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How many high schoolers pole vault?

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  • How many high schoolers pole vault?

    More than you think. Why does it matter? The combination of there being 3-4x as many pole vaulters participating in the event than previously estimated, and a dramatic decrease in catastrophic injuries due to larger pole vault pits, means that previous calculations of rates of injury are grossly inaccurate. Those calculations have unfairly given the pole vault a bad reputation as being dangerous or "The Deadliest Sport."

    Anyway, I did a very preliminary report here: http://polevaultpower.com/docs/2008Pole ... pation.pdf

    I hope to do something much more detailed for 2009.

  • #2
    Judging by the HUGE fields we get in meets, the PV is enormously popular in HS. The rub is, however, only about a third of the schools even offer it, so the ones that do, have MANY kids doing it. I always carry 4 boys and 4 girls, but the school down the road has 10 of each!

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    • #3
      If anyone is curious how many college athletes participated in the pole vault this indoor season, I have those stats here: http://www.polevaultpower.com/forum/vie ... 12&t=17314

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      • #4
        Re: How many high schoolers pole vault?

        Originally posted by polevaultpower
        More than you think. Why does it matter? The combination of there being 3-4x as many pole vaulters participating in the event than previously estimated, and a dramatic decrease in catastrophic injuries due to larger pole vault pits, means that previous calculations of rates of injury are grossly inaccurate. Those calculations have unfairly given the pole vault a bad reputation as being dangerous or "The Deadliest Sport."

        Anyway, I did a very preliminary report here: http://polevaultpower.com/docs/2008Pole ... pation.pdf
        Thanks for sharing these numbers...very interesting stuff.

        I hope to do something much more detailed for 2009.
        That would be great!


        On a somewhat related note, does anybody else think that PV at the high school level is gaining popularity? I'd be interested in trends in this area, especially looking at a possible link between increased participation on the boys side as states began adding the girl's vault...I've noticed schools bring back the PV after decades of not offering it because allowing girls to do (along with boys) it makes the event more economically feasible -- sometimes requirements to purchase new pits have the opposite effect, but big pits are good as PVP points out above.

        It seems like indoor track is becoming more important in high schools as well.

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        • #5
          It's impossible to say for sure how the participation compares to the past because there was no solid data in the past. But certainly in the past 10 years, the introduction of girls pole vault has done incredible things for participation rates.

          I would imagine this year will have very respectable numbers being a post-Olympic year.

          Participation is always going to ebb and flow in various areas. A single year-round club opening can have a positive effect on participation at all of the local high schools, for example.

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          • #6
            We (USA) will soon be where women's soccer has been for a while. USA women's soccer is #1 in the world for 2 reasons:

            1. girls club soccer capturing the best 5 and 6 year olds in the country, and keeping the best in club soccer up to . . .
            2. The NCAA (Title IX) getting these girls some good coaching

            I think gPV is poised to do the same. Our partic. numbers are outstanding, compared to other countries, even Germany and Russia where they have strong programs. HSs give girls the opportunity. Title IX gets the girls into good comp situations in college and so we have an excellent constantly renewing source of gPVers. Some will inevitably get good enough to make an impact on the int'l scene.

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            • #7
              A gymnastics club coach in Chapel Hill, NC teaches all the girls to pole vault, so they'll have a "back-up" scholarship opportunity in college. Many of the gymnasts get too tall or heavy to continue in that sport.

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