Kill the District Meet.

EuclidandViren

Active member
Is it time to kill the district meet?

This was talked about a couple of times with OATCCC and OHSAA the last couple of years.

I am at the point of no return with my thought process of thinking it should be killed. At this point in my career and fail to see a point to the meet. With the age of the internet and mega meets- are we just delaying the inevitable in most events?
Personally, I'd rather see the top time and marks advance to the regional meet and then to the state meet. Should we be thinking of simulating the NCAA regional meets with our regional meets? With that, I think we should be thinking of making 6 regions instead of 4 at the same time to allow the best to make it to the state meet.
 

mathking

Well-known member
You can't control the weather. So using the fastest times or best marks statewide is intrinsically unfair. You can easily shut off an entire district/region (whatever you use as the base competition) from qualifying because of the weather. Most of the my son's meets this year were not auto timed, while all but one of the meets my own team has gone to have been auto timed. Furthermore, think about how many of the best times in a typical year come from big meets that teams travel far to attend in order to get top level competition for a particular race. So if you use the whole season for qualifying marks you are going to have serious unfairness against schools and athletes with less access to resources. Yes, the current situation is not fair in that it is entirely possible for five athletes who are among the "top 18 in the state" to be in one district and thus one them won't advance. I have had kids in such a race at the district meet (where all four regional qualifiers scored at the state meet) and it can suck. No question. But "A, B, C and D beat me" is not nearly as frustrating as "I had to run my 100 into a 4.5 m/s wind and someone who ran with a 3.0 m/s tail wind got in" or "I ran my best race at a meet without auto timing." Because those are factors entirely outside the athlete's control. And just think about what happens at a regional meet when it starts to rain hard and people start arguing to delay the meet until the next day in order to be fair to the competitors.
 

Mr. Slippery

Well-known member
Is it time to kill the district meet?

This was talked about a couple of times with OATCCC and OHSAA the last couple of years.

I am at the point of no return with my thought process of thinking it should be killed. At this point in my career and fail to see a point to the meet. With the age of the internet and mega meets- are we just delaying the inevitable in most events?
Personally, I'd rather see the top time and marks advance to the regional meet and then to the state meet. Should we be thinking of simulating the NCAA regional meets with our regional meets? With that, I think we should be thinking of making 6 regions instead of 4 at the same time to allow the best to make it to the state meet.
I don't see this happening, and I'm sorry that you find district meets to be such a hardship.

OHSAA is clearly in need of money. District meets make some money of which some of the proceeds find their way to the OHSAA's headquarters.
 

JAVMAN83

Well-known member
There is a very good reason the district meets came about in 1965. The sheer SIZE in numbers of teams and athletes competing at the then District meet resulted in only TWO athletes per event advancing to State from the then district meets. Do each of the now region meets want to add all those athletes & teams from all of their respective district meets into one site? I think not, unless you are willing to set up a set of minimum mark standards for the region meets. That won't go over well as someone pointed out that weather is typically extremely variable across Ohio during the spring and would result in SW athletes having advantages over NE athletes.

I don't think this is going to fly.
 

yj_runfan

Well-known member
They won’t be meets, just a series of qualifying events. Beating your competitor will no longer be the goal. Hitting a qualifying time or mark will be the reason for showing up.
 

Supertramp

Active member
Is it time to kill the district meet?

This was talked about a couple of times with OATCCC and OHSAA the last couple of years.

I am at the point of no return with my thought process of thinking it should be killed. At this point in my career and fail to see a point to the meet. With the age of the internet and mega meets- are we just delaying the inevitable in most events?
Personally, I'd rather see the top time and marks advance to the regional meet and then to the state meet. Should we be thinking of simulating the NCAA regional meets with our regional meets? With that, I think we should be thinking of making 6 regions instead of 4 at the same time to allow the best to make it to the state meet.
Keep the District meet so OHSAA makes their money, we have a local championship, and we can justify that every team has an opportunity to compete in the post-season.

