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  • BillVol
    replied
    Thanks for comments

    Enjoyed the comments. I agree all around. They have got to change the format so there is, as you said, a window of great track and field for a few hours. The ten timed finals are awful. Are you reading this, Bill Webb and Charles Oliver??? I think the format is one reason the quality in the meet has gone down in recent years.

    You mentioned track announcer. Tom Black Track has gone from one of the best to one of the worst in recent years. Now, I haven't seen a meet there in about five years (depressing to think it's been so long), but Dr. Buck Jones hung up the mike about 7 years ago, I believe. I'm not even sure if he did the NCAAs in '95. Somebody terrible took over. I think it's some former Vol track athlete. Awful.

    Dr. Jones gave introductions that made you feel like you were at the Olympics. He added tidbits during races that added to what he already said in introductions. He described race strategy during 5 and 10Ks. He got the fans to get involved during crucial times in longer races. I've told him many times that the Vol program is not what it used to be since he left. But I guess he's done with PA work -- unfortunately. :-(

    Leave a comment:


  • dl
    replied
    Re: BTW, dl...

    >>>Do you have any suggestions on how to improve Sea Ray? How is Sea Ray different from Texas, Penn, Drake, Mt. SAC, etc., as far as organization of the meet? I'd be very interesting in reading your comments.>>>

    I did not mean to single out the Sea Ray Relays for criticism. I know how hard it is to put on such a meet and I mean no ill will toward the Tennessee program. But my remarks were in response to quotes from Bill Webb.

    The Sea Ray Relays will never be Zurich. It can't and it shouldn't. It's a different animal. But what I think such a meet as SRR can do a better job of is creating windows of, say, several hours of excellent track that an average sports or Tennessee fan would enjoy.

    Okay, it's a 3-day meet, but on Saturday, have a 3-hour window with all the relay finals (not multiple sections thereof) and some excellent field events. A good announcer with spotting/field event communication is also key to the spectator's enjoyment.

    If you're going to have an open men's 200, run heats on Friday and have a final on Saturday, don't just make it 12 timed finals.

    There's no easy answer to the problems of collegiate track. But I think regionals are a step in the right direction. Now with a lessened need to chase marks, perhaps more meets like the Sea Ray Relays, can cut down on individual events and concentrate on what fans like, relays against rival schools.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Re: Regional format criticized

    I thought of this a long time ago -- I guess only a nerd like me would come up with it.

    The regional qualifying marks were pegged at about 100th on last year's collegiate lists. Obviously far more than 100 made it into most events, because the marks suddenly became significant where they hadn't been the year before.

    Will next year's regional qualifying marks be re-adjusted to 100th on this year's list? If so, most regional fields won't be quite as big.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Re: Regional format criticized

    As I understand it, the regionals was divided up with the intent of splitting the elite programs evenly but in doing so, the east and mideast ended up with far more "non-elite" schools. The east region had about 100 colleges while the west had under 50. As a result, even though the qualifiers may be roughly comparable from each region, the fields for some events in the east were huge. Some tweaking is in order.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Re: Regional format criticized

    4. Shift more
    >mid-major schools to the west and midwest regions
    >out of the east and mideast.

    Would someone please tell me what a "mid-major" is? We have D1, D2, D3. As far as I'm concerned, anyone in D1 is major.


    5. Try to sell
    >the four meets in a package to Fox Sports, or
    >failing that to the new college sports network.
    >Eventually shoot for ESPN2 and ESPN.

    Leave a comment:


  • Halfmiler
    replied
    Re: Regional format criticized

    I generally like the new format but think it will take time and publicity to build a spectator base. I'd suggest the following tweaking:

    1. Award the regional sites in two or three year packages to build the spectator base.

    2. Emphasize to bidders that publicity is expected especially if they want to get the national meet in the future;

    3. Cut the at-large picks to four, so there would be only 24 athletes per event which means no more than three trial heats in lane events. This would trim some time off the national meet schedule.

    4. Shift more mid-major schools to the west and midwest regions out of the east and mideast.


    5. Try to sell the four meets in a package to Fox Sports, or failing that to the new college sports network. Eventually shoot for ESPN2 and ESPN.

    Leave a comment:


  • CoachKoby
    replied
    Re: Regional format criticized

    You should come to the Florida Relays in March. It is a very exciting meet. you definitely won't be bored with this meet.

    Leave a comment:


  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Re: Regional format criticized

    i like the idea, but the format sounds ridiculous as most athletes are in the east and mideast. i would rather see either the regionals or the conference meets cut. i bet most athletes in ten days will be barely hanging on and i am sure only the ones who started late or skipped a few meets will be able to compete at the usatf in 3 weeks.

    Leave a comment:


  • magpie
    replied
    Re: Regional format criticized

    >>make sure to also tell him that
    >medals should
    >be given for fastest time of the
    >year, not for
    >coming in first on the right day.
    >el g may be
    >happy to know that he has a couple
    >of
    >mis-awarded golds coming his way. same
    >for
    >mamede, etc.

    >"do not compare
    >kumquats to grapefruit."

