddling turnout (generously estimated at 1000) even though it had a beautiful track, excellent throwing areas, and very nice jump venues.

    This year we were in Lisle, where the level of entries (1118, I am told) was disappointing. Contrast that with Humble, Texas, for the Sr Games in 2011. I wish we could grab some of their competitors.

    I took a brief look at the results for Sr Games in 2011, confining myself to women 50+ in a very basic event, the 100-m dash. Sr Games had 117 such women, versus 37 in Lisle.

    What’s that, you say, Sr Games 2011 was confined to slowpokes? Well, how about Kathy Bergen, Phil Raschker, Kay Glynn, Barbara Jordan, Jeanne Daprano, and Audrey Lary? Or consider Colleen Burns (beat Phil Raschker in the 400 in Albuquerque), Amanda Scotti, Pat Peterson, and Loretta Woodward. The list of stars or superstars who competed at 2011 Sr Games is very long indeed.

    Sure, 2011 Sr Games had a lot of mid-level performers and quite a few who proceeded at a pedestrian pace, but what’s not to like about having 117 50+ women in one event? I hope that Olathe (2013) can get a few of them.

  7. Courtland Gray - November 6, 2012

    One problem with 117 entrants is the extraordinary number of heats to get down to that outstanding list of sprinters you listed above for the finals(That might also be running the 200 and 400 with an additional extraordinary number of heats). The only advantage is the entry fees generated for the otganizers. It’s an age old issue.

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