Kinematics Of The Pole Vault Approach

  • Mark Walsh
  • Susan J. Hall


Pole vaulting is one of the most complex skills in track and field. Although several studies have been done to investigate the mechanical factors associated with superior performance in the pole vault, those reported to date have primarily focused on the vault itself; that is, the events occurring between takeoff and apex. The purpose of this study was to analyze the kinematics of the pole vault approach/plant to identify factors that affect performance. Sagittal view videotapes of pole vault competition were taken at 3 NCAA Division I track meets. The records of 22 successful vaults from 13 athletes were digitized and the raw displacement data smoothed using a low-pass Buttenvorth digital filter. Subjects demonstrated significant (p