Age Managers are one of the most important roles at our club – without an age manager, age groups cannot participate.
The role of age managers is very important as you are responsible for caring for and nurturing our young athletes. Your role is to provide a supportive environment in which athletes can learn and develop. You have the ability to ensure that this experience is a fun one (for both athletes and parents) so they come back again in future seasons.
The age manager is to take athletes to their events, line them up for track events and coordinate field events (including measuring and recording). While the Manager is responsible for the group, they are assisted by other parents (such as raking the long jump or measuring throws). More information on how parents can help can be found here.
Age Managers are not expected to do it alone, but we need a parent to take on the role so that there is someone responsible for each group of athletes.
Age Managers are strongly encouraged to hold a Blue Card.
Tips for Supervision
The younger groups need constant supervision and will follow you around the park.
- Ensure children are always within sight and/or hearing – if this is too difficult, ask for help from the other parents.
- The children should not leave the group without letting you know. Use a buddy system if the children need to go somewhere, eg toilets.
- Compliment good behaviour eg paying attention, organising quickly, helping other children, good sportsmanship.
- In the case of misbehaviour, a clear, calm, firm verbal reprimand is usually enough; not harsh or a put down. Get the child’s parents to help if it continues, or speak to a member of the committee.
Speeding up events
In larger groups, some events can take a long time to get through. On days when there are over 25/30 athletes, ideas or suggestions to speed things up are:
- Have athletes lined up in order as on the name list, ready to start;
- Have two implements so the next athlete is ready, waiting, holding the implement in their hand;
- In very large groups (over 25/30), possibly stop after 2 throws instead of 3.
- For younger age groups, only have them doing a standing throw, no spins or step slides, etc.
- Start athletes at 10cm below their personal best (eg if PB is 110cm, start at 100cm).
- Increase the bar height by 5cm intervals (this is not negotiable) until only 2 athletes remain – then use 2cm (minimum). 1 cm increments should only be used for the final athlete but do not drag out the event forever
Long Jump/ Triple Jump
- Have younger age groups (U6-U10) start at a set marker, rather than measuring a run-up
- Have athletes lined up in order as on the name list, ready to start
- In very large groups (over 25/30), possibly limit the jumps to 2 instead of 3.
FAQs for Age Managers and Parent Helpers
What if I don’t have enough parent helpers?
If are short of helpers on the day, we recommend you ask parents who may be spectating to help you – even if it is for a single event, if parents are watching events they can be helping. At announcements if you are concerned you can speak to the centre manager doing the announcements who can seek helpers for you. If you regularly find yourself short of helpers, email the club and we can encourage more parent helpers in our Parents Group on Facebook.
What do I do if I can’t make it on a Friday competition night?
If there are meets in the calendar which you are aware that you can’t attend, please speak with other age group parents and see if someone may be able to fill in for you. If you are not able to do this, please email us and we will seek a replacement for that meet.
How do I run field events for my group?
In order to run the field events at our meets, it is important that age managers understand the rules regarding those events in your age group (noting that not all age groups compete in all events). For Little Athletics, there are not a great deal of highly technical rules for events, so don’t worry! The most important things to remember are:
1. Correct weight for throws – its important the athletes throw the correct weight shot, discus and javelin for their age and gender. All trolleys at throws have these listed for your reference.
2. Correct measurement for long jump and triple jump – measuring can be from the foot or the front of the board.
3. Recognising foul jumps and throws.
How do I record results?
Each Friday evening your folder will include record sheets for each event your age group is competing in that day. These sheets have all athletes’ names, as well as technical information for that event (weights etc), Centre records and each athlete’s PB in that event.
Our awesome Recorder, Kyle, enters all the field event results from the sheets into the online results database each week. To make this process as accurate and quick as possible, we ask age group managers to make sure you record the BEST RESULT for all field events on the record sheet. For throws, please fill in the best measurement after the conclusion of the third throw. For jumps, please ensure you fill in the best performance column after the conclusion of the third jump.
High Jump recording
High jump record sheets are set out differently than other sheets to allow for three attempts at a series of heights. When recording for high jump:
1. To avoid confusion use the following markings
X = foul jump
O = Cleared at that height (successful jump)
– = Passed at that height (did not jump but went to the next height).
2. Clearly Record Heights
On the High jump sheet, the Manager or parent recording needs to clearly label at the top of each column the height being jumped. The usual progression of heights is by 5cm increments, however you can go up by 2cm increments near the end of the event, at your discretion, and/or the request of the athletes.
WEEKLY PROGRAM AND EVENT ORDER
The Program for each Friday night is set up to have each age group moving around the oval competing in events in a particular order. For field events, age groups are allocated particular jumping or throwing areas.
We ask age managers to following the program order, particularly for field events. ‘Skipping’ over an event, or doing an event earlier can cause problems later in the program for other groups. In particular, high jump, triple jump, javelin and throws have designated areas and are scheduled in the program in a particular order. Please do not skip over high jump, in particular, and expect the mat will be free later!
If you are unsure, please check the program and ask a Committee member for advice on event order.
Where can I find out more information about running events?
Please feel free to ask committee members on the night of competition, or email the club, or ask on our Facebook page / Parent’s Group, or find the information listed on our website.
Thanks once again to parents and volunteers for your support throughout the season, to make it a great year!