Rules of PoleVault
Pole vault is a track and field event in which each competitor uses a long, flexible pole.
1. What Is Pole Vault
Pole vault is a track and field event in which each competitor uses a long, flexible pole, made of either fiberglass or carbon fiber, with the purpose of vaulting over a bar that is set at a specific height
During the approach the pole vaulter sprints down the runway in such a way as to achieve maximum speed and correct position to initiate takeoff at the end of the approach. Top class vaulters use approaches with 18 to 22 strides. At the beginning of the approach the pole is usually carried upright to some degree, and gradually lowered as the vaulter gets closer to the landing pit. This way the vaulter can minimize levered weight of the pole. The faster the vaulter can run and the more efficient his/her take off is, the greater the potential energy that can be achieved and used during the vault. It is common for vaulters to gradually increase running speed throughout the approach, reaching maximum speed at take off. Vaulters increase stride frequency while keeping the knees up like a sprinter. Unlike short sprint events such as the 100 m in which a forward lean is used to accelerate, vaulters maintain a more upright torso position throughout the approach to counterbalance the effect of carrying the pole.
3. Plant and take off
The plant and take off is initiated typically three steps out from the final step. Vaulters will usually count their steps backwards from their starting point to the box only counting the steps taken on the left foot (vice versa for left handers) except for the second step from the box, which is taken by the right foot. For example; a vaulter on a ten count (referring to the number of counted steps from the starting point to the box) would count backwards from ten, only counting the steps taken with the left foot, until the last three steps taken and both feet are counted as three, two, one. These last three steps are normally quicker than the previous strides and are referred to as the turn over . The goal of this phase is to efficiently translate the kinetic energy accumulated from the approach into potential energy stored by the elasticity of the pole, and to gain as much initial vertical height as possible by jumping off the ground. The plant starts with the vaulter raising his arms up from around the hips or mid torso until they are fully outstretched above his head, with the right arm extended directly above the head and the left arm extended perpendicular to the pole (vice versa for left handed vaulters). At the same time, the vaulter is dropping the pole tip into the box. On the final step, the vaulter jumps off the trail leg which should always remain straight and then drives the front knee forward. As the pole slides into the back of the box the pole begins to bend and the vaulter continues up and forward, leaving the trail leg angled down and behind him.
4. Swing up
The swing and row simply consists of the vaulter swinging his trail leg forward and rowing the pole, bringing his top arm down to the hips, while trying to keep the trail leg straight to store more potential energy into the pole, the rowing motion also keeps the pole bent for a longer period of time for the vaulter to get into optimum position. Once in a U shape the left arm hugs the pole tight to efficiently use the recoil within the pole. The goal is to carry out these motions as thoroughly and as quickly as possible; it is a race against the unbending of the pole. Effectively, this causes a double pendulum motion, with the top of the pole moving forward and pivoting from the box, while the vaulter acts as a second pendulum pivoting from the right hand. This action gives the vaulter the best position possible to be ejected off the pole. The swing continues until the hips are above the head and the arms are pulling the pole close to the chest; from there the vaulter shoots his legs up over the cross bar while keeping the pole close.
The extension refers to the extension of the hips upward with outstretched legs as the shoulders drive down, causing the vaulter to be positioned upside down. This position is often referred to as inversion . While this phase is executed, the pole begins to recoil, propelling the vaulter quickly upward. The hands of the vaulter remain close to his body as they move from the shins back to the region around the hips and upper torso.
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