Article Comment: 2A/3A Prequalifying Standards 2009
02/15/2009 1:04:28 PM
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Boys' 3A pole vault qualifying at 12' 6"? That was the winning jump in 2008! Girls' 3A high jump qualifying at 5' 2"? That was a tie for third in 2008!
Does anybody know how these numbers were determined this year?
Boys' 3A pole vault qualifying at 12' 6"? That was the winning jump in 2008! Girls' 3A high jump qualifying at 5' 2"? That was a tie for third in 2008!
Does anybody know how these numbers were determined this year?
02/15/2009 5:33:31 PM
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I think that CHSAA is trying to limit entries so that VERY FEW kids pre-qualify. I don't think that they want more than 18 kids per event, just like 4a/5a. Jumps take a long time at state and the fewer that qualify the less time it takes.
I think that CHSAA is trying to limit entries so that VERY FEW kids pre-qualify. I don't think that they want more than 18 kids per event, just like 4a/5a. Jumps take a long time at state and the fewer that qualify the less time it takes.
02/15/2009 6:04:00 PM
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12-6 is the same pole vault standard as was used for 3A boys in 2008. Four vaulters prequalified at that height. The girls high jump prequalification standard did bump from 5-1 to 5-2, but it's also true that five 3A girls cleared at least 5-2 in prequalifying meets last spring. There were nine 3A girls who cleared at least 5-1 in prequalifying meets last spring. I'm not sure in either case that this means [i]very few[/i] kids prequalifying for state, but it is a movement toward [i]fewer[/i] prequalifiers overall (in most events--there are a couple of exceptions, however).
12-6 is the same pole vault standard as was used for 3A boys in 2008. Four vaulters prequalified at that height. The girls high jump prequalification standard did bump from 5-1 to 5-2, but it's also true that five 3A girls cleared at least 5-2 in prequalifying meets last spring. There were nine 3A girls who cleared at least 5-1 in prequalifying meets last spring.

I'm not sure in either case that this means very few kids prequalifying for state, but it is a movement toward fewer prequalifiers overall (in most events--there are a couple of exceptions, however).
02/16/2009 12:27:15 AM
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I think I'll qualify my last remark a little. Looking more closely, I'm not at all sure that the changes in this year's prequalifying standards for 2A and 3A are going to result in fewer prequalifiers. At the rate that performances have been improving--across events generally--the last few years, I'm kind of leaning toward the opinion that we'll see about the same total number of prequalifiers this year as last. I'll try to keep track of that. I have all the numbers for 2008, so it shouldn't be hard to compare with what we get at the end of this season. I suspect, also, that the extent of unfavorable weather for last spring's meets dampened the overall number of prequalifiers, and not only in the wind-reading-required events. That is to say, even though we don't take wind readings in the 400, it's a lot easier to run a 51.00 in calm conditions than with a 15 mph wind. Ditto for most other events.
I think I'll qualify my last remark a little. Looking more closely, I'm not at all sure that the changes in this year's prequalifying standards for 2A and 3A are going to result in fewer prequalifiers. At the rate that performances have been improving--across events generally--the last few years, I'm kind of leaning toward the opinion that we'll see about the same total number of prequalifiers this year as last. I'll try to keep track of that. I have all the numbers for 2008, so it shouldn't be hard to compare with what we get at the end of this season. I suspect, also, that the extent of unfavorable weather for last spring's meets dampened the overall number of prequalifiers, and not only in the wind-reading-required events. That is to say, even though we don't take wind readings in the 400, it's a lot easier to run a 51.00 in calm conditions than with a 15 mph wind. Ditto for most other events.
02/25/2009 11:56:03 PM
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There were few additional qualifiers at these two events in 2008: In boys PV, only 18 vaulters; In girls HJ, only 19 jumpers. If that one extra qualifier happened to place at the meet due to a sub-par regional meet or other situation that prevented regional participation, I think the standard should be closer to where it was originally set when we first started. If I recall, it was the average of 6th place? over 5 years.
There were few additional qualifiers at these two events in 2008: In boys PV, only 18 vaulters; In girls HJ, only 19 jumpers. If that one extra qualifier happened to place at the meet due to a sub-par regional meet or other situation that prevented regional participation, I think the standard should be closer to where it was originally set when we first started. If I recall, it was the average of 6th place? over 5 years.
02/26/2009 9:16:42 PM
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Jack, The pole vault is definitely an interesting event in 3A. We just lost two of the already not-very-many schools that were pole-vaulting in 3A--Roosevelt (to 4A) and Ignacio (to 2A). I'm guessing the Ignacio pole vaulter was going to Bayfield for coaching, though. Anyhow, that leaves you (Yuma), Platte Canyon, us (only one vaulter, the other one who vaulted last year is now at a different school), Gunnison, Bayfield, maybe Eaton, maybe University, and am I missing anyone? Lyons has girls pole vaulters. CSCS has pole vaulted in recent memory. With a situation like that, it's difficult to know how to objectively handle a prequalifying standard. Not all regions had a full set of three vaulters going to state. Many of the state qualifiers last year didn't even make opening height. Opening height isn't going to go down because the single-venue state meet mandates that we can't spend a lot of time working through this particular event. Being on the track committee and somewhat involved with the prequalifying standards, I think I can safely say that the philosophy has moved away from the average of 6th place over the last X years. And, in my estimation, it's the right move. The guiding philosophy now is more a standard of high achievement within the classification. I suspect every coach out there would admit, even if only privately, that some of the prequal standards were too easy and some probably too difficult. Based off the number of prequalifiers, I think you can build a case that the girls high jump standard had become a little soft at 5-1. We tried to even that situation out this year. There are, of course, big problems with using the 6th-place average standard. One example of that kind of problem was qualifying kids in the 3200 off of an average that involved a couple of very, very hot days in Pueblo. Thus, the 3200 standard probably didn't reflect the level of excellence it should have. Although the 3A boys standard didn't move much this year, the 2A boys standard became a fair bit more difficult. Both girls standards were made more difficult. There's a part of me, personally, that would just as soon see pole vault become a non-scoring event at the state meet. There are so few schools doing it (I promise you we wouldn't be doing it except for a fortuitous set of circumstances where our school doesn't have to buy a pit or poles) and so many obstacles to most schools doing the event that it becomes a much different beast than the other 17 or 18 events. When less than 10 out of 60-some 3A schools contesting the event, it puts a little irregularity in the evenness of the playing field. It's a great event, but maybe not a great event for calculating team scores. It's perhaps also the poster child event in all classifications for state qualification by rankings. Finally, both the high jump and pole vault are highly technical events, subject to "on" and "off" days. That's to say that sixth place at state doesn't reliably reflect the level of accomplishment over the season as a whole. You would normally see more than six kids who did better at some point in the season than whatever mark earned sixth place in state. That is much less true with other events, with the possible exception of discus. That was kind of lengthy, but I hope you find something useful in there. I'm sure we disagree at points, but I at least wanted to address your concerns fairly directly.
Jack,

