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Old 03-23-09, 02:10 PM   #1
dgearhart
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Would You Protest?

This Saturday I was in a crit that I thought I won, but I was told that the AMB i.t. timing chip system said I lost by 0.007 sec. I asked to the see the photo since I thought I was ahead. I was told there was no photo because the chips could time to the one thousandth of a second. Then, the winner commented on how his chip's zip tie had come loose and slide all the way down his fork and was hanging 1.5 - 2 inches below his left skewer (about 6 inches below my chip and about 2.5 to 3 inches in front of my chip). So, I formally protested the result. I was told by Georgia Cup and their AMB i.t. timing manager Philip that although his chip hanging off the front would affect the time, it would not be more than 0.007. So, they gave me second and ended the discussion. I was pretty sure that I won and others watching thought the same thing. However, I made my case and was overruled, so I accepted the 2nd place.

Question: Have you ever seen something similar? Do you agree that it wouldn't make a difference given 0.007 on a hard sprint with 6 inches down and 2+ inches in front?
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Old 03-23-09, 02:21 PM   #2
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I don't think that it would make a difference at the speed you were going.
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Old 03-23-09, 02:22 PM   #3
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(40 miles/hr)*(1hr/3600sec)*(63360inch/mile)*(0.007sec) = 4.928 inches

i.e. in a 40mph sprint if you were 0.007 seconds behind him, you were 5 inches back, or 3 inches back if his transponder slipped forward 2 inches. Math seems to say you lost, sorry.

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Old 03-23-09, 02:23 PM   #4
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Assuming you were sprinting at 35 mph, that's 616 inches per second.

616 inches / 0.007 seconds = 4.31 inches

So his chip would have to have been about 4.31 inches in front of yours for a difference of 0.007 seconds, unless my math is wrong.
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Old 03-23-09, 02:25 PM   #5
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2' = .04 seconds @ 35mph.
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Old 03-23-09, 02:28 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dgearhart View Post
This Saturday I was in a crit that I thought I won, but I was told that the AMB i.t. timing chip system said I lost by 0.007 sec. I asked to the see the photo since I thought I was ahead. I was told there was no photo because the chips could time to the one thousandth of a second. Then, the winner commented on how his chip's zip tie had come loose and slide all the way down his fork and was hanging 1.5 - 2 inches below his left skewer (about 6 inches below my chip and about 2.5 to 3 inches in front of my chip). So, I formally protested the result. I was told by Georgia Cup and their AMB i.t. timing manager Philip that although his chip hanging off the front would affect the time, it would not be more than 0.007. So, they gave me second and ended the discussion. I was pretty sure that I won and others watching thought the same thing. However, I made my case and was overruled, so I accepted the 2nd place.

Question: Have you ever seen something similar? Do you agree that it wouldn't make a difference given 0.007 on a hard sprint with 6 inches down and 2+ inches in front?
sounds like you did protest within the specified protest period and were given a decision. /of story. however, shame on your officials for not having a camera there as a backup or verification system for disputes over placings.

asgelle - what do the USAC rules say about this stuff?

technology fails all the time, your officials and organizing committe along with their chip vendor should not be so arrogant as to forget this.

btw - finishing 2nd isnt bad and deserves a congratulations on its own
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Old 03-23-09, 02:30 PM   #7
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If you're not putting your chip almost on your dropout, you're doing it wrong.

Also, by my calculations, at 37mph, .007 seconds is about 0.03 inches, so you may have crossed first. I still think they ought to set up a camera as a redundancy.

edit: Nevermind, it's about 4.53 inches at 37mph. My math skills have dulled.

Last edited by mikearena; 03-23-09 at 02:33 PM.
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Old 03-23-09, 02:31 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MDcatV View Post
sounds like you did protest within the specified protest period and were given a decision. /of story. however, shame on your officials for not having a camera there as a backup or verification system for disputes over placings.

btw - finishing 2nd isnt bad and deserves a congratulations on its own
Truth. I was going to say on my first post that they really shoulda had a camera there...

Congrats on second!
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Old 03-23-09, 02:32 PM   #9
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Yeah, I agree with MDcatV. I hope to be able to consider protesting a race or two this year!

Congrats on the podium!

Video is not hard to use.

Technology is for suckers.
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Old 03-23-09, 02:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikearena View Post
If you're not putting your chip almost on your dropout, you're doing it wrong.

Also, by my calculations, at 37mph, .007 seconds is about 0.03 inches, so you may have crossed first. I still think they ought to set up a camera as a redundancy.

edit: Nevermind, it's about 4.53 inches at 37mph. My math skills have dulled.
Unfortunately, if they're going to set up a camera, they might as well take results with it and not bother the chips. The idea is to save labor, if I'm not mistaken. I'm skeptical of the chips myself, but they seem to work ok most of the time.
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Old 03-23-09, 02:37 PM   #11
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I thought that timing chips were secondary to a camera/official for results...
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Old 03-23-09, 02:42 PM   #12
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I thought that timing chips were secondary to a camera/official for results...
That's what they told me when I first started racing with a chip. This was true for one race and then the "ironed out all the kinks" and have been relying solely on chips since. Granted, results are usually accurate and posted very, very quickly, but there occasionally seem to be some issues, and there's nothing to refer to other than the chips.
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Old 03-23-09, 03:20 PM   #13
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Always protest. Then kill people and let god sort it out.
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Old 03-23-09, 03:22 PM   #14
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Protest, protest, protest.

Camera is the ONLY recognized form of finish line placement determination used in a vast array of sports, from NASCAR to thoroughbred racing to track and field.

