Suggestions for 2012 Middle School State Championship

  • User
    JerkPitMaster
    Just got back from the Championships and overall it was a very well run meet, that stayed on schedule. Thanks!

    With the levels and depth of competition I have the following suggestions for next year, in priority order:
    1) Use a staggered start for the 800m.
    2) Use a facility with a 400m track. Based on the terrible position of the 800m waterfall start approximately 10m after the finish line, I can only assume the track is longer than 400m. As a result splits are skewed in the distance events and the 800m waterfall start is too close to the corner and created many problems.
    3) Only atheletes that have checked in should be allowed on the in field.
  • Kyle Butler
    Coach
    Insider
    KBrnnr
    @JerkPitMaster You are correct, the HT track is longer than 400m. The only thing I personally find funny is that Joe Franklin ran his 1:48.95 800m HS pr on this track from that waterfall start, and we have people complain about it. Now I agree it's probably not ideal, but if my athlete or I ran a bad 800 on this track, that would be at the bottom of my excuses. This track has had probably 10-15 sub 1:55 times run on it, from that crappy waterfall start.
  • User
    JerkPitMaster Edited
    @KBrnnr
    My concern has nothing to do with PRs, but athelete safety (our #1 priority as coaches)and athelete development (our #2 priority). If one of my atheletes runs a PR on a track, we would both like to know the splits and learn as much as we can from the run, especially at a championship meet. Based on the 3000m times this morning, this is a fast track, no doubt.
  • Jason Byrne
    Site Admin
    Insider
    jason
    @JerkPitMaster

    Thank you for your suggestions. I have quite a few others to add to the list myself. We will take all of the comments and criticisms... and we will do a post-mortem to see what went right and wrong. And will take that to the FLYRA board of directors and make some decisions on how to improve next year.
  • Doug Butler
    User
    coachbutler Edited
    What I find ironic is that for 7 years over 40 teams a year continnue to come to our place to run great times and talk about what a great job we do. But for jr. coaches it's not good enough? 12 hours at the school today, brought in 60 high school kids and parents to put on a meet that not one coach or parent from outside HT had to step in and help, but you are quick to criticize. Whats saddest of all is that if the coaches or parents were not complaining, it would have been a great experience for all of your kids. Kids number one reason coach for participating in sports is NOT to win! The number one reason kids play sports is to have fun! Some of you really need to remember that. I look forward to whomever is hosting next year watching you pull it off!
    Thanks
    Coach Butler
  • Bill Convey
    User
    Insider
    BConvey
    Thank you Jason for conceiving of this and doing most of the work to set-up this meet. In my eyes this meet is a great success for the amount of quality participation that it gets and the fun and friendly atmosphere that pervades. I also thank Coach Butler for doing a fantastic job as host, and helping create that atmosphere by the running the meet efficiently in an atmosphere where people have full access to everything and are all over the infield the entire meet. There are very few people who could run a meet like this and still have a smile on their face the entire time. FAR too often meet officials are authoritarian and cranky and it takes a lot of joy out of the meet.

    As the President of FLYRA, I welcome all of the suggestions for the future of the meet. As happy as I am with this meet-- having attended twice, I think it can and will get even better. I have loved the facility at HT and thank the school for its volunteers and providing the meet with a really friendly venue.
  • User
    JerkPitMaster
    @coachbutler
    In no way did I mean to imply with my suggestions for improvement, that this was not a very well run and successful meet. It was. In fact, better than all school meets and most club meets that I have attended this year.

    I just need a staggered 800m start and lap distance.
  • Doug Butler
    User
    coachbutler
    JerK Pit:

    My point exactly, you said "I just need"
    It's Not about you. It's about the kids!
    You know who I am, any chance we can put
    A little credibility to your post by knowing
    Who you are?

    Coach Butler
  • Coach
    mbecker
    With regards to the waterfall start controversy... This is real trivial nonsense... There are several state meets around the country still using the waterfall at the 4X800 and 800. It is often used in major college meets. The Penn relays uses the double waterfal for prleims of the 4X400.

    If you want to finish a meet in under 93 hours the meet director has to make certain common sense decisions. This was a good one.

