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Attitude from race officials after (politely) protesting

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Attitude from race officials after (politely) protesting

Old 05-06-10, 09:05 AM
  #1  
cmyke
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Attitude from race officials after (politely) protesting

I came in 2nd in a race I did over the weekend. It was a breakaway finish, so the 4 of us were definitely aware of each other when we crossed the finish line.

When the announcer announced the winners, he said, "[winner], 1st. [some other guy], 2nd. [me], 3rd."

For a second, I thought "hmm. Did I come in 3rd? No way. I crossed the line solo with only 1 guy in front of me." At the same time, the other guys in the breakaway said "I think you have an extra person in there, HE (pointing at me) got 2nd."

Then the race official results lady came over and said, "I JUST posted the results!! How could you protest now?"

Us: "Uhh, we heard the announcer read off the list and you have an extra man in there."

Her: "Nope. I just posted the results. Go read them."

Then, the guy who was listed as coming in 2nd sauntered over and said he actually abandoned the race, that he definitely did NOT come in 2nd. That's when the lady finally decided to listen to us.

My question is: Is this typical race official attitude? How can I even more politely mention an issue in the future? Her attitude was unbelievable. It's not like we were fighting over 25th place.

P.S. If this thread is incredibly boring, I'm happy to remove it.
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Old 05-06-10, 09:11 AM
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There's a defined protest period. How long after the results were posted did the announcer call out the results?
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Old 05-06-10, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by bdcheung View Post
There's a defined protest period. How long after the results were posted did the announcer call out the results?
He was announcing the results at the same time the woman was posting them. So, basically we "protested" 1 minute after the results were posted. The rule is 15 minutes, right?
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Old 05-06-10, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by cmyke View Post
I

Then the race official results lady came over and said, "I JUST posted the results!! How could you protest now?"

Us: "Uhh, we heard the announcer read off the list and you have an extra man in there."

Her: "Nope. I just posted the results. Go read them."
Her point was the announced results are not official. She posted the official results and didn't see anyone around and was wondering how you could be protesting so quickly. In fact, she was right. your complaint was based on the announcer, not what was posted.
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Old 05-06-10, 09:27 AM
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I had to protest a day later when the officials had me placing higher in a race the day before. They were trying to hand me a check. I was all like, "Whoa there. I don't need no stinking money."

No one tried to fix it during the protest period the day before. I knew I wasn't in the money so I didn't even look at the results. But the guy who did place in the money didn't protest either. We finally got it all resolved and I was patted on the head for being honest. Then sent on my way ... to come up one place short again that same day.
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Old 05-06-10, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by asgelle View Post
Her point was the announced results are not official. She posted the official results and didn't see anyone around and was wondering how you could be protesting so quickly. In fact, she was right. your complaint was based on the announcer, not what was posted.
+1 - that's why the attitude. She was most likely like - "I don't care what the announcer said. i don't even know what he's reading. I just posted the results and you haven't even gone over to look at them. How could you possibly be protesting?" For all she knew a few of you decided to protest your way into second.

When the other guy shows up it lends credibility and probably made her take a look to see what your complaint really was.

BTW - did you say thank you for officiating?
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Old 05-06-10, 09:31 AM
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cmyke - you were within the 15' period, that's the proper way to do it. i would interpret the exchange the way asgelle describes it.

either way, congrats on a 2nd!
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Old 05-06-10, 09:31 AM
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Sounds like a valid protest to me.
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Old 05-06-10, 09:32 AM
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Whut we hayave heah is a fail-ure to commUnicayte...

She appears to have meant to indicate that protests should be based on the posted results, and you should check them out before protesting. She didn't say that very clearly.
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Old 05-06-10, 09:36 AM
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so, did they get the results right on the official sheet?
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Old 05-06-10, 05:04 PM
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Ok, I understand now. Thanks everyone for your responses!

The posted results were also incorrect, so technically the protest was warranted, but I now understand why she was frustrated.

Either way, it was fixed up and all is well.

Also, no, I didn't thank her for officiating, mostly because her attitude took me by complete surprise. I think I would have sounded pretty sarcastic if I said thanks at that juncture.

