Number of U.S. masters relay records would double under proposal

Delegates to the USATF annual meeting next month in Indy will consider 97 proposals for rules changes. See the 22-page PDF. Several caught my eye involving masters track. Quarter-mile world champion Robert Thomas suggested that American relay records be kept in five-year age groups rather than 10-year. Reasoning: “Documentation of American records is to coincide with the events contested at World Masters Championships in five year age divisions. The current records kept in ten year age band will be moved to the lower age division. Starting in the 2012-2013 season the fastest times in the higher age divisions of each age band will become the new American record for that division.” Makes sense to follow WMA lead, but will add to Sandy Pashkin’s plate (making it even more essential that she accept help as USATF masters records czar).

Another proposal may be of interest only to clubs anal about national-meet scoring.

Gary Snyder, our national chair, proposes this on scoring eligibility: “The Masters Track and Field Executive Committee shall define who is eligible to score and publish that within the entry material of the National Championship. Reason: This needs to be defined for Masters T&F. This submission is in anticipation of a permanent rules book inclusion.”

Maybe Gary can explain the need for this rule, and whether it would affect any clubs in particular. What does this rule cure?

Another change, suggested by vault maven Becca Gillespy Peters, would make it easier for masters vertical jumpers to stay warmed up in long competitions.

Under Item 2, which applies to all meets except national championships and Olympic Trials, “a competitor who has not taken an initial trial in at least one hour from the first attempt of the competition shall be allowed to use the runway and landing area, without the crossbar, for warm-up at the change of the bar to the height they enter the competition. A maximum of ninety seconds is allowed for the competitor in the high jump. A maximum of two minutes is allowed for the competitor in the pole vault. Such warm-up must occur at height changes.”

Becca’s reasoning, which could really benefit masters:

It is important for our elite athletes to compete under similar rules as the IAAF in order to prepare for international championships, hence the exclusion of our major elite championships. However, the majority of competitions conducted under USATF rules are not elite competitions. It is in the best interest of the safety of our athletes to allow a warm-up period when athletes have waited for extended periods of time. The existing rule is routinely ignored by officials; this will standardize the warm-up procedure while ensuring our top competitions still simulate international championships.

Check out the rules proposals, and let us know if any others appeal or get your dander up.

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November 3, 2013

2 Responses

  1. Bubba Sparks - November 3, 2013

    I agree with Becca but I’ve yet been to an international meet where they allowed this. I would love it if they did. It punishes the better vaulters. In Sydney I sat an hour and 45 minutes before my first jump. Hard to get these old bodies moving again. 😉

  2. Weia Reinboud - November 4, 2013

    The need in pole vault is much higher than in the high jump, but I remember a 70 minutes wait… So there the 1 our rule will be welcome too.

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