Unfortunately I have not been out to any of the quality track and field meets lately. I am hoping to get out there soon.
However, I have been keeping up with the times each week, both through the results and the weekly top 10 times provided to us by coaches (many thanks to Tom Corrigan and Marco Chavez).
As always, I have been able to see that we have some great times and marks so far this season.
However, I have always noticed a debate either online or in person about the rankings using fully automatic timing and hand timing.
Here is my take on it: we have to include them in the rankings because they did happen. It is true they are more than likely off because of human error, but I don’t think that is enough to completely throw out a kids time.
The beauty about track and field is that when it comes down to it, the faster runner will be determined in a head-to-head race.
Another thing is the district and regional championships will be fully automatic. Ask any coach and they will tell you those are the meets that matter the most, not some hand timed ones early in the season.
On top of that, the rankings have asterisks next to the times that are fully automatic. I feel that is a fair enough indication to distinguish the times.
I have noticed some individuals get legitimately upset to see hand times in the rankings. First off, I don’t know why someone would take the time to get upset over this when the answer is on the track when they race each other.
The purpose of the rankings is something fun to keep up with. Any time that is inaccurate, due to hand timing, is more than likely not far off.
So when you check out the rankings please recognize that coaches, athletes and track and field fans will know the difference between fully automatic and hand time. The ranking is just to recognize individuals that are posting some great marks.
There is no intention to take away from anyone else and I don’t feel a need to throw out the hand times and punish an athlete for going to a meet without fully automatic timing.
Overall, let just enjoy them and have fun this year and when district and regionals rolls around, we will know who is the fastest for sure.