2012 Rule Change Allows For Additional Layers Of Tape 7-5-2

The National Federation of State High School Associations has changed the rule on the number of layersof tape that are allowed on the grip end of the pole.  Rule 7-5-2 now allows for multiple layers of tape as long as the layers of tape are of uniform thickness.  The old rule only allowed for at most 2 layers of tapeto be used on the grip end of the pole.  It’s a nice job by the NFHS to change this rule because it was really a pesky rule, especially for officials.  The purpose of the rule is to keep vaulters from having knots or artificial elements under the tape that would give a vaulter an unfair advantage.  Vaulters used to take rope or string and spiral wrap it under their grip tape to allow for greater grip.  The old rule was especially pesky if tape became wet or damaged during a meet.  Last year at the regional championships at Harmony High School, one of my vaulters had their pole fall in a puddle after vaulting in warm-ups and required us to remove all of the old tape and put fresh tape on the pole, which had to be dried off.  The new rule will allow for the vaulter to just put tape right over the existing layers of tape and continue vaulting.  Just make sure that you are using athletic tape to tape your poles and uniform thickness will not be an issue.  If you place Gorilla Tape as the bottom layers and then place athletic tape on top of the Gorilla Tape, this would be a violation due to the differing thicknesses of tape.  Just be consistent and you won’t have any problems.

7-5-2     The vaulting pole may be of any material and of any length and diameter. It may have a binding oflayers of adhesive tape of uniform thickness on the grip end.  However, the plant end of the pole may be protected by layers of tape, PVC, sponge rubber or other suitable material to protect the pole when placed in the planting box.
Rationale:  Eliminates the limit of the requirement for only two layers of tape and requires the tape to be of uniform thickness.  Does not remove the intent that a competitor cannot build a knob type grip to enhance his/her performance.

Author: Bobby Haeck

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