high jump history questions


Forum devoted to track & field items of an historical nature.

Re: high jump history questions

Postby dj » Sat Mar 30, 2013 9:26 am

jhc68 wrote:Anyway, the article described how Faust would have marathon workouts wherein his goal was to clear 6'6" fifty times without missing. Somehow he had decided that if he could do that then he should be able to jump 7'6" once (the logic of this equation was never clear to me, nor probably anyone else beyond Joe Faust.)


the jumper's equivalent of LSD (long slow distance)?
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Re: high jump history questions

Postby jhc68 » Mon Apr 01, 2013 9:13 am

Yeah, the logic is the same: Practice jumping/running at low/slow levels of ht./pace and expect to jump/run much higher/faster in a competition... I could never quite grasp the rationale.
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Re: high jump history questions

Postby kuha » Mon Apr 01, 2013 9:54 am

jhc68 wrote:Yeah, the logic is the same: Practice jumping/running at low/slow levels of ht./pace and expect to jump/run much higher/faster in a competition... I could never quite grasp the rationale.


Yes. Lots of practice jumps definitely increased strength, but the danger was that repetition would encourage bad (or lazy) habits rather than the best ones. And, pretty obviously, repeatedly clearing a bar 6" (or whatever) below your best did nothing for the massive psychological barrier of PR-type heights.
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Re: high jump history questions

Postby JayIsMe » Thu Apr 25, 2013 3:44 pm

I was looking through the Penn Relays historical gallery link on the front page and came across this from the 1910 high jump- exactly what style was this guy using? Oh, and note the hanky tied to the bar.

http://hdl.library.upenn.edu/1017/d/arc ... 0100706022
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Re: high jump history questions

Postby Jackaloupe » Thu Apr 25, 2013 5:31 pm

It's possible he's using the now ancient Eastern Roll[(Corr, per Per below, Cut Off, which I misstated thinking of Western Roll, a "tuck"], where you end up a bit like PV as your body turns around. However, that Right Arm cocked at the hip is reminiscent of Ernie Shelton's classic Straddle: I picked up that nuance from one of the old Loops TFN sold in the 50s. It keeps the torso turning. Were this the case, it would've been a right leg takeoff, from the right side; that is, from the "inside" leg, as opposed to the outside leg TO currently employed.

As for the speculation above, from much earlier, that they would've spaced the Standards wider to counteract bar sag: It's the opposite! Think about it: the more unsupported weight (of the bar) the more it sags. Now that I think of it, a turning style like the Eastern Roll could take advantage of sag in the middle, as the body need not stretch out full length.
Last edited by Jackaloupe on Thu Apr 25, 2013 10:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: high jump history questions

Postby Per Andersen » Thu Apr 25, 2013 9:47 pm

JayIsMe wrote:I was looking through the Penn Relays historical gallery link on the front page and came across this from the 1910 high jump- exactly what style was this guy using? Oh, and note the hanky tied to the bar.

http://hdl.library.upenn.edu/1017/d/arc ... 0100706022

It seems like a rather ragged version of the Eastern cut-off. He is jumping away from us.

As Jackaloupe says it can almost remind one of a Pole Vault clearance. But it would not have looked like that had we seen him earlier in the jump. In the photo he is just about clear of the bar.
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Re: high jump history questions

Postby jhc68 » Fri May 03, 2013 8:26 pm

Stumbled on this tonight, a fabulous sequence of stills showing Bob Avant jumping somewhere with an LA Striders singlet. Anyone who curious about Avant's unique (but, I think, probably very efficient) technique will want to see this.
You can see why people who saw Avant jump have such a difficult time describing what he was doing. But you can also see that with the bent-leg dive-straddle he was able to get off the ground very quickly off a very fast run-up. The mystery to me was always how Avant got his lead leg toe over the bar; it seems from these pix that he did it by that seemingly life threatening straight down, head toward the sawdust dive.

http://boundless.uoregon.edu/cdm4/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/uo-athletics&CISOPTR=2583&DMSCALE=50&DMWIDTH=600&DMHEIGHT=600&DMX=0&DMY=0&DMMODE=viewer&DMTEXT=&REC=1&DMTHUMB=1&DMROTATE=0

Found on a site called Trove which is part of the National LIbrary of Australia. Lots of cool stuff there... including links to the University of Oregon Library where the link above is located and the really cool one of Les Steers below:
http://boundless.uoregon.edu/cdm4/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/uo-athletics&CISOPTR=1905&CISOBOX=1&REC=3
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Re: high jump history questions

