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  • #31
    Re: Events that should be eliminated

    The origin of the 1500 is older than the 20th century. It was held in the 1896 Olympics. My best guess (and I wish I had some references handy to support this) is that the 1500 was a round number closest in distance to the mile.

    At that time, there was no such thing as a "standard track". The Boston AA, rich enough to build whatever they wanted, had a 220y track. Berlin had a 600m track. The 1896 Oly stadium was something like 333m. As late as 1962, Peter Snell set a WR on a 385y track.

    The origin of the 1500m is something akin to the 3 mile and 6 mile here -- a basically stupid distance unless you're approximating one measurement system's standard distance in the other. By the way, anyone even remotely connected to distance running "understands" 5k and 10k times, not to mention marathon times. If we synched up with the rest of the world, those that are even casual fans wouldn't have any problem within a year or two. Heck, after a year or so of using metrics for field events, I prefer them!

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    • #32
      Re: Events that should be eliminated

      >The origin of the 1500 is older than the 20th
      >century. It was held in the 1896 Olympics. My
      >best guess (and I wish I had some references
      >handy to support this) is that the 1500 was a
      >round number closest in distance to the
      >mile.

      At that time, there was no such thing as
      >a "standard track". The Boston AA, rich enough
      >to build whatever they wanted, had a 220y track.
      >Berlin had a 600m track. The 1896 Oly stadium
      >was something like 333m. As late as 1962, Peter
      >Snell set a WR on a 385y track.

      The origin
      >of the 1500m is something akin to the 3 mile and
      >6 mile here -- a basically stupid distance
      >unless you're approximating one measurement
      >system's standard distance in the other. By the
      >way, anyone even remotely connected to distance
      >running "understands" 5k and 10k times, not to
      >mention marathon times. If we synched up with
      >the rest of the world, those that are even
      >casual fans wouldn't have any problem within a
      >year or two. Heck, after a year or so of using
      >metrics for field events, I prefer them!


      I agree with the field event comment. While ft/in are the standard we relate to most, it is a lot easier to calculate that a long jumper who jumps 28'7.75'' (8.73m) beats a 27'10.5'' (8.50m) by 23 centimeters than it is to say he won by 9.25 inches...

      "Remember having to add and subtract those pesky fractions in grade school?"

      Comment


      • #33
        Re: Events that should be eliminated

        Perhaps a change in direction...

        What, if any, events do you think should be contested more often in meets. (Let's go ahead and stipulate that the mile would be a favorite)

        In a meet where team competion is the main objective (ie dual meets and most high school meets), I think the medley relays would be a valuable addition. As it stands now, we tradiationally gather the 4 best 100m runners, 400m runners and 800m runners to run a relay together. This is supposed to "prove" who the best team is... But, for an all-around measure, why not mix them up a bit. Run the sprint medley; it forces a team to be strong all around in the sprints (100, 200 and 400). A middle distance medley require a team to be strong in the sprints and middle distance (200, 400, 800), etc...

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        • #34
          Re: Events that should be eliminated

          Interesting historical info. Ok, How DID 400 meters originate. After some time on Google, I still don't know. I found out that the Greeks ran a 190 meter sprint (the footsteps of Hercules or something like that). Maybe it started with a round number 100 meters. Then they said, lets run twice that far (200 meters) then they said lets run twice that (400) and twice that (800) and then someone said STOP!!! Let's start rounding this stuff off at 1.5k, 5k, 10k. Then they said, let's WALK the rest of the way!!! haha 20K, 50K. Soooo, does anyone else know how 400 originated, or did it just fit nicely around a soccer field?

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          • #35
            Re: Events that should be eliminated

            >If you institute a rule like that, they'll start
            >running marathons and 50k walks on the track.
            >It's perfectly feasible... but do we really want
            >that?

            Are you kidding? Those things are torturous enough without running a bazillion laps around the track.

