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NCAA Division I, II, and III Track and Field Hammer Throw Facilities: Compliant with International Safety Standards? Larry W. Judge, Jeffrey C. Petersen,

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Presentation on theme: "NCAA Division I, II, and III Track and Field Hammer Throw Facilities: Compliant with International Safety Standards? Larry W. Judge, Jeffrey C. Petersen,"— Presentation transcript:

1 NCAA Division I, II, and III Track and Field Hammer Throw Facilities: Compliant with International Safety Standards? Larry W. Judge, Jeffrey C. Petersen, Erin Gilreath, and Ryan Yurko Ball State University Muncie, IN

2 Introduction The modern hammer throw is an athletic throwing event where the objective is to throw a heavy metal ball attached to a wire and handle.

3 3 Celtic tradition - the sledge hammer OXFORD 1872 Evolution of Styles and Techniques

4 4 THE HEEL BALL TECHNIQUE REVOLUTION Pat RYAN (IRL) the last of the ‘’Irish Wales’’ 57.77m (1913) on grass with suspensions at each turn Pat O’CALLAGHAN (IRL) 56.95m (1933) on concrete and keeping contact with the ground Karl HEIN (GDR) 58.24m (1938) and coach Sepp CHRISTMANN developed the heel ball turn technique Evolution of Styles and Techniques

5 Event Danger One aspect of the throwing event that has not changed, however, is the event danger. Due primarily to safety concerns the throwing circle is protected by a C- shaped cage for the safety of officials, athletes, coaches and spectators.


7 Rule Changes After several deaths in throwing accidents, there was greater urgency to examine and improve hammer cages (Laurel, Wilson, and Young, 2004). In August 2003, the international governing body of track and field the International Amateur Athletics Federation (IAAF), approved rule changes affecting hammer throwing safety cages. Changes included increased height of cage and length of gates, reduction of throwing sector to 30 degrees and reducing the cage opening to 7m.

8 Purpose The new specifications have not been adopted in the United States by the NCAA rules committee. Are the colleges and universities across the United States putting themselves at risk for a catastrophic accident and ensuing litigation by not adopting the IAAF hammer cage? The following study examined current NCAA hammer facilities in relation to safety considerations.

9 Research Questions The following research questions guided this study of hammer throwing facilities at NCAA institutions in the United States: a)What are the basic characteristics of NCAA hammer facilities across all three divisions? b)To what degree do NCAA college hammer facilities meet NCAA and IAAF standards? c)How do the basic hammer facility characteristics relate to facility safety?

10 Methods A 35-item survey instrument was developed to collect data regarding the hammer facilities at NCAA Division I, II & III colleges and universities throughout the United States. This survey was formatted for online completion using the InQsit system. The universities’ IRB approved all of the procedures

11 Statistical Analysis Descriptive statistics including frequencies, means, standard deviation were calculated. Comparison of the means were assessed with one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) with Tukey HSD post hoc testing (honestly significant difference) utilized to determine the location of significant differences for multiple category variables. Pearson’s Chi-Square analyses were utilized for Y/N response items. All statistical analyses were conducted with the SPSS software version 15.0. Significance for all analyses was established at the.05 level.

12 Results A total of 139 valid responses were obtained with 53.2% DI, 15.1% DII, and 31.3% DIII. This represents a response rate of 19.2%. Subjects had a mean coaching experience of 9.6 years (SD = 7.6) with a range of first year coaching up to 39 years of experience.

13 Facility/Cage Characteristic All Divisions % Agreement Division I % Agreement Division II % Agreement Division III % Agreement Dedicated Hammer-Only Facility 45.3%50.0%42.8%38.6% Hammer Facility Located Inside the Track Oval * 16.8%26.4%4.8%6.8% Hammer Facility Located on the Campus Grounds 86.2%85.1%90.5%86.0% Hammer Cage Including Gates 80.1%87.5%66.7%74.4% Cage Meets NCAA Recommendations 69.6%78.1%52.4%63.6% Cage Meets IAAF Specifications 35.8%38.0%30.0%34.9% * significant difference between divisions p <.05 Basic Hammer Facility Characteristics