Postby rhymans » Mon May 06, 2013 3:08 am

I think the Avant sequence is from the 1961 AAU, where Avant became the first American to beat John Thomas with a 7 ft jump [they both cleared 7'0"]
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Re: high jump history questions

Postby dukehjsteve » Mon May 06, 2013 3:55 am

rhymans wrote:I think the Avant sequence is from the 1961 AAU, where Avant became the first American to beat John Thomas with a 7 ft jump [they both cleared 7'0"]



I think you are right... I was there that day at age 18, and went home and started practicing his technique !
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Re: high jump history questions

Postby KDFINE » Mon May 06, 2013 5:30 am

The 1961 sequence of Avant appeared in Sports Illustrated. Their coverage of the 1961 AAU meet was up there with their coverage of the 1959 USA - USSR meet. Ah nostalgia!
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Re: high jump history questions

Postby marknhj » Mon May 06, 2013 7:18 am

I don't believe I've seen that sequence of Avant before. What a strange technique, what on earth was it called? It looks like an incredibly athletic feat.
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Re: high jump history questions

Postby Conor Dary » Mon May 06, 2013 8:05 am

Looks dangerous as hell. Landing head first into a sand box?
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Re: high jump history questions

Postby dukehjsteve » Mon May 06, 2013 8:30 am

Conor Dary wrote:Looks dangerous as hell. Landing head first into a sand box?



Hands ahead of the head broke the fall for him.
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Re: high jump history questions

Postby Conor Dary » Mon May 06, 2013 8:46 am

dukehjsteve wrote:
Conor Dary wrote:Looks dangerous as hell. Landing head first into a sand box?



Hands ahead of the head broke the fall for him.


Yea, I guess so. Break an arm instead of your neck. I sure wouldn't want to do that on a regular basis. Or even worse coaching someone who did.
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Re: high jump history questions

Postby marknhj » Mon May 06, 2013 9:24 am

Conor Dary wrote:
dukehjsteve wrote:
Conor Dary wrote:Looks dangerous as hell. Landing head first into a sand box?

Hands ahead of the head broke the fall for him.

Yea, I guess so. Break an arm instead of your neck. I sure wouldn't want to do that on a regular basis. Or even worse coaching someone who did.


I was thinking the same. I wouldn't want to be heading straight down into a sand box from that height on any part of my body (apart from my feet).
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Re: high jump history questions

Postby lonewolf » Mon May 06, 2013 9:30 am

That is what I was referring to in an earlier post about planning your landing in the old sand pits.
The Avant style is more vertical than I am familiar with. In the old horizontal straddle, ideally, you landed on your lead foot and hand. You had to avoid rotating you body too far around the bar so you would not fall 6+ feet and land flat on your back .
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Re: high jump history questions

Postby DoubleRBar » Mon May 06, 2013 9:58 am

I broke my left arm in the ninth grade while high jumping and trying to imitate Avant's style. I didn't do a very good job of it (imitating Avant's style, that is).
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Re: high jump history questions

Postby dukehjsteve » Mon May 06, 2013 10:36 am

One final comment re "sand box".... By 1961 sawdust was pretty much the rule on the HS level, and I would assume even more so at the collegiate and up level.
Having said that was not the Rome OG pit sand ? CN's HJ article in the T&FN OG issue references "sand pit."
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Re: high jump history questions

Postby kuha » Mon May 06, 2013 10:37 am

Only the older generation would remember actually doing this stuff, but, YES, in the (very) old days, it was common to be landing "on" one arm and (hopefully) one leg--that is, using those limbs to slightly break the collision with the sand or dirt pile (or as steve correctly points out, sawdust).
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Re: high jump history questions

Postby marknhj » Mon May 06, 2013 12:42 pm

Looking at the last frame again it doesn't look like he even has time to extend his arms down to break his fall. Is there video available anywhere?
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Re: high jump history questions

Postby Conor Dary » Mon May 06, 2013 2:07 pm

marknhj wrote:Looking at the last frame again it doesn't look like he even has time to extend his arms down to break his fall. Is there video available anywhere?


I noticed that too. Talk about playing with fire.
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Re: high jump history questions

Postby marknhj » Mon May 06, 2013 2:19 pm

From a year ago - lands on his shoulder and back. Really impressive to jump that high with that technique:

viewtopic.php?f=5&t=46453
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Re: high jump history questions

Postby lonewolf » Mon May 06, 2013 3:09 pm

Ouch. :shock:
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Re: high jump history questions

Postby Per Andersen » Mon May 06, 2013 8:38 pm

Seen in isolation his bar clearance is incredible. More extreme than any other dive-straddler I'm aware of. Even Bengt Nilsson did not come close to Avant's roll-over dive into the pit. But I think he sacrifices too much to attain his position over the bar. There is no lean back into the take-off compared to Brumel and Thomas/Dumas. He has to prepare his diving motion early. He is also leaning slightly inwards and does not get much out of his arm thrust. He does not get nearly as low as the top straddlers in his penultimate step.