            Get rid of 'em was the point.

            jd

            Comment


            • #36
              Re: Events that should be eliminated

              >Perhaps a change in direction...

              What, if any,
              >events do you think should be contested more
              >often in meets. (Let's go ahead and stipulate
              >that the mile would be a favorite)

              In a meet
              >where team competion is the main objective (ie
              >dual meets and most high school meets), I think
              >the medley relays would be a valuable addition.
              >As it stands now, we tradiationally gather the 4
              >best 100m runners, 400m runners and 800m runners
              >to run a relay together. This is supposed to
              >"prove" who the best team is... But, for an
              >all-around measure, why not mix them up a bit.
              >Run the sprint medley; it forces a team to be
              >strong all around in the sprints (100, 200 and
              >400). A middle distance medley require a team to
              >be strong in the sprints and middle distance
              >(200, 400, 800), etc...>

              I wish the International crowd would embrace relays the way the US does. 4 x 100, 200, 400, 800, 1500, sprint and distance medleys. Maybe the final day of the Olympic and World Athletics should be relay day.

              Comment


              • #37
                Re: Events that should be eliminated

                >>Perhaps a change in direction...

                What, if
                >any,
                >events do you think should be contested
                >more
                >often in meets. (Let's go ahead and
                >stipulate
                >that the mile would be a
                >favorite)

                In a meet
                >where team competion is
                >the main objective (ie
                >dual meets and most high
                >school meets), I think
                >the medley relays would
                >be a valuable addition.
                >As it stands now, we
                >tradiationally gather the 4
                >best 100m runners,
                >400m runners and 800m runners
                >to run a relay
                >together. This is supposed to
                >"prove" who the
                >best team is... But, for an
                >all-around measure,
                >why not mix them up a bit.
                >Run the sprint
                >medley; it forces a team to be
                >strong all
                >around in the sprints (100, 200 and
                >400). A
                >middle distance medley require a team to
                >be
                >strong in the sprints and middle distance
                >(200,
                >400, 800), etc...>

                I wish the International
                >crowd would embrace relays the way the US does. 4
                >x 100, 200, 400, 800, 1500, sprint and distance
                >medleys. Maybe the final day of the Olympic and
                >World Athletics should be relay day.



                Right, as it stands, the only way the US would lose the 4x100 or 4x400 is if: a) the US is DQ'd, b) the US has a really bad day c) another country has a really good day d) any other extreme case like the others.

                Heck, the 4 best HS 100m and 400m men in the country could probably beat at least 95 percent of the nations they run against.

                Imagine what it would be like for the US if we had to add a distance runner to the realy team?

                Comment


                • #38
                  Re: Events that should be eliminated

                  Imagine what it would be
                  >like for the US if we had to add a distance
                  >runner to the realy team?

                  Oly/WC DMR?

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Re: Events that should be eliminated

                    ONLY in America....

                    >The vast majority of people that watch or read
                    >about track and field relate 4:00 to Mile times.
                    >So when a high schooler does get close to 4
                    >minutes, those of us who have no problem
                    >converting a 1600m time to a mile, still get
                    >frustrated that officials can not stagger the
                    >track a few yards on each lap to make a true
                    >mile. It is very simple to do, and would
                    >benefit all who have to be reminded that a 4:00
                    >1600m converts to approximately a 4:01.7 mile.
                    >Let's not forget the idiocy of the 3200m, and
                    >d how those times are tainted from actaul 2-mile
                    >efforts. Fans, I believe, would appreciate the
                    >effort that much more. I can think of no other
                    >country where where 1600m and 3200m are run
                    >rather than a mile and 3000m, especially when
                    >they are not internationally recognized
                    >distances.
                    Running 1500m would really be the
                    >right thing to do, but running 1 mile may
                    >actually be the best for fans to comprehend.

