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Pole Vault Rules

ART. 1… The inclination in the approach shall be limited to 2:100 (2 percent) laterally and 1:1000 (0.1 percent) in the running direction in the jumping direction.
ART. 2… The vaulting pole may be of any material and of any length and diameter. It may have a binding of not more than two layers of adhesive tape of uniform thickness. However, the bottom of the pole may be protected by several layers of tape, PVC, metal, sponge rubber or other suitable material to protect it when placed in the planting box.
ART. 3… The competitor’s weight shall be at or below the manufacturer’s pole rating. The manufacturer must include on each pole: the pole rating that shall be a minimum of Ύ inch in a contrasting color located within or above the top hand-hold position; a 1 inch circular band indicating the maximum top hand-hold position with the position being determined by the manufacturer. Prior to competition, the coach must verify that all of the schools’ pole vaulters meets these requirements. Note: Each state association shall determine its own procedure regarding coaches verification.
ART. 4… A competitor shall not use a variable weight pole, a pole which is improperly marked or a pole rated below his/her weight during warm-up or competition. Penalty: Disqualification from the event.
ART. 5… Prior to warm-up, the field referee, head field judge or assigned inspector of implements shall inspect each pole to be used in the competition to verify that the poles are legal equipment, per Rule 7-5-3. This includes checking the placement of a top hand-hold band, numerical pole ratings a minimum of Ύ inches in a contrasting color located within or above the top hand-hold band, and the proper binding of not more than two layers of adhesive tape of uniform thickness. The binding shall not be on or above the top hand-hold band.
ART. 6… The recommended length of the runway is a minimum of 130 feet (40m). Where conditions permit, it should be 147 feet, 6 inches (45m). The runway should be 42 inches (1.07m) wide whenever possible.
ART. 7… The overall size of the pole vault landing system shall be a minimum of 19 feet, 8 inches (6m) wide by 20 feet, 2 inches deep. The landing surface measured beyond the back of the standard bases, shall be a minimum of 19 feet, 8 inches (6m) wide. The dimension of the landing surface in back of the vaulting box to the back of the landing system shall be 16 feet, 5 inches (5m) deep. The material in the system shall be high enough and of a composition that will decelerate the landing. When the landing system is made up of two or more sections, the landing surface shall include a common cover or pad extending over all sections.
ART. 8… The front sections of the landing system, known as front buns, shall be a minimum of 16 feet, 5 inches (5m) wide so as to cover the entire area around the landing box to the inside edges of the standard bases up to the front edge of the plant box. The maximum cutout for the planting box shall be 36 inches (914mm) in width, measured across the bottom of the cutout. The edges of the front of the landing system immediately behind the planting box shall not be placed more than 3 inches (76mm) from the top of the back of the planting box. The front pad shall be attached to the main landing pad or encased in a common cover. Note: In the pole vault, the front cutout tapered away from the planting box allows the pole to bend uninhibited.
ART. 9… Hard or unyielding surfaces, such as but not limited to concrete, metal, wood, or asphalt around the landing pad, or between the planting box and the landing system, shall be padded or cushioned with a minimum of 2 inches (50mm) of dense foam or other suitable material(s). Note: It is recommended that any excess material such as asphalt or concrete that extends out from beneath the landing pad be removed.
ART. 10… The width between the pins that support the crossbar shall be not less than 13 feet, 8 inches (4.16m) or more than 14 feet, 8 inches (4.48m) apart. The pins shall be round, of uniform thickness not exceeding ½ inch (13mm) in diameter, with the upper surfaces smooth, without indentations or aids of any type which might help hold the crossbar in place. The pins shall project at right angles from the side which is opposite the runway and shall not exceed 3 inches (76mm) in length from the upright. Cantilevered uprights may be used. The specifications for the crossbar are the same as those for the high jump. The standards shall have all exposed projections on the base covered or padded and be secured or weighted in a way as to prevent them from tipping over.
ART. 11… The nonmetal crossbar shall be 14 feet, 10 inches (4.52m) in length, of uniform thickness, and shall have a weight of not more than 5 pounds. It may be square with beveled edges and not more than 1 1/8 inches in thickness; or triangular with each face not more than 13/16 inches; or circular with a diameter of not more than 1 3/16 inches and with the ends flattened to a surface of 1 3/16 inches by 6 – 7 1/4 inches (150-200mm).
ART. 12… A planting box shall be located midway between the standards. This box shall be constructed of concrete, fiberglass, metal or other hard surface material into which the vaulting pole is placed so that the top edges are at ground level. The front edge of the box shall not extend above the grade of the runway surface. The box shall be of dimension indicated in the accompanying diagrams A and B, and it shall be placed so the top edges are at ground level. The box in diagram B shall be constructed so that the sides slope outward at the end nearest the landing pit. The stop board at the end of the planting box shall be placed at an angle of 105 degrees with the base of the box. Note: It is recommended the planting box be of a color contrasting to the color of the runway.
ART. 13… A minimum of 2 inch (51mm) dense foam padding (box collar) shall be used to pad any hard and unyielding surface including between the planting box and all pads.
ART. 14… Each competitor is allowed a trial in the order in which names are drawn or assigned by the games committee and is granted a maximum of three trials at any one height. The competitor may use all three trials or elect to pass any one of them. Unless the competitor has had three unsuccessful trials at a given height, the competitor may elect to pass a height and take the remaining trial or trials at a subsequent height, but the competitor is eliminated as soon as he/she has had three consecutive unsuccessful trials, regardless of the height or heights at which the unsuccessful trials were attempted. The decision to pass a trial shall be communicated to the event judge before the clock is started. Example: If a competitor has one unsuccessful trial at 13 feet and elects to pass the next opportunity, the competitor may then choose to accept his/her third opportunity in the proper order. If this trial is failed, the competitor has one more opportunity at a subsequent height. The competitor may pass both the second and third opportunities at 13 feet and then have two opportunities at a subsequent height or heights. All previous failures are disregarded following a successful trial.
