Home Forum Racing, Training & Coaching Track & Field YDL 2017 and beyond

This topic contains 197 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Mark E Mark E 10 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #153144 Reply
    Profile photo of Mark E

    OK folks

    Assuming that the YDL continues, what would you change and why?

    #153145 Reply
    Profile photo of southlondonllad

    My tuppence worth.

    For the upper age league to revert back to an u20yr League as it was when called the National Junior League ie Lets again to see the best athlete in each club compete against the best athletes of the other clubs in the same match ….it should not matter if the ‘A’ athlete is 16,17,18 or 19.

    For the lower age group….The match day is still too long for children, parents and officials….so review and do all possible to knock an hour of the schedule…even if this may mean some events are not included in all matches.

    #153146 Reply


    I’m not sure there’s a need for a UKA managed national league for young athletes. Unlike the senior leagues that can be clearly divided into primary/secondary/ tertiary, the YDL tries to cover all the bases. That problem is evident in the timetable which works well for the higher divisions but in the lower divisions is far too long. As a track and a field official I spend more time drinking coffee than officiating.

    Better, more focussed competition would be possible if it was organised more locally. If something doesn’t work then you can change it without endless consultation.

    #153148 Reply
    Profile photo of BillLaws

    In case it escaped you at the time the Youth Development League was established to increase numbers of young athletes. As the Lord Coe stated at the time , (I paraphrase) “we are losing U17 athletes because they are being forced to compete too much”. As a sweetener UKA received £150,000 to set up the new League.

    Like most initiatives set from the top down and sweetened with cash the YDL has not improved matters.

    Yet another example of Hutber’s Law “Improvement means Deterioration.”

    #153149 Reply
    Profile photo of Mark E

    All fine, but there are a multitude of opinions out there and people want to have their say. The current working group have ploughed through a lot of ideas and the decision to consult widely was to get a feel for the appetite of those involved to change the League from 2017.

    I am not sure what you mean by primary, secondary and tertiary?

    I think there is a danger that without Leagues giving structured competitive opportunities outside of championships, you will make the sport more elitist. We currently have National Championships at EA and ESAA (and Welsh/Scottish equivalent). The same athletes compete in these and in technical events this may be any 10-15 from the top 20 in the Pof10. The YDL gives the clubs a platform to compete.

    Your point regarding officiating is interesting. I find myself helping other field teams or team managers when I have down time from my field duties. Perhaps I am unusual in that I love being involved in the matches and seeing athletes fulfil their potential.

    #153150 Reply
    Profile photo of Mark E

    From what I can see the YDLL is buoyant. Where it differs from the old YAL, other than the obvious lack of the U17 age category, is an extended number of events for U13 in particular. Our U13’s and U15’s love it and we could fill our team 5 times over at least.
    The YDLU is more problematical but lets face it the NJL was hardly a raging success.

    #153151 Reply
    Profile photo of southlondonllad

    MarkE…At the height of my involvement (several years ago now) I too was keen to lend my hand to do any and everything. Trouble with that its easy to fall into the trap that because you are so enthusiastic then everyone else surely must be too.

    There are many with long memories who do believe that the NJL structure was better than todays YDL Upper. And UKYDL’s own recent stats also appear to show better performances overall. Even a couple of key boards members on the UKYDL acknowledge that revised structure “did not do most clubs any favours”.

    Furthermore,some would also argue that the u17yr were better served when they were part of the u13/15/17 combined league. Certainly many parents, who had an age range of 2 or 3 children preferred, as did their siblings, want to attend the same matches,

    #153152 Reply
    Profile photo of Mark E
    Mark E

    SLL, the argument is circular.

    If you put the U17’s back in with the U15/13 group then you have very long days with a reduced programme for the U13’s. At the same time the U17’s will be used to top up the U20 team so will be pulled between the 2 Leagues.

    You will always get the parent issue with multiple offspring. What difference would it make if the U17 was off doing the NJL which would be the same as the YDLU. The only difference would be for the parent of the U17 who would have to go to all matches.

