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Rules and Officials
 YMCA of the USA Competitive Swimming and Diving Fo :YMCA of the USA Competitive Swimming - General :Rules and Officials
Message Icon Topic: Timing Discrepancy Post Reply Post New Topic
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eugermach
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Joined: Feb/19/2013
Location: United States
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Quote eugermach Replybullet Topic: Timing Discrepancy
    Posted: Feb/19/2013 at 11:38am
Had a situation this past weekend.  We had an invitational meet with time trials afterwards for kids trying to qualify for Districts.  Each lane had a touch pad with automatic Timing, one back up button and two stop watches.  The swimmer in lane 1 touched with a pad time of 48.96.  The button was not pressed, but the two stop watches were 47.07 and 47.22, both under the District qualifying time.  The meet timing judge indicated that no adjustment could be made since the pad did not show a malfunction.  One of the timers indicated that the swimmer touched on the top of the pad. 
 
I am looking for insight into this situation, as it seems clear to me that the pad was off by more than 0.3 seconds from the back up timing system (two watches).  Both watches were within .2 seconds of each other, but were off by 1.7 and 1.9 seconds from the pad respectively.   There was also verbal evidence that a top touch may have been made.  I would like some input from officials as to how to handle this issue in the future, as the time was not changed.  (resulting in the swimmer not having made the qualifying time). 
 
Eric
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Ed Miller
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Joined: Apr/29/2006
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Quote Ed Miller Replybullet Posted: Mar/31/2013 at 7:11pm
This is always an interesting issue.  Rule 102.24.4.A says that when the automatic system is properly working, the pad time shall be the official time.  Thus, the presumption is that the pad is correct, and you only deviate from the pad time when the referee's investigation of the possible discrepancy indicates a pad failure  (See Rule 102.24.4.C and Appendix 1-A.)  The mere fact that the watches show a faster time is not, in itself, conclusive evidence of a pad failure or late or soft touch. 
 
In your case, the reported "soft touch" would be furhter evidence for the referee to consider.  The referee would also consider the order of finish taken by the finish judges.  If that confirmed the order of finish obtained by integrating the watch times, then the referee might reasonably conclude that there was a pad failure and use of the back-up times was appropriate.  However, if the order of finish obtained from the finish judges confirmed the pad time, then the pad time would be appropriate.
 
Ed Miller
YMCA National Officials Committee
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