But get rid of the Regional meet.

Instead of Regionals, take the top 32/36* entered times in the state per division (not just at the District, for the entire season) for the state meet.

Make it a 1-week meet with 2 rounds (prelim/final) for distance events and 3 rounds (prelim/prelim/final) for sprints.

That still means we are chasing times during the season, but, increasing the field to 32/36* insures that everyone who has any shot at the podium will make it to the qualifying round.

*You can do 36 if it's at the 9-Lane Jesse Owens track.
 

Nosono

New member
I like the idea of a district meet. What I don't like is the current allotment of 2 entries per school in individual events. I think it should be 1 guaranteed and the other having to hit a time standard of some sort (8th-10th place mean, maybe?). If your school has 4 girls jumping 18' in the LJ, why shouldn't they all get a chance to compete? Or 3 guys breaking 9:40 in the 3200? It never made much sense to me.

I've coached in private school VA, where all state T&F qualifying is done by time/mark. The weather is **MUCH** better to be fair, but I liked it a lot. It works well for your kids that are studs who can get their qualifying mark early in the year and not have to over-race before their biggest race of the year -- and for the kids that are borderline non/state qualifiers -- you are training for them to peak at the end of the season for conference meets anyway.
 

bgtri11

Member
The District meet is great in so many ways!!!! It allows those who have a good chance at competing at State to fine toon some things before the Regional. It allows the borderline kids a chance to either sneak into Regionals or place top 8 and score. Additionally, it's a great way for a senior to end their career or an underclassmen to start to gain some experience!
 
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psycho_dad

Well-known member
For about the billionth time, the district meets are part of the STATE meet. Round 1. Regionals = Round 2. "State meet" = finals. Prelims, semis, finals.

Get your kids to the line at the District meet and we get a 4th division.

Finish top 4 in each round a punch your ticket to the finals. It's a team sport and too many of you do not understand that.

At our league meet , there was a malfunction with the timing system. My wife asked me what would happen if that happened today at the finals. I told her it wouldn't matter because everything is based on place.

Get back to dual meets and make an effort to win them like you would in every other high school sport. Try and win your league. Start the championship for the state at the District, move through to the regional and ultimately move to the state finals. Very simple, do not complicate it.

Just had 2 kids qualify for finals at our league meet that shouldn't have. Their times going in turned out to not mean a single thing.

Getting rid of the District meets is stupid, and proposing it shows a lack of understanding of the sport and the team .
 

Altor

Well-known member
For about the billionth time, the district meets are part of the STATE meet.
I agree with most of your post above, but disagree with this statement. Districts and Regionals are not part of the State meet. They are qualifying tournaments for the state tournament. If you want to consider it one big statewide bracket, similar to the basketball tournaments, that's fine. But, I wouldn't consider a sectional game to be part of the State final in basketball. The rest of your logic holds.
 

Supertramp

Active member
I agree with most of your post above, but disagree with this statement. Districts and Regionals are not part of the State meet. They are qualifying tournaments for the state tournament. If you want to consider it one big statewide bracket, similar to the basketball tournaments, that's fine. But, I wouldn't consider a sectional game to be part of the State final in basketball. The rest of your logic holds.

Agreed. You're a part of the tournament, not the state meet.
 

NEOYO

New member
I think it would cool to bring more of a team aspect in to the whole tournament by having the whole teams advance and having a true team champion like cross. I know it would be difficult with finals and such but the non individual qualifying athletes could get a time in the prelims. Could even do a state dual meet champion with the data if you wanted to. We can use technology to our benefit a lot more than just a performance list.
 

psycho_dad

Well-known member
I think it would cool to bring more of a team aspect in to the whole tournament by having the whole teams advance and having a true team champion like cross. I know it would be difficult with finals and such but the non individual qualifying athletes could get a time in the prelims. Could even do a state dual meet champion with the data if you wanted to. We can use technology to our benefit a lot more than just a performance list.
The team aspect starts at the District. Everyone can enter 2 in every event. Then you qualify through just like every invite to the finals. THE STATE MEET. Winning a District title and Regional title should mean something to coaches. It's not an insignificant thing. Look back at top teams at the state meet and they usually finish near the top at the District and Regional as well. Not by accident.
 

