The 34.92 Degree Sector
As a throws athlete, I have a special place in my heart for a level playing field in the throws as well as all other areas of our sport, as you all know. One of the things I think that really differentiates USATF masters from others is our discipline in following the rules. Sometimes this is not always easy.
Everyone knows that every year some rules change for various reasons. The implementation of new rules is another matter. Some of us have unique experiences with new javelins, new weights, etc. I think there is a really significant one this year that we are all going to have to watch out for. The IAAF, and thusly USATF, has changed the sector for the shot, discus, weight, and hammer to 34.92 degrees from 40 degrees. This means youll be throwing into a more confined sector.
This is not always a problem for everyone, especially if you practice with a 34.92 sector. The only problem is that most of us practice at NCAA and high school facilities that have not made the change. I have brought up the subject to the USATF Board of Directors that they may be accepting NCAA marks for qualification for the USA Championships on fields not meeting our specifications. The Board will accept these marks at this time and at the same time encourage the NCAA to make the change to the 34.92 sector.
What will USATF masters do? First, be assured that ALL championships must follow the new 2003 Rules of Competition. We strongly recommend that all USATF sanctioned meets use the 34.92 sector. When a sanction is awarded, the awardee is agreeing to follow the USATF Rules of Competition.
All sanction holders should be encouraged to purchase a rule book for the current year. I have asked that the Associations Committee require Associations to include an update of all new rules for the current year with each sanction. It is the responsibility of the meet organizer, not the officials, to provide the correct sector. I have asked that the officials provide information as to the sector used with meet results.
What can the rank and file athletes do? Number one: encourage the use of the 34.92 sector whenever possible. Maybe some of you might purchase rolls of sector tape as I have done to layout the 34.92 sector. The preferred color by some officials is yellow, so they can easily differentiate from the white 40 degree sector. Instructions are in the 2003 Rules of Competition book.
The only other question I have is how do we feel about comparing marks and records from 40 degree sectors? I personally don't think we should allow records from a 40 degree sector. What about non-record marks from a 40 degree sector? Even if we do, how would athletes feel about their marks on a non-rule compliant sector?
Aren't we having fun!