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Steve
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« on: May 07, 2008, 08:55:02 pm »

I feel that it is right to publicly admit that I am wrong.

For years I have clearly and succinctly argued against a section-method of advancing to the State meet.  I have always argued that the best performing kids in Minnesota need to be at the State meet.  The history of the section meet is one wracked with State-favorites no-heighting.  

Our Olympians get nearly two years to qualify for the Olympic Trials.  They have to be top-three to go to the Olympics; then top-three to medal at the Olympics.  To be Olympic Gold, you have to "step-up or go home" once in two years, then on two specific days.  To be MN State champion requires, in some sections, this "step-up or go home" at sub-sections, sections, then State.  Three times; on three specific dates!  We expect more of our high school athletes than our Olympians.  A few years back, there was a Girl who had qualified for the Olympic Trials, who had not qualified for her section meet!  Is our section meet really more exclusive than the Olympic Trials?

This year, based solely upon the weather, I finally see the benefit of the section method.  The weather in the south has been terrible.  The weather in the north has been worse.  No district has the resources to travel to the good weather.  Since the weather has been unequal, going exclusively off a top-20 list is not reasonable.  

I was wrong.  The Section-method has its place.  Maybe it has more of a place now that global-warming is taking effect.

I still would like to see an "automatic" mark.  This mark can be absurd, like the Olympic B-standard (18' and 13'9), or the Junior's standard (16'4 and 12'9).  But there should be an Automatic.  

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Steve White
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Chris
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« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2008, 09:43:51 pm »

Good points Steve.  I truly believe there should be an AUTOMATIC qualifier for the state meet.  I like the idea of making it the junior's qualifying standard.  Historically we would only have automatically sent two girls in state history and no boys.
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Chris Milton
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« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2008, 12:11:52 pm »

That's a really good point Steve, and I agree that an auto standard should be in place, but the Juniors standard still seems a bit high.  If it's a mark that no guys and only two girls have ever hit, it seems a little out of reach.  Maybe somehow basing it off of the top state marks the previous year would be a little more fair.
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Brandon Johnson
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« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2008, 12:59:02 pm »

How about using an average of the state place 1, 2 or 3 from the previous 5 years?
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Chris Milton
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Caroline

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« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2008, 02:58:57 pm »

Once there's an actual number, I think we'd be surprised at what the athletes can do, whether it's a MN State mark or the Junior National mark.  Having an automatic mark is a big motivator & I think the kids will make it and exceed it.
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Caroline White
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« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2008, 07:19:18 am »

Good point Caroline.  That might get MN it's fist boy over 16'.
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Chris Milton
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Steve
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« Reply #6 on: June 02, 2008, 11:36:25 am »

As a strong supporter of an "automatic" standard for the State Meet, I think it is important to note there will be some missing talent at the State meet.  20%-30% of the top AA kids (based solely on Honor Roll postings) will not be there.  

(3) of the top (10) AA boys did not advance to State
(2) of the top (10) AA girls did not advance to State
--I do not have complete Single A results--

I think this is sad for a couple reasons
1-a great (even dominant) season can be stained by one rough day, a couple tough jumps, or a rough pole transition.
2-I feel the State meet is weakened with these people missing
3-Although I acknowledge that some luck is always involved in a competition, I feel the honor of getting there is reduced by being too much about luck.

Hats off to those that persevere under the conditions and advanced to state anyway; especially to those who stepped-up and PR'd to get in!  A further nod to the underdogs who got in--well done--you've earned your trip and I applaud you.  Historically this is true about big meets--jump your seed and you will place well.  

To those that got 3rd, those that had that one rough day, to the should-of's, the could-of's, and the would-of's.  I know your pain.  I encourage you to attend the meet as a spectator and lover of the event.  While at the meet, study the competition and the coaches; learn.  There, you will likely see that it is harder to get into the meet than it is to place top 9.  Make a plan for next year, on how you can both go higher and become perfectly consistent, and follow that plan.
 
See you at State.
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Steve White
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« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2008, 12:49:20 pm »

Good comments Steve.  What are your thoughts on doing at large bids similar to what D1 does after their regionals.  The MSHSL could take the next 4-6 top PR's from the season to bring into the state meet.
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Chris Milton
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Steve
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« Reply #8 on: June 02, 2008, 07:12:59 pm »

D-1 does it this way:

The nation is divided into (4) regions--geographically, not politically (this would be an improvement area for MSHSL as well)
Top (5) at each of the (4) region meets, earn a trip to Nationals--this gets the field up to (20)
Then they line up all the season-bests of all people who placed top-12 at the region meet
With that list, they fill-the-field until the desired number of athletes is achieved
--This assures that people bring an reasonable effort to the region meet, yet allows for the best people to have an off-day at regions (though not a no-height).

Really, I consider anything that allows for access to the State meet through any alternative method/date to be better than the existing policy.

--------------------------------------------------------------------
Case Study: my top jumping athlete had to do a jump off for 5th place last weekend to earn his NCAA trip.  My second best kid had an off-day and no-heighted, but ends with a PR of 17-2.  My third best kids PR'd at the region meet and went 17-1 and placed 8th.  The 17-1 kid is eligible for the "at-large" fill-the-field and the 17-2 kid who no-heighted is done and not eligible for the "at-large".  This is not my ideal, but I think it is better than the current MSHSL method.
--------------------------------------------------------------------

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Steve White
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Paul
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« Reply #9 on: June 02, 2008, 10:20:33 pm »

I agree, there should be some automatic mark set in place so it does not come down to one last meet.  In our section I watched one of the top girls in the state take third place and did not clear the state standard.  It was heartbreaking to watch, a great year ended early because of one bad day.  Who can be contacted to start this movement?  Can anything be done?
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Steve
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« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2008, 07:28:52 am »

Talk to head coaches
--the head coaches need to bring it up to the coaches advisory committee

Rule changes are a two-year process that goes something like this
1-present and win approval from the coaches advisory (meeting in the fall)
2-they forward off the recommendation to the AD's who need to rubber-stamp the motion (meeting in the winter)
3-MSHSL then addresses the request and either votes up or down the change to be enacted the following year (meeting in the spring)

Although this process may have changed, this is how I understood the process in the fall of '97 when we (myself and the Hopkins-coach at the time) started the process to get girls' vault in the State meet.  The representative-coaches at the meeting refused to advance our proposal.  We were stopped at step one.  We then hired a lawyer to craft a letter to MSHSL delineating how denial of girls' vault was in violation of Title-9.  MSHSL (and their lawyers) agreed, voted YES unanimously, and the girls' vault was immediately added to the '98 State meet.

Sometimes the process can be fast (when discrimination is present, for instance).  

The "automatic-standard" will take the full two-year process.  MSHSL will need to see any rule-change cost them nothing (or save money).  Each kid at State is an expense.  More kids cost more.  If the "automatic" increases the number of athletes in the meet, it will not pass.  Period.  I believe the "automatic" will need to replace the current region-only-standard in order to accomplish this.

If you have structural ideas on how to format this advance-to-state procedure, POST.
A change like this can only pass if the vault-community is united
Let's get it right, here, in this forum.  
Then, as a united voice, we can bring it to the representative coaches.
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Steve White
Flight Deck Athletics, owner
(763) 458-2932
steve@flightdeckathletics.com
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