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  #1  
Old 05-21-19, 11:18 AM
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Lancermania Lancermania is offline
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Converting MT to FAT for records

There are some that are saying that manual times can be converted to fully automatic times, i.e. a time of 10.6 in the 100m can be converted to a fully automatic time by adding +.24 to it making the record 10.84. This is just not true. Governing bodies say the .24 can be added to the manual time for seeding purposes only and is not to be considered as a record. This is way manual times that have been given this conversion are not considered as records and require fully automatic times to be considered as records.

Last edited by Lancermania; 05-21-19 at 11:38 AM..
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Old 05-21-19, 12:19 PM
ccrunner609 ccrunner609 is offline
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What is the suggestion then? Most schools run all the meets on FAT and its pretty tough to beat a sprint time that is manual.
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Old 05-21-19, 12:59 PM
Altor Altor is offline
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Originally Posted by ccrunner609 View Post
What is the suggestion then? Most schools run all the meets on FAT and its pretty tough to beat a sprint time that is manual.
If it's your record sheet, do what you want. There's nothing that requires you to fall into some standard set by somebody else. Most of the meets I go to have never had a wind guage, so it's not even thought of when you look at a record sheet.

If I had a 10.6h on my record sheet and somebody ran a 10.79 or better, I would have two names on my record sheet until somebody ran a sub-10.60.
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Old 05-21-19, 01:23 PM
SOTT SOTT is offline
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Originally Posted by Altor View Post
If it's your record sheet, do what you want. There's nothing that requires you to fall into some standard set by somebody else. Most of the meets I go to have never had a wind guage, so it's not even thought of when you look at a record sheet.

If I had a 10.6h on my record sheet and somebody ran a 10.79 or better, I would have two names on my record sheet until somebody ran a sub-10.60.
We only have two hand-timed records left and have replaced others once a FAT time "ties" or beats the hand-timed record within the 0.24 seconds.

ie. If the 100m record (girls) was 12.4 (h) we would make a 12.64 FAT performance the official record.
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Old 05-21-19, 03:13 PM
madman madman is offline
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I think Altor is spot on.

"Record eligible" should mean a wind-legal FAT time for 100, 200, LJ, etc. However, if we held ourselves to that standard then many schools wouldn't have a school record and would rarely have athletes who have the opportunity to break one.

Keeping records for the 880, 800, 1600, 1 mile, etc. isn't a practical reality from a cost/space issue in many schools.

When it's extremely windy out, we've told athletes their times aren't eligible for records, but I know that we've also set records with tailwinds that are almost certainly in excess of 2.0m/sec (4.5 mph).

What is the purpose of the record board in your school? Some may say it's primarily to honor the efforts of those who set it. I would argue it's primarily to inspire those who will try to break them. These are not mutually exclusive goals, but how you prioritize them will influence your how you set your standards for what's record-eligible at the school level.

As a staff we are comfortable with using the 0.24 conversion for school records even though that should only be used for races that don't start near the finish line. I think 0.14 is the recommended amount for comparing times from races that start and finish in the same place. I sleep just fine and doubt any former record holder is tweaked too badly if their record is beaten based on this adjustment.
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Old 05-21-19, 08:37 PM
JAVMAN83 JAVMAN83 is offline
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As someone who follows both national & international athletics statistics protocols as much as I can, I can tell you that ALL manually-time performances for events 400m on down and automatic timing without wind gauges for the 100m/200m/100mH/110mH are NOT recognized for record purposes...PERIOD. They are simply footnotes historically. Same goes for long/triple jumps without legal wind gauge readings. Footnotes.

High schools, of course, will do whatever in the world they want to do. Most don't know what they are doing with regard to accepted statistical practices. Just look at the so-called 40 yard times in football combines. Complete crap from a statistical point of view, but from a comparative point of view, reasonable.

IF a school wants to convert manual times to FAT for comparative purposes, then the following holds:

100m/200m - add 0.24 to MT to produce FAT
300mH/400m/4x100m - add 0.14 to MT to produce FAT

For distances above 400m, NO conversions are done, but when listing an MT performance next to an FAT performance where the tenths-of-a-second numeral is the same (e.g., 800m - 2:22.73 FAT & 2:22.7 MT), the 2:22.73 would be listed above the 2:22.7 on a comparative list. However, statistically speaking, both are recognized as equal.