    I am quite certain
    >El Guerrouj was awarded his spot on the Moroccan
    >Olympic team based on his times, not his placings
    >at the Moroccan Nationals.

    whomever:
    maybe i misunderstood - what exactly does having marks listed in t&fn have to do with ncaa/wc/oly participant fields and subsequent fan interest, and vice versa? help me see this connection between cherries and watermelons . . . is that supposed to mean that fans would be more interested in a scenario which scraps the u.s. champs/trials as the determinant of u.s. teams for international competitions in favor of a system not unlike that of morocco, kenya, etc. where the t&fn performance lists determine who goes and who stays home?
    at some point in the process certainly qualifying marks would be necessary for determining participants, but is it necessarily the best route to do so to directly fill fields at a championship meet, all things considered, especially when no other way has been tried in recent memory? while i believe that the regional system for the ncaa holds great potential, i am indeed skeptical on how effective it will end up being at both ensuring a quality meet and drawing fan interest - i am just not ready to immediately damn it before ever seeing a decent set of resultant data, either.

    Leave a comment:


  • gm
    replied
    Re: Regional format criticized

    >make sure to also tell him that
    >medals should be given for fastest time of the
    >year, not for coming in first on the right day.
    >el g may be happy to know that he has a couple
    >of mis-awarded golds coming his way. same for
    >mamede, etc.

    Drew, "do not compare kumquats to grapefruit."

    I am quite certain El Guerrouj was awarded his spot on the Moroccan Olympic team based on his times, not his placings at the Moroccan Nationals.

    Leave a comment:


  • magpie
    replied
    Re: Regional format criticized

    >I'm a track fan & I'm "bitching" about the new
    >format. So are most people who I know. I'm not a
    >coach, I'm not a track official, I'm not or
    >didn't used to be a collegiate athlete, nor am I
    >a parent of one. College track meets are arguably
    >already too long. Why make nationals 40% bigger
    >with lesser talents? If regionals was all that in
    >terms of spectatorship & publicity, then
    >cross-country regionals would all that. It's not.
    >The previous system was hardly perfect, but this
    >one is more problematic. What was needed was more
    >marketing savvy, not regionals!

    why not both? admittedly, most of the promotion of t&f on u.s. soil is essentially ineffective. iirc (someone correct me if i have this wrong), the increase of field size was passed independently of (or was not contingent upon) the move to the regional format. also, implementation of the format has no direct effect on the length of any other track meets besides regionals and nationals. finally, to analogize cross with outdoor t&f is highly simplistic - do not compare kumquats to grapefruit. when was the last time world cross or u.s. cross nationals were broadcast in the u.s.?

    Leave a comment:


  • magpie
    replied
    Re: Regional format criticized

    >Thanks for making it so clear, Steve. Now I can
    >e-mail GH and tell him to quit putting all those
    >damn times, heights and distances in TN. It's all
    >about places, so I sure don't need to be reading
    >that useless other information.

    make sure to also tell him that medals should be given for fastest time of the year, not for coming in first on the right day. el g may be happy to know that he has a couple of mis-awarded golds coming his way. same for mamede, etc.

    Leave a comment:


  • blacklily
    replied
    Re: Regional format criticized

    I'm a track fan & I'm "bitching" about the new format. So are most people who I know. I'm not a coach, I'm not a track official, I'm not or didn't used to be a collegiate athlete, nor am I a parent of one. College track meets are arguably already too long. Why make nationals 40% bigger with lesser talents? If regionals was all that in terms of spectatorship & publicity, then cross-country regionals would all that. It's not. The previous system was hardly perfect, but this one is more problematic. What was needed was more marketing savvy, not regionals!

    Leave a comment:


  • gm
    replied
    Re: Regional format criticized

    Thanks for making it so clear, Steve. Now I can e-mail GH and tell him to quit putting all those damn times, heights and distances in TN. It's all about places, so I sure don't need to be reading that useless other information.

    Leave a comment:


  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Re: Regional format criticized

    >important aspect of the regionals that remains
    >to be seen is how the athletes and teams treat
    >these meets. Are Desilets and Lincoln going to
    >exert themselves to win and become a regional
    >champion, or will they think of the meet solely
    >as a qualifying competition for the nationals.
    >If it's the latter, you could see them behave
    >e the way they would in a heat--the two of them
    >40 meters ahead of everyone else and jogging the
    >last lap because they're both assured of the only
    >thing they came for--qualification for the
    >nationals. But if beong a regional champion is
    >perceived by the runners to have meaning (and it
    >should), then there really could be some
    >wonderful competition this weekend. I guess
    >we'll know more soon enough.

    To the average fan (those whom the powers that be are hoping to attract), it doesn't matter. American pro sports are geared around scoring a lot of points/runs/goals and the only thing John Q. Fan understands about "amateur" sports are things like finishing in the top places to qualify. This is why the Olympic Trials are always so popular to the common viewer: finish in the top three, you go to The Games. No occaisional fan understands a scenario where the guy winning the race doesn't go on but the guy finishing third does because he ran a faster time earlier in the season. Why am I bothering to watch this? could be the legitimate question asked.
    Regionals--finish in the top five to get to the NCAA "Olympics." Any fan can get into that concept!

    Leave a comment:

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