A sub-committee consisting of Sue Gardener, Graham Coleman, Pete Harding, Alex Bangert and Malcolm Hagan was set up at the start of 2005 to look at the current club standards and consider improvements to them for 2006 and beyond.
Club standards were published annually in the Club Handbook up to 2006, along with lists of people who obtain them.
Other than that, not a lot is said about them.
They provide a means of measuring a member's performance over prescribed distances relative to age category.
So in 2005 for example, in a 10K, if you are male and aged between 40-44, then you have to run 38:15 or better for a grade 1, 40:15 for a grade 2, 42:30 for a grade 3 and 45:30 for a grade 4.
You need to obtain standards at four different distances to qualify.
These club standards are specific to this club and remained relatively unchanged for many years.
The sub-committee had a number of goals.
We wanted to make them more accessible to a larger percentage of the club.
The standards of some distances were harder to achieve than others e.g. the long handicap standards have long been considered relatively easy to obtain.
We wanted to try and make the standards more consistent for all distances.
We didn't want to undermine the achievements of athletes in the past by making the new standards artificially easy.
We also wanted to consider adding standards for 5K and for age groups for the over 70s.
There are '00000s of different formulas and methods we could have used to do this.
We looked at what others had done on the subject.
Many clubs have standards published on their websites.
What seems to becoming increasingly popular is to base standards on the WMA tables (World Masters Association), formally WAVA tables (World Association of Veteran Athletes).
In a nutshell, for every age, there is a best time, so you can compare your time for your age with the best.
To create club standards, you take the best and uplift by a percentage.
What we finally came up with is to create 5 standards and uplift the WMA tables best by 30%, 40%, 55%, 70% and 85%.
We are still keeping our 5 year bands, as our current software can't cope with going to annual bands.
(However, if anyone wants a large programming job, then please let us know, as we believe this will be the future).
The table contain the standards for each distance.
The printout only shows standards up the over 70 category for space reasons, but we can produce standards in five year bands well beyond this using the same formula as members reach these ages.
We also added a 5K standard.
It will continue to be the best four standards at different distances.
We compared the current standards with these new standards to see how many people fell within which grades.
After about 9 months of 2005, we had 7 grade 1s, 5 grade 2s, 5 grade 3s and 6 grade 4s using the current standards.
With the proposed new standards, there would have been 5 grade 1s, 8 grade 2s, 15 grade 3s, 7 grade 4s and 3 grade 5s.
Many other members have standards at 2 or 3 different events and there are a number of events to come where good performances are possible e.g. Hayling 10 and Victory 5.
So the numbers in each category could increase by year end and some members may climb into a higher category.
To date, 49 members had a standards in at least one distance using the current standards; 68 would have a standard under the new standards.
We believe that this makes them more inclusive and most members could achieve them with suitable effort.
The Club Statistician will include any event that he is advised of.
Popular local events will be included, but he will need to be advised of any other event you wish to include e.g. Lands End Half Marathon.
It is the members responsibility to send the results to the Club Statistician.
These days a simple email with a link to the results will suffice; I doubt many races still rely on hardcopy.
The race results must show your name, time and the club you were running for must be Victory Athletic Club.
Performances running for other clubs do not count.