Kansas Regional Qualifying
05/22/2017 11:27:11 AM
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This is to get the regional discussion onto its own thread. I like the idea of top three and next four fastest regional times. This way you have to perform at the regional if you are on the edge. Finish fourth and you may not go. Kids get injured, look at Born, kids fail in field events and don't get a mark. Just getting a mark early in the season doesn't mean you will do that late. There are also incorrect results, Chapman did not run 9:15 in the 4X800. Pittsburg did not get the baton around in the girls 4X100 and did not qualify, you need to perform when it counts. Maybe 5 and 6A need to have qualifying standards like the rest of the state. Being number four on your team and not being able to run does leave some behind, but that is very limited. I would hope a coach could find a way to get as many kids through as they can by splitting events and using relay's. No matter how it gets done, someone will be upset. "how does it affect me?" will always trump "what is best for the whole".
This is to get the regional discussion onto its own thread.

I like the idea of top three and next four fastest regional times. This way you have to perform at the regional if you are on the edge. Finish fourth and you may not go.

Kids get injured, look at Born, kids fail in field events and don't get a mark. Just getting a mark early in the season doesn't mean you will do that late. There are also incorrect results, Chapman did not run 9:15 in the 4X800. Pittsburg did not get the baton around in the girls 4X100 and did not qualify, you need to perform when it counts. Maybe 5 and 6A need to have qualifying standards like the rest of the state.

Being number four on your team and not being able to run does leave some behind, but that is very limited. I would hope a coach could find a way to get as many kids through as they can by splitting events and using relay's.

No matter how it gets done, someone will be upset. "how does it affect me?" will always trump "what is best for the whole".
05/22/2017 12:58:29 PM
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@reizen I couldn't agree more. I think it's especially necessary because there is absolutely no attempt to equalize the regions. Top 3 + Next 4 best non-qualifiers not only gets the best kids to the state meet meet, it also will make regionals a little more meaningful. And if one single western Kansas coach uses the word "wind"...my head might explode.
@reizen

I couldn't agree more. I think it's especially necessary because there is absolutely no attempt to equalize the regions. Top 3 + Next 4 best non-qualifiers not only gets the best kids to the state meet meet, it also will make regionals a little more meaningful.

And if one single western Kansas coach uses the word "wind"...my head might explode.
05/22/2017 1:48:18 PM
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WIND!!!
WIND!!!
05/22/2017 8:59:55 PM
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@Zat0pek Top 2 from each Region then the 8 best after that.
@Zat0pek

Top 2 from each Region then the 8 best after that.
05/22/2017 9:41:08 PM
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I definitely agree their should be some move away from top 4. Every year there is at least one regional where some of the relay events only have 4 teams even start the race. It's not fair to the teams that have great runs, which only place 5th or 6th, that some other team can have everyone back off since they only have to worry about avoiding a DQ. Not sure what the best option is though.
I definitely agree their should be some move away from top 4. Every year there is at least one regional where some of the relay events only have 4 teams even start the race. It's not fair to the teams that have great runs, which only place 5th or 6th, that some other team can have everyone back off since they only have to worry about avoiding a DQ.

Not sure what the best option is though.
05/22/2017 10:52:42 PM
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@Swords http://www.gifbin.com/982670
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05/29/2017 2:36:00 PM
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I have been for the 3 + next 4 best marks from Regionals for many years, but I have a new option Make it top 3 for each regional + next 4 best marks from throughout the season (which would include regionals) This creates a lot of interesting issues - many are good...some will have to see how they play out and update the rules as we go. For example: If an athletes has the best 1600 in 6A - they could automatically advance to state (as could the 2nd, and 3rd, and 4th best athletes in each event) certainly they could still run the event at regionals...but would not have to....what would this mean/do to regionals. Or even if they did run it, they would not need to place in the top 3 to advance. some coaches trying to win the meet would want to ride their athletes for as many points as they could (and that is their choice) some coaches would limit the # of events their athlete might run at regionals - or even sit out the whole meet (and that is their choice) any sick athlete (in the top 4) would be going to state regardless of whether or how they competed at regionals by being in the top 4 any DQ'ed relay, dropped baton could also advance if in the top 4 (this is one of those tricky ones). Is this fair? I might not even be running my best 4x800 team since we already have the best time = so the A relay is going to state...but if the rule were made to where a DQ means you can't advance to state, then your B team could blow it for you - so you wouldn't even risk it by entering them...so I still lean toward allowing any top 4 mark to state. Among the three exemption I can think of (injury, illness, DQ) only injury is the one where we may need to say - they have to still compete at regionals to prove advancement to state is warranted. Either that or a trainer must certify that they are fit to compete...this could still get tricky as some coaches would find a way to get them in the meet even if they are not ready. qualifying the distance stud is one of the trickiest elements in our sport because if you want to have them in the 800, 1600, 3200 and 4x800 you have to run them in at least all 3 open events at regionals. The 3 + 4 would make this easier. Either by not needing to enter them in all 3 or not needing them to place top 3 in all 3, if they already rank top 4 among the states best in those events. these are just some thought... I still like the top 3 from each regional and them figuring out some way to divide up the other 4 spots. best 2 options to me are: 1) 4 next best mark from regionals only (which rewards stacked regionals and limit weak regionals to 3 entrants) 2) 4 best marks not already qualified from regionals (from any time though out the year) if all the top athletes go ahead and compete at regionals...then truly the 4 next best marks from whatever regional are going to get those spots. I just think it would be interesting to see when and where those marks would come from and how this would play out. and who would benefit.
I have been for the 3 + next 4 best marks from Regionals for many years, but I have a new option

