MSHSAA Sanctioned Indoor Track
03/01/2019 8:53:54 PM
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Since we're at the end of our first week of the track season and have a moment to breathe before snowpocalypse (#3?), lets talk about the possibility of indoor track as a sanctioned MSHSAA sport. There are many details we can, and presumably will, discuss on here that are interesting and will add to our potential excitement of a winter season for our athletes. However, I wonder if we could start the conversation at the jumping off point of what it takes to get MSHSAA to seriously consider adding an additional sanctioned sport. Does anyone have any insight into what that process is like?
Since we're at the end of our first week of the track season and have a moment to breathe before snowpocalypse (#3?), lets talk about the possibility of indoor track as a sanctioned MSHSAA sport.

There are many details we can, and presumably will, discuss on here that are interesting and will add to our potential excitement of a winter season for our athletes. However, I wonder if we could start the conversation at the jumping off point of what it takes to get MSHSAA to seriously consider adding an additional sanctioned sport.

Does anyone have any insight into what that process is like?
03/01/2019 10:29:56 PM
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@runlikeabearcat Not against it but big question. Who in the St. Louis metro has an indoor facility?
@runlikeabearcat
Not against it but big question. Who in the St. Louis metro has an indoor facility?
03/01/2019 10:39:04 PM
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@Hays That's a great question that I don't have the answer to. Given the framing of your question my assumption is that there are no indoor facilities in St. Louis. @bantazmo Insights?
@Hays That's a great question that I don't have the answer to. Given the framing of your question my assumption is that there are no indoor facilities in St. Louis.

@bantazmo Insights?
03/01/2019 10:47:54 PM
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@runlikeabearcat no track yet with a surface but MICDS has the facility and track but needs the surface.
@runlikeabearcat no track yet with a surface but MICDS has the facility and track but needs the surface.
03/02/2019 6:15:50 PM
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Honest question: How many of you think that your school districts would be on board for paying coaching stipends and supporting Indoor Track financially? I know many small districts wouldn’t, and I’m not even sure how supportive ours would be, at least initially...
Honest question: How many of you think that your school districts would be on board for paying coaching stipends and supporting Indoor Track financially? I know many small districts wouldn't, and I'm not even sure how supportive ours would be, at least initially...
03/02/2019 7:24:29 PM
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I don't think our school would want to deal with it. Smaller school basketball coaches, I feel would be concerned with losing athletes. If approved, I could see my school not wanting to pay additional stipends.
I don't think our school would want to deal with it. Smaller school basketball coaches, I feel would be concerned with losing athletes. If approved, I could see my school not wanting to pay additional stipends.
03/02/2019 9:44:27 PM
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Just got to get it started. Like many other things we will have to work on getting it approved then other issues will naturally be ironed out.
Just got to get it started. Like many other things we will have to work on getting it approved then other issues will naturally be ironed out.
03/03/2019 10:37:00 AM
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Just do it like Illinois. At least when I was there and I believe it was the same, it was an unofficial season. After MLK day athletes not in a winter sport were allowed the ability to practice, the atheltes could wear team uniforms, and use school resources (ie. use buses for transportation). If teams and coaches wanted to conduct practice they could. If they did not want to they did not have to. I'm not sure why a similar system couldn't be used. That would then open up meets in Kansas and Illinois for teams closer to those states to go to. People could still go to Arkansas, Tennesse, etc... and get their marks to qualifying for the "state meet" the last week before blackout.
Just do it like Illinois. At least when I was there and I believe it was the same, it was an unofficial season.

After MLK day athletes not in a winter sport were allowed the ability to practice, the atheltes could wear team uniforms, and use school resources (ie. use buses for transportation).

If teams and coaches wanted to conduct practice they could.
If they did not want to they did not have to.

I'm not sure why a similar system couldn't be used.

That would then open up meets in Kansas and Illinois for teams closer to those states to go to.

People could still go to Arkansas, Tennesse, etc... and get their marks to qualifying for the "state meet" the last week before blackout.
03/03/2019 10:44:42 AM
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@mutiger31 I agree with that process. A win/win as far as I am concerned! I would not want a stipend any way as it would benefit my program in the spring with extra time to kids devoted to their events. Coach Busselman Sarcoxie
@mutiger31

