Page 1 of 1

Pole Vault Safety: Article in USAToday

Posted: Fri Feb 21, 2003 3:22 pm
by 84rules
Found this in the Sports section.

Pole vault safety evokes a variety of responses
By Dick Patrick, USA TODAY

Jan Johnson encountered a conflict in the early days of his roles as the national pole vault safety coordinator and a coach of vaulters. Taking his California-based club to meets in the mid 1990s, he often was confronted by what he considered sub-standard safety conditions.

So he bought a trailer to haul extra pits and padding to meets, while also delivering a lecture.

Johnson has even more say-so now, helping write new rules for the pole vault that went into effect after a tragic 2002 that saw three vaulters, two in high school and one in college, die in action. Sunday marks a year since the death of Penn State's Kevin Dare, who died five days after the death of Jesus Quesada of Clewiston, Fla., and five weeks before Samoa Fili II of Wichita

"We'd done a huge amount of work, leading up to last year," says Johnson, the 1972 Olympic bronze medalist in the vault. "Then we had those accidents. We've made some big changes."

"We still have work to do," says Ed Dare, Kevin's father, who has made vault safety a quest.

Some vault enthusiasts worry that the biggest change in high school rules â€â€

Posted: Fri Feb 21, 2003 6:06 pm
by rainbowgirl28
I swear there are more than 25,000 high school pole vaulters in the U.S. and I will prove it someday.

I Agree

Posted: Fri Feb 21, 2003 8:20 pm
by xtremevaulter
That number seems really low...

Posted: Sat Feb 22, 2003 7:23 pm
by PVJunkie
THE FOLLOWING QUOTE IS FALSE!!!!!!!!! JAN NEVE TOLD THE REPORTER THAT INTERVIEWED HIM THE "PHYSICIAN" THING. KINDA MAKES YOU WONDER ABOUT WHAT YOU READ - THUS THE OLD SAYING "DONT BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU HEAR" (READ)!!!! Of course the correction will be buried somewhere deep in the life section where no one will ever see it..................OOOOHHHHHHH ya gotta love the media!!

"It's our goal in a year or so to have every single pole vault place in the country have a certified coach and physician," says Johnson, who estimates there are 15,000 such sites. "You wouldn't have any of those accidents if we had this."

Posted: Sat Feb 22, 2003 9:15 pm
by rainbowgirl28
If they even bother to post a correction at all :no:

I was wondering about that, because I never heard Jan mention anything about physicians at Reno... wouldn't make any sense.

Posted: Sat Feb 22, 2003 9:33 pm
by Russ
Hey Junkie! Yea, I can't imagine what that reporter thought that he heard. Physician? Clinician? Technician? My brother is in the newspaper business (an editor at the Palm Beach Post) so I can't say that they are all bad. But my brother has always told me to never, ever talk to reporters. His advice to me is to say "no comment". He says that if you talk with them, they'll either misquote you or quote you out of context. Straight from the horse's mouth.

Speaking of horses, did you see that a 17 year old high school girl was killed last week at a horse show in Wellington, Florida. The 1500 lb. horse that she was jumping with rolled over on her when they failed to make a jump. Now that is a sport that has a lot of the same safety issues that we have in the pole vault. By the way, they do have helmet requirements in those equestrian sports, but as this death shows, helmets are not the only answer.

I believe that helmets may be part of the solution (we certainly need more information & reserach before making those mandatory, though). But good education is probably more important still. If all coaches were to demonstrate minimum competency in pv mechanics, skills progressions, safety and risk management (i.e., through passing certification tests), I think that fewer injuries would occur. But, remember, I have a bias. Jan asked me to serve as an adviser to the pvscb back in January (I'm a non-paid volunteer). So I am a convert.

Re: Pole Vault Safety: Article in USAToday

Posted: Thu May 03, 2012 8:51 am
by dj
PV Safety

Good morning,

I am so for safety to the max… safe vaulting means that you are closer to "technically" correct…

I will make my point here before it gets lost in my "chatter"….

Technically correct vaulting and an understanding of the "principles/physics" of the vault is THE only way to cut down injuries in the vault.

off course common sense, but we have seen that most caoches are not teaching that .......

