A change in venue will also force changes in the programme for Inter-School Sports.
With the track and field segments of the Powerade Barbados Secondary Schools’ Athletic Championships (BSSAC) now being done on separate days at separate venues, organizers are being challenged to find a schedule that suits everyone.
The field events will be held at Harrison College from March 6-8 and the track events at the National Stadium from March 20-22.
Traditionally, the meet was spread over five days – three days of preliminaries and two finals – with the track and field running in tandem.
Newly appointed meet director Dave Small told WEEKENDSPORT that the technical committee was working to find the perfect solution.
“The majority of the field events will be done at Harrison College and the majority of the running events at the Stadium. Some running events will be done at Harrison College, preliminaries, because we don’t want to go to the Stadium and have people running three days back-to-back,” Small explained.
“If you have to run a 400 metres, we don’t want people running three 400s back-to-back, and that person might still have to run an 800 or a 200.”
The committee will be using the traditional format of three rounds – preliminaries, semi-finals and finals – but events like the first round of the 100s and 400s may be run at College “A”, as well as the finals of longer distances like the 3 000 and 5 000 metres.
Small added: “The original programme is set up so no athlete is disadvantaged. You don’t do 100s and 200s on the same day. We try to do it so no athlete is disadvantaged and we are not favouring any specific athlete.
“We will set a programme that makes common sense for everyone, but you may get some anomalies where someone does the 800 and high jump which is not a natural combination.”
One of the biggest headaches for the committee is the hurdles, especially the sprints.
Small said they did a site visit at Harrison College last Wednesday, but they were reluctant to run the sprint hurdles on grass. In addition, hurdles would also have to fit into the required width of the lane which is 1.22 metres.
“The technical committee is working on this, tweaking it and making some changes. We have notfinalized anything.”
After extensive work commenced on the track at the National Stadium, including the installation of drainage, organizers attempted to hold the meet at Kensington Oval.
However, the West Indies Cricket Board invoked the exclusivity clause in the International Venue Agreement which prohibits the holding of any event on the ground one month prior to the start of the first Test match between West Indies and Zimbabwe from March 12 to 16.
Under this set up, spectators won’t be allowed on the grounds at Harrison College to view the field events, and this will result in significant losses
of gate receipts.
Organizers remain optimistic that the track will be ready by the first week in March, but consideration also has to be given to those athletes who are preparing for the CARIFTA Games from March 29 to April 1 in The Bahamas. CARIFTA trials are tentatively scheduled for March 16-17.