who uses live timing?

Discussion in 'Competition, Racing & Events' started by sly_karma, Feb 9, 2012.

  1.  
    sly_karma

    sly_karma Part of the Furniture Season Pass Holder

    When you're at a race or racing yourself, do you use live timing web applications to view results? Would it bother you if race organisers no longer posted times via written or digital scoreboards in the finish area? So many people at our races - racers, coaches, parents, even course workers - have their phones looking at the live timing site that I am seriously considering doing away with the extra work involved with setting up these services. Thoughts?
  2.  
    Phalanx

    Phalanx New Member

    Don't know which races you are talking about but the FIS races, and many which derive their rules from them, require it. Live timing should be seen as a bonus, not a replacement. However it does not stop you using technology to display the results like a screen at the bottom. This location is also important for required postings like DQs.
  3.  
    sly_karma

    sly_karma Part of the Furniture Season Pass Holder

    Thinking more about provincial or national level races rather than WC. Both the major timing software outfits in nth america have live timing websites which are very popular wiith parents, racers and coaches. I timed a NorAm DH a couple of years back, working with the guy who is the webmaster for the Alpine Canada website. During the race he was monitoring the viewership stats, between 2500 and 3000 people watching the mens top seed live. Bet the numbers are even higher now with smartphones virtually compulsory for the under 25 crowd.
  4.  
    Phalanx

    Phalanx New Member

    It is a requirement for all FIS, that goes down to cit. I don't know what the NAC thinks of it but their rules are based on the FIS ones. Remember while people standing there and sitting around the world have access to their phones/computers, the athletes themselves do not have them on them. It could be good looking at getting a large tablet or screen which you can attach to the programs output. The live timing for a lot of the software is not cheap unless you are doing a lot of races.
  5.  
    sly_karma

    sly_karma Part of the Furniture Season Pass Holder

    Don't know about that Phalanx. Split Second costs $90 for a one month licence to time as many races as you want, less if purchased on a seasonal basis. Access to their live timing is no extra cost and very simple to use. Pricing for the other software system, dTris, is very similar.

    I can assure you that most Canadian athletes have smartphones with them at the start, jackets are brought down as the race goes on. They may not see their time immediately after their run like they would with a digital scoreboard, but I'll bet they either look at their own phone or a teammate's within a minute or two of finishing. The nice thing is they can see the entire race field, not just leaders, and it re-sorts every time there's another finish.

    Live Timing link here if anyone would like to watch: mens 1st run at Apex is underway right now (almost 11 am PST, 6 am AEDT). There will be second runs roughly two hours after the mens finishes, with similar schedule for the two following days as well.
    http://live-timing.com/races.php
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 14, 2013
  6.  
    sly_karma

    sly_karma Part of the Furniture Season Pass Holder

    Should mention too that the SST and dTris live timing sites and software are both easier to use and give more info than the FIS site. Races with interval times and speed traps show those results live during the run, and have reports posted after a race is complete.
  7.  
    Phalanx

    Phalanx New Member

    I've used them to watch results at races (including on the hill at WC), and I agree it is great. However it is not a replacement, it is only an additional facility:

    611.2.3 Presentation of times
    Organisers should provide appropriate facilities for continuous
    presentation of all registered times of all competitors.


    You will noticed that it should be presented, not just made available, to all competitors. This does not stop you using the technology to present it. So you could get a large tablet or screen to present the data (I don't know enough about Split Second but most software like the FIS one includes outputting results to a screen). This gives you the advantages combined like you mentioned.

    If you really wanted to be nice you could add a screen in the middle of the course and top like in many European events (not talking just WC/EC). There are NC races there where you can watch the video of competitors runs live on the big screen at the bottom.


    This is also echoed in the following section:
    617.1 Unofficial Times
    Times taken by the timekeepers must be considered unofficial times. They
    should be posted on a score-board which should be readily visible from
    the area provided for the competitors who have finished, and from the
    press area. Whenever possible, unofficial times should be announced to
    the public over loud-speakers.

    617.2 Announcement of Unofficial Times and Disqualifications

    617.2.1 As soon as possible after completion of the race, unofficial times and
    disqualifications must be published on the official notice board and also at
    the finish.


    When competitors finish they want to know their times straight away, they don't want to wait for their gear to be brought down (remember this could be a few minutes later to the end of the run, you must think about the worst off competitor in the field and keep it fair for him/her). The reason this is important is so obvious mistakes can be brought to the attention of the jury. This is also why the postings are also done at this place.

    Keeping it like that will also stop issues happening (like late complaints coming in about a supposid mistake). If everything is not displayed like above then they have good reasoning in some cases to appeal the results and that will just make everyone's life painful.