I agree with that process. A win/win as far as I am concerned! I would not want a stipend any way as it would benefit my program in the spring with extra time to kids devoted to their events. Coach Busselman Sarcoxie
03/03/2019 10:27:39 PM
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Couldn't agree more with the need for indoor track in Missouri. As noted, St. Louis doesn't have much to offer in terms of facilities, but two possible options exist: (1) Principia College just north of Alton, Illinois has a nice 200 meter facility that already gets a lot of use from Illinois High Schools; (2) We use the MICDS indoor track for our winter program practices. It is a decent facility that could be used for meets if they resurfaced it so you could use spikes on it. MICDS has debated the resurfacing issue in recent years. I suspect if Missouri started an indoor season they might be inclined to move on it. Coach Banta and others will have to tell us what it would take to move MHSAA on this topic, but they actually would not have to do much to at least make some type of an indoor season happen. MHSAA would not have to sponsor a state indoor meet, like they did years ago. They could merely let coaches start practice 3-4 weeks earlier and allow them to enter already existing meets - like the Mizzou Championship Meet - as a team. This is pretty much what schools in Iowa and Illinois already do. If this really happened I suspect that Mizzou and a number of the other venues would sponsor more meets.
Couldn't agree more with the need for indoor track in Missouri. As noted, St. Louis doesn't have much to offer in terms of facilities, but two possible options exist: (1) Principia College just north of Alton, Illinois has a nice 200 meter facility that already gets a lot of use from Illinois High Schools; (2) We use the MICDS indoor track for our winter program practices. It is a decent facility that could be used for meets if they resurfaced it so you could use spikes on it. MICDS has debated the resurfacing issue in recent years. I suspect if Missouri started an indoor season they might be inclined to move on it.

Coach Banta and others will have to tell us what it would take to move MHSAA on this topic, but they actually would not have to do much to at least make some type of an indoor season happen. MHSAA would not have to sponsor a state indoor meet, like they did years ago. They could merely let coaches start practice 3-4 weeks earlier and allow them to enter already existing meets - like the Mizzou Championship Meet - as a team. This is pretty much what schools in Iowa and Illinois already do. If this really happened I suspect that Mizzou and a number of the other venues would sponsor more meets.
03/04/2019 1:40:01 PM
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I have very mixed feelings about having an official MSHSAA indoor track season. On one hand, it would help our athletes in Missouri to get better and adding another season of competition and training would certainly do this. It would help us to be more equal to states that have indoor track already and tend to post better results during the spring because of the extra training. On the other hand, I worry about the wear and tear on our athletes with no down season where they can just do some training plus get some rest during the school year. I also worry about burnout for both coaches and athletes. Many of our athletes and coaches will be going three seasons a school year. While many programs have winter training these days, we purposely only go a few days a week to keep kids fresh and not make it seem like such a commitment. They are still getting in workouts a few days a week without the commitment and stress of a real season. I also worry that some kids would not want to do both indoor and outdoor and drop one season. For me as a coach with a small child at home, it's hard for me to commit to three full seasons of coaching per year. It's a lot of hours not being at home with my family and puts more of a burden on my wife. It might force me to think about opting out a season of coaching, which as a running coach, would be weird to have someone else coaching my runners. I feel like if this became an official season, I would be forced to make the commitment to it-for my athletes and for my program to not fall behind. I worry that many schools would not want to have an indoor program as it would take athletes away from traditional winter sports and be an added cost for the schools. In turn, this would give the participating schools an advantage come outdoor track. I also think with a lack of indoor tracks and training facilities, it might be best to keep things the way they currently are. Let's imagine having basketball without most schools having a gymnasium. I realize that we can run and train and lift without an indoor track facility and can use our outdoor tracks often, but it's still odd. Just my two cents, but as of right now if this ever comes to a vote, I think I will be voting no as I feel the negatives outweigh the positives for me and I love the sport of track and field.
I have very mixed feelings about having an official MSHSAA indoor track season. On one hand, it would help our athletes in Missouri to get better and adding another season of competition and training would certainly do this. It would help us to be more equal to states that have indoor track already and tend to post better results during the spring because of the extra training.

On the other hand, I worry about the wear and tear on our athletes with no down season where they can just do some training plus get some rest during the school year. I also worry about burnout for both coaches and athletes. Many of our athletes and coaches will be going three seasons a school year. While many programs have winter training these days, we purposely only go a few days a week to keep kids fresh and not make it seem like such a commitment. They are still getting in workouts a few days a week without the commitment and stress of a real season. I also worry that some kids would not want to do both indoor and outdoor and drop one season. For me as a coach with a small child at home, it's hard for me to commit to three full seasons of coaching per year. It's a lot of hours not being at home with my family and puts more of a burden on my wife. It might force me to think about opting out a season of coaching, which as a running coach, would be weird to have someone else coaching my runners. I feel like if this became an official season, I would be forced to make the commitment to it-for my athletes and for my program to not fall behind.

