Timing chips at NCAA XC


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Timing chips at NCAA XC

Postby BillVol » Mon Feb 04, 2013 6:04 pm

I did a search to see if this had been discussed before. It was, but the thread I found didn't say exactly what the purpose of the chips is.

Do the chips register the official time? Or is it for fan convenience (being able to see scoring as it happens)?
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Re: Timing chips at NCAA XC

Postby 26mi235 » Mon Feb 04, 2013 7:28 pm

The official placings are based on the dual cameras placed at the finish at some height (8-10 feet??) pointed down at an angle. The check all cases where the chip times are within 0.10 of another runner, and all cases that might need clarity (I suppose that a coach could question a placement.
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Re: Timing chips at NCAA XC

Postby BillVol » Mon Feb 04, 2013 7:58 pm

26mi235 wrote:The official placings are based on the dual cameras placed at the finish at some height (8-10 feet??) pointed down at an angle. The check all cases where the chip times are within 0.10 of another runner, and all cases that might need clarity (I suppose that a coach could question a placement.


Thanks. I figured it was a back-up in case things got hairy at the finish. Doesn't hurt.

I guess there are not photo finishes in XC? Chest crossing finish does not apply in XC?

All of this may be one reason why XC is not an Olympic event anymore.
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Re: Timing chips at NCAA XC

Postby lonewolf » Mon Feb 04, 2013 9:08 pm

Not so long ago, before the advent of finish line cameras and chips, it was all visual placement by a finish line judge, calling colors as handlers funneled runners into chutes in (hopefully ) order of finish, as a timer rapidly punched in finish times.. presumably one punch for each finisher, which were matched to finishing order at end of chute...and, before that, simply calling out times as a clerk attempted to write down times for each place..

Also, before radios, cell phones and ATVs, split callers would position themselve within eye/ear shot of the start line, start their clock and race the runners to the split stations, then run back into position for the next race. In a multi-race event, split callers got a pretty good workout.

But, I guess most of you knew all that.
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Re: Timing chips at NCAA XC

Postby Daisy » Mon Feb 04, 2013 9:31 pm

lonewolf wrote:Not so long ago, before the advent of finish line cameras and chips, it was all visual placement by a finish line judge

It's a good thing that they never did this for the sprints. It would have been a disaster, lawsuits left right and center. :wink:
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Re: Timing chips at NCAA XC

Postby 26mi235 » Tue Feb 05, 2013 6:34 am

BillVol wrote:
26mi235 wrote:The official placings are based on the dual cameras placed at the finish at some height (8-10 feet??) pointed down at an angle. The check all cases where the chip times are within 0.10 of another runner, and all cases that might need clarity (I suppose that a coach could question a placement.


Thanks. I figured it was a back-up in case things got hairy at the finish. Doesn't hurt.

I guess there are not photo finishes in XC? Chest crossing finish does not apply in XC?

All of this may be one reason why XC is not an Olympic event anymore.


I am not sure that you understood my reply. The official placings are based on the photo finish results, the RFID tags are only for preliminary scoring (i.e., quick results, or in the case of the Louisville course quick wrong results, then non-quick results). Here is the section on the manual:

http://grfx.cstv.com/photos/schools/wis/sports/m-xc/auto_pdf/2012-13/misc_event/NCAA_Regional_Manual_121010.pdf

FINISH LINE PROCEDURES
ChronoTrack B‐tags will be the RFID based (chip) timing system. The finish line will have two independent ChronoTrack systems. The ChronoTrack system closest to the finish line will be the primary RFID system. A secondary system will be approximately 12 feet behind the primary system.
There will be two high resolution FinishLynx photo finish cameras mounted directly on the finish line. One camera on either side of the finish line. There will be two IdentiLynx full frame cameras mounted beyond the finish line. One on either side of the finish line. This will provide full coverage of the entire finish line.
Preliminary times and order of finish will be based on the RFID (chip) system. Official times and order of finish will be FAT times from the FinishLynx cameras. RFID timing data in addition to hip numbers will be used for athlete identification.
Runners should continue racing past both sets of mats at the finish line. Once they have crossed the mats, runners should continue to move through the finish chute as quickly as possible. Runners need not maintain their order of finish in the chute. Water and trainers will be available at the end of the finish area. Fans can wait for runners outside of the finish or team tent areas.
In addition to the finish line, four check points on the men's course and two check points on the women's course will also be available. Check points on the course will be single systems.
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Re: Timing chips at NCAA XC

Postby Conor Dary » Tue Feb 05, 2013 9:09 am

This makes me weepy for my old race organizing days. Collecting the finish tags and putting them on coat hangers, and making sure they are in the right order...then pairing with the hand timing. As for picking out the finishers by eye. That wasn't much of a problem, even in close finishes. You just made a decision. The occasional missed runner, however, was a constant worry....

