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

This topic contains 194 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Mark E Mark E 2 weeks ago.

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  • #155574 Reply

    PIAA

    I’m really not convinced of the need for baseline standards. It’s club competition not the ESAA champs. If your best 100m runner is 20 seconds then that’s the best you can field. Club athletics should be social and team focussed and not elitist, especially at junior level.

    #155575 Reply
    Profile photo of Mark E
    Mark E

    This is about scoring points.

    Sooner or later some skinny 1500m runner is going to break their leg swinging a hammer out. Likewise an athlete messing around between hurdles in a 400mh is frankly demeaning to the other competitors and makes the event look stupid.

    The proposal is for this to be trialed in the Premier divisions. It may be club athletics but there is a vast difference between somebody quite new to the event and learning versus somebody just trying to gain a point who actually can’t do the event.

    It is this kind of thinking…’what we have always done, therefore it is OK’ that is undermining the sport. If athletes want to try something for the first time then do it in training and open meetings.

    #155576 Reply
    Profile photo of Mark E
    Mark E

    This is about scoring points. The minimum standards may be too onerous but something needs to be put in place to stop the more pitiful attempts.

    Sooner or later some skinny 1500m runner is going to break their leg swinging a hammer out. Likewise an athlete messing around between hurdles in a 400mh is frankly demeaning to the other competitors and makes the event look stupid.

    The proposal is for this to be trialed in the Premier divisions. It may be club athletics but there is a vast difference between somebody quite new to the event and learning versus somebody just trying to gain a point who actually can’t do the event.

    It is this kind of thinking…’what we have always done, therefore it is OK’ that is undermining the sport. If athletes want to try something for the first time then do it in training and open meetings.

    #155577 Reply

    PIAA

    My thinking is more based on acknowledging that the role of club competitions is at the bottom of the pyramid. I was that skinny chaser lobbing the hammer. I wasn’t any good but a team mate covered the event, learned to throw and his brother went on to be an ESAA medalist and his dad became a throws coach.

    #155578 Reply
    Profile photo of fangio
    Fangio

    As a sort of steeplechaser who once did 11 events in one men’s league meeting, not coming last in any of them, I think minimum standards may make the risks worse. Having to push for a standard to get the point prevents the athlete from taking it easy, or electing just to try to beat one or two of the opposition.

    #155579 Reply
    Profile photo of Mark E
    Mark E

    PIAA It is all very good to quote your mate who chanced upon throws and ended up doing well but that is a very long shot. I work in throws and that is a rarity. In fact I have never seen it happen and not as a result of someone filling in during a match.

    YDL is not bottom of the pyramid. There are many lower level leagues and open meetings. The whole issue of doing an event for a point is the kind of habitually banal practice that makes the sport look stupid in the eyes of those looking in. Just like poaching, single gender leagues and over zealous officials…we consistently shoot ourselves in the foot.

    On this forum we argue about decline in technical events and who may be responsible for this. Well it all boils down to a lack of retention and we have to put every effort into making athletics appealing for 16 to 30 year olds, particularly the sixth form and undergraduate groups.

    Clubs need to do more to retain athletes, the NGB needs to build stronger ties with Universities and those within who like to comment on these subjects need to look at positive solutions rather than who to blame.

    #155580 Reply
    Profile photo of Mark E
    Mark E

    Fangio, it really depends on how the standards are set. If they are too high it may be an issue but if they are realistic then we will remove the embarrassing performances but retain the development aspect.

    #155581 Reply

    PIAA

    Mark, the interesting thing was that it wasn’t him who became good it was his brother. It could be a mate of a guy who fills in. I would have thought that getting your big school mate down to cover throws was not an extreme rarity and if he turned up and first match scored zero points I doubt he’d be back.

    #155582 Reply
    Profile photo of fangio
    Fangio

    Depends what you mean by embarrassing, as someone who jumps left footed, but is right handed and didn’t train for it, I was not embarrassed by my 2.45m pole vault pb. I was never embarrassed by any of my performances, I did it so my club could score as many points as possible without our better athletes filling in in events they might get hurt in. By doing it we scored more points which allowed our more serious athletes to compete in higher divisions than we would have been in without my points. Plus we had a good team spirit, it made athletics more of a team sport.

