Sunday, March 23, 2014

What if They had a Meet and....Update: Results posted

The technology for timing and scoring meets has advanced light years in the digital age, but it often seems that the groups that put on meets don't get it.  One rather egregious example is yesterday's meet in California where Hamline, Augsburg, and MSU: Moorhead are listed as teams entered.  Then there is this item on their meet information page for the teams: "RUNNING/TIMING & FIELD RESULTS: All running events will be handled professionally by Finished Results. This will include a LED scoreboard display showing results as quickly as possible following each event. The timing area is located on the outside of the track (THIS AREA WILL BE OFF LIMITS TO ALL ATHLETES AND COACHES)! All requests should come through me and I will deal with the timing officials for you. We will also have the South side of the infield of the track flagged off to keep athletes, spectators and coaches away from the finish line and the track. All measurements will be done in the metric system as per NCAA rules."

To top it off the "professional" timing company listed as the provider of results has a list of eight meets they were performing this service for, seven of them have results posted, but the Pt. Loma Nazarene--Ross and Sharon Irwin Invitational doesn't.  The site is HERE. People in the sport often complain about the lack of publicity the sport receives.  It's kind of hard to get publicity when you don't publish the results in a timely manner. It's now 1 p.m. CST, still no results.  Hopefully they'll get them up soon...

Editor's Note: Results are now up and you can find them HERE.  Top finishers were Hamline's Jessica Putland, first in the shot with a toss of 13.40m; Makayla Hubbard of Augsburg, second in the shot at 13.44m; and Hamline's Mark Volker, who tied for first in the pole vault clearing 4.50m.


Unknown said...

Also, as a HS coach/track fan who likes to follow alumni athletes and other familiar post HS athletes in college, to include English measurements with the metric measurements in the field event results is appreciated. For the common spectator the metric # doesn't mean anything or allow us to compare to measurements we are familiar with and we want to encourage more people to follow our sport. This makes it tough.

jdf said...

Yes, I understand. It's easy to compare times and be reasonably sure that you're not comaring "apples and oranges." It's easy to get a conversion by Googling conversion tools, but I've found that you often get a different result depending on what tool you use. For example, 13.40m=43'11.56" or 43.96325'or 43' 11.559" And this same distance in meters will often be listed at 43'11.??" Where the difference could be only .01 between two athletes. The question then becomes was units were being used by the measuring device. Does it measure in meters with a conversion to feet and inches?
One would hope there is one uniform system used to make these measurements because, otherwise, the outcome between two athletes in an event could be determined by how it was measured. Most results do list both meters and feet and inches, so you get both those values, but as I was attempting to convert meters to feet and inches, I noticed the varying results you can get depending on the tools you use. So, instead of giving a potentially inaccurage conversion, I've just been listing what is on the official results. Sometimes that is only meters or only feet and inches. Anyway, since you've asked I'm going to ask the people who make the rules for this sort of thing, how these measurements and conversions are handled. I'll let you know what I find out.

Unknown said...

Thanks. Not to be lazy, I don't see many people, including myself, doing the conversions when casually looking at results. I've just noticed that some college meets list both within the official results. I use Hytek with my meets and I'm not sure if there is a setting that does this automatically?? Probably more of a plea to meet hosts, especially MN colleges to do this if possible more often. It's pretty hit and miss.

jdf said...

Yes, there doesn't appear to be an "industry standard" for meet results. And the issue isn't only with the field events. In road racing times are "rounded up" even if you're only .1 over on the seconds. So, somebody could run a 5K in 15:00.1 and be credited with 15:01. At a tight finish were a number of runners come in at, say, 15:00.1, 15:00.2, 15:00.3, they all get the same time 15:01.

In high school I broke the city record for the two-mile by .1. The guy whose record I broke and I used to joke all the time about that, as neither of us was that hung up on records, but if we had been road racers, we would have shared the record. So decisions made in rules committees as to how to determine these measurements of performance do matter, just a question of where you draw the line and/or what tools you use to determine where that line is.

Unknown said...

Are you really complaining that results from an insignificant early season meet weren't posted online immediately? I'd probably understand some groaning if this was conference or nationals, but I don't think not seeing results from the Point Loma Invite until Sunday afternoon really bothered anybody.

jdf said...

While we could have another discussion regarding the characterization of the importance of "an insignificant early season meet," which might be relevant in that a number of high school coaches believed that last year's inclement weather that took out not only early season meets, but most of the meets. This may have contributed to better performances at the State Meet some have said.

But to answer your question, the "complaint" or observation is that, despite the fact that the technology is there for almost instant results, many meets, not just this one, but National Championships as well, do not get their results posted within a reasonable period of time. While results are often printed out and displayed at meet venues, those same results take hours, in some cases days, to be posted online.

While it is certainly a valid observation that because many of the events are covered on TV, streaming video, and such that those who want immediate results will watch those outlets. Others will get "breaking news" on Twitter or other social media. So it is good to get your feedback that how soon the results are reported aren't an issue for you. If your represents the majority of readers of DtB than I'll have to adjust my belief that results processing should be done in a timely manner or at least alter my definition of timely.

Thanks for the input.