Make it top 3 for each regional + next 4 best marks from throughout the season (which would include regionals)

This creates a lot of interesting issues - many are good...some will have to see how they play out and update the rules as we go. For example:

If an athletes has the best 1600 in 6A - they could automatically advance to state (as could the 2nd, and 3rd, and 4th best athletes in each event) certainly they could still run the event at regionals...but would not have to....what would this mean/do to regionals. Or even if they did run it, they would not need to place in the top 3 to advance.

some coaches trying to win the meet would want to ride their athletes for as many points as they could (and that is their choice)
some coaches would limit the # of events their athlete might run at regionals - or even sit out the whole meet (and that is their choice)
any sick athlete (in the top 4) would be going to state regardless of whether or how they competed at regionals by being in the top 4
any DQ'ed relay, dropped baton could also advance if in the top 4 (this is one of those tricky ones). Is this fair? I might not even be running my best 4x800 team since we already have the best time = so the A relay is going to state...but if the rule were made to where a DQ means you can't advance to state, then your B team could blow it for you - so you wouldn't even risk it by entering them...so I still lean toward allowing any top 4 mark to state. Among the three exemption I can think of (injury, illness, DQ) only injury is the one where we may need to say - they have to still compete at regionals to prove advancement to state is warranted. Either that or a trainer must certify that they are fit to compete...this could still get tricky as some coaches would find a way to get them in the meet even if they are not ready.

qualifying the distance stud is one of the trickiest elements in our sport because if you want to have them in the 800, 1600, 3200 and 4x800 you have to run them in at least all 3 open events at regionals. The 3 + 4 would make this easier. Either by not needing to enter them in all 3 or not needing them to place top 3 in all 3, if they already rank top 4 among the states best in those events.

these are just some thought...

I still like the top 3 from each regional and them figuring out some way to divide up the other 4 spots.
best 2 options to me are:

1) 4 next best mark from regionals only (which rewards stacked regionals and limit weak regionals to 3 entrants)
2) 4 best marks not already qualified from regionals (from any time though out the year) if all the top athletes go ahead and compete at regionals...then truly the 4 next best marks from whatever regional are going to get those spots. I just think it would be interesting to see when and where those marks would come from and how this would play out. and who would benefit.
05/31/2017 1:41:24 PM
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17% Current Regionals system 33% Top 3 @ Regionals, Next 4 50% Use Qualifying Standards these are the results from a poll by Taylor Eldridge with over 1,000 respondants
17% Current Regionals system

33% Top 3 @ Regionals, Next 4

50% Use Qualifying Standards

these are the results from a poll by Taylor Eldridge with over 1,000 respondants
05/31/2017 9:05:40 PM
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@jerrry I don't believe that poll had any real controls; i.e., respondents could vote as many times as they liked. I am against qualifying standards. First, we compete outdoors and conditions are too varied from one part of this great state to another. Second, fast times and good heights or distances in regular season meets don't equal the ability to compete when it matters. Regionals is a system by which competitors are given the opportunity to shine. It doesn't matter how fast you ran in a race that didn't count, where you were pulled along by the feild. Can you show up the day of Regionals and get the job done? We have had kids miss State because of a tough Regional and then go on to win a State Championship the next year. They turned their adversity, into a advantage. They learned to compete when it counts. Finally, I am away from my computer right now, but just off the top of my head I can think of 9 State Champions that we have had in the last 12 years who didn't have the best PR in the field. In my opinion, the Regional System works best for getting the top competitors through.
@jerrry

I don't believe that poll
had any real controls; i.e., respondents could vote as many times as they liked.

I am against qualifying standards. First, we compete outdoors and conditions are too varied from one part of this great state to another. Second, fast times and good heights or distances in regular season meets don't equal the ability to compete when it matters.

Regionals is a system by which competitors are given the opportunity to shine. It doesn't matter how fast you ran in a race that didn't count, where you were pulled along by the feild. Can you show up the day of Regionals and get the job done?

We have had kids miss State because of a tough Regional and then go on to win a State Championship the next year. They turned their adversity, into a advantage. They learned to compete when it counts.

Finally, I am away from my computer right now, but just off the top of my head I can think of 9 State Champions that we have had in the last 12 years who didn't have the best PR in the field.

