High School Track & Field Coaches Adjust to Switch to the Metric System


logoFlorida High School Track & Field Coaches are adjusting to the FHSAA vote in September to use the international metric system, as opposed to the imperial system for the 2017 outdoor track season. In 2018 season track competitions in the state of Florida will be required to utilize the metric system.

While most high school track and field coaches and fans understand the significance of a 20-foot long jump and other imperial system benchmarks, the NCAA and international track use the metric system.


– The metric system is the international and NCAA standard for all field events.

Track & Field coaches agree the switch to metric would add the ability for a higher degree of accuracy in measurement.

– Track events are already in the metric system.

– The transition costs are minimal. All tapes measures routinely come with a side for metric on the opposite of the imperial side.

– Florida State Records already carry a metric conversion. No change would be necessary to compare to past marks.


– Track & Field coaches recognize the sport already struggles with the casual viewer. Do we want to alienate ourselves further, by no longer being relatable to the casual athlete?

– There are genuine “Magic Barriers” The Sub-4 Mile may be one of the most prominent, but a 7-foot plus High Jump, a 50-foot plus Triple Jump, and a 60-foot plus Shot Put barrier exists within the High School ranks as well.

– The imperial system carries an American Identity.

– The imperial system would still be required, as all boards are measured in feet.

Will this change make field events harder to follow? Or is it better to get in line with the sport’s NCAA and international standards? Right now, the only state to implement this new rule is Florida but others could soon follow.


“A Global Community of Coaches Inspiring Tomorrow’s Leaders”

Edited and Re-published from Johanna Gretschel http://www.milesplit.com/

April 20, 2017