The oldest track & field blog on the internet

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Golden League

A few days back, the IAAF announced the setup for this year's Golden League jackpot. It's back to splitting the $1 million only between athletes who go undefeated, with a new safety net--if no one is undefeated, it's split between those who win at 5 out of 6 meets.

Over at the T&FN boards, the topic of discussion turned towards the slate of GL jackpot events, and how they seem to be the same events year after year (100m, 1500/mile, etc.). Garry Hill explains the reasoning, mainly marketability and meet promotion. Another points out that an event with two good athletes virtually guarantees that neither will win the jackpot. My reply:
I think we've highlighted one of the problems with the whole Golden League setup in the first place. A back & forth season-long battle between two great athletes is probably the best thing that a sports tour could hope for (classic example: Arnold Palmer and Jack Niklaus). But the Golden League doesn't reward such a thing. In fact, the GP circuit's season-long standings haven't rewarded that since its inception, since the cash always goes to the athletes with more or less unopposed dominance.

Do any of our creative minds have alternative ideas?
Got any? Post 'em in the comments.

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