So how do people think they are working out? Seems they aren't being used for day off results.
Thanks for the update Bill -
At Cantua, we had a rider placed 9th in the e4s, he waited in chilly rain on race day for results & even the protest period, only to see it changed to DNP. I can't believe chief ref's and others involved still want to grapple with these results, but I am happy if they do and may perhaps get it right (eventually).
Should he petition the chief ref? What should anyone do, I mean besides volunteer to "help", just be patient?
At Snelling, we have photo evidence of 3 team members rolling in nearby each other, the 3rd one got placed, but the first 2 were relegated to DNP. No one was in the money, err t-shirts, so no big deal, but here's to hoping they utilize the chip data (and salsa!) to enhance the final-final-final results. (No, I do not want to start the whole accurate placings down to OTB discussion again. I am curious why DNS get placed ahead of DNP though, seems silly; must be USAC thing based on those 996/997/999 codes)
Tri Valley Velo
Here's my experience of races that have used the chips:
Early Bird Road Race: delayed start and dozens of riders having to stand around in the cold for as much as a half hour after warming up to get chips, because nobody announced they were using chips.
Cantua Creek: Only 9 riders placed in the Cat 4s. Start line was moved after the race began because of official's confusion. People running the timing chips insisted the line be moved so the riders wouldn't pass the "finish" more than once. Some riders sprinted for the earlier finish line because they'd seen it on the way out--new finish line was just past the crest of the hill and hard to see coming up the hill.
Snelling: Only 11 (of 100) placed in the Cat 3s. Only 7 (of 20) placed in the Jr. 15-16s. This is a Junior Points Series race, with points awarded to ten places. One teammate had to stop and remove chip holder because it had come loose and become entangled in his wheel.
Of course, any of these things could happen on any given day without chips, but I'll be interested to hear about the positives.
Well exactly Scott: they happen with or without chips, so what's the point of all the trouble?
At Cantua Creek in my field they missed half of the top ten, turns out they don't use the chips to do results.
I know I shouldn't, but here's a little clarification on some points about the results from Cantua Creek:
"Only 9 riders placed in the Cat 4s"
Day of, yes true. But on USAC there's 42 riders placed in the Cat 4 race, with the help of those chips.
There was no Finish Line placed when the early races started their promenade. It was in place where you finished before any rider completed a single lap. If your group promenaded past before the finish line was set up at all, all you saw was an A-frame sign. The location of the sign and the turn-around cones were moved to avoid having riders doing a lap go through a finishing sprint in either direction. And as each group went through the turn around, the blue and white finish line was visible further up the hill. It is unfortunate if anyone misjudged their sprint, but that happens at many races.
In addition to the safety issue, the Chief Judge also moved it to simplify scoring both for the traditional hand/camera scoring procedures as well as the chip timing system. The USAC officials at all NCNCA races control the finish line, not the "People running the timing chips" (which happens to be a local racer who's also a promoter and licensed official).
Joel - The chip timing did help clarify the results in the Masters 1/2/3 field, but we didn’t have them that day. Please take a look at the results posted to USACycling. They are complete now.
Like Bill said, integrating the chip timing system into our racing is a work in progress. The use of the chips is indicated on the race flyers, and announcements have gone out to the mailing list prior to the races they’re being used at. The Times-Seven folks are working on the systems, the officials are getting used to having them there and adapting to the data we’re getting from them.
A day that I'm on the bike is a good day.
The Chief Judge is responsible for results at each event, not the cameras nor chip timing. The Chief Judge uses hand scoring and cameras to score an event. We are learning to integrate chip timing into this long-established process. At the same time we are attempting to collect rider information and distribute 4,000 chips at a time of the year that hundreds of folks are renewing their license each week. This is a process that is being implemented by volunteers who are giving their time to improve racing in NCNCA. We are making progress, even if it does not appear that way. We have distributed well over 1000 chips. It will take another 1000 or more distributed to get past a critical point where we are spending less time passing out chips and more time administering the dovetailing of chip results with standard results. More work needs to be done. Much more volunteer work.
