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The Rounds At The OT

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  • #16
    Not only is gh's comment relevant, but the OG's are in rounds (below the 10,000) and it is better to pick someone that can advance through the rounds versus someone who might pull off a one-shot race.

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    • #17
      The Rounds at the OT

      Originally posted by gh
      The U.S. had 10 guys at Olympic A-standard in the 5K last year, and that didn't include Lagat or Goucher! Far better event than you might suspect.
      I agree. I wrote:

      "10 men & 5 women, including Kastor, Goucher & Rhines who will run Marathon or 10K @ OG (5000)."

      In 2007 USAT&F had no heats yet heats were run @WCh 5000.

      Lagat (1st) Tegenkamp (4th) & Goucher (11th) were VERY SUCCESSFUL @ WCh 5000 in 2007 AND did not suffer from running what "26mi235" called a "one-shot race" @ 2007 USAT&F.

      My plan to allow the 15 fastest runnners to enter FOT 5000 would lift the burden of running a heat from these potential medalists. The U.S. has QUALITY & QUANTITY @ 5000. This is why a final only would be best for them.

      IF gh's plan of equal rounds @ FOT & OG were done in a "pair of 3-day weekends instead of 4" Lagat would have to run FIVE RACES IN 10 DAYS. I'm certain that he could do it but what is the benefit?

      US has had 2 weekend FOT since 1972. It has kept the 1 weekend format at AAU, TAC & USAT&F. It was 5 days in 1995 for Michael Johnson's 400 - 200 double & is usually 4 days.

      I know of no example where a potential medalist failed to make the team or to perform well @ OG/WCh because AN EXTRA ROUND WAS NOT RUN @ the qualifying meet in 800, 1500, Steeple, 5000 & 400H.

      If the current FOT makes a lot of $ that is fine with me, but if the "pair of 3-day weekends" is better for $ and for athletes then do the latter.
      none

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      • #18
        Re: The Rounds at the OT

        Originally posted by Gleason
        ....
        IF gh's plan of equal rounds @ FOT & OG were done in a "pair of 3-day weekends instead of 4" Lagat would have to run FIVE RACES IN 10 DAYS. I'm certain that he could do it but what is the benefit?
        ...
        You're conflating two concepts that I never did. I wouldn't dream of compounding a 9-day Olympic schedule into 6 days. Not sure where you got that from. Any cut in days would come with a concomitant slashing of rounds.

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        • #19
          I've stated too many times already that I think our Trials setup is dumb: bloated, redundant, and tedious. The whole meet should be run in far fewer days, with far fewer rounds. The idea that there's some advantage in having the OT mimic the Olympic schedule sounds like it SHOULD make sense, but it really doesn't.
          1) Do the Kenyans and Ethiopians bother doing this? I don't think so, and they appear to succeed rather well in the big meets.
          2) There's very little comparison between an opening round 800 or 1500 Trials race with a laughably thin field vs. a packed Olympic or WC opening round. One's a no-brainer, and a simple stretching exercise; the other isn't. In truth, fewer--but thus higher quality--Trials rounds would do a BETTER job of emulating the competitive pressure of big meets. It's not the number of rounds, but the QUALITY that really matters.
          3) Our goal should be to simply pick the fastest/best in each discipline, without attempting to teach or reward racing smarts, and/or the endurance to survive the rounds. All this is up to the athetes, on their own. The smart ones will prepare properly.
          4) If this meet has a prayer of attracting a TV audience, it has to be as brief, punchy, and engaging as possible. An 8 or 9 day meet just doesn't do this.

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          • #20
            Re: The Rounds at the OT

            Originally posted by Gleason
            I know of no example where a potential medalist failed to make the team or to perform well @ OG/WCh because AN EXTRA ROUND WAS NOT RUN @ the qualifying meet in 800, 1500, Steeple, 5000 & 400H.
            How could you or anyone else ever know what caused someone not to do well in the OG or WCh? I don't think we ever know for sure. The rationale for holding the same number of rounds is that there are some runners who will do better in an event with two rounds than one with three. And if the OG/WCh format is three rounds, we should want our team to be composed of the runners who will do best in the third round, which may not necessarily be the same as those who will do best in a two-round event. I believe the only reason USATF doesn't mimic the number of rounds in choosing the World Championships team is that holding a 9-day National Championships is siimply not economically feasible.

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            • #21
              Re: The Rounds at the OT

              Originally posted by tandfman
              Originally posted by Gleason
              I know of no example where a potential medalist failed to make the team or to perform well @ OG/WCh because AN EXTRA ROUND WAS NOT RUN @ the qualifying meet in 800, 1500, Steeple, 5000 & 400H.
              How could you or anyone else ever know what caused someone not to do well in the OG or WCh? I don't think we ever know for sure. The rationale for holding the same number of rounds is that there are some runners who will do better in an event with two rounds than one with three. And if the OG/WCh format is three rounds, we should want our team to be composed of the runners who will do best in the third round, which may not necessarily be the same as those who will do best in a two-round event.
              What does that say for all the countries that use selection committees to choose their team? :?

