Facts, Not Fiction

 
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    #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Awsi Dooger View Post
    Horse racing is far superior because nobody cares about records or anticipates them. Those fans and bettors realize that track conditions and situational variables play such a massive role.
    Thatís because the primary focus is on the betting.
    And I still say that if the IAAF want to save and grow TnF then a gambling regime will be the saviour.
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    #62
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    Interesting comments but some flawed premises.
    For instance, does anyone really believe that all throwers and jumpers really try for PRs on every attempt?
    Or that attempts at lower heights in vertical jumps are merely warm ups rather than integral to the process of prepping for record attempts later in the competition?
    Any comparisons between events seem highly suspect since rules and traditions for each discipline have evolved separately over time.
    For instance, the slightest touch on the plasticine in horizontal jumps is a foul, but in vertical jumps competitors can smack the crossbar hard and so long as it comes to rest barely on the standard the attempt is a clearance. The logic of one event does not automatically translate to another.
    Other issues arise with electronic measurements of time vs. distance.
    I think it makes absolute sense to measure LJ and TJ marks from the spot of take off to the landing using hi-tech devices.
    But if we apply the same logic to the sprints then we should time 100m races according the the time the runner leaves the blocks rather than from the time the gun sounds... of course that would mean that in lots of photo finishes the 2nd or 3rd place "finisher" might have a a superior elapsed time than the apparent winner.
    I don't like that idea at all!
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    #63
    Quote Originally Posted by 18.99s View Post
    But if you want to increase the accuracy requirements of the javelin in some ways such as by using two parallel lines 20m apart instead of a wide sector, and/or measuring measuring the perpendicular distance from a straight throwing line instead of the radial distance from a curved line, I wouldn't oppose that.
    Actually, they used to measure the perpendicular distance from the straight line several decades ago.
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    #64
    Quote Originally Posted by bobguild76 View Post
    Let's not forget the part the bar plays in this drama. It is something the athletes focus on, in a manner the horizontal jumpers don't need. I wonder what they would think about jumping through an imaginary vertical plane, with no bar, nothing to aim for. Nothing that would give them a sense of depth. I wonder if that lack of a target would affect their jumping.
    It would indeed screw up their jumping. High jumpers and pole vaulters have the three-dimensional task of navigating their entire body over a bar, so they need a very visible object to focus on during their approach and clearance.

    But long jumpers only have the one-dimensional task of reaching as far as possible. If the bar is removed from the vertical jumps, the HJ and PV should similarly be turned into one-dimensional tasks by recording the highest point reached by the head or torso, instead of expecting them to navigate a mid-air path over something they can barely or cannot see.

    And it goes back to real-world applications of vertical jumping. In any such scenario, you're either jumping over a physical barrier or jumping to reach a physical object.
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    #65
    Quote Originally Posted by 18.99s View Post
    If the bar is removed from the vertical jumps, the HJ and PV should similarly be turned into one-dimensional tasks by recording the highest point reached by the head or torso, instead of expecting them to navigate a mid-air path over something they can barely or cannot see.
    But if you made it depend on the highest point reached by the head or torso, some official would have to look at an image to determine the location of that point. Not unlike reading a photofinish image. Even that takes a few seconds, but this would be more complicated because it wouldn't really be one-dimensional. Without the bar, the highest point could be before or after the place where the bar would be. In any event, the result would be that nobody (live spectators, tv viewers or athletes) would be able to tell the result of the jump instantly, as everyone can now. Let's not go there.
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    #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by 18.99s View Post
    It would indeed screw up their jumping. High jumpers and pole vaulters have the three-dimensional task of navigating their entire body over a bar, so they need a very visible object to focus on during their approach and clearance.
    Yes and no.
    HJers should NOT be looking at the bar during clearance (sometimes they do need a visual cue to 'kick-out' at clearance, but it should be automatic), but do need it in the run-up.
    PVers don't need a bar till they are up at the bar and then maybe need it to negotiate their way around it.
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    #67
    Quote Originally Posted by Atticus View Post
    Yes and no.
    HJers should NOT be looking at the bar during clearance (sometimes they do need a visual cue to 'kick-out' at clearance, but it should be automatic), but do need it in the run-up.
    PVers don't need a bar till they are up at the bar and then maybe need it to negotiate their way around it.
    How pedantic.
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    #68
    Quote Originally Posted by tandfman View Post
    But if you made it depend on the highest point reached by the head or torso, some official would have to look at an image to determine the location of that point. Not unlike reading a photofinish image. Even that takes a few seconds, but this would be more complicated because it wouldn't really be one-dimensional. Without the bar, the highest point could be before or after the place where the bar would be. In any event, the result would be that nobody (live spectators, tv viewers or athletes) would be able to tell the result of the jump instantly, as everyone can now. Let's not go there.
    I don't want to there. I was pointing out the absurd implications of turning the vertical jumps into a pure "as high as possible" contest without the need to go over a visible physical object.
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    #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by 18.99s View Post
    How pedantic.
    And yet relevant to the discussion and significant to the competitor.
    One person's 'pedantic' is another person's 'informative'.
    I guess it depends on one's desire to be informed.
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    #70
    So to recap some of the arguments for and against, and to expand on some of my ideas:

