I attended the Illinois Boy's State TF Championships yesterday, pleased (and amazed) there were NO frivolous disqualifications for showboating - officials from the Land of Lincoln refraining from punishing athletes for celebrating early.
Yet I guarantee there was "showboating!"
One of the 3200 winners (there are 3 classes) celebrated with raised arms, in the 100m the victor finished with a raised fist, a 1600 champion crossed the line with three fingers extended to the sky, and in the 400m another turned his head towards the bleachers far in advance of the line. And there were many others.
Heck, a medalist in the shot put even flexed on the award stand.
I could care less if coaches or official feel showboating is wrong, that the rules prohibit it. That's baloney! Explain what excessive means. Point out examples listed in any state rule book that are specific. In this area of rules state manuals are as vague as shades of gray.
It's like the Supreme Court justice who said "I can't define pornography but I know it when I see it." I'll bet I saw 10-12 instances of such celebration - in my opinion not one of them excessive or vaguely egregious.
From my post last week I would guess opinions can be broken into thirds. One third say it's okay to celebrate. Another 33% believe there is no room for this behavior in track and field. And the rest claim they don't think it is wrong, but rules prohibit these demonstrations.
But if we took a poll of athletes, I would be shocked if less than 67% of them believe what many officials call showboating is worthy of disqualification - they think it's cool. Even the ones who don't like it probably think it's no big deal. Ask your athletes.
If old-timers like myself would be honest, back in the in neighborhood games of the 60's we always showboated. Where do you think the expression "suckers walk" in football began? Or the bat-flips which would rival anything seen today. Holding the bent wrist when the shot was "all net." C'mon.
I am happy to say that I saw only two disqualifications in Saturday's finals - a false start in the 4x100m and a violation in the 110H for the athlete leaving his lane. I would have been much more elated if I didn't see any, but that's a pipe dream.
Both were undeniable.
Yet I did see one athlete who should have been DQed for not finishing the 300m hurdles in his assigned lane - although meet officials failed to call the obvious violation. Now, in my mind that's egregious!
You have every right to disagree with me, think I'm a fool, but as I stated last week - the times they are a-changin!