What's the possibility of having Javelin as a High School event in the Spring?
07/30/2013 10:46:26 AM
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Our state has a lot of potential in Javelin throwers and the only time they get to compete is in the summer at AAU and USATF. Would be great if the High School Coaches would entertain the thought of having it as a field event in the Spring. What do others around the state think?
Our state has a lot of potential in Javelin throwers and the only time they get to compete is in the summer at AAU and USATF. Would be great if the High School Coaches would entertain the thought of having it as a field event in the Spring. What do others around the state think?
07/31/2013 7:06:42 PM
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@btruman The javelin should be instituted as an event for high school track and field in South Carolina.
@btruman
The javelin should be instituted as an event for high school track and field in South Carolina.
08/01/2013 12:50:51 PM
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@monnierb So what steps can we take to put this on the table for discussion at the next Coaches' Meeting? Just last week at USATF Nationals in Greensboro, NC, South Carolina had 9 Mini Javelin and Javelin throwers that where All-Americans.
@monnierb
So what steps can we take to put this on the table for discussion at the next Coaches' Meeting? Just last week at USATF Nationals in Greensboro, NC, South Carolina had 9 Mini Javelin and Javelin throwers that where All-Americans.
08/01/2013 5:03:36 PM
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I don't think the issue will be convincing coaches. I believe the issue will be convincing the ADs. The arguments will be: 1. our coaches don't know how to coach it, so it may be dangerous for our athletes. 2. we don't have the javelins and they are too expensive for some schools. 3. it is potentially hazardous and we might not be able to afford the increase it liability insurance. Counterpoint to Argument 1: there are lots of coaches in the Southeast who have extensive experience coaching the javelin. Any number of those people could put together a combination of online and in person training for our high school coaches. Counterpoint to Argument 2: this is a real concern. Lots of schools would struggle to find 200$ for a proper javelin, never mind buying one for the boys and one for the girls. Counterpoint to Argument 3: javelin competitions would be held on from grass runways onto grass fields, so you could have this event away from the main track. Almost noone in SC has a javelin runway as part of their track, so until tracks are re-done to include the javelin, that event would be away from the track, and therefore safer. Alabama added the event 10 years ago (or so), so there is a precedent for adding it. I don't know any of the details about how it got added there, but if you are serious about adding it, that would be a place to start. The value in adding the event is improving opportunities for our kids. Not only are they missing out on the competition opportunities, many of them are missing out on scholarships. Having a pool of javelin people from in state would benefit all the colleges, so getting them to support the idea wouldn't be hard. That is where your clinicians to teach the event to the high school coaches could come from. Interesting idea.
I don't think the issue will be convincing coaches. I believe the issue will be convincing the ADs. The arguments will be:
1. our coaches don't know how to coach it, so it may be dangerous for our athletes.
2. we don't have the javelins and they are too expensive for some schools.
3. it is potentially hazardous and we might not be able to afford the increase it liability insurance.

Counterpoint to Argument 1: there are lots of coaches in the Southeast who have extensive experience coaching the javelin. Any number of those people could put together a combination of online and in person training for our high school coaches.

Counterpoint to Argument 2: this is a real concern. Lots of schools would struggle to find 200$ for a proper javelin, never mind buying one for the boys and one for the girls.

Counterpoint to Argument 3: javelin competitions would be held on from grass runways onto grass fields, so you could have this event away from the main track. Almost noone in SC has a javelin runway as part of their track, so until tracks are re-done to include the javelin, that event would be away from the track, and therefore safer.

Alabama added the event 10 years ago (or so), so there is a precedent for adding it. I don't know any of the details about how it got added there, but if you are serious about adding it, that would be a place to start.

The value in adding the event is improving opportunities for our kids. Not only are they missing out on the competition opportunities, many of them are missing out on scholarships. Having a pool of javelin people from in state would benefit all the colleges, so getting them to support the idea wouldn't be hard. That is where your clinicians to teach the event to the high school coaches could come from.