    #155583 Reply
    Profile photo of Mark E
    Mark E

    Fangio
    You just don’t get it. The idea is to stop events being demeaned, inappropriate athletes getting injured and the sport looking stupid. You also get the issue of Team Managers press ganging athletes into doing inappropriate events.
    My personal view is that most Leagues give too many points to B athletes. This favours the bigger clubs and widens the competitive gap between big and small clubs.

    #155584 Reply
    Profile photo of Mark E
    Mark E

    ….and Pole Vault and High Jump already has minimum standards called an opening height. Your 2.45 was above the minimum standard.

    #155585 Reply
    Profile photo of fangio
    Fangio

    But it is a much worse performance than many of my other events, which would be counted out by some, in my opinion. If the standards are set in line with 1.40 for a high jump I don’t see many getting removed at all.

    I think you don’t get it. Saying it demeans events is, in my opinion nonsense. The fact is it is a team competition, not an individual one. If someone jogging round for the point is the best your team can muster, then that is what you can opt to put in, or not. That’s up to the team. You don’t see football teams putting out 10 players just because their 11th player is not as good as the others. I am of the opinion that blanks on the team sheet demean the rest of your team more if you are capable of completing that event with no adverse effect on your main event for the day.

    In the end it comes down to it being a team competition to me. There are opens and championships if you want events where there may be minimum standards, I think team competition is about what the best option your team can put out in every spot on the team sheet can do vs your competition. My club can never be accused of being large, but the men’s team managed 8 years with no blanks on the sheet and the only injury in events which were not athletes specialist being me getting Sun stroke.

    #155588 Reply
    Profile photo of Mark E
    Mark E

    Fangio, believe me I get it having lived and breathed it for the last few years and talking a lot to athletes.

    In particular I have listened to feedback from athletes in technical events about why they either dislike League competition or actually opt out of them.

    All I want is a minimum standard to stop points being scored by athletes throwing a Javelin into the ground at 7m or swinging a hammer to the edge of the apron. A football team wouldn’t have a player who couldn’t kick a ball to use your analogy.

    The safety issue is also real. We live in litigious times and there is a real possibility that a serious injury caused to a fill in athlete could end up in court. Lack of training and supervision would be a good start point for a law suit with huge ramifications for the rest of the sport.

    IMO the key to this will be whether a standard can be set that allows development but removes the ridiculous.

    #155590 Reply
    Profile photo of BillLaws
    billaws

    At one match in the BAL a sprint hurdler insisted on throwing the B hammer. When the officials separated the competitors into right and left hand groups he stayed put with the explanation that he was a central thrower. He swung the hammer between his legs to about 5m. Sadly the resulting damage resulted in his withdrawal from the sprint hurdles. So injury when competing for a point can be costly.

    #155591 Reply

    PIAA

    That’s down to the hurdler being a complete muppet. Team managers should ensure that anybody covering has at least a basic knowledge of the technique. That is their job, to manage the team. Legislating for safety based on performance standards is flawed. A slow runner with excellent technique would run slower than a high 400m runner with ropey technique, but you end up barring the safe athlete and allowing the dangerous one.

    I toally understand where you are coming from Mark. My issue is simply that by setting these standards we are preventing novice entry into this base level of competition. I know you may think that there are lower levels of competition but that is also a little flawed. Not every club is part of another junior league. Even if you are the leagues often do not cover all disciplines, I don’t recall the HoE YAL having chase, hammer or 400h for example, and many technical events only offer 2 opportunities to compete.

    I get the ethos behind what you are saying, I just think that safety and the existence of other leagues are bogus reasons. If we think that young athletes thinking those covering for a point are enough of an issue to stop people wanting to compete for their club in athletics then fair enough, that’s your opinion.

    Personally I think it smacks of trying to keep club athletics as part of the elite pathway rather than where it should be, which is at the social level of the sport. This is perhaps more especially relevant for young athletes who have two entirely separate structures for elite progression through schools and clubs. Having another competition strand that also applies standards and requires a particular attainment seems duplication to me. If some kids don’t want to compete in social competition and support their club then I don’t see why we should set up a system which discourages others who will not be part of the higher level competitions from participating in our sport to placate them. Do you know if this issue means they leave the sport or just choose not to compete in the league? If it just means they choose other competitions then, personally, I am really not too fussed.

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