    As far as its ( the waterfall's) accuray, it is just as accurate as the one turn stagger (assuming the curved waterfall is used)

    As far as the accuracy of the track is concerned, who cares if it is 403 meters as long as the meet director verifies that the races are accurate. Although I do believe one would have a hard time certifying a national record with an official starting line, the venue was great!!!! These were legitimately run races with either legitimiate times or insignificant differences.

    Anyone providing dectructive criticism should go and "run a meet"

    On a positive note, the clerking was more efficient than most FHSAA meets despite the fact that we are dealing with 10-13 year olds who were not used to clerking.

    Jason I do have one suggestion.... that next year you ask for coaches frm the participating schools to run a field event in the same way they do at most high school invitationals.

    I managed to avoid this meet for 6 years asthe high school season is long and grueling. Now I can't wait to come back
  • dawn anderson
    User
    bgctrack
    Nice meet, great day! Thank you for hosting this great event!!! My daughter set a PR in the shot and season best in Discus. There were no adults at the shot put ring, just high school boys volunteering their Saturday...which is wonderful of them. But there were so many scratches that nobody called.... in every flight... for some every throw was a scratch... but these were just high school boys doing the best they could. My only suggestion is to have a non biased coach with no athlete in the event assist the high school kids or an official.
  • Coach
    TrackCoach72
    Jason, your heart is in the right place. You care about promoting track and cross country as hard as anybody. It seems every year the meet is getting stronger competition across the board. Then you add some phenoms to boot. Rogers, Tucker, Carter. etc.

    I thought the pace of the meet went great. I host many meets a season or co-host them. Middle and High school. I understand the grind it takes to run a show. I'm not going to sit here and type about the negatives. I'll send suggestions through e-mail because anybody who tries to put on a meet doesn't need public bashing. I do get sick of the complaining from people who have never put a meet on but travel around and say what "they" would do. Through whatever problems there were yesterday we still had the pleasure of watching these kids leave it on the track.

    Coach John Loper (Bradford Middle School, Sunny Runners)
  • Jason Byrne
    Site Admin
    Insider
    jason
    Again thanks everyone for your suggestions and like I said .... Bill and I will be sure to take all of them to FLYRA, who if you haven't realized from the branding I have handed ultimate control over this meet over to, and I can assure you will take them into consideration. Anything presented in a constructive way is appreciated and welcome.

    I appreciate everyone who brought their kids to participate and the efforts of everyone at Holy Trinity, my family, Laura Fredrickson, and FLYRA for helping to pull it off this year.
  • Coach
    Insider
    Coach_PTS Edited
    It sounds like the running events were run well. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for the field events, specifically the discus and shot.

    I travelled up to Melbourne with my discus thrower and I expected, with this being the middle school state championship, for the event to be properly supervised and officiated. But this was not the case.

    I want to qualify the following by saying that the volunteers, most of whom were high school kids, working the event shouldn't shoulder the blame for the manner it which it was run. An adult with knowledge of the event should have officiated, at the very least supervised.

    For starters there should have been an official weighing, checking and marking the discuses being used. This meet is too big and too important to trust that every athlete and coach will use allowable / legal implements. Asking throwers to choose from 3 shots, while not ideal, works in a pinch. But you cannot do that with discus and as such there must be a weigh-in and inspection prior to next year's event.

    I can tell you it is a miracle that no one was hurt during the event as athletes and parents were allowed to wait and watch only a few feet from the sector line. I had to tell athletes many times to backup and get behind the net. The two high school kids in charge of the event had their hands full trying to check in and keep track of 40 throwers and nobody else was making sure that those who were waiting were doing so from a safe area. The kids who were working the field obviously had no clue what they were doing. As they later admitted they volunteered to help out but they have never worked a discus event. Initially they were not retrieving the discuses and as such the throwers had to get their implements themselves. Wouldn't have been too bad but other throwers were allowed to throw while kids were still getting their discuses. So I asked the two kids to take care of that so that no one else was put in harms way.

