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Average reaction times from WC/OG finals


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  • Average reaction times from WC/OG finals

    Checking through my files, I jotted down some reaction times for several world class finals, and determine the average. This isn't an exhaustive nor a statistically deep analysis (since I have a million other things to do!), but it does provide insight to the topic at hand.

    The data includes reaction times from 5 events, including '87 WC (two data points), '91 WC (three points), '97 WC (5 points), '99 WC (8 points), and '96 OG (7 points). Ranking the averages in decreasing order (slowest to fastest):

    '87 WC 0.161s
    '96 OG 0.157s
    '99 WC 0.141s
    '97 WC 0.128s
    '91 WC 0.117s

    The '91 WC average is low due to the inclusion of Mitchell's 0.090s start. The '87 WC is a bit high due to the fact that only 2 data points were available (Johnson and Lewis), and Lewis' 0.193s reaction tipped the scale (cf. Ben's 0.129s).

    The average of the averages is 0.141s. So, based on this quick analysis, one can consider the previously cited 0.14-0.16s reaction range to be accurate for the athletes.

    A better analysis would be to examine the variance of reactions in a particular athlete, but I don't have enough data to do that.

    1987 Wc
    Johnson 0.129
    Lewis 0.193
    Avg: 0.161

    1991 WC
    Lewis 0.14
    Burrell 0.12
    Mitchell 0.09
    Avg: 0.117

    1996 OG
    Bailey 0.174
    Fredericks 0.143
    Boldon 0.164
    Mitchell 0.145
    Marsh 0.147
    Ezinwa 0.157
    Green 0.169
    Avg: 0.157

    1997 WC
    Greene 0.13
    Bailey 0.14
    Montgomery 0.13
    Fredericks 0.12
    Boldon 0.12
    Avg: 0.128

    1999 WC
    Greene 0.132
    Surin 0.127
    Chambers 0.140
    Thompson 0.145
    Harden 0.136
    Montgomery 0.136
    Gardner 0.142
    Streete-T. 0.173
    Avg: 0.141

  • #2
    Re: Average reaction times from WC/OG finals

    Here's some numbers from a post I made in July on a thread about Mo Greene's claim that the new FS rule was slowing times:

    <<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:

    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.>>


    • #3
      Re: Average reaction times from WC/OG finals

      Yup, those new rules are really slowing
      >them down.>>

      maybe not, but it's sure KNOCKING them out!!!!


      • #4
        Re: Average reaction times from WC/OG finals

        >maybe not, but it's sure KNOCKING them

        No it isn't. Officials not using their heads to overrule the blocks are knocking guys like Drummond out. Complain all you want about the new false start rule but it is not the problem.

        If you're going to fight the good fight at the very least you can pick the right one.