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King Honored as Official of the Year
By: Kevin Milsted

At a postseason backyard barbecue, the Montgomery County Track and Field Officials presented the Jim Vollmer Official of the Year Award to Todd King, a track & field official of sixteen years in Montgomery County, Maryland.

Ray Boss, the Montgomery County Commissioner of Officials, addressed a small audience of fellow officials and guests prior to the presentation of the award. He explained that there were four criteria for earning the award:

1. The official must be good at his or her craft.
2. The official must be good with kids.

"If you don't like kids," said Boss, "you should find a new hobby."

3. The official must set a good example.
4. The official must be good with coaches.

According to Boss, Todd King checked all four boxes.

"Nobody knows the triple jump nearly as well as Todd. He's excellent. You have to enjoy high school kids. We're there to officiate and make sure everything is fair. But there is a right way to do that and a wrong way to do that, and Todd is just excellent at what he does in the way he deals with high school kids."

Furthermore, Boss said that King trains other officials on how to officiate the horizontal jumps and how to be a good official in general.

By choice, King specializes in officiating the triple jump, an affinity that he said began for him in high school.

Said King, "My track career began in 11th grade at South Hagerstown High School when the principal caught me running through the hall on my way from fourth period class to lunch. Rather than detention, he said, 'I'll see you on the track after school.'"

"There were these guys doing this goofy thing called the triple jump and I thought, 'aw what the heck, I'll try it.'"

King went to Catawba College where he specialized in the triple jump. He mixed in some hurdling, long jump, and high jump when needed, but triple jump, he said, was always his most fun and enjoyable event.

When his oldest daughter joined the Gaithersburg High School track team in ninth grade, King approached then head coach Fran Parry specifically about officiating the triple jump. He said that Parry was taken aback due to the scarcity of officials that are comfortable officiating the triple jump event. It was then in the spring of 2000 that he was welcomed with open arms into the track & field officiating community.

For sixteen years continuously, King has worked high school meets almost exclusively in the horizontal jumps while also officiating collegiate meets where he says that he tends to gravitate towards throwing events.

Quince Orchard head track coach and MPSSAA district representative Seann Pelkey spoke on behalf of MCPS coaches. Pelkey expressed his gratitude to all of the officials in the organization for their commitment and professionalism.

Said Pelkey, "I sit on a number of state committees. When I listen to the struggles of other districts [with respects to officials]...we sit at meetings and know we don't have to worry about it."

The Jim Vollmer Official of the Year Award is named for the Montgomery County Commissioner of Officials of 32 years, James "Jimmy" Vollmer. Ray Boss assumed the role of commissioner after Vollmer died suddenly of a heart attack shortly after the outdoor track state championship meet in 2014.

"When I took over his position," said Boss, "one of the things we felt that it was important to do was honor him in some way. And so we named our official of the year award after him."

Tocque Peyton was the inaugural award winner in 2015. Peyton and King's names are inscribed on the award's nameplate.

The inscription on the award reads:

"The Jim Vollmer Official of the Year Award. Honors the Track and Field Official Who Best Embodies the Outstanding and Selfless Contributions Jim Made to Montgomery County Athletes and Coaches During His 32 Years As Commissioner. Thank you, Jim. We Pledge To Uphold The Legacy You Built."


2016-06-15 08:42:20

Great article KP. The MCPS Officials are some of the best out there. We couldn't do what we do without the generosity of their time. Thank you to all of them!

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