Hand held timing issues
04/04/2014 12:42:35 PM
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That young man is a great sprinter but not 10.1 - the state really needs to address the issues with hand held timing. I know there are costs involved with finding FAT meets but when athletes are running a second or more slower using FAT versus hand held it creates issues that need to be addressed. Especially since those HH times are being used for qualification and seeding purposes at regional meets.
That young man is a great sprinter but not 10.1 - the state really needs to address the issues with hand held timing. I know there are costs involved with finding FAT meets but when athletes are running a second or more slower using FAT versus hand held it creates issues that need to be addressed. Especially since those HH times are being used for qualification and seeding purposes at regional meets.
04/04/2014 1:00:04 PM
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@tonyjdai I agree with you, but this kid is a regional, state and national level sprinter. The time may be off some now, but I think he will be running in the state finals barring any injury. I wish we could all have FAT meets because I can't stand the pressure of being a timer at the small meets because of issues like this.
@tonyjdai I agree with you, but this kid is a regional, state and national level sprinter. The time may be off some now, but I think he will be running in the state finals barring any injury. I wish we could all have FAT meets because I can't stand the pressure of being a timer at the small meets because of issues like this.
04/04/2014 1:20:43 PM
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I have seen him run - he is supremely talented there is no doubt. Let's remove him from the conversation. Instead, let's move this discussion to the real issue and focus on ensuring the integrity of our sport. The time is overdue for North Carolina high schools to address this issue. This is the 21st century and the technology is widely available. The costs, I agree, are too high for schools to purchase the equipment but not too high to travel to meets in the area that have FAT. Maybe we could eliminate hand held times for qualification starting in 2016? That would give teams two years to search out meets nearby that have FAT and allow coaches to modify their meet schedules. Just food for thought.
I have seen him run - he is supremely talented there is no doubt. Let's remove him from the conversation. Instead, let's move this discussion to the real issue and focus on ensuring the integrity of our sport. The time is overdue for North Carolina high schools to address this issue. This is the 21st century and the technology is widely available. The costs, I agree, are too high for schools to purchase the equipment but not too high to travel to meets in the area that have FAT. Maybe we could eliminate hand held times for qualification starting in 2016? That would give teams two years to search out meets nearby that have FAT and allow coaches to modify their meet schedules. Just food for thought.
04/04/2014 1:46:34 PM
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@tonyjdai I was at the finish line that day. There was a tailwind. I actually timed the 2nd place guy who is on my team. I had him at 10.5. I consider my self as a good timer, but I think the times were a little fast. Converted that would be a 10.74. He has run 11.02 FAT in bad conditions so I believe he can go 10.8 on FAT on a day like that wednesday. There was a lot of separation between 1st and 2nd, So, 1st place really ran a hand time around 10.2 pushed by a tailwind. Converted that would be 10.44. He ran 10.6 FAT last year and has improved this year looking at his Indoor performance and Queen City relay performance. Many athletes ran hand time PRs that day. Another issue with hand times is the confusion with names and places. One athlete wins the race but has a slower time than 2nd place. Also, some athletes run, but get left off the results. No one is to blame, it's just human error. My idea is that each conference purchase an economy FAT system (See the thread on FAT comparisons). I like the idea of using only FAT for regional & state championship entry.
@tonyjdai
I was at the finish line that day. There was a tailwind. I actually timed the 2nd place guy who is on my team. I had him at 10.5. I consider my self as a good timer, but I think the times were a little fast. Converted that would be a 10.74. He has run 11.02 FAT in bad conditions so I believe he can go 10.8 on FAT on a day like that wednesday. There was a lot of separation between 1st and 2nd, So, 1st place really ran a hand time around 10.2 pushed by a tailwind. Converted that would be 10.44. He ran 10.6 FAT last year and has improved this year looking at his Indoor performance and Queen City relay performance. Many athletes ran hand time PRs that day.