Interesting idea.
08/02/2013 12:58:57 PM
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Joined: May 2004
Posts: 20
For what it's worth, the javelin was an officially contested event in the state championship years ago. I am under the impression it stopped being contested in the 1970s, and I cannot tell you the reason why.
For what it's worth, the javelin was an officially contested event in the state championship years ago. I am under the impression it stopped being contested in the 1970s, and I cannot tell you the reason why.
08/03/2013 6:43:15 PM
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Joined: Jul 2013
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The javelin should definitely be considered for SC high school competition. It would take some coaching to prevent it from being harmful to the athletes and obviously not every school can hire a javelin coach. So maybe the league could look in to doing a few clinics through out the state for coaches to teach them how to teach it to athletes. The cost would definitely be an issue, however not every school is required to compete in the event. Not all the schools in the state compete in pole vault due to not having the equipment. Maybe for the schools that don't have the funding, they can allow their athletes to buy their own if they wish to compete. It's not ideal, but it is a potential solution. Not having the facilities could be a problem for some schools. It would take a long time for all the schools to be able to renovate their track for the javelin. Maybe as a solution the schools that host qualifying events (Region meets and State Qualifiers) can be the first to have the facility, and if a school doesn't have a place to throw the javelin, they can still enter any athletes in the event for their chance to qualify to the state meet. Just an idea. Although I doubt it will happen, it would be awesome to see the javelin included in SC high school competition and I hope it is considered for this spring, or at least next year.
The javelin should definitely be considered for SC high school competition. It would take some coaching to prevent it from being harmful to the athletes and obviously not every school can hire a javelin coach. So maybe the league could look in to doing a few clinics through out the state for coaches to teach them how to teach it to athletes. The cost would definitely be an issue, however not every school is required to compete in the event. Not all the schools in the state compete in pole vault due to not having the equipment. Maybe for the schools that don't have the funding, they can allow their athletes to buy their own if they wish to compete. It's not ideal, but it is a potential solution. Not having the facilities could be a problem for some schools. It would take a long time for all the schools to be able to renovate their track for the javelin. Maybe as a solution the schools that host qualifying events (Region meets and State Qualifiers) can be the first to have the facility, and if a school doesn't have a place to throw the javelin, they can still enter any athletes in the event for their chance to qualify to the state meet. Just an idea.

Although I doubt it will happen, it would be awesome to see the javelin included in SC high school competition and I hope it is considered for this spring, or at least next year.
08/04/2013 11:24:22 PM
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I remember asking my coach about Javelin in high school (I went to James Island in the 90's), after seeing it in the Junior Olympics. I don't know if he was blowin' smoke or if he was being honest, but he said it used to be an event here, until there was a string of bad accidents in the 70's. They then stopped doing it to avoid the problems. Would be great to see this become an event in high school or even loosely contested. It would be nice to see the hammer contested as well, even if it was at just a couple meets a year. McAtee brings up a lot of great points too. Maybe it wouldn't hurt to approach someone who's involved with the high school coaches commission and see what happens. The worst that will happen, is that they'll say, "no".
I remember asking my coach about Javelin in high school (I went to James Island in the 90's), after seeing it in the Junior Olympics. I don't know if he was blowin' smoke or if he was being honest, but he said it used to be an event here, until there was a string of bad accidents in the 70's. They then stopped doing it to avoid the problems.

Would be great to see this become an event in high school or even loosely contested. It would be nice to see the hammer contested as well, even if it was at just a couple meets a year. McAtee brings up a lot of great points too. Maybe it wouldn't hurt to approach someone who's involved with the high school coaches commission and see what happens. The worst that will happen, is that they'll say, "no".
08/05/2013 11:20:12 AM
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Realistically, I don’t see the javelin (or hammer) being added as an event for this year. I’m not 100% sure of the approval process, but I think it is too late in the year to be able to gather enough support to push something like that through. Heck, even if these were being proposed as events 3-4 years from now, I think it would have a tough time getting passed. I think there are too many hurdles to overcome to convince the decision makers to approve those events. Don’t take this as me being against these events, I’m simply being realistic. If someone really wanted to add these events, they would have to put together a written proposal addressing all of these concerns, and any others that might be addressed by the approval committee. My advice to whoever makes the attempt is to contact the coaches in AL to see what they did to get the javelin added. Even with a good proposal, I think this would be a tough sell. As far as loosely contesting certain events, I believe there are a few invitationals in the state that have the hammer throw and the steeplechase. I think the Beach Run has both and the Winthrop Invite has the steeplechase. There may be others, those are just the two I know for sure. Also, I don’t think those events are counted in the meet results, and I don’t know of any invitationals that have the javelin.
Realistically, I don't see the javelin (or hammer) being added as an event for this year. I'm not 100% sure of the approval process, but I think it is too late in the year to be able to gather enough support to push something like that through. Heck, even if these were being proposed as events 3-4 years from now, I think it would have a tough time getting passed. I think there are too many hurdles to overcome to convince the decision makers to approve those events. Don't take this as me being against these events, I'm simply being realistic. If someone really wanted to add these events, they would have to put together a written proposal addressing all of these concerns, and any others that might be addressed by the approval committee. My advice to whoever makes the attempt is to contact the coaches in AL to see what they did to get the javelin added. Even with a good proposal, I think this would be a tough sell.

