Let's talk about box collars!

Discussion about ways to make the sport safer and discussion of past injuries so we can learn how to avoid them in the future.
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Re: Let's talk about box collars!

Unread postby KirkB » Tue Apr 02, 2013 8:18 pm

Divalent wrote:Those sharp angles focus the energy on any body part that hits them to a very small area, and so result in much higher forces than would occur if the impact energy were distributed over a larger area.

You are exactly correct, Divalent.

Without expanding the overall size of the box (so that existing boxes can be retrofit), I think there's still room for a solid-material insert on each wing of the box - to flare it (round the edge) so that it's not such a sharp edge. This could be done by simply making the angles of the side panels less obtuse (so that the dimensions of the slide plate don't change much at all). I don't think this would be much more difficult to plant the pole into at all, but of course this would require extensive testing and verification.

I would NOT flare the edges around the bend cavity of the box in this same way though - because the potential for interfering with the normal action of the pole - both in planting the tip onto the strikeplate, and in bending the pole - are too great. But that's a very small area (albeit the most critical area) compared to the sharp edges along the "wings" of the box.

I think a combination of flared edges (using a solid material) along the wings of the box, combined with a box collar meeting the ASTM standard would be optimal. This can be staged over time - the new box collar now (for 4-8 more years), then the flared box inserts later. And it can all be done as a retrofit of existing boxes - without narrowing the box much at all. But for now, the ASTM standard box collar is a GREAT improvement!

I don't think the area OUTSIDE of today's box dimensions should be flared. Besides being impossible on a retrofit, this would effectively make the hard surface area WIDER (on each side of the box), which would give vaulters less flat space to land on during an aborted vault. Whether they're landing feet-first or back/head-first, it's important to keep the overall size of the box as small as possible. Flaring each side would effectively enlarge the box. The new box collar does a very good job of REDUCING the size of the box!

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Re: Let's talk about box collars!

Unread postby KirkB » Tue Apr 02, 2013 8:22 pm

charlie wrote:ALL the NEW UCS pits need NO box collars because they designed the pits to fit the box!!!! Boy, how brilliant was that!!!!!!

Are you serious, or are you being sarcastic?

The density of the foam in the new UCS pits are not nearly as safe to prevent catastrophic head injuries as the foam required by the new ASTM box collar standard. Also, they do NOT cover the sharp edges of the box (unlike the SafetyMax+).

In fact, even if the bottom 4" or so of the pit had sufficient density to pass the ASTM standard, pit-drift during a practice or meet will cause the bare, hard surface around the box to become exposed. Very dangerous!

There is always the cost issue to consider, with the SafetyMax+ costing ~$500-600. But as Kyle Bishop said "if that's 500 bucks and it saves a life, let's spend the 500 bucks".

Compared to the value of a human life, AND compared to the risk of a multi-million dollar lawsuit, 500 or 600 bucks isn't much at all. That's just a handful of football or basketball admission tickets for most colleges.

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Re: Let's talk about box collars!

Unread postby gtc » Mon Sep 16, 2013 8:52 pm

How long has the "old safeTmax" box collar been on the market?

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Re: Let's talk about box collars!

Unread postby RudiWhoop » Sat Sep 21, 2013 11:41 am

Wouldn't it beeasier to just get a skydex soft pole Vault box?

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Re: Let's talk about box collars!

Unread postby drcurran » Sat Sep 28, 2013 8:14 am

This memo, which came out in late Aug., explains that the "wings", which extend into the box, are an option. Seems to me the statement in the last part of the memo - At this time, we are unsure as to whether competitions will need to supply both a pole vault box collar with wings and a collar without wings that meet ASTM Standard F2949-12 in order to provide fair and equitable competition for all participating student athletes. would be an almost impossible situation. Can you imagine changing box collars between vaulters?

FROM: Sam Seemes, CEO
U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association

RE: NCAA Pole Vault Box Collar Mandate – Effective December 1, 2013

On December 1, 2013, the new NCAA Track & Field rule that mandates the use of a Pole Vault Box Collar that meets ASTM Standard F2949-12 goes into effect.

NCAA Track & Field coaches should be aware that the ASTM’s F08.67 subcommittee, which is responsible for the ASTM F2949-12 standard, has now stated and clarified that the wing sections extending into the pole vault box described and illustrated in ASTM Standard F2949-12, is an optional part of the standard and therefore wings are not required in order to meet the ASTM F2949-12 Standard.

