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  • Proposed US PV Tour

    You can read the press release on my website: http://polevaultpower.com/forum/viewtop ... =2&t=16609 I also forwarded it to gh to post on the front page here.

    It's very outside the box. This wouldn't be a track and field thing, none of the marks would count because it wouldn't be a traditional PV format. The analogy I heard is that this is like the Ice Capades were to ice skating.

    It's a team format. I might butcher this slightly, but I think there are 6 athletes to a team (maybe 4 men, 2 women), each athlete gets a certain number of jumps, they pick the height of the bar. The top however many jumps for each athlete count (say 4 of 6) and the top 4 athletes on each team count (maybe 3 men and 1 woman).

    The teams are seeded evenly, so at each meet any team has a shot at winning it. There is one day for prelims and a day for finals (back to back days).

    The whole setup is portable, there is a stage for the PV runway(s) and Pit(s) (I can't remember if they had more than one pit, I had to miss part of the presentation because I was coaching at the same time) and there are portable stands. It would setup in the parking lot of major retailers (like Target or Wal-Mart). They're talking about 4,000 spectators per event.

    The money in it for the athletes is good. They would make a minimum amount per event and have their travel covered, plus they would get health care insurance and such. It's good enough money that they're all willing to stay home from the European circuit in the summer. The Tour would not conflict with USAs or other major US meets. The proposed start is in May and it would run through the summer.

    I apologize in advance for any details I butchered. I am not officially affiliated with the Tour, but I got to hear a lot about it this weekend and I wanted to pass along the press release.

    Now that they have the athletes on board (and all of the elite pole vaulters in the US are on board) they are in final talks with the major sponsor. So we should know within the next month or two if it's a go. To us, it's a lot of money, over a million dollars to pull the whole thing off, but to a giant corporation, it is not that much compared to other sports sponsorships.

  • #2
    Its thinking like this that can save our sport. Now if the IAAF would just be able to cogitate w/ a little more openmindedness on new ideas, it might have a chance. IMHO, if this group is using IAAF spec equipment, including the runway materials & setup, & is officiated by certified officials, who gives a freak whether it is a "traditional setup". Count the marks and do this sort of thing w/ all other events too.

    Not holding my breath on this happening in my lifetime...

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    • #3
      Originally posted by MJR
      Its thinking like this that can save our sport. Now if the IAAF would just be able to cogitate w/ a little more openmindedness on new ideas, it might have a chance. IMHO, if this group is using IAAF spec equipment, including the runway materials & setup, & is officiated by certified officials, who gives a freak whether it is a "traditional setup". Count the marks and do this sort of thing w/ all other events too.

      Not holding my breath on this happening in my lifetime...
      It won't be run like a normal competition. Each competitor will take 4-6 jumps and choose the height of the bar (it could go up and down).

      The runway will be normal, I don't think any of the athletes would want to mess with downhill or excessively sprung runways because that would mess them up for normal meets.

      There was discussion about trying to have a legit pole vault competition for the elites at some of the meets after team competition. At the very least, each venue will likely have lots of normal competitions for local athletes between the prelims and finals of the main event.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by MJR
        Its thinking like this that can save our sport. Now if the IAAF would just be able to cogitate w/ a little more openmindedness on new ideas, it might have a chance. .....
        I'd be curious to see your list of "IAAF close-mindedness on new ideas." They've certainly spent no end of time tasking people to find ways to promote the sport, although obviously not to your satisfaction. What radical (or even non-radical) proposals have they turned down?

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        • #5
          Originally posted by gh
          Originally posted by MJR
          Its thinking like this that can save our sport. Now if the IAAF would just be able to cogitate w/ a little more openmindedness on new ideas, it might have a chance. .....
          I'd be curious to see your list of "IAAF close-mindedness on new ideas." They've certainly spent no end of time tasking people to find ways to promote the sport, although obviously not to your satisfaction. What radical (or even non-radical) proposals have they turned down?
          Their strict limitations on what athletes can wear on their uniforms has certainly not helped anyone :?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by polevaultpower
            Their strict limitations on what athletes can wear on their uniforms has certainly not helped anyone :?
            Their denial of some of the best athletes in the world into the World Championships (and don't lay it on the bloc voting of the minor nations of the federation. They could make a AA-standard or something to get ALL the good Keniopian distance runners or USAmaicans into the sprints).

