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Why Racewalking Going Away And Sports Added To National Senior Games.

November 18, 2023 2 min read 2 Comments

Why Racewalking Going Away And Sports Added To National Senior Games.

 November 18, 2023

 Stories You Might Want To Read

1. Why Racewalking Is Going Away At The National Senior Games. 

When the National Senior Games Association said it was going to discontinue Racewalking at The National Senior Games after the 2025 Games in Des Moines, the NSGA mentioned "other factors" in the decision.

Those "other factors" include a growing need for a larger penalty box for illegal form. It would be full, if there were enough judges to raise their paddles scolding the illegal walkers and sidelining them.

The problem is there are not enough judges for NSG track & field. And as Racewalkers get older it is more of a challenge to fulfill the requirement of hip over straight knee as you come through the stride.

The NSGA's mission is to make the experience superb for the athlete. To do that, you need resources for track & field officials, among other things.

So the decision to cut Racewalking has to do with declining numbers and cost, but another factor is the NSG needed to stay true to the sport. Besides, some  Racewalkers who have written Geezer Jock this week feel ok about doing only Powerwalking.

Here is a great video on the differences.

After 2025, Racquetball, and Hammer Throw (see picture of Patti Baker at the end of this story) will also be discontinued. Racquetball has seen steadily declining numbers and has held on as a competition...by its finger tips.

The hammer, I have been told, is truly about costs. The high-fenced cages to protect onlookers from projectiles that could kill them are expensive and to install them for three days is a chore.  

As for hurdles still being out of the NSG, there is no good excuse. As James Malin pointed out, all the big high schools have hurdles tucked away on their grounds.

Here is a link to the full announcement.

2. The Really Good News About The National Senior Games.

The National Senior Games are not the USA Track & Field Masters. There is a difference between the two, obviously. USATF athletes compare the way the two run events and you just can't do it, even though many USATF officials volunteer to help with NSG.  

Where the National Senior Games stands out is sports offerings and this week's announcement of sports added means it just got a whole lot more fun.

New sports for the Games in Des Moines in 2025 include Beach Volleyball, Billiards (8-Ball), Disc Golf, Power Lifting, and Tai Chi.

Power lifting? You bet there is a place for it. Older people are building their strength, which means avoiding harder falls because they are able to get a strong arm out to catch themselves.

New events will be Basketball Skills, Golf Scramble, Non-Ambulatory Pickleball, and a 1-Mile Road Race. You have to love the small Midwest state associations that really pushed the basketball skills competitions over the last few years.

3. Hammer Time

Geezer Jock Patti Baker shows her form and effort in this hammer throw. Be impressed. At least she will still have USATF events to show her stuff.

By the way, Patti made a career around dance. You can see the footwork inside the hammer ring.

 


2 Responses

Patti Baker
Patti Baker

November 18, 2023

Quite a surprise to see myself in today’s newsletter. I, and many other throwers, are very upset about dropping hammer. It’s a key component of the 5 events in throwing. Imagine dropping the 400 from the sprint events. I believe the NSG explanation is ridiculous and unfounded. Most meets use the same ring and net for discus, hammer and weight throw. A simple insert is all that is needed to change from discus to hammer/weight. So once there is a discus ring there is a hammer ring. Perhaps instead of making excuses about officials NSG could use their considerable platform to recruit new officials. By the way, the athletes in the track and field arena are very appreciative of the officials we have and at the end of virtually every event you will see the throwers thanking the officials. We know it is a time consuming, and sometimes difficult job, in all kinds of weather. Thank you for your efforts to promote us “geezers” Ray; it’s always a fun read.

Mike lavigna
Mike lavigna

November 18, 2023

Thanks for helping each of us keep going Ray! Kudos

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