9th grader not allowed to pole vault

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9th grader not allowed to pole vault

Unread postby rdd3 » Mon Jan 23, 2012 6:17 pm

My son is a 9th grader attending a Jr High in Washington state. He ran cross country for the high school team in the fall, which was allowed because cross country is not offered at the middle level. Unfortunately, the track and field program at his Jr High does not provide pole vaulting (I'm not sure they vault anywhere in the state at the middle level, but definitely not in our district). The position of the WIAA is that since the sport of "track and field" is offered at the middle level, he is ineligible to compete on the high school track team.

He has been training at ProVault NW since November and is making really good progress. I think he's on track to go over 12' this year (which, at least in his district, would make him a legitimate varsity vaulter as a freshman). But right now it looks like he's going to have to miss out on vaulting as part of a school team as a 9th grader. I think it would be much better for his athletic development to be on the high school team, but the WIAA seems to be a lot more concerned with following their handbook than with what's in the best interest of the student athletes. it's really a shame as our neighboring schools all have 9th grade in high school and thus 9th grade high school vaulters, but due to geography, my son won't have that opportunity.

So it looks like he will compete at the club level this year, and maybe turn out for the Jr High track team to do sprints and long jump (more as conditioning for PV than anything else).

I'm just wondering if anyone has any experience in this area, or knows of a case where someone has been able to convince the WIAA to let a Jr High 9th grader vault. I've been over the WIAA handbook eligibility requirements 100 times and I just don't see a workaround.

Thanks.

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Re: 9th grader not allowed to pole vault

Unread postby rainbowgirl28 » Mon Jan 23, 2012 8:39 pm

A few districts in WA have junior high pole vault, but not many!

No workaround, but there are a TON of summer meets. I've dealt with the WIAA on a number of issues, and I can pretty much guarantee they won't budge.

Let him have fun trying other events on the school team (which you're right, will help his vaulting) and don't sweat the spring season. He can vault in meets at least 1-2 times per week in June and July between all-comers (Bellingham and Shoreline and there might be some in Burlington) and JOs and Beach Vaults.

Also keep your eyes on http://www.pntf.org/youth We don't have the full 2012 schedule up yet, but you can see last year's schedule here: http://www.pntf.org/upcoming/2011/sched ... track.html Not all of the meets offer pole vaulting, but it's worth checking them out.

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Re: 9th grader not allowed to pole vault

Unread postby Ken » Wed Feb 29, 2012 12:41 am

8th grade girl chomping at the bit, and her last basketball game is Thursday.

As far as I know there is no middle school pole vaulting, at least in Everett School District.

Since it is not offerred at the middle school level, is it possible to train at a nearby high school. If so do you know who to contact. She is not looking to compete at the high school level but wants to take advantage of the spring and summer weather to practice vaulting and get ready for high school next year.

This would get her ready for competitions this summer at Shoreline and any other places that offer pole vaulting. She is also looking for a pole, 11'6", 90 - 100 lb test to practice. Rent or used is OK if in good condition.

I am also surprised that there are not more opportunities, outside of ProVault, to pracice.

I remember when I was a kid, we just hitch hiked with our poles up to San Diego State to vault. We would spend the day and learn from the college and high school vaulters. It was a different time.

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Re: 9th grader not allowed to pole vault

Unread postby rainbowgirl28 » Wed Feb 29, 2012 1:55 am

Ken wrote:8th grade girl chomping at the bit, and her last basketball game is Thursday.

As far as I know there is no middle school pole vaulting, at least in Everett School District.

Since it is not offerred at the middle school level, is it possible to train at a nearby high school. If so do you know who to contact. She is not looking to compete at the high school level but wants to take advantage of the spring and summer weather to practice vaulting and get ready for high school next year.

This would get her ready for competitions this summer at Shoreline and any other places that offer pole vaulting. She is also looking for a pole, 11'6", 90 - 100 lb test to practice. Rent or used is OK if in good condition.

I am also surprised that there are not more opportunities, outside of ProVault, to pracice.

I remember when I was a kid, we just hitch hiked with our poles up to San Diego State to vault. We would spend the day and learn from the college and high school vaulters. It was a different time.



I think most of the public schools would not allow a middle schooler to vault with them during the season, but it never hurts to ask. We do have junior high pole vaulting down here in SW WA, but Ilwaco's junior high joined the Oregon league (much less travel), and they don't pole vault!

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Re: 9th grader not allowed to pole vault

Unread postby dj » Wed Feb 29, 2012 6:49 pm

hey

there is a way, legally, to protest and win...

there is no reason he can't compete.. his 9th grade school grade records will count on his transcripts correct???

do they have 9th graders playing football, on JV or varsity teams?

do they have other academic classes not offered that the general student population has to attend high school for??

i don't see any reason the courts wouldn't decide with him...

the other schools of course don't want the competition... so they will go to all their friends in high places to get it stopped..

dj

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Re: 9th grader not allowed to pole vault

Unread postby rainbowgirl28 » Wed Feb 29, 2012 8:03 pm

DJ protesting would not help. The WIAA does not allow 9-graders who are in a middle school to compete for a 10-12 high school. This affects all sports. It isn't a policy decision by the high school, it's a policy decision by the WIAA.

