If we don't get a few more people through the turnstiles tomorrow, I'll have to wonder if the anti-regional people aren't right. Man, according to dl and some others here, I figured we'd have SRO crowds!
For the first day of a two-day meet, on a workday afternoon, with school out of session, and most of the track finals on Saturday, and no meet tradition to draw upon, I'd say 1,246 is not bad at all. Let's see what happens Saturday if the weather is ok.
I agree with Steve. Tradition and interest among audiences and competitors can't be built by NOT having meets! Head to head competition in a regional venue may, over time, build a spectator base. Let's give it a chance.
The University of Texas website says attendance at yesterday's Midwest Regional prelims in Nebraska was 2,130.
I oppose the new format. It's unnecessary. It makes the national meet even longer with 40% increased field -- with lesser talents -- a drain on us fans in the stands. I'm not convinced the format will increase attendance, or else cross-country regionals & nationals would be packed to the gills. BETTER MARKETING for the sport would help. But I'm more than willing to change my tune if the format somehow manages to pack the stands!
I was there for the prelims, actually got there 3 hours early because I had this idea there be this long line, and a packed parking lot. I could have played chicken in the parking lot. Could the 10.00 admittance been a turn off, or the fact the OSU was playing Auburn at the baseball field been a factor? Saw some great track, some records broke, weather great Friday, sucked Saturday.
No coverage at all in the local newsaper in the southwest part of the state.
I went to NCAA champs last year. I was VERY peeved to see the regional baseball champs -- packed stadium -- right across the street from our national track meet, with far more humble attendance. I don't think universities should host more than one regional or national competition -- in any sport -- per weekend.
>The University of Texas website says attendance
>at yesterday's Midwest Regional prelims in
>Nebraska was 2,130.
I oppose the new format.
>It's unnecessary. It makes the national meet even
>longer with 40% increased field -- with lesser
>talents -- a drain on us fans in the stands.
I agree. Plus, as we all know, track isn't exactly the most popular sport in the country. Because of this, IMO, the focus of the NCAA should be getting the best talent to the NCAA Championships -- one of the jewel events of American track and field. With this regional format, a top sprinter can stub a toe coming out of the blocks and not make it to the nationals. Everything is on the line at these regionals. If -- IF -- this suspense generated significant interest (fans in the stands), I'd be more inclined to support the format. Since it is not generating interest and likely never will, I think and hope the NCAA ditches this format ASAP.
>I agree. Plus, as we all
>know, track isn't exactly the most popular sport
>in the country. Because of this, IMO, the focus
>of the NCAA should be getting the best talent to
>the NCAA Championships -- one of the jewel events
>of American track and field. With this regional
>format, a top sprinter can stub a toe coming out
>of the blocks and not make it to the nationals.
>Everything is on the line at these regionals.
>If -- IF -- this suspense generated significant
>t interest (fans in the stands), I'd be more
>inclined to support the format. Since it is not
>generating interest and likely never will, I
>think and hope the NCAA ditches this format ASAP.
Is the goal to get just the best talent or give more athletes a chance to compete at the NCAA Championships? Who is this meet for anyway - the fans or the athletes? If you're one of the elites then regionals is a pain, but one can argue that if you can't get the job done when a spot in the Championships is on the line then you're not deserving anyway.
Plus, who is more deserving to run at the NCAA Championships - somebody who places 15th at Mt. Sac in mid-April, but is "hoovered" to a fast time or a person with a slower time that takes top 5 at regionals at the end of May? Nick Willis of Michigan is a great example. He only has the 35th best time this year in the 1500. Do you think he doesn't belong? Under the old time trial system he wouldn't have qualified.
The old system favors the big programs who have the bodies and funds to get their athletes qualified (remember Brannen pacing Webb and vice versa last year so each could get qualifiers) Is this what you want to go back to? The new regional system isn't perfect, but at least more athletes have a chance. Just like the NCAA basketball tournament, there will be some upsets along the way, but eventually the cream always rises to the top. This year's NCAAs will probably be the same. Give it a chance.
