Region 4D Controversy
11/03/2017 5:27:22 PM
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By the rules the VHSL's not going to change anything, the rule book is fairly clear on this unfortunate as it is. I think the only thing that could really be done and really should be done is to ensure that all future VHSL meets stipulate the use of a camera system as a backup to ensure that all the athletes are ordered properly by the rules (see Art 3a and 3b, off memory). Avoids this whole issue.
By the rules the VHSL's not going to change anything, the rule book is fairly clear on this unfortunate as it is. I think the only thing that could really be done and really should be done is to ensure that all future VHSL meets stipulate the use of a camera system as a backup to ensure that all the athletes are ordered properly by the rules (see Art 3a and 3b, off memory). Avoids this whole issue.
11/03/2017 10:20:03 PM
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@BBruns4ever Based on what has been posted in response to this article on milestat's twitter feed, I will disagree with you. It appears that corral paperwork is allowed to override the chip time and that paperwork showed the Salem runner as finishing before the Pulaski runner, however the timing company chose to use the chip timing rather than the corral paperwork. Therefore, assuming the information posted on the twitter feed is correct, VHSL should overturn the timing company's decision.
@BBruns4ever
Based on what has been posted in response to this article on milestat's twitter feed, I will disagree with you. It appears that corral paperwork is allowed to override the chip time and that paperwork showed the Salem runner as finishing before the Pulaski runner, however the timing company chose to use the chip timing rather than the corral paperwork. Therefore, assuming the information posted on the twitter feed is correct, VHSL should overturn the timing company's decision.
11/04/2017 3:48:51 PM
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@Runnerhheaj Here's the full set of potentially relevant rules in the NFHS Cross Country Rule Book regarding the conclusion of a race: Art. 2 - A competitor finishes a cross country race when the torso of the runner breaks the plane of the finish line when using hand- or picture-based timing systems [Doesn't apply here, those systems weren't used, and this just tells us what constitutes "finishing" without specifying anything about "order of finish".] Art. 3 - Computerized transponders/chips may be used to record the finish of a runner in cross country. A bib transponder or two transponders/chips per runner, one attached to each shoe, must be used. When transponders/chips are used, the official order of finish for the runners is that recorded by the transponder/chips. (a) It is recommended a video or photograph, officially designated by the meet director, be used to verify the order of finish in all cases in which the timing system indicates a one-tenth second or less differential. (b) If the finish order determined by the transponder/chip is reversed through the use of a video system, the times shall also change. [This is the rule in question. No officially designated video or photographs were used at this meet to my knowledge, having been there, so everything is reliant upon the reading of the bib transponder.] Art. 4 - The use of a chute is recommended at all cross country meets that do not use a transponder/chip system to aid in meet administration and to provide accuracy and fairness to the competitors. [Since a transponder was used, my interpretation of this rule is that it's not relevant. Argument could be made that the order declared in the chute by a Finish Judge would trump a transponder (Art. 8), but I'm not aware of a Finish Judge calling the order of finish.] Art. 5 - The use of a finish corral is recommended at all cross country meets in which the transponder system is used for the order of finish to aid in meet administration. [Meaning it's good to have an area to retrieve chips before athletes disappear and keep spectators/coaches away from the finish and timing areas...so, not relevant.] When it comes down to it, the best way to minimize errors in my opinion is to enforce the implementation of the following: (a) Backup video system for close calls (Art 3a) (b) A specifically designated Finish Judge (Art 8) with Checkers (Art 11) keeping a record as announced by the Judge, at a minimum. Even with these contingencies in place, there is no rule that states that a Finish Judge can overrule the finish order recorded by a timing system. According to the rules the only way you can overrule chip timing is a video system with times recorded at 0.1s or less differential. So ultimately my take on it is that there'd have to be a change in the rules. Not sure why an official video system can't overrule chip timing in general but maybe there's some reasonable explanation. And if we want Finish Judges to be able to overrule the order of finish recorded by chips it needs to be explicit. Perhaps there's issues there too like human error, but in the age of video we can minimize the human aspect fairly easily. Do I think it's fair? No easy answer there. Rules are rules but sometimes the rules suck and this is the sort of situation that can get us to look at the rules and determine if there's a better way.
@Runnerhheaj
Here's the full set of potentially relevant rules in the NFHS Cross Country Rule Book regarding the conclusion of a race:

Art. 2 - A competitor finishes a cross country race when the torso of the runner breaks the plane of the finish line when using hand- or picture-based timing systems


Art. 3 - Computerized transponders/chips may be used to record the finish of a runner in cross country. A bib transponder or two transponders/chips per runner, one attached to each shoe, must be used. When transponders/chips are used, the official order of finish for the runners is that recorded by the transponder/chips.
(a) It is recommended a video or photograph, officially designated by the meet director, be used to verify the order of finish in all cases in which the timing system indicates a one-tenth second or less differential.
(b) If the finish order determined by the transponder/chip is reversed through the use of a video system, the times shall also change.


