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  • National Athletics League

    Tuesday and I still don't see full results for the Premier matches at Eton and Nuneaton.

    Their website doesn't have any write up on the weekend's action
    https://www.nationalathleticsleague.org.uk/

    For what was supposed to be a revitalised league it seems it still hasn't caught up with the 21st century and can't even get some decent social media or marketing to let fans know what's going on.

    I think combining the men's and women's leagues into a joint format is great and is the way forward, but surely they can do better than this...

  • #2
    Looking at the results that are available, the standards were poor and the number of events without even a full field of competitors was shocking, let alone the number of ‘for a point’ performances.

    Some Olympians might otherwise have competed. Might. But even so what I’ve seen so far is pretty depressing.

    Comment


    • MysteryBrick
      MysteryBrick commented
      Editing a comment
      I think judging it on the evidence of this year isn't giving it a fair shout.

      That said, as someone who competed in every BAL from 2012 to 2018 for their club, I think the leagues just aren't hugely relevant for most athletes any more.

    • Ursus
      Ursus commented
      Editing a comment
      Possibly exaggerated this year, but the trend’s long been there though, Mystery.

      Without leagues I’m not sure what a domestic structure would look like. But I can see why travelling a long way to have maybe 12 throws or a couple of minutes running would hold little appeal for the current generation.

  • #3
    Leagues are dead!

    Personally think having better classed Opens/events would be much more appealing, Allow BMC to Handle MD, create a speed series and also throws, make them specific and culminate onto an end of year "festival" Points awarded on individual basis at the series events and invites to the festival event.

    That's what I want anyway lol.

    Comment


    • #4
      or adopt my 'teamathon' concept

      https://forum.athleticsweekly.com/fo...-event-discuss

      @stew -coach - you know people who know people, and I am just a humble ideasmonger, but how about talking to someone at UK Athletics about 'Project sub 3' - getting a British men's 4 x 400 under 3 mins in the the Paris 2024 final.
      Last edited by carterhatch; 10-08-21, 11:51.

      Comment


      • #5
        We’re really not that far away from 3mins, if you look across the season/Champs:

        Dobson - 45.51 from blocks in April, so assume would have been quicker by the peak of the season
        Chalmers (Tokyo) - 44.7
        Faulds (Tallin) - 44.9
        Ohioze (Poland) - 45.35

        Nothing amazing, but it’s there. They really need to be targeting sub-2.59. A 43.x leg would help, but low 44s plus a 45.low lead off would work.

        I think it’s also worth a conversation with the likes of Hughes (45.5 split mid-Feb 2019) about doing a Felix and doing both relays.

        Comment


        • carterhatch
          carterhatch commented
          Editing a comment
          @jimbojames... 

          I understand what  you are saying about the potential, but 'Project Sub 2.59' doesnt have the same ring to it     I dont want to hijack this thread with my ideas - maybe I'll start another one...  But I agree about Hughes, I mentioned elsehwere a similar suggestion for NMB, and  for the 'long' lead-off leg, what could Kyle Langford do ( a la Gary Cook) or one of the young crop of 800 runners (which is an event getting very crowded) if encouraged ...

        • RunUnlimited
          RunUnlimited commented
          Editing a comment
          Ben Pattison would be a good shout for a 400 relay leg, seeing as he was a decent junior at that event before moving up to the 800 m.

      • #6
        Man, relays really are the Japanese Knotweed of the athletics world! Can invade any thread and impossible to shift.

        Comment


        • carterhatch
          carterhatch commented
          Editing a comment
          LOL ,,, fair play Ursus, I will try to reign in my proclivity towards relay rambling...

      • #7
        As an amatuer sprinter, i've always found it frustrating how the leagues and races are formatted.

        I've always thought it should be division based, based off personal bests over a certain period.

        For example: 100m (both men and women)

        Premier: < 10.6 seconds
        Div 1: 10.7-11.3
        Div 2: 11.4-12
        Div 3: 12.1-12.7
        Div 4: 12.8-13.5
        Div 5: 13.5 +

        I feel this would create rivalries, make you feel that you're actually competing in a close field, having that 'I could win on my day' feeling.

        Fed up of seeing results from these where it looks like there is little competition. I know this would be hard to work, but instead of clubs being divided this way; divide individuals this way and they can travel to respective meets as per their divisions/performances!

        For example, for me I run 13 seconds dead - I rely solely on open meetings to feel any sense of competition and that i'm not just there for a taking part point.

