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 7 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #155117 Reply

    Lord Longthrow

    This will be quickly followed by a BigGut/Fangio Factless file.

    #155129 Reply
    Profile photo of Mark E
    Mark E

    The fact file covers the South and you would not get the same result for the Midlands. I cannot speak for the north.
    We constantly come back to the point that the Southern clubs, particularly London, live in their own micro-environment. The rest of us rarely recognise the scenarios they describe.
    The YDL working party is trying to come up with workable solutions to address the main gripes with the YDLU:
    1. Length of day
    2. Traveling distances
    3. League structure
    4. Inclusion
    The annoying fact is that people want to address these issues but don’t want to change anything to achieve this. Sadly it boils down to self interest and sometimes this means the interest and opinions of the person commenting and not the club they belong to.
    There is a need for some bold, fresh thinking. I am not holding my breath on this as witnessed with the BAL/UKWAL axis. Vested interests are killing the sport as individuals cling on to power and tradition. Whether this is at League or club level, it is strangling the sport.
    It is worth pointing out that the YDL Finals were vibrant and provided some excellent competition. The athletes benefited from the experience of championship conditions, with call room etc. You would have perhaps missed this with AW reporting extensively on the UK Scool Games (regionally selective therefore often not truly representative of the top U17’s despite all the hype) and the massively significant Southern Vets Final. YDL results tucked away in the general results, which is not only a disgrace but a thinly veiled insult to all those taking part after a Herculean effort to reach the finals.

    #155137 Reply


    Agree with MarkE’s post. The main issues can surely be addressed with some common sense and a degree of lateral thinking!

    The length of day can be reduced by removing a long throw and possibly a longer track race but compensated for by having sub-regional development sessions for these events with competitions included. You could take out out hammer and replace it with a day of coaching followed by a 6 throw competition at a suitable local venue on a different day to the YDL fixtures. Use development funding and make it an integral part of a national specific event development plan. Likewise with steeplechase. Athletes are then free to do other events in the main programme. Remove these events but create a better alternative with results counting towards the club points scores. You could even allow guests or have no restrictions on numbers from each club.

    Reducing travel time is simply geography and road routes. Apart from a national final it should be possible to reduce travel time to less than 2 hours and still have good competition. More effort should be spent on developing performance athletics within the clubs, particularly, in technical events.

    Reducing travel time and the length of the programme could save enough time to allow guests in some or all events if clubs have strength in depth.

    Under 15s and under 13s is a good mix of age groups and the timetable seems about right. Under 17s generally want to be with older athletes but the lack of under 20s 9And under 17s) creates issues, particularly, in the lower leagues. There is no simple answer but it’s obvious our sport needs to focus on properly developing performance athletes – more coaches, better coaches, a better competition experience and more recognition for athletes. UKA have to find more funding.

    A few rambling ideas but nothing I haven’t heard from others. These issues have been around for 30 years or more with many reports and suggestions being put forward in that time!

    #155140 Reply
    Profile photo of Mark E
    Mark E

    The issue about long throws is very difficult. Ideally we should aim to retain all throws and the alternative would have to be some form of rotation. As soon as you suggest this, clubs who are strong in throws will object so it becomes impossible. To maintain all throws and make the day shorter could be helped by:
    1. Minimum standards to score points.
    2. Officials getting a move on when running the throws events.
    3. Higher progression standards for additional throws.
    The problem with this is unfortunately people within the sport cling to tradition and part of this is the poor 1,500m runner throwing a spear or discus 0-8m for points. The argument against minimum standards to score is that it stifles development for those ‘having a go’ at an event. The reality is it would only affect those press ganged into the event for a couple of points. The minimum standard could be set to allow the developing athletes to score but negate the idea of gap filling, a situation that favours bigger clubs. Another way to approach it would be to reduce the B-string points to say the first 3 only.
    e.g. 6 team match:
    Currently A: 9-7-5-4-3-2 B: 7-5-4-3-2-1
    Proposed A: as now B: 5-3-1
    The challenge with Officials is that so many are scared of technology. A well handled EDM with somebody efficient on the spike can save a lot of time but this often does not happen.Last season I was on the EDM during a Senior League Discus comp this season and I timed how long it took the spiker to get to the mark over and above the time it took me to focus on the approximate mark. It was c45 seconds and assuming 15 seconds would have been acceptable, this added 25 minutes to the event!

    #155142 Reply


    Mark, I accept there are many areas including speeding up measuring that can be speeded up but the point I was making was to have an alternative throws event that offered more than the league fixture. It doesn’t have to be hammer. Events can be rotated. Perhaps a morning masterclass in javelin followed by a 6 throw competition. Get Steve Backley, Goldie, Fatima, Tessa, Mick Hill, Dave Ottley involved and make it part of a bigger development initiative.

