Women to compete in decathlon?


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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.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby Powell » Fri Feb 11, 2011 7:05 am

mump boy wrote:
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


I guess we are talking about multis-only events, like Gotzis or European Cup, where it can't be avoided.

A simple solution would be to have a different order of events for the women. Say, keep the 1500 at the end (not a good idea to have it on day 1), but otherwise switch the events between day 1 and day 2. The program for the women would thus be 100H-DT-PV-JT-400-100-LJ-SP-HJ-1500.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby az2004 » Fri Feb 11, 2011 8:16 am

olympic history would be very different if a 90 H was the distance..

i think the JUNIOR level is where you'd start...

say 2014 for example...then the senior level at 2020

current colege hepsters might want to hang around..

theisen is 22, so would be 31 by then almost an oldster..

krais is only 20 still, so she'd just have turned 30..

the option is throw them in the deep end and see what happens
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby Powell » Fri Feb 11, 2011 8:42 am

az2004 wrote:i think the JUNIOR level is where you'd start...

say 2014 for example...then the senior level at 2020


OK, so you're 19 years old in 2014, you win the world junior title in the decathlon, and then have to forget about PV and DT for the next 5 years? Doesn't make much sense to me.

IMO you should give plenty of advance warning - at least 5 years, possibly even closer to 10 - but once they switch, they ought to switch to decathlon at all levels of competition.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby DecFan » Fri Feb 11, 2011 1:01 pm

Powell wrote:IMO you should give plenty of advance warning - at least 5 years, possibly even closer to 10 - but once they switch, they ought to switch to decathlon at all levels of competition.


I think this is on the right track, but I would still phase it in over a brief period of time, in the middle of the Olympic cycle: 2018 World Junior Championships, 2019 World Championships, 2020 OG. In this scenario, the 2018 Europeans would be the last major heptathlon championship.

An announcement this year would not affect any present heptathletes in a major championship for 8 years. Younger athletes would have plenty of time to adapt.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby ralmcg » Sun Feb 13, 2011 12:47 pm

The IAAF should announce the replacement of the women's heptathlon with the women's decathlon, hopefully this year. They should say this is the way forward for equality between men and women in track and field.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby El Toro » Sun Feb 13, 2011 11:57 pm

I don't know how many of you have actually coached combined events and pole vault - it seems not too many. While, as somebody noted, there is no reason women physically couldn't do a decathlon, you really wouldn't like the outcome.

The heptathlon (and decathlon) currently have very little depth worldwide let alone within each country. If it is hard enough to get females with runner physiques to commit to 7 events, think how hard it will be to recruit women with the additional superstructure required for competent pole vaulting. Especially given that if a woman can handle the pole vault she may as well exploit the poor depth in PV and have the potential to earn some money or just be local or national champion.

I don't want to see WC finals with the 8 women worldwide good enough to avoid mockery in pole vault just for the sake of gender purity. Even worse, I don't think anybody wants to watch national titles where the HJ standards are brought out to ensure somebody can clear a height - it's bad enough watching men below international standard. I think some of you underestimate just how much talent you need to be competent in ten events. There is not much of it about.

The decathlon will also compound the inequities between rich and poor nations, where the latter may be able to support the simple needs of a heptathlete but will not have the resources to be able to add PV to the equation. You can already see this effect in PV itself.

As for the order of events, the current WDec is ordered to avoid clashes with MDec so that they can both be run over the same two days. There is no need to go proposing new solutions to a problem that has been solved.

In case you think my views arise from not wanting women to run more than 200m to protect their fertility, I fully endorse realistic heights for both hurdles
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby ralmcg » Mon Feb 14, 2011 7:57 am

El Toro wrote:I don't know how many of you have actually coached combined events and pole vault - it seems not too many. While, as somebody noted, there is no reason women physically couldn't do a decathlon, you really wouldn't like the outcome.

The heptathlon (and decathlon) currently have very little depth worldwide let alone within each country. If it is hard enough to get females with runner physiques to commit to 7 events, think how hard it will be to recruit women with the additional superstructure required for competent pole vaulting. Especially given that if a woman can handle the pole vault she may as well exploit the poor depth in PV and have the potential to earn some money or just be local or national champion.

