National championship patches get vote of support

Patches should stay. The mile record should stay. But overhaul masters hurdle specs and spacings? Not this year. These are among the recommendations of masters delegates at a long meeting yesterday in Indy, where USATF delegates got to say yea or nay to a slew of rules-change proposals that the wider USATF Rules Committee will take up this weekend. The masters delegates pretty much guarantee a rule change involving masters is dead meat if it doesn’t get support in the masters meetings.


As Andy Hecker tells it, “once a bad idea is shot down, it stays down.” But if masters delegates say OK to a rule change, there’s still no guarantee the Rules Committee will say OK, too. “A few (rules-change proposals) were accepted,” Hecker writes, but their language might still be reworked by the Rules Committee.
Andy says: “Vaitones’ attempt to eliminate patches went down strongly.”
And Bob Fine’s renewed attempt to forbid clubs from having “outside” members for scoring at nationals also failed to fly.
In most cases, Andy says, a rule-change proposal got either heavy support or opposition. No close votes. The voting was done by a show of hands, with about 50 people in the room.
Anyway, the following is a list of nearly all rules-change proposals that involve masters track. Andy phoned me the item numbers and the NO, YES, TABLED and WITHDRAWN recommendations of the masters delegates. Don’t hold me (or him) to the accuracy of these verdicts or how I summarize them. (But I’m 99% sure I got them right.)
Item 31: Carroll DeWeese’s proposal to make sure hurdlers have both feet off the ground while going over a barrier, with no stepping over a hurdle: WITHDRAWN
Item 46: George Mathews’ tweaks of weight specs. YES
Item 53: Dave Clingan’s proposal to allow records made in handicap races as long as record-holder ran the scratch distance with proper timing: YES (Remember the John Keston affair?)
Item 55: Clingan’s proposal allows masters and youth records to be set in running events with cones. No longer requires curb rails on tracks for masters/youth records: YES
Item 59: Clingan’s proposals to protect certain record categories — especially the indoor and outdoor mile and the outdoor 3,000 meters: YES
Item 84: Mathews proposal to have separate indoor throw records for “soft” and “metal” implements: NO
Item 85: Steve Vaitones’ proposal to allow duplicate ribbons for only top three non-American finishers, instead of the current top-6: NO
Item 86: Mathews’ proposal to take the indoor and outdoor pentathlons out of the masters national indoor and outdoor meets, and put them in another locale: TABLED
Item 87: Mathews’ proposal to require the weight throw and superweight throw events at regional and association masters meets: NO
Item 91: DeWeese’s proposal that requires age-graded performances of 65% to count toward points for a club championship: NO
Item 92: Bob Fine’s proposal that, in championship meets, athletes can compete for a club only if they are member of the association that club is based in. In other words, no clubs with members from farflung associations: NO
Item 94: Vaitones’ proposal top allow the 800 in outdoor championships and the 400 and longer events indoors to be timed finals: NO
Item 96: DeWeese’s proposal that at least two-thirds of all participants in the finals of a masters nationals event be U.S. citizens: NO
Item 98: Jeff Brower’s proposal to alter most masters age-group hurdle specs and spacings: WITHDRAWN
Item 100: Becky Sisley’s proposal to change the M80-plus hammer and shot weights from 4 kilograms to 3 kilograms to make them agree with WMA specs: YES
Item 101: Mathews’ tweak of superweight implement weights: TABLED
Item 104: Vaitones’ proposal against all-star relay teams: NO
Item 105: Vaitones’ proposal to allow meets to drop national championship patches: NO

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December 1, 2006

One Response

  1. Andrew Hecker - December 1, 2006

    Some slight corrections to these notes: It was rare we ever needed to go to a show of hands, most were overwhelming voice votes making a show of hands unnecessary.
    Jeff Brower’s sweeping hurdle specification ideas were withdrawn in favor of him making a better sales presentation during “new business.”
    As a body, we are very reluctant to deviate from WMA specifications. We have the opportunity to accept Jeff’s ideas, which deviate greatly from WMA, as the first step to a form of proposal to WMA.
    Now I need to check my notes better because I thought the momentary feet off the ground while hurdling (as opposed to steeplechase) was accepted.
    Grahme described the Rules Committee as 15 English majors who will nit pick at each word to get the right meaning before a rule is published. His role with us was to get the essence of our opinion and then they will figure out how to execute that with words.

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