New Pole Vault Rules from NFHS

In its June 8-10 and in August meetings in Indianapolis, the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Track and Field and Cross Country Rules Committee addressed the jewelry rule and clarified two rules in the pole vault among its nine major changes.

All changes were subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors. The revised jewelry rule states that “for the first violation, the competitor shall be required to remove the jewelry before further competition and be issued a warning that a subsequent violation shall result in a disqualification from the event.” “The rule still prohibits the wearing of jewelry, but the members of the rules committee and results of the questionnaire strongly support the penalty applying only to the competitor involved as opposed to the entire team,” said Becky Oakes, NFHS assistant director and liaison to the Track and Field Rules Committee.

In Rule 7-5-2, requirements for pole vault competitors were changed. The rule eliminates the limit of only two layers of tape on the grip end but still requires any tape placed on the pole to be of uniform thickness on the grip end. In addition, Rule 7-5-25 clarifies who may touch or catch the pole and under what circumstances touching the pole is not allowed.

The rule reads, “No person shall be allowed to touch the vaulting pole except an assigned official, assigned pole catcher or the competitor, when circumstances warrant, but never to prevent the pole from dislodging the bar.” “The competitor or designated official can catch the pole, but the touch or catch by the competitor that prevents the crossbar from being dislodged is still a foul,” Oakes said. 7. 7-5-19, Range in the position of uprights in pole vault – The range to set the position of the uprights/standards in the pole vault is change to 18 inches (45.7 cm) as measured beyond the vertical plane of the top of the stopboard, zero point, up to a maximum distance of 31.5 inches (80 cm) in the direction of the landing surface.

The distance provides a better range of placement of the standards for risk minimization and is more appropriate for the high school vaulter.



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