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              • #22
                We don't know (and they don't know) how many of their selections who ended up performing below what was expected did so because they couldn't handle the rounds.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by tandfman
                  We don't know (and they don't know) how many of their selections who ended up performing below what was expected did so because they couldn't handle the rounds.
                  We don't know that, and we don't know the contrary. Is a serious & empirical analysis of this issue even possible? There are so many other variables that it seems unlikely that we'll ever be able to say that running "all" the rounds in a Trials situation really provides ANY advantage in an OG/WC context.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by kuha
                    Originally posted by tandfman
                    We don't know (and they don't know) how many of their selections who ended up performing below what was expected did so because they couldn't handle the rounds.
                    We don't know that, and we don't know the contrary. Is a serious & empirical analysis of this issue even possible? There are so many other variables that it seems unlikely that we'll ever be able to say that running "all" the rounds in a Trials situation really provides ANY advantage in an OG/WC context.
                    The advantage is that running all the rounds might weed out runners who just don't do well with that many rounds. That we can say now; we just can't prove it. You're right--there are other variables, and we don't know for sure, one way or the other that this really does make a difference. But we've been doing it that way for 40 years because even though the benefit can't be proved through empirical analysis, the people making the decisions (mostly coaches in recent years) have honestly believed that running the same number of rounds as the OG is likely to produce our most successful team. I happen to agree with them.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by tandfman
                      Originally posted by kuha
                      Originally posted by tandfman
                      We don't know (and they don't know) how many of their selections who ended up performing below what was expected did so because they couldn't handle the rounds.
                      We don't know that, and we don't know the contrary. Is a serious & empirical analysis of this issue even possible? There are so many other variables that it seems unlikely that we'll ever be able to say that running "all" the rounds in a Trials situation really provides ANY advantage in an OG/WC context.
                      The advantage is that running all the rounds might weed out runners who just don't do well with that many rounds. That we can say now; we just can't prove it. You're right--there are other variables, and we don't know for sure, one way or the other that this really does make a difference. But we've been doing it that way for 40 years because even though the benefit can't be proved through empirical analysis, the people making the decisions (mostly coaches in recent years) have honestly believed that running the same number of rounds as the OG is likely to produce our most successful team. I happen to agree with them.
                      The contrary, of course, is that running "all the rounds" provides more chance for flukey failures or injuries. I can understand your--and our coaches'--feelings on this matter, but I honestly see it as more superstition than science. In events in which we're not already "the best" in the world, there's precious little evidence that our multiple rounds give our athletes any "advantage" whatever in the 800, 1500, steeple, 5000, 10,000 etc.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        So here's something I've often wondered: does rounds running diminish the quality of the Finals result? It certainly doesn't seem so, as we've had spectacular records set in OG and WC finals. Would they have been even better if the runner had not had to run rounds?

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by kuha
                          I can understand your--and our coaches'--feelings on this matter, but I honestly see it as more superstition than science. In events in which we're not already "the best" in the world, there's precious little evidence that our multiple rounds give our athletes any "advantage" whatever in the 800, 1500, steeple, 5000, 10,000 etc.
                          Perhaps this is just semantics, but I don't think it's a matter of giving our athletes any "advantage." Rather, it's a matter of getting the right team. You may see it as superstition, but I feel intuitively that there must be some athletes who can do very well in an invitational meet running a single race, but who will not do as well as others in an event that involves three rounds. Those athletes won't have any advantage at the OG because they won't make the team. And I think that's just the way it should be.

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                          • #28
                            We've been through this before, of course, but it has to be said that the economics of the situation will keep us at the "big" Trials for the foreseeable future. It's a better cash cow for USATF (and probably the USOC as well), and makes the meet economically viable for the hosts, who have to bear so much of the cost.

                            Given that you'll have to beg/borrow/steal to get a ticket this summer (a good one at least), I think the concept is proving to be a raging concept with the local fans--who, after all, provide 99% of the audience at any meet--so it's not likely to change because the "real fans" don't like the method.

                            I would also argue, seriously, that the long-meet concept is healthier for the sport and better for the bulk of the non-attending spectators. Why? Because increased days means increased TV hours, and that's how most will get their coverage.

                            If you shortened the meet, there would be fewer days when the meet would be on the tube (even if just short shows on USA), and I think it's pretty obvioius that NBC wouldn't devote any more time to the weekend shows than they do now, so more events would go lacking in the coverage department.

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by gh
                              We've been through this before, of course, but it has to be said that the economics of the situation will keep us at the "big" Trials for the foreseeable future. It's a better cash cow for USATF (and probably the USOC as well), and makes the meet economically viable for the hosts, who have to bear so much of the cost.

                              Given that you'll have to beg/borrow/steal to get a ticket this summer (a good one at least), I think the concept is proving to be a raging concept with the local fans--who, after all, provide 99% of the audience at any meet--so it's not likely to change because the "real fans" don't like the method.

                              I would also argue, seriously, that the long-meet concept is healthier for the sport and better for the bulk of the non-attending spectators. Why? Because increased days means increased TV hours, and that's how most will get their coverage.

                              If you shortened the meet, there would be fewer days when the meet would be on the tube (even if just short shows on USA), and I think it's pretty obvioius that NBC wouldn't devote any more time to the weekend shows than they do now, so more events would go lacking in the coverage department.
                              So if it all comes down to money, how do you prevent more idiotic episodes like the 2000 Women's Marathon Trials in which Kristy Johnson had the qualifying time, came in second and yet didn't get to go because the winner had to be the OLYMPIAN, who didn't have a qt? And all on account of the sponsors.

                              The trials should be for those who have qualified before the OTs. All these rounds only create more chances for injuries, accidents, etc. And how exciting is the tv when it is mostly useless rounds and winners of finals who may or may not go. Ugh...

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                In 2000 Rod DeHaven won the Trials race, which was hot and thus well above the fast "A" standard. He also raced the World's the year before and, despite getting sick [because of the support staff that took their bottles and placed them in specially obtained coolers -- without any coolant] finished about 20th, but also in a slow time (2:19?). So he shot his wad on races that were warm and not amenable to getting the "A" standard, so only he went. I think that they ought to award an "A" standard (or auto entry) to anyone that finishes in the top 20 or 25 at the Worlds/Olympics. It is not like the 100m where you can do several races in a weekend.

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