    Similarly with steeplechase with specialist coaching and advice. Middle distance athletes may be more inclined to do it as they can revert back to 1500/3000 in the normal league fixture. Make the day special and worth attending and perhaps numbers and quality will improve.

    Just thinking outside the box!

    #155143 Reply
    Profile photo of Mark E
    Mark E

    No problem, I was just relaying the kind of objections that scupper any blue sky type thinking.

    #155153 Reply


    It is common for throwers to compete in more than one discipline, so by removing an event won’t necessarily mean that athletes are free to attend a development squad.
    I think my club will vote to leave the ydl. The fact file confirms what we all know. Too many full programme competitions with too few athletes (and officials) and athletes that would rather pay to enter an open graded event, than points chase for a club.

    #155154 Reply
    Profile photo of Mark E
    Mark E

    Presumably Hank, your club, whoever they are? Struggle to compete in the upper age competition.

    My earlier point was that the sport is completely governed by self interest. We need to change and create a more level playing field or we will be completely polarised into bigger clubs and smaller clubs with little or no crossover between the two.

    The reality is that clubs need to work harder to retain U17’s into U20. The sport needs to provide meaningful competition opportunities for U20’s to support the retention effort of the clubs.

    The concept of specialist throws and jumps competitions is all very well as long as they don’t become a benefit only for the top 12 ranked in their event. At this point in time Hammer in particular is buoyant in the UK so we have something to work with.

    #155156 Reply
    Profile photo of southlondonllad

    Good Luck MarkE at this years forthcoming UKYDL AGM…..Lets hope all your hard work,determination and commonsense results in at least some of the essential changes that you (and others) have been raising.

    Also, Agree with much of dec7000 suggestions…which could perhaps be piloted for one year and then reviewed.

    Looking at power of 10 ‘ for 2016, for LONDON’ (unlike the Midlands) there still appears a continued in the number of T&F active athletes in many events.

    #155157 Reply
    Profile photo of southlondonllad

    OOPS.I missed out the word DECLINE

    Looking at power of 10 ‘ for 2016, for LONDON’ (unlike the Midlands) there still appears a continued DECLINE in the number of T&F active athletes in many events

    #155160 Reply


    We won our first match in the ydlu, and struggled to get athletes out in subsequent matches, and finished second I think. Opens at Watford, mile end, lee valley and Newham have become high quality, and mean that for some events at least, club matches are irrelevant for people within striking distance of these venues.

    #155554 Reply
    Profile photo of southlondonllad

    I see that the UKYDL website now has lots of AGM reports and proposals etc…..Its probably going to be an interesting and lengthy AGM..I have to say I like the look of many of the new suggestions……particularly the one called 6.2.3.
    “The YDL Working Party propose that in the interest of the welfare, safe guarding and appropriate athlete development minimum standards to score will be introduced in 2017 for the following events in Premier Divisions on a trial basis.”

    I also like the proposed new structure for the South.
    Reducing divisional matches down from 4 to 3 makes sense, which looks like its may also be being pushed for the Management Committee for financial reasons….they awaiting announcement of details of future funding next Feb/March

    link http://www.ukydl.org.uk/page9.html

    #155569 Reply
    Profile photo of MickBrom


    I had a couple of spare hours this morning so I had a look at the proposed Baseline Standards. Take for example the Baseline Standard of 20m for the Under 17 Women’s Discus. In the YDL this year 330 U17 Women threw the Discus but only 111 achieved this standard. If applied to the whole league, 219 would have gained no points. I was shocked to see that for a league whose middle name is Development. Similarly the proposed Standard for the U20 Women’s Javelin is 24m; only 84 out of 238 who threw the javelin achieved this standard.
    On the other hand 115 U17 Women ran the 1500m Steeplechase in the league this year and 100 of these achieved the proposed standard of 7:10.0.
    Clearly the methodology – a top-down approach – has been used where a bottom-up approach would be more appropriate. The athletes competing for a point probably represents less than 10% of those competing, so it is these who should be denied the points, not the masses who are competing.
    I looked at all the proposed standards for the throws and hurdles. The vast majority are far too high. If you add &meetingtypeid&limit=n to any of the rankings for YDL events on PoT you will see how many competed and how many achieved the Standard and how many didn’t. Indeed to save you the trouble, I published all the results, plus my own proposals for Baseline Standards at

    #155570 Reply
    Profile photo of MickBrom

    Oops, I should have written the addition to the URL for the PoT ranking is &meetingtypeid=45&limit=n (I missed out the =45 which is the code for the YDL.

    #155573 Reply


    I think the baseline standards are the correct approach. I would also note that the last ydl I went to, there were no male u20 400mh, and just one in the female u20 400mh. I would of thought that programming the sprint hurdles before the 400m hurdles would help this situation, allowing for sprint hurdlers to double up. Dropping all age groups down to 300m hurdles would help too imho.

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