    I take your point about the enthusiasm. I would add that I am not that young myself although I feel it when mixing with other officials.

    #153153 Reply


    MarkE… perhaps I should have chosen different labels. In your area examples of the three levels would be BAL/ Midlands/ Heart of England.

    As for helping with other events, when there are more officials than athletes that’s difficult. I had two level 3’s raking the long jump pit!

    #153154 Reply
    Profile photo of Mark E
    Mark E

    Why? – I knew what you meant.

    For U13/15/17 our version would be just 2 tiers. We pick our best athletes for YDL and those who are on the cusp of YDL selection or just below will be selected for the HOE (the HOE allows for SW/U20W to compete in the U17W category in events other than SP/DT/JT and sprint hurdles).

    For Seniors we have 2 tiers as well, namely BAL/UKWAL and Midland League.

    Not sure where we have a 3td level.

    I am not sure what Division has more officials than athletes but it does not happen in any League we take part in. The opening field event in the YDLU Premier is the Men’s Hammer and there are generally 13/14 minimum from a possible 18 (12+6) athletes. The take up may be better now that the B athlete can compete as either U20 or U17 with the club making the choice (rather than the current A&B U20 and A U17).

    #153155 Reply
    Profile photo of southlondonllad

    Why MarkE is the length of the YDL (lower) schedule at 5.5hrs, now a longer day with just with u13 &15 than previously when it also include the u17yr ?

    My comments were just passing back a mixture of my personal views and what parents have told me. Oddly, you may think, but most parents don’t read Eightlane or get too involved with Club issues…..but their views should count and I don’t think you should dismiss them just because you may not agree with them. Its not a circular argument…its just a different point of view…..It was you who asked for suggests for possible changes.

    Just for infor. I heard tonight that several North London clubs who are not going to join the UKYDL this year but reset up a Middx Young Athletes League to complement their participation in the Eastern Young Athletic League. The UKYDL could learn and copy a lot from the EYAL.

    #153156 Reply
    Profile photo of Mark E
    Mark E

    I am not disputing anyone’s viewpoint. I speak to parents all the time and their views are important.

    What I was saying related to the YAL (U17/15/13) being more or less the same length of day as the current YDLL. The difference seems to be that there are now more events for U15 and much more for U13. I am not sure whether we are banging up against a London issue again because the complaints in the Midlands are far fewer with the lower age group, particularly as we have reduced travel times and distance by splitting the region geographically.

    If you look at my previous posts you will see hat we have another League, the Heart of England (HOE) also Midlands based, providing a more limited range of events that runs very well (DT and JT alternate, no HT, TJ, PV, 300/400h, S/C or middle distance beyond 1,500m. The programme runs from 11.45 to 4.30 and it is a very positive and friendly league.

    #153157 Reply
    Profile photo of piriepirie

    I would like to see the YDL regional and without points scoring regarding promotion and relegation, treat them as meetings only.

    This will stop sprinters doing the 3000msc for a point and being regions will keep travelling time down.

    #153158 Reply
    Profile photo of southlondonllad

    pirieirie makes sound points. The YDL upper also often sees team managers getting a 16stone thrower to jog a track event for a point. And visa versa, we have all seen the stick thin endurance athletes being sent over to do an underarm swing of the hammer, 2 meters, for a point…that’s unless they step out of the circle which often happens. Now there are pros and cons with this. One could argue that its about ‘team spirit’ etc and we must not miss out on a vital team point (probably 5 points in the lower divs). Or it engages the now bored hammer throw, who did his bit at 11.00, and has to wait 5hrs before he can go home on the coach.
    So perhaps a low ,yet, minimum distance (or time) could be considered for the YDL ?

    #153159 Reply
    Profile photo of Mark E

    I totally agree with minimum standards to score points in throws.
    Likewise the standards for further throws are too soft.
    Together these 2 points will speed up the throws competitions and help to reduce the timetable. You could apply the same to steeplechase to avoid athletes jogging around for a point.

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