I worry that many schools would not want to have an indoor program as it would take athletes away from traditional winter sports and be an added cost for the schools. In turn, this would give the participating schools an advantage come outdoor track. I also think with a lack of indoor tracks and training facilities, it might be best to keep things the way they currently are. Let's imagine having basketball without most schools having a gymnasium. I realize that we can run and train and lift without an indoor track facility and can use our outdoor tracks often, but it's still odd.

Just my two cents, but as of right now if this ever comes to a vote, I think I will be voting no as I feel the negatives outweigh the positives for me and I love the sport of track and field.
03/04/2019 6:04:46 PM
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@coachcasa Official is the wrong way to go IMO. Optional is the best of both worlds as several of us have said. You can offer a winter conditioning program with the option to compete and travel and entry fees can be provided by the schools willing to participate. Not all schools would sign on, but why take the option away from schools who want it? I can't see the state sanctioning an "official" state meet anyway, but it really could be done with the existing meets and I would be some schools add other meets. No one says you have to go every day during that period. Aren't we really only talking about January and February any Since December has Christmas break. If they aren't playing a winter sport and trying to have a good spring aren't they working out anyway in those months, so I'm not sure wear and tear is an issue. In all honestly very many kids don't do anything in the offseason. The chance to compete would motivate some of those who don't. Hurdlers, jumpers, throwers, and sprinters have a tough time in the winter. This would help them greatly.
@coachcasa

Official is the wrong way to go IMO.

Optional is the best of both worlds as several of us have said.

You can offer a winter conditioning program with the option to compete and travel and entry fees can be provided by the schools willing to participate.

Not all schools would sign on, but why take the option away from schools who want it?

I can't see the state sanctioning an "official" state meet anyway, but it really could be done with the existing meets and I would be some schools add other meets.

No one says you have to go every day during that period.

Aren't we really only talking about January and February any Since December has Christmas break.

If they aren't playing a winter sport and trying to have a good spring aren't they working out anyway in those months, so I'm not sure wear and tear is an issue.

In all honestly very many kids don't do anything in the offseason. The chance to compete would motivate some of those who don't.

Hurdlers, jumpers, throwers, and sprinters have a tough time in the winter.

This would help them greatly.
03/05/2019 9:50:32 AM
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@mutiger31 I am in agreement with mutiger31 on this. You don't have to start in November or even December. All we are really talking about is allowing regular season coaches to start training 3-4 weeks earlier and run in a few indoor meets in February and March. I understand the concern over burnout and injury risk; we hear that from a lot of regular season coaches. All I can say is our experience tells us otherwise. 75-80% of our athletes are at a PR level - or better - at the end of their outdoor seasons. Every program has occasional injuries, but we see kids who are in a structured indoor program actually are less likely to get injured because they are getting in shape gradually, not trying to go from 0 to 60 in 12 weeks. The experience of other nearby states, like Illinois,tells us that indoor track is a performance enhancing experience for most athletes. This will cause an overlap with other sports but that doesn't seem to be a big problem with MSHSAA. Basketball season lasts over 4 months from the first practice to the championship, so extending track from 3 months to 4 months should not be a major problem for them.
@mutiger31

I am in agreement with mutiger31 on this. You don't have to start in November or even December. All we are really talking about is allowing regular season coaches to start training 3-4 weeks earlier and run in a few indoor meets in February and March.

I understand the concern over burnout and injury risk; we hear that from a lot of regular season coaches. All I can say is our experience tells us otherwise. 75-80% of our athletes are at a PR level - or better - at the end of their outdoor seasons. Every program has occasional injuries, but we see kids who are in a structured indoor program actually are less likely to get injured because they are getting in shape gradually, not trying to go from 0 to 60 in 12 weeks. The experience of other nearby states, like Illinois,tells us that indoor track is a performance enhancing experience for most athletes.