EuclidandViren

Active member
I have to disagree on many levels. After 25+ years of coaching, I have come full circle.

Track should not be a team sport. I would argue thinking of it like a team sport kills the sport. The average fan, most athletes and many coaches pay no attention to any team scoring at any meet.
I would also argue that many coaches abuse athletes by chasing the team points. What is the point of killing a runner in the 100, 4x100, 4x2 and open 200? Borderline child abuse in my mind when I see kids doing that quadruple. Quit chasing team points and do what is best for the athlete in long term development.
I would also argue that in the newspapers, social media, etc the average fan has no clue how points are accumulated or cares. The news that matters is individual performances. We need to attack that average fan by exploiting individual performances instead of trying to explain the nuances of scoring a track meet.
The dual meet argument is terrible. What is the point of the dual meet? I understand JV dual meets. For varsity, I think it is a waste of time and energy unless you are in a field event or hurdles and trying to work on a technical aspect of your event.

I do enjoy and like the idea of getting rid of the regional and going to a qualifying weekend where the top kids in the state can actually comprise a true state meet.
 

CoventryTrackXCguy

Well-known member
I have to disagree on many levels. After 25+ years of coaching, I have come full circle.

Track should not be a team sport. I would argue thinking of it like a team sport kills the sport. The average fan, most athletes and many coaches pay no attention to any team scoring at any meet.
I would also argue that many coaches abuse athletes by chasing the team points. What is the point of killing a runner in the 100, 4x100, 4x2 and open 200? Borderline child abuse in my mind when I see kids doing that quadruple. Quit chasing team points and do what is best for the athlete in long term development.
I would also argue that in the newspapers, social media, etc the average fan has no clue how points are accumulated or cares. The news that matters is individual performances. We need to attack that average fan by exploiting individual performances instead of trying to explain the nuances of scoring a track meet.
The dual meet argument is terrible. What is the point of the dual meet? I understand JV dual meets. For varsity, I think it is a waste of time and energy unless you are in a field event or hurdles and trying to work on a technical aspect of your event.

I do enjoy and like the idea of getting rid of the regional and going to a qualifying weekend where the top kids in the state can actually comprise a true state meet.
I honestly have to vehemently disagree with all of this. My own alma mater has thrived over the years on the team aspect of the sport. Now granted, Coventry is facing by far the toughest year they have seen in years. But from the years of 2014 to 2019 have been a pretty amazing run for us. A dozen state qualifiers, dozens of regional qualifiers. winning many invitationals...we have taken pride in the team accomplishments every bit as much as the individual. Indeed, the team scores and dual meets give average athletes who will never qualify to states something to work for-to score points for their team in those dual meets and invitationals. And it gives more gifted athletes an added incentive to take younger runners under their wing. But most importantly, it fosters a culture of camaraderie on a team. I love seeing our throwers at the edge of their seats screaming as a distance runner comes down the finishing straightaway in the mile. I loved seeing the half a dozen or so Comets sitting crosslegged near the high jump pit, cheering on their friends. I love the excitement of cheering on the 4 by 400 at the tail end of a particularly close track meet. Maybe you have never experienced this, and for that I apologize. I get it, college track is completely individualistic. But I do NOT want high school looking like that. This is high school. These are kids. Let kids be kids.
 

mathking

Well-known member
EuclidandViren, in my three decades of coaching my teams, and I, have actually cared about winning conference and district meets. I agree on not overworking athletes in order to give them the best chance of a league title and/or to advance to the regional or state meets. While we don’t load up the athletes with triples and quadruples at regular season invitationals trying win, my athletes have enjoyed competing for trophies at those meets. I have had a team go into the 4x400 with a regional title on the line. Even though our best athlete was sick, our relay team got 5 th, and we ended up second, the thrill of that race is a favorite memory. I have coached a lot of state champion athletes, but none of those was as sweet as our cross country team title.

