Events that should be eliminated


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Events that should be eliminated

Postby Guest » Mon Jun 09, 2003 10:39 am

OK- this one should be fun. What events should be eliminated from track and field- and why?

My pick: race walking. Why: Boring. Chases off fans. Inconsistent with the rest of track. (It's not just about getting to the finish first- it's about getting to the finish first while adhering to a set of rules about knee position and contact w/ground.)
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Re: Events that should be eliminated

Postby MJR » Mon Jun 09, 2003 11:23 am

>OK- this one should be fun. What events should
>be eliminated from track and field- and
>why?

My pick: race walking. Why: Boring.
>Chases off fans. Inconsistent with the rest of
>track. (It's not just about getting to the
>finish first- it's about getting to the finish
>first while adhering to a set of rules about
>knee position and contact w/ground.)

OK, I'll tackle this AGAIN, and hope its not GH just mess'n w/ me.

The only parts of T&F that need to be removed are ignorance & drugs. We'll deal with ignorance here.

If something is boring to you, look at something else. There are over 20 events in the sport, something will interest you, otherwise leave the event and its practicioners alone. The event does NOT chase off fans, although the US media does nothing to help it's image in attracting fans.

All races in T&F have rules that restrict the movement of athletes in their quest to finish first. Sprints require that you not enter another athlete's lane. Hurdles require that you navigate over barriers, sometimes they put a water jump in for the amusement of spectators. Relays require you to pass a baton to your teammate within a set zone w/o impeding that ability of another team. Walks require that you don't run - which means that you must do what makes walking biomechanically different thatn running. Straighten the knee on contact and keep it straightened until it is no longer supporting the body's weight, and maintain contact w/ the ground at all times as per the eye of the judges.

Class dismissed.
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Re: Events that should be eliminated

Postby Guest » Mon Jun 09, 2003 11:33 am

Sprints require that you
>not enter another athlete's lane.


Class dismissed.

Not quite. Actually, on a strait, a runner may run in all 8 lanes as long as he doesn't impede another runner. On the curves, a runner may take 3 steps out of his lane as long as he doesn't impede the progress of another competitor. A small point, but if you are going to bash someone for ignorance, kindly find out what you are talking about first.

I agree that the race walk should be eliminated, because the METHOD of movement is governed. Oh, and it bores the hell out of me.

NOW class is dismissed.
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Re: Events that should be eliminated

Postby Guest » Mon Jun 09, 2003 11:37 am

I am not a race walker, and quite honestly have scant interest, but WHY eliminate it ? Is is hurting you or anyone else ? These walkers are champion athletes, make no mistake about it.

NO events should be eliminated.... anyone complaining about the ADDITION of the women's pole vault ? Hardly.
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Re: Events that should be eliminated

Postby Guest » Mon Jun 09, 2003 12:04 pm

>I am not a race walker, and quite honestly have
>scant interest, but WHY eliminate it ? Is is
>hurting you or anyone else ? These walkers are
>champion athletes, make no mistake about it.
>

NO events should be eliminated.... anyone
>complaining about the ADDITION of the women's
>pole vault ? Hardly.

If that is your attitude, why not add three-legged races, pogo-stick contests, water balloon races, the softball throw, egg races, ect. ect. Where does it stop?
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Re: Events that should be eliminated

Postby Arnie » Mon Jun 09, 2003 12:08 pm

Is there a dumber distance then the High School 1600 meters?
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Re: Events that should be eliminated

Postby Guest » Mon Jun 09, 2003 12:16 pm

The walks may be uninteresting to most of us, but I can't see how eliminating them would help the sport one iota. As it is now, they are only held as part of meet programs during select championships, and even then, they usually are held or finish during sessions where they would hardly interfere with anything else. They in no way distract from anything else.
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Re: Events that should be eliminated

Postby Guest » Mon Jun 09, 2003 12:21 pm

Mr. Anno, your comments are not worthy of an answer. If you are going to draw a parallel please try to do a better job.
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Re: Events that should be eliminated

Postby Guest » Mon Jun 09, 2003 12:22 pm

OOPS ! I Apologize ! I meant to direct that last e mail to MJR, not Not So anonymus ( I can't spell it either )
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Re: Events that should be eliminated

Postby Guest » Mon Jun 09, 2003 12:37 pm

oops again. It is Not So Anonymus after all.

And nothing personal, Mr. Anno, sorry.

