Women to compete in decathlon?


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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby ralmcg » Wed Feb 17, 2010 8:17 pm

I would like to ask the board these questions. Does the heptathlon test the female athlete's strength, speed, stamina, and perseverance adequately? Does the decathlon test them better? Personally I think the decathlon is the better test since there are more events to test the female athletes and the new events would challenge them in new and different ways especially the pole vault.

Edited to take out a word that means the same thing as stamina because a replier saw it. By the way I got the qualities for a decathlete from a Wikipedia article on the decathlon.
Last edited by ralmcg on Wed Feb 17, 2010 8:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby bman » Wed Feb 17, 2010 8:49 pm

What is the difference between stamina and endurance?
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby ralmcg » Thu Feb 18, 2010 1:57 am

I got an e-mail from Mr. Pierre Weiss, General Secretary of the IAAF, about the women's decathalon. In essence it said that because it took five years from around 2000 to have the first records for the seniors (minimum total of 8000 points) and even more years for the juniors (7700 points), worldwide there are a maximum of ten decathlons for women, and there is no national championships for women's decathlon, the IAAF is not going to add women's decathlon to its World Championship program at this time.

Actually he wrote that because of these reasons "Therefore, we consider that we are very far to able to change the current situation" but I interpreted that the IAAF is not pursuing adding women's decathlon to its championship program, at least right now.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby TrackCEO » Thu Feb 18, 2010 4:22 am

ralmcg wrote: and there is no national championships for women's decathlon


USATF Masters T&F has contested a women's dec at its multievents national championships for several years, resulting in the first 10,000-point decathlon:

http://masterstrack.com/2009/08/445/

Image

K E N
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby mump boy » Thu Feb 18, 2010 4:58 am

bman wrote:
Flumpy wrote:
gh wrote:I keep hearing there's very strong resistance from European coaches. The vault is the sticking point. (npi)


They'd soon get over the resistance if it was announced that the Deca was being introduced from 2020 onwards. That's long enough away that the current athletes are not forced into at event that they're not ready for but far enough in the future that the new crop have plenty of time to prepare.

Teenage heptathletes now should start learning the PV pronto.


Do you really think it would work that smoothly? What planet are you on? We have already gone into the problems with this.


who cares if it goes smoothly

the iaaf excuse is nonense why should the momentum come from national assoc the governing body should take the lead
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby ralmcg » Thu Feb 18, 2010 6:05 am

If no national championships at the elite level is one reason for the lack of progress in getting the women's decathlon to be at the world championships then writing to your national governing body might be a good thing to do. E-mail Doug Logan, the CEO of USATF at Doug.Logan@usatf.org if you live in the United States of America.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby Gabriella » Thu Feb 18, 2010 7:48 am

Write to Diack, write to Logan..I love this guy! :P Most people are too apathetic to do anything, it's great to see someone doing their bit!
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby ralmcg » Thu Feb 18, 2010 9:53 am

First of all thank you Gabriella for your support of writing letters to the USATF and the IAAF about the women's decathlon.

Second, I would like to ask those opposed to a women's decathlon, and especially to female heptathletes, this. Do you really want to send a message to female multi-event participants, both present and future, that they can't pole vault, can't throw a discus, can't run both 100 meters and 400 meters (as opposed to running just 200 meters), and can't run 1500 meters (as opposed to 800 meters)? If not then I suggest e-mailing your national track and field federation and also Mr. Pierre Weiss, the general secretary of the IAAF. HIs e-mail address is pierre@hq.iaaf.org. The more e-mails, and also letters, from athletes and their federations showing an interest in women's decathlon the more likely that it would be recognized as the official combined event for women at the World Championships and perhaps the Olympics.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby bman » Thu Feb 18, 2010 4:32 pm

mump boy wrote:who cares if it goes smoothly


My final point I guess is that things are different for all of us sitting back and watching and the athletes who live this.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby lonewolf » Thu Feb 18, 2010 4:41 pm

decafan has it right, imo.
There is no optimum time to introduce the women' s decathlon. Athletes will always be coming or going. If change is resisted to prolong the careers of current athletes, future athletes will be interrupted in mid-career when current stars burn out.
Athletes will adapt or not. Some heptathletes will benefit by the change to decathlon. Some won't. Eventually an all-around super star will emerge.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby mump boy » Thu Feb 18, 2010 5:52 pm

lonewolf wrote:decafan has it right, imo.
There is no optimum time to introduce the women' s decathlon. Athletes will always be coming or going. If change is resisted to prolong the careers of current athletes, future athletes will be interrupted in mid-career when current stars burn out.
Athletes will adapt or not. Some heptathletes will benefit by the change to decathlon. Some won't. Eventually an all-around super star will emerge.


