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Can't Tell the Players Without a Program

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  • Can't Tell the Players Without a Program

    1. Instead of daily heat sheets and a program here at the NCAAs, they have a new $4 program every day. Not only is this needlessly more expensive for the fan, but it creates more publication complications than with plain heat sheets when, for example, it rains heavily on the first day and the schedule has to be completely revamped.

    2. Even before the rainouts, the first day, programs were not available at the stadium at the beginning of competition.

    3. Today, the third day, when for purposes of obtaining programs one would expect to have a booth or sellers at each entrance gate, one instead has to trundle over to a single booth underneath the east stands, and deal with a line of other customers who are buying T-shirts.

    4. When one then buys the $4 third-day program, it has two flights of men's discus. The actual competition consisted of three flights!! The program is useless in that event.

    5. Trundling back to my office to get start lists and heat sheets from the Internet, I find that they're not available for the women. There's a garbled shortened version that has the already-complete heptathlon, the already-complete javelin prelims, and 400 relay prelims, and THAT'S IT!!

    6. The unavailability of women's third-day start lists on the Internet is the same as the situation for the women generally on the eve of the meet. Start lists weren't posted until late in the evening, and the women's link led not to women's start lists but to the same men's start lists as the men's link.

    7. At least one track nut I know consequently has resorted to getting info from somebody in the pressbox.

    8. The Austin American-Statesman this morning had the women's discus starting in the afternoon, whereas the women's discus in reality started at 11 a.m. and was posted that way on the revised schedule on the Internet. I can figure out that the schedule has been changed. Why can't sports reporters who presumably have gone to journalism school?

    9. How are normal fans, if they show up curious, supposed to follow the action with these kinds of obstacles?

    10. The old adage holds: You can't tell the players without a program. The program and scheduling info at these NCAAs is a bust.

  • #2
    Re: Can't Tell the Players Without a Program

    sounds like similar experiences I've had when the daily program (with yesterday's results) is handled by the Sports Info Office by someone who is not track&field knowledgable, just a press person. I hate when that happens!

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    • #3
      Re: Can't Tell the Players Without a Program

      We're having more luck today. The heat sheets are on the University of Texas sports website at:
      http://www.texassports.com/mainpages/tk ... index.html

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      • #4
        Re: Can't Tell the Players Without a Program

        I went to the meet during the evenings on Thursday - Saturday. I didn't have any internet access and neglected to check the schedule for Saturdays running events. I looked at the two programs I had already purchased, no schedule for Saturday to be found. I finally checked the Austin paper which showed 7:00 which is what I had remembered. However recalling my 10 minute wait in line for tickets and 10 minutes or more to go across the stadium to get in line for a program see #3 from original post. I decided to show up a little early. Only through sheer luck did I show up early enough for the first race at 6:30. I would have been severely hacked off had I missed either one of the 400 meter races.

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        • #5
          Re: Can't Tell the Players Without a Program

          The NCAA isn't alone in having spotty program utility. IAAF & IOC have had their gaffes as well. The problem, I think, is just letting the organizers do whatever they want, with no direction. Big events in Spain, I guess, have no progams at all! I was told that by people who went in '92 & '99. At the W Cup in '89, there was not program available.

          At the WC last year, the day 1 programs didn't get out until well into the 2nd session. I never got one. I have my own forms for multis, and I was using my "recording" time on the hep. From then on, the programs were up to the quality of previous WCs. Last year at the NCAA meet, they had the dailies, which did have all heats, but they didn't have to deal with the reshuffle of events due to weather. I do always have a pad for just in case. That is useful for taking series, splits, vertical jump charting, multi projections, etc. Paper, don't leave home without it!

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          • #6
            Re: Can't Tell the Players Without a Program

            I agree that the "program" was a problem. I'm a long time track geek, and I took a friend who had never been to a track meet. I thought about it and forgot to print up information from Trackshark/NCAA.com thinking mistakenily that I could get this information at the meet.

            I had no problem getting my friend informed and excited only because I follow this forum and am a geek. But wouldn't it be great if a non-geeked out fan could buy a 4 dollar program...figure out who to watch...know things like where to look for the water jump in the steeple...figure things out like the real, real basics of the high jump and pole vault.

            It was very enlightening to take a complete greenhorn to the meet...I just felt like there was too much reliance on geeks in the stands and not enough hand-holding by the NCAA...I mean even NCAA football programs usually have a page which explains what the fouls are...

            Sorry to rant...but everyone talks about how to save the sport...I believe a very informative and insightful program is a great start...

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            • #7
              Re: Can't Tell the Players Without a Program

              One way the program definitely could have been better -- in the finals, they could have listed each athlete's seasonal best instead of his/her prelim qualifying mark. In the vertical jumps, it looked really silly to show every athlete's mark as 2.17 or 5.30. I'm sure that confused the more casual fans.

              Which, of course, leads to the obvious next suggestion -- that at an American track meet, all those metric marks should have been listed in their English equivalents instead. Although I understand metric (and dearly wish America would adopt it), most meet-goers do not. And in the throws, this confusion is even further compounded when the metric mark is listed in the program but the field is marked in feet!

              And that leads to one more suggestion that I would make to T&FN staff at meets where metric measurements will be used: set up a booth near the gate and sell Big Green Books. I bet they'd go like hotcakes! My sports editor friend who attended the meet with me loves the BGB -- he does not share my love of metric, and praises the BGB because "it translates measurements from Communist to American." :-)
              "Run fast and keep turning left."

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              • #8
                Re: Can't Tell the Players Without a Program

                A lot of people were mad about the 7 to 6:30pm switch. Since I went with my parents and there notoriously late anywhere, we showed up right before 6:30, and thankfully made it in right as the race went off, but tons of people outside getting tickets were yelling and stuff in confusion when the gun went off and they missed the women's 400.
                http://www.ScienceofRunning.com

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