I also think that the average fans actually have no idea what a good performance is unless it’s an event their kid does. But they can absolutely tell who wins a race.
 

ENA2

Member
I could go on about this all day. Although you may be able to change the name or even the format, we should NOT "kill" or eliminate the District Meets. the sport is about opportunity to compete and a chance contribute to your school TEAM. It's not the olympics, AAU or NCAA. It's high school sports and a chance to learn the lessons of working and performing with and for a TEAM. Right now the District meet is the chance to represent your TEAM at a meet versus other TEAMs with similar demorgraphics - (size, location,). League and conference meets can do this too, but many schools are not in a conference or the league has only 5-7 schools and district meet is better.

As far as some of the other chatter goes:
I have only been coaching for 32 years and every year, my "average" fans, fellow teachers, most parents, and almost every athlete asks one of two questions after every meet, either "What was the score?" or "Hey coach, what place did the team get at the meet yesterday?". almost Everything that EuclidandViren posted is not accurate in the environments that I have experienced. People in the stands are consistently asking our announcer to call out team scores when he gives results. Granted, individual results are important too and everyone (parents/kids) love to hear their name announced, especially if they score for the TEAM. I used to think that racing a kid in multiple events was always bad too, until I asked a coach who I respected why they put a kid in the 100, 4 x 200, 4 x 100 and 400 in the same meet....He said "If we were home today, the kid would do a latter of 100, 200, 300, 400, and 5-6 starts... so now he does a little less work with a little more rest." And I saw a girl do (and win) the 4x8, 1600, 800, 3200 in a dual and thought is was crazy, until I realized that she was in flats and was just cruising and did about an hour run after the 3200. She was a State champ. I also know that some less experienced coach may see these coaches' "workouts" and try to do the same with a kid at their school just because they saw Bridget Franek, Devin Smith or whomever do this. this is NOT good, but could (and does) happen with workouts more often than meets.
Futhermore, everything stated by EuclidandViren could be said about Football as well....(or basketball, etc.) ... Playing a kid on offense, defense and special teams is done...abusive?...maybe; I have had to explain scoring many times... some moms never heard of a safety before, or why an extra point is worth 1 but a 20 yard field goal is worth 3 when it was kicked from the same place?
If "the news that matters is Individual performance", should we eliminate Relays from all meets... or just the big meets?

Isn't having a couple of your top guys running the 1600 or 3200 at a dual meet and pulling a freshman to his first sub 5:00 or sub 11:00 make it a "team". remember 99% of high school kids will never compete at the State Meet, but 99% can and do contribute to the team. I have had many more kids striving to get 3rd, 4th, 5th or 6th a a league meet than kids who have been contending for a State title or even a state qualifying spot. Also, when asking our former State Champs and All-Ohioans (we have had a couple) about their memories of HS, they all mention how the team did, getting team titles or just missing team titles and their team mates...often this is as important as their Individual titles. I think team and Individual success and efforts can both be enjoyed without taking from the other.

So happy that Track and Field is a TEAM Sport where I get to enjoy teaching and coaching.
 

doubtme

Well-known member
I have to disagree on many levels. After 25+ years of coaching, I have come full circle.