Steve
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Re: Events that should be eliminated

Postby Halfmiler » Mon Jun 09, 2003 1:27 pm

The only thing that may be dumber than the 1600 meters is the 3200 meters!
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Re: Events that should be eliminated

Postby Guest » Mon Jun 09, 2003 2:16 pm

And dumber yet is the distance they do at Falmouth, but it's still a really popular race. When we were kids, we raced to the corner. The distance doesn't really matter, the competition does. But I still agree that NFHS should switch to the 1500.

We should not eliminate any event. Hard as it is to believe, some people LOVE the walks. Most of them don't live in the USA.
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Re: Events that should be eliminated

Postby Guest » Mon Jun 09, 2003 2:41 pm

While the 1600 doesn't conform to the rest of the world (college, international, etc), it does perhaps make more sense to run 4 laps around the track instead of 3.75. As far as the mile is concerned... no need for a separate finsish line.

In some ways, the 1600 meters has more signifance than 1500 meters. Does anybody no why the 1500 is considered the mile equivalent?
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Re: Events that should be eliminated

Postby Guest » Mon Jun 09, 2003 2:43 pm

>While the 1600 doesn't conform to the rest of the
>world (college, international, etc), it does
>perhaps make more sense to run 4 laps around the
>track instead of 3.75. As far as the mile is
>concerned... no need for a separate finsish
>line.

In some ways, the 1600 meters has more
>signifance than 1500 meters. Does anybody no why
>the 1500 is considered the mile equivalent?

I don't consider it a mile equivalent, I consider it 1.5 kilometers, a perfectly fine race distance, just like the 3K, 5K or 10K. 1.6K or 3.2K? That's a bit goofy.
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Re: Events that should be eliminated

Postby Guest » Mon Jun 09, 2003 2:44 pm

The mile is 1600 meters. Why is running 109 less meters than a mile more appropriate to running only 9 less meters.

A mile is essentially 4 laps around the track -- just like the 1600
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Re: Events that should be eliminated

Postby Guest » Mon Jun 09, 2003 2:46 pm

OK... in a world where we like to shorten long numbers (10K instead of 10,000). But, how about the .2K meter dash?
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Re: Events that should be eliminated

Postby Guest » Mon Jun 09, 2003 2:58 pm

The true problem isn't 1500m, 1600m, or 1 mile - the problem is the track community cannot agree on a standard. Someone on the national governing body needs to step up and push for a standard. For my money let's make it the mile here in the U.S.A. (1500m for US championships is OK). Our sport looks silly with 3 distances so close togather.

On a side note, Ohio had a soph. run 4:06 for the 1600m last weekend. What happens when he runs 3:59 in 2 years at the state meet and 22,000 fans (attendance this year at the meet) think they saw a sub-4 mile, only to be dissapointed later. Sure a few of us will know what happened, but to the casual T&F fan, it will make no sense.

Bag the 1600m/3200m and go to the mile and 2 mile.
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Re: Events that should be eliminated

Postby Guest » Mon Jun 09, 2003 3:07 pm

>The true problem isn't 1500m, 1600m, or 1 mile -
>the problem is the track community cannot agree
>on a standard. Someone on the national governing
>body needs to step up and push for a standard.
>For my money let's make it the mile here in the
>U.S.A. (1500m for US championships is OK). Our
>sport looks silly with 3 distances so close
>togather.

On a side note, Ohio had a soph.
>run 4:06 for the 1600m last weekend. What
>happens when he runs 3:59 in 2 years at the
>state meet and 22,000 fans (attendance this year
>at the meet) think they saw a sub-4 mile, only
>to be dissapointed later. Sure a few of us will
>know what happened, but to the casual T&F fan,
>it will make no sense.

Bag the 1600m/3200m
>and go to the mile and 2 mile.


Cunfusius says El Supremo is wise man.
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Re: Events that should be eliminated

Postby Guest » Mon Jun 09, 2003 3:25 pm

El Supremo, If Jeff See, the sophomore to which you refer, runs sub 4:00 in two years, it can get in line with all the other Ohio record keeping failures. Did you notice the 3200 state record (source is state meet program) is Chris Kollar's 8:56 from this year's Arcadia? I guess Ricky Pittman, John Zishka, Scott Fry and others sub 8:50's didn't exist. And of course Alan Sharsu's 8:44 2 Mile must be inferior even though it was farther AND faster. Bob Kennedy holds the 1600 record (4:05) even though Zishka ran 4:03 for a full mile. Do other states have these yards/meter, recognized/unrecognized types of problems or is our glorious state unique in this respect?
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Re: Events that should be eliminated

Postby Guest » Mon Jun 09, 2003 4:14 pm

>While the 1600 doesn't conform to the rest of the
>world (college, international, etc), it does
>perhaps make more sense to run 4 laps around the
>track instead of 3.75. As far as the mile is
>concerned... no need for a separate finsish
>line.

