The pole vaulter sprints down a runway and plants his pole in the takeoff box. The vaulter then rides the pole over the crossbar and into the landing area, without knocking the crossbar off the uprights. Once the vaulter is airborne, the vaulter’s hands may not move along the pole until he or she releases the pole in order to clear the crossbar.
Competitors use their own poles, which may be made from any material or combination or materials, although the pole’s basic surface must be smooth. There are no restrictions regarding the pole’s length, diameter or weight.
As in the high jump, the competition generally begins at a relatively low height. Competitors have three opportunities to clear each height and have the option to pass at any given height. The vaulter who clears the greatest height is the winner.