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Brave New World: true performance measurements

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  • Brave New World: true performance measurements

    On the lastest false start thread, DTG says, "I maintain, I still want to see the FASTEST RUNNER win the race, not the one that has the fastest reaction time to the gun start."

    With current technology we clearly have the ability to measure "true" performance in many events and not reaction time. We know from the start/finish data exactly who covers the sprint race fastest from the moment he/she leaves the blocks to the moment of crossing the finish. Many times this result does not reflect the physical order of finish because a slower runner might be a quicker reactor. Should the runner who actually covers the distance in the fastest elapsed time be the winner instead of the first place finisher?

    Likewise, in the horizontal jumps it is possible with current technology to measure the "true" length of the jump from take off to landing, regardless of foot placement on the board. Probably, on a "true" performance basis, Carl L. should have been credited with a 30 foot jump that night in Indiana years ago. Throws might be similarly measured from the place where the implement leaves the thrower's hand.

    Moreover, it seems to me that with enough video/computer tracking it ought to be possible to follow each individual runner's progress through, say, an 800 meter race and find each runner's time at the point where he/she actually has covered 800 meters. Obviously a person forced by the pack to run a considerable distance in lane 2 or 3, or who has to change lanes several times, covers the 800 meters at some point before the finish line and might even have run the distance faster than the person who crosses the finish line first.

    Of course, all these things are a track nut's nightmare, none of us are crazy for change. But are they the future of the sport or not? And are they any nuttier than starting block pressure pads and the like?

  • #2
    Re: Brave New World: true performance measurements

    If they are the future of sport, there is no hope for actual competition in our future.

    Who wants to be the one to explain to the casual track fan (or even the avid ones, for that matter really) that although Maurice Greene crossed the finish line in the 100m first, he placed 3rd and won a Bronze Medal?

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    • #3
      Re: Brave New World: true performance measurements

      Not me, but I don't want to be the one to explain that even though a sprinter didn't leave before the gun was fired he was still dq'd for a false start because he reacted too quickly.
      Still, what about taking true measurements for horizontal from take off to landing and getting rid of the boards and plasticine and red flags?

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      • #4
        Re: Brave New World: true performance measurements

        "Still, what about taking true measurements for horizontal from take off to landing and getting rid of the boards and plasticine and red flags?"

        Right on. Just run and JUMP for God's sake. Enough already of these boring foul-after-foul competitions, one jump winners, controversial calls replayed over and over. Throw out the plasticine! Put all the boards in a bin!

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        • #5
          Re: Brave New World: true performance measurements

          And here I thought that anticipation, reaction time, etc. were part of the game. The shot put is not about who is the strongest or most powerful; it's about who gets the ball out there the farthest within the rules of competition. The 100m is NOT about who is the fastest! It's about who crosses the finish line first. The guy who runs the fastest 10m split during the race (the FASTEST guy) doesn't always win. Long Jumping IS about hitting the board. Pole Vaulting is about hitting your takeoff point and then hitting your apex where the bar has been set (variable). It's sport, not a scientific experiment.

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          • #6
            Re: Brave New World: true performance measurements

            tn has said it pretty well. In the SP/DT/HT throws, staying in the ring is an integral part of the event, the same with the JT scratch line. In the LJ and 3J, staying behind the foul line is part of the event. In the jumps, clearing the bar is the thing, not how high you actually may have jumped at any point in the jumping arc. In the relays, passing the baton within the zone is an integral part of the event.

            Last but hardly least, on the track it's who gets to the line first.

            The case is now rested.......

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            • #7
              Re: Brave New World: true performance measurements

              "On the lastest false start thread, DTG says, "I maintain, I still want to see the FASTEST RUNNER win the race, not the one that has the fastest reaction time to the gun start."
              I agree that, but a good reaction time is despite everything a advantage. But best is to have an excellent setting in motion after the reaction time.