I don't want to see WC finals with the 8 women worldwide good enough to avoid mockery in pole vault just for the sake of gender purity. Even worse, I don't think anybody wants to watch national titles where the HJ standards are brought out to ensure somebody can clear a height - it's bad enough watching men below international standard. I think some of you underestimate just how much talent you need to be competent in ten events. There is not much of it about.

The decathlon will also compound the inequities between rich and poor nations, where the latter may be able to support the simple needs of a heptathlete but will not have the resources to be able to add PV to the equation. You can already see this effect in PV itself.

As for the order of events, the current WDec is ordered to avoid clashes with MDec so that they can both be run over the same two days. There is no need to go proposing new solutions to a problem that has been solved.

In case you think my views arise from not wanting women to run more than 200m to protect their fertility, I fully endorse realistic heights for both hurdles


You have some interesting points. However saying that the talent pool of women athletes was too shallow was probably an excuse some people used to deny women the opportunity to compete. If given the opportunity to compete the talent pool for women decathletes should in time be deeper than it is now.

As for the gap between rich and poor countries as a result of introducing the pole vault, one way of lessening the gap is for the IAAF to use some of the money it has and invest in pole vault equipment for each country who needs it. Not all clubs will have pole vault equipment and there are some issues about women competing in some countries but lacking pole vault and other track and field equipment should not be an excuse for not competing in the women's decathlon if there is money and it is spent wisely.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby az2004 » Mon Feb 14, 2011 8:10 am

as a general rule, i think ANY male sport has more depth than any FEMALE sport..

i'm all for feamle sports, but in the usa. college legislation has been the boon for females...

it's very rare to see a female revenue bearing sport, it's the exception rather than the rule..

still, i'm all in favor for advancement..

for track, take the top 100 lists an look at the variation from male to female sport..

the pv is a special sport, as in the specialist version, it's still an emerging sport..

and the pv for men, seems LESS deep than other events...

i do think starting in 2014 at world juniors is where i'd start..

the question becomes, do you do 2015 beijng at the first senior level..

i'd hate to do 2016 rio, and olympics game as an experiment..

maybe 2017 and 2019 worlds..

2014 JUNIORS, the number of them actually being able to make 2016, it's the exceptional junior who could in 2 years
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby ralmcg » Tue Feb 15, 2011 9:43 am

I have read many excuses, potential or otherwise, for not having the women's decathlon at the World Championships and at the Olympics, e.g. the talent pool is too shallow, it will be too disruptive for present heptathletes, there is no national championships for women's decathlon. In my opinion it all boils down to the lack of will on the part of the national athletic federations and the IAAF to cause women's decathlon to go forward. Instead of waiting for the athletes and federations to make things happen why can't the IAAF lead and decide on a defininte date for the women's decathlon to be part of the World Championships. But to make it more palable for current athletes the first WC with women's decathlon should not occur until 2019, which should be plenty of time for women to train for decathlon instead of the heptathlon. Also women's decathlon should be introduced at the 2020 Olympics.

On second thought being too disruptive for present heptathletes is an excuse for not having the women's decathlon at the World Championships and the Olympics, at least in the near future. However, it should not be an excuse for the future.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby 26mi235 » Tue Feb 15, 2011 11:05 am

ralmcg wrote:I have read many excuses, potential or otherwise, for not having the women's decathlon at the World Championships and at the Olympics, e.g. ..


I take exception to this. Having a discussion of the issues and pointing out that there are problematic aspects of going to the decathlon is not "excuses..." To whom am I making excuses and for what am I making excuses.

You have a conclusion but no debate (in this post), just the strong statement that others with other opinions or even thoughts about some of the downsides are 'making excuses'. Most of the time the 'pro' positions seem to be unwilling to actually discuss this (there are exceptions, and some have discussion in some posts and just conclusions in others).
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby ralmcg » Tue Feb 15, 2011 12:05 pm

26mi235 wrote:
ralmcg wrote:I have read many excuses, potential or otherwise, for not having the women's decathlon at the World Championships and at the Olympics, e.g. ..


