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VAL News

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posted on October 22, 2014

Posted in: Newsletters

Dear athletes, coaches, parents and supporters,

The Victorian Athletic League stewarding and handicapping panel for season 2014/15 is:

* Stewards: Brian Marantelli & Wally Meecham

* Sprint handicapper, 70m, 120m, 200m: Graeme Goldsworthy

* 300m, 400m, 550m, Masters, Women’s events: Darryl Nettleton

* Distance Handicapper, 800m, 1600m,2000m,3200m: Neale Gunning

* Junior & Restricted Sprint Handicapper: Kim McDonough

Handicapping matters

1. The VAL has made some changes and clarifications to the Handicap Regulations, which can be found on the website. We encourage athletes & coaches to read them, with the changes noted in red. At the end of the document you will see the calculations table, Novice handicaps & penalty table.

2. Some of these key changes are:

* The handicaps of non-master women (35+) in the Women’s & Masters sprints will be derived directly from their women’s 120 mark, with runs in the combined races being included for assessment of the women’s 120 handicaps.

* The right of review for NAPs and UPs.

* The use of discretionary lifts for Classic and Stawell events.

* APs are to be unhindered by sickness, injury or participation in prior events or rounds.

* The reduction in winning penalties for Group 3 events.

3. Please also note the following key points in the Handicap Regulations:

* How the starting Handicaps are arrived at.

* The important distinction between an Established athlete and an Ongoing Assessment Athlete for handicapping purposes.

* How specific events are to be handicapped that are not conducted regularly, such as the 200, 550 and 3200.

4. There will be reward for effort. Those that compete regularly & consistently will be considered favourably when reviewing handicaps.

5. First wins in the Group 3 events will receive the minimum penalty in accordance with the Penalty table and will be favourably considered for an additional lift when next due. These athletes will also be reviewed favourably by the handicapper for discretionary lifts for Classic and Stawell events.

6. The role of the Handicapper is to give every athlete the opportunity to win a race. The role of the athlete is to compete consistently and to the best of their ability.

7. The VAL handicapper will be adopting a different approach to 550 metre events in 2014/15. This season the winner of any 550m event, other than the Euroa 550m, will be lifted a minimum of two metres above their winning handicap for the Stawell 550m event,. This is provided that the winner of the particular 550m event does not break net time. The Euroa event will be considered a non-penalty event and any handicap lift will be at the discretion of the handicapper. Any athlete who wins two 550 metre events during the 2014/15 season will not be eligible for the handicap relief.

Stewarding matters

1. There is going to be closer scrutiny of performances, with the likelihood that more NAPs (Non Acceptable Performances) and UPs (Unacceptable Performances) will be issued. Please refer to the Handicap Regulations for a detailed description of the terms and requirements.

2. The pre-Christmas carnivals will no longer be considered ‘warm up’ events for interstate Christmas carnivals or for the collection of ‘soft APs.’

3. No handicaps will be adjusted on the day of competition unless they differ from those published on the VAL website. The one exception is when an athlete’s handicap is manifestly above their competitive handicap, for example 200m handicap given in a 120m event. Athletes are expected to notify the VAL office of such abnormalities.

4. Any athlete, coach or parent wishing to have a handicap checked is required to email the VAL office before the day of competition. The VAL office will then forward the request to the relevant handicapper. No race day queries will be considered.

5. No athlete, coach or parent is to approach a handicapper or steward on race day.

6. No VAL handicapper or steward will discuss an individual athlete’s performance on the day with the athlete, coach or parent unless the VAL stewards or handicappers request such a discussion.

7. In the event of an inquiry into an athlete’s performance in a junior event, only the athlete’s coach will be required to attend. The VAL handicappers and stewards hold the coaches entirely responsible for the performance of all junior athletes.

8. An athlete who makes a semi-final or final of an event and then competes in another event, before completing the original semi final or final, runs the risk of a stewarding sanction.

9. Athletes who mix distances to the detriment of a performance during a carnival will not receive APs for their performances. This may also apply to athletes who mix distances to the extreme from week to week.

10. Any performed athlete who believes that they may not be able to compete to a respectable level in a particular event must notify the stewards before racing. This may be due to work or study commitments, illness or injury, etc. The athlete will be allowed to compete but will be given an NAP if their performance is below their normal standards. Please note any athlete who offers the excuse after the event will be given a UP, fine, suspension or handicap review.

11. Athletes that have proved by previous performances that they are capable of performing well in group 1 and group 2 events are expected to maintain that standard when competing in group 3 events.
12. The VAL will publish a VAL steward’s report on the VAL website during the week following a carnival. The report will detail all UPs, fines, reprimands, suspensions, handicap reviews, inquiries and non-time related NAPs.

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