The N.C.A.A., in the wake of three deaths in pole vault competitions this season, has proposed rule changes that would expand the landing pad but not require the use of helmets.
The organization’s track and field committee, which met this week in Indianapolis, approved increasing the minimum size of the landing pad to 19 feet 8 inches wide and 16 feet 5 inches deep. Current rules require the pad to be 16 feet wide and 12 feet deep.
”These rules should prevent almost all competitors who fail to reach the main landing pad from falling onto a hard or unyielding surface,” said Diane Howell, the committee’s chairwoman and an associate athletic director at the University of Houston.
The N.C.A.A. committee decided against recommending the mandatory use of helmets. ”The biggest concern is that there is not a helmet being manufactured specifically for the pole vault,” the N.C.A.A. spokesman Scott Dietch said.
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