I'm not in favor of any pole weight rules. As everyone has stated, they don't address the real issue. And the rule is based on ONLY the pole WEIGHT compared to the vaulter's weight.
Every vaulter usually needs a pole LIGHTER than their weight early in their career, a pole NEAR their weight as they advance towards their best years, and a pole ABOVE their weight in their peak years. Ideally, they will also vary their pole size by their length of run, time of season, weather, and fitness level. Every day and every month of every year, a vaulter needs a different sized pole.
So with all these variables, how can the NFHS legislate the EXACT minimum weight of pole that a vaulter can use for the ENTIRE time during their HS career that the vaulter happens to weigh a certain amount? The weight of the vaulter is only a SINGLE parameter in the pole selection process. It makes no sense!
Typically, as soon as a vaulter gets accustomed to a pole of a certain weight, it soon becomes too light. HS vaulters and their coaches need a SERIES of poles that they share at a HS, as they improve their technique.
The answer is to have a series of poles where they (and their team-mates) can grip them at various heights throughout the meet, throughout the week, throughout the season, and throughout their HS career. I'm sure these types of poles exist today, but I also suspect that they could be designed to work BETTER at various grip heights - if only the manufacturers were motivated to REDUCE a school's pole inventory.
The manufacturer that innovates the best on this concept stands a good chance of improving their sales significantly, due to school pole budget limits! It will never be "one size fits all", but a school could certainly reduce its pole inventory significantly with this type of pole - but for the STUPID pole weight rule!
Jan, I wouldn't bother fiddling with the pole weight rule by proposing the marking of various grip heights on it - you're just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. It's a futile cause. Better to push for ELIMINATION of the pole weight rule. However, it will be politically difficult to just get it abolished. Instead, it must be REPLACED by a better set of rules that will be more effective (and can be PROVEN to be more effective), such as the proposed PLZ rule, the standards placement rule (now 45-80 for both college and high school - which is good), and mandatory box collars that meet ASTM specs. And of course stricter or more mandatory coaching certifications.
I'll discuss my thoughts about these alternatives later - I agree with the majority of the sentiment on this thread and in your SkyJumpers newsletters (I've read all the comments and emails), but I have a few ideas that haven't been mentioned yet. Stay tuned.