Women to compete in decathlon?


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Postby marknhj » Fri Apr 25, 2008 7:11 am

I'll stick my neck out....

I'm in the second group referred to in Frank's letter. I have no interest in seeing world class heptathlete's PV 8'6" or run 6:00 1500m's.

To be honest, beyond the very top of the elite levels, I struggle watching a whole decathlon for this same reason...

Sacrilege here, I know. But, to me, the decathlon is the most boring event in T&F (walks don't count)
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Postby SQUACKEE » Fri Apr 25, 2008 7:21 am

marknhj wrote:I'll stick my neck out....

I'm in the second group referred to in Frank's letter. I have no interest in seeing world class heptathlete's PV 8'6" or run 6:00 1500m's.

To be honest, beyond the very top of the elite levels, I struggle watching a whole decathlon for this same reason...

Sacrilege here, I know. But, to me, the decathlon is the most boring event in T&F (walks don't count)


Mark, im the king of exaggeration but isnt an 8'6" PV unlikely for a world class Hep.? I would guess an average of something like 12ft.
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Postby mojo » Fri Apr 25, 2008 7:26 am

marknhj wrote:Sacrilege here, I know. But, to me, the decathlon is the most boring event in T&F (walks don't count)


:shock: :shock:

For once I am speechless!
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Postby gh » Fri Apr 25, 2008 7:29 am

SQUACKEE wrote:...
Mark, im the king of exaggeration but isnt an 8'6" PV unlikely for a world class Hep.? I would guess an average of something like 12ft.


First, note that the 8-6 figure was Frank's, not Mark's. But nobody is saying that's as high as they would go. The context was talkign about watching the competition, and you'd see people at that height.

By way of comparison, what do you think the opening height in the men's Dec was in Osaka last summer? 13-1.5 (4.00) in other words, they were vaulting like good HS girls, not world-class athletes.

Still, the 8-6 is perhaps a bit hyperbolic, just used to make a point.
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Postby SQUACKEE » Fri Apr 25, 2008 7:56 am

gh wrote:By way of comparison, what do you think the opening height in the men's Dec was in Osaka last summer? 13-1.5 (4.00) in other words, they were vaulting like good HS girls, not world-class athletes.
.


Here are the results, can someone give me the feets for these marks? please.

Group A01 september 2007 - 13:00Position Bib Athlete Country Mark . Points
1 639 André Niklaus GER 5.30 (PB) 1004
2 1144 Paul Terek USA 5.20 (SB) 972
3 757 Hiromasa Tanaka JPN 5.10 (PB) 941
4 1085 Robert Jacob Arnold USA 5.10 . 941
5 362 François Gourmet BEL 5.00 . 910
5 508 Agustín Félix ESP 5.00 . 910
7 557 Romain Barras FRA 5.00 . 910
8 762 Dmitriy Karpov KAZ 5.00 (PB) 910
9 953 Aleksey Drozdov RUS 5.00 (PB) 910
10 471 Roman Šebrle CZE 4.80 (SB) 849
11 1056 Hamdi Dhouibi
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Postby skyin' brian » Fri Apr 25, 2008 8:01 am

SQUACKEE wrote:Here are the results, can someone give me the feets for these marks? please.


500cm ~ 16'5" add or subtract ~ 4 inches for every 10cm

For actual elite vault results, just remember 550 ~ 18' and you can go up from there
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Postby SQUACKEE » Fri Apr 25, 2008 8:24 am

[quote="gh"]
By way of comparison, what do you think the opening height in the men's Dec was in Osaka last summer? 13-1.5 (4.00) in other words, they were vaulting like good HS girls, not world-class athletes.
quote]

The top 9 guys at Osaka jumped 16'5" or better. Thats not like any HS girls and its why i think its totally reasonable the top 9 women HEPs in the world will PV at least 12 feet and better. What do you guys think?
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Postby gh » Fri Apr 25, 2008 8:47 am

Squack, you're missing the point completely.

Has nothing to do w/ how high they jump at the top end. It's talking about trying to sell to the fans in the stand that it's exciting to watch women jumping under 10-feet, just as it's a tough sell to convince people that the decathletes are superstars when they're vaulting at 13-feet early in the going. It's the product on the field, not the final results you see that we're talking about.
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Postby SQUACKEE » Fri Apr 25, 2008 9:00 am

gh wrote:Squack, you're missing the point completely.

