Article Comment: Official's Corner: How many events should athlete be allowed to compete in?
04/30/2014 5:36:43 PM
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I think at the post season meets a solution already exists (just hold the 3200 meters on a different day than the 1600 and 800). I really think if you got rid of the rule about two milers only being allowed to run one other event, you wouldn't have many complaints. That rule was made on a mistaken belief that 3.5 miles was too much for a girl to run in one day.
I think at the post season meets a solution already exists (just hold the 3200 meters on a different day than the 1600 and 800). I really think if you got rid of the rule about two milers only being allowed to run one other event, you wouldn't have many complaints. That rule was made on a mistaken belief that 3.5 miles was too much for a girl to run in one day.
04/30/2014 6:44:39 PM
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Although I understand the argument FOR the 3 events + unlimited field events (or 2 + unlimited if you're a weakling 3200m runner), I still wouldn't claim it to be fair in terms of team scoring. The major argument given here for continuation of the VHSL rule is to allow excellent athletes to be able to showcase their talents. Fair enough. But in my opinion it's not fair when you have limitations on particular subgroups when it comes to team scoring. If it's 4 events for everybody, that's fair in terms of team scoring, and I don't wish to believe that anybody would disagree with that. I'm for one of two solutions: (1) max of 4 events in any given meet for everybody, or (2) unlimited events for everybody. As for the main argument, however, if we were to transfer over to a 4 event system like the rest of the US, and you're concerned about getting the most out of your athletes, I have a solution...have them compete in different events at a variety of different competitive meets. We do that with our kids all the time, and they're distance runners. Focus on the mile one meet, focus on the 3200 another, set them up for PRs and high rankings when they have the ability to focus on a select few things. I'm all for getting the most out of our athletes, because we want them to achieve the best they can, but if you're going for team scoring then level the playing field. Of course there are a few distance athletes who are also great jumpers, Katie Fortner comes to mind, and good for them for their athletic diversity. But how many distance runners will you typically see in the long or triple jump? How many sprinters? They're built different, and the jumps are not well designed for the talents of the typical distance athlete. If somebody is able to come up with some jump or throw events that deal with slow-twitch muscles, maybe I'll feel better about the fairness issue.
Although I understand the argument FOR the 3 events + unlimited field events (or 2 + unlimited if you're a weakling 3200m runner), I still wouldn't claim it to be fair in terms of team scoring. The major argument given here for continuation of the VHSL rule is to allow excellent athletes to be able to showcase their talents. Fair enough. But in my opinion it's not fair when you have limitations on particular subgroups when it comes to team scoring. If it's 4 events for everybody, that's fair in terms of team scoring, and I don't wish to believe that anybody would disagree with that. I'm for one of two solutions: (1) max of 4 events in any given meet for everybody, or (2) unlimited events for everybody. As for the main argument, however, if we were to transfer over to a 4 event system like the rest of the US, and you're concerned about getting the most out of your athletes, I have a solution...have them compete in different events at a variety of different competitive meets. We do that with our kids all the time, and they're distance runners. Focus on the mile one meet, focus on the 3200 another, set them up for PRs and high rankings when they have the ability to focus on a select few things. I'm all for getting the most out of our athletes, because we want them to achieve the best they can, but if you're going for team scoring then level the playing field.

