Posted by ernie beach on November 02, 2004 at 10:04:26:
CHIP TIMING CONTROVERSY / by George Kochman
A topic of frequent discussion is the use of the chip timing device to record time and place. And the discussions are getting heated, with advocates of the chip claiming that their official time should be the one recorded as they cross the starting line.
The problem occurs where there are extremely large fields, as in the New York City marathon. With the start being roped off according to previous times, faster runners are placed in the front, with slower runners being relegated to the back. In more than a few instances, as much as 10 minutes or more can be added to one's time, since it takes that long for some of the 30,000-plus runners to cross the starting line.
Many of the slower runners argue that their official results should be based on the chip time.
Official rules for every major national and international organization say that the official time is the one recorded from the sound of the gun.
The chip can be used to certify times for entrance into future marathons and elite distance races, but as it stands now, the major scoring groups still treat the marathon and other distance runs as races, that is, the prizes will go to the first one across the line. Those who get the prizes will be the ones who cross the line first, and not necessarily the ones with the best chip times.
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