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  • Noise during high jump

    I can remember when it was proper etiquette for everybody to keep completely quiet from the time a high jumper took his position on the apron, through the runup and takeoff. This so as to not disturb his concentration. If anybody broke this unwritten rule (such as a stadium loudspeaker announcing an upcoming medal ceremony), everybody would shush in disgust.

    But now of course we get rhythmic clapping, announcements, and all kinds of noise and nobody seems to mind.

    My question is why? Does the flop require less concentration than straddle? Or was the "rule" unnecessary in the first place?

  • #2
    I could be wrong, but I think this whole rhythmic clapping stuff started with Willie Banks in the 3J. With him and some others ( Vlasic as an example) they think it fires them up. If it was I, I would want quiet.

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    • #3
      I dunno, when I was a serious jumper and really focused during a meet I was pretty oblivious to anything else... the universe consisted of the apron and the pit and the bar. There was no other sensory input that made any impression on me so noise or quiet were inconsequential. If I noticed noise it probably meant that my focus had been lost and I was pretty much toast anyway.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by jhc68
        I dunno, when I was a serious jumper and really focused during a meet I was pretty oblivious to anything else... the universe consisted of the apron and the pit and the bar. There was no other sensory input that made any impression on me so noise or quiet were inconsequential. If I noticed noise it probably meant that my focus had been lost and I was pretty much toast anyway.
        Well said, I agree.

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        • #5
          it would be impossible for a stadium to be quite for every jump when there is so much else going on but one of the sights to behold in Berlin was Arianne Friedrich bring the whole stadium to silence in the later stages of the HJ final.

          Didn't help her thought !!
          i deserve extra credit

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          • #6
            Originally posted by dukehjsteve
            I could be wrong, but I think this whole rhythmic clapping stuff started with Willie Banks in the 3J. With him and some others ( Vlasic as an example) they think it fires them up. If it was I, I would want quiet.
            No, Euro crowds (and Eugene) were doing it long before Willie did his schtick. What Willie did that was "new," I think, was to egg the crowd on to support him, by putting his hands over his head and mugging to the audience.

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            • #7
              I think if there is a consistant level of noise then it shouldn't distract or disrupt a jumper. The problem comes when there is a sudden change in level of noise. Which is why when there is quiet before a golf swing or tennis serve and then someone yells it can completely throw off the athlete. I think it would work both ways. If people were allowed to yell and scream right before a golf swing or tennis serve and right when the athlete gets into his/her swing the crowd goes dead silent you would see a similar situation.

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              • #8
                Willie Banks was a freaking ego maniac that did the clapping thing to draw attention to himself.

                Nowadays, I swear I saw some people that attended the Olympic Trials for the sole purpose of power clapping.

                Try sitting next to one of the miscreants and see how much fun it is.

                The whole clapping thing is all about "hey, look at me."

                No serious high jumper would want third parties to dictate their rhythm.

                But, this is all part of the modern day "me" era.
                "Who's Kidding Who?"

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by mrbowie
                  Willie Banks was a freaking ego maniac that did the clapping thing to draw attention to himself.

                  Nowadays, I swear I saw some people that attended the Olympic Trials for the sole purpose of power clapping.

                  Try sitting next to one of the miscreants and see how much fun it is.

                  The whole clapping thing is all about "hey, look at me."

                  No serious high jumper would want third parties to dictate their rhythm.

                  But, this is all part of the modern day "me" era.
                  NO, Willie Banks was NOT an ego. He was totally opposed. Remember WC 1983 in Helsinki? Banks encouraged the crowd to clap for any of the jumpers and especially for Zdzislaw Hoffmann even though he was in the lead and finally won. I saw them compete in Oslo about two weeks and it was the same again.

                  I also think he was the one who started the clapping. The first time I saw it here in Oslo (I have seen every big met there since 1972 except 1975 and 1993) was when Banks was there for his first time in 1981. He tried to get us to clap in his first jump but we were not really sure whar he ment. We thought this guy was a bit strange. Before the the second jump he took some extra time to educate us and I remember him saying:"If you give me more, I give you more". From then it worked fine in Oslo.
                  Regards
                  Basslop

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by basslop
                    I also think he was the one who started the clapping.
                    This was my perception. In Europe, I don't recall significant clapping before Banks.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by mrbowie
                      Willie Banks was a freaking ego maniac that did the clapping thing to draw attention to himself.

                      Nowadays, I swear I saw some people that attended the Olympic Trials for the sole purpose of power clapping.

                      Try sitting next to one of the miscreants and see how much fun it is.

                      The whole clapping thing is all about "hey, look at me."

                      No serious high jumper would want third parties to dictate their rhythm.

                      But, this is all part of the modern day "me" era.
                      It sure helped Austin over 2.40m in Zurich, as he mentioned in a later interview. Sjoberg also credits the Stockholm crowd in motivating him over his 2.42m. Everyone is different.
                      If you're ever walking down the beach and you see a girl dressed in a bikini made out of seashells, and you pick her up and hold her to your ear, you can hear her scream.

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                      • #12
                        Clapping high jumpers didn't exist in my day, but I suspect I would have thoroughly enjoyed it. Criticizing performers for encouraging the crowd to actively participate seems quite petty to me, although I do see how some could get irritated when it happens on every single jump, especially at lower heights.

                        Having complete silence is unrealistic and jumpers get used to crowd noise and knackered runners wandering around close to them. In fact, if your run-up starts on or near the track, part of your preparation to jump is glancing left to see where the track athletes are. You get used to it.

                        The only time my concentration was impacted was if an award ceremony was announced when I was about to start my run up in an otherwise quiet period, if officials didn't stop track athletes walking in front of me, or if a single spectator yelled something as I was preparing to jump.

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                        • #13
                          re the above, well said Mark. All this was true even in the minor leagues !

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