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USATF Indoors - Why have qualifying standards at all?

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  • USATF Indoors - Why have qualifying standards at all?

    I don't get it... they never seem to end up using qualifying standards in the first place, so why bother using them at all? This is always a worse problem on the men's side, I wonder why...

    In the men's pole vault, the standard was 5.50m. There are also exemptions for people who have the A standard as appropriate to the World Champs (so anyone who jumped 5.70 last year), people who have made national teams recently, people who placed top 3 at indoor nationals the previous year, etc...

    A few days ago, the status of entries page had everyone over 5.50 as qualified (8 people) and everyone under 5.50 as not qualified. There was one guy at 5.49 that I would have let in, because I think he got screwed by an official setting the bar in imperial because of metric. A field of 8 or 9 is good... as long as you don't start the bar too high, the crowd will see a good number of jumps, but without it being a marathon session. Everyone should make a height, then you get to the issue of World Champs qualifying.

    NOW, the qualified list has gone down to 5.35 and includes 13 people... but there are 3 other guys at 5.35 that didn't get in. The one 5.35 guy who got in was 2000 Olympic Gold medalist Nick Hysong... I guess that makes for great press releases to say you have two Olympic Gold Medalists (they did) but Nick has not been competitive at the world level for several years now. If I was one of those other 5.35 guys, I would be petitioning to get in, I am pretty sure that exemptions they have for Olympic medalists do not extend for 10 years...

    Anyway, I don't know what the other events look like, but I see a lot of green on the status of entries page, so maybe they dipped below the standards in some of those events too.

    I think on the women's side, they have been much more consistent about following the standards, so unqualified athletes are less likely to enter. There are 9 women qualified in the pole vault, and the one unqualified entry has not been accepted.

  • #2
    Re: USATF Indoors - Why have qualifying standards at all?

    I am guessing that this has been a pretty bleak year for PV in the US. In order to attract enough competitors, they have had to expand the qualifying standards to get a full slate of competitors. Normally you use qualifying standards to keep people out. In this case, we have relatively few people who have achieved those standards the rules were relaxed.

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    • #3
      Re: USATF Indoors - Why have qualifying standards at all?

      Originally posted by Dave
      I am guessing that this has been a pretty bleak year for PV in the US. In order to attract enough competitors, they have had to expand the qualifying standards to get a full slate of competitors. Normally you use qualifying standards to keep people out. In this case, we have relatively few people who have achieved those standards the rules were relaxed.
      Bull. This happens every year on the men's side. 8 competitors is more than enough to produce a quality competition and select the team for world indoors. The women have 9 competitors and the men could have had 9 by accepting the one athlete who was off by 1cm. Instead they dropped down 15 cm and accepted one athlete with 5.35 and rejected the other 3 with the exact same mark!

      I know _why_ it happens, or more specifically _who_ makes it happen. I just want to know why they bother pretending to have standards. Why don't they just say "anyone who feels like it should enter, and if John Chaplin feels like you should get in, you will."

      What's the point in having rules and standards if you're not going to follow them?

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      • #4
        Re: USATF Indoors - Why have qualifying standards at all?

        Originally posted by polevaultpower
        A field of 8 or 9 is good... as long as you don't start the bar too high, the crowd will see a good number of jumps, but without it being a marathon session. Everyone should make a height
        Not to hi-jack the thread, but, just as interesting aside, in our meet this Friday, we have 30 girls entered in the PV, several with 5'0" PRs and one with an 11'6" PR, How long will this take? :wink:

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        • #5
          Re: USATF Indoors - Why have qualifying standards at all?

          In fact, doing a little research, the indoor MPV standard has been 5.50 for a long time, but it is rarely enforced... 2005 they did take two lower athletes, but that year there were only 6 qualified, and only 2 non-qualified entered. 2006 they took two non-qualified athletes as well. 2007 they didn't. 2008 and 2009 they took as low as 5.20! And now this year they took one 5.35 athlete and not 3 others.

          Why not just pick a field size and say the top howevermany athletes entered will get in? The problem is that it is not consistent from year to year. Very few of these athletes live close enough to Albuquerque to drive there, so buying plane tickets and such takes some planning. Do you buy the plane ticket and hope that John Chaplin is feeling generous this year? Or that he likes someone who entered with a lower mark than you? Or do you hold off and risk paying big bucks by waiting until a week before the meet to buy a ticket?

          This isn't just a problem with the pole vault and it isn't just a problem with indoor nationals. I have consistently heard complaints about this from many event groups for years now. Everyone knows this is how it is... so why not just write the qualifying standards in a way that reflects reality?

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          • #6
            Re: USATF Indoors - Why have qualifying standards at all?

