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Standard Introduces Larger Landing Pads for Pole Vaulters

Jan Johnson, who vaulted to a Bronze Medal in the 1972 Olympics, presented a video of pole-vaulting accidents to ASTM Committee F08 on Sports Equipment and Facilities when they met in May.

Ongoing accidents had prompted Johnson and fellow pole vaulters on the committee to revise F 1162, Standard Specification for Pole Vault Landing Pits, developed in 1988. They proposed enlarged landing systems and increased padding based on an analysis of catastrophic injuries by B. Boden, P. Pasquina, Johnson, and F. Mueller in the American Journal of Sports Medicine (2001, Vol. 29, No. 1, p. 54).

“After we finished the catastrophic study, we went to work immediately on the landing pad problem,” says Johnson, who supervised the revision. “Our task force felt that it needed immediate attention. I am proud of the work our group did. It will go a long way toward making pole vaulting safer, but it is only the first of many steps along the way.”

ASTM approved the revised standard on Sept. 10, only six months after its initial ballot at ASTM on March 11. Seven detailed figures in F 1162 promote vaulting safety with designs for larger landing pits, and padding on the planting box and cross-bar uprights. It recommends padding for the back area of the pit, the vault box, and bases.

For further technical information, contact the chairman of ASTM pole-vaulting group, Eddie Seese, Personal Record Sports, Vallejo, Calif. (phone: 707/645-8555). Committee F08 meets Nov. 6-9 in Miami Beach and May 7-10, 2003 in Kansas City, Mo. For membership or meeting details contact Jim Olshefsky, director, Committee Services, ASTM International (phone: 610/832-9714). //

Copyright 2002, ASTM