I take exception to this. Having a discussion of the issues and pointing out that there are problematic aspects of going to the decathlon is not "excuses..." To whom am I making excuses and for what am I making excuses.

You have a conclusion but no debate (in this post), just the strong statement that others with other opinions or even thoughts about some of the downsides are 'making excuses'. Most of the time the 'pro' positions seem to be unwilling to actually discuss this (there are exceptions, and some have discussion in some posts and just conclusions in others).


I will give you that there are some problems with going the decathlon route e.g. gap between rich and poor countries, lack of depth of competitors. I hope these problems will be seen as challenges to be solved.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby lonewolf » Tue Feb 15, 2011 12:15 pm

"If you build it they will come>"
If the decathlon is added cold turkey to women's T&F, the athletes will come and improve over time. I don't think we are obligated to preserve the status quo for current athletes or worry about how many women (of out millions/billions) have the ideal body type to be decathletes.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby ralmcg » Mon Mar 12, 2012 6:45 am

It's been a while since anybody was posting on this topic. I want to ask the people on this board whether or not a multi-event contest with the pole vault is inferior to one without it. If so, then the women's decathlon, with the pole vault, should replace the heptathlon as the women's premier multi-event contest in track and field. Related to this question could you see Nataliya Dobrynska, Tatyana Chernova, and Jessica Ennis pole vault. With the proper training and talent I could see them do a decent pole vault. They don't have to vault four meters in order to be called decent.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby Marlow » Mon Mar 12, 2012 10:25 am

ralmcg wrote:the women's decathlon, with the pole vault, should replace the heptathlon as the women's premier multi-event contest in track and field.

I've been saying this for over 10 years!!!! The reason it isn't happening is because there are too many 'have-not' countries (with IAAF voting cards) that don't think they can keep up with the 'haves' in terms of resources to support the PV being added.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby ralmcg » Mon Mar 12, 2012 10:52 am

Marlow wrote:
ralmcg wrote:the women's decathlon, with the pole vault, should replace the heptathlon as the women's premier multi-event contest in track and field.

I've been saying this for over 10 years!!!! The reason it isn't happening is because there are too many 'have-not' countries (with IAAF voting cards) that don't think they can keep up with the 'haves' in terms of resources to support the PV being added.

Which begs the question. If the "have-not" countries can't support the pole vault why didn't they introduce and vote on the pole vault being removed from the men's multi-event?
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby Marlow » Mon Mar 12, 2012 12:25 pm

ralmcg wrote:Which begs the question. If the "have-not" countries can't support the pole vault why didn't they introduce and vote on the pole vault being removed from the men's multi-event?
Over 100 years of tradition creates too much inertia to overcome. Inertia is also what's keeping the Hep from becoming the Dec. Hidebound Neanderthals don't like change.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby ralmcg » Mon Mar 12, 2012 12:53 pm

If lack of resources is the only thing that prevents some countries from voting for the change from heptathlon to decathlon then maybe a "sweetner" such as financial and coaching aid could persuade them. It has to be announced publicly before the vote so as not to be seen as an irregularity.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby Fortius19 » Mon Mar 12, 2012 4:05 pm

Speaking of 100 years, since this year is the centenial of the decathlon as we know it, it would have been great if some forward thinking people in charge set up the first Oly Women's Deca for London.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby Gabriella » Tue Mar 13, 2012 2:30 am

I don't think anything's changed since we started this thread. I'd like to see the dectahlon for women introduced for the 2020 Olympics. I think the IAAF should give advanced notice now of the introduction of this event after 2016. That's roughly 5 years advance warning.

This notion that countries don't have the facilities doesn't hold IMO as the men have the decathlon and both sexes compete in the PV.

The women demonstrated brilliantly in Istanbul they can cope with 5 events in one day. The men may still have a 2 day competition indoors, but the women's programme, having the LJ as the 4th event just before the 800m, is very taxing.