ART. 15… A competitor who has passed three consecutive heights after competition has begun may be permitted one warm-up jump without the crossbar in place, but shall enter the competition at that height. Such warm-up must be taken at a height change.
ART. 16… When the number of entries dictates, the games committee may assign competitors to flights of three to eight for preliminary competition or may conduct the event in continuing flights. In continuing flights, the first three to five competitors, as determined by the games committee, constitute a flight. As a competitor clears the bar, passes a turn at the height or is eliminated, the next competitor in order will be moved up so that the number of competitors in the active flight remains constant. Example: If competitors A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M and N were entered, the first five (A, B, C, D and E) would be grouped to begin competition. F would be moved into the continuing flight whenever one of the competitors cleared the height, passed the remaining turns at that height, or was eliminated. G would be the next competitor to move into the continuing flight under the same conditions and would be followed by H, I, J, K, L, M and N, in order. This procedure would be repeated for each height, with five the maximum number to begin an active flight. The competitors would be assigned in order as they appear on the event card.
ART. 17… The judges shall place the crossbar at the starting height as determined by the games committee. If desired, a cloth marker may be placed on the crossbar for sighting purposes. Note: When only one competitor remains in the competition, the competitor may determine successive heights of the crossbar.
ART. 18… A competitor shall have the standards or uprights set to position the crossbar from a point 15.5 inches (40cm) measured beyond the vertical plane of the top of the stopboard, up to a maximum distance of 31.5 inches (80cm) in the direction of the landing surface.
ART. 19… A mark or marker shall not be placed on the runway, but it is permissible to place markers at the side of the runway. Meet management may provide check marks, not more than three inches long, on the runway. Starting at the back of the planting box, mark intervals in the following manner: 6’, 7’, 8’, 9’, 10’, 11’, 12’, 13’, 20’, 30’, 40’, 50’, 60’, 70’, 80’, 90’, 100’, 110’, 120’.
ART. 20… Taping of any part of the hands or fingers shall not be permitted unless there is an open wound that must be protected by tape. Taping of the wrist is permissible. Gloves are not permitted. Competitors may use chalk or an adhesive or similar substance such as rosin on their hands during competition.
ART. 21… It shall not count as a trial if a competitor’s pole is broken during an attempt.
ART. 22… A competitor shall not be allowed to use the pole of another individual without the consent of the owner. The event judge shall approve the use and verify that the pole is rated weight-appropriate. Penalty: Disqualification from the event.
ART. 23… The planting box shall not contain any foreign materials.
ART. 24… No person shall be allowed to touch the vaulting pole unless it is falling back and away from the crossbar. If there is a tailwind that might cause a properly released pole to fall forward, the referee should appoint an official and authorize him/her to catch the pole after it has been properly released.
ART. 25… After competition has started, the bar shall not be lowered, except to determine a first-place winner when a tie for that place is involved.
ART. 26… An accurate measurement of the height of the crossbar will be taken before each record attempt. Any displaced crossbar should be placed on the standards in exactly the same position as before its displacement. To ensure this, one face should be marked for identification.
ART. 27… Measurements shall be recorded to the nearest lesser Ό inch or centimeter. Measurements shall be made with non-stretchable tape such as fiberglass, nylon, steel, or certified scientific measurement device (laser). Measurement of the official height shall be from a point on the same level as the takeoff to the lowest point on the upper side of the crossbar.
ART. 28… It is a foul if the competitor:
a) Displaces the crossbar from the pins on which it originally rested, with the body or the pole.
b) Leaves the ground in an attempt and fails to clear the crossbar. However it is not a foul if the competitor does not break the plane of the plant box and comes back down to land on the runway
c) During the vault, raises the hand which is uppermost when he/she leaves the ground to a higher point on the pole, or if the hand which was underneath is raised to any point on the pole above the other hand.
d) Allows any part of his/her body or the pole to touch the ground or the landing system beyond the vertical plane of the top of the stopboard, without clearing the bar.
e) Fails to initiate a trial that is carried to completion within the defined time period (1 ½ minutes) after being called and after the crossbar and standards have been set.
f) After clearing the crossbar, contacts an upright and displaces the crossbar.
g) Clears the crossbar with the uprights positioned incorrectly.
h) Steadies the crossbar with a hand(s) or arm(s).
i) Grips the pole above the top hand-hold band. Penalty: An unsuccessful trial is charged, but not measured.
ART. 29… Breaking ties for places:
a) The competitor with the fewest number of trials for the height at which the tie occurs, i.e., the last height successfully cleared, shall be awarded the higher place.
b) If the tie still remains, the competitor with the fewest total number of unsuccessful trials throughout the competition, up to and including the height last cleared, shall be awarded the higher place.
c) Passed trials shall not count as misses.
d) If the tie remains after applying (a) and (b):
1. If it concerns first place, the competitors tying shall make one more attempt for the height at which they failed. If no decision is reached, the bar shall be lowered by three inches. If two or more of the tying competitors clear the height, the bar shall be raised by intervals of three inches. Each competitor shall attempt one trial at each height until the winner is determined.
2. If the tie concerns any place other than first place, the competitors shall be awarded the same place in the competition.
3. A competitor shall be credited with his/her best achievement if it occurs in a jump-off for first place. Notes:
1. If the height which the tied competitors last attempted is not the same, because of a passed height by one or more of the remaining competitors, the bar shall be lowered to the lowest height last attempted by any of the remaining competitors to begin the jump-off.
2. No passed heights shall be permitted in the jump-offs.