Course Measurement

The AAA Course Measurement Working Party was set up under"the Chairmanship of John Disley in 1985, with the aim of introducing a system for the certification of road race courses in respect of events run under the AAA Permit Scheme.   The first AAA Measurers' Training and Accreditation Seminar was held at the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre at the end of that year, and the first AAA Certificates of Course Accuracy were issued shortly after.

Previous to this, the Road Runners Club had pioneered the art` of accurate course measurement in this Country, for the purpose of including certified courses in their popular standards award scheme for RRC members. A sizeable proportion of the 50 or so participants on the original three AAA funded Measurers' Training Seminars in 1985 and 1986 came from the panel of RRC measurers:

Since then, a number of further seminars for the training and accreditation of new measurers have been held under the Auspicies of the Area Associations, who have also all appointed Area Measurement Secretaries to co-ordinate measurement activities in their localities, including training.   The training seminars.provide theoretical and practical training for measuring courses using the CALIBRATED CYCLE METHOD (sometimes known as the 'JONES COUNTER' method).*   This   method which utilises the consistently accurate Jones Counter device fitted' to the hub of the cycle, is the 0NLY one recoghised by the IAAF for measuring road race courses, and therefore acceptable to the AAA.   As such, Certificates of Course Accuracy wll only be issued where the course has been certified accurate by an AAA approved measurer using the calibrated cycle-method of measurement.

Accredited measurers are classified as either Grade 1 or Grade 2   measurers, according to their experience and competence.   Grade l Measurers are approved by the AAA to measure all races at National, Area.and County/District levels, whilst Grade 2 Measurers are approved to measure races at Area and County/District levels. By mid-1990, there were around 130 AAA approved measurers countrywide, distributed as follows:   .

Midland Counties AA:   28   (7 Grade 1, 21 Grade 2')

Northern Counties AA:   37   (9 Grade 1, 28 Grade 2)

Southern Counties AA:   55   (12 Grade 1, 43 Grade 2').

Welsh AAA:   8   (2 Grade 1, 6 Grade 2)

There are also now well in excess of 1000 currently valid course measurement certificates covering events which have been certified accurate by AAA approved measurers, distributed as follows

AAA Championship Events: 25

Midland Counties AA:   250

Northern Counties AA:   300

Southern Counties AA:   450   .

Welsh   AAA:   50   

This represents substantial progress over 4 1/2 years.   Nevertheless there are still a number, of road races for which AAA Permits have previously been issued that do not hold certificates of course accuracy, including some quite well 'known events.   In an effort to rectify this anomoly, the AAA Road' Running Committee has approved the following proposals submitted by the AAA Course Measurement Working Party: All National, Area and, County Road Race Championships in England and Wales, plus STAR*RANK 'Hot 100'- races to require measurement certficates with effect from 1.1.1989. All other road races in England and Wales which advertise a specific distance to require certificates with effect from 1.1.1990, with Area/ District Permit Secretaries having discretion to refuse permits when this condition is not satisfied.

Continuing publicity for the AAA Measurement Scheme

Each Area to organise at least one training seminar each year for new measurers to be added to the panel of AAA approved measurers. In addition, there is increasing international recognition of our contribution to course measurement.   John Disley's assignments at events in Europe, USA and Japan are.known to many, whilst following an AIMS/IAAF Measurers' Training Seminar held in London at the end of last year, a few of our AAA Grade 1 Measurers were also placed on the international panel.

All enquiries about course measurement - whether it be from a race organiser on who best to approach to get a course measured and certified, or from a prospective measurer requiring details of future training seminars - shodld be addressed to the Appropriate Area Measurement Secretary, as follows:

Midland Counties AA:   Stuart Holdsworth, 3 Mailing Avenue, Broughton Astley, Nr. Leicester, LE9 6QS.
Northern Counties AA:   Paul Hodgson, 29 Rookhope, Rickelton, `` Washington, Tyne b Wear, NE38 9HW.
Southern Counties AA:  Roger Gibbons, "Zeando",-Swannington, Norfolk, NR9 5NW:
Welsh AAA:   Dave Dodwell, 10A Pencoedtre Road, Cadoxton, Barry, South Glamorgan, CF6 7SD

May 1989 - Updated August 1990.   Mike Tomlins, AAA Course Measurement Secretary.