I hope that helps.

Last edited by JAVMAN83; 05-21-19 at 08:48 PM..
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Old 05-21-19, 09:05 PM
mathking mathking is online now
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For many schools, the school records go back to an era when not a lot of meets were timed with FAT. When I took over at Coffman there were still a number of MT records. We now have just the boys and girls 3200, the boys 300 hurdles and the girls DMR. Most of the manual times are off of the top five list as well. Where possible and desirable, we have found the best FAT time for the athletes in the top five all time when it is close to their best time. For example the boys 300 hurdles, which has a record of 38.4, but I have also listed the same athlete's state meet 38.75 in parentheses next to the official record. Fortunately the last somewhat suspect hand time records were beaten by FAT times this decade.

When we have top five all time marks where there is a manual time that is faster than a hand time by less than the conversion, we list them as equal. (Right now our #4-5 spot for the girls 100 dash is a three way tie between two MT 12.4s from 1978 and 1984, and a 12.50 FAT from this year. But the records are, as I said, mostly FAT now. And the 100, 200 and 100H records all had wind gauges. The long jump and 100H records are from the 1980s, and I don't believe there were wind gauges.

It is not practical or fair, in my view, to go back and retroactively invalidate a school record because it was not FAT timed. For example, I am not going to say that our 9:01.1 school record in the 3200 has to be replaced by 9:08.60 just because the latter was FAT. The real bottom line is that Javman is correct, for official state or national records there has to be FAT and a wind gauge. For your school records, do what you think is best for your program.
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Old 05-22-19, 07:01 AM
JAVMAN83 JAVMAN83 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mathking View Post
For many schools, the school records go back to an era when not a lot of meets were timed with FAT. When I took over at Coffman there were still a number of MT records. We now have just the boys and girls 3200, the boys 300 hurdles and the girls DMR. Most of the manual times are off of the top five list as well. Where possible and desirable, we have found the best FAT time for the athletes in the top five all time when it is close to their best time. For example the boys 300 hurdles, which has a record of 38.4, but I have also listed the same athlete's state meet 38.75 in parentheses next to the official record. Fortunately the last somewhat suspect hand time records were beaten by FAT times this decade.

When we have top five all time marks where there is a manual time that is faster than a hand time by less than the conversion, we list them as equal. (Right now our #4-5 spot for the girls 100 dash is a three way tie between two MT 12.4s from 1978 and 1984, and a 12.50 FAT from this year. But the records are, as I said, mostly FAT now. And the 100, 200 and 100H records all had wind gauges. The long jump and 100H records are from the 1980s, and I don't believe there were wind gauges.

It is not practical or fair, in my view, to go back and retroactively invalidate a school record because it was not FAT timed. For example, I am not going to say that our 9:01.1 school record in the 3200 has to be replaced by 9:08.60 just because the latter was FAT. The real bottom line is that Javman is correct, for official state or national records there has to be FAT and a wind gauge. For your school records, do what you think is best for your program.

Your approach sounds very reasonable. In Cincinnati, there are numerous records from the past that were made under manual timing and clearly superior to performances that have been made with automatic timing. This goes for events from the 100mH/110mH up through the 3200m. The decision that SWOTCCCA made a number of years ago was to list those manual performances as "meet bests" and FAT performances as the "meet record". Both are listed in conjunction with each other for appropriate events (400m on down).

For past events that were run over longer imperial distances (220, 440, 880, mile, 2 mile), converted times have not been included as records as, officially speaking, there were no clocks in place at the shorter equivalent distances. Hence, for instance, in the girls' 1600m New Richmond D2 records, the official 1600m record is 5:07.24 by Emily Stites of Wyoming set in 2011. However, CLEARLY, famed Reading great Connie Jo Robinson is the fastest miler/1600m runner in the history of that district with her 4:52.9 mile in the 1982 Reading AA district. That "converts" to a 4:51.3 1600m. Clearly, she's about 16 seconds faster than Stites. No one disputes that. However, because there was no clock at the 1600m mark in that race, there really isn't an official 1600m time for her at that district meet. FYI - Reading AA & A district meets were held over yards in most events instead of meters from 1980-87, despite the conversion to metric with the 1980 season. There track was never re-configured to meters until later. It was one of the reasons Reading lost hosting to that meet.