Has nothing to do w/ how high they jump at the top end. It's talking about trying to sell to the fans in the stand that it's exciting to watch women jumping under 10-feet, just as it's a tough sell to convince people that the decathletes are superstars when they're vaulting at 13-feet early in the going. It's the product on the field, not the final results you see that we're talking about.


"I have no interest in seeing world class heptathlete's PV 8'6" or run 6:00 1500m's."

"the men's Dec was in Osaka last summer? 13-1.5 (4.00) in other words, they were vaulting like good HS girls, not world-class athletes. "

I am commenting on these statements only which i think are false.

Fans not excited by a 9'6" vault by woman or a 13" vault by men goes without saying and wasnt something anyone could argue with.
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Postby Marlow » Sat Apr 26, 2008 4:56 am

Pentathlete wrote:Adding in the PV and DT involves a LOT more time and skill to get good. Unless you have a 'natural' athlete (great coordination, body awareness) like a Mathis.

Isn't that the whole point?
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Postby Mennisco » Sat Apr 26, 2008 6:06 am

gh wrote:
Has nothing to do w/ how high they jump at the top end. It's talking about trying to sell to the fans in the stand that it's exciting to watch women jumping under 10-feet,.


Methinks you underestimate the rate of change of technology...when that is fully viewable in 3D, track will really bust out!
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Postby Oldtimer » Sat Apr 26, 2008 6:40 am

Pentathlete wrote:Adding in the PV and DT involves a LOT more time and skill to get good. Unless you have a 'natural' athlete (great coordination, body awareness) like a Mathis.


Me thinks Bob Mathias had better coordination and body awareness than Johnny Mathis, even though his 6-5 1/2 was commendable .
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Postby tandfman » Sat Apr 26, 2008 6:46 am

Oldtimer wrote:Me thinks Bob Mathias had better coordination and body awareness than Johnny Mathis, even though his 6-5 1/2 was commendable .

Chances are, you're right. :)
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Postby cacique » Sat Apr 26, 2008 8:05 am

i like the idea of a women's decathlon.

but i also like the hep as it is now. one of the things that you see in the women's hept is many women whose marks are world class in their event (e.g. JJK and a few others in the LJ and hurdles, etc.) whereas that doesn't happen with the men.
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Postby bambam » Sat Apr 26, 2008 8:11 am

cacique wrote:i like the idea of a women's decathlon.

but i also like the hep as it is now. one of the things that you see in the women's hept is many women whose marks are world class in their event (e.g. JJK and a few others in the LJ and hurdles, etc.) whereas that doesn't happen with the men.


Actually, I think that's a negative. The purpose of an all-around event is to determine the best all-around athlete, not an athlete that excels in one event and the other events are close enough in skill level that they can move over to the heptathlon as well.
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Postby gh » Sat Apr 26, 2008 9:51 am

agree w/ bam completely; as currently constituted, the hept is almost exclusively the province of long jumper/hurdler. The throwing component is horridly minimized.
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Postby cacique » Tue Apr 29, 2008 1:20 pm

so you two would prefer for example that barber jumped shorter distances and ran slower in the hept.?
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby ralmcg » Mon Feb 15, 2010 2:44 pm

I believe that women should compete in the decathalon, if only to see how they handle the pole vault among other events. I do believe, though, that it should start having it at the 2015 Track and Field World Championships and at the 2016 Olympics, if only to get the women prepared to do the extra events.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby mump boy » Mon Feb 15, 2010 3:08 pm

there is no excuse for women not doing the Deca

of the standard would be low to begin with, who cares nobody would be watching the early rounds of the PV anyway so that reasoning is entirely spurious
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby Marlow » Mon Feb 15, 2010 3:20 pm

I guess the switch to the women's decathlon is going just as well as the American switch to the metric system. There's simply too much inertia to overcome and no one wants to take the point in this endeavor. It SHOULD have happened in the 90s when women's PV, Steeple, and HT got going good.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby gh » Mon Feb 15, 2010 3:38 pm

I keep hearing there's very strong resistance from European coaches. The vault is the sticking point. (npi)
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby Marlow » Mon Feb 15, 2010 3:48 pm

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

One obvious drawback is the sheer expense of poles at almost $600 a whack (shipping is expensive!). I just bought my 36th pole in 17 years! That - and a pit - at $12,000! And a coach . . . etc. Big Euro clubs should have no problem, but the smaller clubs, and individuals, would be hard put to add the new events.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby polevaultpower » Mon Feb 15, 2010 3:49 pm

I think that the best solution is to have both the hep and the dec be championship events. They attract very different types of athletes, and there is strong resistance from the hep crowd to it. Have both for ~10 years then see how people feel about dropping the hep.

