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  • Nonchampionship year performances

    I've had a theory that's been buzzing around between my ears for a little while now. Is it possible during the even years that are not Olympic years that we'll see a marked uptick in fast performances?

    I've not taken a look historically at 2006 and 2002 (I have a vague recollection of 2006 being a pretty exciting year, but...vague recollection means nothing against some of the mighty numerical forces that preside over this board. Meaning, eldrick ) but here are my baseless presumptions.

    1) There's no need to have a very sharp peak for one race that athletes may or may not qualify for. By allowing athletes to have a peak performance any time during the summer, there's no emphasis on not being blown out by Worlds / the Olympics and there is no emphasis on being all that ready at the national championship meets.

    2) Pent-up fitness from 2007, 2008, and 2009 from athletes who flubbed out of championships, bagged it after having a poor showing at those meets, or trained specifically for those meets might finally show. It's very rare that we'll see peak performances at championship meets (I'm talking specifically mid-distance and distance here) just because doing so is almost always suicidal.

    3) Really reaching on this one, but it might be easier to get into large meets on non-championship years...and the quality of the competition definitely will be better. Why not race all the time? Why not rake in the $$? These off-years also seem to be when people try changing up training and events...they've got two years to the next championship meet from this point, and 3 till the next Olympics. If you're going to do something drastic, there's no better time than now!

    Now I'm going to go actually look at numbers and be embarassed at how badly they correlate to my broad, baseless generalizations.

    edit: I forgot to mention - we do, of course, have to take into account that new athletes - in every sort of event - have been discovered and may be entirely game changing for an event. the 800m, for example, has seen a rash of 1:42-esque times in the past two years and I recall nothing of the sort in 2006. I guess it will be more telling to see what those 1:42 performers run in this coming year! (and, by extrapolation, all other extraordinary performers in other events)

  • #2
    Why not race all the time?

    Golden League every year
    2009 Wch
    2008 OG
    2007 Wch
    2006 Euros
    2005 Wch
    2004 OG
    2003 Wch

    Several decades ago you could certainly observe a performance decline overall in non-championship years. Currenty I couldn't tell, although the OG will still have an edge. But a sports career is rather short, so someone who's striving for the top won't waste much time.

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    • #3
      There's still the European Championships, and non-Cuban Carribeans have the Commonwealth Games in October.

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      • #4
        Re: Nonchampionship year performances

        Originally posted by gadlor
        I've had a theory that's been buzzing around between my ears for a little while now. Is it possible during the even years that are not Olympic years that we'll see a marked uptick in fast performances?
        No

        Last year we were working with the lists of the top 50 and top 100 marks, by year. systematically, the model regressions had coefficients that had small but non-trivial benefits from OG years and from WC years as well. That is my memory, I can check but someone might remember also.

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        • #5
          If you can dig that up, I'd be grateful. It's actually pretty doubtful that there's really any sort of coherent pattern to performances, once you start considering how many variables fluctuate from year to year.

          I guess I also don't really count the Euro's as a Championship, because...well, it's not a worldwide competition. Plus I'm American. If we aren't running, it can't be that important. :wink:

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          • #6
            Originally posted by gadlor
            If you can dig that up, I'd be grateful. It's actually pretty doubtful that there's really any sort of coherent pattern to performances, once you start considering how many variables fluctuate from year to year.

            I guess I also don't really count the Euro's as a Championship, because...well, it's not a worldwide competition. Plus I'm American. If we aren't running, it can't be that important. :wink:
            The running isn't that great at the Euros but as far as most of the throwing events go they may as well be a WC or an Olympics.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by EZSum
              Originally posted by gadlor
              If you can dig that up, I'd be grateful. It's actually pretty doubtful that there's really any sort of coherent pattern to performances, once you start considering how many variables fluctuate from year to year.

              I guess I also don't really count the Euro's as a Championship, because...well, it's not a worldwide competition. Plus I'm American. If we aren't running, it can't be that important. :wink:
              The running isn't that great at the Euros but as far as most of the throwing events go they may as well be a WC or an Olympics.
              High Jumps should be as good as any global final.

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              • #8
                If you were to take the 2010 European Championships, and the 2010 Commonwealth Games, and combine the results, you would have quite a Meet, in spite of the lack of USA athletes. And the Brits get to do both !

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by rasb
                  If you were to take the 2010 European Championships, and the 2010 Commonwealth Games, and combine the results, you would have quite a Meet, in spite of the lack of USA athletes. And the Brits get to do both !
                  The Maltese, too. And Gibraltar. And Cyprus.

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                  • #10
                    The Irish could have too if they did not leave the commonwealth in 1948.

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