Monday, March 21, 2011


The site of short course USA Swimming Junior Nationals has been changed from Minneapolis to Austin. Read more here. Thanks for the heads up, WD!

If you'd like to examine women's NCAA's with relay reaction times, look here.

A large news outlet is digging into the high school state meet relay controversy. When that story runs, I'll provide a link.

This might be a good time to remind readers that the opinions expressed on this site are mine, and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer, my athletes, my buddies, my family members, or anyone else in the known universe. That should cover it, right?

Now, back to the automatic relay take-off judging systems. A thread at College Swimming indicates that we're not the only group concerned about their use. Read it here.

One reading at D-II nationals showed a -0.69, and yet there were no reports of a swimmer landing on top of a teammate.

Re: Faulty touchpads or what?
by gearhart on Thu Mar 10, 2011 1:40 am

0.69 reading meant the pad was not functioning properly, hence the other readings thrown out. Looking at the relay - nowhere near a false start. Since its Drury though, no changing the conspiracy theorists minds.

This same thing happened at Division III nationals in Houston and Miami. There's one company that makes pads that work and another that I would not place confidence in (but do look really cool).

Re: Faulty touchpads or what?
by Swimcoach4life on Thu Mar 10, 2011 6:17 pm

I'm not there so I am not saying this is what has happened, etc.; however, this could be a possible reason for such a high reading. At our conference meet a few weeks ago there was a -.44 reading that was not called (BTW - not our team's relay). Our team video tape of the race confirmed that the start was legal (not used, but just referenced as I was curious with the reported data). When I saw the officials the next week they said the swimmer was excited and banging on the block previous to her exchange. Two officials felt that this could cause a large number that obviously would result in a collision.

Questions are being asked about other states and the use of the automatic judging systems for high school championship meets. It look like the relatively small number of states that use the systems tend to shy away from the "suggested protocol" we've used in Texas these past couple of years. Indiana is one example of a state that goes "by the book" and doesn't count on the machine to make the call without human verification. Read more here.

If you're a swimmer, parent, or coach with an opinion on the relay take-off judging systems and rules, please let your TISCA region rep know how you feel on the subject. Their contact info is here. Their spring board meeting is scheduled for April 15.

I'd like to thank all the concerned swim folks who've sent me info these past few weeks. You're making a difference! Your voices are being heard. I do believe that this problem will be addressed and our athletes, coaches, and officials will all benefit.

Also, if you've been treated as if you just fell off the turnip truck, you've got plenty of company. There are plenty of us idiots out there, right? Just hang in there and see things through.

A head coach is needed at San Antonio Wave. Job is posted on South Texas site here.

It's getting late and I need to wrap this up. More to say, but it's just gotta wait.

Sent to me today:


Anonymous said...

Do Div 2 and 3 follow the same protocol as D1? If so, then the coaches should be aware that for NCAA, there is an approved amendment to the -0.09 to +0.09 rule which states that there should be video set up to ensure that athletes are protected in case of pad failure. Did they not follow that rule????

Button said...

coach that was at meet says the subject of video was brought up and officials told coaches they weren't using video. guess it's an option, but not a requirement. difference between may and shall, right?

Anonymous said...

If they werent using video and were following the rest of the protocol - then anything -0.09 to 0.0 should have been an automatic DQ with NO recourse - no official review - nothing - at least that is what the officials at the Texas High School meet have said multiple times - there is no room for common sense or expertise - just a computer taking our jobs.

Anonymous said...

I would like to know if the UT experience is indicative of all Daktronics systems. Is their system more prone to problems, or is it less? Is it a problem caused by improper calibration, or bad harnesses, or are all Dak systems this inaccurate? I can't believe the numbers I've seen from the state meet and from women's D1 are normal.

Anonymous said...

Did D1 use video? There is a negative 03 that was not DQd but there were others that were????

Button said...

just a few numbers from the 'fyi' department:

of 167 total relay swims, 9 had NRT's at the meet. that's 5.4%.

in fairness, though, should probably go by actual number of relay take-offs (3 x 167). 9 NRT's out of 501 take-offs is 1.8%.

Anonymous said...

Love the comment "hence the other readings are thrown out" - if the touchpads are not working right on one touch it makes sense that the pads are not working right on the other touches - that is what has been argued for SOCA and Seven Lakes!!!!

Anonymous said...

Has anyone heard back from the UIL rules committee after their meeting last week? Are they taking this rule change proposal to the next level???

Anonymous said...

I was at D1 NCAA at Texas. They had video set up. they did have video set up. Very interesting to watch the officials discuss the Cal 200 medley relay. Looked like an early take off to me and to many others. Saw the two key relay take off judges debate it for a very long time. They were not DQd - and for Liv (freestyler) there was an NRT on her take-off, which I understand they can plug into Daktronics to "avoid confusion". I do not have first hand knowledge of that - so if someone has run that timing console, let us know.

Joe said...

oops! Meant 200 free relay - for Cal Bears (not medley)