In some ways, the 1600 meters has more
>signifance than 1500 meters. Does anybody no why
>the 1500 is considered the mile equivalent?


Then why not 2000 meters (5 laps) and 4000 meters (10 laps)?
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Re: Events that should be eliminated

Postby jhc68 » Mon Jun 09, 2003 6:12 pm

I have always thought that the 1500 meters is the goofy distance, at least in a world with 400 meter tracks... if we are going to run 1.5K's and 5 and 10K's then why not have 500 meter tracks? Maybe because we have a tradition of relays with 100m and 400m splits and world individual records at 200, 400 and 800 meters? If we stick with 400 meter tracks, then we ought to stick with races evenly divisible by 4's. Right?
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Re: Events that should be eliminated

Postby Guest » Mon Jun 09, 2003 6:35 pm

The Ohio state track meet is great for track nuts, but not so great for other fans. Why no announcer for a meet drawing 20,000++ every year? Why no mention of See's accomplishment relative to others in the nation this year, and relative to soph. performances all-time? A kid takes out the 3200m in 3:19 (looking good, too) and holds on for the win and NOT ONCE was his name mentioned over the loudspeaker during the race. El Supremo had to fight his way down to trackside to get the kids bib number.


Do any states have play-by-play announcers DURING the meet for the fans? Is there a rule against it, or as BUCKEYE II pointed out is Ohio just a little (lot?) behind the times?
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Re: Events that should be eliminated

Postby Guest » Mon Jun 09, 2003 8:19 pm

Concerning the 1500/1600/mile debate. Let's not forget that we're talking about high school track.

I'm guessing less than one percent of high school distance runners will ever have a time low enough (4:10, 4:05, ???) that it even matters. I don't think the kid who just ran a sub 5:00 1600m for the first time in his life is going to be concerned that it wasn't a legitimate mile.

For the "elite" HS runner, he's going to get his chance to compete against his competition at the "true" distances during the summer and at the larger invitationals. What better way to settle the debate if Kid A's (4:02 1600m) is better than Kid B (4:04 mile) than a head to head competion at any distance? How about 1605 meters -- split the distance? Or 1550?
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Re: Events that should be eliminated

Postby Guest » Tue Jun 10, 2003 7:10 am

Any event that cannot be completed in it's entirety within the confines of the stadium.
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Re: Events that should be eliminated

Postby Guest » Tue Jun 10, 2003 8:00 am

The vast majority of people that watch or read about track and field relate 4:00 to Mile times. So when a high schooler does get close to 4 minutes, those of us who have no problem converting a 1600m time to a mile, still get frustrated that officials can not stagger the track a few yards on each lap to make a true mile. It is very simple to do, and would benefit all who have to be reminded that a 4:00 1600m converts to approximately a 4:01.7 mile. Let's not forget the idiocy of the 3200m, and how those times are tainted from actaul 2-mile efforts. Fans, I believe, would appreciate the effort that much more. I can think of no other country where where 1600m and 3200m are run rather than a mile and 3000m, especially when they are not internationally recognized distances.
Running 1500m would really be the right thing to do, but running 1 mile may actually be the best for fans to comprehend.
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Re: Events that should be eliminated

Postby Guest » Tue Jun 10, 2003 9:11 am

If you institute a rule like that, they'll start running marathons and 50k walks on the track. It's perfectly feasible... but do we really want that?
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Re: Events that should be eliminated

Postby Guest » Tue Jun 10, 2003 9:40 am

>The vast majority of people that watch or read
>about track and field relate 4:00 to Mile times.
>So when a high schooler does get close to 4
>minutes, those of us who have no problem
>converting a 1600m time to a mile, still get
>frustrated that officials can not stagger the
>track a few yards on each lap to make a true
>mile. It is very simple to do, and would
>benefit all who have to be reminded that a 4:00
>1600m converts to approximately a 4:01.7 mile.
>Let's not forget the idiocy of the 3200m, and
>d how those times are tainted from actaul 2-mile
>efforts. Fans, I believe, would appreciate the
>effort that much more. I can think of no other
>country where where 1600m and 3200m are run
>rather than a mile and 3000m, especially when
>they are not internationally recognized
>distances.
Running 1500m would really be the
>right thing to do, but running 1 mile may
>actually be the best for fans to comprehend.


