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Pole Vault Box Collar

A proposed new ASTM International standard will help to facilitate a safer environment for pole vaulters. WK35729, Specification for Pole Vault Box Collar, is currently being developed by Subcommittee F08.67 on Pole Vault, part of ASTM International Committee F08 on Sports Equipment and Facilities.

A pole vault box collar is a protective device that covers the hard unpadded surfaces surrounding a pole vault box and may also cover the top edges and side walls of a pole vault box. The proposed specification will establish requirements for the dimensions and minimum impact attenuation performance of pole vault box collars.

“As pole vault landing pads evolved over the past 50 years, it became obvious that more protection was necessary both in and around the plant box area,” says Jan Johnson, founding owner of the Pole Vault Safety Certification Board, as well as of the Sky Jumpers Vertical Sports Club. “We have had 33 catastrophic injuries in the plant box area since 1971 and literally thousands of near misses.”

According to Johnson, the hard surfaces of the plant box area grew dramatically in 1970 when pole vault rules makers flared the sides and strike plate to accommodate the bending and rotation of fiberglass poles in order to reduce wear and tear on the bottom of the poles. Changes such as these have spurred the development of WK35729.

Once it has been approved, WK35729 will be used by schools, private facilities and clubs where pole vaulting is done. Johnson notes that the National Federation of State High School Associations and the National Collegiate Athletic Association may eventually use the approved standard as a guideline for rules to improve plant box safety.

All interested parties are invited to participate in the standards developing activities of F08.67.

CONTACT Technical Information: Jan Johnson, Sky Jumpers Vertical Sports Club • Atascadero, Calif. • Phone: 805-423-2363 | ASTM Staff: Rick Lake • Phone: 610-832-9689 | Upcoming Meeting: Nov. 12-16 • November Committee Week • Atlanta, Ga.

This article appears in the issue of Standardization News.