Another issue with hand times is the confusion with names and places. One athlete wins the race but has a slower time than 2nd place. Also, some athletes run, but get left off the results. No one is to blame, it's just human error. My idea is that each conference purchase an economy FAT system (See the thread on FAT comparisons). I like the idea of using only FAT for regional & state championship entry.
04/04/2014 9:06:55 PM
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I ask this in no way trying to start a argument, but how many schools in your county/area/conference have FAT? I coach in WNC and there are 3. Not in the county or conference but in WNC. There are timing companies that travel to meets at Reynolds and WCU, but that is about it. I can also say with knowledge that I don't think that number is going to increase anytime soon. All that is to say that I don't see it be reasonable to say all times turned in have to on a FAT. A school even deeper into the mountains has even less access to a facility with FAT and they are already having to to travel 1-2 hours to get to any sort of meet. What this does mean to me is the folks that are chosen to be hand timers have to be on it and focused. I was at a meet earlier in the season where we had a 5 way tie for a place in the 100 bc of times spread across multiple heats. Sometimes the lower place timer had a faster time than the place in front of them. We did our job correctly in this situation (its in the rule books) but there were lots of confused kids. I even made an effort to have short conversation with three athletes who I'm sure were about to go back to their coach to complain. Nothing against them, they just didn't know the procedure. Again that comes back to us as coaches to teach and inform our athletes on the rules and regulations. To address the situation of hand times being used at Regionals or big meets, just like the issue of coaches fibbing on seed times, the competition will bear out who has earned their seeds. It has been said numerous times on here, we are the only sport that governs itself and we have a responsibility to do our job right. If you don't want the pressure of timing or know you can't stay focused to watch a finish, find another way to help at a meet. Not calling out, I just wanted to say what was on my mind. I hope it furthers the discussion.
I ask this in no way trying to start a argument, but how many schools in your county/area/conference have FAT? I coach in WNC and there are 3. Not in the county or conference but in WNC. There are timing companies that travel to meets at Reynolds and WCU, but that is about it. I can also say with knowledge that I don't think that number is going to increase anytime soon.

All that is to say that I don't see it be reasonable to say all times turned in have to on a FAT. A school even deeper into the mountains has even less access to a facility with FAT and they are already having to to travel 1-2 hours to get to any sort of meet.

What this does mean to me is the folks that are chosen to be hand timers have to be on it and focused. I was at a meet earlier in the season where we had a 5 way tie for a place in the 100 bc of times spread across multiple heats. Sometimes the lower place timer had a faster time than the place in front of them. We did our job correctly in this situation (its in the rule books) but there were lots of confused kids. I even made an effort to have short conversation with three athletes who I'm sure were about to go back to their coach to complain. Nothing against them, they just didn't know the procedure. Again that comes back to us as coaches to teach and inform our athletes on the rules and regulations.

