Club Information FAQ

Who Can Participate?
How Do I Practice With the Patriot Pole Vault Club?
What is the Cost?
Where Does the Money Go?
What is the Practice Format?
What Else Do I Need to Bring?
Do I Need to Bring My Own Poles?
How Do I Communicate With the Club/How Does the Club Communicate With Me?
Should I Commit Full Time To Vaulting? Should I Stop Doing Other Sports?

Download the 2015-16 Registration & Athlete Information Packet

SullyWho Can Participate?

The Patriot Pole Vault Club is an open club – all male and female athletes of any skill level ages 10 and up are eligible to participate. If you are a brand new vaulter AWESOME! That means you can learn things correctly from the start. We welcome and encourage beginners – we provide a low-stress environment so athletes can learn the proper technical progressions without having the pressure of performance-based results. We do allow athletes younger than 10 if they show they can handle the physical and mental stresses of the event and the club practice routines.

How Do I Practice With the Patriot Pole Vault Club

A free trial session is available to any athlete who wishes to try out our program. During this trial, for those under the age of 18, we request that a parent or guardian be present. After your trial session you can decide or not whether you want to continue practicing with us and we can discuss a payment plan. Check out our online calendar for available practice times and contact us via e-mail (polevault[at] or phone (617-302-PPVC) to set up a practice session. Please note that during the indoor season our space is limited and we have a set limit on the number of athletes that can attend each practice.

For insurance and liability purposes all athletes are required to have a USATF (USA Track and Field) membership prior to working out with the club. There are NO exceptions to this rule. USATF is the national governing body for track and field in the United States and the membership covers supplementary insurance for each athlete (USATF Insurance Information). USATF membership is also required to jump at most open meets during the winter & summer. We will need proof of your USATF membership before we can allow any athlete to participate. The are no exceptions to this rule. If you sign up for a USATF membership online just print out the receipt and bring it with you. If necessary you can sign up for USATF membership at one of our practices as long as Coach Doug has remembered to bring his iPad or laptop.

A year’s membership in the USATF costs $20 for those 18 and under and $30 for those 19 and up. It covers you until December 31st of the calendar year in which you sign up. The easiest way to sign up for USATF membership is online at the USATF website. As you register we ask that you list us as your “USATF-Registered Club”.

  • For athletes from Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont our club number is 0232 (full club number 02-0232)
  • For athletes from Connecticut our club number is 0392 (full club number 05-0392)
  • For athletes from Maine our club number is 0393 (full club number 01-0393)

We will need proof of your USATF membership before we can allow any athlete to participate. If you sign up for USATF membership online  just print out the receipt with your USATF number. If necessary you can sign up for USATF membership at practice as long as one of the coaches has remembered to bring their iPad or laptop.

In addition we ask that you download, print and fill out the 2015-16 registration & athlete information packet and bring it with you.

What is the cost?

Please note that it is the policy of the Patriot Pole Vault Club to allow ANYONE and EVERYONE to vault with us regardless of their ability to afford it. If you are experiencing financial difficulties and cannot afford the practice session fees please talk to us – we will work out a satisfactory solution to everyone’s benefit.

Our standard per practice fee is $25. There are several different seasonal practice packages available providing discounts for vaulters and their families. These can be found at “2015-16 Practice Costs & Packages”

Coaches, parents and other interested parties are invited and encouraged to attend and observe free of charge. They need not be members of the club or USATF.
Where Does the Money Go?

