Pole Vault Safety Certification Board

About The Test

Created by Jan Johnson, The National Safety Chair, the rules and concepts expressed in this course of instruction are intended to preserve and promote the sound traditions of the sport of pole vaulting and the safety of its participants. However, there is an inherent risk of major or minor injury from participation in pole vaulting as in any sports activity. Every coach, parent and official using the rules and concepts expressed within this program is responsible for prudent judgment with respect to each practice, contest, athlete and facility. In addition, each athlete is responsible for exercising caution and good sportsmanship in his or her participation.

The rules and information within this program should be interpreted and applied to the sport of pole vaulting so as to make prudent and reasonable decisions for safe and efficient participation.

Course of Instruction

This course of pole vault education is designed and formatted so the beginning coach, parent and vaulter can efficiently and economically learn the process of pole vaulting with a minimum of time investment.

The course of instruction is divided into the following sections, each section is followed by a battery of test questions that pertain specifically to that section. To pass a section, the student must achieve a minimum score of 80% correct. All testing portions are designed to be taken open book.

Section 1: National HS Federation PV rules

  • New rules
  • Definitions
  • General rules
  • Penalties
  • Facilities & Equipment
  • Scoring
  • PV contest administration
  • Points of Emphasis
  • National HS rules Test (10 questions open Book)

Section 2: Pole Vault Safety

  • Creating a low-risk pole vault environment
  • Standards (uprights)
  • Planting box
  • Helmets
  • Weather considerations
  • Hard Surfaces
  • Facilities care and up-keep
  • Basic skills and progressions
  • Basic Adjustments for consistency
  • Basic concepts pole vaulting
  • National PV Safety Test (10 questions open book)

Section 3: Energy Equation and PLZ

  • The Energy Equation in Pole Vaulting
  • Setting up the "Preferred Landing zone" (PLZ)
  • The PLZ as a coaching tool
  • Adjustments
  • Blowing through
  • Landing short
  • Side landings
  • Basics of the PV energy equation
  • Potential energy
  • Resistance
  • Comparative stiffness chart
  • Pole speed
  • Pole bend
  • Grip height
  • Vertical pole
  • Take-off angle
  • Energy equation and PLZ Test (10 questions open book)

Section 4: Beginning Pole Vaulting Progressions

  • Grass Vaulting
  • Selecting the beginning grip
  • Short run non-bending progressions
  • Stay downs
  • Swing to L
  • Swing and shoot turn
  • Selecting the correct beginning pole and grip for bending
  • Increasing run length and grip heights
  • Beginning Pole Vaulting Progressions Test (10 questions open Book)

Basic certification requirements

To pass the testing portion of the curriculum the applicant must pass each individual section with a minimum grade of 80%. Each section of the test can be taken as many times as necessary. Each section of the examination is scored independently, so that once a section is passed, the applicant may proceed to the next section. The tests will be graded automatically and a passing or failing grade given immediately after the "Grade it" button is pushed.