The pole vault is definitely an interesting event in 3A. We just lost two of the already not-very-many schools that were pole-vaulting in 3A--Roosevelt (to 4A) and Ignacio (to 2A). I'm guessing the Ignacio pole vaulter was going to Bayfield for coaching, though. Anyhow, that leaves you (Yuma), Platte Canyon, us (only one vaulter, the other one who vaulted last year is now at a different school), Gunnison, Bayfield, maybe Eaton, maybe University, and am I missing anyone? Lyons has girls pole vaulters. CSCS has pole vaulted in recent memory. With a situation like that, it's difficult to know how to objectively handle a prequalifying standard. Not all regions had a full set of three vaulters going to state. Many of the state qualifiers last year didn't even make opening height. Opening height isn't going to go down because the single-venue state meet mandates that we can't spend a lot of time working through this particular event.

Being on the track committee and somewhat involved with the prequalifying standards, I think I can safely say that the philosophy has moved away from the average of 6th place over the last X years. And, in my estimation, it's the right move. The guiding philosophy now is more a standard of high achievement within the classification. I suspect every coach out there would admit, even if only privately, that some of the prequal standards were too easy and some probably too difficult. Based off the number of prequalifiers, I think you can build a case that the girls high jump standard had become a little soft at 5-1. We tried to even that situation out this year. There are, of course, big problems with using the 6th-place average standard. One example of that kind of problem was qualifying kids in the 3200 off of an average that involved a couple of very, very hot days in Pueblo. Thus, the 3200 standard probably didn't reflect the level of excellence it should have. Although the 3A boys standard didn't move much this year, the 2A boys standard became a fair bit more difficult. Both girls standards were made more difficult.

There's a part of me, personally, that would just as soon see pole vault become a non-scoring event at the state meet. There are so few schools doing it (I promise you we wouldn't be doing it except for a fortuitous set of circumstances where our school doesn't have to buy a pit or poles) and so many obstacles to most schools doing the event that it becomes a much different beast than the other 17 or 18 events. When less than 10 out of 60-some 3A schools contesting the event, it puts a little irregularity in the evenness of the playing field. It's a great event, but maybe not a great event for calculating team scores. It's perhaps also the poster child event in all classifications for state qualification by rankings.

Finally, both the high jump and pole vault are highly technical events, subject to "on" and "off" days. That's to say that sixth place at state doesn't reliably reflect the level of accomplishment over the season as a whole. You would normally see more than six kids who did better at some point in the season than whatever mark earned sixth place in state. That is much less true with other events, with the possible exception of discus.

That was kind of lengthy, but I hope you find something useful in there. I'm sure we disagree at points, but I at least wanted to address your concerns fairly directly.

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