To address the situation of hand times being used at Regionals or big meets, just like the issue of coaches fibbing on seed times, the competition will bear out who has earned their seeds. It has been said numerous times on here, we are the only sport that governs itself and we have a responsibility to do our job right. If you don't want the pressure of timing or know you can't stay focused to watch a finish, find another way to help at a meet. Not calling out, I just wanted to say what was on my mind. I hope it furthers the discussion.
04/06/2014 10:09:06 PM
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I disagree. Accu times shouldn't be the standard for regional qualifying. I see the problem that you are stating with hand times. However, not every school has the budget that your school has to be able to attend meets with a timing system. Money is a strong reason why many school don't compete during indoor season. Let's face it track isn't a money sport. It's not football or basketball or baseball. for 90% of the schools in NC track isn't going to replace the money that it uses, if it generates anything for the school. With that being said many of your poorer schools are going to be reluctant to invest in sending kids to meet where you have to pay when there are meets that are free. Ex. you have a kids who runs 10.3 hand times. Possibly a legit 10.6 accu. He attends a poor school who has 1 meet on the schedule with accu timing. He goes and have a bad day or he's hurt on the day of that meet or SATs are on that day... Why should this kids be penalized because he attends a school without the funds. A better solution in my opinion 1. 2 day state and regional meet (same money issue though), 2. Go back to the old format (slightly tweeked) of having semis and finals for the 200m down in regionals and states, or 3. In the current format of regionals and states (using the 200m) instead of having 1 heat stacked with the top 8 runners have the heat b4 with runners 5-8 and the final heat with runners 1-4. 1. 2 day meet will solve the timing issues bc everything is going to pan out in head-to-head matchups anyway. But you have the money issue with hotel cost 2. Will solve the timing issue just like in ex 1. But you have the fatigue factor. Semis and finals in one day is a lot of running. 3. This really wasn't thought out to begin with. Using the women's 200m as an example, you may have runner 1 running a 24.0 and runner 8 running a 24.4. In other words it can potentially be anybody's race. However, by putting the #7 running in lane 1 that person has barely any shot at getting top 4 in this race. By separating the heat by putting 1-4 in heat 3 and 5-8 in heat 2 and filling the other lane with 9-16 now all of the top 8 runners not only have a preferred lanes but they have a shot at actually winning the race against comparable comp in a race that is extremely tight. This will help with the hand timing issue bc if runner 6 has a faulty time they don't take a preferred lane away from anyone below them bc runners 1-8 all have preferred lanes.
I disagree. Accu times shouldn't be the standard for regional qualifying. I see the problem that you are stating with hand times. However, not every school has the budget that your school has to be able to attend meets with a timing system. Money is a strong reason why many school don't compete during indoor season. Let's face it track isn't a money sport. It's not football or basketball or baseball. for 90% of the schools in NC track isn't going to replace the money that it uses, if it generates anything for the school. With that being said many of your poorer schools are going to be reluctant to invest in sending kids to meet where you have to pay when there are meets that are free.

Ex. you have a kids who runs 10.3 hand times. Possibly a legit 10.6 accu. He attends a poor school who has 1 meet on the schedule with accu timing. He goes and have a bad day or he's hurt on the day of that meet or SATs are on that day... Why should this kids be penalized because he attends a school without the funds.

A better solution in my opinion 1. 2 day state and regional meet (same money issue though), 2. Go back to the old format (slightly tweeked) of having semis and finals for the 200m down in regionals and states, or 3. In the current format of regionals and states (using the 200m) instead of having 1 heat stacked with the top 8 runners have the heat b4 with runners 5-8 and the final heat with runners 1-4.