For those who were in diapers in the 70s and early 80s, I would say we're more accustomed to viewing a "mile" race as four laps around the track; not a race that finishes at a line that is 9 meters in front of where it started.

As the US made the transition from yards to meters on the track, I'm sure all of the HS track officials felt it would make sense to switch over to 1600 meters because it's still 4 laps around the track.

It certainly would be interesting to learn what went through their minds back then. Why didn't they go 1500 and 3000???

Another question... why did they chose 1500 and 3000 as the metric equivalent to a mile and 2 miles? Since the mile seems to be used as the main measuring stick to judge a runner's potential and status as an athlete, why have him run a race more than a 100 meters shorter. For a runner who runs a 4:05 1600, it is easy to figure out that there mile time would be within a few seconds -- it's only a few meters difference. But, to say a 3:50 1500 would equate to a mile time just above 4:00 (sorry, I can't spit off the recognized conversion), seems at best a rough estimate.
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Re: Events that should be eliminated

Postby Guest » Tue Jun 10, 2003 9:52 am

>Since the mile seems to be
>used as the main measuring stick to judge a
>runner's potential and status as an athlete, why
>have him run a race more than a 100 meters
>shorter.

It may be used as the main whatever IN THE US, but that doesn't mean it's inherently superior as a test of running ability. You could just as well run 1.07 miles, or 1389 meter races, and it wouldn't make much of a difference. The thing is 1500 meters happens to be the internationally recognized standard distance. It DOES make sense to standardize distances worldwide, so you can compare performances. And it IS easier for one country to adjust to the rest of the world than vice versa, especially considering 90% of the world's population uses the metric system.

Believe it or not, in most places times achieved at 1 mile don't mean diddly-squat to anyone.
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Re: Events that should be eliminated

Postby Guest » Tue Jun 10, 2003 10:12 am

I only know this from the tracks around hometown, but the vast majority of HS tracks are of the 440 yard variety. Obviously there have been new tracks built for 400m, but given that most of the old tracks are still 440 yards, wouldn't you think it would be simple to run a good, honest mile on an "old" track? After all, weren't these old 440 yd tracks re-measured and the start lines adjusted for 400m?
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Re: Events that should be eliminated

Postby Guest » Tue Jun 10, 2003 10:28 am

The Mile is recognized as a record event by the IAAF and sometimes run on the European cicuit.

My understanding of the issue of Mile versus 1500 was that in the early twentieth century the UK had quarter mile tracks while the French had 500 meter tracks. On the latter, a 1,500 makes a lot of sense: 3 laps. The compromise that was ultimately struck was to use 400 meter tracks internationally which was metric but approximates a quarter mile, and use the English equivalents in the shorter distances (100,200, 400, 800) but use the French distances at the longer distances (1500, 3000, 5000, 10000).

As to running a Mile on a 400 meter track, it is very simple. You use the common finish line but start the race 9 meters behind it which is just inside the relay zone. I cannot believe that this is so difficult that the high schools had to invent a bastard event instead. It doesn't require Calculus, or even 9th Grade Alegbra to figure out how to do it.

The Mile makes sense for two reasons: (1) The public relates to it, but has no clue about the 1600, and (2) the long history of tradition about the mile.

If Webb had broken 4 minutes in the 1600, would the press and public cared at all?
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Re: Events that should be eliminated

Postby Guest » Tue Jun 10, 2003 12:25 pm

The origin of the 1500 is older than the 20th century. It was held in the 1896 Olympics. My best guess (and I wish I had some references handy to support this) is that the 1500 was a round number closest in distance to the mile.

At that time, there was no such thing as a "standard track". The Boston AA, rich enough to build whatever they wanted, had a 220y track. Berlin had a 600m track. The 1896 Oly stadium was something like 333m. As late as 1962, Peter Snell set a WR on a 385y track.

The origin of the 1500m is something akin to the 3 mile and 6 mile here -- a basically stupid distance unless you're approximating one measurement system's standard distance in the other. By the way, anyone even remotely connected to distance running "understands" 5k and 10k times, not to mention marathon times. If we synched up with the rest of the world, those that are even casual fans wouldn't have any problem within a year or two. Heck, after a year or so of using metrics for field events, I prefer them!
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Re: Events that should be eliminated

Postby Guest » Tue Jun 10, 2003 12:37 pm

>The origin of the 1500 is older than the 20th
>century. It was held in the 1896 Olympics. My
>best guess (and I wish I had some references
>handy to support this) is that the 1500 was a
>round number closest in distance to the
>mile.

