Pole Vault Safety and Landing Systems Up-grades
From: Jan Johnson

I think school districts should consider the following plan of action regarding implementation of the new HS rules:

1. Allow all schools to pole vault any HS location that has a landing pad system which meets the new High School minimum standards.

2. All schools which decide to PV should be mandated to have a coach in place whom has passed the on-line basic skills and safety certification curriculum at the Pole Vault Safety Certification Board web site at www.pvscb.com The course is designed and formatted for the beginning coach or vaulter. The curriculum contains four basic parts with testing for each portion: HS rules, Safety, Pole Vault Energy Equation, Basic skill and progressions. The cost of the course is only $20. Upon completion the applicant gets a copy of the HS rule book and a certification card.

3. In addition, High schools which still want to vault should be allowed to if they can provide a certified coach, and a safe facility. If these schools can't buy a new pit they should consider the option increasing their pole vault landing pads dimensions by simply combining landing pads from other schools who have bought new pits, or are choosing to no longer participate. This can be easily done with base unit sections of similar heights, and lengths (most are approximately the same on old style 16'x16' minimum standard landing pads). By adding three base unit sections from one landing system to another, so that the new system now has 4 base unit sections across the back, with two additional base unit sections long ways across the rear of the system and adding a new top cover. The top cover I recommend for this upgraded system would need to be approximately 21' x 23'. It's approximate cost would be only $1300. Currently, all PV pit manufactures sell a top pad approximately this size. Please keep in mind that all base unit sections should be tied together with small pieces of rope (clothes line is best) so that they do not drift apart during use. In addition, the top pad may be simply fastened to the base unit sections, in as many locations as possible, by using additional pieces of rope, or bungee cords and attaching to d-rings on the top edges or the bottom edges of the base unit sections. This type of up-grade, if tied together properly, more than adaquately meets the minimun specifications for HS, college, and ASTM pole vault landing systems. In fact, we have preformed this type of up-grade at both my pole vault club and camps for nearly thirty years.

4. Please keep in mind, that you will also need standard base padding, and box collar padding, which you may already have. Old wrestling or gymnastic pads can be used for this purpose. Both the HS rules and ASTM specifications are worded in such a way so as to allow this type of configuration.

Jan Johnson
Sky Jumpers Vertical Sports Club - Atascadero, Ca
National Pole Vault Safety Chair
Co-director Pole Vault Safety Certification Board
Co-Chairman ASTM Pole Vault Equipment and Facilities Task Force
1800 652-5201
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