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Jordan Gray’s fight for a women’s decathlon

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  • #46
    No, it's also about World Championships and Area Championships. And National Championships for that matter.

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    • #47
      Originally posted by Atticus View Post
      ??!!
      My point is merely that wherever world-wide decathletes train, it's obvious that women can too. World-wide women are using track facilities . . . world-wide.
      Just because a facility or coach exists doesn't mean men and women, boys and girls will have equal access. You're forgetting why Title IX was passed in the first place.

      You can't just look at world class women sharing a facility with world class men and shout "look, equal access!" You have to look at how girls can rise to that level while training from age 12 to 22. It's common for high schools outside the US to spend much less on sports for girls, and for girls to get less family support for training in their chosen sport(s) than the level of support given to boys. And for some sports or T&F events to be unavailable to girls at the high school level, like Jamaica where there is no pole vault contested by high school girls.

      With most T&F events, a determined girl can find ways to train effectively without a large amount of financial or institutional support. They can find a stretch of road or hill to run on, a field to jump or throw on, or make hurdles out of PVC pipe. But they can't do that with the pole vault. If the decathlon replaces the heptathlon, a large percentage of girls who would have aspired to be a multi-eventer will ditch that thought at an early age because they don't have access to the pole vault. That also happens with boys and the decathlon when they don't have access to the pole vault while growing up, but it's less damaging to them because they have far more opportunities than girls to compete in other events or other sports altogether.
      Last edited by 18.99s; 10-19-2020, 09:50 PM.

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      • #48
        Originally posted by tandfman View Post
        No, it's also about World Championships and Area Championships. And National Championships for that matter.
        National champs are something else....who cares what the Brits don't have. And who cares about events the US isn't in. But if you change at the National champs but the WCs don't that doesn't sound very smart unless you have both events.

        So the WCs then....how likely is something like this to happen....is there any polling? What does Coe and company think....

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        • #49
          When the WA finally succumbs to the obvious sexism of the current multis, there will be surge in interest in wMultis as everyone wants to get in on the ground floor of the wDec. We saw that with the wPV itself world-wide.

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          • #50
            Originally posted by Tuariki View Post
            Access will never happen until the decathlon is formalised
            I was talking about access to the pole vault, without which the decathlon is just a pipe dream to young athletes contemplating which event(s) to do.

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            • #51
              Originally posted by Atticus View Post
              When the WA finally succumbs to the obvious sexism of the current multis, there will be surge in interest in wMultis as everyone wants to get in on the ground floor of the wDec. We saw that with the wPV itself world-wide.
              The pole vault is a new event for women....it's creation didn’t cannibalize an existing one.

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              • #52
                Originally posted by Conor Dary View Post
                The pole vault is a new event for women....it's creation didn’t cannibalize an existing one.
                Not my point. Moving to the wDec will great be PR for the Multis, and many women who see a new window of opportunity open. As Becca said, it doesn't need to be done by 2024, but LA 2028 is a great goal. Current Hep-ers will either time-out, convert, or specialize, as the great ones already have one event they are near world-class.

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                • #53
                  Originally posted by polevaultpower View Post
                  Was it a mistake to move women from the pentathlon to the heptathlon?
                  Yes.

                  If the IAAF had dithered for another decade or so and retained the pentathlon, there would have been more introductions of male-equivalent events (TJ/10k etc) to make the discrepancy so absurd, they would have probably introduced the decathlon along with the WPV.

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                  • #54
                    Another mistake the IAAF made when implementing the heptathlon was to make the events too different from the decathlon. They should have made the heptathlon a proper subset of the decathlon, which would make the transition far less disruptive if and when there's a switch to the women's decathlon.

                    With the right selection of 7 events, heptathlons and decathlons could easily be hosted simultaneously; athletes competing in the heptathlon would simply skip the 3 events which don't apply. And heptathletes who want to dabble in the decathlon could more easily do so. During the transition years, both could be held at the Worlds and Olympics in that simultaneous format.

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                    • #55
                      Originally posted by polevaultpower View Post
                      Was it a mistake to move women from the pentathlon to the heptathlon? Why was it OK to disenfranchise the athletes who were better in the pent than the hep, but not OK to disenfranchise the athletes who are better in the hep than the dec?
                      PVP has got a pretty strong point here.

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                      • #56
                        I recall (which may or may not mean anything) no particular outcry over "disenfranchised" athletes on the pent/hept switch. After all, it merely required running a 200 (no extra training required for that) and learning to throw the javelin.

                        The hept/dec switch, on the other hand, not only turns the 800 into a 1500 (which will require more endurance training, as does the change from the 200 to the 400), it also adds two highly technical events, the vault and discus. That changes things mightily both in terms of training and competition.

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                        • #57
                          Originally posted by gh View Post
                          I recall (which may or may not mean anything) no particular outcry over "disenfranchised" athletes on the pent/hept switch. After all, it merely required running a 200 (no extra training required for that) and learning to throw the javelin.

                          The hept/dec switch, on the other hand, not only turns the 800 into a 1500 (which will require more endurance training, as does the change from the 200 to the 400), it also adds two highly technical events, the vault and discus. That changes things mightily both in terms of training and competition.
                          And of those two, I suspect the PV is the bigger. I can well imagine that an athlete and her coach might figure that if they can do/coach the SP and the JT, they could probably learn to do/coach the discus. But the PV is very different from any other discipline and is likely perceived to involve a much steeper learning curve.

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                          • #58
                            Originally posted by tandfman View Post
                            And of those two, I suspect the PV is the bigger. I can well imagine that an athlete and her coach might figure that if they can do/coach the SP and the JT, they could probably learn to do/coach the discus. But the PV is very different from any other discipline and is likely perceived to involve a much steeper learning curve.
                            Absolutely, but no one is talking about doing this in the short-term. If women going into college know the Dec is coming (the NCAA can intro it in half the time that USATF or WA can), then there'll be more wPVers interested and the ones that aren't will learn the PV as an 18yo. The same way we build crops of mDec-ers, we'll build wDec-ers. Same thing overseas: change U18/U20 first and seniors later.

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                            • #59
                              Originally posted by Conor Dary View Post

                              National champs are something else....who cares what the Brits don't have. And who cares about events the US isn't in. But if you change at the National champs but the WCs don't that doesn't sound very smart unless you have both events.

                              So the WCs then....how likely is something like this to happen....is there any polling? What does Coe and company think....
                              You can easily have National Championships in both events if you hold the WDec later in the summer. It would be silly to have both at your main track and field championships.

                              There is very little prize money available for heps (or decs). The heps would LOVE another prize money opportunity later in the summer.

                              Polling is a fallacy. With no meets, there are no decs. The current heps generally won't vote to harm themselves (though many are in favor of a properly phased in switch).

                              Paula Radcliffe told me she asked a few heps and they didn't want to switch so end of story. As far as Coe and co. are concerned, attractive British women have been dominating the hep and they and their coaches don't want to change, therefore there will be no change.

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                              • #60
                                Originally posted by tandfman View Post
                                And of those two, I suspect the PV is the bigger. I can well imagine that an athlete and her coach might figure that if they can do/coach the SP and the JT, they could probably learn to do/coach the discus. But the PV is very different from any other discipline and is likely perceived to involve a much steeper learning curve.
                                Many of the top heptathletes in the world have coaches who either coach or have coached decathletes. However, that doesn't mean that learning PV isn't a very daunting prospect for quite a few athletes who are contemplating taking up decathlon. Here in the UK, I have heard of a few male athletes who had shown great promise in age group pentathlons and octathlons whose decision to specialise in an individual event was at least partly due to apprehension about learning PV.

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