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Now I’m Officially Official

     Okay, I’ve been a part of the speedskating scene for a long time, but today I actually got a little bit of authority at a meet. I was one of the officials at the 2011 Masters International Long Track Speedskating Championships held at the Pettit. Tempting as it was to flaunt my new powers and disqualify anyone who looked at me funny, I instead behaved and did my best to keep the racing fair and moving along.

     Here you see me setting up with a bucketful of blocks. These blocks are rubber lane markers laid out along the turns and sometimes the straightaways to clearly mark lanes. I also acted as a corner judge (watching that skaters not cross too far to the inside), finishing line judge (watching that skaters not kick out their skates and are ranked according to their finishing place), and heat box caller (getting the right skaters checked in and onto the ice). The latter was very easy, as adult skaters know where they are to be and when.

     I had two fabulous assistants in my youngest children, whom you see here. They are preparing to put red and white armbands on the skaters. The armbands indicate in which lanes the skaters start. The kids also checked racing numbers and order at the starting line.

     I learned a lot from officiating. Some rules that were fuzzy in my mind are now crystal clear, which should assist my own skating, and we all had a great time.