Wednesday, April 13, 2011

TISCA & Meet Committees

We're counting on our TISCA leadership to come down strongly on the side of our athletes and demand changes to protect them from potential machine malfunctions.

They may also want to remind coaches at the fall TISCA clinic about Rule 4, Section 1, Article 1.

This part of the rule book lists officials and their duties.

While coaches are unable to protest judgement calls, they are able to ask the meet referee to call the meet committee at a championship meet.

"The meet committee shall make decisions on matters not specifically covered by the rules or on the misapplication of a rule during a meet."

Presspad failures occur. It's usually not a big deal, and we get it cleared up quickly.

In those cases where that doesn't happen, a meet committee should be allowed to weigh in when a coach feels he/she isn't being heard.

The coach may state his/her case to this small group of unbiased adults. They are trusted to look into the matter. Even without the use of video evidence, data from the system can be reviewed.

While the meet referee is still going to have the final say, this committee can give him/her good guidance with which to make that final decision.


Anonymous said...

How many coaches go to the TISCA meeting? How many coaches know about this issue? I'd hate to see another output like the NFHS where they say - no one cared enough.

Anonymous said...

What can non-Tisca blog readers do to help?

Button said...

'How many coaches know about this issue?'

with the turnover in coaches/sponsors in our state, there will likely be quite a few coaches at the fall clinic that don't know about automatic relay judging issues. many were not at the state meet. others, while they may have been there, are unaware there was an issue. on top of that, most coaches have better things to do than read about it here.

'What can non-Tisca blog readers do to help?'

might just make sure your coach has let his/her tisca leadership know where they stand on the relay judging issues we've had.

i'd like to think region reps have heard from their coaches by now. i'm hoping they'll share those coaches' feelings on the issue at friday's tisca board meeting.

if it turns out that only a couple dozen coaches have weighed in with their reps, maybe we're just making a big deal over nothing.

also, how about trying to out-transparency the obama administration (shouldn't be hard to do) and start setting up streaming video of our tisca meetings so we get a feel for the important issues of the day.

a sort of c-span for texas high school swimming...

Anonymous said...

I wonder if the reason the NFHS did not deal with the rule is because there are only 4 states in the country that use automatic relay timing systems - and only two (Oklahoma and Texas) that implement it without dual confirmation.

So, I'm guessing they think this is an issue that the UIL needs to be more diligent about. Truth is that the meet was poorly administered (because the rules provided for a different solution) and that is difficult to legislate.

Anonymous said...

How do the UIL officials communicate with all of the coaches? Lets say they make this rule change (one can hope yes?), then how will all of the coaches hear about it? There has to be a way for ALL of them to see the video/powerpoint.

Anonymous said...

In my discussions with the UIL, I did ask if there was a meet committee. I was told yes. I asked who was on it and I believe they said Swigon, Neely, Gloria, maybe Timmons and someone from UT running the equipment or over the pool. Aren't there supposed to be coaches on the committee? otherwise how is the committee separate from the administration of the meet?

Button said...

meet committees should have coaches on them.

meet referee should inform coaches during pre-meet meeting who he/she has asked to be on meet committee.

Anonymous said...

Meet committee should be pre-determined and included as part of the pre-meet info - that way everyone knows.

Anonymous said...

It should include at least one athlete...

Anonymous said...

Since when do meet officials listen to meet committees. I have been to several meets where head official refuses to allow committee to meet, and show no inkling of the possibility that a meet committee can have input toward the outcome of a meet.

Coach O said...

