Timing, Photo Finish and False Start Monitoring (Closed for comments)

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This discussion is about ways to make Track racing results more reliable. The following is an edited (by me) quote from the World Record Committee discussions, originally authored by Jan Vocke.

"I think the last UNICON has shown which problems can occur with the timing of the track races if the used timing system is not a fully automatic system. The fact that the achieved performances at the UNICON were not recognized as World Records has been the consequence.

"In order to avoid something like this in the future, I think we should specify which requirements a timing system must fulfil so that the results can be recognised as World Records.

"In my opinion, there are two essential requirements for the timing system that the system must be tested for and for which the system must have a certificate of accuracy:
1. The System must record the finish through a camera positioned in the extension of the finish line, producing a composite photo finish image of at least 1000 images per second.
2. The System shall be started automatically by the Starter’s signal, so that the overall delay between the start signal and the start of the timing system is constant and equal to or less than 0.001 second.

"In addition to fully automatic timing systems, I consider electronic false start monitoring to be an important contribution to reliable and verifiable world records in track racing. A false start monitoring system must be able to reliably detect a crossing of the start line before the start signal. From my own experience I would say that with a false start monitoring without technical equipment, false starts from about 250 ms before the start signal are only recognizable for experienced judges and with concentration on a single rider, from about 100ms they are practically no longer recognizable. But especially with the short distances these times can be decisive.

"Maybe further rules are necessary, e.g. how to align such a photo-finish camera and a false start monitoring system and how to determine times from the photo finish image." (end of quote, remainder of text by me)

A related question is: whom do you assign a false start to, in case a false start has appeared? Swiss Timing assign a false start only to the earliest (and too early) starter. I don't know if this is a technical limitation, or done on purpose. If A start 400 ms too early, and B starts 200 ms too early, is B to blame? I doubt it. Riders are tense during the start, and it is difficult not to respond to someone who starts riding. I would propose that in general, only the earliest false starter per start is 'punished'.


Klaas, I think we already have a disscussion for this topic: #114 "Timing, Photo Finish and False Start Monitoring for Track Races" ;)


Sorry, an oversight on my part.

I added a "related question", which I see you have addressed in the other discusssion (which is #114). If this needs to be further discussed, it can be done there.

I will close this discussion now.

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