How to pole vault

Pole leaping is now becoming much in vogue. The pole should be strong enough to bear the weight of the leaper without bending, and sound enough not to fracture at the critical moment. The pole for beginners need not be more than seven feet long, and an attempt should be made to spring short distances with it. The hands should not be placed higher than the head, the right hand at the top, and the left hand may be placed in the most convenient position. The spring must be taken from the left foot at the instant the pole touches the ground, and a short run may be taken to give the necessary impetus. Now, in our school days, we always held the pole until the ground was reached, and of course came down with our face towards the spot from whence we started. But since that period high and perpendicular leaps are taken over a six-feet and higher bar, and the pole is left behind. Care must be taken to place the hands high enough, and to have the end of the pole pointed, so that it will remain sticking in the ground. By letting the pole go as the body goes over the bar, the leaper descends straight forwards as in an ordinary jump. When you loose the bar, push it behind so as to make it fall backwards. As the leaper goes over the bar, the knees must be bent, so that on touching the ground they will form a spring, and the force of the fall is broken.

With a light pole and low jump, it is sometimes carried over. In long leaps, as much as eight or ten yards may be cleared. Leaps from a height may be practiced, always bearing in mind that the pole must bear your weight, and that on reaching the ground the knees be bent for the spring.

If these directions are followed, you may attain health and agility though you may not attain the skill of leaping over a bar upwards of eleven feet in height.

Return to Boys Own Book of Outdoor Sports