At that time, there was no such thing as
>a "standard track". The Boston AA, rich enough
>to build whatever they wanted, had a 220y track.
>Berlin had a 600m track. The 1896 Oly stadium
>was something like 333m. As late as 1962, Peter
>Snell set a WR on a 385y track.

The origin
>of the 1500m is something akin to the 3 mile and
>6 mile here -- a basically stupid distance
>unless you're approximating one measurement
>system's standard distance in the other. By the
>way, anyone even remotely connected to distance
>running "understands" 5k and 10k times, not to
>mention marathon times. If we synched up with
>the rest of the world, those that are even
>casual fans wouldn't have any problem within a
>year or two. Heck, after a year or so of using
>metrics for field events, I prefer them!


I agree with the field event comment. While ft/in are the standard we relate to most, it is a lot easier to calculate that a long jumper who jumps 28'7.75'' (8.73m) beats a 27'10.5'' (8.50m) by 23 centimeters than it is to say he won by 9.25 inches...

"Remember having to add and subtract those pesky fractions in grade school?"
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Re: Events that should be eliminated

Postby Guest » Tue Jun 10, 2003 12:48 pm

Perhaps a change in direction...

What, if any, events do you think should be contested more often in meets. (Let's go ahead and stipulate that the mile would be a favorite)

In a meet where team competion is the main objective (ie dual meets and most high school meets), I think the medley relays would be a valuable addition. As it stands now, we tradiationally gather the 4 best 100m runners, 400m runners and 800m runners to run a relay together. This is supposed to "prove" who the best team is... But, for an all-around measure, why not mix them up a bit. Run the sprint medley; it forces a team to be strong all around in the sprints (100, 200 and 400). A middle distance medley require a team to be strong in the sprints and middle distance (200, 400, 800), etc...
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Re: Events that should be eliminated

Postby Guest » Tue Jun 10, 2003 12:49 pm

Interesting historical info. Ok, How DID 400 meters originate. After some time on Google, I still don't know. I found out that the Greeks ran a 190 meter sprint (the footsteps of Hercules or something like that). Maybe it started with a round number 100 meters. Then they said, lets run twice that far (200 meters) then they said lets run twice that (400) and twice that (800) and then someone said STOP!!! Let's start rounding this stuff off at 1.5k, 5k, 10k. Then they said, let's WALK the rest of the way!!! haha 20K, 50K. Soooo, does anyone else know how 400 originated, or did it just fit nicely around a soccer field?
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Re: Events that should be eliminated

Postby Guest » Tue Jun 10, 2003 12:51 pm

>If you institute a rule like that, they'll start
>running marathons and 50k walks on the track.
>It's perfectly feasible... but do we really want
>that?

Are you kidding? Those things are torturous enough without running a bazillion laps around the track.

Get rid of 'em was the point.

jd
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Re: Events that should be eliminated

Postby Guest » Tue Jun 10, 2003 12:56 pm

>Perhaps a change in direction...

What, if any,
>events do you think should be contested more
>often in meets. (Let's go ahead and stipulate
>that the mile would be a favorite)

In a meet
>where team competion is the main objective (ie
>dual meets and most high school meets), I think
>the medley relays would be a valuable addition.
>As it stands now, we tradiationally gather the 4
>best 100m runners, 400m runners and 800m runners
>to run a relay together. This is supposed to
>"prove" who the best team is... But, for an
>all-around measure, why not mix them up a bit.
>Run the sprint medley; it forces a team to be
>strong all around in the sprints (100, 200 and
>400). A middle distance medley require a team to
>be strong in the sprints and middle distance
>(200, 400, 800), etc...>

I wish the International crowd would embrace relays the way the US does. 4 x 100, 200, 400, 800, 1500, sprint and distance medleys. Maybe the final day of the Olympic and World Athletics should be relay day.
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Re: Events that should be eliminated

Postby Guest » Tue Jun 10, 2003 1:01 pm

>>Perhaps a change in direction...