And yes, I realize I just called NASCAR a sport, but I'm trying to illustrate the point that everyone uses high speed camera when it comes to racing. Chips are for suckers; too many things can go wrong.

The fact that they don't have a camera on the line makes me think that this is a bush league race to begin with, and that the officials are hacks as well.
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Old 03-23-09, 03:27 PM   #15
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Hell, I protest when I win. Having spent too many years studying epistemology I feel it's my duty.
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Old 03-23-09, 03:42 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grolby View Post
they seem to work ok most of the time.
That's the problem. They only work "OK" and "most of the time".

The rule states the leading edge of the tire, NOT the drop-out.
And you can say that the chip transmits to a location equivalent to the leading edge, but I disagree.
It's a lazy, incompetent official who relies on the chip to sort out the results without any visual verification. Especially for first and second place. How hard is it to pick the top three? Not hard.
I've been at races where the camera failed prior to the end of the race, and spectators were called upon to help pick the finish.
If you're going to have people competing against each other in head to head competition, you need a reliable means of determining the order of finish. Sorry, but chips aren't it.
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Old 03-23-09, 03:43 PM   #17
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Lesson learned: Keep your chip in your pocket and throw it across the line ahead of you during the sprint.
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Old 03-23-09, 03:47 PM   #18
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A follow up for the math & video geeks: Would a standard video camera have shown a 0.007s win? Our officials in CA use an old standard definition video camera for results. What is the frame rate for that type of video?
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Old 03-23-09, 03:58 PM   #19
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It depends on how the chip triggers the mat. If it slid halfway down his fork, then the linear distance to the mat is easily decreased by 4.7", and then some. If the mat somehow only measures horizontal distance, then so be it, but I REALLY doubt that is the case.

I think you got bent over.

Congrats on the win though

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A follow up for the math & video geeks: Would a standard video camera have shown a 0.007s win? Our officials in CA use an old standard definition video camera for results. What is the frame rate for that type of video?
NTSC is generally 30fps, so 0.033 seconds between frames. This is much greater than 0.007. The question though, is what was the speed difference? Would the lead have changed between the two frames on either side of the line? It would be pretty easy to pick that out, going frame by frame.

The argument here though, is whether or not he was 4.7" ahead. That would be reasonably easy to see in video.

Last edited by waterrockets; 03-23-09 at 04:01 PM.
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Old 03-23-09, 04:01 PM   #20
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I suppose if they wanted to measure it by the leading edge, they could have the sensor for the transmitter back from the line a bit (approx. distance from dropout to front of wheel) so that the wheel gets to the line at the same time the sensor is being triggered a foot or so back.
I thought transponders were generally used for stage races for measuring cumulative time rather than finishing order.

either way, congrats on the finish, and remove all doubt next time by blowing the field apart!
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Old 03-23-09, 04:08 PM   #21
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Lesson learned: Keep your chip in your pocket and throw it across the line ahead of you during the sprint.
Or tape it to the bumper of the pace car before the race starts.
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Old 03-23-09, 04:15 PM   #22
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WR: I don't quite know how these timing mats work, but I assume that they spot the time where the sensor is directly over the mat. The signal from the chip will start weak, build to a peak, then decrease. It's a simple algorithm to locate the peak; and where the peak is is where the chip is directly over the mat.

Point is that they probably do only measure linear distance, which means that 0.007s is 3.7" worth of travel at 30mph, which is greater than 2". For 0.007s to be less than 2", your sprint would have had to be less than about 16mph, which seems unlikely. The officials were probably right on this one, I'm afraid. But who knows, which is exactly the point. Timing chip, camera, spotters... just different ways of estimating the finishing order. The officials make the best of the tools they are given.

Congrats on your podium!
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Old 03-23-09, 04:18 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eventservices View Post
the rule states the leading edge of the tire, not the drop-out.
And you can say that the chip transmits to a location equivalent to the leading edge, but i disagree.
It's a lazy, incompetent official who relies on the chip to sort out the results without any visual verification. Especially for first and second place. How hard is it to pick the top three? Not hard.
+1
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Old 03-23-09, 04:20 PM   #24
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Thanks for the posts. Some good posts in there made it less frustrating. The "visual" from the crowd was that I won. I thought I won, that's why I was frustrated. However, great point on how I shouldn't make it so close if I don't want these things to happen. It was my fault as we were the only two out there and I waited to the last second to sprint so nobody could come off my wheel. However, shame on me for repeating the mistake Sunday when I got 2nd by 0.051. I know that I came in 2nd on Sunday, so no protest there. BTW, it is a ******* jack series, Georgia Cup.
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Old 03-23-09, 04:28 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EventServices View Post
That's the problem. They only work "OK" and "most of the time".

The rule states the leading edge of the tire, NOT the drop-out.
And you can say that the chip transmits to a location equivalent to the leading edge, but I disagree.
It's a lazy, incompetent official who relies on the chip to sort out the results without any visual verification. Especially for first and second place. How hard is it to pick the top three? Not hard.
I've been at races where the camera failed prior to the end of the race, and spectators were called upon to help pick the finish.
If you're going to have people competing against each other in head to head competition, you need a reliable means of determining the order of finish. Sorry, but chips aren't it.
Don't get me wrong - I agree completely. "Ok" and "most of the time" wasn't meant as an endorsement. It does sucker officials into thinking that they can get away with using chips for results. Like I said, I'm skeptical of the things. I don't really see why they use chips at all. My point was that they should just get a finish line camera and use the damn thing. If nothing else will reliably give you finish order, why use chips at all?
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