The other problem was race volunteers directing the runners the wrong way....not good.
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Re: Timing chips at NCAA XC

Postby 26mi235 » Tue Feb 05, 2013 12:34 pm

At NCAA the stakes are very high, the athletes relatively homogeneous by ability for the middle 200 and thus you gets rates of five per second into the finish at once. No way someone at the line is going to get them right with much reliability.
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Re: Timing chips at NCAA XC

Postby Conor Dary » Tue Feb 05, 2013 2:02 pm

26mi235 wrote:At NCAA the stakes are very high, the athletes relatively homogeneous by ability for the middle 200 and thus you gets rates of five per second into the finish at once. No way someone at the line is going to get them right with much reliability.


Tell me about it! :lol:
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Re: Timing chips at NCAA XC

Postby lonewolf » Tue Feb 05, 2013 2:08 pm

Conor Dary wrote:As for picking out the finishers by eye. That wasn't much of a problem, even in close finishes. You just made a decision.


Yeah, call em like you see em.. Of course, the instant decision gets a little hairier and harder to convey to the chute wranglers when five come across abreast, all wearing some combination of the same colors. :)
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Re: Timing chips at NCAA XC

Postby lonewolf » Tue Feb 05, 2013 2:10 pm

26mi235 wrote:At NCAA the stakes are very high, the athletes relatively homogeneous by ability for the middle 200 and thus you gets rates of five per second into the finish at once. No way someone at the line is going to get them right with much reliability.

Ain't it the truth? :)
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Re: Timing chips at NCAA XC

Postby dukehjsteve » Tue Feb 05, 2013 2:17 pm

It's my understanding ( someone correct me if I am wrong) that here in Indiana, and probably in some other states as well, in the High School State Meet , the chip is the decider, nothing else. And to avoid a missed runner due to a chip malfunction, each runner wears a chip on each foot.
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Re: Timing chips at NCAA XC

Postby Conor Dary » Tue Feb 05, 2013 3:48 pm

dukehjsteve wrote:It's my understanding ( someone correct me if I am wrong) that here in Indiana, and probably in some other states as well, in the High School State Meet , the chip is the decider, nothing else. And to avoid a missed runner due to a chip malfunction, each runner wears a chip on each foot.


That seems fast to post results, but potential for trouble seems.....
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Re: Timing chips at NCAA XC

Postby mcgato » Tue Feb 05, 2013 5:35 pm

dukehjsteve wrote:It's my understanding ( someone correct me if I am wrong) that here in Indiana, and probably in some other states as well, in the High School State Meet , the chip is the decider, nothing else. And to avoid a missed runner due to a chip malfunction, each runner wears a chip on each foot.
I'm pretty sure that a bunch of state high school XC meets have made the chip the primary timing device. It is probably just costs, as they probably can't afford a couple of FinishLynx cameras on the finish line and other cameras in the finish area to figure out who finished where.

I'm sure that I'm not alone in feeling that if the state can't make sure that the chips are giving the places correctly, they shouldn't be relying on them as the sole determiner of places. I'd be curious of the cost differential of using chips versus what used to be used.
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Re: Timing chips at NCAA XC

Postby measurer » Wed Feb 06, 2013 5:44 pm

I know a little about this stuff and any group that says that the tranponder is the deciding device for XC races should be skinned alive.
You can get by for road races (double checking for the top finishers) but not for XC.
Only the active bib transponders can give a CONSISTENT accuracy of less then .05 seconds just off the primary antenna line which would allow the proper separation of the majority of the finishers.
For the passive transponders, the accuracy increase with a transponder on each shoe, or better yet - a bib transponder.
Those XC race that use just one shoe transponder shouldn't be skinned alive - they should be shot first, then skinned!
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Re: Timing chips at NCAA XC

Postby Conor Dary » Wed Feb 06, 2013 7:10 pm

measurer wrote:I know a little about this stuff and any group that says that the tranponder is the deciding device for XC races should be skinned alive.
You can get by for road races (double checking for the top finishers) but not for XC.
Only the active bib transponders can give a CONSISTENT accuracy of less then .05 seconds just off the primary antenna line which would allow the proper separation of the majority of the finishers.
For the passive transponders, the accuracy increase with a transponder on each shoe, or better yet - a bib transponder.
Those XC race that use just one shoe transponder shouldn't be skinned alive - they should be shot first, then skinned!


I had the same thoughts myself. But I could not have put it so well....
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