What, if
>any,
>events do you think should be contested
>more
>often in meets. (Let's go ahead and
>stipulate
>that the mile would be a
>favorite)

In a meet
>where team competion is
>the main objective (ie
>dual meets and most high
>school meets), I think
>the medley relays would
>be a valuable addition.
>As it stands now, we
>tradiationally gather the 4
>best 100m runners,
>400m runners and 800m runners
>to run a relay
>together. This is supposed to
>"prove" who the
>best team is... But, for an
>all-around measure,
>why not mix them up a bit.
>Run the sprint
>medley; it forces a team to be
>strong all
>around in the sprints (100, 200 and
>400). A
>middle distance medley require a team to
>be
>strong in the sprints and middle distance
>(200,
>400, 800), etc...>

I wish the International
>crowd would embrace relays the way the US does. 4
>x 100, 200, 400, 800, 1500, sprint and distance
>medleys. Maybe the final day of the Olympic and
>World Athletics should be relay day.



Right, as it stands, the only way the US would lose the 4x100 or 4x400 is if: a) the US is DQ'd, b) the US has a really bad day c) another country has a really good day d) any other extreme case like the others.

Heck, the 4 best HS 100m and 400m men in the country could probably beat at least 95 percent of the nations they run against.

Imagine what it would be like for the US if we had to add a distance runner to the realy team?
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Re: Events that should be eliminated

Postby Guest » Tue Jun 10, 2003 7:16 pm

Imagine what it would be
>like for the US if we had to add a distance
>runner to the realy team?

Oly/WC DMR?
Guest
 

Re: Events that should be eliminated

Postby Guest » Tue Jun 10, 2003 7:41 pm

ONLY in America....

>The vast majority of people that watch or read
>about track and field relate 4:00 to Mile times.
>So when a high schooler does get close to 4
>minutes, those of us who have no problem
>converting a 1600m time to a mile, still get
>frustrated that officials can not stagger the
>track a few yards on each lap to make a true
>mile. It is very simple to do, and would
>benefit all who have to be reminded that a 4:00
>1600m converts to approximately a 4:01.7 mile.
>Let's not forget the idiocy of the 3200m, and
>d how those times are tainted from actaul 2-mile
>efforts. Fans, I believe, would appreciate the
>effort that much more. I can think of no other
>country where where 1600m and 3200m are run
>rather than a mile and 3000m, especially when
>they are not internationally recognized
>distances.
Running 1500m would really be the
>right thing to do, but running 1 mile may
>actually be the best for fans to comprehend.
Guest
 

Re: Events that should be eliminated

Postby Guest » Tue Jun 10, 2003 9:05 pm

>The Mile is recognized as a record event by the
>IAAF and sometimes run on the European cicuit.
>

My understanding of the issue of Mile versus
>1500 was that in the early twentieth century the
>UK had quarter mile tracks while the French had
>500 meter tracks. On the latter, a 1,500 makes a
>lot of sense: 3 laps. The compromise that was
>ultimately struck was to use 400 meter tracks
>internationally which was metric but approximates
>a quarter mile, and use the English equivalents
>in the shorter distances (100,200, 400, 800) but
>use the French distances at the longer distances
>(1500, 3000, 5000, 10000).

As to running a
>Mile on a 400 meter track, it is very simple. You
>use the common finish line but start the race 9
>meters behind it which is just inside the relay
>zone. I cannot believe that this is so difficult
>that the high schools had to invent a bastard
>event instead. It doesn't require Calculus, or
>even 9th Grade Alegbra to figure out how to do
>it.

The Mile makes sense for two reasons: (1)
>The public relates to it, but has no clue about
>the 1600, and (2) the long history of tradition
>about the mile.

If Webb had broken 4 minutes
>in the 1600, would the press and public cared at
>all?

The IAAF recognizes records in the 1000, 2000, etc. but that doesn't make either of those distances as or more 'important' than the 1500. The mile is sometimes run, but never in the major championships nor even raced as frequently as the 1500 and not much more than the 3000 is. Not hard at all to figure out where to start the 1500 either, it happens to coincide with a common landmark on tracks, not some mark part-way down a straightaway.

1) Since when does the public relate to the mile? The public couldn't even walk a mile or know how long one is without the help of an odometer or road marker. It's just a race distance, like the 1600, the 1500, 3000, the marathon, etc. The one across the line first wins, no calculus or algebra or even rudimentary arithmetic needed to figure that one out.

2) Since when does anyone outside the stat crowd care a whit about the so-called tradition? Yeah Joe Lunchbox knows that it's hard to break 4:00 in the mile even though they've been doing since he was a kid or before. He could be convinced that it's very hard to break 3:50 in the 1500 just as easily. Traditions start and traditions end. Being a slave to tradition while the rest of the world marches on is ridiculously backwards.
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