Of course there are a few distance athletes who are also great jumpers, Katie Fortner comes to mind, and good for them for their athletic diversity. But how many distance runners will you typically see in the long or triple jump? How many sprinters? They're built different, and the jumps are not well designed for the talents of the typical distance athlete. If somebody is able to come up with some jump or throw events that deal with slow-twitch muscles, maybe I'll feel better about the fairness issue.
04/30/2014 8:01:28 PM
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@BBruns4ever Im still refusing to give my side on this but there are definitely some athletes who can jump and compete in distance events, I do not think it is a matter of slow twitch or fast twitch, to the best of my understanding that is not really a big issue. Derek Holdsworth was Lafayette's anchor in the 4x100 and runs anything 200-5k so it isn't really an issue about ability usually it is just training... jumpers have been jumping for years and years, no reason a 800 or 1600 athlete can't learn how to throw a disc, pole vault, or anything like that... I mean there are decathletes who compete in all 10 events at a very high level.
@BBruns4ever Im still refusing to give my side on this but there are definitely some athletes who can jump and compete in distance events, I do not think it is a matter of slow twitch or fast twitch, to the best of my understanding that is not really a big issue. Derek Holdsworth was Lafayette's anchor in the 4x100 and runs anything 200-5k so it isn't really an issue about ability usually it is just training... jumpers have been jumping for years and years, no reason a 800 or 1600 athlete can't learn how to throw a disc, pole vault, or anything like that... I mean there are decathletes who compete in all 10 events at a very high level.
04/30/2014 8:47:09 PM
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Gonna have to disagree with you Nolan and challenge historian. Who was the last boy all state 1600 or 3200 runner that was also all state in a field event? Not too many 120 pounders that can throw a shot or disc whether they are well trained or not. As for decathletes competing at a very high level in all events, that is not really the case. Nine of the events are based on speed and explosiveness. The 10th event most decathletes will tell you is about survival. In the London Olympics, the fastest 1500 run was 4:22. Using your conversion that is a 4:41 mile. Hardly elite. Ashton Eaton ran 4:33 and change which converts to 4:53.7. Not likely to win him many races. My thought on the participation rule is that an individual shouldn't win a a team title, teams should. 4 events or 3 events and a relay would begin to level that part of the playing field. You would still find more athletes capable of doing LJ,TJ, 100 and 200 as compared to 4x8, 3200, 1600 and 800.
Gonna have to disagree with you Nolan and challenge historian. Who was the last boy all state 1600 or 3200 runner that was also all state in a field event?
Not too many 120 pounders that can throw a shot or disc whether they are well trained or not.
As for decathletes competing at a very high level in all events, that is not really the case. Nine of the events are based on speed and explosiveness. The 10th event most decathletes will tell you is about survival. In the London Olympics, the fastest 1500 run was 4:22. Using your conversion that is a 4:41 mile. Hardly elite. Ashton Eaton ran 4:33 and change which converts to 4:53.7. Not likely to win him many races.

My thought on the participation rule is that an individual shouldn't win a a team title, teams should. 4 events or 3 events and a relay would begin to level that part of the playing field. You would still find more athletes capable of doing LJ,TJ, 100 and 200 as compared to 4x8, 3200, 1600 and 800.
04/30/2014 10:04:12 PM
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After thinking about it a little more, I'd just like to clarify my position a little better. It seems to me that the argument really is not between distance vs. sprints, but rather athlete vs. team emphasis. If your concern is allowing your athlete to do as many events as they can possibly do to demonstrate their athletic prowess and dominance, then of course you'll want to allow for unlimited field events. This begs the question why there has to be a limit on running events, and why the limit is worse for distance, but still. If on the other hand your concern is team competitiveness and fairness between teams at competition such as states, then you'll want a fair limit for all athletes regardless of the event group; otherwise there will always be a disparity and traditionally distance-strong schools will always draw the short end of the stick. In the end it is arbitrary. 4 events, 7 events, 2 events, whatever, it's purely about team points and fairness for team competition. What needs to be decided is what matters more for track & field...the athlete or the team, when it comes to championships. If it's the athlete, maybe we should revamp the way we do points for team competition. If it's the team, then we need to do something about fairness for point acquisition. I'm not saying that one is better than the other, it's purely a matter of perspective.
After thinking about it a little more, I'd just like to clarify my position a little better. It seems to me that the argument really is not between distance vs. sprints, but rather athlete vs. team emphasis. If your concern is allowing your athlete to do as many events as they can possibly do to demonstrate their athletic prowess and dominance, then of course you'll want to allow for unlimited field events. This begs the question why there has to be a limit on running events, and why the limit is worse for distance, but still.

If on the other hand your concern is team competitiveness and fairness between teams at competition such as states, then you'll want a fair limit for all athletes regardless of the event group; otherwise there will always be a disparity and traditionally distance-strong schools will always draw the short end of the stick.