Art. 4 - The use of a chute is recommended at all cross country meets that do not use a transponder/chip system to aid in meet administration and to provide accuracy and fairness to the competitors.


Art. 5 - The use of a finish corral is recommended at all cross country meets in which the transponder system is used for the order of finish to aid in meet administration.


When it comes down to it, the best way to minimize errors in my opinion is to enforce the implementation of the following:
(a) Backup video system for close calls (Art 3a)
(b) A specifically designated Finish Judge (Art 8) with Checkers (Art 11) keeping a record as announced by the Judge, at a minimum.

Even with these contingencies in place, there is no rule that states that a Finish Judge can overrule the finish order recorded by a timing system. According to the rules the only way you can overrule chip timing is a video system with times recorded at 0.1s or less differential.

So ultimately my take on it is that there'd have to be a change in the rules. Not sure why an official video system can't overrule chip timing in general but maybe there's some reasonable explanation. And if we want Finish Judges to be able to overrule the order of finish recorded by chips it needs to be explicit. Perhaps there's issues there too like human error, but in the age of video we can minimize the human aspect fairly easily.

Do I think it's fair? No easy answer there. Rules are rules but sometimes the rules suck and this is the sort of situation that can get us to look at the rules and determine if there's a better way.
11/05/2017 12:15:59 AM
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@BBruns4ever Thank you for the detailed explanation. My understanding was that there was a finishing order maintained which had the salem runner finishing before the Pulaski runner and that the timing company following the letter of the rule went with the chip time and therefore reported the Pulaski runner as finishing before the Salem Runner. The unofficial photos also show the Salem runner crossing the line before the the Pulaski runner. Furthermore, to her credit, Betsy, the Pulaski runner has acknowledged that the Salem runner crossed the finish line first. There absolutely seems to be a problem with the rule when the is no mechanism to change the result when the chip timing was clearly incorrect.
@BBruns4ever
Thank you for the detailed explanation. My understanding was that there was a finishing order maintained which had the salem runner finishing before the Pulaski runner and that the timing company following the letter of the rule went with the chip time and therefore reported the Pulaski runner as finishing before the Salem Runner. The unofficial photos also show the Salem runner crossing the line before the the Pulaski runner. Furthermore, to her credit, Betsy, the Pulaski runner has acknowledged that the Salem runner crossed the finish line first. There absolutely seems to be a problem with the rule when the is no mechanism to change the result when the chip timing was clearly incorrect.
11/06/2017 1:16:10 PM
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The girls just got word from the coach, that William Byrd will be the 13th team at States this year. Thanks to all of the school administrators from other schools who weighed in on this matter as it appears that had an impact on VHSL decision. My hope is that VHSL also changes the rule to require video backup at all future cross country meets which advance teams and/or individuals towards States so that this situation does not happen again.
The girls just got word from the coach, that William Byrd will be the 13th team at States this year. Thanks to all of the school administrators from other schools who weighed in on this matter as it appears that had an impact on VHSL decision. My hope is that VHSL also changes the rule to require video backup at all future cross country meets which advance teams and/or individuals towards States so that this situation does not happen again.
11/06/2017 2:01:50 PM
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@Runnerhheaj Just curious, for those familiar with the rules- What would happen if runners were simply missing from the results because their chip didn't read? What if it didn't read when they crossed, but did 5 minutes later as they celebrate with their teammates near the finish line? What about the kid who's shoe falls off, along with the chip, 50m into the race and keeps going? At some point there needs to be leniency in that rule for accuracy's sake, right? I think video backup should be mandatory, along with backup bib numbers with pull tags. I believe the NCAA has mandatory photo backup for finishes within a certain time span.
@Runnerhheaj

Just curious, for those familiar with the rules- What would happen if runners were simply missing from the results because their chip didn't read? What if it didn't read when they crossed, but did 5 minutes later as they celebrate with their teammates near the finish line? What about the kid who's shoe falls off, along with the chip, 50m into the race and keeps going?

At some point there needs to be leniency in that rule for accuracy's sake, right?

I think video backup should be mandatory, along with backup bib numbers with pull tags. I believe the NCAA has mandatory photo backup for finishes within a certain time span.
11/06/2017 2:11:01 PM
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@kshirk So cameras are allowed to fill in missing athletes, i.e. see their bib number if the chip doesn't read. The only way to change their ruling would be with official meet video or photo evidence... only if it was predetermined to be official meet video/photo can it be admitted into evidence. I emailed the timer today to see what the update was. - Nolan
@kshirk So cameras are allowed to fill in missing athletes, i.e. see their bib number if the chip doesn't read.

The only way to change their ruling would be with official meet video or photo evidence... only if it was predetermined to be official meet video/photo can it be admitted into evidence.

I emailed the timer today to see what the update was.

* Nolan

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