    It is good to see Split Second coming along with their software and moving out of pure North American market.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 26, 2013
  8.  
    Phalanx

    Phalanx New Member

    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 14, 2013
  9.  
    jdm

    jdm Dedicated Member

    I always use it (or the similar services) to "watch)....
  10.  
    bigwhite-rameok

    bigwhite-rameok Active Member

    Sly - I can tell you that even the Jury uses Live Timing as the race is progressing. I agree though that not all competitors have ready access to their smartphones. Neither do all spectators (thinking many grandparents). Having unofficial results at the bottom is where all the racers gather, chat, cheer as results are posted. I think it would take away from the atmosphere of racing were this removed.
  11.  
    Yardsale

    Yardsale Addicted Member Moderator

    Would a cheap $99 android tablet do the same task as the manual scoreboard? Just pair it up with someone's mobile phone for internet access.
  12.  
    sly_karma

    sly_karma Part of the Furniture Season Pass Holder

    Except when we have a situation like last weekend where the live timing website had a code problem and wasn't uploading results from us. Then we needed that posting board. My line of thinking is trying to streamline and simplify the timing process. A timing shack is a very busy place during the race; headsets, radios and computers all sending data and information in a relentless stream that can be overwhelming to a newcomer. Deleting even one small part of it would help, and manual posting board seemed like a possible nonessential item.

    What I might experiment with is a remote monitor set up to show an announcer screen driven directly from the timing software. It would show running time of racer on course, leader positions with instant updates - all the same info that live timing gets but without relying on connection to a live timing website. A manual posting board means an extra person in the timing shack plus a volunteer at the board, plus another stream of voice communication. Freeing up volunteers for work elsewhere can't be a bad thing.
  13.  
    Phalanx

    Phalanx New Member

    It's a necessary part and does not need anyone extra in the timing area (that's why you have display boards). If you don't wish to use the ones from the timing system (which are your safest bet if you're thinking about reliability) then some of the software supports output screens (like Vola).

    I would really recommend having a system where you can see the times running. Any system where they just appear will always cause trouble even if you're perfect to 1,000th of a second on A, B and C...
  14.  
    sly_karma

    sly_karma Part of the Furniture Season Pass Holder

    The current setup has a big posting board with a volunteer, some marker pens and a radio. Someone in timing radios each time to the postinbg board and the volly writes them on. Apart from distraction of focus, transposition error potential, extra labour needed and all that, the times don't sort so racers have to work it out for themselves. The racers can also see their time on a digital board but it only dwells for 20 sec before going back to running time of the next racer.

    SST has an announcer screen module that shows start list, running time, new racers in the finish, leaders, the lot. I would need to drive the signal to a monitor. How far can VGA signal be pushed? I have to run signal line for the display board anyway. Would need some kind of makeshift shelter to protect the monitor from weather, but then again the posting board is a great big clunky thing that takes 3 people to carry, couldn't be much worse than that.

    If it wasnt for the occasional drop in service from the SST live timing site I'd still go with a volunteer holding an iPad at the end of the finish corral. Live timing shows all that info on a 5 sec refresh, pretty damn close to real time. It even shows intermediate times and speed trap data when those are available. And the ipad is completely wireless, lots of stuff I don't have to wire up before the race.
  15.  
    Phalanx

    Phalanx New Member

    You can get wireless HDMI and DVI.
  16.  
    sly_karma

    sly_karma Part of the Furniture Season Pass Holder

    Really? Now I need to do some research. Thanks.
  17.  
    Phalanx

    Phalanx New Member

    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 14, 2013
  18.  
    skixracer

    skixracer Active Member

    How waterproof are ipads though?
  19.  
    sly_karma

    sly_karma Part of the Furniture Season Pass Holder

    Canada mate, never rains!
  20.  
    powderpaula

    powderpaula New Member

    Live timing is fantastic - we are also looking at doing away with the manual scoreboard, and hooking up a TV, in the indoor race office/cafeteria. The time is still displayed at the finish with the electronic timing display.
    The only issue is that you have to be ready to revert to manual, as now and then there are "issues with timing" and in order to simplify things, the timers may have to run the race without live timing in order to get things to work. (You know how often starts can be delayed due to "timing issues")
    So - absolutely - it's fantastic (I've been right in front of the manual board, and the racers coming in have preferred to look at it on my iPad instead, as it is ranked, shows split-times, etc - but have a floater volunteer or two available to be able to immediately stop whatever else they are doing, and start doing a scoreboard, if the internet goes down or live timing has to dropped for some complicated timing reason. And you still need a place to post the DSQ's.
    You can put an iPad inside a plastic cover if it rains. It's probably more waterproof than a manual scoreboard, and the bib-collector can do both jobs.
  21.  
    powderpaula

    powderpaula New Member

    But you will need a large screen somewhere, as the social collection-point for people during the race, whether that is outdoors at the base, or inside the window of the clubhouse, or some other spot.
  22.  
    sly_karma

    sly_karma Part of the Furniture Season Pass Holder

    New clubhouse in planning now, must ask for a sheltered overhang with power and video feeds for a big display.