In my opinion, the Regional System works best for getting the top competitors through.
06/01/2017 1:28:55 AM
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@Swords I for the most part agree with you that a performance list might go too far and over-correct the current system. If there was a way to change the number of competitors at state, in an event, a performance standard could be a way to go, because it is used at EVERY other level in our sport. The regionals we currently have are very close to being the best method for qualifying a set 16 athletes to state. The only big problem I have is when they become too unbalanced and potential point scoring athletes/relays are left at home because there are already 4 state medalists in the same regional (Which has nothing to do with the athletes) I refuse to accept the excuse that the current system is the best because it isn't perfect and creates "artificial adversity" for the athletes to overcome. That also discounts a lot of seniors who won't be coming back to redeem themselves the next year. I think the top 3 with the next 4 best performances at regional is the closest we will get to identifying the top 16 on any given day. Its not a big change and how you place is still 75% of the qualification system. It will fix the egregious over-sites that occasionally happen. I don't see the difference between getting 4th, 5th, 6th or 7th in a race (you neither won nor even got a traditional medal). While I will admit not all 12.80's in the girls 100m dash are created equal, due to weather conditions, not all 4th places are created equal either. Is 4th place in one regional ALWAYS better then 5th in another? or... Why is geography an acceptable random variable for qualifying & weather isn't? This gets my "scientific" mind thinking, What is a better indicator for success at State, your regional Performance or Place? I'm working on collecting Data from 5A State & All Regionals, and will attempt to analyze it in a statistically meaningful way to test a hypothesis. I encourage anyone else to do the same in the classification you prefer. Nothing is perfect, but I'd like to provide a qualification system that is the most fair to the most athletes.
@Swords

I for the most part agree with you that a performance list might go too far and over-correct the current system. If there was a way to change the number of competitors at state, in an event, a performance standard could be a way to go, because it is used at EVERY other level in our sport. The regionals we currently have are very close to being the best method for qualifying a set 16 athletes to state. The only big problem I have is when they become too unbalanced and potential point scoring athletes/relays are left at home because there are already 4 state medalists in the same regional (Which has nothing to do with the athletes)

I refuse to accept the excuse that the current system is the best because it isn't perfect and creates "artificial adversity" for the athletes to overcome. That also discounts a lot of seniors who won't be coming back to redeem themselves the next year.

I think the top 3 with the next 4 best performances at regional is the closest we will get to identifying the top 16 on any given day. Its not a big change and how you place is still 75% of the qualification system. It will fix the egregious over-sites that occasionally happen. I don't see the difference between getting 4th, 5th, 6th or 7th in a race (you neither won nor even got a traditional medal). While I will admit not all 12.80's in the girls 100m dash are created equal, due to weather conditions, not all 4th places are created equal either. Is 4th place in one regional ALWAYS better then 5th in another? or... Why is geography an acceptable random variable for qualifying & weather isn't?

This gets my "scientific" mind thinking, What is a better indicator for success at State, your regional Performance or Place? I'm working on collecting Data from 5A State & All Regionals, and will attempt to analyze it in a statistically meaningful way to test a hypothesis. I encourage anyone else to do the same in the classification you prefer. Nothing is perfect, but I'd like to provide a qualification system that is the most fair to the most athletes.
06/01/2017 5:09:32 AM
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@CoachBallew Unless, I misunderstand the way NCAA works, which is possible. The performance Standard merely gets you to the qualifying meet. Once there you have to perform to make it to the Championship. This is the same way for the Olympic Trials, the performance standard gets you to the trials, you have to perform at the trials to make it to the Olympics. Yes the Olympics has its own standards, but the athlete has time to make those standards between the trials and the Olympics. So if we wanted to be like "EVERY" other level in our sport then we would have performance standards to make it to Regionals and you would then have to compete at Regionals to make it to State. Or if we wanted to have standards for State then we would need to move the meet back a week or two so that Regional qualifiers would have a chance to meet the standard if they had not yet. I am not sure I am following your "artificial adversity" statement. Clearly the adversity is at least perceived by you and others as real or we wouldn't have an issue. Also, yes Seniors don't have a chance to come back again next year, and we have had quality seniors miss the State meet on numerous occasions. They missed it because they were out competed by the field on that day. I think the biggest issue I see is the idea that kids or relays that would have medaled at State aren't getting in. I am not sure if I am correct, but what seems to be meant by this statement is that an athlete or relay's Regional performance would have placed in the State meet, or perhaps the athlete's PR would have placed in the State meet...? If this is correct, then is the argument being made that my mark from last weeks Regional or my PR from however many weeks ago, would be reproduced at the State Meet...? This seems "artificial" to me. Let's take the 5A 3200m. In that race 6 of the 16 competitors PRed. In the 5A 1600 it was even less, in fact many of the competitors didn't even match the time they ran at Regionals. However, the kid that didn't make it because of how tough their Regional was would have surely matched his/her performance or even PRed at State and therefore got themselves a medal...? Maybe, I am not smart enough to figure this argument out, because in my 35+ years in sports I have never seen past performances produce medals in the present.
@CoachBallew

Unless, I misunderstand the way NCAA works, which is possible. The performance Standard merely gets you to the qualifying meet. Once there you have to perform to make it to the Championship. This is the same way for the Olympic Trials, the performance standard gets you to the trials, you have to perform at the trials to make it to the Olympics. Yes the Olympics has its own standards, but the athlete has time to make those standards between the trials and the Olympics. So if we wanted to be like "EVERY" other level in our sport then we would have performance standards to make it to Regionals and you would then have to compete at Regionals to make it to State. Or if we wanted to have standards for State then we would need to move the meet back a week or two so that Regional qualifiers would have a chance to meet the standard if they had not yet.

I am not sure I am following your "artificial adversity" statement. Clearly the adversity is at least perceived by you and others as real or we wouldn't have an issue. Also, yes Seniors don't have a chance to come back again next year, and we have had quality seniors miss the State meet on numerous occasions. They missed it because they were out competed by the field on that day.

