- Published on 06 April 2010
- Written by Andy McCallister
- Hits: 2962
If your appetite for track and field wasn’t satisfied by last Thursday’s Central Conference Relays/Doane-Wesleyan doubleheader at Lauritsen Track, you’re in luck.
There’s a lot more track and field action to come both at home and nearby for the Cardinal and Tiger squads.
The Doane Relays is coming up fast, scheduled for next Friday and Saturday (April 16-17). Friday afternoon and evening are reserved for a variety of throwing events and a distance carnival on the track, with a full slate of track and field events on Saturday. A heptathlon and decathlon are also scheduled.
Indications are that a big entry list of teams will be coming to town. We’ll have more details on the meet next week.
The Cardinals, who run at Waverly this Friday and then go to the Syracuse Invite (held in Tecumseh) and York on the following two weeks, return for the Crete Invitational on April 30.
But wait — there’s more. Doane will be hosting a last chance meet on May 14 for area collegians who have qualified (or are still trying to qualify) for their national meets.
A couple of high school track and field rules changes were made prior to the start of this season that deserve some explanation.
There had long been a rule on the books regarding the hurdles and what happens when competitors knock them over.
In the past, a competitor could be disqualified for “deliberately” knocking down any hurdle with their hand or foot. This required officials to determine whether an athlete’s action in knocking over a hurdle was deliberate (a determination that often was easier to make if the hurdle was knocked over by hand).
The issue of “deliberate action” was removed from the rules beginning with the start of this season. The rules committee removed “deliberate” and “foot” from the rule, so the only breach of the rules with regard to the hurdles now involved knocking over the hurdles by hand.
“The committee decided to take out the issue of determining whether an athlete knocks the hurdle down deliberately or by mistake,” said Becky Oakes, National Federation of High School Associations assistant director and committee liaison.
“If the hurdler knocks down one after another after another, then the official can determine that the competitor is not attempting to clear the hurdle. It isn’t to a hurdler’s advantage to hit and deliberately knock down hurdles.”
Several rules changes were made regarding the high jump and pole vault.
While not exactly earth-shaking, it’s notable that high schoolers can now use bungee cords while warming up for these events provided the cords were manufactured for the purpose.
Previously, these elastic cords could not be used during competition warm-ups on the high school level.
It’s much easier for everyone and speeds the warm-up process along to have a bungee stretched across the standards in place of the crossbar so that competitors can take their practice approaches without the need of officials replacing the bar after each approach.
A change to the definition of fouls by the competitor in the vertical jumping events was made. Previously, a foul occurred when a competitor cleared the bar if the uprights were incorrectly positioned by officials. Starting this season, such fair jumps stand.
In a rule change that won’t take effect until the 2013 season, crossbars must by definition be circular. This is an attempt to remove obsolete equipment. Most kids now competing have never seen anything but a circular crossbar.
The last time I saw a square or triangular crossbar in use was a long time ago. The old metal triangular bars were in use when Dick Fosbury started going over the bar on his back in the late ‘60s, a product of an age before the widespread use of fiberglass.
We’re told that nationwide, as of 2008, track and field was the third most popular sport on the high school level with a total participation of just under 1 million athletes.
(It only seems like they are all present at Omaha Burke every May at the state meet).