Mistakes happen. Here are some examples:
Photo finish equipment malfunction, so you get a manual hand time (HT) for your efforts. Your 10.8 HT suddenly becomes a 11.04 FAT equivalent.
False start fliers that don’t get called back.
Your own blocks slip and they don’t call it back, so by the time you recover, your competitors have 20 meters on you.
After a false start, two sprinters false start, but only one runner gets charged and thus DQ’ed in the process.(Jon Drummond, are you still upset at this?)
Improper lap counters for distance events, especially at Masters meets. This is why I love the 400 meters… if you get lapped outdoors, you’d better go home.
Pathetic Meet Management?
Mistakes happen in real time. Some cannot be avoided, as <expletive> happens.
But where’s the quality assurance? The PDCA?
In May, the Adidas Carson meet had a bad Men’s 400 meter hurdle misplacement.
Then in June, the USATF Nationals had the women’s 3000 meter steeplechase water barrier set too high.
We’re not talking about casual All-comer meets, we are talking about World Class track meets and National Championships where 4th place gets to watch the World Championships and Olympic Games from their PVRs at home!
It’s a shame that one little mishap will create headlines on an otherwise well run track meet. It’s not good for the sport and the media loves negative publicity.
Mistakes will happen, just like bad calls in basketball, football, hockey and baseball with the officials. It’s part of the sport, and they will happen. So deal with it.
But one thing is certain… there is no instant replay in Track and Field. Only photo finish timers – when they work!