Polar Bear Fast
02/03/2019 11:20:13 PM
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Here we go again with the “all of a sudden” fast times from polar bear meets, just to get kids into States. What can be done about this? It’s unfair on so many levels! I know there are some nice kids out there with great work ethics, potential, and are coachable, but if they aren’t fast enough to make the standard - OH WELL! Don’t lie for them. This feeds the “entitled” behavior we all know of from so many millennials. How do we get integrity into our sport? This will only get worse. Nothing against the kids, but it’s the adults this time. We have to police our own sport unfortunately and part of that is entering REALISTIC times. Maybe in the future, hand held times from short sprints will not be acceptable. Hmmmmm?
Here we go again with the "all of a sudden" fast times from polar bear meets, just to get kids into States. What can be done about this? It's unfair on so many levels! I know there are some nice kids out there with great work ethics, potential, and are coachable, but if they aren't fast enough to make the standard - OH WELL! Don't lie for them. This feeds the "entitled" behavior we all know of from so many millennials. How do we get integrity into our sport? This will only get worse. Nothing against the kids, but it's the adults this time. We have to police our own sport unfortunately and part of that is entering REALISTIC times. Maybe in the future, hand held times from short sprints will not be acceptable. Hmmmmm?
02/05/2019 11:21:06 AM
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@coachswill Agreed! Some athletes here with legit FAT times 1 hundredth off don't get to compete but someone who dropped 7 tenths in one week hand timed polar bear will.
@coachswill Agreed! Some athletes here with legit FAT times 1 hundredth off don't get to compete but someone who dropped 7 tenths in one week hand timed polar bear will.
02/08/2019 7:36:41 AM
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@ninjazx6r1 SHAMEFUL right? What,if any, can be done to stop this madness?
@ninjazx6r1 SHAMEFUL right? What,if any, can be done to stop this madness?
02/08/2019 8:19:30 AM
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With all due respect, I’m not sure I quite understand the outrage. Overly fast hand times did not bounce anyone from qualifying for the State meet. If an athlete shows as having run the qualifying time, then he/she is in. If we are discussing the ethics of coaches who knowingly submit unreasonably fast times, then that is another matter. Interestingly enough, a couple of years ago, I did a quick analysis of who made the 55 finals from those entered for State. Six of the eight male finalists in 4A had qualified on handheld times, not FAT. Three of the four podium spots had been hand timed qualifiers, including first and second. I’ll play with that again this year after all three meets and then we can have some hard data to continue a discussion.
With all due respect, I'm not sure I quite understand the outrage. Overly fast hand times did not bounce anyone from qualifying for the State meet. If an athlete shows as having run the qualifying time, then he/she is in. If we are discussing the ethics of coaches who knowingly submit unreasonably fast times, then that is another matter.

Interestingly enough, a couple of years ago, I did a quick analysis of who made the 55 finals from those entered for State. Six of the eight male finalists in 4A had qualified on handheld times, not FAT. Three of the four podium spots had been hand timed qualifiers, including first and second.

I'll play with that again this year after all three meets and then we can have some hard data to continue a discussion.
02/09/2019 3:23:22 PM
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[quote=PBolton] Interestingly enough, a couple of years ago, I did a quick analysis of who made the 55 finals from those entered for State. Six of the eight male finalists in 4A had qualified on handheld times, not FAT. Three of the four podium spots had been hand timed qualifiers, including first and second. I’ll play with that again this year after all three meets and then we can have some hard data to continue a discussion. [/quote] This is a great thing to revisit every year, but the relevant data to look at is comparing seed time to preliminary result (because everyone runs a prelim) for hand-timed vs. FAT athletes. It's possible for it to be true that both a lot of the finalists qualified with hand-times, and also that hand-times are less indicative of what athletes will do at the state meet. (If, for example, many of the fastest people qualified with hand-timed marks.) I looked at this while the meet was going on last year in the 3A meet, when there were a huge number of sprint/hurdle qualifiers because the qualifying marks had not been adjusted after realignment. On average, marks were slower than the qualifying marks (i.e., most people did not get a season-best in the prelim of the state meet.) But, going off memory here, the average gap between seed time and prelim result was something like two-tenths bigger for athletes whose seed time ended with ".x4" (almost all hand times) and those with any other last digit (100% FAT marks). Two-tenths of a second is a MASSIVE difference in races this short. I don't think people are cheating (mostly - I do think there is a tendency in last-chance meets to see what you want to see on the watch if it is close.) But hand-timing in general is bad and the errors are biased towards being too fast, plus athletes only need one outlier out of 6-8 races in a season to get them into the state meet. I was not at all surprised to see hand-timed sprint qualifiers underperform at state. I'd suggest we change the sprint qualifying mark so that the hundredth digit ends is a 3 instead of a 4. Keep the standard 0.24 adjustment for hand-times, but then after whatever the slowest qualifying hand-time mark is, there are another 0.09 seconds worth of FAT marks that get in. This would not do anything to hurt the best sprinters, and not change the relative seeds between FAT and hand-timing.
PBolton wrote:

