By Duane Ford
I consider myself to be a pretty knowledgeable and passionate sports fan. This spring sports season two of my sons have begun playing sports that I have no idea about the rules, why things are done in certain ways and a host of other items that make me feel out of my element.
Case in point, my youngest son is running track for a great organization, the NH Thunder. We went to our first practice and it was really well run, tons of adult volunteers who are passionate about the sport and made kids of all abilities and experience feel accepted and welcome.
I am a public school assistant superintendent by profession, so as part of my job I go to a lot of high school sporting events and love it immensely. I have been to several track meets over the years and there are several things that I do not understand from the world of track and field. Here are 10 that I would love to get New Hampshire Track and Field to give me some understanding on…
- Why can an athlete only compete in four events? I would think that you should be able to participate in as many things as you can. Isn’t that good for the team?
- What is up with the pole vault? I get the rest of the events, run the fastest, jump the highest or farthest, throw something a long way but this one baffles me. Take a long pole and stick it in the ground and go over another pole the is up in the air. Where did this come from?
- Speaking of the pole vault, shouldn’t they be wearing helmets? That is a long way up in the air and therefore a long way down. Helmets please!
- There seems to be a lot of rules for the relay events. If you drop the baton are you disqualified? In or out of the pass-the-baton area (pretty technical term there) and there are things that happen including being disqualified. That seems pretty harsh.
- Another relay question…why are there four runners in the relay? Why not two or three or six?
- How come only the top six finishers score points? I think the top ten makes sense. That seems like a good cut off, you made the top 10! What other sport rewards the top six?
- Who picks the order of the events? It seems that at the state meet, they are in the same order every year. Let’s mix it up, have the coaches get to pick the order, lots of strategy potential.
- Do the coaches know what the score is during a track meet? I have no idea what the score is or how various teams are doing. Where is the scoreboard?
- Why is the track itself made out of asphalt, concrete or whatever that is? Even with the rubberized top, it is really hard. How about a nice grass track?
- Why do the throwers have to throw whatever they are throwing into a certain area? If you don’t throw it straight, it does not go as far and that should be your punishment for non-accuracy. I also used the word throw three times in the same sentence, which is awesome.
Thanks for your answers…love the website.