Facts, Not Fiction

 
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    #21
    Quote Originally Posted by ralmcg View Post
    I wonder how male decathletes would feel if the disciplines in the multi-event are reduced from ten to seven? Would they feel happy that they will have to do seven events instead of ten? Or will they think that they will be reduced to doing "easier", more "girly" version of multi-events? I think it won't be easy to convince the men that the version of the heptathlon proposed by 18.99s in this forum will define who is the world's greatest track-and-field athlete as the decathlon does.
    It's made tougher by having to do it in one day, and the event list I proposed doesn't match the existing women's heptathlon (due to the 400mh and 1500m).

    It could also be turned into the octathlon (4 morning events + 4 evening) so it wouldn't carry the historical "baggage" of the heptathlon name.
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    #22
    Quote Originally Posted by 18.99s View Post
    It's made tougher by having to do it in one day, and the event list I proposed doesn't match the existing women's heptathlon (due to the 400mh and 1500m).

    It could also be turned into the octathlon (4 morning events + 4 evening) so it wouldn't carry the historical "baggage" of the heptathlon name.
    What would the 8th event be, besides the events you mentioned previously? Will it be a run, a jump, or a throw? It would probably throw the balance of types of athletics skills off, at least somewhat.
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    #23
    Quote Originally Posted by 18.99s View Post
    It's made tougher by having to do it in one day, and the event list I proposed doesn't match the existing women's heptathlon (due to the 400mh and 1500m).

    It could also be turned into the octathlon (4 morning events + 4 evening) so it wouldn't carry the historical "baggage" of the heptathlon name.
    Put the javelin in and I would love to see that as an event.
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    #24
    Quote Originally Posted by ralmcg View Post
    I found a Tedx talk about gender inequality in sports, with special emphasis on the decathlon, by a decathlete named Lauren Kuntz. The video is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQBP_cZn70U&t.
    An All-American pole vaulter and women's decathlete competitor wants the women's decathlon in the Olympics. Not surprising.

    Now she should take a look at countries where the vast majority of girls (and boys) who train in track & field don't have access to the pole vault, and try convince them about the decathlon. Those countries represent over 80% of the world's population.

    In the country where I grew up (Jamaica), boys did the heptathlon in high school competition because very few schools had any pole vault equipment, and of the few schools which had it most of the coaches didn't really understand it. It's only less than 10 years ago that they introduced the decathlon for boys, but the way most of them do the pole vault is like an assisted feet-first high jump. None of the high school decathletes have ever cleared 4m, and this year only 6 cleared 3m.

    And it's one of the most pro-track & field countries in the world, so you can imagine it's much worse elsewhere. And it's not just about poor countries vs. rich countries, it's also an issue of economic classes within rich countries.

    I think the heptathlon provides a better representation of the world's greatest athlete for women than the decathlon does for men, because lack of access to the pole vault drives most of the best athletes away from the decathlon to other events or other sports altogether.

    Now if you want to talk about a decathlon with the 400m hurdles or steeplechase instead of the pole vault, I can get on board with that!
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    #25
    I think that in an ideal world of track and field there would be a new way of determining the best all-around track-and-field athlete, using a different number of events and different events than the present-day heptathlon or decathlon. But we live with an entrenched view of what the type of all-around athlete would need to do. That is why a women's decathlon would be the most equitable for determining the best all-around women track-and-field athlete.
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    #26
    Quote Originally Posted by 18.99s View Post
    An All-American pole vaulter and women's decathlete competitor wants the women's decathlon in the Olympics. Not surprising.

    Now she should take a look at countries where the vast majority of girls (and boys) who train in track & field don't have access to the pole vault, and try convince them about the decathlon. Those countries represent over 80% of the world's population.

    In the country where I grew up (Jamaica), boys did the heptathlon in high school competition because very few schools had any pole vault equipment, and of the few schools which had it most of the coaches didn't really understand it. It's only less than 10 years ago that they introduced the decathlon for boys, but the way most of them do the pole vault is like an assisted feet-first high jump. None of the high school decathletes have ever cleared 4m, and this year only 6 cleared 3m.

    And it's one of the most pro-track & field countries in the world, so you can imagine it's much worse elsewhere. And it's not just about poor countries vs. rich countries, it's also an issue of economic classes within rich countries.

    I think the heptathlon provides a better representation of the world's greatest athlete for women than the decathlon does for men, because lack of access to the pole vault drives most of the best athletes away from the decathlon to other events or other sports altogether.

    Now if you want to talk about a decathlon with the 400m hurdles or steeplechase instead of the pole vault, I can get on board with that!
    So you are saying that because the pole vault isn't available to everyone that the decathlon shouldn't have it. That means that there must be a way to put more resources (money, expertise, etc.) into the pole vault in these places. I know that there are not infinite resources available but the IAAF (soon to be known as World Athletics) and national associations could cut any inflated salaries of their officers and cut on luxurious travel expenses to help matters. But if not possible then a heptathlon for both men and women, with same events, will have to be the more equitable option.
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    #27
    Here's a video of Jordan Gray's performances at the 2019 Women's Decathlon National Championships this June, for those who haven't seen it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2hnkr25VHCI&t
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    #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by ralmcg View Post
    I wonder how male decathletes would feel if the disciplines in the multi-event are reduced from ten to seven? Would they feel happy that they will have to do seven events instead of ten? Or will they think that they will be reduced to doing "easier", more "girly" version of multi-events? I think it won't be easy to convince the men that the version of the heptathlon proposed by 18.99s in this forum will define who is the world's greatest track-and-field athlete as the decathlon does.
    We know how they would feel. The Octathlon was proposed by European Athletics and all the men I saw spoke out against it.

    If I am remembering correctly, Kevin Mayer did the math, and he would have been Olympic Champion if it was the Oct instead of Dec... and he said he would still prefer the Decathlon.
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    #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by gh View Post
    I wouldn't call it anything as simple as "resistance to change."

    it's resistance to something that would drive, IMHO, many current people out of the sport.
    It has to be phased in appropriately. It would be unfair to make the change abruptly. You need a minimum of 8 years/2 Olympics to properly phase from the hep to the dec. Start with the U20 athletes. You have to offer both events in some championship meets for a few years.
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    #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by polevaultpower View Post
    We know how they would feel. The Octathlon was proposed by European Athletics and all the men I saw spoke out against it.

    If I am remembering correctly, Kevin Mayer did the math, and he would have been Olympic Champion if it was the Oct instead of Dec... and he said he would still prefer the Decathlon.
    https://twitter.com/TnFtms/status/10...902110208?s=20
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