14 Hammer Cage Manufacturer Summary All DivisionsDivision IDivision IIDivision III University Personnel 11.2%12.7%14.3%7.1% Local Company 20.1%11.3%38.1%26.2% Commercial Manufacturer/ Professional Track Contractor 68.7%76.1%47.6%66.7% *significant chi square between divisions, p =.044

15 Hammer Cage Installer Summary All DivisionsDivision IDivision IIDivision III University Personnel 38.2%44.3%47.6%22.5% Local Company 22.1%17.1%28.6%27.5% Commercial Manufacturer/ Professional Track Contractor 39.7%38.6%23.8%50.0%

16 Hammer Facility Mean Safety Ratings for 2-Item Factors *significant difference in means within the factor, p >.05 Category Yes Response Mean Value (+/- SD) No Response Mean Value (+/- SD) Hammer Only Throwing Facility2.02 (+/- 1.04)2.37 (+/- 1.28) Cage Inside the Track Oval1.96 (+/- 1.02)2.24 (+/- 1.19) Cage On-Campus2.24 (+/- 1.17)2.00 (+/- 1.33) Cage Gates Present *1.88 (+/- 0.87)3.41 (+/- 1.42) Gates Properly Positioned in Practice *1.81 (+/- 0.91)2.86 (+/- 1.25) Cage Maintained Properly *1.71 (+/- 0.73)3.49 (+/- 1.12) Landing Area Security in Practice *1.96 (+/- 1.06)3.19 (+/- 1.27) Landing Area Security in Competition *1.96 (+/- 1.01)2.63 (+/- 1.25) Practice Accident in the Past2.46 (+/- 0.78)2.13 (+/- 1.18) Competition Accident in the Past2.43 (+/- 1.13)2.16 (+/- 1.15) Cage Meets NCAA Specs *1.75 (+/- 0.80)3.55 (+/- 1.22) Cage Meets IAAF Specs *1.52 (+/- 0.74)2.55 (+/- 1.17)

17 Mean Safety Ratings According to Hammer Cage Gate Height

18 Discussion In the United States there has been some reluctance by NCAA colleges and universities to adopt the new IAAF standards for safety. A total of 69.6% participants in the study reported that they were in compliance with the NCAA minimum recommendations but only 35.8% also met the IAAF standards.

19 NCAA vs. IAAF Specs NCAA CageIAAF Cage Opening8 m7 m Length of Gates2.74 - 2.9 m3.2 m Height of Side Panels 6.15 – 8 m10 m

20 Standards vs. Guidelines Standards vs. Guidelines. It is important to distinguish between standards and guidelines because each term has different legal implications Standard: a required procedure that probably reflects a legal duty or obligation for standard of care. (must) Guideline: a recommended operating procedure formulated and developed to further enhance the quality of services provided. (should)

21 Standard of Care This standard of care is almost universally based upon a commonly accepted standard rather than local or state practice. 83° danger zone for the pre-2004 cage design. The danger zone for the new IAAF cage is approximately 53°.

22 Comparison NCAA CageIAAF Cage

23 Accidents Involving the Hammer Throw Rucker v Regents of the University of California An errant throw by a hammer thrower resulted in Mr. Rucker, a triple jumper on the team, being struck in the head and sustaining permanent brain damage. University of California was forced to pay a settlement for $2.25 million.

24 IAAF Practice Area

25 NCAA Practice Area

26 Maintenance Issues 22.1% of coaches reported that it took at least 4 days for a repair request to be completed. Coaches indicated that their facility was the safest when maintenance requests were handled in a day or less. Utilizing a hammer facility for practice or competition that is not properly maintained is an unnecessary risk.

27 Coaches Perceptions of Safety The analysis of the coaches’ overall perception of hammer facility safety revealed that factors like the height of the gates, the manufacturer of the cage and response time to maintenance issues significantly impacted safety ratings. This conclusion is consistent with the IAAF recommendations

28 Recommendations The new IAAF hammer cage design has helped reduce the risk of hammers landing in areas dangerous to participants, officials, coaches and spectators. The NCAA colleges and universities may be putting themselves at risk by not exercising a standard of care for facility construction that is consistent with IAAF guidelines. The NCAA may have to examine their present facility requirements to determine the best way of improving the safety of the cage to match the new design adopted by the IAAF.

29 29 Questions Larry Judge Jeffrey Petersen Erin Gilreath Ryan Yurko

30 Thank You!

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