New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association

1161 Route 130 North, P. O. Box 487                 Robbinsville, New Jersey  08691


NJSIAA Outdoor Track Committee


June 13, 2006


Members Present: James Camburn (Buena), Ed Colona (Westampton), Lou Fraulo (Clifton), Wayne Gardiner (Delbarton), Bill Milone (South Plainfield), Rich Refi (Hillsborough), Carl Rickershauser (State Rules Interpreter) John Schwartz (Bloomfield), Pam Willson (Hackettstown), Barry Jackson (Winslow Twp) and Don Danser (NJSIAA staff),


I.        Correspondence:

          A.  From Chris Threston, Bishop Eustace Prep.

                   1. Stop using South Plainfield as a state group and Meet of Champions site. Because:

                             a.       Bad roads

                             b.       poor parking

                             c.       No shelter during a thunderstorm

                             d.       Minimal bathroom facilities

                             e.       Poor grounds, specifically the runways for long jump, triple jump. Shot put circle worn

                                       down on one side, creating puddles in the rain. No reasonable javelin area anywhere.

                             f.        Coaches have no access to jumpers to the far runway.


                   Suggested alternate sites: Rowan University and Richard Stockton University.


                   2.       Non-Public Group Meet opening height of 5’10” was unreasonable.

                   3.       Situation of the competition between Non-Public A and B needs to be addressed.



          1.       South Plainfield has been the site of these meets for many years for many good reasons:

                   a. Location (very centrally located and easily reached from many major highways)

                   b. 8-laned track with lights and seating and some room for tents

                   c. For the great cooperation the NJSIAA has received from the school in supplying the meet with                           every thing it has needed.

          2.       South Plainfield’s “problems”

1.  Parking. Mr. Buggy, the athletic director of South Plainfield, spent hours working with the local police to devise better plans for parking and traffic. Some ideas worked, others did not. It is a problem we keep working on.

2. Bad roads. Yes this year there was major work being done on two of the main roads near the site. That won’t be the case in the future.

3. There was plenty of shelter available in both the school and the P.A.L. building during the thunderstorm. Getting people to take advantage of it was another story.

4. In addition to the regular bathrooms up by the refreshment stands, there were four portable toilets on the site. They will be increased to eight next year.

5. The runway issue for all three jumps (LJ, TJ and PV) are valid. The NJSIAA has been assured by South Plainfield that it will not reoccur. No one else has mentioned a problem with the shot. The javelin was moved at least three times during the Group Meet because of the weather, which, by the way, was not South Plainfield’s fault. The grass was kept long on purpose because of the predicted weather. It prevented the entire area from becoming a mud bowl.

6. A long/triple jumper using the pit next to the stadium parameter fence had to walk ten feet over to the rope where coaches and spectators were standing to “have access to his/her coach.”

7. Seven athletes cleared the opening height in the Non-Public A high jump. This is a state championship meet and opening heights are established based on number of competitors and their seeds at all levels of the tournament.

8. The classification for non-public track is sports-specific. Only schools with a program are considered when dividing the schools into A and B as is done in cross-country. They must be divided in half as required by the NJSIAA constitution. To divide them in any other manner will take a change in the constitution.


          B.      From Joe McLaughlin, Notre Dame

                   Could it be possible to reverse the order for the wheelchair athletes, starting with 1600 and

                   finishing up with the 100?



          It will be done unless we hear from the other schools with wheelchair athletes who disagree.


          C.      John Nepolitan, journalist

                   John complained about the lack of cooperation between finish line officials and photographers. He

                   admits that both parties may be to blame. He hopes this issue can be worked out.



          Meet management did get a few complaints after the 100m dash during the Meet of Champions about photographers being too close to the finish, which was forcing runners to stop short to avoid a collision with them. In the future, meet management will speak to the officials and photographers before the meet starts to set up parameters for a smoother operation.


The following were received after the meeting and were responded to by the tournament director:


          D.      Bill Ehrlich, Livingston High School

                   For every meet that the state runs, could we get the rules for that particular meet. For example, at

                   Egg Harbor, in the triple jump, the open pit meant that once competition started, no one could run

                   through. It has been run differently at other meets.



          Page 18-19  of the tournament regulations describes how the open pit should operate. I will remind each meet director to remind the long jump and triple jump officials to run the events as described in the tournament regulations.


          E.      A parent about his athlete who finished 3rd in his group in the pole vault, but was not allowed to

                   compete in the Meet of Champions because advancers were limited in the pole vault to the top 18

                   medal winners.