>With this regional
>format, a top sprinter can stub a toe coming out
>of the blocks and not make it to the nationals.
Bull. There's a safety net for such flameouts. Purdue's 4x100 and LSU's Lolo Jones will still be there. As for the complaint of all-or-nothing, aren't the semis at the NCAA meet the same thing? Yet no coaches are ready to eliminate that system. Furthermore, upsets are part of sports. No one reasonably believes that the Final Four generally features the four best college basketball teams, or the Superbowl matches up the NFL's two best teams.
For those who think the old system was better, I believe that they would only be happy if the NCAA championships were scored purely by the national list, and we canceled the meet entirely. That certainly would be less expensive, save wear and tear on athletes, and not conflict with the USATF championships!
The poor attendance was due to Ohio State not promoting the event. The only promotion I saw was one poster inside the stadium, a place unlikely to drum up additional attendance. There were no results in Saturday's Columbus Dispatch (but there was an article in which several coaches whined about regionals, not good for attendance) and Sunday's paper had literally no coverage whatsoever. OSU did nothing to get either press or fans into the stands; when the Buckeyes did well there was literally no response from the crowd.
Ultimately, responsibility for promoting the meet rests with the NCAA. Ohio State wants to bid for the NCAA championship meet; the poor support they gave this meet shows us that they don't really care about track -- so the NCAA should not reward the Buckeyes with a big meet when they can't put on a small meet well.
I will say one thing in OSU's defense; the weather was unusually poor. A friend was going to come out to the meet with his two small children, but thought better of it when faced with temperatures below 50, high winds, and rain.
this why i dont like the regionals meet. perfect example natasha mayers she was ranked one of the top three in the nation and gets hurt at regionals. now she gonna go into nationals and lose to muna lee and be tellin herself she could have won if she was healthy. many of top athletes were gettin hurt at regionals. aslo many of the best relays in the country were fouling up there relays and may not get into nationals because there are letting in teams like BYU and cal state fullerton.
I don't think even the most fervent backer of the concept thinks there's a Magic Regionals Wand that can be waved and suddenly people are breaking the doors down to get into collegiate track meets. We've got decades of mismanagement of the sport to undo here, and the process is going to be a long one (if it works at all).
The attendance numbers at the Regionals are irrelevant. We have to hope that in time it's going to improve (and as the previous poster said, in a relatiave sense, maybe Ohio State already was an improvement). But the big benefit we hope to see is an improved product on the field of play during the whole season. In this case the journey is as important as the destination.
Bull. There's a
>safety net for such flameouts. Purdue's 4x100
>and LSU's Lolo Jones will still be there.
You are referring to the at-large berths, I suppose. Since we do have the at-large berths, why have this meet in the first place? To generate intererst in track? Fat chance. I don't believe it will ever do that. Is it to give lesser track athletes a chance to pull a Cinderella upset -- a la the NCAA hoops tourney? Track's version of the 10th seed beating the 7th seed? Who gives a darn about that -- other than some lower-ranked athlete who has no chance at the NCAAs in the first place? Again, this meet is a waste of money and time -- and a chance for an elite athlete to hurt him/herself.
>the complaint of all-or-nothing, aren't the semis
>at the NCAA meet the same thing?
Yes, but at least this takes place at the national meet, which is where IMO college track's emphasis should be.
For those who think the old system was
>better, I believe that they would only be happy
>if the NCAA championships were scored purely by
>the national list, and we canceled the meet
Oh I'm sure everybody who cares about track and field would love that idea. Now that would really be great for the sport. Yes, that's what I'm calling for.
The poor attendance was due to
>Ohio State not promoting the event. The only
>promotion I saw was one poster inside the
>stadium, a place unlikely to drum up additional
That was the only reason for low attendance? What about America's apathy towards the sport -- save for every four years at the Olympics? And what about the NCAA baseball regional?