1. Know that the Approach Run MUST be on.. on means you should not be stretching, my chart is THE BEST guide for the Approach Run training and monitoring..… use it.. from day one in training.. keep the proportions, grip to "MID" (six steps from the box) to vault height in line… as you coach. If you are not running six steps look at the stride lengths for the grip you are holding and NEVER OVER STRIDE!!!

2. Only hold (grip) as high as you can "move" (penetrate) THE POLE and not your body to vertical with the crossbar at 24-30 inches…. many jumpers swing by the pole and "flag" into the pit and NEVER get the pole to vertical. You tell your coach and PVP I have to have a bigger pole!!! Or "I need to raise my grip because I didn't bend the pole enough.." STOP.. STOP… STOP

3. STOP.. it is not a pole bending contest, or "hold the top" of the pole contest, or a "rocket launch" contest. No poles should be marketed as "rockets" or Catapults or as "give you more launch air" from the top.. honestly that's a miss representation of the event (sorry friends I have in the pole business… but I do think you are beginning change this for the good…

4. Is HOW the track program is run and HOW the vaulters are selected at that high school. IE.
I have tried to help introduce or "upgrade" the level of vaulting at ?9 schools locally. All but a couple have done this… I have two to five kids from the start… (and if you have read my beginners "progression" posted in other threads you will know I need the athlete, minimum, full, beginning to end, five sessions.. minimum) then 30 minutes later 2/3 show up ("athletes" from other events) and say 'coach' sent me… and then almost at the" end" of the session 2 more show up. I DO NOT ACCEPT THEM>>> yes you want the best athletes and every coach, BUTT, me will take them… some might make it, most don't… even if they make it they are the ones doing things wrong and trying to jump off of Athletic Ability.. and have the accidents.

5. We need to get rid of this "mentality" that the event is a "kamikaze" event. Event for the reckless, the "thrill" seeker… this makes it the event for the STUPID. It is an event for the mentally and physically strong. No different than hurdles, gymnastics, evening riding a bicycle! It takes athletic ability, skill, knowledge, practice (correct practice) and common sense.

40 plus years coaching the vault, 10 Jr.&Sr. High schools as the vault or head coach, six College/Universities as the vault coach, plus a couple of JC's. My first coaching job we had three "bags" of foam, two side by side and one on top-middle. My 9th grade football QB jumped 12-3 with one pole, a 14/140.. the only Junior high vaulter better that year was Earl Bell, 13-2?

I have seen, pretty much, firsthand every accident possible (except a death which I don't want to see) two where the athlete dropped head down from 15 feet into the metal box… Jan was competing in the meet in Wichita for one of those. Why would a vaulter turn upside down, stall, turn loose of the pole? (this was one of the best jumpers in the NCAA 1971) I have been involve in "going over the back" myself in a pit at Northridge.. I was demo-ing, the pit was 3 feet short.. I landed and "flipped' off the back on my head. Second one jumping in a "crosswind" bad plant.. came back out to the grass.. broke ankle on the edge of the runway.

I got phone calls 5 times in the late 80', early 90's from attorneys interviewing me for "expert" testimony… they decided I wasn't going to automatically be on the side of the athlete and would ask questions, technical, mental etc.. that would not help them.. I never was called in on any case.
One lawsuit that "paid out" (because the injured kid is always right) involved a kid, surfer dude, that was stoned out of his mind.. had his "surfer dude" gallery, boys and girls, at practice to show off.. the coach was on the other side of the track timing some runners, but had told the vaulters not to start until he was there.. this kid had NOT come to the team warm up.. just straight from school and the coach had not specifically told him, them not to start, that day, until he got to the pit.. he apparently went in, bent the pole big and it throw him into the standards and on his head and shoulders beside the pit. He left practice and I don't think the coach saw him but was told by another vaulter later that the boy had hit his head on the standard.. The lawsuit was "brain damage"… he didn't go to the emergency room until he went home that evening and told his parents his head was hurting from the "crash", and of course there was no drug test and the "stoned out of his mind" was hearsay.

How many vaulters have been hurt/injured because of over-striding on the run?

Every coach and athlete needs to start to "monitor" this one correlation.. after your next meet or practice get back to us and tell us what you observed.. and the correlation between good and bad jumps and a "stretched" run…