There has been some discussion around whether the female multieventer will change from a speed/jump type women to one with a stronger upper body, to cope with the additional throw and PV. Well, maybe, but it's still a speed/jump event, that's where the points lie, and you have to have athleticism and gymnastic ability to compete in the decathlon. I just think the decathlon will be fairer in terms of both (a) sexual equality and (b) determining the best all-rounder. Athletes like Shouua, Braun, Turchinskaya, Skujyte and Dobrynska have all 'lost' points due to the weighting on the 100mh/LJ/200m, whereas hopefully the DT may even things out a little more. I know the decathlon still favours the 100/LJ guys, but there's no hiding in the PV and DT.

One last thing. I dont like the current order of the women's decathlon, which switches the middle 3 events:

Women
Day 1: 100m/ DT/ PV/ JT/400
Day 2: 100mh/ LJ/ SP/ HJ/ 1500

Men
Day 1: 100m/LJ/ SP/ HJ/ 400
Day 2: 110mh/ DT/ PV/ JT/ 1500


The events where you have a strict stride pattern (all bold) are distributed better and more evenly in the mens order, whereas in the womens they are lumped together more. (the JT stride pattern is different to the LJ or HJ where you have to hit an exact mark)
My preference is for it to fit the same pattern as the men's event, mainly so it is as close as possible to being the same event.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby Norm Balke » Tue Mar 13, 2012 3:34 am

This has been a problem for me for a long time. I think it hits at a lot of levels:

1. ALL EVENTS the same for men and women! With the differences in weights of implements, of course. I can't speak to the 100H/110H difference - is it athlete height and that's why 10m shorter?

2. Why the foot dragging? I seem to remember this issue coming up YEARS ago! It is what track coaches are good at - ducking and dodging. Things are good now - why change? Why do we have so few scoring meets? Things are good - don't change. They don't care if the sport is rotting on the vine. It's no coincidence that the popularity of tnf has declined as the number of scored meets as increased over the years.

3. Why is track and field struggling? Too much confusion. My daughter does multi-events, and many's the time I have to explain what a pentathlon or heptathlon is. Many more people know what a decathlon is. The constant explaining yourself if you are involved with track and field:

1975
"You had a meet last night, how did it go?"
"We beat West High 105-104, came down to the last event."
"Cool, nice job!"

2012
"You had a meet last night, how did it go?"
"Uh well, it went alright, it wasn't scored and we had a couple guys train through and we got a few firsts, and ..."
(other person zones out)

If you never have to win or lose, you can spin your program any way you want!

More confusion: True story: One of my kids was watching a WC with the events he like the most were: PV, HT, JT, TJ. Sorry, kid, you can't do those things, we don't have them in Iowa, here go shuffle your feet with this soccer ball in backyard. There is no uniformity with the sport nationwide. If you go watch the NCAA basketball this week, every court is 94 feet, every hoop is 10', every ball is the same size, etc, etc. NO confusion.

IN track and field some states do this, some states do that, some conferences do other things.

I am rambling and hitting on a lot of subjects. To sum up:

If I ran the zoo, the "warning" for women's dec would be as follows: hept is DEAD by 2014, NCAA event in 2014, WC 2015, Olympic event 2016. The current heptathletes would need to adjust, and I'm sure that the majority would do fine! Same events as men BTW!!!!!!!!
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby ralmcg » Thu Mar 15, 2012 6:35 am

Norm Balke wrote:This has been a problem for me for a long time. I think it hits at a lot of levels:

1. ALL EVENTS the same for men and women! With the differences in weights of implements, of course. I can't speak to the 100H/110H difference - is it athlete height and that's why 10m shorter?

2. Why the foot dragging? I seem to remember this issue coming up YEARS ago! It is what track coaches are good at - ducking and dodging. Things are good now - why change? Why do we have so few scoring meets? Things are good - don't change. They don't care if the sport is rotting on the vine. It's no coincidence that the popularity of tnf has declined as the number of scored meets as increased over the years.

3. Why is track and field struggling? Too much confusion. My daughter does multi-events, and many's the time I have to explain what a pentathlon or heptathlon is. Many more people know what a decathlon is. The constant explaining yourself if you are involved with track and field:

1975
"You had a meet last night, how did it go?"
"We beat West High 105-104, came down to the last event."
"Cool, nice job!"