Track should not be a team sport. I would argue thinking of it like a team sport kills the sport. The average fan, most athletes and many coaches pay no attention to any team scoring at any meet.
I would also argue that many coaches abuse athletes by chasing the team points. What is the point of killing a runner in the 100, 4x100, 4x2 and open 200? Borderline child abuse in my mind when I see kids doing that quadruple. Quit chasing team points and do what is best for the athlete in long term development.
I would also argue that in the newspapers, social media, etc the average fan has no clue how points are accumulated or cares. The news that matters is individual performances. We need to attack that average fan by exploiting individual performances instead of trying to explain the nuances of scoring a track meet.
The dual meet argument is terrible. What is the point of the dual meet? I understand JV dual meets. For varsity, I think it is a waste of time and energy unless you are in a field event or hurdles and trying to work on a technical aspect of your event.

I do enjoy and like the idea of getting rid of the regional and going to a qualifying weekend where the top kids in the state can actually comprise a true state meet.
the thing most bothersome to me in regards to field events is that more meets in NW Ohio and Central Ohio are only allowing 4 throws with no finals, and most of the time, its 2-2. I'd say, laziness, an effort to cut corners to get things done faster, and catering to travel sport athletes is more of a problem than the district meet
 

mathking

Well-known member
the thing most bothersome to me in regards to field events is that more meets in NW Ohio and Central Ohio are only allowing 4 throws with no finals, and most of the time, its 2-2. I'd say, laziness, an effort to cut corners to get things done faster, and catering to travel sport athletes is more of a problem than the district meet
In my view, the switch to more meets doing 4 trials rather than 3 and finals, at least in meets during the first half of the season, hasn't been catering to travel sports in my view. It started really suddenly a few years back when a bunch of us put the triple jump in our meets. Suddenly trying to get four events and finals done consecutively was hard. So meets switched to 4 trials with no finals. Lately, it has had more to do with meets being larger and with more athletes doing field events and running events.
 

doubtme

Well-known member
In my view, the switch to more meets doing 4 trials rather than 3 and finals, at least in meets during the first half of the season, hasn't been catering to travel sports in my view. It started really suddenly a few years back when a bunch of us put the triple jump in our meets. Suddenly trying to get four events and finals done consecutively was hard. So meets switched to 4 trials with no finals. Lately, it has had more to do with meets being larger and with more athletes doing field events and running events.
I should have phrased it better, the idea of speeding up meets, moving more invites to friday, those things are more IMO in relation to getting weekends off or getting out of meets faster, and i guess to a lesser extent changing the throws to that format to me, is a bigger issue.

I have noticed more triple jump at meets... why? I mean, why not add another distance race with it, or add the hammer? Do they run finals in either long jump or triple jump at these meets? I know some meets that have, but just 4 throws at 2 and 2 and thats it. Its really a disservice to the throwing events to cut it like that. IMO. I love track and field, I feel like there are corners getting cut to make meets move faster or to keep kids out for track while allowing for them to play travel sports and by making some of these changes, it sure smells like that.
 

NEOYO

New member
We had to petition to the head official as coaches to get our kids 1,1,1,1 at least at our league meet. It's definitely about ease for the officials under the disguise of covid and not having athletes wait around by each other. Not about "being for the kids" one bit.
 

Altor

Well-known member
I should have phrased it better, the idea of speeding up meets, moving more invites to friday,
Early in the season especially, a large meet on a Friday has to go with four attempts or you won't get them in unless you are throwing under the lights. I had a Friday night meet with about a dozen teams or so in mid-April several years ago. I went out and killed the discus before finals because the people in the sector couldn't see the thing leave the thrower's hand. It just wasn't safe. They switched to four throws the next year. Haven't had that problem since.

I prefer 3+3 at large meets too. But, sometimes you just have to make do with what you got.
 

EuclidandViren

Active member
EuclidandViren, in my three decades of coaching my teams, and I, have actually cared about winning conference and district meets. I agree on not overworking athletes in order to give them the best chance of a league title and/or to advance to the regional or state meets. While we don’t load up the athletes with triples and quadruples at regular season invitationals trying win, my athletes have enjoyed competing for trophies at those meets. I have had a team go into the 4x400 with a regional title on the line. Even though our best athlete was sick, our relay team got 5 th, and we ended up second, the thrill of that race is a favorite memory. I have coached a lot of state champion athletes, but none of those was as sweet as our cross country team title.