exactly
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby ralmcg » Fri Feb 19, 2010 5:13 am

Indoors the mult-event competitions are the pentathlon (women) and the heptathlon (men). In order for the women to achieve equality of events they need to compete in the 60-meter dash and the pole vault. Also they will increase the distance of the longest race from 800 meters to 1000 meters.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby 26mi235 » Fri Feb 19, 2010 7:19 am

ralmcg wrote:Indoors the mult-event competitions are the pentathlon (women) and the heptathlon (men). In order for the women to achieve equality of events they need to compete in the 60-meter dash and the pole vault. Also they will increase the distance of the longest race from 800 meters to 1000 meters.


I think that the 'transition' that some have proposed should start with changing the Pent to the Hept, as it adds only one new event for the multis athletes, and the hardest single step of getting to the decathlon. Several years later the deca can be introduced.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby Powell » Fri Feb 19, 2010 7:56 am

26mi235 wrote:I think that the 'transition' that some have proposed should start with changing the Pent to the Hept, as it adds only one new event for the multis athletes, and the hardest single step of getting to the decathlon. Several years later the deca can be introduced.


So you're saying that for a few years female multi-eventers would do the PV indoors, but not out? That just doesn't make sense at all.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby LopenUupunut » Fri Feb 19, 2010 8:13 am

Powell wrote:So you're saying that for a few years female multi-eventers would do the PV indoors, but not out? That just doesn't make sense at all.
They currently do javelin outdoors, but not in. Obviously, the reasons for that are quite different, but the result is quite similar and we don't see heaps of people complaining.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby Powell » Fri Feb 19, 2010 8:25 am

LopenUupunut wrote:
Powell wrote:So you're saying that for a few years female multi-eventers would do the PV indoors, but not out? That just doesn't make sense at all.
They currently do javelin outdoors, but not in. Obviously, the reasons for that are quite different, but the result is quite similar and we don't see heaps of people complaining.


But the outdoor season is more important, so the athletes don't doubt it's worthwhile to train for JT. But can you really see the multi-eventers learning to vault (and it takes a lot of work) if they are only going to have an opportunity to do this event in competition in winter? It's more likely we would see 95% of elite heptathletes skip the indoor altogether.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby 26mi235 » Fri Feb 19, 2010 8:44 am

Powell wrote:
LopenUupunut wrote:
Powell wrote:So you're saying that for a few years female multi-eventers would do the PV indoors, but not out? That just doesn't make sense at all.
They currently do javelin outdoors, but not in. Obviously, the reasons for that are quite different, but the result is quite similar and we don't see heaps of people complaining.


But the outdoor season is more important, so the athletes don't doubt it's worthwhile to train for JT. But can you really see the multi-eventers learning to vault (and it takes a lot of work) if they are only going to have an opportunity to do this event in competition in winter? It's more likely we would see 95% of elite heptathletes skip the indoor altogether.


I was just commenting that it would provide a lower-profile, partial step to start a transition. Once the vault is a known skill for a subset of multi athletes, adding two more (100/400/1500 vs 200/800, DT) would not be as big a 'leap'. Also, it would not have too big of an affect on the current crop of top athletes without PV skills and thus might get a bit less resistance from that set of stakeholders.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby ralmcg » Fri Feb 19, 2010 10:54 am

I would like to say this to all those heptathletes that are not crazy about doing the pole vault, either because the heptathlete is afraid of heights or other reasons. For decades male athletes have to perform the pole vault in order to be a multi-event athlete. That means that those who are afraid of heights so much as not to pole vault have to give up being a decathlete. I know that it's a blow to those heptathletes who don't want to pole vault that they can't be decathletes but for the sake of women's advancement in track and field that is one sacrifice that is going to be made. Heptathletes can still participate in more that one event (i.e. the 100 meters and the shot put) if they want to.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby 26mi235 » Fri Feb 19, 2010 11:11 pm

As I noted in the hurdle-height comments, I was at the Wisconsin meet tonight and talking with the head coach and others (this lot has a lot of multi experience). I asked the question about the decathlon and they immediately and universally said that it is only a matter of time. In general, I got the sense that they thought the 'time' aspect was not real long.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby gh » Sat Feb 20, 2010 9:25 pm

Unforutnately, U.S. collegiate coaches have little/no vote on the matter.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby ralmcg » Sun Feb 21, 2010 8:14 am

gh wrote:Unforutnately, U.S. collegiate coaches have little/no vote on the matter.