2012
"You had a meet last night, how did it go?"
"Uh well, it went alright, it wasn't scored and we had a couple guys train through and we got a few firsts, and ..."
(other person zones out)

If you never have to win or lose, you can spin your program any way you want!

More confusion: True story: One of my kids was watching a WC with the events he like the most were: PV, HT, JT, TJ. Sorry, kid, you can't do those things, we don't have them in Iowa, here go shuffle your feet with this soccer ball in backyard. There is no uniformity with the sport nationwide. If you go watch the NCAA basketball this week, every court is 94 feet, every hoop is 10', every ball is the same size, etc, etc. NO confusion.

IN track and field some states do this, some states do that, some conferences do other things.

I am rambling and hitting on a lot of subjects. To sum up:

If I ran the zoo, the "warning" for women's dec would be as follows: hept is DEAD by 2014, NCAA event in 2014, WC 2015, Olympic event 2016. The current heptathletes would need to adjust, and I'm sure that the majority would do fine! Same events as men BTW!!!!!!!!


I don't think that the IAAF would vote for it to be that early for the women's decathlon to be the women's multi-eventer in the major meets. However, I believe that there should be a decision by the IAAF on the timing for the women's decathlon to be the major women's multi-eventer and it should be done sooner rather than later, preferably the decision should be made in 2012.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby nianchengyu » Fri Apr 06, 2012 6:14 am

wow,if women change to dec,there are fewer chances for them to participate in individuals,and much more work to do,why not hold the women special instead of looking equally to men everywhere?women definitely can do dec,but you know how many pen stars to be forgotten by people before 1980,there are no detail records about pen such as indivi marks instead of marks only which has little meanings espicially scores changed several times in that time?
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby ralmcg » Mon May 28, 2012 12:07 pm

I notice something. When the main women's multi-event changed from the pentathlon to the heptathon in the early 1980's women were competing in all the events that made up the decathlon (substituting the 100mH for the 110mH) except the pole vault. Why didn't the IAAF and the IOC make a 9-event competition instead of a 7-event competition? Did they feel that women were too week to do nine events, including a 1500 meter run? If that was done in the 1980's then I believe it would have been easier to add just one more event, the pole vault, to the women's multi-event in the 2000's. Just an observation.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby ralmcg » Mon May 28, 2012 4:43 pm

The Hypomeeting in Gotzis, Austria, had me thinking. How about an international women's decathlon meet in the United States. The stadium doesn't have to be big and it could be held in a small town (Gotzis, Austria has a population of around 10,500), provided that there is access to a superhighway. The organizer could invite top heptathletes, perhaps by telling them that they could try new challenges especially the pole vault, the discus, and the 1500 meters. The idea might sound crazy but I bet that having a multi-event competition in little Gotzis sounded crazy the first time it was proposed.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby Fortius19 » Mon May 28, 2012 5:23 pm

I thought they tried that in Eugene a few years back and apparently never happened.
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Re:

Postby aaronk » Mon May 28, 2012 6:18 pm

hammer forever wrote:maybe USA Prez Hillary can get us sensible health insurance AND a decathlon for women.... :P


I'm sure you meant "USA Prez SARAH P.", right??
I mean, she's a gen-u-ine athlete, and as serious a runner as any politician!!
(Ran 1:46:10 in Iowa Half-Mar last Sept 4, 2nd in age group. Also ran full Mar in 2005 in 3:59:36. ANDDDD.......named her first born son TRACK......after the sport!!!)

That said, on to the Dec for women!!!

YES! YES! YES!!
They went from 5 to 7 events, can go to 10!!
Same events as men, except for 100H vs 110's, and keep women's weights!!
Keep the 1500!!
Also, just as with men, Jrs should have Jr weights, etc.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby Marlow » Mon May 28, 2012 6:27 pm

ralmcg wrote:How about an international women's decathlon meet in the United States.