This will cause an overlap with other sports but that doesn't seem to be a big problem with MSHSAA. Basketball season lasts over 4 months from the first practice to the championship, so extending track from 3 months to 4 months should not be a major problem for them.
03/05/2019 12:34:09 PM
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I feel like this was a conversation on here a number of years ago. Hays had to provide the real history back then, and will have to do it again... but I have a full set of indoor track and field records from the past. I am not sure how long Missouri had an indoor track and field season, but it used to exist. According to Coach Nelson, there were qualifying times for state and most of the St. Louis meets were run at the Armory. For many years, you were allowed to run outdoor meets during the winter at the indoor distances. Many of the state qualifiers earned their qualifying times in this way. Apparently some people saw the problem with this (probably distance coaches) and a new rule was adopted clarifying that qualifying times needed to be run at an indoor meet. According to Coach Nelson that pretty much was the beginning of the end for winter track with the lack of facilities. I'm all for a formal or informal indoor season (stipend or not). I don't mind the drive to SEMO or Mizzou from ole Jeffco at all. MSHSAA won't go for informal, by the way, but boy's volleyball has been around as a probationary sport for a couple of decades now in St. Louis. I believe their season ends at districts.
I feel like this was a conversation on here a number of years ago. Hays had to provide the real history back then, and will have to do it again... but I have a full set of indoor track and field records from the past. I am not sure how long Missouri had an indoor track and field season, but it used to exist. According to Coach Nelson, there were qualifying times for state and most of the St. Louis meets were run at the Armory. For many years, you were allowed to run outdoor meets during the winter at the indoor distances. Many of the state qualifiers earned their qualifying times in this way. Apparently some people saw the problem with this (probably distance coaches) and a new rule was adopted clarifying that qualifying times needed to be run at an indoor meet. According to Coach Nelson that pretty much was the beginning of the end for winter track with the lack of facilities.
I'm all for a formal or informal indoor season (stipend or not). I don't mind the drive to SEMO or Mizzou from ole Jeffco at all. MSHSAA won't go for informal, by the way, but boy's volleyball has been around as a probationary sport for a couple of decades now in St. Louis. I believe their season ends at districts.
03/05/2019 2:03:51 PM
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Indoor track was the 4th championship sport offered by MSHSAA and began in 1930 with the construction of Brewer Fieldhouse at MU. (Outdoor TF and tennis began in 1926 and basketball in 1927. Wrestling would begin in 1931.) The meets were held at Brewer through 1972 (not held during 1943-1945) and usually it was held on the last weekend of March. It began as a two class meet and when it then went to a three class meet in 1951. In 1953, the small schools would compete on Friday and the large class on Saturday. In the early years there was no qualifying, you just entered. I am not sure when it went to qualifying marks but by 1968, it had a qualifying meet. Mine in HS was held outdoors at Louisiana. The 1st day of practice was around the first day of February. University City won 19 of the first 24 meets while KC Central won 8 of the last 10. The meet was not held in 1973 – I think the reason used was an energy crisis. It came back from 1974-1980 at the Hearnes Center as an open unscored meet. I think you had to run a 2 or 3 meets before the state meet in order to attend. 1980 was the 1st year girls had a state meet and was the 1st year it became metric. The armory was 1st used in 1964. During the 60s, a building in the American Royal complex in KC was used for many meets. The KC public school league ran a conference meet in conjunction of the Big 8 meet held on the banked board track at Municipal Auditorium. Wentworth Military built their state-of-the-art facility, 11 ½ laps to the mile, in 1968 and it was heavily used until The Multipurpose Building at CMSU was built in 1976. I also know that Kemper Military, Missouri Military and University City had indoor track meets at one time and Sikeston had their fieldhouse during the 70s that hosted indoor meets. Licklider remembers holding a track meet in the hallways of Jeff City High. Lack of facilities, especially in the St. Louis area, helped end Indoor track during the 70s. That may be the #1 hindrance today as well
Indoor track was the 4th championship sport offered by MSHSAA and began in 1930 with the construction of Brewer Fieldhouse at MU. (Outdoor TF and tennis began in 1926 and basketball in 1927. Wrestling would begin in 1931.) The meets were held at Brewer through 1972 (not held during 1943-1945) and usually it was held on the last weekend of March. It began as a two class meet and when it then went to a three class meet in 1951. In 1953, the small schools would compete on Friday and the large class on Saturday.
In the early years there was no qualifying, you just entered. I am not sure when it went to qualifying marks but by 1968, it had a qualifying meet. Mine in HS was held outdoors at Louisiana. The 1st day of practice was around the first day of February. University City won 19 of the first 24 meets while KC Central won 8 of the last 10.
The meet was not held in 1973 -- I think the reason used was an energy crisis. It came back from 1974-1980 at the Hearnes Center as an open unscored meet. I think you had to run a 2 or 3 meets before the state meet in order to attend. 1980 was the 1st year girls had a state meet and was the 1st year it became metric.
The armory was 1st used in 1964. During the 60s, a building in the American Royal complex in KC was used for many meets. The KC public school league ran a conference meet in conjunction of the Big 8 meet held on the banked board track at Municipal Auditorium. Wentworth Military built their state-of-the-art facility, 11 ½ laps to the mile, in 1968 and it was heavily used until The Multipurpose Building at CMSU was built in 1976. I also know that Kemper Military, Missouri Military and University City had indoor track meets at one time and Sikeston had their fieldhouse during the 70s that hosted indoor meets. Licklider remembers holding a track meet in the hallways of Jeff City High.
Lack of facilities, especially in the St. Louis area, helped end Indoor track during the 70s. That may be the #1 hindrance today as well
03/05/2019 2:39:01 PM
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