In summary, an institution or facility may purchase a pole vault box collar either, with wings that extend inside the pole vault box area or without wings and meet ASTM Standard F2949-12 if all other requirements of the standard are met. We suggest that when purchasing a pole vault box collar to meet the new NCAA rule effective December 1, 2013, make sure the pole vault box collar you purchase is stamped by the manufacture indicating that it is compliant with ASTM Standard F2949-12.
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Re: Let's talk about box collars!

Unread postby PVJunkie » Tue Oct 01, 2013 2:33 pm

The email from the USTFCCCA contains very few factual statements. A similar email as sent by MF Athletics. Below is some of the information I shared from another topic on this board.

There are lots of different pits out there in all shapes and sizes, that provide very different "feels" visually around the box, in front, to the back and to the sides. It would make about as much sense to suggest switching pits for each vaulter as it does to provide multiple collars. When the UCS Futura standards first came out there were a lot of vaulters who struggled with depth perception, some still do.

There was an ASTM conference call to discuss and vote on a single proposal. There was no evaluation or interpretation done. In fact ASTM does not provide interpretations of standards. While someone may offer a personal opinion in this regard, the only action a committee or subcommittee may take is to introduce a revision to the standard to further clarify its intent.

The proposal was voted down and as such nothing changed. Everything that was true before the meeting remains so today. The current standard references wings in its description as well as its drawings. It is my opinion the current active standard does indeed require the wings.

There were a lot of new members on that call so it's easy to understand that they are not familiar with the ASTM procedures and may have made assumptions based on some of the conversations.

No matter what information you have received the past few days there has been no revision, interpretation or clarification done regarding the ASTM or the NCAA rule that has been out for several months.

If you focus on the actual requirements section of the ASTM there is no reference to wings being optional.

The NCAA rule reads
Pole Vault Box Padding. A pole vault box collar, which is a device used to offer protection to pole vaulters in and around a pole vault box, shall be in place not later than December 1, 2013. The device must meet the most current ASTM Specification Standard and can be incorporated into the design of the pole vault box or a padding addition to an existing pole vault box.

The use of the word "in" when defining the location of the protection provided gives some insight into how the NCAA has interpreted the ASTM.

Edits to either the rule or the ASTM are a possibility but as of right now, for this upcoming season, to meet the 12/1 deadline, only what has been published is important.

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Re: Let's talk about box collars!

Unread postby PV2020 » Wed Oct 02, 2013 1:43 am

PVJunkie you argue a moot point. Everyone but Gill seems to think the wings are not required. Maybe you are right, maybe you are wrong. How will we find out?

All manufacturers must get their collars marked for approval by the ASTM. So if anyone comes out with a new collar that gets the ASTM stamp of approval with no wings, then it is 100% legal no matter what you think.

You already stated that ASTM only prints standards, it does not give interpretations (which I think is one of the dumbest things of all time). Therefore everything you are saying is your current interpretation.

Regardless time will tell. Come winter there will either be collars with no wings with an ASTM standard, or there will not be. We will find out then. However I will find out on December 8th what the first competition has there, and if there are no collars on the market without wings, I will purchase one with them. But until December I personally plan on waiting to see what happens.

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Re: Let's talk about box collars!

Unread postby PVJunkie » Wed Oct 02, 2013 9:20 am

Once again I am only sharing facts to correct the misinformation that is out there.

PVJunkie you argue a moot point.

- It is not moot, since the deadline is December 1.

Everyone but Gill seems to think the wings are not required.

- This is not true, at least from the organizations and people I have spoken to. Other ASTM members/the NCAA/NHFS as well as most of the coaches I have spoken to all see the rule and ASTM requiring wings. Who else would have input on this requirement?

Maybe you are right, maybe you are wrong. How will we find out?

- Call your governing body. I have, and that is why I am sharing the information.

All manufacturers must get their collars marked for approval by the ASTM.

- This is not a requirement of the ASTM or the NCAA. It may be in the future but as of right now a stamp is not required. Any revision to the ASTM would take at least a year and the NCAA would take longer. Again, try not to make this topic too confusing by speculating on things.

All manufacturers must get their collars marked for approval by the ASTM.

- There is no such requirement. The ASTM does not "approve" of products. Products are tested in accordance with an ASTM by independent labs (and its expensive).

So if anyone comes out with a new collar that gets the ASTM stamp of approval with no wings, then it is 100% legal no matter what you think.

- It would be impossible for them to get a stamp of approval since one does not exist. None of this has anything to do with what I personally think. Due to my involvement, with Gill and the ASTM, I have contacted as many of the people involved as possible and I am sharing the outcome.