In the end it is arbitrary. 4 events, 7 events, 2 events, whatever, it's purely about team points and fairness for team competition. What needs to be decided is what matters more for track & field...the athlete or the team, when it comes to championships. If it's the athlete, maybe we should revamp the way we do points for team competition. If it's the team, then we need to do something about fairness for point acquisition. I'm not saying that one is better than the other, it's purely a matter of perspective.
04/30/2014 10:34:17 PM
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Though this has little if any to do with this rule and its application... I love how some states, I believe Texas and maybe Cali does this, count relays at 20 points for victory at the state level! This is awesome since if you use your star athlete in it they are not deprived of points they could get elsewhere. It also makes more teams stack their relays, I know for sure it would make the 6A/5A state meet much more enjoyable in the relays since that is a lot of points on the table.
Though this has little if any to do with this rule and its application... I love how some states, I believe Texas and maybe Cali does this, count relays at 20 points for victory at the state level! This is awesome since if you use your star athlete in it they are not deprived of points they could get elsewhere. It also makes more teams stack their relays, I know for sure it would make the 6A/5A state meet much more enjoyable in the relays since that is a lot of points on the table.
05/01/2014 8:57:16 AM
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It would be nice to see a limit to 4 events. This would stop coaches from running kids into the ground, no kid should do all the field events and run four events this is wrong putting the coaches desire to win above the kids well being. Just because a kid can do this doesn't make it right. Many great young athletes have not lived up to their potetial because of this.
It would be nice to see a limit to 4 events.
This would stop coaches from running kids into the ground, no kid should do all the field events and run four events this is wrong putting the coaches desire to win above the kids well being. Just because a kid can do this doesn't make it right. Many great young athletes have not lived up to their potetial because of this.
05/01/2014 2:55:50 PM
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Seems to me, what we think may or may not matter. The entry limitation by VHSL violates the rule book. See the actual wording under the following rules. Rule 4, sec 2 art 4 - state association.. applies to team entries per event, not total individual entries. The VHSL violates Rule 4 sec2 art 1 - total of 4 entries. This year VHSL now violates Rule 3 Sec 1 Art 2 - cannot set aside any rule.
Seems to me, what we think may or may not matter. The entry limitation by VHSL violates the rule book. See the actual wording under the following rules.
Rule 4, sec 2 art 4 - state association.. applies to team entries per event, not total individual entries. The VHSL violates Rule 4 sec2 art 1 - total of 4 entries. This year VHSL now violates Rule 3 Sec 1 Art 2 - cannot set aside any rule.
05/02/2014 6:31:10 PM
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The problem I have with 4 events is that a misguided coach could enter a distance runner in the 4x800 relay, 1600, 800 and 3200 in one day meets. This would probably burn out the runner with the possible exception of Alan Webb. Let's keep the 3200 rule.
The problem I have with 4 events is that a misguided coach could enter a distance runner in the 4x800 relay, 1600, 800 and 3200 in one day meets. This would probably burn out the runner with the possible exception of Alan Webb. Let's keep the 3200 rule.
05/03/2014 8:18:20 AM
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@CoachRCamden It is no worse than a misguided coach who wants to throw their athlete in the 100, 200, 4x100, High Jump, Long Jump, Triple Jump, and Pole Vault. In PA we do those 4 distance events all the time and in tri-meets where the meet is over in 2.5 hours. It's not a big deal. Are you going to run your PR in all 4 of those events? No. But neither will the sprinter/jumper who does the load that VA allows. Just because distance races are longer doesn't mean they are more difficult than the sprint/jump events. I would actually believe it to be the opposite in terms of potential injury, because of all of the hard pounding that jumpers have to do to take off, and we all know of the care sprinters have to take to not pull a hamstring. Where do we see the most injuries during meets...the sprints and jumps.
@CoachRCamden It is no worse than a misguided coach who wants to throw their athlete in the 100, 200, 4x100, High Jump, Long Jump, Triple Jump, and Pole Vault. In PA we do those 4 distance events all the time and in tri-meets where the meet is over in 2.5 hours. It's not a big deal. Are you going to run your PR in all 4 of those events? No. But neither will the sprinter/jumper who does the load that VA allows. Just because distance races are longer doesn't mean they are more difficult than the sprint/jump events. I would actually believe it to be the opposite in terms of potential injury, because of all of the hard pounding that jumpers have to do to take off, and we all know of the care sprinters have to take to not pull a hamstring. Where do we see the most injuries during meets...the sprints and jumps.

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