At 9:55 AM, said…
To those that are tired of hearing about the "automatic relay take off judging" issue, I'd like to point out one more thing. When watching the ESPN3 coverage last night, I found it eerily similar to the coverage of the Texas high school girls 5A finals. Cal didn't need to win the race to win the championship - they just needed to NOT DQ. The announcers were pointing out each exchange indicating it was safe. The crowd was cheering because they saw a safe start. They knew the WIN was in the bag. National Champs!!!
BUT WHAT IF... a pad had malfunctioned and the seemingly SAFE START became a DQ??? What if that DQ could not or would not be overruled? What if that meant that Texas won and Cal was second?? Certainly we would be happy for Mr. Reese and team but also certainly we would be sick to our stomachs that something that ridiculous had caused a change to the winner. I'd guess that Mr. Reese would do the right thing and protest along side the Cal coach but even if he didn't - wouldn't we all still be talking about this a year from now? Whether or not we wanted Cal to win - whether or not we wanted Southlake Carroll to win, we certainly didn't want either team to lose because of an equipment error!
As written, the NCAA rule says that if the automatic relay judging equipment is used that video MAY be used as a backup. It is NOT REQUIRED. So this scenario could easily have played out - no question about it. As written the NFHS rules and therefore the UIL rules indicated that there does not need to be any dual confirmation (for the inclusive range of -0.09 to 0.0). Shouldn't the rules be written such that swimmers are protected against malfunctioning or insensitive equipment?
So congrats to Cal, congrats to Texas and to all the others who have done well. I'm glad that Minnesota saw fit to shut off the automatic relay judging after the first night (if that is indeed what they did - and not just HIDE the results) - because if they didn't, we could have seen a repeat of the girls 5A Texas results. And then ALL OF US would be calling for a reversal and a change to the rule.
Think about it!