The oldest track & field blog on the internet

Friday, May 18, 2007

NCAA Regionals

A few weeks ago E. Garry Hill proposed some changes to the NCAA championships in his Track & Field News column. In short, he favored fields of 12 t0 16 athletes per event, with Regionals being a do-or-die qualifier. This would make the NCAA meet a much shorter and tighter affair (good for TV) and make the regional meets actually important. I think it's a great idea.

What Hill unknowingly described to a T is the Ohio high school state championships, except that we have two rounds of qualifying (districts and regionals). There are four regions and each region has four districts; the top four in each meet go on to the next round, creating fields of 16.

The superfans get a full day at the state championships, as there are three enrollment-based divisions and Saturday starts early and ends late. The normal spectator gets a good meet, as each division gets its 24 final running events done on Saturday in about two hours. It should come as no surprise that these championships have large and loyal attendance. Since Ohio Stadium's track was taken out and the meet moved to the Jesse Owens Stadium, if you don't get there early you won't get to sit down.

No comments: