Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 91.djvu/159

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Popular Science Monthly

��The rules governing the running broad jump also govern the pole vault for distance, except that when the man leaves the ground in an attempt, it is counted a trial.

If the uprights are moved, the field judges should make a re-measurement, because if there is any inequality in the ground at all, changing the uprights may make a difference varying from I in. to \i in., and a competitor should not be allowed to obtain an advantage in that way.

Indoor Athletic Events

Indoor athletic events are quite as popular as outdoor events, and have the advantage in large cities of being more easily promoted in gymnasiums, large halls, and armories, and of not being subject to the weather. With certain modifications most of the outdoor events can be conducted indoors.

Among the most popular indoor running events are the sprints. These are run either on the main floor or on an elevated track. If run on the main floor the distance is limited by the length of the room. Nothing below 25 yd. is considered satis- factory for "straightaway" running.

When a circular track is used any distance may be run; but contestants cannot, in most places, start side by side on the same mark, on account of the narrowness of the track. For that reason the contestants must run either singly or two may start so as to finish directly on opposite sides of the track, thus allowing the judges to sight across and determine the winner. The most popular arrangement is to have four runners start and finish from separate marks a quarter distance around the track, each runner being timed by a set of watches. This is as close to a real sprint as can be run on a narrow gymnasium track. None of these methods is without objection for narrow track sprinting, and for that reason are never used in important meets. In such meets the sprints are limited to the straightaway on the main floor and nothing less than a half mile is scheduled on the narrow track. But the other methods may be used with profit in closed meets and where absolute condi- tions are not demanded.

For straightaway sprinting on the main floor there is no difference from outdoor sprints, but for narrow track sprinting the start and "taking the curve" must receive special notice. Toe-blocks cannot be used on such a track. Thus the runner is al-


��lowed to brace his rear foot against the foot of another person at the start. In running around the banked curve a sprinter will make the best time by running up high on the outer edge and inclining the weight well in toward the rail.

In track events of a half mile or more the contestants start together at or near the same mark, except of course in handicap races. Such races on a narrow track are not always satisfactory because it is almost impossible to pass a runner in the lead without fouling. The only way that this difficulty can be lessened is to insist that the "runner up" must take the outside and the runner ahead keep the inside of the track on the "straightaway" part, and allow no passing on the curve.

Indoor hurdling has been found to be very satisfactory. It should never be at- tempted on the narrow elevated track usually constructed in gymnasiums. In- door hurdling, whenever it is scheduled, is always run as a straightaway on the main floor like the sprints. It is seldom possible to have more than two hurdles at the regular distances. It is, of course, possible to place the hurdles about 6 yd. apart and use a single stride between hurdles, thus using more hurdles.

Relay Races in the Gymnasium

Indoor relays, like all other sprints, are never run side by side like outdoor relays, unless run in an exceptionally large room with at least a 220-yd. track wide enough for that purpose. Relay races may be run on the regular gymnasium track, but only two teams can run at a time, and these must start from opposite sides of the track. Such races are popular and should be scheduled in all indoor meets. They are usually made short — one or two laps for each man — because the winning team must run repeatedly. Uprights should be erected on each side of the track opposite the center across which the judges sight on the finish. All runners should line-up on the inside of the track so as not to interfere with the other team as they pass.

The starter should stand at the end of the gymnasium rather than near one of the teams. One judge should be stationed on each side of the track at the finish line. Rules about passing are the same as in other narrow track races, but because fouls are almost unavoidable it has been found better to allow no passing. Such races are

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