Do you think athletic directors would have a vote on including women's decathlon in their program? Or does it require the presidents of the colleges and universities to approve it?
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby ralmcg » Tue Feb 08, 2011 9:56 am

I am bumping this topic. I would like others to see this topic.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby pauluk63 » Tue Feb 08, 2011 10:39 am

I would love women to do the decathlon, I believe women have every bit the same capabilities as men! They do every other event and there seems no reason why they cant do the decathlon!
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby Marlow » Tue Feb 08, 2011 10:44 am

pauluk63 wrote:I would love women to do the decathlon, I believe women have every bit the same capabilities as men! They do every other event and there seems no reason why they cant do the decathlon!

I think a vast majority in T&F agree that the Dec is the correct way to go for many reasons, but there are also some in the sport who have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo, and they have effectively blocked its acceptance.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby 26mi235 » Tue Feb 08, 2011 12:32 pm

One problem is the women's side is 'thinner' then that men's side and in an 'event' like the multis it makes it harder to have a competitive field, as there are more holes in the natural make up of women that make it harder for them to cover the range of the decathlon. I am just thinking off of the top of my head, but with higher testosterone levels etc., it is easier for men. Having enough strength to do the Jav/Shot/Discus//Vault while being lean enough for the LJ, Hurdles, 800, HJ(!) etc. is a tall order for women. Look at how women manage the Hept now. Adding the Discus and the Vault makes it hard to have prowess in other events. Note that men HJs look much stronger than women HJs, who do HJ with height and grace. The deca conflicts might lead to a somewhat 'ugly' set of events. Not sure that this is the way to go, even though in general I have been pro decathlon in prior comments.

I make these comments to get discussion on a dimension of the issue I had not thought much about before.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby ralmcg » Wed Feb 09, 2011 4:38 am

26mi235 wrote:One problem is the women's side is 'thinner' then that men's side and in an 'event' like the multis it makes it harder to have a competitive field, as there are more holes in the natural make up of women that make it harder for them to cover the range of the decathlon. I am just thinking off of the top of my head, but with higher testosterone levels etc., it is easier for men. Having enough strength to do the Jav/Shot/Discus//Vault while being lean enough for the LJ, Hurdles, 800, HJ(!) etc. is a tall order for women. Look at how women manage the Hept now. Adding the Discus and the Vault makes it hard to have prowess in other events. Note that men HJs look much stronger than women HJs, who do HJ with height and grace. The deca conflicts might lead to a somewhat 'ugly' set of events. Not sure that this is the way to go, even though in general I have been pro decathlon in prior comments.

I make these comments to get discussion on a dimension of the issue I had not thought much about before.


Interesting point. But the decathalon is for determining the best all-around athlete, not the leanest athlete. Besides there is a strength element to the heptathlon already with the shot put and the javalin throw so strenght is already an element for the hepathlete. Also the women will be using lighter throwing implements than men.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby Gabriella » Wed Feb 09, 2011 6:09 am

26mi235 wrote:..there are more holes in the natural make up of women that make it harder for them to cover the range of the decathlon. I am just thinking off of the top of my head, but with higher testosterone levels etc., it is easier for men. Having enough strength to do the Jav/Shot/Discus//Vault while being lean enough for the LJ, Hurdles, 800, HJ(!) etc. is a tall order for women. Look at how women manage the Hept now. Adding the Discus and the Vault makes it hard to have prowess in other events.


I don't mean to be rude, but that's all a load of nonsense. There's absolutely no physical reason why women cannot do decathlons and no evidence to show that it would be 'harder' for them.

As to whether adding the PV and DT will make a difference to the type of women that will do the event; in theory it may mean the average height & weight goes up slightly. However, the top ten women of all time average around 1.78/5'10" in height and 65+kg (around 150llbs) in weight, so I don't see this changing significantly.

The spread of events in the decathlon, even though still not ideal, is a better measure of true all round greatness than the heptathlon, which is too speed orientated.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby az2004 » Wed Feb 09, 2011 8:22 am

the pole vault, by itself, is a shallow sport, depthwise...

any multi female coul;d gain a huge edge if even marginally competent in the event

so lets do the mens events...

which usa collegians would benefit..

would fountain be hurt or helped by it

200 becomes 400
800 becomes 1500

add discus, pv and 100

hurdles....AH, why not have the women do 110, instead of 100 h
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby 26mi235 » Wed Feb 09, 2011 9:30 am

Gabriella wrote:I don't mean to be rude, but that's all a load of nonsense.