    Thereís not much buy-in on the PV/HJ idea. Most folks think theyíre fine as is and no need for change. The biggest single complaint is the lack of a physical bar for athletes to aim for, and for fans to see stay or fall. Also, in the vertical jumps there is the possibility of the chess match of passing on heights/attempts hoping your opponents get three misses before you do.

    My thoughts on modifying the horizontal jumps has more buy-in. Again there are the ďit ainít broke so donít fix itĒ folks. But there were some that thought this was a more useful/doable change than the vertical jumps.

    One very valid complaint about both is technical availability, cost and distribution of the new technologies. These are indeed huge barriers to implementation, no doubt about it, perhaps prohibitive. But rather than get bogged down in implementation details (really mostly financial; the basic tech is undoubtedly out there but has not been applied for these functions), for the sake of arguing how these radical changes would affect the events, athletes, fans & officials, letís assume Uncle Phil loves the idea and bankrolls the project worldwide and that the transition happens in a short period of time.

    Starting with the easier lift, the horizontal jumps. The main difference to these events is that the athletes would get credit for any distance from their takeoff spot as long as it was behind the board. Letís say the electronic pad behind the board runs for one meter from the board back up the runway. As long as athletes hit anywhere in that last meter of runway, they get credit for the full distance from takeoff. No more chopped steps and very few fouls, allowing athletes to concentrate on other things that will lengthen their jumps. My guess is that most athletes would improve their distance if they werenít aiming their takeoff for a single line in the runway.

    The vertical jumps: first off, the bar. Assume the virtual bar will be easily visible to both athletes and fans. Moving on, my idea was basically that the bar is there as a guide/target for the athlete/fans, but not a make or miss item; the point isnít to clear a bar, but to jump as high as possible.

    Athletes could use this numerous ways. Take our buddy Mondo. He might set it some distance below the current record and run and rip above it. But I think the more likely scenario is that he sets it some small distance above the WR (say 6.17) and let here rip. If he only gets 6.10, still a good day at the office and give it another shot next week. Or athletes could set the bar to meet training goals (yes, Iím aware that athletes donít go for PRs on every single attempt, especially early in the season).

    In any event the electronics will immediately (in my hypothetical world) know what height 100% of the athlete cleared and display it for athlete, fans and officials. If the powers that be instead insist that the bar be a make/miss item, it can change colors to green for a make or red for a miss. But my original thinking is that the only attempt that is a miss is a run-through.

    On the one hand this started out as a pie-in-sky idea (6.17m off the ground) but so was electronic timing at one point.

    On a side note, comparisons to races on the track are not really applicable. Those are a races to the finish with all athletes running at one time Ė the main point being first at the tape. To make this applicable to the jumps weíd have to change them so that there were eight parallel runways and have all jumpers go at once. Also, only one jump per meet.
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