on The weight rating rule is making the PV less safe thread "http://www.polevaultpower.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=47&t=23878&start=12 KirkB wrote: ... the pole weight rule ... must be REPLACED by a better set of rules that will be more effective (and can be PROVEN to be more effective), such as the proposed RLZ rule, the standards placement rule (now 45-80 for both college and high school - which is good), and mandatory box collars that meet ASTM specs. And of course stricter or more mandatory coaching certifications.
I'll discuss my thoughts about these alternatives later - I agree with the majority of the sentiment on this thread and in Jan's SkyJumpers newsletters (I've read all the comments and emails), but I have a few ideas that haven't been mentioned yet.
As promised, this is my follow-up post ...
Here's my novel ideas:
1. Fan-shaped safety sectors
2. Pool noodles!
3. Riding the pole to safety
Here's a diagram of my proposed RLZ (Required Landing Zone) and PLZ (Preferred Landing Zone) shapes. The outer sector is my proposed RLZ.
It would fit approximately in the same rectangle as Jan’s RLZ. Why is it fan shaped? Because that's the shape of the shot put, discus, hammer, and javelin sectors, so it will be immediately recognizable as a SECTOR. When you see it painted on the pit, it should be obvious what it is. But more importantly, shaping the RLZ like a fan decreases the RLZ area to safer dimensions near the standards!
Although the BASE of the standards are padded, it's still dangerous if you land on them because the padding isn't as thick, and the upright is unpadded metal. It's also dangerous if you land on the pegs holding the crossbar up. I've seen a vid of a vaulter that ripped his shoulder open by landing on the pegs.
Vaults where the vaulter lands close to the standards (whether the bar is cleared or not) are very dangerous! The RLZ should be far enough away from the edges of the pit AND STANDARDS to provide a safety margin for bad landings. To provide this safety margin near the standards and still allow the RLZ to be wider when you land deeper into the pit, a fan shape is optimal. A rectangular shaped RLZ is not optimal near the standards.
One last reason for the RLZ being fan-shaped is because the sector should follow the likely trajectories of most vaults. Thus, it should (roughly) "fan out" from the box area. The back side of the pit could follow the arc of the RLZ. This isn't essential, but it might save some unnecessary bulk and weight of the pit which might result in slightly lower manufacturing and shipping costs.
The diagram shown is based on a radius center-point approximately 4.00m back from the box faceplate. This provides a sector of about 30⁰.
I've also drawn a PLZ inside the RLZ. The PLZ is also fan-shaped so that the overall appearance of the pit and its lines is symmetrical. The purpose of the two dots in the center of the PLZ is simply to provide a more precise indication to the vaulter and his coach of where he landed. This may assist in analyzing the vaulter's technique, and in fine-tuning the standards placement. It's just one arbitrary design detail that could have been drawn a number of different ways.
The front buns of the pit could be shorter than most of the pits commercially available, and replaced by ASTM certified box collar pads. Again, this would save manufacturing and shipping costs.
As long as the vaulter is riding his pole safely down by hanging onto it, the ASTM certified box collar material should be ample to dampen his feet-first landing. I suggest that some of the cost savings from shortening the front buns can go towards the purchase of an ASTM approved box collar (which would now be much larger and more costly if it's now covering the areas that the long front buns used to cover).
Next: Pool noodles!