VAL News

Important Athlete & Trainer information

Posted in: Newsletters

Dear athletes, coaches, parents and supporters,

The Victorian Athletic League stewarding and handicapping panel for season 2016/17 is:

* Stewards: Brian Marantelli & Wally Meechan

* Sprint handicapper, 70m, 120m, 200m: Graeme Goldsworthy

* 300m, 400m, 550m, Masters, & Women’s events: Darryl Nettleton

* Distance Handicapper, 800m, 1600m,1000m,3200m: Colin Lane

* Junior & Restricted Sprint Handicapper: Darryl Nettleton

Handicapping matters

1. The VAL has made some changes and clarifications to the Handicap Regulations, which can be found on the website. We encourage athletes & coaches to read them, with the changes noted in red. At the end of the document you will see the calculations table, Novice handicaps & penalty table.

2. Some of these key changes are:

* The handicaps of non-master women (35+) in the Women’s & Masters sprints will be derived directly from their women’s 120 mark, with runs in the combined races being included for assessment of the women’s 120 handicaps.

* The use of discretionary lifts for Classic and Stawell events.

* APs are to be unhindered by sickness, injury or participation in prior events or rounds. 

3. Please also note the following key points in the Handicap Regulations:

* How the starting Handicaps are arrived at.

* The important distinction between an Established athlete and an Ongoing Assessment Athlete for handicapping purposes.

* How specific events are to be handicapped that are not conducted regularly, such as the 200, 550 and 3200.

* 1000m race winners will receive a penalty in 800m events.

* Group 3, 70m events will have a 16m limit.

* 3200m events, on occasion, will be handicapped behind scratch.

* Progression from heats to semis and finals will be based on winners and fastest times. Progression is not to be based on placings.

* The Intersport SportzBiz 400m series is now open to all athletes under the age of 20 years on the day of their first heat run. It is no longer a novice event.

4. There will be reward for effort. Those that compete regularly & consistently will be considered favourably when reviewing handicaps.

5. First wins in the Group 3 events will receive the minimum penalty in accordance with the Penalty table and will be favourably considered for an additional lift when next due. These athletes will also be reviewed favourably by the handicapper for discretionary lifts for Classic and Stawell events.

6. The role of the Handicapper is to give every athlete the opportunity to win a race. The role of the athlete is to compete consistently and to the best of their ability.

7. The VAL handicapper will be continuing the conditions of the last two seasons for 550 metre events in 2016/17. The winner of any 550m event, other than the Euroa 550m, will be lifted a minimum of two metres above their winning handicap for the Stawell 550m event,. This is provided that the winner of the particular 550m event does not break net time. The Euroa event will be considered a non-penalty event and any handicap lift will be at the discretion of the handicapper. Any athlete who wins two 550 metre events during the 2016/17 season will not be eligible for the handicap relief. Any athlete who wins a group 1 or classic event over a similar distance in Victoria or interstate will be subject to the discretion of the handicapper.

Stawell Gift

As per the 2015/16 season, the VAL will guarantee winners of many of the minor gifts in Victoria an automatic lift for the 2017 Stawell Gift. To be eligible for this lift the athlete must not break nett time in the win. Also a second 100/120m gift win will deem the athlete ineligible for the lift. The lifts will be added to the athletes winning handicap. Athletes that are allocated an Unacceptable Performance during the season may not automatically qualify for the lift in the Stawell Gift.  This will be at the stewards discretion.   These automatic lifts and races will be published on the VAL website before the commencement of the current season. 

Stewarding matters

1. There is going to be closer scrutiny of performances this season.  Athletes and Trainers should make themselves familiar with the allocation of NAPs (Non Acceptable Performances) and UPs (Unacceptable Performances). Please refer to the Handicap Regulations for a detailed description of the terms and requirements.

2. The pre-Christmas carnivals are not ‘warm up’ events for interstate Christmas carnivals or for the collection of AP’s.

3. No handicaps will be adjusted on the day of competition unless they differ from those published on the VAL website. The one exception is when an athlete’s handicap is manifestly above their competitive handicap, for example 200m handicap given in a 120m event. Athletes are expected to notify the VAL office of such abnormalities.

4. Any athlete, coach or parent wishing to have a handicap checked, is required to email the VAL office before the day of competition. The VAL office will then forward the request to the relevant handicapper. No race day queries will be considered.

5. No athlete, coach or parent is to approach a handicapper or steward on race day.

6. No VAL handicapper or steward will discuss an individual athlete’s performance on the day with the athlete, coach or parent unless the VAL stewards or handicappers request such a discussion.

7. In the event of an inquiry into an athlete’s performance in a junior event, only the athlete’s coach will be required to attend. The VAL handicappers and stewards hold the coaches entirely responsible for the performance of all junior athletes.

8. An athlete who makes a semi-final or final of an event and then wishes to compete in another event, before completing the original semi final or final, must seek permission from a steward. For the benefit of understanding 70m events followed by 100/120m events are not considered for these conditions.   

8.1   VAL rule 14.19 allows for athletes scratching from a final, on occasions, to contest a group or classic final at the same carnival.

9. Athletes who mix distances to the detriment of a performance during a carnival will not receive APs for their performances. This may also apply to athletes who mix distances to the extreme from week to week.

10. Any performed athlete who believes that they may not be able to compete to a respectable level in a particular event must notify the stewards before racing. This may be due to work or study commitments, illness or injury. This includes athletes who believe an increased heavy training program may affect their performances. The athlete will be allowed to compete but will be given an NAP if their performance is below their normal standards. Please note any athlete who offers the excuse after the event will be given a UP, fine, suspension or handicap review.

11. Athletes that have proved by previous performances that they are capable of performing well in group 1 and group 2 events are expected to maintain that standard when competing in group 3 events.

12. The VAL will publish a VAL steward’s report on the VAL website during the week following a carnival. The report will detail all UPs, fines, reprimands, suspensions, handicap reviews, inquiries and non-time related NAPs.