I think the biggest issue I see is the idea that kids or relays that would have medaled at State aren't getting in. I am not sure if I am correct, but what seems to be meant by this statement is that an athlete or relay's Regional performance would have placed in the State meet, or perhaps the athlete's PR would have placed in the State meet...? If this is correct, then is the argument being made that my mark from last weeks Regional or my PR from however many weeks ago, would be reproduced at the State Meet...? This seems "artificial" to me.

Let's take the 5A 3200m. In that race 6 of the 16 competitors PRed. In the 5A 1600 it was even less, in fact many of the competitors didn't even match the time they ran at Regionals. However, the kid that didn't make it because of how tough their Regional was would have surely matched his/her performance or even PRed at State and therefore got themselves a medal...? Maybe, I am not smart enough to figure this argument out, because in my 35+ years in sports I have never seen past performances produce medals in the present.
06/01/2017 10:38:04 AM
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I have said before that "you knew the rules before so you can't complain about them now". That doesn't mean that you can't work to change them going forward. I also agree that just saying someone ran a better time at KU does not mean they will run it today. You have to beat the people on the track today. I am not a fan of straight performance lists, as you can see in that last statement. If you allow someone to get in the state meet from a time they ran 5 weeks ago, why not from three years ago. Now there are very few High School runners that run their best times as Freshmen, but the theory is the same, they did it then they can do it today. You need to perform at the right time, peak when it matters. I also consider regional's as the first leg of the state meet. If you want to run an event at state, you will need to run it at regional's. I am not against qualifying standards such as 1-4A have, it would make as much sense for 5 & 6A as it does for the others. I know the reasons behind the rule, 16 schools with 3 entries makes for a large field. Too many "I',s in this post, it is about the kids and giving them the opportunity to achieve their best.
I have said before that "you knew the rules before so you can't complain about them now". That doesn't mean that you can't work to change them going forward. I also agree that just saying someone ran a better time at KU does not mean they will run it today. You have to beat the people on the track today.

I am not a fan of straight performance lists, as you can see in that last statement. If you allow someone to get in the state meet from a time they ran 5 weeks ago, why not from three years ago. Now there are very few High School runners that run their best times as Freshmen, but the theory is the same, they did it then they can do it today. You need to perform at the right time, peak when it matters.

I also consider regional's as the first leg of the state meet. If you want to run an event at state, you will need to run it at regional's. I am not against qualifying standards such as 1-4A have, it would make as much sense for 5 & 6A as it does for the others. I know the reasons behind the rule, 16 schools with 3 entries makes for a large field.

Too many "I',s in this post, it is about the kids and giving them the opportunity to achieve their best.
06/01/2017 3:45:02 PM
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@Swords Coach Swords, Don't you think we're placing too much of the fate of which kids go to state by making geography a huge factor in state qualifying (for the purpose of simplicity)? We are not just talking about switching out a #15 ranked kid for a #17. I can show you instances where a team placed 5th at regional, and very easily could have been 5th or better at State. In no scenario do I see how it is fair to a kid or team that is ranked 5th in their class to be left at home over other kids who are not in the top 16 because they had a bad luck of the draw on which teams are in their regional meet. I completely understand there are pros and cons with any qualification system. I also understand that teams and athletes compete based on the situation they're given, so changing the rules is likely going to change how they compete at their Regional meet. Under the current system we all know you simply need to get in the top 4, so a team or athlete may not go all out at the Regional meet (they may make it a "tactical race". So with that in mind it can be difficult to look at performances from 4 separate regions under the current standard and rank an event. At the same time a race at State could be "tactical" so take this for what it's worth. With that being said I just want to provide a few examples from this year. 4A Girls 4x800 Tonganoxie placed 5th in the region with a 10:07. If they had ran the same time at State they would have placed 6th. Fort Scott ran 10:39 at their Regional, and 10:59 at State. 5A Boys 4x800 St. James Academy placed 5th in their Regional with an 8:16. If they had ran this time at State they would have placed 5th. Washington ran 8:53 at their Reigonal and 9:10 at State for 15th. 5A Boys 3200 This one was wild. If you go strictly by time the Desoto regional had 9 guys run faster than the winner of the Shawnee Heights Regional, and 9 faster than 2nd in Goddard.! McCanna ran 9:55.8 for 5th (he has a 9:43 PR)... 9:55.8 would have placed 11th, and a 9:43 would have been 6th. The next three placers from that region all would have beat 11th at State as well if they had run the same time (and two of them have PR's of 9:52 and 9:55).
@Swords

Coach Swords,

Don't you think we're placing too much of the fate of which kids go to state by making geography a huge factor in state qualifying (for the purpose of simplicity)?

We are not just talking about switching out a #15 ranked kid for a #17. I can show you instances where a team placed 5th at regional, and very easily could have been 5th or better at State. In no scenario do I see how it is fair to a kid or team that is ranked 5th in their class to be left at home over other kids who are not in the top 16 because they had a bad luck of the draw on which teams are in their regional meet.

I completely understand there are pros and cons with any qualification system. I also understand that teams and athletes compete based on the situation they're given, so changing the rules is likely going to change how they compete at their Regional meet. Under the current system we all know you simply need to get in the top 4, so a team or athlete may not go all out at the Regional meet (they may make it a "tactical race". So with that in mind it can be difficult to look at performances from 4 separate regions under the current standard and rank an event. At the same time a race at State could be "tactical" so take this for what it's worth.

