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Is The False-Start Rule Slowing People Down?

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  • Is The False-Start Rule Slowing People Down?

    In another thread on the 200, Lee Nichols cited the following URL in which Maurice Greene blamed the FS rule for slowing people down this year.

    http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=s ... den_gala_1

    Some real analysis of a lot of numbers needs to be done before any meaningful conclusions can be drawn, but I was curious as to whether or not any trends can be spotted this early into the game, so trying to get "similar" circumstances I pulled together reaction times for the men's 60s in the last 5 World Indoor Championships. So I could use the same number of marks to average each year, I only used the first 6 finishers. (Maybe I should have thrown out the high and low or something)

    At any rate, here's the average reaction time for the first six finishers in each of those years:
    2003--0.132
    2001--0.129
    1999--0.122
    1997--0.134
    1995--0.125

    So this year was slower than three of the years but faster than another. And the difference between the slowest and fastest years is about a 100th of a second.

    If the guys are running a 10th or more slower, early evidence suggests to me that it's not because they're reacting to the gun that much slower.

    I did actually look at 1993 and earlier, but the reaction times are so much slower (like 0.150 for '93) I was initially mystified. Then I remembered that it was after '93 that the IAAF switched to the Seiko "silent-gun" blocks, which have proved to give faster reaction times than the ones used in the OG (viz Julin & Dapena).

    Another stat of note: in the GP FInal last year (Monty's WR race), the average reaction time was 0.159. Take out Monty's other-worldly 0.104 and it was 0.167. Average reaction time at this year's GP meet in Paris? 0.125. Yup, those new rules are really slowing them down.

  • #2
    Re: Is The False-Start Rule Slowing People Down?

    Very interesting--its exactly this sort of comparison that needs doing to figure out the real effect of the rule change. These numbers also demonstrate that BEFORE the rule change the huge majority of starters actually did wait for the gun...

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    • #3
      Re: Is The False-Start Rule Slowing People Down?

      Mo: "I think they wanted to slow us down and they got what they wanted. But now it's time to forget about the rules and do what we have to do. The world championships are getting nearer."

      Right after he put his foot in his mouth, he said a wise thing, so they cancel each other out. He's still my pick in Paree.

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      • #4
        Re: Is The False-Start Rule Slowing People Down?

        Which all brings me to a question that has been in my mind for a while -- does a fast reaction time (as measured by those pesky sensors) really equal a good start? I tend to think not, in a lot of cases.

        The quick reaction to the gun is a good thing, but I have not seen it translate into a really good start across the board.

        Any thoughts?

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