$250 fee should give us right to Masters T&F USATF vote in Ohio

Don’t sue me, USATF, for using your snazzy logo!

Often in the past, when you wanted to vote at the USATF annual meeting as an active masters athlete (rather than a masters chair from your local association, etc.), you just showed up and raised your hand. Not so this year. National vice chair Jerry Bookin-Weiner writes: “Selection of the 20 active athletes who will be voting members of the MTF Committee will take place in the opening General Session on Friday morning, December 1. The selection will be done by secret ballot of the active athletes attending the meeting. Those not selected will be able to speak during the meetings and take part in other committee business, but will not be able to vote when sites are selected and other committee business is decided.”

Jerry continued:

To be eligible for selection as one of the active athlete positions on the committee an individual must be a U.S. citizen, a member in good standing of USATF, a registered delegate at the Annual Meeting, and must have competed in at least one USATF-sanctioned meet (or international meet such as the NCCWMA meet in Toronto last August) within the last two calendar years (2016 or 2017).

All those who apply and qualify will be accepted as active athletes, with only the 20 selected from that group by secret ballot able to vote.

If you are attending the Annual Meeting and want to be an active athlete, please fill out this FORM. Email the completed form to: MTFChair@gmail.com.

Methinks that any masters athlete who shells out the registration fee of $195 or $250 (depending on whether you met the Nov. 12 deadline) and the cost of travel and lodging should have a vote. (In fact, they may not even find 20 active athletes for voting purposes.)

Certainly, membership in USATF should give everyone voting rights, and the masters meetings could be streamed via Facebook Live or some other social media app.

Just dreaming.

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November 26, 2017

5 Responses

  1. Curtis Morgan - November 27, 2017

    Ken, I think you owe it to Jerry Bodkin-Weiner (and, to the rest of us sitting here in the dark, actually) to explain his rationale for only including 20 active athletes. And, while we’re at it, the rationale for a “secret ballot”.

  2. Ken Stone - November 27, 2017

    Hi, Curtis.

    Here is the 2017 USATF governance handbook:
    http://masterstrack.com/wp-content/uploads/governance2017.pdf

    I see references to committees having 20% or 25% active athletes. Perhaps the USATF Masters T&F Committee is using 20 as a handy number in its case.

  3. Jerry Bookin-Weiner - November 27, 2017

    Ken and Curtis,

    The number of Active Athletes with a vote on the MTF Committee (20) is fixed by Exhibit E of the USATF Operating Regulations in the Governance Handbook you linked in your comment. It’s on page 112 (page 123 of the PDF document). It even spells out there that the 20 are to be selected by all the active masters athletes registered to attend the annual meeting – Ken, I think you were in Albuquerque in 2000 when this process was followed and the governing rules haven’t changed since then.

    The plan for a secret ballot is simply a matter of saving time – much easier to have the people eligible to vote (active athletes registered for the annual meeting) write down the names of the 20 they want rather than having an endless series of shows of hands. While the ballots are tallied the active athletes can be electing their representative on the Executive Committee. 20 Active Athletes was the rule then and it is now. This process is how it was done in 2000 and it made sense then and does now.

    Having said all of this, we do plan as soon as possible to pursue expanding the number of Active Athletes on the MTF Committee in the next L&L (Law & Legislation) revision/amendment cycle, which is in 2019. The MTF Committee will decide what to ask for but the final decision will be up to the L&L Committee.

  4. Ken Stone - November 27, 2017

    Thanks for the details, Jerry.

    (I attended USATF annual meetings in:
    2014 Anaheim
    2008 Reno
    1999 Los Angeles)

  5. Alan Kolling - November 28, 2017

    As a long-time member of the L&L committee, I would say that whatever the MaTF committee reasonably wants to have as the number of active athletes on their committee will be acceptable to L&L. The final decision will then simply be up to all voting delegates present at the Closing Session in 2019. Dave Greifinger currently serves as the MaTF rep on L&L and can effectively represent your interests in this regard.

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