There's nothing inherently more or less interesting about women doing the dec vs the hep. If anything, the PV would make it more interesting, because it is an inherently interesting event to the general public. People are just resistance to change.

Probably one of the major fears that most won't say, is that the dec will generally attract women with a less visually appealing body type.
Last edited by polevaultpower on Mon Feb 15, 2010 3:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby polevaultpower » Mon Feb 15, 2010 3:50 pm

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

One obvious drawback is the sheer expense of poles at almost $600 a whack (shipping is expensive!). I just bought my 36th pole in 17 years! That - and a pit - at $12,000! And a coach . . . etc. Big Euro clubs should have no problem, but the smaller clubs, and individuals, would be hard put to add the new events.


Oh baloney. What heps are training at a facility with no PV pit? What heps are training somewhere where women don't pole vault at all?

I would imagine the numbers are pretty small for both.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby lonewolf » Mon Feb 15, 2010 3:52 pm

Start competition in Womens Dec in 2011, include in Olympics in 2016, using women's implements and 100 hurdles, substituting 100 for 200 and 400 for 800, add 1500. Initial scores may not be very impressive but a new prototype of women multi-eventers will evolve with more emphasis on size and upper body strength necessitated by DT and PV.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby Marlow » Mon Feb 15, 2010 4:03 pm

polevaultpower wrote:Oh baloney. What heps are training at a facility with no PV pit? What heps are training somewhere where women don't pole vault at all?
I would imagine the numbers are pretty small for both.

Y'know how many smaller HSs don't contest the PV at all because of expense? It's the same with Euro clubs. The bigger ones have PV, the smaller don't. Almost every German town of any appreciable size has a Sport Club with T&F as one of the sports offered. Not a lot of the smaller ones have PV facilities. But I bet many do have heptathletes, nicht wahr?
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby polevaultpower » Mon Feb 15, 2010 4:18 pm

Marlow wrote: But I bet many do have heptathletes, nicht wahr?


I doubt too many of them have world-class heptathletes.

As athletes get older they move from doing smaller multi-events to bigger ones. Triathlon to pentathlon to heptathlon to decathlon maybe a few in between. So I don't think smaller clubs not having the PV is a major issue. Who cares if they can't support one more event. They are already not offering a full slate. Most are probably youth focused, and I think it would be much longer until women were doing the dec at the junior level.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby Marlow » Mon Feb 15, 2010 4:21 pm

polevaultpower wrote:
Marlow wrote: But I bet many do have heptathletes, nicht wahr?

I doubt too many of them have world-class heptathletes.

And? If they have heptathletes, but no PV facility, how will they move on to the decathlon? The beauty of the Euro system is all the summer meets they can compete in - at all levels - not so much if you can't train for all the events in a Dec.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby bman » Mon Feb 15, 2010 4:42 pm

Sometimes it is just ok to stay with tradition, I mean what are you losing? What you don't even have? Why don't we discuss moving the men down instead of vice versa? Because most people would agree that there is little (if at all) inherently more exciting from dec to hep. So why mess everything up?
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby Marlow » Mon Feb 15, 2010 5:08 pm

bman wrote:Because most people would agree that there is little (if at all) inherently more exciting from dec to hep. So why mess everything up?

Because three more events creates three more opportunities for drama (not that I want a 37-athlon!).
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby polevaultpower » Mon Feb 15, 2010 5:10 pm

Marlow wrote:
polevaultpower wrote:
Marlow wrote: But I bet many do have heptathletes, nicht wahr?

I doubt too many of them have world-class heptathletes.