Track is a passion for us on this board. Unfortunately, we are a small minority in this country. THAT'S why attendance was low.
There were no results in Saturday's
>Columbus Dispatch (but there was an article in
>which several coaches whined about regionals,
>not good for attendance) and Sunday's paper had
>literally no coverage whatsoever.
Plus, their website is a pay site. Boo!
>the poor support they gave this meet shows
>us that they don't really care about track --
I thought you said the reason for the poor attendance was lack of promotion.
And what about attendance at the other sites? Were they any better?
In Ohio you weren't really up against baseball so much as you were up against the HIGH SCHOOL regional meets. The people at the baseball game aren't going to be at a track meet under any circumstances (by and large), but the people who might have come had already been to a meet that day or the day before. Give it time and bring the ticket prices down and bit and you can make it work.
>Put the final day on Sunday and you have a better chance to draw the high school athletes/parents/fans who were at their local
high school meets.<
It's my understanding that BYU and perhaps some bible-based schools in the South and elsewhere refuse to compete on Sundays. They could tell these schools that what they do on Sundays is up to them, but the NCAA (like other sports organizations in this country) will have competition when it makes economic sense. But instead they just shoot track in the foot by avoiding Sunday competition.
>understanding that BYU and perhaps some
>bible-based schools in the South and elsewhere
>refuse to compete on Sundays. They could tell
>these schools that what they do on Sundays is up
>to them, but the NCAA (like other sports
>organizations in this country) will have
>competition when it makes economic sense. But
>instead they just shoot track in the foot by
>avoiding Sunday competition.
Funny thing about these religious types--most of them will find some way to grant an exception when they have little choice.
Organized religion is a business.
>In Ohio you weren't really up against baseball so
>much as you were up against the HIGH SCHOOL
Exactly. While I was fortunate to attend the meet, several of the local officials and volunteer workers huddled around the radio at one tent and listend to the Ohio State baseball game. I don't think they were too interested in the track meet itself.
On another note, I thought the officials did a great job considering the weather conditions and it seems as though they were prepared for everything. You can tell Ohio State wants to host the national meet as the stadium announcer would boast "what outstanding facilities" and "what an outstanding officials" the Buckeyes have. They must have stated that at least 3-4 times on both days.
It's easy to criticize the regional system since this is the first year. I'm sure there will be some changes in the near future and it will be for the best of the sport. Let's just hope those changes are for the better in the long run. Remember, nothing is ever going to be perfect for everyone.
You're joking when you say you'd like to see the NCAA meet canceled in favor of scoring based on the national list. But truly, that is just about the way some Div. I coaches think. I work as a sports journalist--can't say where; company policy bars us from commenting on topics like this without first informing the boss--and there are Div. I head coaches who will tell you, and fervently believe, that "competition is bad for athletes."
Be that as it may, I don't see how our sport can attract more fans with a format that isn't based on competition, by which I mean the old, auto and provisional qualifying standards setup.
I attended a Regional last weekend. The marks weren't always the greatest, but the competition was thrilling... because there was something real on the line.
>>For those who think the old system was
>>better, I believe that they would only be happy
>>if the NCAA championships were scored purely by
>>the national list, and we canceled the meet
>Oh I'm sure everybody who cares about track >and field would love that idea. Now that
>would really be great for the sport. Yes, that's >what I'm calling for.
Story by John Crumpacker in the San Francisco Chronicle about Regionals last week echoed the no-comp mindset. Here's a quote from Stanford discus thrower Oman Inan:
<<"To be honest, I liked the other format because it gave you less meets to target for," said Inan, who has a discus best of 194 feet. "But then again, I love to compete, so it's exciting. It's another chance for me to go against these good throwers in the Pac-10.">>
Would seem that even though Inan likes to throw (never met a thrower who wouldn't throw in a meet just about every day if you gave him the chance), he has been brainwashed into thinking that he should only really think about a couple of meets a year. But maybe I'm putting words into his mouth. Coupled with the foregoing though, I don't think so.