            There is a cutoff in pole vault and no other event because of time. With only one pit, there is no way 84+ vaulters (42 boys and 42 girls with the possibility of more due to ties), could get a chance to vault on a Wednesday night. Getting a second pit is not just a matter of getting additional landing pads and pole vault standards. #1 is having a place to put it, then getting a runway and box built. Only one site I know of with an 8 lane track and two pole vault pits is Egg Harbor. We already have people complaining about having to travel there for the Group Meets, let alone the Meet of Champions.


II.          Review of the season


All were in agreement with the fact that this was the wettest tournament on record. Two of the 8 sectionals had some rain on Saturday. Egg Harbor had rain on the group meet on Saturday, while South Plainfield had thunderstorms that caused a third of the Friday program to be completed on Saturday where it rained all day, often very hard. And of course, the Meet of Champions was postponed because of the heavy rains on Wednesday. We had some light rain for about an hour on Thursday, but it was a much better night than Wednesday would have been.


For the sectionals, we hire nearly 400 officials, for the groups over 100 and for the Meet of Champions about 50 people. The sectionals are over a holiday weekend. When this many people are involved, there are bound to be problems with individual officials. We had our share this year. Perhaps if a brief meeting of the referee with the finish line and umpires and the associate referee with all of the field judges were held a few minutes before the meet to go over some specific things that are unique to these meets,  solve some of these problems would no longer occur.


As far as sites for these meets, we are always receptive to improved sites. Four of the major criteria needed for a site to be considered:


1.         School must be willing to host the meet (2 days + rain day and over the Memorial Day holiday. If it is a sectional meet, the school’s group and section are very important. For example, If Buena was no longer an available site, all Group 4 sites in the South are not usable because Egg Harbor is a host school in the south and is a Group 4 school. The replacement site must be Group 1, 2 or 3 and must be in the South.) There must be local personnel available to man gates and students available to move hurdles, rake pits and act as runners of results and perform other duties.

2.         All-weather, 8-lane tracks with the ability to conduct all seven field events at the same time are ideal sites. Lights are an absolute requirement for the Meet of Champions.

3.         Bathrooms and parking need to be ample.

4.         Location – must be fairly easy to find.


The meet directors on all levels need to careful review order of events, especially the field events, to ensure there are no mistakes and obvious conflicts before the tournament regulations are published.


III.         New Business


A.         It was proposed by coaches of wheelchair athletes to add field events. We will add the shot put as the first event in the Meet of Champions, provided we find a qualified official. If interest is shown for more field events, they will be considered for the following year.


B.        It was proposed to allow an athlete to defend his/her title in the Meet of Champions without having to qualify through the sectionals and/or Group meet. The proposal was not approved.


C.        It was proposed and approved to make the 400 meet dash the first event in the Group Meet for Friday, and the 400m Intermediate Hurdles the last running event on Friday.


E.        It was proposed and approved that quarterfinals (if necessary in meets without f.a.t.) be shown in the order of events and that Non-Public A and B run trials in the 200 in the Group Meet.


G.        It was proposed and approved that pole vault be conducted on all levels like other field events, i.e. all the boys on one day and all the girls on the next.  The schedule up to now had the same group (boys and girls) on the same day. For sites with two pole vault pits, this made it difficult for coaches with boys and girls vaulting at the same time.


H.         Next year’s dates will be

            Sectionals:                  May 25 and 26, 2007 (Friday 4:00 pm Start, Saturday 10:00 am start)

            Group Meets               June 1 and 2, 2007 (Friday 4:00 pm Start, Saturday 10:00 am start)

            Meet of Champions:    June 6, 2007 (3:30 pm Field Events, 4:30 pm Running Events)


            Group Meets:  Egg Harbor will host Group 4 and Non-Public A and B

                                    South Plainfield will host Groups 1, 2, and 3.


I.          Girls will be first in every running event.


J.         Results of the survey about adding the indoor and outdoor penathelon and an outdoor relay championship:

            68 percent responding were in favor of adding the pentathlon to the indoor program

            74 percent to the outdoor program, and 63 percent wanted to see an outdoor relay championship. 190 schools answered the survey.

The next step will be to figure out the how, when, where of these events.


Coaches should e-mail or fax suggestions on how to achieve these objectives:


1.         How should the pentathlon be integrated into the winter program which will have to be totally reorganized now that Princeton University has formally declared that Jadwin Gymnasium will no longer be available to the NJSIAA for its winter meets.


2.         Concrete suggestions for adding the pentathlon to the state outdoor program.


3.         Concrete suggestions on the how, what, where, and when an outdoor relay championship can be conducted.



or fax 609.259.3047 attention ddanser.