NFHS rule change allows pole vault box padding

posted Apr 8, 2013, 9:56 AM by Paul Williams

The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) has added language to its rule concerning the pole vault planting box that allows padding to collar the box. The padding, if used, must meet the new ASTM standard that has already been adopted by the NCAA.

A pole vault box collar is a protective device that covers the hard unpadded surfaces surrounding a pole vault box and may also cover the top edges and side walls of a pole vault box. The new specification establishes requirements for the dimensions and minimum impact attenuation performance of pole vault box collars, according to Vaulter magazine.

The NFHS memorandum follows:

Memorandum from NFHS

To:                          State Association Executive Directors and Track and Field Administrators

From:                    Jim Tenopir/Becky Oakes

Subject:               Pole Vault Planting Box Padding

Date:                     April 4, 2013

The Track and Field Rules Committee recommended and the NFHS Board of Directors approved an immediate rule change to Track and Field Rule 7-5-24 pertaining to padding for the pole vault planting box. Rule 7-5-24 now permits the use of planting box padding that meets the new ASTM Specification Standard.

Rule 7-5-24…The planting box shall not contain any foreign materials except planting box padding. Such padding, if used, shall meet the applicable ASTM Specification Standard, and can be incorporated into the design of the planting box or can be a padding addition to an existing planting box. NOTE: Padding meeting the ASTM Standard may be used immediately, subject to rejection or conditional approval by state association action.

Rationale: For the purpose of minimizing risk of injury to a pole vaulter, allow planting box padding that meets the applicable ASTM Specification Standard.

The Track and Field Rules Committee recommended the rule change for the purpose of risk minimization with release of the ASTM standard and new product availability. In addition, with the NCAA requiring such planting box padding by December 1, 2013, there is a growing number of facilities utilizing the padding this outdoor season. Thus, high schools may encounter padding meeting the new standard. Unless determined otherwise by the respective state association, it is now permissible to use pole vault planting box padding meeting the ASTM standard.

All current rules requirements for padding are still in effect. For additional information regarding NFHS pole vault equipment requirements, please refer to the 2013 NFHS Track and Field Rules, 7-5.