There HAVE been Decs in the USA and overseas.
I believe the AR is 7577 by Tiffany Lott in 2000 and the WR is 8366 by Austra Skujytė in 2005.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby ralmcg » Fri Jun 01, 2012 4:35 am

An article about heptathlon scoring made me think. Since there is little record of women's decathlon events if there is a revisied scoring system then the women's decathlon is a good place to start. One idea on how to make a new scoring table is in order to get 1000 points in a single event the time or distance must be at least "A" standard. I know that the IAAF standards for qualifying for a major championships or the Olympics are not perfect but we have to start somewhere. The 1000 points in a single event should be awarded only for a world-class performance.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby 26mi235 » Fri Jun 01, 2012 8:43 am

Not necessarily a good way to work and possibly largely irrelevant. What matters is the 'gradient', not the absolute points. You could give 2000 points for a good SP (e.g., 15m) and make the SP irrelevant by getting 10 more points for each meter because everyone would get about 2000 points.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby ralmcg » Fri Jun 01, 2012 9:28 am

Here is an interview with Toni Minichiello, coach of Jessica Ennis, done last year which is relevant to the discussion about the women's decathlon. It can be found at http://www.decathlon2000.com/eng/3176/women-decathlon-interview-with-tony-minichiello--coach-of-jessica-ennis. I don't agree that any "beauty" would be lost by the changeover from the heptathlon to the decathlon. The difference of daily events in the men's and women's decathlon shouldn't be a problem. It won't be a problem in the Olympics and the World Championships since the men's decathlon will be on separate dates from the women's decathlon and the women's decathlon can use the same order of events as the men's decathlon. Also there can be women only decathlon meets.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby ralmcg » Fri Jun 01, 2012 9:49 am

26mi235 wrote:Not necessarily a good way to work and possibly largely irrelevant. What matters is the 'gradient', not the absolute points. You could give 2000 points for a good SP (e.g., 15m) and make the SP irrelevant by getting 10 more points for each meter because everyone would get about 2000 points.


I'll give you the notion that the 'gradient' is what matter. Having said that, I would still like the 1000-point mark in each event to be one not so easily achieved, so as to show a mark of a true world-class athlete in that event at least.

Speaking of scoring the decathlon there is a paper on the fairness of scoring the heptathlon and some alternative scoring systems that I would like you and others to read. It can be found at http://www.open.ou.nl/wim/publicationspdf/Women's%20heptathlon.pdf.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby Norm Balke » Fri Jun 01, 2012 10:31 am

I wish I'd never read the article by Ennis's coach. What a joke. Typical "I got mine, screw everyone else" approach that many track coaches have. Good grief, give it a 3-4 year head start and those that are still in the game can adjust, and any new talent can get started. Esthetics? Body type? Resources? Old-time sexism.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby ralmcg » Fri Jun 01, 2012 11:15 am

I found some more tidbits about Mr. Minichiello at http://www.ifacscotland.co.uk/event-information/speakers/toni-minichiello. If he really believes in the "no boundaries" approach to coaching then he shouldn't really care if Jessica Ennis does the decathlon, "beautiful" or not. In fact, if he can't train her in pole vault or the discus, he should find coaches who can, like her javelin coach Mike Hill.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby ralmcg » Sat Jun 02, 2012 1:39 pm

I did a calculation of Jessica Ennis's possible decathlon score based on her personal bests in the individual heptathlon events and the 100 meters plus numbers for other events based on numbers I think she should make. The possible decathlon marks and scores are as follows:

100m: 11.85 sec.: 981 points
Long Jump: 6.51 m.: 1010 points
Shot Put: 14.67 m.: 839 points
High Jump: 1.95 m.: 1171 points
400m: 52.79 sec.: 1014 points
100mH: 13.86 sec.: 998 points
Discus Throw: 43.29 m.: 718 points
Pole Vault: 2.95 m.: 544 points
Javelin Throw: 47.11 m.: 804 points
1500m: 4:58.27 min.: 838 points

Her total would be 8917 points. That would be a world record if she actually performed those marks.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby 26mi235 » Sat Jun 02, 2012 6:55 pm

Hard for her to do that 13 in the hurdles after the first day, topped with a 52.

On the other hand, given her speed, her long jumping and high jumping and hurdling, she should go well over 3 meters. I see a lot of lesser athletes doing 3.50.
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