I thanked all the volunteers I crossed paths with after the race, though
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Old 05-06-10, 05:17 PM
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I like officials. I was once in a crit that totally shattered. There were 2 up the road and a chase group of about 15 and the rest of the race was pulled. The camera somehow missed me, despite the fact that I won the 'field sprint,' I protested. The camera guy stood his ground, but the official had me in on the bell lap which meant I couldn't have placed like 35th where I was on the sheet. The official painstakingly worked it out...eventually figuring that I sprinted on the camera side and found a blind spot, and checking it with the others in the race. She didn't need to do it. And had I gone for a col down spin I'd have missed the protest period and been SOL for a good result in a hard race. More flies with honey though folks.
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Old 05-06-10, 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by cmyke View Post
Also, no, I didn't thank her for officiating, mostly because her attitude took me by complete surprise. I think I would have sounded pretty sarcastic if I said thanks at that juncture.
Thank her at the next race and tell her that you have learned the right way to do things and will do so in the future.

(Added in edit: I used to officiate foil fencing so I know what it is like from the other side.)

Last edited by mollusk; 05-06-10 at 05:36 PM.
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Old 05-06-10, 07:07 PM
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There are good officials and bad ones. Everyone knows the bad ones, even USAC and the local associations.

I really like good officials. I ask the Bethel Spring Series officials if they'll be able to officiate because they are 50% of the reason the race is so good. Okay, I don't know the percent, but it's divided between registration helpers, officials, and the racers.

I HATE bad officials, ones that think they're above it all. Cycling seems to draw a minority of officials that need to feel important and get their jollies by telling racers things which are not true, just to make the racer have to do something (or prevent them from doing something).

For example, at one race last year, I was warming up and stopped to find the staging area. The head official saw me, noticed something, and came over to me. I was told to remove my "radio" (mistake one - official assumed I had a radio). The official noticed a cable sticking out of my pocket. I said, accurately, I don't have a radio. I added, politely, to explain, that the cord the official saw was for my helmet cam (I could have been obnoxious and just say, "I don't have a radio" which is accurate but not totally complete).

The official could have said, "Oh, sorry, my mistake."

Instead the official said, "You can't race with that anyway."

"Why not? I think helmet cams are legal. However, I'll be glad to take it off if you tell me to take it off."

Officials thinks about it for 10-15 seconds.

"Loose equipment. You can't race with loose equipment."

Okay, that's totally ****ing bullsith. My bottles will fall out of their cages before I drop anything that's velcroed to my helmet or pinned inside my jersey pocket (I didn't have pins but I could have pinned up my pockets in less than a minute, including hunting down pins.

However, I respect officials, even those in the wrong. So I removed my helmet cam. Raced the race.

Later I asked NEBRA (at the annual promoters' meeting) how a promoter or a racer can "protest" an official. I was thinking purely in self-preservation terms. If I was assigned that particular official for a race I promoted, I would refuse, flat out refuse, to accept that official as the head official. I'd cancel the race instead of having that official as the head official. Whatever that official does reflects on the race, and I'd just end up arguing that the official is not using proper judgment.

I learned:
1. NEBRA knows this official is not good. It's a matter of doing the right thing. It's like firing someone - you can't just fire someone because they'll sue you for some kind of discrimination. Likewise, NEBRA knows this official only gathers complaints, never anything good. But there aren't enough officials. For two years I tried to take an official's class but couldn't because I was doing my SoCal training camp. This past year I even emailed NEBRA to schedule it anytime other than this and that week, but it was already too late. I want to be an official so I can avoid not having an official. NEBRA is aware of other problem officials. Unfortunately they can't do anything about them, not at this time.

2. If you have a problem with an official's attitude, let the local association know. Just like any other group, there will be bad apples in the basket. The local association is the place to complain. If the official is a top level local association person, complain to Colorado. But complain. Obnoxious, arrogant, self-serving officials hurt the sport, driving away new racers and discourage long time racers from attending events.

cdr

Last edited by carpediemracing; 05-07-10 at 03:55 AM. Reason: improper grammar
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Old 05-06-10, 09:28 PM
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Originally Posted by mollusk View Post
Thank her at the next race and tell her that you have learned the right way to do things and will do so in the future.

(Added in edit: I used to officiate foil fencing so I know what it is like from the other side.)
Well, thank YOU for your service at fencing matches...

But, it's not like I was in the wrong by protesting. If I had seen her post the results, read them, then walked over to her and said, "excuse me, I think there's a mistake," I'm confident her attitude would have been the same snarky attitude.