1. 2 day meet will solve the timing issues bc everything is going to pan out in head-to-head matchups anyway. But you have the money issue with hotel cost
2. Will solve the timing issue just like in ex 1. But you have the fatigue factor. Semis and finals in one day is a lot of running.
3. This really wasn't thought out to begin with. Using the women's 200m as an example, you may have runner 1 running a 24.0 and runner 8 running a 24.4. In other words it can potentially be anybody's race. However, by putting the #7 running in lane 1 that person has barely any shot at getting top 4 in this race. By separating the heat by putting 1-4 in heat 3 and 5-8 in heat 2 and filling the other lane with 9-16 now all of the top 8 runners not only have a preferred lanes but they have a shot at actually winning the race against comparable comp in a race that is extremely tight. This will help with the hand timing issue bc if runner 6 has a faulty time they don't take a preferred lane away from anyone below them bc runners 1-8 all have preferred lanes.
04/07/2014 7:43:54 AM
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Many coaches are saying the issue is money. I don't think the athletic departments for any schools are given them a ton if any money to attend meets with FAT or to purchase their own system. I would bet that those schools do a lot of fundraising, get donations, or have the athletes pay their own entry fee. So coaches, if there is a will there is a way. Hand timed meets need to be reduced to a minimum. Not saying its going to happen soon, but it needs to happen. What we need is more ideas to make it happen and not reasons why it can't happen.
Many coaches are saying the issue is money. I don't think the athletic departments for any schools are given them a ton if any money to attend meets with FAT or to purchase their own system. I would bet that those schools do a lot of fundraising, get donations, or have the athletes pay their own entry fee. So coaches, if there is a will there is a way. Hand timed meets need to be reduced to a minimum. Not saying its going to happen soon, but it needs to happen. What we need is more ideas to make it happen and not reasons why it can't happen.
04/08/2014 9:14:31 AM
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@TrackGoon I do not think splitting up the top eight runners is a good idea. The whole purpose of being in the faster section is to run against all of the fast runners. I have been involved in track for years as a runner and a coach and I have seen plenty people win or get a qualifying spot out of lane 1. The lane does not matter, that's all mental. If you are a great runner, you can run out of any lane. I personally don't think they should have gone to this new regional and state set up. I ran under the old schedule where there were prelims for all the sprint races. I just think the way to qualify to finals should always be the top eight times. Make the kids compete for the spot, that's what track is all about. I also agree that for the purpose of regional timing, we should use fat but although the hand timing is out of control, the best athletes will perform to get into regionals no matter whether its hand or fat timing. One suggestion could be to use the conference meet as a way to qualify for regionals that way we would eliminate this whole issue of hand timing.
@TrackGoon
I do not think splitting up the top eight runners is a good idea. The whole purpose of being in the faster section is to run against all of the fast runners. I have been involved in track for years as a runner and a coach and I have seen plenty people win or get a qualifying spot out of lane 1. The lane does not matter, that's all mental. If you are a great runner, you can run out of any lane. I personally don't think they should have gone to this new regional and state set up. I ran under the old schedule where there were prelims for all the sprint races. I just think the way to qualify to finals should always be the top eight times. Make the kids compete for the spot, that's what track is all about. I also agree that for the purpose of regional timing, we should use fat but although the hand timing is out of control, the best athletes will perform to get into regionals no matter whether its hand or fat timing. One suggestion could be to use the conference meet as a way to qualify for regionals that way we would eliminate this whole issue of hand timing.
04/10/2014 10:46:40 AM
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I also am against moving to FAT only timing. For distance runners in particular, even if things are off by half a second or so, you still have to be fast to get that close. In addition, with many invitational only allowing 2 or 3 athletes to compete, cases arise when an athlete may be fast enough to qualify for regionals in an event, but not be one of the top two on their team, or had to miss a Saturday meet due to the SAT or something else. With that said, even if a hand time is off, the worst consequence would be that they run at regionals and get last place.
I also am against moving to FAT only timing. For distance runners in particular, even if things are off by half a second or so, you still have to be fast to get that close. In addition, with many invitational only allowing 2 or 3 athletes to compete, cases arise when an athlete may be fast enough to qualify for regionals in an event, but not be one of the top two on their team, or had to miss a Saturday meet due to the SAT or something else. With that said, even if a hand time is off, the worst consequence would be that they run at regionals and get last place.
04/10/2014 11:32:48 AM
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@schne164 I think the conversation was based on the 400 meters and below. FAT doesn't significantly effect the distances events. As for the limitation on the number of athletes at invitationals, there are enough invitationals and meets with FAT in order for coaches to take different runners to different meets. You may only enter the 3 for regionals, so make sure your top 3 get into FAT meets. We have to stop all the excuses, in which some are legit, and move to solutions. I kid that would never qualify on FAT should never be allowed the privilege to run at the regional championship with a bogus hand time. Hand times are becoming a thing of the past. Even NCRunners doesn't include hand times for the sprints when they do the real rankings.
@schne164
I think the conversation was based on the 400 meters and below. FAT doesn't significantly effect the distances events. As for the limitation on the number of athletes at invitationals, there are enough invitationals and meets with FAT in order for coaches to take different runners to different meets. You may only enter the 3 for regionals, so make sure your top 3 get into FAT meets. We have to stop all the excuses, in which some are legit, and move to solutions. I kid that would never qualify on FAT should never be allowed the privilege to run at the regional championship with a bogus hand time. Hand times are becoming a thing of the past. Even NCRunners doesn't include hand times for the sprints when they do the real rankings.
04/10/2014 11:54:40 AM
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[quote=schne164]With that said, even if a hand time is off, the worst consequence would be that they run at regionals and get last place.[/quote] @schne164 That's NOT the only consequence. In many regionals, there aren't enough automatic qualifiers to fill out the events, and they take non-qualifiers to get to 12 athletes (on a 6-lane track) or 16 athletes (on an 8-lane track). So, if someone has a false hand time that is fast by even 0.1 second in the 100, they are bumping someone else down the list and potentially out of the meet. Then the athlete with a false hand time shows up and can't even run close to the regional standard in the actual race. Deserving athletes with honest coaches get left out of meets (or left out of the fastest heats) when other coaches falsify times, or time races poorly. That's why FAT needs to be the standard for getting into the regional. Inspector is right - if every conference gets FAT for their championship meet, and every team gathers together enough money to go to at least one invitational, then a lot of these situations can be avoided. As he said, you can only enter 3 kids into the regional, and those are the ones that would need FAT marks, so entry limits at invitationals shouldn't be an issue for a coach who plans ahead. There are more and more schools getting their own timing system, and more timing companies being formed, than ever before, which should bring prices down over the next few years. I think 2016 is a very good target.
schne164 wrote:
With that said, even if a hand time is off, the worst consequence would be that they run at regionals and get last place.