With that being said I just want to provide a few examples from this year.

4A Girls 4x800
Tonganoxie placed 5th in the region with a 10:07. If they had ran the same time at State they would have placed 6th. Fort Scott ran 10:39 at their Regional, and 10:59 at State.

5A Boys 4x800
St. James Academy placed 5th in their Regional with an 8:16. If they had ran this time at State they would have placed 5th. Washington ran 8:53 at their Reigonal and 9:10 at State for 15th.

5A Boys 3200
This one was wild. If you go strictly by time the Desoto regional had 9 guys run faster than the winner of the Shawnee Heights Regional, and 9 faster than 2nd in Goddard.!
McCanna ran 9:55.8 for 5th (he has a 9:43 PR)... 9:55.8 would have placed 11th, and a 9:43 would have been 6th. The next three placers from that region all would have beat 11th at State as well if they had run the same time (and two of them have PR's of 9:52 and 9:55).
06/02/2017 6:16:15 PM
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Coach Swords, let me begin by expressing my respect for you as a coach, leader and as a person. I do not intend on making this an argument but instead a rational exchange of ideas from two different perspectives. I am also using many words to express my strong feelings, so allow me to start by stating my general stance… Placing 5th in some regionals is a greater accomplishment then a top 4 spot in other regionals because of “geographically” assigned regional inequality. So, Can we implement a change to decrease the effects of this imbalance without creating new, bigger, problems? The rest of this post is all justification & rebuttals, so NOW I will babble on… You are correct, in the NCAA D1 championships, athletes have to qualify for their regional based on time. At the regional it is entirely a place-based system to qualify for the national meet. What makes their system different is that they only have 2 regionals (East & West) in which 12 athletes from each regional go to nationals. At nationals, they score 8 places, meaning more runners/jumpers/throwers/relays qualify from a regional then there are scoring spots at Nationals. In Kansas, we have more regionals (4) and fewer qualifiers (4), but score the same number of athletes at state (8). Due to “random” talent, distribution across the state it is possible 5 of the 8 medalists could be placed in the same regional. If we wanted to go to a system like NCAA D1, I would be in favor of that over our current method. (I proposed this to the coaches last fall for XC & it was voted down) The only reason I'm not vocal about that system in track is that it would be harder to get AD’s & coaches on board due to the difficulty of hosting a track meet of that size. We could implement performance standards to help limit the fields. Otherwise regional performance standards in our current system would provide little help to 5A & 6A. As for Olympics & World Championships, I would argue it is apples and oranges to what we do. The US Olympic trials are NOT “regionals” assigned by the IAAF or the IOC. It is an inter-squad meet to determine “varsity/Top-3”. When an athlete qualifies for the Olympics they compete FOR their country, when our athletes race at State they compete for their school, not the regional. Many countries don’t even have trials. Each country determines their own method for selection and whether an athlete meets the standard before or after the trials to me is irrelevant, if they don’t meet the time they don’t compete. Maybe my word choice of “artificial adversity” is not quite what I meant. What I’m trying to say is don’t use the adversity created by the inequality of the current system as a justification to keep things the way they are. If your point is that the current system is the “most fair” then I will accept that as your hypothesis, but I would like to collect data to support it. There are two things I want to get across in my support for the Top 3 then next 4. 1. Nothing in my argument has anything to do with PR’s. I agree, that just because your PR is fast does not mean you can & will repeat that performance on command. 2. I also do not want to take regional performances and transpose them into State performances. When I talk about potential medalists “missing” from the state meet, I’m refereeing to events where all 4 qualifiers placed with medals left to spare. Examples in 2017: the 5A girls 1600m (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th) or the 5A Boys 1600m (1st, 5th, 6th, 7th) or the 5A Boys 800m (2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th) or the 5A Girls 4x800m (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 7th)[I would like to point out that in one regional there were only 4 teams competing in the Girls 4x800m]. The 5th place finisher in each of these events at the regional meet could have a fighting chance to finish in the medals without looking at their times directly. For those athletes/relays to qualify to state their threshold was to become a state medalist, and HAD the 5th place runner edged out the 4th place runner then a guaranteed medalist would have been left at home. I would NEVER argue that an athlete that gets 5th is more deserving of a qualifying spot then someone that got 4th in the same race. It should be obvious I can NEVER prove an athlete "WOULD" have placed at State if they were not there to race. I can attempt to show how athletes, that place 4th at regionals with slow times, correlate to their placing at State.
Coach Swords, let me begin by expressing my respect for you as a coach, leader and as a person. I do not intend on making this an argument but instead a rational exchange of ideas from two different perspectives. I am also using many words to express my strong feelings, so allow me to start by stating my general stance…

Placing 5th in some regionals is a greater accomplishment then a top 4 spot in other regionals because of "geographically" assigned regional inequality. So, Can we implement a change to decrease the effects of this imbalance without creating new, bigger, problems?

