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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Accountability: Athlete V's Handicapper......

Accountability: Athlete V's Handicapper......

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1 Accountability: Athlete V's Handicapper...... on Wed Nov 18, 2015 6:12 pm

yogizz-84


When does the Handicapper become accountable? I've been sitting on this for about the last 10-14days or so & wish to know an answer (if possible) to the above question?

Let me explain. The circular events in this year’s SAAL have been poor to say the least! All bar one race (Flinders 3200m) have been poorly entered/ attended. Henley 800m straight final, when only a few years ago there was 2, 3 maybe 4 heats; likewise in the 800m at Flinders. The 1600m at Port Adelaide had 6 athletes front & race, SIX!!! There was an email put out asking for more entrance in the 1000m at the newly organised meet at Westerns. So why has this been, why have the circular events been poorly attended?

I have been involved in Pro Running for nearly 20yrs & one change I have noticed is the reluctance to handicap juniors! When I started Pro Running I was 16yrs old & my 800m Mark was mid forties, my pb was 2:01-2:00, nothing electric, but competitive enough. My Mile mark was 110m with a pb for 1500m around 4:10. My marks didn't move to much over the next few years, maybe into the low 50m for 800m (have never won an Open 800m, only an U20 800m to date), in the mile anywhere from 105-135 due to race wins, pb’s, lack of race wins etc. There were some juniors & first year Open athletes with tighter marks than me as they had faster pb's then I (or won Open 800m races) but all in all we were early middle markers (high 30's to mid 40's). I was told my marks were like this because we were young, thus meaning we had far more room to improve- makes perfect sense to me.

So, why has this not continued? Why do I/ we see juniors or first year Open athletes (aged 16-21) with marks in the 60m-70m for an 800m or 140m-160m in the Mile (sometimes greater in either event). And I know for a fact there pb's are on par with mine (at relevant ages) or greater.
Classic case is Max Stevens! Firstly let me say, no dig here at Max, he has worked hard & has earned his reward, just using him as an example. Max has won the 3200m at Flinders (probably most sort after 3200m on the SAAL calendar) for the last 3 years running! First year he won only by a few meters, 2nd year won by the length of the straight & likewise in his 3rd year! So, 2 out of his 3 victories have been very dominant. Of those 2 out of 3 years Max has started in front of me!!! Now, keep in mind Max has been in his late teens early twenties for these races & as explained earlier, these are the years we most improve. His race winning times have also been very competitive too- close to 9minutes or less. I know that Max's training & thus pb's have improved out of sight, to the point that they are greater than mine & I can only assume he is lodging/ informing the SAAL of his latest & most up to date pb's. It is worth pointing out Max is not the only athlete this is happening too, there are others out there.

So, why do these juniors (& relies I'm using the term junior liberally) get such generous marks? Now I know I might sound like an old geeza, saying 'back in my day,' but I'm not, Pro running has been very good to me & I'm happy with my successes & I also very much understand the politics & 'game play' that is associated with Pro running (not that naive). But, as athletes we are always asked to lodge our pb's & keep the SAAL up to date with our progress- transparency! We (athletes) are the ones that are always charged with making Pro running look like a 'cheaters sport' & can make it look like a farce. But when does that cross over to the handicapper? When does the handicapper start to make the sport look like a farce & where is the handicappers transparency? Continuing with Max as an example, if he's lodged all the correct paper work & the handicapper allocates him his mark, why should he say anything? He shouldn't, he's only following the rules!

So, if you are an athlete & you constantly see these ludicrous marks for athletes that you know are superior to their actual marks, then why would either participate in that event or worse yet, entre altogether. The goal of all athletes is to win the race, or at the very least, be competitive. But, this can be made extremely hard through poor handicapping, because the handicapper does not rate the athlete.

As a result, where to from here?

GLPR


max went back in marks each time he won and then improved again. is that not what it is all about

GLPR


having raced in sa, i would say that along with vic they are the 2 best handicapping systems in the country. the other states are terrible. so you have nothing to complain about

WhataboutmeMrHandicapper


Good post yogizz-84. Can't ignore the facts. Numbers in SA races 550 to 1600 have been poor. The 550 at Port Adelaide was shocking. I read where youngy said there was only 3 under 40s in the 7 who ran. Handicapper can't have been happy watching Stevens win by a big margin two years in a row. I'm not sure what the answer is but something's got to be done to encourage more runners.

youngy

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Interesting......I don't have anything to do with distance handicapping but this thread got me thinking bout the junior sprint events.

In the 10 junior sprint races this season that I have handicapped there have been 10 different winners. 8 of them won their first sash while the other two have won sashes before but only one had won a sash on my watch.

First time sash winners (8.)
Blake Jones
Chelsea Holmes
Sam Blyzno
Hunter Rubino
Elle Sheffield
Courtney Martens
Jackson Daniels
Max Hagicostas

5 were first year athletes who won off the novice mark.

No. 9 - Molly Farmer won only her second sash under my handicapping. The wins were in two different age groups and two different distances. Molly is a state champion so well above average for her age/gender and despite a tight mark at Port Adelaide she still won.

No. 10 - Lachlan Burrows win in the Port Adelaide U/17's 300m was his first under my handicapping and was achieved despite an 8m penalty for his 2nd place in the Under 20's 400m at Henley where he broke net time. (His previous U/17 300m mark was 30m; he won Port Adelaide off 22m).

The numbers in the juniors are increasing with every meet so hopefully we have a few more enjoy their first sash this week.

By the way, the Sacred Heart 70m Under 14's is the first event I will have handicapped where there's been the same distance/same age group already this season. The Under 14's 70m at Flinders being the first one. Therefore I've moved the event backmarker forward rather than pull every athlete back. The only athletes back from Flinders are those who broke net time. Marks should be out on Monday.


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