        This way, it gives individual athletes something to aim for, "next season I could be in division 3 in my discipline."

        I know this is in my ideal world - but I find track and field from top to bottom only caters to the gifted and talented.

        Look at football - if you're not amazing or just starting out, you can join a low league sunday side and work your way up.. if I joined Birchfield Harriers for example, i'd be turning up to league meetings and be dead last by about 2 seconds at least.

        Comment


        • #8
          I think Stew Coaches point about event specific series is really interesting. It’s clearly worked wonders for middle distance running thanks to British Milers Club. A consistent series of events spread over the season with competitive fields. Athletes know exactly what they’re getting when they sign up and I’m certain it’s a strong factor why we do particularly well at age group championships in 800m-3000m, those athletes have already been exposed to high level comps.

          Jumpsfest and Throwsfest don’t really seem to have gone anywhere.

          Lee Valley always seems to put on some great mid week sprints meets. Would love to see something like this get more exposure and marketing and actually making it into a competitive series of events. A prize pot at the end, relays added to the programme etc.

          Comment


          • carterhatch
            carterhatch commented
            Editing a comment
            it wasnt me who mentioned the 'r' word, Ursus, hahahaha

          • JamieSLA
            JamieSLA commented
            Editing a comment
            Lee Valley is a great meeting. More locally to me - Kettering Harriers do a fantastic job as well

          • jjimbojames
            jjimbojames commented
            Editing a comment
            Where BMCs do so well is bracketing by times and adding pacers (something Tonbridge and Mark Hookway et al also focus on). Sprint focused events could set up two finishes and run with the wind, same with the throws - they love Halle and Chula Vista because it focuses everything for them.

            Of course, these meets aren’t great for an e.g. combined eventer keen to guest in a few events, but that is another ‘event’ that needs some specific focus, too - decathletes need to be found!

        • #9
          I find the suggestion of specialised open meetings a bit of 'a day late and a pound short' proposal. The UKA Competition review Sub-group, created by the board, suggested this back a handful of years ago. This group consisted of UKA staff, Home Countries appointed members, coaches and other interested parties, mostly volunteers giving up a day's pay, but it all got shafted when put to clubs. It was suggested that you could earning you club points in these competitions based on the Hungarian Scoring tables, in ALL events. It was responding to the Sheffield Hallam University led survey of athletes.

          They were to be short and punchy, catering for the 21st Century by use of technology, having the results downloadable almost immediately, this was a key factor pointed up by young athletes of the time(definitely today's elite). Meetings were to be worthwhile EDM and electronic timing.

          Your ability was irrelevant because you competed at your own level, every athlete would count in the cumulative point score.

          Why did it not get up? Clubs and club affiliated coaches wanted to live in the days of the old M25 league at worst or defending their own little grass castles. It galls me when I hear the uniformed say that the NGBs do not care about the grassroots, I suspect the latter care not enough.

          Comment


          • JamieSLA
            JamieSLA commented
            Editing a comment
            Very interesting

          • MysteryBrick
            MysteryBrick commented
            Editing a comment
            I agree that this is what athletes want, for the most part, as evidenced by the attendance and quality at BMC meets, Lee Valley sprints etc.

          • whatwouldIknow
            whatwouldIknow commented
            Editing a comment
            I am sorry if I came across as too strident but my age associated grumpiness can kick in. The group met several times across the period (a time bound remit), each a day long meeting, then when taken out to stakeholders the idea was crucified at meeting after meeting (I was at three of them). Those who were pulled the final proposal together, are either moved on from the sport (holding a CEO role), unable to be involved for the moment or no longer seen as a major driver.

        • #10
          It does seem to me that perhaps outside of the top 50 to 100 or so exponents of flat track events the competition structure for senior athletes isn't really working.

          One worry for me if the sport went wholly to system of specialist open meetings is that in the medium to long-term you would likely end up with a serious shortage of technical officials. Most officials start by helping out their club or their child's club and it will be very hard to bring in new officials without that element to get people started. I do think some kind of round-robin system of relatively local meetings where each club or a grouping of smaller clubs, took it in turns to host may help prevent this happening.

          Senior league athletics does seem to be getting year on year. About 4 years ago, my local club was promoted back to the top division of the Southern Athletics League but, when I looked at their results, they were significantly weaker than they were when they were previously at that level about 5 years before.

          Comment

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