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  • Photo finish, objective or subjective?

    Originally posted by [url=http://www.trackandfieldnews.com/discussion/viewtopic.php?p=270476&highlight=skepticism#270476
    In another thread[/url] tafnut] isn't it still a judgement call as to what constitutes the 'first part of the torso'? My skepticism is still born of the human margin of error, NOT the machine's.
    I was looking at some of the photo finishes from Madrid (Euro Indoor 2005 - Sunday, 6 March by Seiko Photo Finish) to get an idea for how many of the photo finishes are ambiguous with respect to placing the line.

    Most were clear cut but here are three that were less so with respect to where the line should be placed.

    This first picture shows third place finish in the women's 200m final. Could that green line be placed a little bit further forward? Where does the torso really begin? I think an argument could be made for moving the line slightly to the right. This would change the official time from 23.42 to 23.41.


    This second picture shows first place finish in the women's 60m hurdles final. Could that green line be placed a little bit further forward? Where does the torso really begin? I think an argument could be made for moving the line to the right. Interestingly the current official time is 7.80 but from the position of the green line shouldn't this official time be 7.81? If the line is moved to the front of the shoulder there is no doubt that this time should be 7.80.


    This final picture shows last place finish in the women's 200m final. Where does the torso really begin? Apparently the number is included in the torso? How much of the bib number protruding here? It looks like quite a lot, maybe even enough that her official time should be 24.24? i find it strange that the number would be included as part of the torso.

  • #2
    Daisy, I love you, man!
    :-)

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    • #3
      We got subjects deciding so i vote subjective?
      phsstt!

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      • #4
        yep, track is no better than syncronized swimming or figure skating(i would mention men's artistic gymnastics, but that is obviously far superior to track already)

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        • #5
          Originally posted by skyin' brian
          yep, track is no better than syncronized swimming or figure skating(i would mention men's artistic gymnastics, but that is obviously far superior to track already)
          But as you know, in the 100m sprint one hundreth of a second can count for a lot. In the case of Powell, I suspect he will command many more dollars as co-WR holder than as ex WR-holder. It is clear from these pictures that despite the accuracy of the timing equipment (0.0005) the official times could easily be +/- 0.01 seconds due to human subjectivity. I agree it is not to the level as synchronised swimming but it is subjective.

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          • #6
            Remember the photo of Merlene Ottey and Gail Devers (I think it was Stuttgart '93; I may be wrong) where Gail's shoulder touched the line because of her extreme lean, while Merlene on the other hand really looked like most of her was there? Maybe a case in point?

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            • #7
              So where were you guys when I was trying to circle the wagons on the other thread and all I got was more arrows in the back??!!

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              • #8
                Originally posted by tafnut
                So where were you guys when I was trying to circle the wagons on the other thread and all I got was more arrows in the back??!!
                I hadn't seen the evidence at that point. :-)

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                • #9
                  Interesting. Remember the world indoors a few years ago when the Wisconsin hurdler (forget his name, lost to football - Pego or Daisy?) threw his arm out at the finish? He wasn't given the decision despite his shoulder crossing the line first and afterwards his coach said it was a planned move to win photo-finishes.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by tafnut
                    So where were you guys when I was trying to circle the wagons on the other thread and all I got was more arrows in the back??!!
                    With an incredibly slow computer at work, such that by the time I can post a reply to something and it pops up on the board, there are four or five new posts already there! Why do you think nobody talks to me during the day around here?

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by tafnut
                      So where were you guys when I was trying to circle the wagons on the other thread and all I got was more arrows in the back??!!
                      Arrows in your back is a good look for you , hell i couldnt get away with it.
                      phsstt!

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by SQUACKEE
                        Arrows in your back is a good look for you , hell i couldnt get away with it.
                        They go well with the hat gh said you were talking through.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by bekeselassie
                          Originally posted by SQUACKEE
                          Arrows in your back is a good look for you , hell i couldnt get away with it.
                          They go well with the hat gh said you were talking through.
                          ROTFLMAO!!!!
                          phsstt!

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                          • #14
                            photo timing

                            Another thing to keep in mind: usually in major meets there are two cameras, one on each side of the track. The issue of shoulder versus torso location (and similar such) is usually settled by looking at the other camera. The photo found on websites is not necessarily the one of record. In the few situations that I know about, they seem to always post photos from the same side, not necessarily the most definitive one.

                            Pat Palmer

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                            • #15
                              Re: photo timing

                              Originally posted by ppalmer
                              In the few situations that I know about, they seem to always post photos from the same side, not necessarily the most definitive one.
                              With that in mind what do you make of the third photo? Looks to me like the other angle would be worse.

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