Just having some random thoughts and one that crossed my mind was what if their was a professional sprint league, ala the NFL for football? As far as I’m aware, no one has ever attempted to put together a professional league dedicated only to sprinting, but everybody knows that the sprints are the most popular event/s in athletics. I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard the start of the prelims for the 100m as the “real beginning of the Olympics” and it’s no secret that the sprints are the breadwinner for almost any international meet. So, what if the sprint events broke away from athletics and simply became their own entity? Do you think this venture could work? If not, what sort of problems would hinder it from taking off? Do you think something like this will happen at anytime in the foreseeable future? Discuss.
Just to clarify, sprint events include all events 400m and shorter with hurdle variations.
Sounds similar to the VAL, only they have handicapped sprints…
The handicap system is decent cash here in Aus.
Nearly all the big races are sprints.
I think one 110 m race is worth approx 50 grand au.??
the stawell gift is over 120m and is the best paid race in the southern hemishpere, or something like that. around 50k, I think. josh ross won it twice…
Well, that’s not really what I’m thinking. I’m not talking about some circus side-show that degenerate gamblers flock to to get their fix. I’m talking about a professional league with all the top names and best talent and best coaches in the world under one umbrella. I mean think about it. If I ask you where the best American football players in the world play, you would tell me the NFL. If I ask where the best basketball players in the world play, you would tell me the NBA. If I ask where the best sprinters in the world run, you would tell me a country or a specific training group (i.e. Racers Track Club) and that’s the point.
There is no real organization to professional sprinting. Everything in sprinting is disorganized and laissez-faire. Every track meet is its own separate entity. Pay checks for sprinters are negotiated on a per Diem basis. I remember Charlie saying somewhere that sprinter’s agents negotiating with meet organizers for compensation is something like an old world bazaar. Could you imagine LeBron James and his agent doing back-room dealing with the owners of a basketball stadium to get paid? Of course not because that is ludicrous! LeBron James and every other professional basketball player are guaranteed a paycheck from the NBA. Basketball and all the other major sports are organized into one major professional league with a specific structure designed to look out for the best interests of athletes and owners.
There is no such thing for sprinting. Right now, the only thing that exists are “governing bodies”, like the IAAF, IOC, or USATF (specific to the USA). But those organizations are not “professional leagues”. They are not specific for sprints, they are general for the sport of “athletics” and athletes do not get paid by the IAAF or IOC (most professional sprinters rarely, if ever receive any compensation from their country’s own “governing body”). These “governing bodies” simply lay out the laws and distribute punishment for those caught not abiding by those laws. Everybody knows that the majority of money in “athletics” is in the sprints. So what I’m suggesting is, why don’t the “sprints” secede from the sport of “athletics” and become its own separate sport and create a professional league for the sport of “sprinting”?
Why do major publications publish the point spread for NFL games?
“I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!” – Captain Renault
Lol, you’re completely missing the point! Yes, the NFL generates more revenue for the gambling industry than any other sport, but again gambling had very little if anything to do with my post. My point in that select quote is that I seriously doubt there is any real interest from the public in handicapped races in Australia, except from the consummate gambler.
My post is more a serious question that I am interested in hearing serious discussion for. The NFL and NBA are so wildly successful because everybody in the world knows that it’s the best of the best pitted against each other. Everyone knows that the sprints are the cash cow of “athletics”. So why is it what I am suggesting has never even been attempted before? Do you think what I am suggesting would work and is it inevitable that the popularity of the sprints will lead it to my suggestion? If not, then what would hinder what I am suggesting from ever taking place?