I really feel for the coach and athletes who will never have that state championship celebration. I feel for the team that will always have their state championship questioned. I can't imagine how this false start procedure was ok’d. What group determined that letting the machine determine false starts , with no human input, was just fine? At what level of the UIL was this determined. Did coaches know this and not worry about it? Were coaches ok with it? At least until the fhit hit the san. The problem isn't NFHS, not enough states have lids. The problem is the UIL and how they use the lids. Individual state associations can alter the NFHS rules and do all the time. To think that any equipment works 100% of the time is crazy. I was at the NCAA meet in Minnesota and they had trouble with touch pads (Button please, please, stop calling them press pads, even in jest). I don't have a dog in this fight. Spent 12 great years in Texas but moved on to Illinois. Up here we have our state meets in high school pools. One is 6 lanes, deep (less than 12') start, 3 1/2' shallow end with illegal markings, and a small instructional pool for cool down. The other is 8 lanes, shallow start (4'), 14' deep end, no cool down. They both seat about 1500 folks right on top of the action. So, no, we don’t use lids, hell we are lucky to have blocks. We only get two entries, only score 12, we have over 300 schools that swim and one classification, at our state qualifying meet we don’t have dual confirmation. One official makes the call. That is a little scary. We obliviously have our own problems. But to have a machine randomly disqualifying relays with no recourse. That is just crazy. Good luck getting the UIL to admit they were (are) wrong. It would , however, be good to remember that if it wasn’t for coaches and TISCA you guys would still be one classification, 4 regions, only 4 from one region qualifying, scoring only 12 and a bunch of other crazy ass stuff that went on back in the stone age. So fight the good fight.

Anonymous said...

anyone hear anything about the TISCA meeting today?

Anonymous said...

The Tisca Board voted to approve two recommendations to put forward to the UIL.
1. return to dual confirmation of relay exchange DQ's by humans in the -.01 to -.09 range.
2. Video review of any DQ's called by the "machine" in the -.01 to -.09 range.

The UIL, then came in to "suggest" that "we move forward" with video review, as an addition to Appendix B, "suggested" protocol for automatic relay exchange equipment.
The video equipment would be the same equipment used at the NCAA Division I Meet at UT. 100 frames per second. The NCAA rule book only recommends 25 frames per second and a very inexpensive way to set it up for review.
The video review does not need to be cost-prohibitive.

HOWEVER, the UIL proposal was very costly, as the high-level video equipment would have to be rented. Due to the cost ($8000-$10,000) it was determined by the UIL, that a large number of swimming HS's, 300 or so, should contact (by letter) the UIL, to show the UIL that this was an issue important to MANY schools, not just to a couple of schools that complained.
In addition, TISCA was tasked with getting this done in only 60 days.

It was pointed out that only about 120 schools, of the near 500 that swim in Texas, ever have representatives at the Texas State Meet. Never-the-less, the UIL feels the need to have more schools weigh-in on the need for changes to the current protocol, in order to justify the expenditure.

Politics, instead of justice and focus on the kids. A University of Texas employee, speaking on behalf of the UIL, did admit that touchpads fail and RTOP's can fail, and that there is, likely a need for an adjustment to the protocol being used and that there is room for the UIL State of Texas HS swimming to move forward to video review without breaking the NFHS rules.

We will see. No admission was made by the UIL that they made any specific mistakes at the 2011 Texas State HS Meet.
Remember, Daktronics time data acquired in an open records request, showed unequivocally, that the touchpad failed in lane 6, the Southlake Carroll Girl's 400 free relay. The entire DQ should have been thrown out. Video was not necessary to overturn the DQ, just competence by the Meet Referee and an actual review by a "real" Meet Committee.

Now, how do we go about getting over 300 schools to send letters to the UIL, saying they want video review of relay exchanges at the 2012 Texas State Swim Meet? Some of them have never even seen an RTOP, or sent a swimmer to the Texas State Meet. Many of them are uneffected and may never be effected by this problem.

That should be quite a trick. Oh, might that be the "trick" by the UIL to side-step the issue and avoid any future changes?
Stay tuned...the "fat lady has not yet started to sing and Red Auerbach has yet to light his cigar"
The TISCA General Membership Meeting in Sept 2011 should be interesting, if this does not get ironed out before then.