The rest of this post is all justification & rebuttals, so NOW I will babble on…

You are correct, in the NCAA D1 championships, athletes have to qualify for their regional based on time. At the regional it is entirely a place-based system to qualify for the national meet. What makes their system different is that they only have 2 regionals (East & West) in which 12 athletes from each regional go to nationals. At nationals, they score 8 places, meaning more runners/jumpers/throwers/relays qualify from a regional then there are scoring spots at Nationals. In Kansas, we have more regionals (4) and fewer qualifiers (4), but score the same number of athletes at state (8). Due to "random" talent, distribution across the state it is possible 5 of the 8 medalists could be placed in the same regional. If we wanted to go to a system like NCAA D1, I would be in favor of that over our current method. (I proposed this to the coaches last fall for XC & it was voted down) The only reason I'm not vocal about that system in track is that it would be harder to get AD's & coaches on board due to the difficulty of hosting a track meet of that size. We could implement performance standards to help limit the fields. Otherwise regional performance standards in our current system would provide little help to 5A & 6A.

As for Olympics & World Championships, I would argue it is apples and oranges to what we do. The US Olympic trials are NOT "regionals" assigned by the IAAF or the IOC. It is an inter-squad meet to determine "varsity/Top-3". When an athlete qualifies for the Olympics they compete FOR their country, when our athletes race at State they compete for their school, not the regional. Many countries don't even have trials. Each country determines their own method for selection and whether an athlete meets the standard before or after the trials to me is irrelevant, if they don't meet the time they don't compete.

Maybe my word choice of "artificial adversity" is not quite what I meant. What I'm trying to say is don't use the adversity created by the inequality of the current system as a justification to keep things the way they are. If your point is that the current system is the "most fair" then I will accept that as your hypothesis, but I would like to collect data to support it.

There are two things I want to get across in my support for the Top 3 then next 4.

1. Nothing in my argument has anything to do with PR's. I agree, that just because your PR is fast does not mean you can & will repeat that performance on command.
2. I also do not want to take regional performances and transpose them into State performances. When I talk about potential medalists "missing" from the state meet, I'm refereeing to events where all 4 qualifiers placed with medals left to spare.

Examples in 2017: the 5A girls 1600m (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th) or the 5A Boys 1600m (1st, 5th, 6th, 7th) or the 5A Boys 800m (2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th) or the 5A Girls 4x800m (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 7th).

The 5th place finisher in each of these events at the regional meet could have a fighting chance to finish in the medals without looking at their times directly. For those athletes/relays to qualify to state their threshold was to become a state medalist, and HAD the 5th place runner edged out the 4th place runner then a guaranteed medalist would have been left at home. I would NEVER argue that an athlete that gets 5th is more deserving of a qualifying spot then someone that got 4th in the same race.

It should be obvious I can NEVER prove an athlete "WOULD" have placed at State if they were not there to race. I can attempt to show how athletes, that place 4th at regionals with slow times, correlate to their placing at State.
06/02/2017 8:38:27 PM
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@CoachBallew Thank you for your kind words. I have read you posts as discussion and not argumentation. I have attempted to respond in kind, but I ask your pardon if I have offered an offense to you in anyway. I too am not looking to have an argument, as much as I am hoping to offer my opinion which is often counter to many who post here. I take a long time to process through things, not in the I am thinking deep thoughts, or I have such a complex mind type of way, but rather, I am just kind of a plodder when it comes to thinking. I usually make a couple drafts of a posts or reply before I submit one, and often end up not submitting it because by the time I think it through everyone has moved on. As you can tell by my many typos and errors over the years it isn't because I am following the writing process that they taught us in school either. :D That being said, I am currently thinking through the points offered by you and Nick, but I wanted to make this post quickly, because I wanted to offer you an apology.
@CoachBallew

Thank you for your kind words. I have read you posts as discussion and not argumentation. I have attempted to respond in kind, but I ask your pardon if I have offered an offense to you in anyway. I too am not looking to have an argument, as much as I am hoping to offer my opinion which is often counter to many who post here.

I take a long time to process through things, not in the I am thinking deep thoughts, or I have such a complex mind type of way, but rather, I am just kind of a plodder when it comes to thinking. I usually make a couple drafts of a posts or reply before I submit one, and often end up not submitting it because by the time I think it through everyone has moved on. As you can tell by my many typos and errors over the years it isn't because I am following the writing process that they taught us in school either. :D

That being said, I am currently thinking through the points offered by you and Nick, but I wanted to make this post quickly, because I wanted to offer you an apology.
06/03/2017 10:11:05 AM
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@Swords I in no way meant to imply that you were being negative or argumentative. I was making the statement as it applied to my words.
@Swords

I in no way meant to imply that you were being negative or argumentative. I was making the statement as it applied to my words.
06/03/2017 12:25:41 PM
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A more radical and forward thinking approach would be to do away with all classes and make Kansas HS track and XC a one division state like Indiana. Winner takes all. Best of the best. If you are fast enough to earn your way there you get in and compete. Doesn't discriminate and is inclusive. XC State meet at Rim Rock would be incredible. Move state track to Rock Chalk Park which is a way better venue that Wichita. Girls on Friday and Boys on Saturday. Alternate each year. Running is the one sport that is not determined by parents financial income of an area. Pure grit and hard work. Would produce some great David vs Goliath moments in many events.
A more radical and forward thinking approach would be to do away with all classes and make Kansas HS track and XC a one division state like Indiana.

Winner takes all. Best of the best. If you are fast enough to earn your way there you get in and compete. Doesn't discriminate and is inclusive.