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            • #7
              Sorry, wasn't asking for everybody's laundry list of petty gripes against the IAAF; was a specific question to MJR about "close-mindedness on new ideas"

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              • #8
                The whole idea is worth trying, but I don't see why they make it a team event. When the athletes are assigned to the teams pretty much at random, will anyone in the audience care which team wins anyway?
                Było smaszno, a jaszmije smukwijne...

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Powell
                  The whole idea is worth trying, but I don't see why they make it a team event. When the athletes are assigned to the teams pretty much at random, will anyone in the audience care which team wins anyway?
                  They're trying to draw crowds of 4,000... these aren't going to be track and field fans in the seats. Most of them won't know who Brad Walker or Tim Mack are anyway. The feeling is that this will be more appealing to the masses. I guess we'll have to wait and see!

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                  • #10
                    bingo. that may be the issue. identity. Becca, it's too bad that a personality such as Shawn Johnson is not pole vaulting. good luck to those seeking sponsors.



                    Originally posted by polevaultpower

                    They're trying to draw crowds of 4,000... these aren't going to be track and field fans in the seats. Most of them won't know who Brad Walker or Tim Mack are anyway. The feeling is that this will be more appealing to the masses. I guess we'll have to wait and see!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by twinpeeks
                      bingo. that may be the issue. identity. Becca, it's too bad that a personality such as Shawn Johnson is not pole vaulting. good luck to those seeking sponsors.
                      I don't think lack of personality is the problem. You can't compare the exposure gymnastics gets to the exposure pole vault gets.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by gh
                        Sorry, wasn't asking for everybody's laundry list of petty gripes against the IAAF; was a specific question to MJR about "close-mindedness on new ideas"
                        The other posters have already presented a few very good ones. How about a living wage & health insurance? We're still to close to the Olympics of Ancient Athens than to a professional sport where everyone at the elite level can make a suitable living.

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                        • #13
                          Our trains are travelling down way different tracks here. Becca was talking about promoting the PV and you responded that the IAAF was close-minded to this kind of thinking, so I asked you for other examples, meaning examples of plans to promote the sport that the IAAF had turned down. Apparently there is no such thing.

                          As for "living wage and health insurance" you realize that for many/most elite athletes outside of the U.S. that neither of these is an issue because the federation takes care of the first and the government takes care of the second, right? So you want the IAAF, in essence, to be subsidizing U.S. athletes?

                          I'd also be curious as to your definition of "elite level" and "suitable living"; how good to you have to be to get how much money and who makes that decision? The mind boggles at the bureaucracy that would be created.

                          I can't think of a better model for distributing the money than the IAAF has now: compete well in the big meets and you get paid; compete better you get paid more. Wow! A meritocracy, what a concept!

                          (Now if you wanna kvetch about how much the suits keep, that's another kettle of fish.)

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Powell
                            The whole idea is worth trying, but I don't see why they make it a team event. When the athletes are assigned to the teams pretty much at random, will anyone in the audience care which team wins anyway?
                            That's my concern too. Also are the vaulters willing to got through a season with no legitimate results? A whole season more or less deprived from competing against the world's top jumpers.
                            Will Jenn and other top US women stay away from the Golden League?

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by polevaultpower
                              They're trying to draw crowds of 4,000... these aren't going to be track and field fans in the seats. Most of them won't know who Brad Walker or Tim Mack are anyway.
                              So they're not going to care about Brad Walker or Tim Mack, but they will care whether team A or team B (both with arbitrary and random line-ups) will win? I fail to grasp the logic.

                              Also, requiring people to have 4 clearances in 6 attempts is much more radical than the rule change that was introduced for the Euro Cup - and that one was thrashed by everyone here because it doesn't give the vaulters enough margin for error. I'm afraid most of the time they will simply be doing safety attempts at heights well below their potential.
                              Było smaszno, a jaszmije smukwijne...

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