As far as loosely contesting certain events, I believe there are a few invitationals in the state that have the hammer throw and the steeplechase. I think the Beach Run has both and the Winthrop Invite has the steeplechase. There may be others, those are just the two I know for sure. Also, I don't think those events are counted in the meet results, and I don't know of any invitationals that have the javelin.
08/06/2013 12:14:07 AM
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Bill (btruman) and I have talked a lot about this, and as he knows, I did some preliminary work on putting together a proposal this spring. Unfortunately, I’m not affiliated with the SCHSL in any way, so I’m limited as to how much I can do. We need enthusiastic support from the coaches for the javelin proposal to have a chance. It was the coaches in Alabama who made it happen for them about ten years ago, and it didn’t hurt to have the support of the officials either. (The man spearheading the effort was head of the officials’ board.) The first year, they threw the TurboJav as an exhibition instead of the real thing, and after proving that they could pull off the event safely, they switched to the javelin the following year. There are a number of big concerns to address before any such proposal can be considered. They include: - Safety (obviously the number one concern) - Availability of proper coaching - Availability of adequate facilities - Additional cost of implements - Impact on meet schedules There’s still a lot of work to do to put together the kind of safety data necessary for this proposal, but I have some guidelines that I would recommend. I would push for rubber-tipped javelins, rather than the regular steel-tipped javelins. Of the seventeen states that contest javelin as a high school event, four (WA, NJ, AL, ND) require the use of rubber-tipped javelins. Javelin competitions would be held at the state, state qualifying, and region meets. Any meet director wishing to hold a javelin competition at another meet must apply for permission to do so, and in doing so, prove that he meets the same safety standards upheld at the aforementioned meets. Those include: - Roping/fencing off of javelin sector, in such a way that nobody could accidentally wander into the sector. - Minimum number of staff dedicated to the event. - Javelins are never thrown back by the staff, but walked back, after completion of a throw. - Javelins are kept separated from the athletes, such that only the thrower on the runway preparing to take a throw (warm up or competition) is in possession of an implement. Various safety procedures would also apply to practices. Throwing must be done at a secure location where nobody is on the field, and supervised at all times. The Georgia High School Association implements a policy whereby schools wishing to practice or compete in the pole vault must submit a form signed by the coach and either the principal or athletic director stating that all landing pits, runways, plant boxes, and standards meet NFHS regulations. I would propose a similar system for javelin in South Carolina, so that only approved schools may practice or compete. The availability of facilities and coaching is a real issue as well. Of course, schools are under no obligation to compete in every event, so a decision to not compete in javelin is perfectly acceptable. However, I don’t believe the opportunity to throw javelin in high school should be denied to other athletes in the state simply because not every school can compete. I know of only two high schools in SC that have rubberized javelin runways: Myrtle Beach and West Florence, though there may be others. This is fine - I would expect most javelin competitions to take place on a runway painted on the grass on a field beside the track. It’s perfectly legal, and very commonplace. I don’t see the cost of implements or the impact on meet scheduling as particularly difficult hurdles to overcome. If you know where to go, you can get good implements for under $150 apiece. (Boys and girls throw different size implements, so you’d need separate sets.) For those unfamiliar with general equipment costs, take a minute to look up the cost of a pole vault or high jump pit. I think most schools could find enough room in their budgets - and if not, again, nobody is forcing them to contest the event. As far as meet scheduling, since track events and field events run concurrently, the impact should be minimal. The SCHSL track and field schedule calls for the sprints to receive 41.2% of the total point allotment, 23.6% for distance, 23.6% for jumps, and only 11.8% for throws. I think we’re doing our throwers a disservice without javelin as a third event, especially since the throwers who excel at javelin are often very different types of athletes than the ones who excel at discus and shot. To any coaches who are interested in helping make this happen, please let me know!
Bill (btruman) and I have talked a lot about this, and as he knows, I did some preliminary work on putting together a proposal this spring. Unfortunately, I'm not affiliated with the SCHSL in any way, so I'm limited as to how much I can do.

