Loveland, CO., March 23. IN an unprecedented action, the NCAA requested equipment from a specific manufacturer for a championship meet.
The NCAA requested a complete timing system from Colorado Time Systems (CTS) for its Division I Women’s Swimming and Diving Championships this past week.
The issue was electronic relay judging, which the NCAA requires for relay swimming events at the Division I Championship level.
“We have determined that it is the championship’s best interest to use the relay judging platforms (RJP) produced by Colorado Time Systems and have those platforms supported by a complete Colorado timing system.” said Wayne Burrow, NCAA Director of Championships.
“It should be pointed out that Colorado has provided much of this same support in the past,” Burrow said. “The use of a complete replacement system is . . . definitely uncommon. The need for a complete, well-tested product is a necessity.”
According to Colorado Time Systems, the technology works like this: The relay judging platform records the departure of the swimmer leaving the starting platform and the timer automatically compares this time with the incoming swimmer's finish on the touchpad. The RJP records the necessary information to judge a relay exchange to 1/100th of a second.
Traditionally in relays, human judges have made the call as to whether the relay exchange was legal. The use of Colorado Time Systems’ technology allows a sensor to detect the athlete leaving the starting platform.
Burrow said, “The equipment went through a period of significant testing prior to the committee authorizing it for use several years ago. The committee analyzed this test data and determined that it should be used.”
The RJPs were tested in conjunction with high-speed video cameras and human judges at USA Swimming, Inc. at their Colorado Springs headquarters. In an afternoon of testing, there was not a single time the video results disagreed with the electronic results.
CTS has had relay judging platforms for more than 10 years. Until recently, most were used in the United States and internationally as a team training tool. The U.S., Canadian and Chinese Olympic teams, among others, have used CTS RJPs in training.
Colorado Time Systems is currently the only company that makes an RJP that meets the NCAA requirements. RJPs from Colorado Time Systems have been used at both the men’s and women’s championships since 2002.
A complete Colorado Time Systems timing system will also be used at next week’s Division I Men’s Swimming and Diving Championships in Long Island, New York.