OBJECTIVE OF OLYMPIC POLE VAULTING: Use a stick and run from a distance to jump over and clear a high horizontal bar.
NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 1+
MATERIALS: Pole vault facility, pole
TYPE OF GAME: Sport
OVERVIEW OF OLYMPIC POLE VAULTING
Pole vaulting is a track and field sport with a remarkable history. It originated in the 1800s as a means to jump over ditches, swamps, and small streams. Now, an Olympic sport, pole vaulting is as fun and terrifying to play as it is to watch.
POLE VAULT FACILITY
A pole vault facility has four main parts: the runway, the vaulting box, the crossbar, and the landing pit.
The runway should be at least 131 feet long, with two white lines delineating the boundary of the runway. The runway goes all the way to the vaulting box.
The vaulting box is sunken into the ground and lies directly underneath the crossbar.
The crossbar is a horizontal bar, the minimum a player must clear when jumping over with their pole. It is supported by a standard on each side of the bar.
Finally, the landing pit is a thick mattress on which the pole vaulter lands after launching themselves in the air. It is at least 6.5 feet deep.
The pole aids the pole vaulter in jumping incredible heights. It is a long, bendy stick that absorbs the player’s energy as it bends and releases the energy back to the player when it straightens to help the player jump over the crossbar.
Each participating athlete’s weight must be recorded by the coach on the registration form and the athlete’s name.
Each pole vaulter is allowed three attempts to jump and clear the crossbar at a certain height successfully. Athletes are disqualified after three unsuccessful attempts at a registered height.
To pole vault, the athlete must sprint with their pole to the vaulting box. Then, they prop the pole head into the correct position in the box. Then, using the pole as an aid, they must jump over the crossbar. They cannot touch the crossbar or cause it to fall. However, athletes are not penalized for touching the crossbar on the way down, as long as the bar remains in place.
When more than 4 pole vaulters are competing, each athlete gets 1 minute to initiate their attempt. When there are 2-3 competitors, each athlete is given 2 minutes. And if there is only 1 competitor, the athlete is given 1 minute to start the attempt.
If competitors feel confident enough in their ability, they may “pass” a crossbar height and move onto the higher one without clearing the lower crossbar height.
REGULATIONS IN COMPETITION
Here are some additional regulations to keep in mind in competition:
- A pole vault participant may not use any external aids to use for their part. In addition, no specially designed shoes may be worn that would give them an unfair advantage over the rest of the athletes.
- Gloves or other glove devices are not allowed unless the hand is injured and the wound is open, but the use of wrist tape is allowed. And if without permission, athletes are not allowed to use any equipment belonging to other athletes.
- Coaches must determine the athlete’s weight and select the type of pole. The weight of the pole vaulter must be less than or equal to the pole’s load-bearing limit.
END OF GAME
The player that jumps over the highest crossbar successfully wins! If two or more pole vaulters have jumped over the same height successfully, the pole vaulter with the least amount of misses wins.