We need enthusiastic support from the coaches for the javelin proposal to have a chance. It was the coaches in Alabama who made it happen for them about ten years ago, and it didn't hurt to have the support of the officials either. (The man spearheading the effort was head of the officials' board.) The first year, they threw the TurboJav as an exhibition instead of the real thing, and after proving that they could pull off the event safely, they switched to the javelin the following year.

There are a number of big concerns to address before any such proposal can be considered. They include:
* Safety (obviously the number one concern)

* Availability of proper coaching

* Availability of adequate facilities

* Additional cost of implements

* Impact on meet schedules


There's still a lot of work to do to put together the kind of safety data necessary for this proposal, but I have some guidelines that I would recommend. I would push for rubber-tipped javelins, rather than the regular steel-tipped javelins. Of the seventeen states that contest javelin as a high school event, four (WA, NJ, AL, ND) require the use of rubber-tipped javelins.

Javelin competitions would be held at the state, state qualifying, and region meets. Any meet director wishing to hold a javelin competition at another meet must apply for permission to do so, and in doing so, prove that he meets the same safety standards upheld at the aforementioned meets. Those include:
* Roping/fencing off of javelin sector, in such a way that nobody could accidentally wander into the sector.

* Minimum number of staff dedicated to the event.

* Javelins are never thrown back by the staff, but walked back, after completion of a throw.

* Javelins are kept separated from the athletes, such that only the thrower on the runway preparing to take a throw (warm up or competition) is in possession of an implement.


Various safety procedures would also apply to practices. Throwing must be done at a secure location where nobody is on the field, and supervised at all times. The Georgia High School Association implements a policy whereby schools wishing to practice or compete in the pole vault must submit a form signed by the coach and either the principal or athletic director stating that all landing pits, runways, plant boxes, and standards meet NFHS regulations. I would propose a similar system for javelin in South Carolina, so that only approved schools may practice or compete.

The availability of facilities and coaching is a real issue as well. Of course, schools are under no obligation to compete in every event, so a decision to not compete in javelin is perfectly acceptable. However, I don't believe the opportunity to throw javelin in high school should be denied to other athletes in the state simply because not every school can compete. I know of only two high schools in SC that have rubberized javelin runways: Myrtle Beach and West Florence, though there may be others. This is fine - I would expect most javelin competitions to take place on a runway painted on the grass on a field beside the track. It's perfectly legal, and very commonplace.

I don't see the cost of implements or the impact on meet scheduling as particularly difficult hurdles to overcome. If you know where to go, you can get good implements for under $150 apiece. (Boys and girls throw different size implements, so you'd need separate sets.) For those unfamiliar with general equipment costs, take a minute to look up the cost of a pole vault or high jump pit. I think most schools could find enough room in their budgets - and if not, again, nobody is forcing them to contest the event. As far as meet scheduling, since track events and field events run concurrently, the impact should be minimal.

The SCHSL track and field schedule calls for the sprints to receive 41.2% of the total point allotment, 23.6% for distance, 23.6% for jumps, and only 11.8% for throws. I think we're doing our throwers a disservice without javelin as a third event, especially since the throwers who excel at javelin are often very different types of athletes than the ones who excel at discus and shot.

To any coaches who are interested in helping make this happen, please let me know!
08/06/2013 8:38:46 AM
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Joined: Sep 2010
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@mflournoy Thanks Michael. I received a voice mail from John Olsen last night and he relayed that the motion to make javelin a part of the Spring season will need to be lead by the High School Coaches. I would also be willing to help out any coach who is willing to support this effort and move forward with a proposal.
@mflournoy
Thanks Michael. I received a voice mail from John Olsen last night and he relayed that the motion to make javelin a part of the Spring season will need to be lead by the High School Coaches. I would also be willing to help out any coach who is willing to support this effort and move forward with a proposal.

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