Friday, February 13, 2015
NCAA Rules for Pole Vault
Pole vault is probably the most complex track and field event when it comes to the rules and judging of the event. There are approximately 40 different rules for pole vault, In this blog I will outline a few of the more basic and important rules in hopes to create a better understanding of this great event . A full list of rules can be found at usatf.org (will hyperlink).
First and foremost is how high should the bar be placed and how many increments should the bar be raised after each jump. The opening height or the height that the bar starts at is determined by the host of the meet. Once opening height is established the bar will be raised 15 cm at a time, until there is only one vaulter remaining. The last vaulter standing may then choose the exact height of the bar.
Once a vaulters name is called by the judge they have they have 60 seconds to attempt there first of three attempts at clearing the bar. A vaulter may leave the ground in an attempt but if the vaulter does not break the plane which is the back side of the box or touch the mat in anyway, they are allowed to make the attempt again. This allowance is for windy days that may knock the bar off with no fault of the vaulter, this does not mean the vaulter can try to run of the mat before the bar falls to make the attempt count.
When the vaulter has made an attempt they must throw the pole back to prevent the pole from knocking the bar off. There is an allowance if there are high winds that cause the pole to fall back against the bar and knock it off. The flag judge will make the call whether or not they feel that the vaulter made a true attempt to throw the pole back. The flag judge holds two flags, one is red and the other is white. The flag judge will raise the red flag is the jump is a failed attempt and will raise the white flag if the attempt is good.
There are many more rules that go into judging pole vault and can be frustrating to many coaches and athletes, as like many other sports the referee has the power to give the final say. As mentioned before hand all rules for pole vaulting can be found at... hopefully this has given you a little more insight into the little known but great sport of pole vault.
Cooper, C. (2012, March 1). 2012 POLE VAULT RULES COMPARISON. Retrieved February 8, 2015, from http://www.usatf.org/groups/officials/files/resources/field-events/Pole-Vault-Rules-Comparison-Full-Mar2012.pdf