I also think that the average fans actually have no idea what a good performance is unless it’s an event their kid does. But they can absolutely tell who wins a race.

100% "I cared" is what is wrong with the sport and coaches. I am sure you are a good coach and mean well but IS IT IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE ATHLETE FOR LONG TERM DEVELOPMENT?

You cared. It's all about you! It's all about the PROGRAM! Is that just another phrase to say- I want to pad my coaching stats and make MY program look good? Isn't conforming to culture just another way of saying MAKE ME LOOK GOOD as a coach or I will exile you?

It is time to change the sport to more athlete-centred and doing what is right for the athlete not about padding the coaches stats.


With that being said:
Can the system continue in the same direction and the sport? Yes, it can. My purpose is not to degrade anyone but to say I have come full circle after winning and winning and winning--- but to say it is not all about winning. It is helping the athlete win in their eyes and more. Doing what is right for the athlete as a coach.
And that is the beauty of the sport.
Winning can be a kid finishing a race.
Winning can be a PR.
Winning can be advancing in the tournament.
Winning can be winning your conference, district, region or state.
Winning can be individual or a relay.
Winning can be resting your athlete.
Winning can be taking time off.
Winning can be not crushing your athlete in high school for long term development into college and more.
Winning can be crushing your athlete in high school because the athlete and coach know this is their last competitive race ever.
 
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psycho_dad

Well-known member
100% "I cared" is what is wrong with the sport and coaches. I am sure you are a good coach and mean well but IS IT IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE ATHLETE FOR LONG TERM DEVELOPMENT?

You cared. It's all about you! It's all about the PROGRAM! Is that just another phrase to say- I want to pad my coaching stats and make MY program look good? Isn't conforming to culture just another way of saying MAKE ME LOOK GOOD as a coach or I will exile you?

It is time to change the sport to more athlete-centred and doing what is right for the athlete not about padding the coaches stats.


With that being said:
Can the system continue in the same direction and the sport? Yes, it can. My purpose is not to degrade anyone but to say I have come full circle after winning and winning and winning--- but to say it is not all about winning. It is helping the athlete win in their eyes and more. Doing what is right for the athlete as a coach.
And that is the beauty of the sport.
Winning can be a kid finishing a race.
Winning can be a PR.
Winning can be advancing in the tournament.
Winning can be winning your conference, district, region or state.
Winning can be individual or a relay.
Winning can be resting your athlete.
Winning can be taking time off.
Winning can be not crushing your athlete in high school for long term development into college and more.
Winning can be crushing your athlete in high school because the athlete and coach know this is their last competitive race ever.
No idea how I gave that a like. Glitch.

What track and field coach cares about their record? I could not tell you what my teams record is this season. I now it's pretty darn good, but I do not track any numbers.

Where are all these abused athletes?

All those "Winning can be"examples, is called coaching.

We don't have to ride our athletes hard because there is the District, Regional, State format. It assures the best make it to the State finals.

I don't see how getting rid of the District , Regional , State format changes anything.

Coaches need to teach their athletes to compete and not chase times. Winning a 1600 in 4:40 is the same as winning it in 4:24. Its still a win. What you are proposing is that we must have our kids running fast times. I don't necessarily want my kids running fast times in April.

Please explain how the District forces coaches to over train and over race their athletes. Simply not true.

The sport is fine the way it is. Kids love it.
 

ghsknightsfan

Well-known member
i’m fine with the district meet.

but, many things need changed within Ohio T/F tournament.

first off, we need 4 divisions, plain and simple.

district meets shouldn’t be more than 12 teams, and i would like to see districts divided up by location, not just “random draws”. the D2 Dayton district is all messed up, location wise.

4 divisions in the same format. same amount of districts and regions. kill prelims for anything over the 400. running a 1600 prelim is ludicrous
 
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