            Originally posted by Marlow
            Originally posted by polevaultpower
            A field of 8 or 9 is good... as long as you don't start the bar too high, the crowd will see a good number of jumps, but without it being a marathon session. Everyone should make a height
            Not to hi-jack the thread, but, just as interesting aside, in our meet this Friday, we have 30 girls entered in the PV, several with 5'0" PRs and one with an 11'6" PR, How long will this take? :wink:
            If the bar is going 6 inches at a time, over 3 hours. Probably more since HS meets give a run through for everyone who passes 3 heights, which is probably most of your field. But fortunately, the bar goes up real easy for heights under 10', so with a good pit crew and kids who are paying attention, you can crank them through... but this early in the season, you might have a lot of clueless kids... oh yeah and then there's always the joy of waiting 15 minutes or whatever for kids who are running another event when it's their turn... yeah have fun with that.

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            • #7
              Re: USATF Indoors - Why have qualifying standards at all?

              Originally posted by polevaultpower
              Originally posted by Dave
              I am guessing that this has been a pretty bleak year for PV in the US. In order to attract enough competitors, they have had to expand the qualifying standards to get a full slate of competitors. Normally you use qualifying standards to keep people out. In this case, we have relatively few people who have achieved those standards the rules were relaxed.
              Bull. This happens every year on the men's side. 8 competitors is more than enough to produce a quality competition and select the team for world indoors. The women have 9 competitors and the men could have had 9 by accepting the one athlete who was off by 1cm. Instead they dropped down 15 cm and accepted one athlete with 5.35 and rejected the other 3 with the exact same mark!

              I know _why_ it happens, or more specifically _who_ makes it happen. I just want to know why they bother pretending to have standards. Why don't they just say "anyone who feels like it should enter, and if John Chaplin feels like you should get in, you will."

              What's the point in having rules and standards if you're not going to follow them?
              It looked like they were trying to get some known athletes in the meet in order to promote it. That may speak to your point about John Chaplin admitting people. It probably helps to sell seats to say that you have X Olympic Gold Medalists in the competition even though some of them are far from their prime.

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              • #8
                Re: USATF Indoors - Why have qualifying standards at all?

                Originally posted by Marlow
                Originally posted by polevaultpower
                we have 30 girls entered in the PV, several with 5'0" PRs and one with an 11'6" PR, How long will this take? :wink:
                If the bar is going 6 inches at a time, over 3 hours.
                It was kind of a trick question, cuz we don't have 6 hours for boys and girls, so we're going up a FOOT at a time for the first 4 heights.

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                • #9
                  Re: USATF Indoors - Why have qualifying standards at all?

                  The problem is with athletes trying to plan travel and the associated costs. My point has always been to have an absolute mark and then the addendum that the top 10 will automatically get in if their is not enough over the automatic mark. This is similar to what most conferences and essentially what NCAA indoors is. That way if you hit the auto you can buy your ticket and get the best deal possible, and if you are on the bubble you will still be happy to just get the chance. For reasons of flexibility and subjectivity John has been non-committal on this stance. He basically wants to preserve his ability to let in whoever he sees fit. I guess you can't really blame him on the Hysong issue as ultimately we need to sell the sport/event, and Hysong will sell it better than the athlete who I coach that has jumped 5.35. I do believe that Indoors should be used as more of an elite developmental meet though and would like to see some of the fields expanded a bit and get the young athletes a chance to taste this competition/environment.

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                  • #10
                    Re: USATF Indoors - Why have qualifying standards at all?

                    Does Title IX ever come into play? I don't have time to count all the entries, but it seems like there are more men than women. Let's suppose the standards are producing a similar number of qualifiers for men and women, but the decision maker for the men is allowing several unqualified athletes in each event while the decision maker for the women is not. Multiplied over the many events we have, it could be a fairly significant difference...

                    I'm not saying that's necessarily happening on a big enough scale to matter, but I can say that almost every year the women's pole vault field has been smaller than the men's, it's not like this year is a fluke.

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                    • #11
                      Re: USATF Indoors - Why have qualifying standards at all?

                      Originally posted by Marlow
                      Originally posted by Marlow
                      Originally posted by polevaultpower
                      we have 30 girls entered in the PV, several with 5'0" PRs and one with an 11'6" PR, How long will this take? :wink:
                      If the bar is going 6 inches at a time, over 3 hours.
                      It was kind of a trick question, cuz we don't have 6 hours for boys and girls, so we're going up a FOOT at a time for the first 4 heights.
                      Good choice! More meets need to do that. It's good to give beginners a chance to make some bars, but they don't necessarily deserve equal time as the more advanced athletes (assuming this is an invite).

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                      • #12
                        Re: USATF Indoors - Why have qualifying standards at all?

                        Totally agree w/ Becca here. Chaplin does WTF he wants to, at his own whim & with little sense to it. Good thing he has no say at all on entries for the Walks, though.

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                        • #13
                          Re: USATF Indoors - Why have qualifying standards at all?

                          Title IX has no effect here. It applies only to educational institutions.

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                          • #14
                            Re: USATF Indoors - Why have qualifying standards at all?

                            Originally posted by gm
                            Title IX has no effect here. It applies only to educational institutions.
                            OK thanks. I wasn't paying enough attention in the two sports law classes I have taken (and was too lazy to google it).

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                            • #15
                              Re: USATF Indoors - Why have qualifying standards at all?

                              Title IX applies to any entity receiving "federal financial assistance".

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