MTF Update #2 by Jerry Bookin-Weiner

Masters Track & Field Update #2  – by Jerry Bookin-Weiner, Interim Chair

This update will cover the following topics – some of which were promised in the last update and some of which come in response to questions asked by readers:

  • Status of Meets This Summer, including Outdoor Nationals
  • WMA

Please note that these updates are published first on our website, usatfmasters.org, where they appear on the landing page.  Also on the landing page is a form you can fill out (takes a few seconds) in order to get email alerts when something is added to the site (it’s at the bottom right hand corner of the landing page).

Meets This Summer

This was the most asked question.  The bottom line is that as of today (April 12), nothing beyond the end of June has been cancelled or postponed.  For the Outdoor Nationals in Greensboro, NC, USATF is making decisions on meets on an eight-week rolling basis.  That means that a decision on Greensboro is unlikely before a month from now (mid-May).  The meet website is fully populated with information, however, meet registration has not been opened and will not be until a decision is made in May about the meet.

We are all following the news about COVID-19 and have our personal opinions about whether it is likely (or even wise) to hold the meet, but nothing will be announced until the local organizing group in North Carolina and the USATF national office come to a decision.  It should be noted that the cancellation of the Junior Olympics and Youth Nationals occurred already because the venues for those meets are not permitted to hold events until the end of the summer at the earliest.  That is, of course, a possibility for Greensboro as well, but so far our hosts at North Carolina A&T and the UNC System (of which it is a part) have not yet imposed such restrictions.

The East Region, Southeast Region, and Midwest Region meets as well as the Rex Harvey Combined Events, all scheduled in June are cancelled, though some of those meets may be rescheduled for later in the summer if things open up.  Other regional meets are still scheduled for July (Northwest, Southwest, and West) and August (Mid America).  The regional coordinators for those scheduled in July are looking at either cancellation or postponement with decisions expected in the next month or so.  The Mid America meet in late August remains on track for the time being, as do the Throws Championships in Seattle, also in late August.  Stay tuned.

As you can see, all of these situations are very fluid and likely to remain so for at least a while longer.  Future updates will provide the latest information should anything change.

WMA

As everyone should know by now, the Toronto 2020 WMA Championships have been cancelled.  The Toronto LOC has also announced that they are not prepared to host the meet again in the foreseeable future, so it will not be rescheduled in Toronto.

However, the competition is not the only event that occurs during a WMA Championship.  The WMA General Assembly meets on the first of the two rest days.  That body, which consists of delegates from each participating country, makes decisions about future championships and elects WMA officers, among other business.  In Toronto the General Assembly was scheduled to consider bids for the 2023 World Indoor Championships by Spokane and the 2024 World Outdoor Championships by Daegu (South Korea).  In addition, elections were scheduled to be held for two key positions – Vice President of Competition and Executive Vice President.

It is my understanding that those decisions must be made by a General Assembly and cannot be made by the WMA Council.  The Council consists of the officers and the heads of each of the six regions plus the World Athletics representative.  Holding a General Assembly meeting virtually would be extremely difficult given the vast time zone differences, so WMA will need to find another solution.  One might be to hold the General Assembly at the indoor championships in Edmonton next April, though the indoor meet schedule would need to be changed to accommodate a General Assembly meeting.

So, again, we need to stay tuned and wait to learn how these issues will be resolved.

The next update will cover the main highlights of the Annual Meeting back in December in Reno as well as other more recent developments.

Thank you,
Jerry Bookin-Weiner
Interim MTF Chair