I think that there are likely to be a lot of 'ugly' vaults. For the men, even those doing only 4.00m are vaulting using normal form and almost all semi-world-class deca men (e.g., 7500) are vaulting closer to 4.50 or higher. Even after an adjustment/learning period, you will likely get a lot of 3m or even lower vaults and they rarely look 'normal' because the vaulting mechanics are different at that height. It is my impression that the JV is has the poorest mechanics and looks ugliest for the women's Hept -- the vault will likely make it look better in comparison.

This, of course, is just a guess and, as I said above, I have not thought through all of this, it just occurred to me once the thread started (and Gabriella has better knowledge/insight/familiarity/... etc then I can bring to this discussion) and I have generally been in favor of a decathlon for women.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby ralmcg » Wed Feb 09, 2011 6:05 pm

26mi235 wrote:
Gabriella wrote:I don't mean to be rude, but that's all a load of nonsense.


I think that there are likely to be a lot of 'ugly' vaults. For the men, even those doing only 4.00m are vaulting using normal form and almost all semi-world-class deca men (e.g., 7500) are vaulting closer to 4.50 or higher. Even after an adjustment/learning period, you will likely get a lot of 3m or even lower vaults and they rarely look 'normal' because the vaulting mechanics are different at that height. It is my impression that the JV is has the poorest mechanics and looks ugliest for the women's Hept -- the vault will likely make it look better in comparison.

This, of course, is just a guess and, as I said above, I have not thought through all of this, it just occurred to me once the thread started (and Gabriella has better knowledge/insight/familiarity/... etc then I can bring to this discussion) and I have generally been in favor of a decathlon for women.


I don't believe that women should be denied the opportunity to participate in the decathlon, especially in the Olympics, just because certain events are not aesthetically pleasing to certain spectators.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby Daisy » Wed Feb 09, 2011 6:12 pm

Marlow wrote:some in the sport who have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo

I'm not very good at reading between the lines. Who gains from keeping the hept? The only people I can think of are the current crop of athletes who would suddenly have to get proficient at pole vaulting. But it sounds like you're talking about suits?
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby 26mi235 » Thu Feb 10, 2011 6:02 am

ralmcg wrote:
26mi235 wrote:
Gabriella wrote:I don't mean to be rude, but that's all a load of nonsense.


I think that there are likely to be a lot of 'ugly' vaults. For the men, even those doing only 4.00m are vaulting using normal form and almost all semi-world-class deca men (e.g., 7500) are vaulting closer to 4.50 or higher. Even after an adjustment/learning period, you will likely get a lot of 3m or even lower vaults and they rarely look 'normal' because the vaulting mechanics are different at that height. It is my impression that the JV is has the poorest mechanics and looks ugliest for the women's Hept -- the vault will likely make it look better in comparison.

This, of course, is just a guess and, as I said above, I have not thought through all of this, it just occurred to me once the thread started (and Gabriella has better knowledge/insight/familiarity/... etc then I can bring to this discussion) and I have generally been in favor of a decathlon for women.


I don't believe that women should be denied the opportunity to participate in the decathlon, especially in the Olympics, just because certain events are not aesthetically pleasing to certain spectators.


You seem to arguing with a non-existent conclusion (by me) that they should not do the decathlon; I never stated such a conclusion. Rather, why not discuss what the competition would look like, the pluses and minuses of doing the decathlon.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby ralmcg » Thu Feb 10, 2011 7:22 am

26mi235 wrote:
ralmcg wrote:
26mi235 wrote:
I think that there are likely to be a lot of 'ugly' vaults. For the men, even those doing only 4.00m are vaulting using normal form and almost all semi-world-class deca men (e.g., 7500) are vaulting closer to 4.50 or higher. Even after an adjustment/learning period, you will likely get a lot of 3m or even lower vaults and they rarely look 'normal' because the vaulting mechanics are different at that height. It is my impression that the JV is has the poorest mechanics and looks ugliest for the women's Hept -- the vault will likely make it look better in comparison.

This, of course, is just a guess and, as I said above, I have not thought through all of this, it just occurred to me once the thread started (and Gabriella has better knowledge/insight/familiarity/... etc then I can bring to this discussion) and I have generally been in favor of a decathlon for women.


I don't believe that women should be denied the opportunity to participate in the decathlon, especially in the Olympics, just because certain events are not aesthetically pleasing to certain spectators.


