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NCAA Year of Metric Conversions?

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  • NCAA Year of Metric Conversions?

    I may have asked this question once before, but does anyone remember the year that the NCAA made the switch to metric distances?

    I'm mainly curious about the Mile Relay versus the 4 x 400 Relay and what year this change would have taken place.

    Thanks!

  • #2
    Starting in 1932 the NCAA Championships was always in meters in the Olympic years, yards the other.

    The first non-OG year in meters was 1977. But I'm thinking that 1976 was the change year, with (at least some) conferences going metric also.

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    • #3
      I'm inquiring because our school record for the 4 x 400 was set in 1976, and I want to make sure it was an actual 4 x 400 meters and not a mile relay. I had to reconstruct the records a few years back, and I don't have proof as to which distance was actually run in 1976.

      If so, I would then retire the mile relay record, regardless of which time is actually faster.

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      • #4
        Many schools (maybe even many-many) continued to run the 4x440 for years after the sport had switched (heck, Baylor still does!), just because of the difficulty in marking the exchange zones.

        Then there was the other method: the first three guys ran 440y (an exact lap); the last guy ran the difference to get to 1600m. So when eyes bugged out at a Stanford/San José State dual meet in the late '70s where James Lofton and Dedy Cooper both split in the mid-43s, it was because they ran only 392m!

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        • #5
          Originally posted by trackcoach
          I'm inquiring because our school record for the 4 x 400 was set in 1976, and I want to make sure it was an actual 4 x 400 meters and not a mile relay. I had to reconstruct the records a few years back, and I don't have proof as to which distance was actually run in 1976.

          If so, I would then retire the mile relay record, regardless of which time is actually faster.
          The key would be knowing what meet the mark was run in, and on whose track. Very few tracks had switched to a metric configuration in 1976, and it's possible that Franklin Field was the only one.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by trackcoach
            I'm inquiring because our school record for the 4 x 400 was set in 1976, and I want to make sure it was an actual 4 x 400 meters and not a mile relay. I had to reconstruct the records a few years back, and I don't have proof as to which distance was actually run in 1976.

            If so, I would then retire the mile relay record, regardless of which time is actually faster.
            If the mile relay time is faster, then that should stand as your 4x400 record, because everybody ran at least 400m. Not accepting it would be the same as throwing out a 10.50 that was run on a track of 102m and using a 10.52 that was run at 100m. Unless there's time-machine physics involved of course : -)

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            • #7
              The first year in which the NCAA Handbook introduces rules for taking metric measure in the field events is 1976.

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