Helmets

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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Helmets

New postby wacky274 » Wed Oct 16, 2002 11:46 am

Hmm, i'm surprised i havnt seen this one on this site yet........what do you all feel about helmets? should we wear them or not? why?
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New postby rainbowgirl28 » Wed Oct 16, 2002 11:49 am

If you want to sure. You should not be forced to wear them. That is a decision that should be made between the coach, vaulter, and parents. Not a school district or state association.
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New postby gpc3 » Wed Oct 16, 2002 1:43 pm

Sort of like how the gov't doesn't make you wear a seat-belt??
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New postby PVJunkie » Wed Oct 16, 2002 2:07 pm

kinda like the coachs box.......no rule exists and no one knows what it should do or where it should be placed but its being done anyway. At least the helmet will help SOME of the problems. As for the box thing......I refer to my earlier post on another topic......a bad sprint coach is just that a bad vault coach is dangerous. All the safe landing zones in the world wont make you a better coach. Besides, you can still get hurt if you land in the "zone" no matter where it is placed and since it is not supported by the NFHS, ASTM or any research you are MORE at risk for a lawsuit by putting one on your pit. Besides, how are you going to remove it or resize it if/when the ASTM does the research and designates, if/when the NFHS makes it mandatory.

food for thought
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New postby gpc3 » Wed Oct 16, 2002 3:30 pm

We just got a new UCS pit and it does have the Coach's Box on it in a different color. Our rule is going to be that if you can't land in the box consistently, you have to wear a helmet (Protec). I am afraid that the helmet gives a false sense of protection, but right now I think that's where we are moving to, so we'd better be ready.
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New postby dubjones » Wed Oct 16, 2002 4:29 pm

The helmet issue is a bit difficult right now. Here is what I know so far. Everyone who has been killed in this sport has done so due to a head injury. So the ovbious answer is to have everyone wear a helmet. But much of the ristance has come from the possible problems with wearing a helmet. One argument I have heard is that when a vaulter lands on his or her back the additional size of the helmet forces the chin into the chest of the athlete, causing possible neck problems. Personally I am for whatever keeps the sport active.
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New postby wacky274 » Wed Oct 16, 2002 5:22 pm

Ok, helmets...lol....well, i personally feel that helmets should not be worn for a couple reasons.....
1.) as mentioned it provides a false sense of security
2.) falling from however high on a helmet MIGHT protect your head, but leave you paralyzed....i'd rather be dead then have it so i can't move my whole body (i can't imagine not being able to move)
3.) if you repeatedly land in practice with a helmet on, even if it is a normal "safe" landing as you would do daily in practice, the gap between the helmet and your head would make it so that when you land the helmet moves that much and hits your head every time you land, causing maybe long term damage
4.) helmets could throw off a vaulters center of gravity


just my thoughts
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New postby PVJunkie » Wed Oct 16, 2002 5:38 pm

in response:

1. so does being on a pole thats too small and that is a personal thing that cannot be said for every athlete. If you think you are invincible to start with a band aid on your forehead will do the same thing as a helmet

2. Good point, however there is no research to support increased or decreased rish associated with the wearing of a helmet.

3. Not if you have the proper size helmet and the force that your head experiences is no different with or without a helmet on. Your still falling from the same height and decelerating at the same rate.

4. So can too much pizza, lol. The current helmet weighs little to nothing and will not significantly change the center of gravity (their not asking for a motorcycle helmet).

My stance is.......dont knock it til you try it.......I was against helmets also, until i witnessed the Penn State death from 25' away. I have been vaulting for over 21 years with a personal best of 5.50 (18'0 1/2") and gave it a try. Guess what, after about 5 jumps i did not even know i had it on. Kids wear helmets for far less dangerous activities........NEW ISNT ALWAYS BAD......I have worked camps and clinic for years and i have seen some kids i would have dress up in a michelin man suit and still not feel safe about what they are doing. I am still nuetral (although it may not sound like it) until the research is done. Then i will make a stand.

just playing devils advocate

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New postby VaultFreak » Wed Oct 16, 2002 6:16 pm

I think it is completely up to each vaulter, personally I wouldn't wear them. I am a safe vaulter and am very conscious about what I'm doing, of course accidents can happen. To me, the helmet would be uncomfortable and distracting.
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New postby rainbowgirl28 » Wed Oct 16, 2002 6:49 pm

gpc3 wrote:Sort of like how the gov't doesn't make you wear a seat-belt??


Click it or ticket yo! I think seat belts are mandatory in every state except maybe one... and now in most states they can pull you over just for not wearing one. :P
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New postby rainbowgirl28 » Wed Oct 16, 2002 6:50 pm

PVJunkie wrote:Besides, how are you going to remove it or resize it if/when the ASTM does the research and designates, if/when the NFHS makes it mandatory.


If I were going to use one I would just make it out of athletic tape... are they already selling pits with them sewn in?
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New postby rainbowgirl28 » Wed Oct 16, 2002 7:00 pm

gpc3 wrote:Our rule is going to be that if you can't land in the box consistently, you have to wear a helmet (Protec).


I am not necessarily anti-helmet... but if I had a kid consistently not landing in the middle of the pit, I would focus on adjusting grip/pole selection, whatever until they were landing in the middle.

I am afraid that the helmet gives a false sense of protection,


I think it just depends a lot on the kid. Some kids it would, some would not... the coach would have the best idea about whether or not it is right for their kids. I should bug xtremevaulter, and mooski33 to post on this... they both started wearing helmets this year, by choice.

but right now I think that's where we are moving to, so we'd better be ready.


I hope that pole vault as a whole can do a better job of working out safety issues than just slapping helmets on every kid. That does not fix the problem. It is just a band-aid that makes parents and administrators feel better cuz they can SEE something was changed.
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