    When the first flight officially began it became obvious very quickly that the kid who was in charge of marking wasn't exactly sure how/where to mark each throw. There were several coaches upset with the first couple of marks and according to one coach the kid was "off by 5 feet." He was standing outside the sector during the throws so he was not in a good position to mark them. Again, the kid cannot be blamed for this because he has never worked a discus event before and to ask anyone to mark with no experience at a big meet like this is asking too much. I've marked for discus at meets many times before (most recently at the 1A Region 4 meet) and a coach who recognized me asked if I would be willing to take over. Seeing how this could play out, I decided it was in the meets best interest that I do the marking. Right away I saw the 2 foot bolt with no handle being used to mark the throws. For a handful of competitors with 3 throws I'm sure it does the trick. But, with 40 kids throwing it 4 times each it definitely wasn't the most ideal instrument. And my hand paid the price too as I noticed a blister forming in the palm of my right hand half way throught the third flight (I began using a towel to cover the end).

    The volunteers who retrieved each discus as I marked were friendly, helpful and did a great job. So with that part of it taken care of, the rest should have been easy. But the high school kids officiating at the circle just weren't paying attention. It looked like several kids stepped out of the ring during their throws but they were not called for fouls. That's because both kids were focused on other throwers who had questions about previous throws or who were checking in/out. My thrower admitted on his last throw that he stepped out while trying to keep his balance, but the officials never caught it. So I walked over to them and told them that he stepped out and to scratch the last attempt. On top of teaching my kid about fair play and competing by the rules, it was a great opportunity to make a point to the two young officials without saying "you missed several fouls, now pay attention." They were quick to apologize and one said " I should have caught that, I will pay closer attention." And it looked like they did from then on.

    A coach waiting for his girl throwers to compete told me that he witnessed similar problems over at the shot put. He said that a number of girls were being called for fouls as the kids running the events were enforcing the wrong rules. I did not see this, so I cannot confirm that it happened.

    With all of this going on, it was great to see the young throwers rise above it all and perform at phenominal levels. Special congrats to Jamari Johnson who threw just over 159 feet. Great performance.

    Jason you have done a great job building and promoting the middle school state meet and every year the competition gets bigger and better. Which is why I want to see every event officiated and supervised the best that it can be.


    On the topic about qualifying standards, there were just too many kids competiting. I suggest that the automatic qualifying standard in 2012 be moved from 90 feet to 105 feet.
  • Doug Butler
    User
    coachbutler
    I want to thank the High school coaches for the great emails of support about yesterdays meet. I look forward to seeing JPM and the gliders hosting next year or maybe coach pts. Should be fun.

    Coach Butler
  • Pat Crandall
    Coach
    Insider
    gpc3
    I have been to this meet several times and every time I became the PV official, which I was more than happy to do. Couldn't go this year, but yes, HS athletes can rake and help out, but real adult coaches/officials should be running the meet. Shame on more of them not volunteering.
  • User
    JerkPitMaster Edited
    Last I looked this is a discussion board for anyone who cares to register - coach, parent, athelete, pro, novice, etc.

    I'm new here, but am familiar with many forums and as usual there are a few posters that behave in a manner as to limit productive discussions.

    I acknowlege a well run meet and make a few common sense suggestions, and the response from a few is "who are you" and "how dare you." Get a life!

    Since my earlier point wasn't clear (probably due to egos), let me clarify. For a championship meet both a waterfall and stagger are acceptable for an 800m final. However, the current waterfall start at this track did not appear acceptable to me for the following reason:

    The line appeared to be significantly closer to the corner than is normal. As a result, you are going to have significantly more congestion than normal, even if all runners run the tangent. The problem is intensified when you have a race championship race with numerous equally matched runners as we did in the boys' 800m on Saturday.

    Knowing this, I suggest for future championship meets at this facility a staggered start for the 800m final be used, as reward of using the waterfall start does not justify the risk, in my humble opinion.

    Yes congestion and trips can and do happen with any waterfall start even on a perfect track, but that does not diminish my point.

    Lastly, I have a lot of respect and admiration for all coaches that personally run meets, even bad meets. I have no interest or desire to ever personally run one. I have zero respect and time for coaches who feel they have no room for improvement.