And? If they have heptathletes, but no PV facility, how will they move on to the decathlon? The beauty of the Euro system is all the summer meets they can compete in - at all levels - not so much if you can't train for all the events in a Dec.



There are TONS of pole vault pits in Germany. It is very popular there, and the country is not _that_ big geographically. I would imagine that if there is a club that does not have pole vault, they are generally within 20 miles or less of a facility that does have it, and it's hard for me to imagine there are many meets in Europe in the summer at facilities with no pole vault.

The number of pole vault pits per square mile is probably much higher in europe as a whole than in the US as a whole.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby Marlow » Mon Feb 15, 2010 5:15 pm

bman wrote:Because most people would agree that there is little (if at all) inherently more exciting from dec to hep. So why mess everything up?

Because three more events creates three more opportunities for drama (not that I want a enneakaidecathlon! (19events)).
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby DrJay » Mon Feb 15, 2010 7:01 pm

Transition over several years. Have an octathlon then nontathlon then decathlon. Add the discus and change the 800 to 1500 for two years. Move the 200 to 100 and add the 400 for the next two. Then add the vault.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby DentyCracker » Mon Feb 15, 2010 7:27 pm

Just introduce it like everything else. The athletes will adjust. The sooner they do it the better as far as I see it.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby polevaultpower » Mon Feb 15, 2010 7:47 pm

DrJay wrote:Transition over several years. Have an octathlon then nontathlon then decathlon. Add the discus and change the 800 to 1500 for two years. Move the 200 to 100 and add the 400 for the next two. Then add the vault.


There's no need. The women's decathlon has been standardized for several years now, and hundreds, if not thousands, of women have competed in it. Most people here have not noticed because it's not happening at the elite level, but the idea of women doing the dec is not new, it just seems to have stalled out in terms of acceptance in the sport.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby lonewolf » Mon Feb 15, 2010 8:49 pm

DentyCracker wrote:Just introduce it like everything else. The athletes will adjust. The sooner they do it the better as far as I see it.

Second the motion.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby gh » Mon Feb 15, 2010 9:25 pm

"the athletes will adjust" is an oversimplification; perhaps a gross one. We had a long discussion on this last summer, after several prominent heptettes said they'd retire when the change came. I know, good riddance, and all that. But think of it this way, 2 of the 3 events that will be added change the name of the game mightily. The discus and pole vault require a whole new set of skills (the 100 not at all, nor particularly will the change from 200/800 to 400/1500).

So if you're a world-class athlete, or the coach of one, and you see this monster change on the horizon, you've got a huge choice to make. Remembering that honing specific skills for multiple technique events is paramount to multi-event success, do you sacrifice valuable hurdle/HJ/LJ/JT time in order to prep for the PV/DT as well two years down the road, or do you ignore them completely for "instant" success? And if you fail at instant, when the change comes, you're out of the game.

It's not an easy puzzle to solve, and a far more difficult one than happened with the switch from pentathlon to heptathlon, which required only the learning of the javelin, far easier than the discus or the vault, let alone both.

(having said that, I'm all for biting the bullet and making the change, but I'm neither coach nor heptathlete)
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby polevaultpower » Tue Feb 16, 2010 12:24 am

That's why I think a ~10-year transition period of offering both would be good. Let the current heps finish their career as heps, while getting a whole new generation of women going in the dec.

One downside is increased need for officials at meets running both events.
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Re: Women to compete in decathlon?

Postby Gabriella » Tue Feb 16, 2010 1:46 am

What's all this nonsense about lack of pole vaulting facilities? Erm, wouldn't this be an issue for decathletes too..and polevaulters? Why is this a factor in women not moving to the decathlon?? That is just a stupid argument.

The fact is, there is absolutely no reason why women shouldn't do the decathlon. What do teenage boys do that want to compete in multievents? They learn to do the pole vault. So women that want to compete in the multievents should learn to do the polevault too. This argument that the polevault is too difficult is ridiculous.

I understand gh's point that there will be a dilemma for the transitional period, but the sport has coped before when we went from the pentathlon to the heptathlon so I don't see this as a major issue. Those extra 3 events will hopefully mean less emphasis on the 100mh & LJ which are the events where current female multi events earn the most points. Having the DT and PV will mean 'stronger' and more technically savy women will have their fair chance too.
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