All collected monies go directly into sponsoring and putting on pole vault specific events, promoting the vault throughout New England, renting facilities, travel costs and buying and maintaining equipment for the club such as:

  • A landing system for use at our indoor practices and our special events (purchased in 2012 – $20,000)
  • Maintenance and upgrades on all of our mats at all of our facilities including new top pads ($1500 per set) and weather covers ($1500 per set)
  • An inventory of over 500 poles for club use and rental ($300 to $700 per pole, around $25000 per year)
  • A portable runway to be used at special events (purchased in 2014 – $4000)
  • Video equipment for instantaneous technical feedback and watching of instructional videos which includes digital video & still cameras, an iPad, a Tivo digital recording system, televisions, VCRs & DVD players
  • Tape, tips, bungee cords, pole racks, pole bags, training devices and various other pole vault related equipment
  • Operational costs including website, communications, sanctioning, certifications, insurance, publicity and printing

All of the Patriot Pole Vault Club coaches volunteer their time and have full time jobs in order to support their coaching habits.

What Else Do I Need to Bring?

You will need running shoes (spikes are optional and are okay to be used at any of our facilities although we do have to be very careful where we walk indoors…), workout clothes and a great “ready-to-learn” attitude. The club also requires that you bring a journal in order to write down information from your practice sessions such as drills done, poles & grips used, step marks and all other workout information.

For outdoor practices it is a good idea to bring sunscreen as well as plenty of fluids to drink and snacks to munch on as there aren’t any easily accessible water fountains or vending machines near the track. You may also bring a chair or umbrella if you like.
Do I Need to Bring My Own Poles?

If you have your own poles and would like to use them you are more than welcome to do so. The club does have an extensive collection of poles available for your use at each of our facilities. If you do choose to use our poles it is your responsibility to treat them appropriately and make sure that they are returned in the same condition in which they are borrowed. Any athlete that abuses our poles will no longer be allowed to use them.

Patriot Pole Vault Club Pole Inventory

What is the Practice Format?

All of our practice sessions are overseen by one or more of our qualified staff coaches.

Generally our outdoor practices are “open pit” where you may come anytime during the scheduled practice time and may stay for as long as you like.

Due to time and space constraints indoor practices are more structured. Athletes are required to show up and be ready at the start of practice but may leave whenever needed. Athletes will be required to do a mandatory warmup and sprint mechanics routine (approximately 15 minutes) before we will allow them to begin vaulting. At the end of practices athletes are required to perform any additional conditioning and a cool down.

The practice focus will vary depending on the needs and ability of the athlete as well as the time of year. With that in mind most of our vaulting is done on shorter poles, shorter grips and shorter runs to improve skill learning and increase the number of successful attempts per workout. Only after basic skills are learned through numerous repetitions do we progress to more advanced skills, longer runs, higher grips and stiffer poles.

Besides vaulting we offer several “off-the-runway” supplemental training options during practices that include sprint mechanics & speed development, approach run & plant drills, gymnastics, rings ropes & high bar work, core body workouts, flexibility circuits, general strength development and video analysis of elite athletes.

How Do I Communicate With the Club and How Does the Club Communicate With Me?

You can contact us in two ways. You may e-mail us at or you may call us at 617-302-PPVC and one of our coaches will get back to you as soon as possible to answer your questions. Please note that all coaches have full time jobs so e-mail is the best way to reach us during the day. After 3:00 calling is a much more viable option.

constcontOur main method of communication with you is via e-mail. We use Constant Contact to maintain our ever-growing mailing list and to facilitate sending out our announcements and newsletters. You can sign up for our mailing list on our website (

We maintain a calendar and schedule on our website that is updated daily and as changes occur. Important announcements such as practice delays or cancellations will be posted to our website, Facebook page & Twitter feed.

We highly encourage you to check your e-mail and our website on a regular basis for event announcements, club news and other pole vaulting related goodies.

Should I Commit Full Time To Vaulting? Should I Stop Doing Other Sports?

While we expect a commitment to practicing regularly in order to properly learn the event we do not demand that athletes commit to training only for the vault year round. We encourage all of our athletes to participate in other sports and activities. We don’t want to develop one-dimensional athletes – we want them to have a well-rounded resume of life experiences. In addition the last thing we want to do is have an athlete “burn out” from too much pole vaulting. We do implement mandatory periods away from vaulting for all of our athletes at several times during the year.