Interestingly enough, a couple of years ago, I did a quick analysis of who made the 55 finals from those entered for State. Six of the eight male finalists in 4A had qualified on handheld times, not FAT. Three of the four podium spots had been hand timed qualifiers, including first and second.

I'll play with that again this year after all three meets and then we can have some hard data to continue a discussion.

This is a great thing to revisit every year, but the relevant data to look at is comparing seed time to preliminary result (because everyone runs a prelim) for hand-timed vs. FAT athletes. It's possible for it to be true that both a lot of the finalists qualified with hand-times, and also that hand-times are less indicative of what athletes will do at the state meet. (If, for example, many of the fastest people qualified with hand-timed marks.)
I looked at this while the meet was going on last year in the 3A meet, when there were a huge number of sprint/hurdle qualifiers because the qualifying marks had not been adjusted after realignment. On average, marks were slower than the qualifying marks (i.e., most people did not get a season-best in the prelim of the state meet.) But, going off memory here, the average gap between seed time and prelim result was something like two-tenths bigger for athletes whose seed time ended with ".x4" (almost all hand times) and those with any other last digit (100% FAT marks). Two-tenths of a second is a MASSIVE difference in races this short.
I don't think people are cheating (mostly - I do think there is a tendency in last-chance meets to see what you want to see on the watch if it is close.) But hand-timing in general is bad and the errors are biased towards being too fast, plus athletes only need one outlier out of 6-8 races in a season to get them into the state meet. I was not at all surprised to see hand-timed sprint qualifiers underperform at state.
I'd suggest we change the sprint qualifying mark so that the hundredth digit ends is a 3 instead of a 4. Keep the standard 0.24 adjustment for hand-times, but then after whatever the slowest qualifying hand-time mark is, there are another 0.09 seconds worth of FAT marks that get in. This would not do anything to hurt the best sprinters, and not change the relative seeds between FAT and hand-timing.
02/10/2019 9:12:13 AM
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@PBolton. Personally speaking, my outrage comes from the erroneous hand-times times that coaches submit close to the deadline. No, they aren't bouncing anyone else from the meet, that's not the issue. It's just so obvious from looking at their profiles from previous races, that he/she didn't run the time reported by the coach or meet director at the said polar bear meet. Of course it all comes out in the wash once they get to the State meet, but why do we have to go through this in the first place?
@PBolton. Personally speaking, my outrage comes from the erroneous hand-times times that coaches submit close to the deadline. No, they aren't bouncing anyone else from the meet, that's not the issue. It's just so obvious from looking at their profiles from previous races, that he/she didn't run the time reported by the coach or meet director at the said polar bear meet. Of course it all comes out in the wash once they get to the State meet, but why do we have to go through this in the first place?
02/10/2019 10:55:47 AM
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@coachswill Did you notice that only 1 of the 1A-2A hand times entered actually ran better than 6.64. It is on the ethics of those clocking these times.
@coachswill Did you notice that only 1 of the 1A-2A hand times entered actually ran better than 6.64. It is on the ethics of those clocking these times.
02/10/2019 11:20:39 PM
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@ninjazx6r1 No I didn't but that further proves the point. Not surprised at all. It's a trend now. If you want to get an athlete into the State meet, it's simple.....just agree to be a timer at a polar bear meet and....well, you know.
@ninjazx6r1 No I didn't but that further proves the point. Not surprised at all. It's a trend now. If you want to get an athlete into the State meet, it's simple.....just agree to be a timer at a polar bear meet and....well, you know.

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