Every banned Track & Field technique has a story behind it

Originally published at: Every banned Track & Field technique has a story behind it | Boing Boing


“Athletes do dumb-assinnovative and clever things if it improves their performance”

(With the possible exception of the spinning javelin.)


It’s edge cases all the way down.


So, the Cartwheel Shot-put technique was most effective for women? No wonder the IAAF banned it. :face_with_symbols_over_mouth:

Meanwhile, I can’t see “track and field” without thinking about the following bitter-sweet tune.


Reminds me of all the things NASCAR and F1 banned in the cars.


Something like this was banned in pole vaulting.


This seems an appropriate place to mention Dick Fosbury, who revolutionized high-jumping with his Fosbury Flop technique and passed away this past March 13. The Flop too might have been banned (on a safety basis) but for the coincidence that schools had just then begun switching from sand/sawdust/wood chip landing pits to raised foam-padded ones.


But can I still use a pencil?


There’s a great series from Secret Base on YouTube, Weird Rules (season 1, 2, & 3), that explores exactly this area.



It’s not like the thrower is in danger. It’s everyone else’s problem.


If more sports commentating was like that, I might watch more sports.

The entire history of Lotus in F1 from roughly 1960-1990 is basically getting all their ideas banned so Ferrari keeps winning. :joy:

Active downforce, active aero, ground effect aero, turbines…. all on a long list of clever things that Lotus did once, they won that year, then it got banned and they never won again until their next crazy engineering idea. F1 claims to be about engineering, but it’s mostly about politics. Any actual engineering that happens gets banned. These days it’s Red Bull having actual engineering ideas and getting banned for it every year.


I’d almost pay money to see a race where there are three rules:

  1. The driver is fully protected by roll cage, harness, etc.

  2. Car must be below X weight when the tank is empty.

  3. Anything else is fair game - engine, tires, body, whatever.

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If you also add, “car must cost less than $500” (except for safety equipment), then your wish has come true:

It’s legit racing that is serious but does not take itself seriously, if that makes sense. Also a stupid amount of fun than I’m amazed still isn’t somehow illegal after all these years.


Can someone oppose the transphobic Tory bastard this time?

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That was my first thought upon reading the article’s headline, too.

I don’t mind the pencil technique for the arcade, but I witnessed another technique back in the '80s that definitely should have been banned. There was a kid at the water slide park playing Track & Field by rubbing his fingers (both hands at once) on the inside of his lip to lubricate them. He would then slide his fingers rapidly over the buttons to produce rapid button taps. It was pretty effective, but the technique had the side effect of producing a a large mound of white foam around the buttons. I mean, like an inch high and several inches wide. I nearly puked when I saw it, and I haven’t touched the controls of a Track & Field game since. :face_vomiting:

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My high school buddy who is now an engineer for Nissan (he helped develop the hybrid Altima and the Leaf) is part of the crew for a Lemons racer. He has a great time with it, and I love competitions where you have to work within a set of strict limitations. It definitely forces you to weigh trade-offs and find creative solutions.

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Yep, it was my thought as well.

As far as the “banned technique” goes, one arcade rotated the bezels surrounding each button ±90°, so that both bezel openings faced the player, instead of the openings facing each other ('twixt which one could place a pencil, or truncated ruler etc.).