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Re: 9th grader not allowed to pole vault

Unread postby dj » Wed Feb 29, 2012 10:28 pm

and maybe it's time for a law suit against the WIAA... not giving there "citizens" the same opportunities that are "given" nationwide???

so no ninth graders participate in any high school programs?? band, academic, sports...?? any??

like i said the ones that don't want the competition (and can't coach the vault)are controlling the system so they can win.. and keep winning..


dj

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Re: 9th grader not allowed to pole vault

Unread postby rainbowgirl28 » Thu Mar 01, 2012 2:00 pm

dj wrote:and maybe it's time for a law suit against the WIAA... not giving there "citizens" the same opportunities that are "given" nationwide???

so no ninth graders participate in any high school programs?? band, academic, sports...?? any??

like i said the ones that don't want the competition (and can't coach the vault)are controlling the system so they can win.. and keep winning..


dj


It only affects the handful of school districts that choose to have 9th grade be part of a junior high instead of a high school. They are completely separate schools and campuses and I think they may have different geographic boundaries for determining which kid goes to which school.

They have track at the junior high, they just don't offer pole vault. Because they are given the opportunity to participate in the SPORT of track and field at the junior high, because they will be offered the chance to participate in pole vault in grades 10-12, which is what matters for college recruiting, and because there are ample opportunities to participate in club competitions in the summer out here, there's very little chance a court would have any sympathy.

You don't have a god-given right to pole vault. It's a privilege. There are plenty of schools that don't allow their athletes to pole vault at all.

I'm not saying I agree with the decision not to let 9th graders participate at the HS, but DJ you're not from out here and not at all familiar with the issues behind it. This has absolutely nothing to do with the pole vault other than the fact that it affects a very small number of pole vaulters.

The athlete in question will have ample opportunities to compete this summer. There are weekly all-comers meets that offer pole vaulting in multiple locations in our state. There is of course Junior Olympics and I think a few of the other youth meets have it. We have two awesome beach vaults!

Frankly, the weather always sucks during the HS track season anyway. I'd rather see a talented, motivated freshman spend the spring doing long jump and sprints at their junior high meets, and vaulting indoors in a club with good coaching, then be fresh and ready to go for the summer, than spend the spring getting mediocre coaching at the high school, competing in a lot of cold, wet, miserable meets, and find themselves beat up and burned out by the time the nice weather and summer hits.

I'm being extreme on both ends of the examples there (we have a lot of good public school coaches), but just trying to say that it's not the end of the world to not compete for a high school as a freshman. They are certainly welcome to make their opinions on the subject known to the WIAA.

FWIW, the WIAA allows kids who are home schooled or go to private schools who don't offer a sport to compete for the public school they are zoned for. I competed in gymnastics for my local public school. I wanted to do diving, but that is an event within swimming, and Seattle Public Schools don't do diving. I lived like a mile or two from the border of the next town up, and they did offer diving, but I was just SOL. I could have tried club diving, but I started pole vaulting instead :)

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Re: 9th grader not allowed to pole vault

Unread postby rainbowgirl28 » Thu Mar 01, 2012 3:13 pm

To the dad who posted originally, the best thing you can do is focus on the positives with your son. I listed a lot of them in my last post. He's going to get three years to compete for the high school, and for kids whose schools don't offer pole vaulting, that's three more years than they would get! In the long-term, this isn't going to hurt him as long as he keeps vaulting elsewhere.

I definitely recommend checking out Tim Reilly's camps! http://www.nwpolevault.com/NW_PoleVault/Home.html

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Re: 9th grader not allowed to pole vault

Unread postby vaultmd » Thu Mar 01, 2012 5:29 pm

I agree the OP should count his kid's blessings.

In this situation, he gets to choose who coaches his son, rather than getting stuck with whomever the school coach is.

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Re: 9th grader not allowed to pole vault

Unread postby dj » Fri Mar 02, 2012 12:30 am

hey

sorry for what i saw as a "logical" point of view....

prop 9 was about the right to participate... I see this as no different..

If an activity is offer to any ninth grades it should be offered to all..

and I think it is an American issue not local or different between Washington and Florida.

But I agree.. that you don't let it interfere with your goals and aspirations… a challenged, driven athlete many times has the advantage under pressure.

Good luck

dj

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Re: 9th grader not allowed to pole vault

Unread postby silverstone997 » Wed Mar 21, 2012 2:40 pm

I know of a 9th grader competing for a 10-12th gymnastics team... its possible.


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