So, anyone who looks at the district winners files and district records files on SWOTCCCA's website will find that all has been documented properly. No history has been lost, and one can clearly see the past as well as the present in those documents. No one has been forgotten.
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Old 05-22-19, 09:22 AM
SOTT SOTT is offline
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The 0.14 conversion for races where the timer and starter are close has never made sense to me. I’m hard pressed to believe that very many people can react in 0.14 seconds in those situations.
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Old 05-22-19, 09:39 AM
Altor Altor is offline
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I will often start the FinishLynx clock manually in case the start sensor doesn't fire. I am consistently .20 to .30 behind the start sensor whether the gun is down the track or right beside me.
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Old 05-22-19, 10:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Altor View Post
I will often start the FinishLynx clock manually in case the start sensor doesn't fire. I am consistently .20 to .30 behind the start sensor whether the gun is down the track or right beside me.
So you're saying FAT sometimes is not fully automatic but semi automatic since there is some manual movement done
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Old 05-22-19, 10:37 AM
JAVMAN83 JAVMAN83 is offline
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Originally Posted by Lancermania View Post
So you're saying FAT sometimes is not fully automatic but semi automatic since there is some manual movement done
I think he's referring to the display clock for the folks, not the actual clock for recording times. Display clocks are frequently "off".
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Old 05-22-19, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by SOTT View Post
The 0.14 conversion for races where the timer and starter are close has never made sense to me. Iím hard pressed to believe that very many people can react in 0.14 seconds in those situations.
Me too. For the purposes of our school records, I have always used .24 regardless of where the race starts (.24 actually seems quite generous for the 200). Most of our weekday meets are still hand-timed whether they be at home or away. I'd kill to have all of our hand-timed records bettered by FAT performances, nevermind wind gauges and all the other instrumentation that add legitimacy to anyone's performance.
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Old 05-22-19, 10:47 AM
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A poster named Seek Up had a good explanation for the .24 vs. the .14 usage. He rarely posts here anymore, however. He is the stats guy for a high school, one of the best stats guys I know. I believe his explanation is still on Yappi somewhere. I will look for it since I met Mr. Slippery once at the Midwest Catholic Invitational and he's a really good person.
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Old 05-22-19, 10:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JAVMAN83 View Post
I think he's referring to the display clock for the folks, not the actual clock for recording times. Display clocks are frequently "off".
He could also be referring to manually starting the FAT system itself when the sensor doesn't register the start. It happens more often than any timer would prefer. Many schools around me have had trouble with their wireless sensors this spring.

If you're timing a race that only has 1 heat, then it may not be worth the hassle to the athletes to recall the race to get official FAT times. A race with multiple heats is a nightmare if the system fails for 1 heat, especially in a prelim where faster athletes are distributed among all the heats. In that case, you either have to recall the heat or have backup hand times on all of the heats.

Last edited by Mr. Slippery; 05-22-19 at 10:58 AM..
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Old 05-22-19, 10:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lancermania View Post
A poster named Seek Up had a good explanation for the .24 vs. the .14 usage. He rarely posts here anymore, however. He is the stats guy for a high school, one of the best stats guys I know. I believe his explanation is still on Yappi somewhere. I will look for it since I met Mr. Slippery once at the Midwest Catholic Invitational and he's a really good person.
You didn't hang around me long enough, so don't look too hard on my account.

I'm sure there are reasons for .24 vs. .14, but I haven't encountered many hand-timers consistently coming within .14 plus whatever was needed to round up to the next tenth for a 400 vs. FAT. If I'm working the timing crew, I'm often temporarily startled by the sound of the gun if it's that nearby.
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Old 05-22-19, 11:56 AM
JAVMAN83 JAVMAN83 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Slippery View Post
He could also be referring to manually starting the FAT system itself when the sensor doesn't register the start. It happens more often than any timer would prefer. Many schools around me have had trouble with their wireless sensors this spring.

