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Posted by on Feb 14, 2016 in Events | 2 comments

Officiating at AO Championships

So here we go again. Today at AO Youth Boys competition the coaches were not allowed to be in the area. So called ‘coaches box’ was created near the high jump pit in the middle and for some kids beginning of their approach run.
Tim and Janet Slocombe are back with their ego and huge desire to be in control of everything (one or both of them being JUMPS REFEREEs yesterday and today).
So as the result we are back to situation when the officials are failing to run the competition nice and smooth and make everything possible to isolate coaches from the area so that we do not notice if they are doing something wrong. Yesterday we had the area close to the pit crowded with shot putters so it was distracting some of the vaulters but today it was empty. However the runway was only opened at 9:45 as officials started to put the measuring tape and train volunteers how to raise the bar at 9:30 so the competition (there were only 4 vaulters in the list) started at 10:25 with 25 min. delay without any reason.
Ontario coaches: unless we speak up it’s not gonna change and our vaulters will jump low and not have fun at meets run by AO. The officials will keep being mean and unfriendly. Zeke has felt it yesterday but today it was even worse.
I really call you to join our efforts and do something.
I already talked to Randolph Fajardo from AO and pointed out there were problems.
I suggest:
1. Push AO towards letting ONLY the following officials run the pole vault: Ian (we all wish he was available more), Owen and Wayne.
2. Make AO create rule that PV coaches are not discriminated and ARE ALLOWED in the area as other jumps and throws coaches are.
3. When PV and SP run at the same time I suggest that throwers enter the circle from another side. There’s obviously more space between the cage and LJ pit compared to the space between PV pit and the cage.
If any of you including athletes, parents and fans have something to suggest or share please leave your thoughts here.


  1. The clash between vaulters(coaches) and officials has been going on for many years. Some indoor facilities do pose problems that may not exist outdoors due to space restrictions. I believe that the Pole Vault is an event that requires more coaching supervision that other events. That is something organizers and officials sometimes overlook. It is a pleasure to go to a competition where meaningful communication between coaches and athletes is encouraged. It is not the intention of the coach to break the rules. It is not the intention of the coach to try and gain an unfair advantage. Communication is to ensure that the athlete is givin feedback that promotes safety and to make informed decisions. Probably the best course of action, for our community, is to communicate directly with Athletics Ontario and voice our concerns.

  2. I think we need to have a direct meeting with the officials with athletics Ontario. It seems like we have some really good officials and some officials that are not sure what’s going on. When I was coaching on Saturday and Sunday the officials were quite good, however there were not a lot of athletes. I also went to the officials before the meet started and asked what was their level of standard of coaching they expected from me. Maybe maybe we need to approach them before the competition even starts before warm-up to communicate our expectations and their expectations.
    Let’s try and resolve this because I don’t want to officiate and coach. I think we need the officials . It makes our jobs easier
    Jeff Hayhoe

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