Walk (ANSW track referee) 2:00:39  5.03 km (24:00 / km)
weight:66kg shoes: Asics Gel Advantage 3 (black)
NSW Schools Knockout, Sydney Olympic Park (3:30-10pm). 16-12°C.Track referee again but this time with a chief umpire and umpires reporting to me. Very busy but uneventful until the final event - the senior boys' 1000m Swedish relay (100-300-200-400).
Even from the finish I could see one athlete running the opposite way to the other runners and then spinning around at the first change. When looking at a video later on I saw that this 2nd runner had put himself in the vacant lane 7 but his incoming team mate was approaching quickly in lane 4. He decide to cut in front of, and obstruct, the teams in lanes 6 and 5. His team actually finished first on the track with the obstructed teams finishing 2nd and 5th. I received a protest from the 2nd-placed team. A disqualification appeared warranted so I had to investigate whether there were any mitigating factors to allow the results to stand. The manager of the subject team claimed that the change official had put the boy in the wrong lane after asking if he was in the right place. But the official did not have a lane draw and could only advise whether the boy was in the correct acceleration/change zone for that lane. (The lane draw was on the scoreboard.) After interviewing relevant parties and considering all the evidence I confirmed that the team was disqualified in accordance with IAAF rule 170.8. The disqualification dropped the team from 2nd to 5th overall on the night meaning they missed qualifying for the National Knockout carnival.
I was then subjected to some personal abuse about my professionalism and integrity from the team manager who I had known for some 12 years through little athletics. He said it was a poor decision (especially since the change officials did not report anything) and not within the spirit of the competition. (I had already confirmed that the action was within by purview and I was not overreacting.) He said that it was now unlikely that his school would support this event in the future and that the boys would be lost to athletics. (I think the national event is more important to him than the boys.) He concluded with a subtle personal comment along the lines that this incident confirms what he always thought about me !? I can happily get by without having to deal with JM again. I'm not sure he can say the same about me. And I'm going to the Commonwealth Games and he's not !