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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Athletics Victoria shortens interclub program in new format

Athletics Victoria shortens interclub program in new format

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Athletics Victoria Shield interclub competition shortens programs in revised format

NOVEMBER 05, 2013

THE Athletics Victoria Shield interclub competition has taken to the track in a revised format this season after the first shake-up of the competition in more than a decade.

Three metropolitan zones have become four while East, North-West and South-East have been replaced by Red, White, Blue and Yellow as Athletics Victoria looked to put a more competitor-friendly structure out on the  track.

Athletics Victoria chief executive officer Glenn Turnor said AV had carried out a post-season review of the shield competition at the end of the 2012-13 campaign and one major issue burned brightest in the minds of athletes, coaches and officials.

Competition days were ­becoming too long.

With competitor numbers growing, dividing the weekly shield competition into three zones was stretching meeting times out beyond four and even five hours.

Turnor said, these days, people didn't have that kind  of time to commit on a Saturday.

"Saturday is becoming such a busy day for people these days," he said.

"The shorter program ­allows us to experiment with running (shield meetings) at other times.

"All roads led to one thing - it was very clear that the only solution was to create four zones.

"The question was, where could we expand to?

"So Athletics Victoria staff plotted a map with ­every single member and calculated their travel time.

"And we were finding that club members weren't using geography as a reason for joining a club. So the notion of North-West, South-East and East was outdated."

The revised zones, four in metropolitan Melbourne and three in country areas, have been in play for two rounds this season and Turnor said the objective of more friendly time frames for athletes was starting to be met with meetings ­shorter, on average, by about 45 minutes.

While the basic structure of the competitions will not change, with the top two teams going through to the overall Shield finals at the end of the season, Turnor said the new structure ­allowed for the possibility of zone representative teams doing battle as well.

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