The oldest track & field blog on the internet

Thursday, July 06, 2006

New Track & Field News

The so-called Bible of the Sport came in the mail today. As a news-oriented publication mostly dedicated to looking back at events that happened three or more weeks ago, it's OK. Really, I only subscribe for the e-mail newsletter.

One thing has really gotten me irked, though. A few years back when the NCAA was talking about instituting the regional qualifying format for the outdoor NCAA championships , T&FN was very much in favor of it. Ever since it has gone into place, however, all four regional meets together have merited nothing but a one-page write-up, highlighting naught but the top athletes who failed to qualify to the NCAA. Quotes from coaches on the regional format are universally negative, despite the fact that the vast majority of coaches (more than 5 out of 6) prefer the new way of doing things. I mean, if you're going to be in favor of something, talk it up rather than make it look bad.

Now, I do believe there are problems with the regional format. They are few and minor, and easily fixable. At-large bids to the national championships go in order by the national list of best marks, provided that the athlete finished in the top 8 in that event at the regional meet. Track is about the only sport that goes at it in such a simplistic way; every other sport puts together a selection committee. Why are we above (or below) such a practice?

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