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              • #8
                Re: Brave New World: true performance measurements

                But how ridges you when you have only timeskeepers ? You ask for also to them to anticipate the gun shot?

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                • #9
                  Re: Brave New World: true performance measurements

                  Hmmm... tn thinks that horizotal jumpers MUST hit the board, that is an absolute, but that for pole vaulters variable bar placement is fine. In that regard, vaulting has evolved over the years for the convenience of the vaulters; shouldn't the same consideration be offered to horizontal jumpers to escape the tyranny of the plasticine?

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                  • #10
                    Re: Brave New World: true performance measurements

                    >Hmmm... tn thinks that horizotal jumpers MUST hit
                    >the board, that is an absolute, but that for pole
                    >vaulters variable bar placement is fine. In that
                    >regard, vaulting has evolved over the years for
                    >the convenience of the vaulters; shouldn't the
                    >same consideration be offered to horizontal
                    >jumpers to escape the tyranny of the plasticine?

                    Actually I think tn's point was that regardless of where horizontal jumpers take off, the measurement is from the board. Vertical jumpers, regardless of how high they may actually jump, are measured from where the bar is set.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Brave New World: true performance measurements

                      yes, that "variable placement" in the PV is horizontal, not vertical, so no big deal. LJ'ers and 3J'ers can take off on the left, center, or right part of the board, no problem. Same concept. In both cases the DISTANCE is measured from a common point. In the horizontals, it's the edge of the board to the landing spot, in the shortest line possible ( 90 degree angle of tape to board). In the PV it's to the ground, again in the to the top of the bar, again with the shortest lie being at a 90 degree angle to the ground.

                      Exact same concept in both.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Brave New World: true performance measurements

                        Sure, guys, but the point is that the rules changed over years to enhance performance for pole vaulters. We haven't ALWAYS had standards that adjusted horizontally; vaulters in olden times didn't have that advantage but over time the physical set up and the measurement rules wre adjusted to accomodate better performances. Likewise, HJ rules stipulated that only certain types of bar clearances were allowed, but those rules changed as technology of landing areas enabled new jumping techniques to evolve. Shouldn't LJ and TJ people be able to adjust the measurement rules to measure "true" performance?

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                        • #13
                          Re: Brave New World: true performance measurements

                          If the foul line were eliminated in the horizontals it would remove ( IMHO ! ) one of the integral parts of the event. Plus, to be consistent with the verticals, would not we then have to devise some scientific way of measuring thier highest point in the jumping arc ? And that obviously is not a good idea.

                          In short, why make the horizontals any more simple than they are ?

                          A good start is an integral part of sprinting, not how fast you can ultimately run once you're rolling. Likewise, knowing how to not foul is an integral part of horizontal jumping. It's part of the events' drama.

                          Again, all IMHO, but I bet 75 % plus of T&F aficionados would agree.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Brave New World: true performance measurements

                            Count me part of the 75%. A sprint race tests a number of talents, reaction time being simply an important part of it. Stirring come-from-behind finishes would be finished if we simply measured velocity; and the concept gets even less appealing the longer the race. Who cares, when you get the best together, who covers an 800-meter time trial the fastest? It's about mano-a-mano fighting over the entire distance, and of course it means that on any given day the "fastest" may not win, but that is of course the fascination. Can Kipketer/El G/etc. be beaten today?
                            Having said all that, it certainly would be interesting to at least track nuts who actually did have the highest measurable velocity. As a circus side show, worth pursuing -- just like the "junk" competitions in golf in the off-season or in conjunction with the real event (who gets closest to the hole, for example).

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                            • #15
                              Re: Brave New World: true performance measurements

                              I don't think it would work for the races and vertical jumps but I agree with Michael Lewis measure the TJ and LJ from where they take off! It's easy to do and will show who truly jumped the longest...yes, it changes the event...no more requiring being able to hit steps, not take off past the board etc. but, to me it would make it a more simple and pure event and result.

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