If you're timing a race that only has 1 heat, then it may not be worth the hassle to the athletes to recall the race to get official FAT times. A race with multiple heats is a nightmare if the system fails for 1 heat, especially in a prelim where faster athletes are distributed among all the heats. In that case, you either have to recall the heat or have backup hand times on all of the heats.
If that is happening, and I'm not disputing you in anyway, ALL times recorded with such a start are MT, PERIOD. None of those should be recorded as FAT, and to do so makes a complete farce of the difference between the two.
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Old 05-22-19, 12:04 PM
HDvHS FAN HDvHS FAN is offline
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I have a sort of related question regarding this.. I need advice on how to approach it. I coach middle school track in suburban Columbus and I just finished my 3rd year. All the records I have were inherited from the previous coaches.. Like most middle schools records haven't always been kept very well but I'm trying to dig in and make sure everything is correct. In doing so I found a result from a meet in 2010 in the shuttle hurdles that is 6 seconds faster than what is listed as the school record in 2015. The 2010 is a MT while the 2015 is FAT.

Normally I would change it but the record but one of the kids in the relay has been memorialized by the school (victory bell is named after him) since he passed away shortly after this record was set and he was still in middle school.
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Old 05-22-19, 12:09 PM
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Here is Seek Up's explanation for the 0.24 difference vs. the 0.14 difference.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Seek Up View Post
I have always been of the understanding that races of less than 400 meters are converted by adding .24 seconds and races of 400 meters and greater add .14. I will do a bit of research, but that's been my understanding for quite a few years now. While I'm at it though (as if you would not have guessed this), I will give you a theory. For races less than 400 meters, the starter is typically a significant distance from the timers. I believe timers are told to start their watches when they see the wisp of smoke produced by the starters pistol. For races of 400 meters and up, the starter is very close to the timers. It's all about reaction time, and a timer is much more apt to react more quickly if the starter is closer. This theory makes too much common sense not to be partially, if not, completely correct.
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Old 05-22-19, 12:21 PM
SOTT SOTT is offline
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Originally Posted by Lancermania View Post
Here is Seek Up's explanation for the 0.24 difference vs. the 0.14 difference.
I respectfully disagree with that explanation.

There may be a slightly better reaction time with the starter being "close" (who defines close?) but 0.1 seconds? That seems unlikely. Obviously we're talking about two different senses, seeing vs hearing, so maybe there is some literature out there that clearly shows human reaction time based on hearing is vastly superior human reaction time based on seeing, but that seems unlikely to me.

EDIT: After a cursory look, it appears that there actually IS some validity to the supposition that auditory reaction time is better than visual reaction time.
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Old 05-22-19, 01:15 PM
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The USATF rule book states this:

"For seeding purposes only, the conversion factor of .24 seconds ((in events up to and including the 200 Meter Dash and .14 seconds for events longer than the 200 and up to and including the 400 Meter Dash)) between fully automatic time and manual time must be used"
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Old 05-22-19, 02:27 PM
JAVMAN83 JAVMAN83 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HDvHS FAN View Post
I have a sort of related question regarding this.. I need advice on how to approach it. I coach middle school track in suburban Columbus and I just finished my 3rd year. All the records I have were inherited from the previous coaches.. Like most middle schools records haven't always been kept very well but I'm trying to dig in and make sure everything is correct. In doing so I found a result from a meet in 2010 in the shuttle hurdles that is 6 seconds faster than what is listed as the school record in 2015. The 2010 is a MT while the 2015 is FAT.

Normally I would change it but the record but one of the kids in the relay has been memorialized by the school (victory bell is named after him) since he passed away shortly after this record was set and he was still in middle school.
As a former coach and current historian, I don't have any problems keeping the old record on the books. The current FAT best should be kept track of well, and not supplant the old best till it was within, say, 0.5 seconds of the old best. Then you could replace the record with a reasonable smile on your face.
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Old 05-22-19, 10:18 PM
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Originally Posted by JAVMAN83 View Post
If that is happening, and I'm not disputing you in anyway, ALL times recorded with such a start are MT, PERIOD. None of those should be recorded as FAT, and to do so makes a complete farce of the difference between the two.
Relax, man.

