Principals to vote on Champs rule changes

January 20, 2017
David Riley
Wolmer's Jaheel Hyde (left) and Calabar's Michael O'Hara match strides as they head down the track in the final of the class one boys 110m hurdles in 2015.

Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) principals will today vote on the five-point proposal implemented by the technical committee of the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys & Girls' Athletic Championships.

The proposed rule changes, which have been met with opposition from the Jamaica Track and Field Coaches Association (JATAFCA) include: the Boy's 400 metres hurdles, will be changed from an open to a split event to be contested by Class One and Two boys; the 3000 metres and the 2000 metres Steeplechase will be restricted to Class One and Two Girls; The 5000 metres and the steeplechase will be restricted to Class One and Two boys; athletes will only be able to do two individual events and two relays, except for field events athletes, who can do three individual events and one relay; and girls doing the heptathlon will be allowed to do only one other individual event, while boys doing the decathlon will not be allowed to do any other event.

Several coaches have voiced their disapproval, stating that enough time was not given to prepare for the changes.

Normally, changes would come into effect in the following academic year and not the year of competition.




One observation made by JATAFCA President David Riley was that the rule changes also mean that the 400m hurdles Boys' open record held by then-Wolmer's schoolboy Jaheel Hyde would be thrown out.

ISSA competitions officer George Forbes has said that the changes can be made immediately if 75 per cent of principals at the meeting vote in favour.

Based on events leading up to today's voting, it looks more than likely that the new changes will get the support of the principals.

In a recent interview, Albert Corcho, principal of defending boys champions Calabar High School, said he was confident that principals would vote on the new changes as the rules, especially the one restricting athletes to two individual events, are there to protect the athletes from overwork.

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