Thursday, June 02, 2011


I think that's what Swimming World Editor Brent Rutemiller is trying to say. He's calling for the suspension of electronic relay take-off platform use. Read more here.

Around 2007, when manufacturers convinced officials that relay takeoff platforms could measure the exchanges accurately and efficiently—without the need for human observation and manpower—governing bodies accepted the manufacturers' claims, thinking that the technology was fail-safe.

Now, when automatic judging equipment is in use, the system race printout provides the only information to judge relay exchanges when a differential is between -0.09 and +0.09 seconds. Human input is explicitly not considered within this range, unless officially approved integrated back-up timing cameras are in use, to challenge or confirm the automatic system's results. If there is a conflict between the cameras and the automatic equipment, then a referee will have to determine which of the two confirmation processes will be accepted.

In other words, if a championship meet uses electronic relay takeoff platforms and cannot afford expensive backup timing cameras, the electronic printout makes the final call every time.

Despite the claims of manufacturers, the automatic judging system is not fail-safe, as seen by a number of controversial disqualifications both at the NCAA and high school levels. First-hand human observation and common sense video have repeatedly shown that significant errors in the automatic system occur.

Want a quick summary?

Until human judgment is put back in the process for judging relay takeoffs, the use of automatic judging equipment must be suspended.


Anonymous said...

Hip Hip Hooray!

Does anyone else find it astounding that we have not heard from the manufacturers? If I owned a company/technology and there were articles, blogs, discussion forums about errors in my equipment, I certainly would stand up for myself. Yet all we get is SILENCE. I read that to mean that they cannot stand up for themselves because they know their equipment is not foolproof.

The UIL was supposed to meet on this two weeks ago to respond to TISCA - haven't heard a word from them either.

Anonymous said...

And in the darkness, more voices of reason are beginning to be heard.

Deer Slayer said...

We, they(the UIL), has made a decision that puts our swimmers, randomly, and more the girls than guys 9we should call Nancy for help here), at a competitive disadvantage. We need to stand up and fight this. That is one of the responsibilities we accept as coaches. We must always fight for a fair playing field, or pool for everyone. Let the races and meets be won or lost in the pool.....

Anonymous said...

Colorado Time Systems (one of the manufacturers) has made an official statement regarding this. Read their response here:

Button said...