A track meet years ago was decided by a piece of jewelry. I can’t remember if it was a slender gold chain or a harmless earring, but one of the competitors was disqualified for wearing jewelry during competition. The disqualification changed the team scores.
The judges were right. It was against the rules to wear jewelry during interscholastic competition. The penalty was disqualification. It didn’t matter if it was a dual meet, a regional championship or even the state championship.
Enforcement was painful, but it was the rule.
Not anymore. The National Federation of State High School eliminated the jewelry rule in July. Jewelry will be allowed beginning in the 2015 season.
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Becky Oakes, the Federation’s director of sports and the organization’s liaison to the Track and Field Rules Committee, said the committee determined that prohibiting jewelry in high school track and field and cross country is not necessary.
“The wearing of jewelry ordinarily presents little risk of injury to either the competitor or opponents,” Oakes said. “Elimination of the rule allows officials to focus on meet administration directly related to actual competition. Coaches continue to have the obligation to see that competitors are properly equipped.”
Hall of Fame coach: Vince Brown, a member of the U.S. Track and Field Coaches National Hall of Fame, has been named track coach at Panther Creek.
Brown was the coach at Christopher Newport University, where he had 12 national championship teams, 444 all-Americans and 59 individual or relay champions. The indoor track facility at the Newport News, Va., school is named in his honor.
“Coach Brown’s experience and success speaks for itself,” Panther Creek athletics director L.J. Hepp said in a release. “We are fortunate that he chose Cary as a retirement location. He has helped us in a volunteer basis over the past few seasons and we are thrilled that he wants to lead a program again.”
Green Hope softball: Logan Hill, a former assistant softball coach at Green Hope, has been named head coach. She is an East Duplin High graduate and was a softball starter for three years at Meredith.
Basketball regionals: The N.C. High School Athletic Association boys’ and girls’ basketball regionals will be held in Fayetteville and Winston-Salem next season.
The Eastern Regional will return to the Crown Coliseum complex while the Western Regional moves from Greensboro to Winston-Salem’s Joel Coliseum and annex. The tournaments will be March 3-7.
The NCHSAA had considered changes to the regional format, but it will remain intact for at least another year.
Powell to Hall: Former Apex High baseball standout Landon Powell will be inducted into the University of South Carolina Sports Hall of Fame on Thursday. Powell played at South Carolina in 2001-04. He was an all-America catcher in 2004 and was All-SEC twice.
Powell played for the Oakland Athletics in 2009-11. He caught Dallas Braden’s perfect game against the Tampa Bay Rays on May 9, 2010.
Athletic toolbox: The N.C. Athletic Directors Association has a website called the NCADA Toolbox, which contains resources and information for high school athletics directors.
Included are the 14 legal duties of a high school coach. The duties have been established by the courts in various legal rulings.
The legal duties are: 1: Properly plan the activity; 2: Supervise the activity closely; 3: Provide a safe physical environment; 4: Evaluate athletes for injury or incapacity; 5: Provide adequate and proper equipment; 6: Provide proper instruction; 7: Condition properly; 8: Warn of inherent risks; 9: Provide emergency care; 10: Design an emergency response plan; 11: Select, train and supervise coaches; 12: Match/equate athletes; 13: Provide safe transportation; 14: Provide insurance disclosure