The times are reported as MT when that happens. Plenty of examples on baumspage of meets where FAT timing was used at the meet, but an occasional event has times reported only to tenths or with every time with a "0" in the hundredths place. It's not hard to figure out what's going on there.
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Old 05-23-19, 12:12 AM
JAVMAN83 JAVMAN83 is offline
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Originally Posted by Mr. Slippery View Post
Relax, man.

The times are reported as MT when that happens. Plenty of examples on baumspage of meets where FAT timing was used at the meet, but an occasional event has times reported only to tenths or with every time with a "0" in the hundredths place. It's not hard to figure out what's going on there.
I'm chillin', man. Completely relaxed. I only use caps to emphasize words, not to yell.

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Old 05-23-19, 06:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Lancermania View Post
So you're saying FAT sometimes is not fully automatic but semi automatic since there is some manual movement done
No. There is a feature in the FinishLynx software where you can add a start time manually. I use this feature as a backup on some races (especially 60m races indoors where there is no way I'm getting a race recalled without them already being at the finish line). If the normal start sensor starts the clock properly, I make sure I select that in the start sensor list before I evaluate the finish. The fun thing about this is that I can see the difference in the FAT start vs my manual start.

When I do this, my reflex is consistently .20 to .30 slow, and that's just for hitting the space bar to start the clock. Sometimes it's as fast as .18, but that is rare and probably more of a function of the rounding than my actual reflex. It doesn't matter if the starter is 60m away or standing right in front of me for a mile. I'm almost always .2+ slow with the start.
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Old 05-23-19, 07:07 AM
Altor Altor is offline
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Originally Posted by Mr. Slippery View Post
Relax, man.

The times are reported as MT when that happens. Plenty of examples on baumspage of meets where FAT timing was used at the meet, but an occasional event has times reported only to tenths or with every time with a "0" in the hundredths place. It's not hard to figure out what's going on there.
When I have to revert to a MT for a race, I purposely replace the 0 with an h for all the affected competitors in Hy-Tek so there is no question. Had to contact TFRSS this winter because it happened in college meet and they said that was exactly their preference too.
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Old 05-23-19, 08:24 AM
JAVMAN83 JAVMAN83 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Altor View Post
When I have to revert to a MT for a race, I purposely replace the 0 with an h for all the affected competitors in Hy-Tek so there is no question. Had to contact TFRSS this winter because it happened in college meet and they said that was exactly their preference too.
Thanks for the info in TFRSS. Seems like a very reasonable and easily distinguishable practice for historical purposes.
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Old 05-23-19, 08:36 AM
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For those of you that were around "back in the day" that MT was all that there was, how common was it, particularly in sprints and sprint relays, for a lesser place to actually have a faster time than 1st place or any higher place? I would think that it would have been a fairly common occurrence. I've seen it happen plenty in open meets today where there is no FAT timing. For this reason alone I regard MTs very lightly and never compare a converted MT to FAT.
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Old 05-23-19, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Rohbino View Post
For those of you that were around "back in the day" that MT was all that there was, how common was it, particularly in sprints and sprint relays, for a lesser place to actually have a faster time than 1st place or any higher place? I would think that it would have been a fairly common occurrence. I've seen it happen plenty in open meets today where there is no FAT timing. For this reason alone I regard MTs very lightly and never compare a converted MT to FAT.
The first time I helped hand time a meet I asked the official about that scenario. He said he assigns the times to the places in descending order rather than to a specific runner just to prevent that from showing up in the results. He said it would happen all the time otherwise.
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Old 05-23-19, 11:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Altor View Post
When I have to revert to a MT for a race, I purposely replace the 0 with an h for all the affected competitors in Hy-Tek so there is no question. Had to contact TFRSS this winter because it happened in college meet and they said that was exactly their preference too.
Altor, do you know it timing company software packages would automatically add that 0 to a manual time. Mario Allmon ran a 10.4 at the AAA district meet at Fairfield in 1990 but it is listed at 10.40 as a district record.

Last edited by Lancermania; 05-23-19 at 11:41 AM..
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