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Open Mic Night
Why does Track and Field have less spectators?
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Dan
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2003 9:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's what I mean when I refer to its perception as a recreational sport. Most people who follow it do so because they are, or have been, directly involved.

Dan
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Last edited by Dan on Mon Feb 24, 2003 11:14 am; edited 1 time in total
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Paul
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2003 10:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would agree with that. Most track and field enthusiasts are not your standard couch potato sports spectators.
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Dan
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2003 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The only other sport that comes to mind that shares that characteristic is soccer, and that's probably only in North America.

Dan
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Conway
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2003 8:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Part of the problem is that physical education is no longer a requirement in schools any more ... The reason I say that is that at least back in the day when everyone participated in P.E. there was some exposure to track ... Now a days most people find out about sports via TV ... And since there is minimal television there is minimal knowledge of the sport ... So typically most people get introduced to track now adays because friends or family participate/participated ... So they either pick the sport up or become spectators .... Not the optimum way to build a following ... You would be amazed at when I go to college or high school meets that the first question I am ALWAYS asked by people is either "which is your kid" OR "who are you here to watch" .. Most folks are astounded when I say I am affiliated with no one there !!!!!
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Dan
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2003 9:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Part of the problem is that physical education is no longer a requirement in schools any more ...

It's not? I know school is starting later and getting out earlier, the year is getting shorter, and tests are getting easier, but I didn't know they'd stopped the other stuff...

Quote:
You would be amazed at when I go to college or high school meets that the first question I am ALWAYS asked by people is either "which is your kid" OR "who are you here to watch" ..

Sad but true. I'm always surprised to see someone just watching a medium sized track meet. Doesn't happen too often. I'll be dangerously close to that myself this weekend, going to see Willamette's first meet (at home). Of course, having coached many of the people competing, I can't say I'm not there to watch anyone in particular...

Dan
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Conway
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2003 10:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dan wrote:
Sad but true. I'm always surprised to see someone just watching a medium sized track meet. Doesn't happen too often. I'll be dangerously close to that myself this weekend, going to see Willamette's first meet (at home). Of course, having coached many of the people competing, I can't say I'm not there to watch anyone in particular...

Dan


Try being one of maybe a dozen people at a meet ... Heck sometimes when I take my kids we are the largest chedering section in the stands and have no one to cheer for !!! LOL ...

Sad ... When I was in Junior High School I once ran in a dual meet with standing room only !!! No joke ... Other Junior high school kids, parents, and lots of high school kids ... We had the biggest rivalry in the city and everyone showed up for the big showdown !!!! Literally ... Now there is no track in the "middle schools" and the high schools can't even get the parents and friends to attend !!!

Of course I must say that high school invitationals draw big here in California and its mostly about match ups !!! People come to see and route for individuals in highly touted match ups !!! And you get lots of those in this state ... And the state meet here draws every bit as much as the nationals or Olympic trials ...

The key here being familiarity with individual stars ... People get to see them on a regular basis ... Just as they do professional basketball or football players on TV ... Except they get to watch the kids in person week after week ... And having gone through nearly a month of qualifying to get to state some of these kids develop reps just like the pros do !!!!
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Dan
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 24, 2003 10:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
When I was in Junior High School I once ran in a dual meet with standing room only !!!

Wow, that's something I can't even begin to comprehend. Even the big high school invites are lucky to draw that kind of interest here, and this area is considered one of the hotbeds of running in the country!

Dan
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Paul
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2003 1:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, I didn't realize the 6-way was this weekend. I'm going to try to make it.
Paul
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Indeurr
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2003 8:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

___I am not "the parent," after Elizabeth High School won the Union County Relay, I am ready to go. Although, I am short on time -- I finish work on Saturday by 4:30 PM.
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Dan
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 25, 2003 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I didn't realize the 6-way was this weekend.

I see someone's kept up on the ever-changing name/status of that meet! Started as a 4-way, became a 5-way, arguably became a 5 and 2-halves way, then was called a 6-way...

Indeurr, I'd say I feel for you working Saturday, but I work most every day myself... Confused

Dan
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Conway
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 26, 2003 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dan wrote:
Quote:
When I was in Junior High School I once ran in a dual meet with standing room only !!!

Wow, that's something I can't even begin to comprehend. Even the big high school invites are lucky to draw that kind of interest here, and this area is considered one of the hotbeds of running in the country!

Dan


Well the sport has changed dramatically since say the mid 80's ... Professionalism has all but killed the sport ... Professionalism has meant:

fewer competitions ..
less exposure to the "stars" of the sport ..
AND a reduction of events in those competitions that are held ..

This all adds up to diminished opportunities for individuals outside the sport to become familiar with it and to develop some allegiances to its stars ...

I grew up at a time when during track season I could see the best in the world weekly as long as I could travel up and down the state ... And once I had a drivers license I did !!!
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Conway
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Indeurr
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2003 7:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Conway wrote:
Dan wrote:
Quote:
When I was in Junior High School I once ran in a dual meet with standing room only !!!

Wow, that's something I can't even begin to comprehend. Even the big high school invites are lucky to draw that kind of interest here, and this area is considered one of the hotbeds of running in the country!

Dan


Well the sport has changed dramatically since say the mid 80's ... Professionalism has all but killed the sport ... Professionalism has meant:

fewer competitions ..
less exposure to the "stars" of the sport ..
AND a reduction of events in those competitions that are held ..

This all adds up to diminished opportunities for individuals outside the sport to become familiar with it and to develop some allegiances to its stars ...

I grew up at a time when during track season I could see the best in the world weekly as long as I could travel up and down the state ... And once I had a drivers license I did !!!


Professionalism helped with one thing. It is still possible to identify yourself with your local high school team because the team, unlike professional teams, virtually cannot move to another state.
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Paul
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2003 8:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For me, I've always had a connection to people involved. Back in the late 70's early 80's I knew big name throwers through coaches and my Olympic Lifting which attracted the athletes themselves. Now, through my friendship with Dan and others on this site, I am more apt to attend a meet in the D3 or D2 range. As an (former) athlete I can appreciate effort, whether that effort is a 23.xx 200 or a 20.xx 200. Maybe too many people are caught up in performance instead of the competition.
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Dan
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2003 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Maybe too many people are caught up in performance instead of the competition.

Count me among that group, for better or worse. I can still get excited over lesser performances, but it tends to take a highly competitive situation or a point of personal interest to do so.

Dan
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Conway
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 27, 2003 10:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well I go to all kinds of meets ... From high school to community college to various stages of collegiate and professional ... And I find something to cheer about and get excited at at every level ... But I have to say that high performance (at any level) is an elixir that excites !!!! And by high performance I would say for example that a 10.40 100 at the high school level can be just as exciting as a 9.90 at the professional ranks !!! But an 11.00 by males is just boring at any level ... For me I've been around long enough that I can watch most races under 800 and ball park tell you what the time was of the race without looking at my stop watch .... And there is just something a bit more exciting about speed !!! When you see it, you know it and can feel it !!!
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