Regardless time will tell. Come winter there will either be collars with no wings with an ASTM standard, or there will not be. We will find out then. However I will find out on December 8th what the first competition has there, and if there are no collars on the market without wings, I will purchase one with them. But until December I personally plan on waiting to see what happens.

- Taking the wait and see approach is fine except you run the risk of missing the 12/1 deadline. If your not hosting a meet no one will know and you have that time if there is a back order. The information I have shared is for those who don't want to wait.

I have suggested this to you before. You should become a member of the ASTM. Your passion for the event is clear and could be valuable to the group.

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Re: Let's talk about box collars!

Unread postby Decamouse » Wed Oct 02, 2013 11:52 am

Chill Bryan

The ASTM standard does include the word "If" -- now let the spin doctors run with how it is being interpeted - this has been discussed with Peter and Jan -- It is still in the wording. That is a fact - I am still am active memeber of F08 and F08.67 and have voted on it in it various stages - do I think the standard is a good thing - yes - are there still valid question yes -- because if you apply it to a Softbox the softbox does not meet it - that would be insane to take a product with a higher level of safety and make it not usable unless you add something!! But the wording if applied as you say would make it illegal by itself.

I have yet to see a picture of a box collar that does not impede the pole tip from contacting the interface of the side wall and pole slide (bottom) -- is it a misleading photo or a design flaw -- that wording is also in the ASTM std about what must be allowed to happen.

Testing and how it must be documented is also in the standard. So unless it is tested and documented according to those sections of the standard --- let the lawyers decided on that

I will have a new box collar this year and even if wings are not required - we will have one with wings because I feel they are safer -- that is my opinion and choice

But lets not confuse facts,the word "if" is still in the standard, and it clearly states where the pole must be able to contact - the entire length of the intersection between sides and bottom -- if it cover that point so the pole tip can not reach there - it is not according to the standard
Last edited by Decamouse on Thu Oct 03, 2013 3:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Let's talk about box collars!

Unread postby PVJunkie » Wed Oct 02, 2013 12:44 pm

I am very chill Jeff, I have no emotion whatsoever in my posts. In fact I re-read them to try and remove things that may be taken the wrong way.

If you have spoken to the other members of the ASTM then you know that the word "if" in the definitions does not effect the requirement of wings. Since it is a part of the document as a whole and there is no other reference (words or drawings) in the remaining several pages of the document that make the wings an option. When that sentence, defining the box collar arms not the wings themselves, is put into context there is only one meaning it can have. The definition of the wings says nothing about them being optional.

I have also spoken to members of the ASTM and the NCAA about the soft box. The NCAA provides the following:
- The device must meet the most current ASTM Specification Standard and can be incorporated into the design of the pole vault box or a padding addition to an existing pole vault box.
The ASTM is a specification for pole vault box collars so it cannot be applied to a soft box. The NCAA worded the rule to allow for the protection to be in either an ASTM compliant collar (padding) or integrated into the box (soft box). Just like other standards the NCAA manipulated the rule to fit their needs.
The soft box meets the force requirements in all the required areas (even more than required) AND the wings are "built in". So it meets the NCAA's requirement without adding a collar.

The current collar design from Gill does allow the tip to slide down intersection of the side and the slide. You mentioned this once before but I still don't understand what you are saying. PM me or give me a call about this, I would love to get a better idea of what you are trying to say.

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Re: Let's talk about box collars!

Unread postby PV2020 » Wed Oct 02, 2013 12:50 pm

In summary.

ASTM does not test products, ASTM does not interpret standards, NCAA does not require a mark of approval on the product.

What does this mean to most officials, coaches, or manufactures?

Someone is going to go to a meet. They are going to have a box collar the official is unfamiliar with. One coach is going to argue it is illegal, and another coach may argue it is legal and their manufacture said so. There will be no way to prove it on the spot unless the NCAA prints a list of approved products for every official to have on them at the meet.

If no one can immediately prove that the product is illegal, they will use it.

Not necessarily arguing that this is the right thing to do. Just I think if there is a rule in place there needs to be a better way to regulate and enforce it.

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Re: Let's talk about box collars!

Unread postby rainbowgirl28 » Wed Oct 02, 2013 11:30 pm

PV2020 wrote:Not necessarily arguing that this is the right thing to do. Just I think if there is a rule in place there needs to be a better way to regulate and enforce it.


Amen. They rushed to implement the rule and it's going to be a cluster****


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