ASTM International’s sports equipment, playing surfaces, and facilities committee (F08) is developing two new standards surrounding best practices in pole vaulting.
The first of these standards (WK84098) will address safety concerns beyond the rule books regarding pole vaulting.
“When most people think about pole vault safety, they picture big, fluffy mats,” says ASTM International member Andrew Amsden. “This proposed standard looks outward from there and answers questions like, what should be the minimum distance between the landing system and a fence or light pole? What materials should be used underneath if the landing system is elevated?”
The second standard (WK84099) will set a manufacturing standard for pole vault plant boxes. Previously, the boxes were only defined in the sport’s rule books, leading to inconsistencies.
“When we took a closer look at some high school and college boxes, we discovered that there was more variance in the measurements than previously thought,” said Amsden. “So our goal is to determine acceptable tolerances and determine how future boxes can change to lessen pole damage and improve athlete safety.”
Amsden notes that WK84098 will be most helpful to consumers for setting up safe competition and practice areas, while WK84099 will be most helpful to manufacturers as a central standard for dimensions and angles of pole vault boxes.
ASTM welcomes participation in the development of its standards. Become a member at www.astm.org/JOIN.