@schne164 That's NOT the only consequence. In many regionals, there aren't enough automatic qualifiers to fill out the events, and they take non-qualifiers to get to 12 athletes (on a 6-lane track) or 16 athletes (on an 8-lane track). So, if someone has a false hand time that is fast by even 0.1 second in the 100, they are bumping someone else down the list and potentially out of the meet. Then the athlete with a false hand time shows up and can't even run close to the regional standard in the actual race. Deserving athletes with honest coaches get left out of meets (or left out of the fastest heats) when other coaches falsify times, or time races poorly. That's why FAT needs to be the standard for getting into the regional.

Inspector is right - if every conference gets FAT for their championship meet, and every team gathers together enough money to go to at least one invitational, then a lot of these situations can be avoided. As he said, you can only enter 3 kids into the regional, and those are the ones that would need FAT marks, so entry limits at invitationals shouldn't be an issue for a coach who plans ahead. There are more and more schools getting their own timing system, and more timing companies being formed, than ever before, which should bring prices down over the next few years. I think 2016 is a very good target.
04/13/2014 8:56:47 PM
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I mentioned this last year, but there is currently an iPhone app that acts like a FAT system and if synced up with another iPhone that detects the starting gun, can provide fairly accurate times that are affordable. I have never used it (I'm not an apple person) but I feel like it has practical applications and is a solution for schools who cannot afford FAT systems or to go to meets with FAT and still want accurate times. http://www.appmaker.se/index.php?m=8&s=0
I mentioned this last year, but there is currently an iPhone app that acts like a FAT system and if synced up with another iPhone that detects the starting gun, can provide fairly accurate times that are affordable. I have never used it (I'm not an apple person) but I feel like it has practical applications and is a solution for schools who cannot afford FAT systems or to go to meets with FAT and still want accurate times.
http://www.appmaker.se/index.php?m=8&s=0
04/13/2014 11:48:17 PM
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@davidyang_95 When started on sound with a second phone, this would be better than hand-held timing, but with a frame rate of 60 fps it is not the same as FAT. You can only time to the hundredth of a second if you can record one hundred frames per second (and even mid-level FAT systems actually go to 1000 fps or beyond). If started by hand, it is no more accurate than hand timing, although it would record the correct order of finish, so that's a good thing. The same is true, by the way, for the old Eagle Eye Pyro Bright system, which uses a VCR (30 or 60 frames per second) to record the finish.
@davidyang_95 When started on sound with a second phone, this would be better than hand-held timing, but with a frame rate of 60 fps it is not the same as FAT. You can only time to the hundredth of a second if you can record one hundred frames per second (and even mid-level FAT systems actually go to 1000 fps or beyond). If started by hand, it is no more accurate than hand timing, although it would record the correct order of finish, so that's a good thing.

