I am usually not one to post, but on this subject, I think that I do have some pertinent information. I think that the comments by Divalent are spot on. He mentioned that we need data regarding injuries resulting from the use of helmets. Well my High School pole vaulters have been required to wear helmets for the past 10 years and we have had absolutely no injuries as a result of their use. And given that the average number of vaulters on my team has been 24 per season, I would say that is pretty good data set. In addition we have made mandatory the use of helmets for our club kids as well. And again, we have had nothing but positive results.
As for some of the other posts regarding this subject, I would offer the following points to consider. Becca, I believe that you mentioned that Kevin Dare would not have been saved by a Helmet, Sadly we will never know, but I can say that his dad is committed to the use of helmets in the Pole Vault, so much so he spearheaded the early design effort of Pole Vault specific helmets. That says a lot.
As for me. I have held still the bleeding head of a vaulter, in the box while waiting for the paramedics and it is an experience I never ever what to have again, so when I hear someone say Helmets are dumb I wonder if they would feel the same if they had a first responder experience as I. It is the result of that event that we wear Helmets.
As a youth coach, I am most concerned with pilot error, this is the kid, Like Clark, with less experience that lets go of the pole in an unsafe manner and lands on something hard, or the kid that lands on his feet takes a step back and falls back off the pit. These are in no way the only paths to injury, but they are quick paths to head impact and common mistakes of the inexperienced vaulter.
So there you have it, I will always endorse the use of helmets in the Pole Vault and hope others can lean from my experience, and never have to face what the Miracles are facing.