However, he would have been a sensation had he appeared about 8 year earlier in the days of Shelton at USC. Or if he had jumped 10 cm higher in 1961.
He must have been the 4th American over 7ft. No?
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Re: high jump history questions

Postby Jackaloupe » Mon May 06, 2013 9:21 pm

Y'all keep referring to the "sand pit", but as I posted earlier USC had pieces of sponge in net bags, plenty soft. I'm not saying their was no sand left anywhere, but shavings were much more common and there was plenty of sponge around. Many of us, incl. John Dobroth of Oxy were starting to roll all the way over to land on our backs; John and I were only jumping 6'2" or so, in Decathlon, but Avant jumped plenty high at Oxy and other SoCal venues where landing was not an issue.

Oxy Coach Chuck Coker installed a hard rubber (Neoprene?) slab for the HJ, about 30 inches or so deep, the width of the bar span that added at least a couple of inches for most jumpers--as I can testify, from the SPAAU Decathlon, 1960.

Similarly, Bowerman installed an Indoor-style LJ runway right up under the roof of Hayward Field for the 1960 US Oly Decathlon Trials, helping Mike Herman set the long-standing WR (mid-25s) that Ashton Eaton finally broke with his stunning 27 footer last year in the cool moist (but not yet raining) weather. That short-lived innovation was worth a good foot.
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Re: high jump history questions

Postby Per Andersen » Mon May 06, 2013 10:26 pm

Yeah, but in this case it was a sand/sawdust pit. I thought Mike Herman was over 26 ft. 8.01?

About Avant. How fast do you think his run-up was compared to his American contemporaries?
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Re: high jump history questions

Postby Conor Dary » Tue May 07, 2013 1:43 pm

I finally got around to playing it. You need Quicktime to get it to work. It looks more frightening in the video than in the photos. And it is a sand box. Almost like the one we had when I was little. I couldn't imagine falling 7 feet head first into that.
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Re: high jump history questions

Postby KDFINE » Tue May 07, 2013 3:23 pm

Anderson is correct. Mike Herman's leap in the Olympic Trials was listed at 26'3" / 8.00 meters.
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Re: high jump history questions

Postby gh » Tue May 07, 2013 3:45 pm

Jackaloupe wrote:.....
Similarly, Bowerman installed an Indoor-style LJ runway right up under the roof of Hayward Field for the 1960 US Oly Decathlon Trials, helping Mike Herman set the long-standing WR (mid-25s) that Ashton Eaton finally broke with his stunning 27 footer last year in the cool moist (but not yet raining) weather. That short-lived innovation was worth a good foot.


I don't know when it was first installed, but it wasn't short-lived. I know it was still there for the '62 NCAA (where the PV was also from an elevated runway), where all kinds of crazy PRs were set (including a Stanford school record that stood for a long time when Dan Moore improved by a foot).

There were quotes about the "trampoline" effect, so it was obviously a sprung runway, which is now specifically barred by the rules (at least for record purposes).
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Re: high jump history questions

Postby jhc68 » Tue May 07, 2013 5:23 pm

Below is a link that I have posted somewhere else here a while back, but the link URL has changed since then. Anyway, it is a video you have to download (follow the advice written on the link about which format to use) with a lot of great footage from the 1956 CA HS State Meet. At about the 4:30 mark on the video there begins quit a bit of HJ footage including Avant along with a wide variety of western roll and straddle styles typical of the times. It's sort of a HJ history timecapsule.

http://www.fionalawson.com/ATHLETICS/TRACK/56_state.htm

Random comments and questions:
- Really old timey rules required a "feet first clearance" (as per Babe Didrickson's controversy when she was penalized at the 1932 OGs for "diving"), was the basis for that old rule to prevent injury from landing in sand pits?

- I'm thinking that Brumel set indoor WRs in the USSR landing in sand pits, and possibly outdoor marks into sand as well. Anyone know with certainty if that is the case?

- As Per notes, Avant clearly got very little lean back on take off and shows none of the traditional straddler settle or lowering center of gravity on penultimate step. But I am thinking that a lot of the necessity to lean back was to accomodate a long kick (often slow) action with the lead leg whereas Avant quickly tucked his lead knee up from a fast run. Did this hurt or help the physics of his particular style?