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Re: Events that should be eliminated

                      >The Mile is recognized as a record event by the
                      >IAAF and sometimes run on the European cicuit.
                      >

                      My understanding of the issue of Mile versus
                      >1500 was that in the early twentieth century the
                      >UK had quarter mile tracks while the French had
                      >500 meter tracks. On the latter, a 1,500 makes a
                      >lot of sense: 3 laps. The compromise that was
                      >ultimately struck was to use 400 meter tracks
                      >internationally which was metric but approximates
                      >a quarter mile, and use the English equivalents
                      >in the shorter distances (100,200, 400, 800) but
                      >use the French distances at the longer distances
                      >(1500, 3000, 5000, 10000).

                      As to running a
                      >Mile on a 400 meter track, it is very simple. You
                      >use the common finish line but start the race 9
                      >meters behind it which is just inside the relay
                      >zone. I cannot believe that this is so difficult
                      >that the high schools had to invent a bastard
                      >event instead. It doesn't require Calculus, or
                      >even 9th Grade Alegbra to figure out how to do
                      >it.

                      The Mile makes sense for two reasons: (1)
                      >The public relates to it, but has no clue about
                      >the 1600, and (2) the long history of tradition
                      >about the mile.

                      If Webb had broken 4 minutes
                      >in the 1600, would the press and public cared at
                      >all?

                      The IAAF recognizes records in the 1000, 2000, etc. but that doesn't make either of those distances as or more 'important' than the 1500. The mile is sometimes run, but never in the major championships nor even raced as frequently as the 1500 and not much more than the 3000 is. Not hard at all to figure out where to start the 1500 either, it happens to coincide with a common landmark on tracks, not some mark part-way down a straightaway.

                      1) Since when does the public relate to the mile? The public couldn't even walk a mile or know how long one is without the help of an odometer or road marker. It's just a race distance, like the 1600, the 1500, 3000, the marathon, etc. The one across the line first wins, no calculus or algebra or even rudimentary arithmetic needed to figure that one out.

                      2) Since when does anyone outside the stat crowd care a whit about the so-called tradition? Yeah Joe Lunchbox knows that it's hard to break 4:00 in the mile even though they've been doing since he was a kid or before. He could be convinced that it's very hard to break 3:50 in the 1500 just as easily. Traditions start and traditions end. Being a slave to tradition while the rest of the world marches on is ridiculously backwards.

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Re: Events that should be eliminated

                        Also the lion's share of press and public attention that Webb got was for breaking a very long-standing record, not for going sub-4:00.

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Re: Events that should be eliminated

                          Why reinvent the wheel when you admit Joe lunchpail already knows it is difficult to break 4:00 in the mile? Many Joe Lunchpails have no clue whether 1600 meters is the length of a football field or the distance between NY and Philadelphia.

                          At a time when our sport is desparately trying to connect to the public, making it more difficult for them to understand it instead of less difficult makes no sense whatsoever.

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            Re: Events that should be eliminated

                            Halfmiler is correct - run the mile in High School. As for the 3200/3000/2mile debate in High School - I don't really care. For my money you could eliminate those races all togather.

                            30 minutes at the end of a high school meet watching the 2 miles for boys/girls would be better spent running a distance medley for each sex. Too often 2 miles are runaways, and it gives kids an excuse to not work on speed. They will have plenty of time to race long on the track later.

                            2 mile track races are not even exciting to me (a distance runner). The same can be said for 10K in college - bag it. Throw all the distance guys/gals in the 5k for better racing and save the longer races for CC.

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Re: Events that should be eliminated

                              Joe Lunchpail(s) would be equally apathetic whether U.S. high schoolers ran a mile, 1500 meters, 2/3 leagues, 1/2 fathom, or twice the square root of an acre. Why would anyone ever think that going to the mile is the magic pill that will do more to draw the public to high school track meets? That would be the height of self-delusion.

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Re: Events that should be eliminated

                                the 1500 meters -- after 100, 200, 400, 800, what is sillier then 3 3/4 laps?
                                Ditto with the 3000. Seven and a half laps? why not 8?

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