You seem to arguing with a non-existent conclusion (by me) that they should not do the decathlon; I never stated such a conclusion. Rather, why not discuss what the competition would look like, the pluses and minuses of doing the decathlon.


Others might discuss this better than me. But I would say that the "ugliness" of the competition is in the eye of the beholder. Also, even though you and I are in favor of women's decathlon, there were times when events were not deemed good for women to participate because of the excuse of the events not "pretty". One possible example on top of my head is the shot put since it requires strength.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby az2004 » Thu Feb 10, 2011 8:16 am

go watch a hs meet that has girls pv...

it's NOT even the same event as the elite female pv...

i think there'd be a huge variation in scores, with basic proficiency in pv needed to medal

how long would it take for hepsters to get acclimated to PV???

how loing is the transition period??

2016 rio??
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby James Fields » Thu Feb 10, 2011 10:54 am

Women's Decathlon has been in USA governing body rulebook (first TAC, later USATF) for 20 years although not in NCAA rulebook until 2006 -- but seemingly lacks a steady increase in the number of scheduled competition opportunities comparable to women's hammer, pole vault, and steeplechase during the same era.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby Gabriella » Fri Feb 11, 2011 2:31 am

There's no physical reason why women cannot do a decathlon like men, period. Thus the discussion is around whether the event should be introduced, how to convince stick-in-the-muds it's the way forward and how we do the transition.

The fact that women can (and have!) do decathlons answers the first question; it should be introduced at some point. How to convince opponents is always going to be tricky when a lot of elite heptathletes have spoken out against the event. A 28 yr old elite heptathlete at her peak is not going to want to do the decathlon, but a 28 yr old heptathlete is not the future. I would suggest the event is introduced from the 'bottom up', start with junior events and gradually phase senior events in, thus allowing the current crop of stars to peter out their careers in the heptathlon. It took a while for the TJ and PT to establish themselves but we get there eventually.

Re the 100mh/110mh, the reason for that is the height difference between men and women. However, the taller heptathletes do sometimes have trouble chopping their strides. Perhaps a 105mh for the women's multievents should be introduced :P
But they need the same events as the men per se, and in the same order.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby PCSExponent » Fri Feb 11, 2011 2:46 am

Gabriella wrote:Re the 100mh/110mh, the reason for that is the height difference between men and women. However, the taller heptathletes do sometimes have trouble chopping their strides.


Can you give any examples?
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby 26mi235 » Fri Feb 11, 2011 6:15 am

One issue about order is that it complicates doing men's and women's events at the same time. One solution is to start them offset either by a day or by several hours, but maybe it would work to have the intervals between events (hurdles) small). The questions are for the jav and discus where the same field is needed (getting multiple HJ pits is easier).
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby mump boy » Fri Feb 11, 2011 6:23 am

26mi235 wrote:One issue about order is that it complicates doing men's and women's events at the same time. One solution is to start them offset either by a day or by several hours, but maybe it would work to have the intervals between events (hurdles) small). The questions are for the jav and discus where the same field is needed (getting multiple HJ pits is easier).


why would you do them at the same time ?

it would be a logistical nightmare
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby ralmcg » Fri Feb 11, 2011 6:45 am

Gabriella wrote:There's no physical reason why women cannot do a decathlon like men, period. Thus the discussion is around whether the event should be introduced, how to convince stick-in-the-muds it's the way forward and how we do the transition.

The fact that women can (and have!) do decathlons answers the first question; it should be introduced at some point. How to convince opponents is always going to be tricky when a lot of elite heptathletes have spoken out against the event. A 28 yr old elite heptathlete at her peak is not going to want to do the decathlon, but a 28 yr old heptathlete is not the future. I would suggest the event is introduced from the 'bottom up', start with junior events and gradually phase senior events in, thus allowing the current crop of stars to peter out their careers in the heptathlon. It took a while for the TJ and PT to establish themselves but we get there eventually.

Re the 100mh/110mh, the reason for that is the height difference between men and women. However, the taller heptathletes do sometimes have trouble chopping their strides. Perhaps a 105mh for the women's multievents should be introduced :P
But they need the same events as the men per se, and in the same order.


Introducing the women's decathlon from the "bottom up" is well and good but there also needs to be a little push from the top down to get the ball rolling. The IOC and the IAAF should set a firm date for the introduction of the women's decathlon in the World Championships and the Olympics. I would suggest the 2016 Olympics but it might be too abrupt so I would certainly make the 2020 Olympics the starting date for women's decathlon. I would also suggest at least the 2019 World Championships as the introductory one for women's decathlon if not sooner.
ralmcg
 
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