- Anyone remember Max Lowe, briefly one of the best American jumpers in the mid-1960's? Seems to me that he had style not too different from Avant but he didn't look so goofy because he had a left-foot take off rather than Avant's right footed plant.
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Re: high jump history questions

Postby nielsalofsen » Thu Jun 13, 2013 6:47 am

Currently searching through the history of high jump for women and I encountered this phrase:
"The Swiss Miss whose record went missing for 35 years (Ilsebill-Elisabetta Pfenning)"
http://www.nuts.org.uk/trackstats/2010editions.htm

She has had a world record of 1.66 meters in 1941 (equal to Odam and Brandt), but I can't find anything about this record missing on the internet. Is there some body who knows what it means and why this happened?
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Re: high jump history questions

Postby gh » Thu Jun 13, 2013 7:05 am

jhc68 wrote:....
- I'm thinking that Brumel set indoor WRs in the USSR landing in sand pits, and possibly outdoor marks into sand as well. Anyone know with certainty if that is the case?....


I'm guessing sand no, but sawdust yes (at least once we're talking about a national-class meet).

I certainly remember pitchforking a HJ pit.
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Re: high jump history questions

Postby jhc68 » Fri Jun 14, 2013 9:26 pm

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Re: high jump history questions

Postby gh » Sat Jun 15, 2013 5:37 am

film like that mainly serves to remind me how much flopping sucks, aesthetically .
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Re: high jump history questions

Postby Dave » Sat Jun 15, 2013 2:47 pm

I doubt decent statistics exist, but there had to be a lot of injuries that came from landing in those pits. That had to be much more dangerous than today's equipment.
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Re: high jump history questions

Postby Jackaloupe » Sat Jun 15, 2013 7:45 pm

Well, compared to today's cushy, spongy landing pits, yes; but it was not all that "dangerous", as the technique made for a groundroll off the lead foot, not a "clump" on your back. I jumped a foot lower, but still HJ was not a problem; PV was much dicier. I still have a stiff lower back muscle on one side, form HS sand; and only 11 ft. at that.
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Re: high jump history questions

Postby jhc68 » Sat Jun 15, 2013 10:02 pm

Jack is right, not nearly as dangerous as you might think. I jumped in sawdust pits from 7th-12th grades and never saw anyone get seriously hurt.
Of course no one would have been dumb enough to try a back layout technique even if we had thought about it.
We did a lot of shoveling to keep the sawdust pile high and fluffed up... but the worst part was all that sawdust in every crease and wrinkle in your body that no amount of showering could ever quite remove.
Best part was if the sawdust was piled between haybales that you could move around and jump from... if you made the haybale stacks staircase up just right you could clear 7 feet!
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Re: high jump history questions

Postby Dietmar239 » Mon Jun 17, 2013 3:38 am

Heck, I still have a back injury that haunts me to this day from flopping on one of those UCS pits in junior high. Some "nice person" took the pad off the top and I landed right between the pits on concrete. Yes, concrete. We only used the high school track for our meets but during our training, asphalt and concrete was our daily lot in life.
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Re: high jump history questions

Postby jhc68 » Mon Jun 17, 2013 6:29 pm

Yikes! The scariest HJ situations I have seen are exactly as Dietmar describes: multi-part foam cube arrays that are meant to be held together with buckles and straps and a cover on top. Often the couplings break or the cover is ripped or gone completely or the pit is just plain too small. Then inexperienced jumpers launch themselves in trajectories that result in an off the pit landing or a bounce off the edge into whatever lies beyond or trapped between the loose cubes. Gimme a sawdust pile and a straddle technique anyday in terms of safety.
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Re: high jump history questions

Postby Jackaloupe » Mon Jun 17, 2013 6:52 pm

if you made the haybale stacks staircase up just right you could clear 7 feet!

Good one, 'jhc': You're memories coincide with my own. One day at USC--maybe Bobby Avant even partook--we hauled over some Ramp someone had out there for some purpose, just to experiment: The leverage it provided was considerably more than it's height, ~6 inches. So, yeah, we were approaching what seemed stratospheric, aka Bobby Avant's & Charley Dumas's normal heights.
That was right before that Russian introduced the built-up, Rocker shoe--which was promptly outlawed.
Bet you'll get a kick out of this one: At Masters Meets, I occasionally take a break from Throws and head over to the HJ. After first dealing w/ the dilemma of wearing or doffing my glasses--which I once broke upon landing--I try to ignore the ridiculously high (for us) landing pit: it's most strange to be in the middle of your modest roll around the (quite low, ~4 ft.) bar, only to encounter the immense plastic spongemats, hardly a "pit".
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