    The value of one's comments or suggestions should have nothing to do with who they are or what position they might hold.
  • wendy borcyk
    User
    wendielee97
    As a spectator how about a microphone for the awards. For a state meet that was the most painful awards ceremony-after what was overall a nice meet(and yes I have helped run meets). Crowded around in a huge circle when you can't see and hear the winners is not deserving of a state meet. Also- how many hundreds of people did you expect? I thought after last year there would be more restroom facilities and there weren't. When you have hundreds of athletes hydrating having enough restrooms and handwashing facilities would be much better. Also- it'd be cool if the toilet paper didn't run out before the afternoon. I realize this is not an event related post but appropriate facilities for the athletes, coaches, and spectators is a must too.
  • Coach
    runnerchick
    Well, this is my second year attending this meet and I have to say that all the complaining is stupid!

    First, great job to Holy Trinity and Coach Butler. I was simply amazed at the involvement that the Holy Trinity track team played in this event. They were there helping with smiles on their faces. This was something that each and every person there Volunteered to do. Thank-You.

    Of course there are things to be improved on! There always will be something that does not run smoothly. I am sure that Jason has made note of all things that need to worked out for next year. But, even at the H.S. state meet their are things that go wrong, it happens....it is called LIFE. Get over it and quit complaining.

    You cannot blame a poor performance on anything but just having an off day. It happens to every athlete. All athletes need to deal with the fact that they are not going to perform their best every time they compete.

    Jason, thank you for the experience! My kids had a blast and enjoyed the competition. I look forward to attending next season as well.
  • Bill Convey
    User
    Insider
    BConvey
    On behalf of FLYRA, I really appreciate the suggestions. All of these comments will make it easier for us when we meet again to go over things we'd like to improve for the State Meet. There will always be limitations in how "professional" a meet like this is, for funding reasons, because we rely on volunteers, and because we will always want this meet to strike a balance between being fun & festive while still being a legitimate championship. I am thrilled with the meet, but know there are several good suggestions that will make it better. Thank you.

    I personally was extremely happy with the job Coach Butler did and am very appreciative of what Holy Trinity does for this meet. I take all of the comments in this thread to be constructive suggestions directed towards FLYRA/FLRUNNERS.
  • User
    JerkPitMaster
    @BConvey
    Well said!

    As a newbie here, I was getting the feeling this was one of those "discussion forums" where folks just pat themselves on the back, rather than converse to improve ourselves and the experience for the kids.
  • User
    tonjav
    I thought the meet was great. It is such a good experience for the kids. My son will take his experience here with him to high school next year. He had a blast and did very well! I thought it flowed well without too much delay. The staff was friendly, especially given the amount of people and issues they were dealing with.

    I appreciated the announcements to keep the event fun for the kids. The coaches/parents I saw vigourously complaining made me a bit uncomfortable.

    This was son's last year participating but I wonder how many kids/parents/coaches would like "rolling" awards cerermony that occurs after each event has been finalizied??? My son finished by 11 and while we chose to wait, we would have been back on the road earlier if there had been an opportunity to get his awards sooner. IJS!!! Finally, what would make this meet more of a hit than it already is? Get rid of the lovebugs!! :)

    My son attends public school and this year the support for this event was a tad bit better than last year but I will make contact with my school board to still ask that they continue to work to support this meet. Kudos to all you you who made this happen and best of luck continuing in the future!
  • Coach
    Insider
    Coach_PTS Edited
    @JerkPitMaster

    I'm not sure what to make of this thread. It looks like we are being labelled as complainers, although there is a huge difference between complaining and constructive criticism. And you are right JPM, I thought we would end up having a good discussion on ways we could continue to improve the biggest middle school meet in our state. I guess what I expect to see at a state meet differs from others. My ONLY interest at the meet this past weekend was to make the event as safe and problem-free as possible. My ONLY interest today is to make this meet as good as it can be. I can't think of single reason why anyone would have a problem with that.

    Hats off to Coach Butler and his crew over at Holy Trinity. I've organized and run 2 small middle school meets before and both times they were very time consuming and very challenging to pull off. So I can only imagine the logistical nightmare this meet must have been trying to get enough people to run events and help out where help was needed. I was simply pointing out a few things that were overlooked that could have become a major problem had something happened.
  • Jason Byrne
    Site Admin
    Insider
    jason
    @Coach_PTS @JerkPitMaster

    I don't view you as such. I appreciate your suggestions and ideas. As Bill and I have said we will take them and present them to FLYRA for consideration next year. We will see where they fit in with the vision and budget for the meet.