Background

When Tony Sach and I were on the Field Sub-Committee of the South of England Officials' Association (SEAOA), we arranged for a number of senior officials to get EDM training but then found that there were few opportunities for them to exercise their knowledge. We managed to arrange the hire of some machines but then the costs escalated out of reach. Tony decided he would buy a second-hand EDM if he could get one at a reasonable price and I said I would fund the purchase of a second machine. We wanted to make EDMs available at events below National level so that officials would not be fazed when they had to use them under pressure at high level meetings. That was all some 10yrs ago now.

Currently, 2014, we have around 40 machines with spikes, prisms, batteries and chargers and we have now been running as Precision Athletics for several years with another official, Bob Hammond, because we found the hiring out was getting to be as much as two of us could cope with. Originally each EDM required a team of three which reduced to two with our machines and now to one as all Level 3 Field Officials are expected to be able to use an EDM. With the help of SEAOA and many Counties, a large number of Level 2 officials are also getting the chance to use the machines which makes it unnecessary to have a dedicated EDM team; it is just another duty on the Official's duty sheet and the normal Technical team do the setting up.

Another way Precision Athletics tries to help is by holding free "EDM Play Days" when officials can spend time setting machines up and using them at their own speed to give them more confidence. The next "Play Day" is Sunday 22nd Feb 2015; hot drinks and bacon butties provided!

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