So, I think for the future I know I need to check the results first, but I certainly don't need to apologize for being "in the wrong," because I wasn't.
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Old 05-07-10, 03:23 AM
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I HATE bad ________, ones that think they're above it all. LIFE seems to draw a minority of _______ that need to feel important and get their jollies by telling _______ things which are not true, just to make the _______ have to do something (or prevent them from doing something).
CDR, forgive me for altering your quote to fit the broad spectrum of life as we know it.

cops
teachers
clerks
racers
officials
draculas
bouncers
fraggles
blah blah

powertrippin punk people piss cris off
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Old 05-07-10, 03:28 AM
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btw CDR

a. thanks for the info on how to best lodge a complaint. i've already run across a few immature officials in my region in just 2 months.
b. i've sent your vid links to a lot of people. they love'em.

later
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Old 05-09-10, 06:01 PM
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since this thread is over and going a different way.....


i finished 4th in a mtn race a year or so ago. I wasn't on the results. It had been muddy, so I went and cleaned up and looked at the results.....3 hours later. Not on them. I went to the head official, and VERY politely wondered if it would be possible for him to take a look, even though it was a LOOONG time ago. He asked if I was placed wrong.....I said I wasn't placed. He marched over, looked at the sheets, looked at his, found my spot and fixed it. The "hosting team" was (and still probably is) a bunch of worthless hooligans. they ****ed up. I like officials too.
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Old 05-09-10, 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by cmyke View Post
Well, thank YOU for your service at fencing matches...

But, it's not like I was in the wrong by protesting. If I had seen her post the results, read them, then walked over to her and said, "excuse me, I think there's a mistake," I'm confident her attitude would have been the same snarky attitude.

So, I think for the future I know I need to check the results first, but I certainly don't need to apologize for being "in the wrong," because I wasn't.
I think you are the one with the attitude. Just sayin'.
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Old 05-10-10, 07:27 AM
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I would respectfully disagree.

I sit on both sides of the fence since I promote races and most racers think promoters are also officials ("Hey, I got 2nd, but I'm not listed"). I expect an absolute minimum, like an absolute minimum, of courtesy from race staff (aside from registration). So when I say "Hi" to a promoter or official at a race, I do NOT expect an enthusiastic, all encompasing "hi" back - that would be more than minimum (because, like me at my races, an official or promoter may be preoccupied with something more important than me, like trying to save the race).

The OP sounds like he did all the right things. The official didn't use good judgment, even though technically the OP didn't follow the letter of the rules (hence I use the term judgment). OP followed the spirit of the rules, and the official could have said something much better like, "I'm sorry, I didn't hear what the announcer was saying. Can you verify that the posted results are what the announcer said they were?"

In the future, if I were in the OP's position, I'd go check the results posted as well as listen to the announcer. Announcers have been known to be wrong or be reading off of an-already-outdated results sheet. The "treat like treading on eggshells" approach is a safe one.

cdr
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Old 05-10-10, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by carpediemracing View Post
I would respectfully disagree.
cdr
Then we disagree.

If I was the official and I had somebody protesting without even looking at the posted results I would not be happy. I would firmly ask them to first check the posted results and then get back to me if there was a problem.

I also get the same way when students complain about a grade that they received on an examination problem without first checking the posted solutions.
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Old 05-10-10, 09:23 AM
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I'm new to cycling, and racing but I have a question - pardon if it seems rather ignorant or simplistic.

Why don't the sanctioning body of the bicycle racing organization use transponders with a scoring/timing system?

I spent many years racing motorcycles ( road racing and MX ) and this was how it was done. It was rather nice as there was never any question as to who finished where. Also, when I was a kid racing R/C cars 20 years ago, we had a transponder system - I can't see why there cant be a lightweight one used in cycling?

Thanks.
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Old 05-10-10, 09:31 AM
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the sanctioning body is separate from the individuals who promote and finance the races. those people are responsible for hiring chip timing services if they so desire. it is expensive.

here is one of the services used in NY state

http://www.yellowjacketracing.com/services
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Old 05-10-10, 10:16 AM
  #24  
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re: chips,

there is also a technical issue that the winner is the first wheel across the line, but you can't mount a sensor on the wheel, so you put it on the fork. Doesn't matter mostly, except when it does. So you still need a backup camera. Then there's the extra race-day hassle of distributing and collecting (if they aren't a one time use) the chips, mounting them. I assume they wouldn't malfunction much, but the extra cost and hassle is often not worth avoiding the occasional protest.

my .02
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Old 05-10-10, 11:48 AM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by mollusk View Post
I think you are the one with the attitude. Just sayin'.
Huh? What did I say? I think I've been completely receptive to the feedback offered in here, and have erred on the side of "my fault" in my anecdotes. I've learned the proper way to do things for the future and thanked those who offered productive feedback.

If you get "attitude" out of that, then I think you need to turn down your sarcasm filter.

Last edited by cmyke; 05-10-10 at 11:55 AM.
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