Dear SJTFC parents,
In this email update:
- Note about pick-ups
- Upcoming calendar notes (weekend meets, possible weeknight sessions at Haddon Township)
- Track Meet Information
After-Practice Pick Ups:
If you are dropping your child off for practice, we recommend picking them up at the same location where we meet. Please have a clear plan with your child. We will always have a coach remain with kids until they are picked up, and we will encourage the kids to stay with us until they are picked up. We are mentioning this because we had a few kids who wanted to leave the area to find parents at the end of practice on Wednesday. We finished a few minutes early, and told them to wait at the bleachers, but some may have been told by parents to look for them in the parking lot. You are welcome to drop kids off, but again, please just have a clear plan. Once a kid leaves the practice area we cannot be responsible for them.
Upcoming Calendar Notes:
First, please remember that our Club Google Calendar is always kept up to date with days, times, and locations of practice sessions and meets. To follow/subscribe to the calendar, you need to open it in a desktop browser, not the mobile app. (If you click on the above link on a phone it will default to the mobile app.)
As a result of the meet schedule, along with upcoming holidays, the schedule has ended up a little different than planned back in February. After this Saturday’s practice, we have no more weekend practices until our last one, on May 15. When we have meets, there is no practice that weekend, and you may have noticed that we have a meet every Saturday, except for the weekends of Mother’s Day and Easter. (I am pretty sure the mom’s do not see track practice as part of their perfect Mother’s Day). Please keep in mind that is is very much part of our overall plan for the meets to be “glorified practices,” and the goal is to continue the teaching throughout the season. This is not just us, but also the goal of the league and the meets (Garden State Track & Field Federation).
Our first meet is next Saturday, April 9, so this week we will go over all of the events with the kids to help them decide what to do on the 9th. There is more info below about your role as parents in helping us prepare for the meets.
For Advanced/Weeknight Participants Only:
We have requests in with Haddon Township High School to hold practices there on April 11, April 25, and May 9. I expect the requests to be granted, but for now that is the tentative location. ***Please note that if we practice at Haddon Township it is only to practice field events, and we are not permitted on the track. This applies to parents as well as kids as the town lacrosse team will practicing, and flying lacrosse balls can be a safety hazard.
Everything You Have Ever Wanted to Know About Track Meets
I will be available after practice Saturday to answer any questions, but please try to review the info here before then.
The meets we are attending as part of our regular season are not exactly typical. The Garden State Track and Field Association was created for the purpose of providing kids with more casual meets, with a focus on fun and learning over intense competition. That concept carries over to how they are organized. Sometimes we post additional meets, and if we do I will provide info for them at that time. For now, for just the ones that are currently on the calendar:
- There is a complete list of guidelines that you should read over. If you are unable to access this google doc, make sure you are not logged into a workplace google account. I will also paste a copy at the end of this note.
- Volunteers are appreciated (more below).
- There are no sign ups before the meets – kids just show up.
- Please check in at the team tent when you arrive. We will have clipboards where you can indicate the events your child plans to do. This will help encourage the kids to follow through, and to set up the relay teams. If a kid ever gets left out of a relay, we will do our best to give them priority at the next meet.
- Kids 12 and under can compete in 3 events at a single meet
- Kids 13 and up can compete in 4 events
- Relays are included in event limits.
- PLEASE make sure your child knows they are only permitted to do 3 or 4 events.
- As a club, we encourage all of our kids to do at least one running event, and at least one field event, but this is not mandatory.
- Competing is not mandatory, and if your child is a little too nervous, encourage them to come, do the warmup, and cheer for their teammates!
- We have been gradually introducing the kids to each of the events, and all we ask of parents is to go over the list of events with their kids to help them decide which ones they want to try. If your child is doing track for the first time, we recommend starting with shorter races (100m and/or 200m, 4×100 relay), and shot put and long jump.
- Other than that, all you have to do is show up with your child to the meet. We will start warmups 30 minutes before the posted start time for each meet (the time in the Google calendar). Once there, announcements will be made to report for each event, and kids can just show up to the ones they want to do.
- The goal is for these meets to be no more than two hours, but I am not sure how realistic that is. There will probably be a bit of variation.
- It is okay to arrive late or leave early. You do not need to inform of us your specific plans. If planning to run the 4×100 relay you should show up at the start of the meet.
- As noted in the guidelines, spectators are not permitted in the infield or in the immediate field event areas. However, volunteers are always needed and appreciated, so if you want to be closer to the action, please let us know when you show up if you are available that day to volunteer. Volunteer roles include timing races, organizing race heats, and measuring and recording distances in field events.
Track Events (usually following this order):
- 4×100 Relay
- 4×400 Relay
Field Events (open for periods of time during track events):
- Long Jump
- High Jump
- Shot Put
- Discus (12 and up)
Complete GSTFA Guidelines:
In general, this is the order of events that we try to follow, but events and order are ultimately up to each meet host.
3000, 100, 1500, 4 x 100, 400, 200, 800, 4 x 400
Long jump, shot put, and turbo javelin are open to every age group. Discus is available for athletes turning 12 or older this year. High jump is available to athletes turning 9 or older this year who can also clear the minimum height. (***For SJTFC kids who want to try high jump, we will help them determine if they are able to make the opening height at the meet)
Athletes aged 5 through 12: maximum of 3 events
Athletes 13 through 18: maximum of 4 events
General Participant Rules:
- If any athlete or parent has an issue at a meet, they should always address the issue with their respective coach or team representative, who will in turn address the issue with the meet host.
- Participants MUST handle themselves in a respectful and mature manner at all times.
- Profane language fighting or inappropriate behavior will not be tolerated.
- Participants compete by year of birth; not current age or birth date.
- 5 thru 12 year olds are limited to 3 events. 13 thru 18 year olds are limited to 4 events.
- Events include individual, relays, and field events.
- Participants are not permitted to wear spikes in their shoes. Anyone who enters the staging area for any event (including field events) with spikes in their shoes will not be permitted to run or compete.
- Teams will stage their participants fastest first.
- All participants must wear a legible bib number for recording meet results. If one is not visible, their results may not be recorded or posted.
- The hosting facility has the authority to set the order of events and reduce the number of events, with proper advance notice, if the facility time limitations are restrictive.