The same is true, by the way, for the old Eagle Eye Pyro Bright system, which uses a VCR (30 or 60 frames per second) to record the finish.
04/14/2014 8:03:08 AM
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This would be a nice app for my Note3 since it will record at 120 fps. I wonder how fast you can read results at the finish line.
This would be a nice app for my Note3 since it will record at 120 fps. I wonder how fast you can read results at the finish line.
04/14/2014 10:22:30 AM
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@CoachGeorgeRJR If the timers used a two phone system, with the gun starting the timer, would the results still have to be converted because it isn't and FAT standard timing system? Would results be reported to the tenth of a second or the closest hundredth of a second?
@CoachGeorgeRJR If the timers used a two phone system, with the gun starting the timer, would the results still have to be converted because it isn't and FAT standard timing system? Would results be reported to the tenth of a second or the closest hundredth of a second?
04/14/2014 1:41:36 PM
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@davidyang_95 Right now, we would accept them as FAT. However, I'm going to be making a push within MileSplit to classify certain timing systems as being hand-timing rather than FAT, for the frame-rate issue listed above.
@davidyang_95 Right now, we would accept them as FAT. However, I'm going to be making a push within MileSplit to classify certain timing systems as being hand-timing rather than FAT, for the frame-rate issue listed above.
04/14/2014 7:45:02 PM
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@CoachGeorgeRJR So let's just say I run a 49.6 (49.53 or something that rounds up) based on what the SprintTimer system tells me. Would that convert to a 49.84 or stay at 49.6 because while it is less accurate than FAT, it is still significantly more accurate than hand time, if used correctly.
@CoachGeorgeRJR So let's just say I run a 49.6 (49.53 or something that rounds up) based on what the SprintTimer system tells me. Would that convert to a 49.84 or stay at 49.6 because while it is less accurate than FAT, it is still significantly more accurate than hand time, if used correctly.
04/14/2014 7:48:14 PM
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@davidyang_95 As I said, we would accept the times as FAT.
@davidyang_95 As I said, we would accept the times as FAT.
04/14/2014 8:34:07 PM
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@CoachGeorgeRJR So it would be a viable option for coaches who want to have accurate results and not spend too much money on a complete FAT system. All it would take is for two parents or coaches with iPhones to get the app and learn the system and results would be more accurate state-wide. There would still be integrity issues but those are present in any system. I'd like to think the parents and coaches around the state have enough integrity to accurately report results, although some people do claim that I tend to have an optimistic view...
@CoachGeorgeRJR So it would be a viable option for coaches who want to have accurate results and not spend too much money on a complete FAT system. All it would take is for two parents or coaches with iPhones to get the app and learn the system and results would be more accurate state-wide. There would still be integrity issues but those are present in any system. I'd like to think the parents and coaches around the state have enough integrity to accurately report results, although some people do claim that I tend to have an optimistic view...
04/14/2014 9:05:56 PM
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Well someone tell me what's going on at Richmond Senior, are those wind aided times? Last season they had the same thing going on, came into the regional and didn't perform. Q Cunningham is real deal, but not 10.1 hand time. I will not even report hand times, our meets are being ran at very low standards, and poor quality, from timing, to picking, to where their being ran at. I suggest that yes qualifying standards should be ran at FAT meets and there are enough in both parts of the state for us all to participate. Or we need to go way back to sectionals, 1970's and 80's
Well someone tell me what's going on at Richmond Senior, are those wind aided times? Last season they had the same thing going on, came into the regional and didn't perform. Q Cunningham is real deal, but not 10.1 hand time. I will not even report hand times, our meets are being ran at very low standards, and poor quality, from timing, to picking, to where their being ran at. I suggest that yes qualifying standards should be ran at FAT meets and there are enough in both parts of the state for us all to participate. Or we need to go way back to sectionals, 1970's and 80's

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