XC State meet at Rim Rock would be incredible. Move state track to Rock Chalk Park which is a way better venue that Wichita. Girls on Friday and Boys on Saturday. Alternate each year.

Running is the one sport that is not determined by parents financial income of an area. Pure grit and hard work.

Would produce some great David vs Goliath moments in many events.
06/03/2017 3:06:21 PM
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I very rarely share my opinion on the discussion boards but can't help myself with this one. I want to start by saying that we have both benefited from and been victim to having a larger/smaller talent pool at a regional meet. (And obviously this is event specific. Some events go cheap and other not at all in a given regional) As I'm sure everyone has. From an athletes standpoint it sucks to be talented and think that you could have medaled at the state meet but not be given a chance. At the same time, the beauty of track and field is the simplicity of results. There is no objectivity. Currently, you need to finish fourth or better in a specific meet on a specific day. We all understand that, we all prepare for that. Do we all have to prepare the same way or even for the same "game"? No, but we are all on an even playing field in terms of understanding what it takes to move on. I will do the best I can to prepare our athletes to be successful given the rules we have been given. With that being said, what I have had and continue to have issue with is that we are currently calling a meet the State Championships and awarding trophies to team state champions. The state awards medals and team points to the top 8 finishers in every event at this specific meet. Now while it is possible that the top 8 athletes in an event are at the state meet, it is impossible to guarantee that when only 4 athletes from a geographic region are allowed to opportunity to compete. In theory the 8 best athletes could be located geographically in the same area(we can take this even further to say they could even be on the same team). In reality this probably isn't the case but I would make the argument that often 5-6 of the best athletes in an event(athletes who would earn individual medals, and earn team points) are from the same regional. Thus 1 or 2 (and theoretically up to 4) athletes are not given the chance to compete at a "state championship" meet. A meet dubbed as crowing the BEST in the state. A meet that crowns the best teams in the state. I don't think that the current system truly does these things. In my humble opinion the solution is to merge two regions together and take the top 8 finishers to the state meet (KSHSAA just last year changed regional wrestling to this format). Like Coach Swords said, it is about showing up when it counts and getting the job done then (coach I hope I'm not putting words in your mouth). I find value in that and think that should continue. This would guarantee that the top 8 athletes (ones who would receive medals and team points) are given the opportunity to compete while still preserving regional representation. While the possibility of regional inequality still exists it no longer affects team points or awards. And while it is awesome to compete for one more week, and there is still a possibility of the 9th or 10th kid sitting at home that's life. This meet isn't about giving kids another meet, this one is about crowing team champions and awarding medals to the best in the state. Simply put the best have to be there in order to actually do that and I'm not convinced they are all currently there.
I very rarely share my opinion on the discussion boards but can't help myself with this one.

I want to start by saying that we have both benefited from and been victim to having a larger/smaller talent pool at a regional meet. (And obviously this is event specific. Some events go cheap and other not at all in a given regional) As I'm sure everyone has. From an athletes standpoint it sucks to be talented and think that you could have medaled at the state meet but not be given a chance. At the same time, the beauty of track and field is the simplicity of results. There is no objectivity. Currently, you need to finish fourth or better in a specific meet on a specific day. We all understand that, we all prepare for that. Do we all have to prepare the same way or even for the same "game"? No, but we are all on an even playing field in terms of understanding what it takes to move on. I will do the best I can to prepare our athletes to be successful given the rules we have been given.

With that being said, what I have had and continue to have issue with is that we are currently calling a meet the State Championships and awarding trophies to team state champions. The state awards medals and team points to the top 8 finishers in every event at this specific meet. Now while it is possible that the top 8 athletes in an event are at the state meet, it is impossible to guarantee that when only 4 athletes from a geographic region are allowed to opportunity to compete. In theory the 8 best athletes could be located geographically in the same area(we can take this even further to say they could even be on the same team). In reality this probably isn't the case but I would make the argument that often 5-6 of the best athletes in an event(athletes who would earn individual medals, and earn team points) are from the same regional. Thus 1 or 2 (and theoretically up to 4) athletes are not given the chance to compete at a "state championship" meet. A meet dubbed as crowing the BEST in the state. A meet that crowns the best teams in the state. I don't think that the current system truly does these things.

