HS Vaulting Pole Weight Rule Change Proposal.

Pole Vault Safety and

Technique News Letter

May 1, 2015

 

HS Vaulting Pole Weight Rule Change Proposal.

Draft #14

By Jan Johnson

Sky Jumpers Vertical Sports Club

Atascadero, Ca

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We are suggesting the elimination of the weight and variable pole rule in the NFHS rule book  7-5-3 and 4 and replace it with the following  information:

It is recommended that all poles used in competition and practice have suggested maximum grip/weight guidelines for the purpose of hand hold limitations. In addition to the manufacturer's label at the top of the pole, a pole may have between 2 and 4 additional maximum grip lines extending no lower than 12” below the bottom of the manufactures weight label. The additional grip maximum grip/weight guide lines may be listed in 5 and/or 10 pound increments. The additional grip/weight guidelines assignments may conform to the individual manufactures recommendations or to the industry averages for weight/hand hold limits specified below.

The suggested grip/weight guidelines should go around the entire pole, should be of a contrasting color to the pole, or grip tape and should have the corresponding weight limits written clearly in 3/4” letters. It is suggested that permanent marker be used for best visibility. It is not the responsibility of the officials to enforce hand holds or user weights. These guidelines are solely intended for the benefit of the vaulter and the coach.

The additional grip/weight guidelines assignments may conform to the individual manufactures recommendations or to the industry averages for weight/hand hold limits.

Descending downward from the bottom of the manufacturer’s maximum grip line, the following are the industry averages for hand hold limitations and corresponding allowable user weight increases.

60-100 pound poles: each 1.5” grip reduction below the manufacturer’s maximum grip line equals 5 pounds increase in maximum user weight

105-150 pound poles: each 2.5” grip reduction below the manufacturer’s maximum grip line equals 5 pounds increase in maximum user weight

155- 190 pound poles:  each 3.5” grip reduction below the manufacturer’s maximum grip line equals 5 pounds increase in maximum user weight.

195- 230 pound poles: each 4” grip reduction below the manufacturer’s maximum grip line equals 5 pounds  increase in maximum user weight.



Enforcement and Compliance:

Pt 1. The head pole vault official or his designee may raise a caution flag for any warm-up or competition jump resulting in a dangerous landing near the outermost edges of the landing mat or plant box area.  It is suggested that an official’s caution signal, shall  require a mandatory vaulter -  coach conference before the athlete takes another jump

Pt 2. The responsibility for the use of appropriate hand holds and pole selection rests with the coach, the parents, and most importantly, the vaulter. It is up to the vaulter to use technique, appropriate hand holds, and poles appropriate with their ability to assure safe landings and to take immediate corrective action after dangerous vaults.

Pt 3. It is not the responsibility of the officials’ to enforce hand holds or user weights. The suggested grip/weight lines are intended solely for the benefit of the vaulter or the coach.  It is recommended that all poles have additional grip/weight calibrations clearly marked on top hand grip area of the pole. The additional calibrations shall not extend more then 12” below the bottom of the manufactures weight label at the top of the pole.   Additionally, it is not the responsibility of the officials’ to verify the accuracy of the measurement of the suggested grip/weight lines.

Pt 4. Athletes, coaches, and parents at each high school should sign a statement at the beginning of the season agreeing to use a pole and handhold within the limits suggested by the de facto industry standard for vaulting pole calibration.

National High School Pole Vault Waiver

(In addition to the suggested weight grip guidelines  we are recommending that every HS and College Vaulter and his parents sign the following waiver, and that it be kept on file by the head coach and presented to the officials’ at every meet. We are suggesting that this is a requirement for participation at all HS and college meets.

Suggested National Pole Vault Participation Waiver

I hereby grant permission for my child to pole vault. I verify that my child has had a physical exam and is capable of participating in the pole vault. I agree to indemnify, hold harmless, and defend my child’s school, and their employees from any and all liability for potential injury to my child.

Furthermore; I agree that it is the vaulters’ responsibility for a large portion of pole vault safety including: choosing a hand hold and pole selection appropriate with the vaulters’ ability and environmental conditions.   I agree that pole vaulters’ must attempt to land safely in the center of the landing mats on every jump taken and take immediate corrective action if they are landing near the edges of the landing mats.

Name of Vaulter _____________________________

Parents Signature _____________________________

Vaulter signature ___________________________________

Rational

1. Reduces the need for numbers of poles and thus greatly reduces expense.

2. A permanent marker line with additional weight limits works for all brands. These limits shall be based upon long standing de facto industry standards for weight limits.

3. Makes the event safer because the current rule (when enforced)  often results in kids having to switch to unfamiliar poles on meet day thus increasing risk.

4. Provides visible grip limitations based on user weight and reduces common problem of gripping the pole too high.

5. Affirms the long standing teaching methodology where by: the vaulter uses a short approach with a low grip on a less rigid pole to learn technique. This pole is almost always under the user’s weight, but is gripped low from a short run thus allowing more efficient technique development.

6. Sends a clear signal to vaulter and coaches regarding hand hold limits.  These markers may be used for improved accuracy and decision making in the education process.

7. Body weight is only one of several factors which determine the amount of force which goes into a pole vault jump. Runway speed, take off angle, and pole plant also have huge effects.

8. This rule change strongly suggests visible grip weight guidelines lines on all poles used in the education and training of pole vaulters. It also allows the manufactures to list or mark poles in this way directly from the factory which is currently prohibited under the variable weight poles declaration in the current rules.

9. Currently in virtually all HS pole vault programs the NFHS weight rule is largely ignored.