In my humble opinion the solution is to merge two regions together and take the top 8 finishers to the state meet (KSHSAA just last year changed regional wrestling to this format). Like Coach Swords said, it is about showing up when it counts and getting the job done then (coach I hope I'm not putting words in your mouth). I find value in that and think that should continue. This would guarantee that the top 8 athletes (ones who would receive medals and team points) are given the opportunity to compete while still preserving regional representation. While the possibility of regional inequality still exists it no longer affects team points or awards. And while it is awesome to compete for one more week, and there is still a possibility of the 9th or 10th kid sitting at home that's life. This meet isn't about giving kids another meet, this one is about crowing team champions and awarding medals to the best in the state. Simply put the best have to be there in order to actually do that and I'm not convinced they are all currently there.
06/03/2017 4:27:53 PM
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Although these boards have seen the regional topic come up countless times for both XC and track, I feel like this thread has been a better sharing of ideas and less complaining than in the past so that's very cool. I like a great deal of what has been shared and here is my opinion on the matter for what it's worth. 1) Stick with regionals to establish all qualifiers. I agree that you have to be able to perform on the right day at the right time if you want to advance. While it is tragic when a baton is dropped or a runner is tripped this is part of the sport. Like everyone else, we have experienced both the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat and both are part of the overall human development that sport should exist to enhance. 2) Switch to the two larger regionals like Levi Huseman suggested and qualify 8 from each region. This should vastly help in getting the best athletes through to the state meet and also hopefully eliminate the number of kids getting lapped at state in the 3200m and 4x800. We should not have kids getting lapped at state. That's just ridiculous. Yes, this will make the regional meets longer but I think that is a good thing. It would allow for more rest for kids that are running multiple events. I love track and therefore I love being at track meets. I would not bother me if the meet lasted longer, especially with such great competition. 3) Implement regional standards for event entries. I would even argue that if a school has more than three athletes meet the standard then they can enter all of them, just like the NCAA. Why in the world should any athlete good enough be denied? This would also reward depth in the team scoring. If a team has developed 4 or 5 girls that can high jump 5-04 or 4 or guys that can throw the javelin 165+ feet, they should get to score those points. Likewise, if a team's best best girls 3200m runner is 14:00, then she should not be allowed to compete at regionals. A rule like this would help limit entries and satisfy those that do worry about the regional meet lasting too long. 4) My other thought would be that if the two "super region" system proved to be too much travel and/or too long of a meet and we stayed with four regions then I would still be in favor of having entry standards and allow schools to enter as many kids as they desired that met the standard and deny entry to those that did not meet the standard. However, I think each school should be allowed one relay regardless and perhaps I suppose they could have 1 or 2 entries for those that don't meet the standard but I'm not 100% on board with that. I'd have to see the entries or better yet, experience a meet like that first to truly know how I felt about it. If you are a head coach and have strong feelings on any of this then you need to email Gary Melcher at El Dorado high school. [b]coachmelch@cox.net[/b] He is the contact person in track & field for rules proposals. At least that is my understanding.
Although these boards have seen the regional topic come up countless times for both XC and track, I feel like this thread has been a better sharing of ideas and less complaining than in the past so that's very cool. I like a great deal of what has been shared and here is my opinion on the matter for what it's worth.

1) Stick with regionals to establish all qualifiers. I agree that you have to be able to perform on the right day at the right time if you want to advance. While it is tragic when a baton is dropped or a runner is tripped this is part of the sport. Like everyone else, we have experienced both the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat and both are part of the overall human development that sport should exist to enhance.

2) Switch to the two larger regionals like Levi Huseman suggested and qualify 8 from each region. This should vastly help in getting the best athletes through to the state meet and also hopefully eliminate the number of kids getting lapped at state in the 3200m and 4x800. We should not have kids getting lapped at state. That's just ridiculous. Yes, this will make the regional meets longer but I think that is a good thing. It would allow for more rest for kids that are running multiple events. I love track and therefore I love being at track meets. I would not bother me if the meet lasted longer, especially with such great competition.

3) Implement regional standards for event entries. I would even argue that if a school has more than three athletes meet the standard then they can enter all of them, just like the NCAA. Why in the world should any athlete good enough be denied? This would also reward depth in the team scoring. If a team has developed 4 or 5 girls that can high jump 5-04 or 4 or guys that can throw the javelin 165+ feet, they should get to score those points. Likewise, if a team's best best girls 3200m runner is 14:00, then she should not be allowed to compete at regionals. A rule like this would help limit entries and satisfy those that do worry about the regional meet lasting too long.

4) My other thought would be that if the two "super region" system proved to be too much travel and/or too long of a meet and we stayed with four regions then I would still be in favor of having entry standards and allow schools to enter as many kids as they desired that met the standard and deny entry to those that did not meet the standard. However, I think each school should be allowed one relay regardless and perhaps I suppose they could have 1 or 2 entries for those that don't meet the standard but I'm not 100% on board with that. I'd have to see the entries or better yet, experience a meet like that first to truly know how I felt about it.

If you are a head coach and have strong feelings on any of this then you need to email Gary Melcher at El Dorado high school. coachmelch@cox.net He is the contact person in track & field for rules proposals. At least that is my understanding.
06/04/2017 10:42:00 PM
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Looks like Minnesota is in a similar situation if not worse than KS. Here are their state qualifiers. XC state champion Patrick Roos ran 9:13 at his section meet, finished 3rd place and still did not qualify for state. I am guessing they only take two qualifiers from each section, similar to what they do in XC. Or you could be Wayzata, with 10 guys under 4:30 and 6 guys under 9:35 and only qualify one single individual in an open distance event. They have a bizarre system up there. Truly baffling. Here are the state meet entries: http://www.mshsl.org/mshsl/upload/MSHSL141937aaboys.htm
Looks like Minnesota is in a similar situation if not worse than KS. Here are their state qualifiers. XC state champion Patrick Roos ran 9:13 at his section meet, finished 3rd place and still did not qualify for state. I am guessing they only take two qualifiers from each section, similar to what they do in XC. Or you could be Wayzata, with 10 guys under 4:30 and 6 guys under 9:35 and only qualify one single individual in an open distance event. They have a bizarre system up there. Truly baffling.

Here are the state meet entries: http://www.mshsl.org/mshsl/upload/MSHSL141937aaboys.htm

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