The results you have seen so far at Cantua Creek and Snelling do not take into account chip timing results. These are based solely on the results as provided by the officials through hand-scoring and cameras. The supplementation of these results with chip timing could replace most of the DNPs. That is what we are working toward. Since you are so passionate and concerned I would love to have you volunteer on a committee to help steer this toward success. Give me a call and I will connect you with the right person.
My reply to you Bill wound up near the top - so since the Chief Ref decided to move my team mate from 9th to DNP after race day at Cantua, do we contact him? I am sure he is not the only who would protest this or other changes in results after race day - is that the protocol? The only NCNCA.org always had the chief ref listed with the other links for each race, don't see that now. Man, you must be busy... thanks!
Work is being done to integrate some of the chip timing results with previously posted results. We will notify everyone as new results are posted. It takes the coordination of several people and I am grateful to the Chief Judges who are accomodating this process. I apologize for the inconvenience.
Technically the promoter posts the results to USAC, so you'd protest to them. But I agree that it was helpful when both the promoter, link to the race and the Chief Referee were listed on the old website's schedule page.
I was not the CR or Chief Judge, but drop me a line about Cantua results and I can look into them.
Good call out on the volunteering Bill, I like your management style. I won't be taking you up on it though, cause even when it will be perfectly executed (and I know you will get there) I haven't seen the explanation of what problem it is we are trying to solve here.
I have always like the judging and the results in the area. I have never been missed from a top fifteen, and don't care about anything under that. I have a feeling that the camera will always be the winner when determining the important placings.
I think I will volunteer for traffic control instead....
Thanks for all the great work you guys do out there all year long. Its very much appreciated.
Over and out,
When chip timing is working correctly (which we saw several demonstrations of last year):
1) Place all riders from an electronic system.
2) Results review by Chief Judge who verifies through avariety of means (Hands scoring, camera).
3) Chief Judge submits changes, timing guy updates electronic list.
4) Results are electronically transmitted to race registrar for printing and posting.
The above four steps could happen within about ten minutes of the finish of an event with complete placings. Printed results, with names and bib numbers printed for prize money, t-shirts and/or personal pride. Everyone wants and deserves validation. I have experienced waiting three hours for results. I have see only the top six posted and that was simply six bib numbers hand written on a scrap of paper when I have already changed into my street clothes and my bib is in my car. I have seen people going home from races frustrated not having a clue as to their placing. I have seen results at a stage race be distributed after midnight. I have seen results posted to USAC two weeks after an event. Chip timing promises to participate in resolving all of these issues. I recently completed the Level C Official's clinic. I had no clue what is involved with judging a race. I do now. My passion is to make the Official's job easier so the results management is better for the athletes.
Joel, some riders get their sense of success from being 40th out of 60 and may never see a podium nor a top ten placing. These are our customers too. They train too. They have coaches and special diets and dream about success too. When you win a race I think you care if there are 60 with you in the field instead of 10. You might have a perspective that is slanted by being a top athlete. Can you step back and see the big picture for the sport?
Perhaps we can and should do a better job of marketing what we are doing. That is part of our job too. We will have more communications shortly about chip timing. To review, Chip Timing can aid the results management process to provide:
1) Timely and accurate results at events for all participants by first supporting the efforts of our officials.
2) Value-added information such as lap times and gaps. When people look at results they can see breaks, etc.
3) Timely wide distribution of results (through USAC and NCNCA web sites)
P.S. I'll pass your name to Robert Leibold so you can help with traffic control. He'll give you a race credit for every event you help at. ;)
Note - full Snelling results have been posted, not just the "in-the-tshirts" day of lists.
Thanks for the update and all the hard work Bill.
The chips don't work well at all if the riders or officials who use them are not smart enough to use them correctly. These systems don't set themselves up and then just spit out the info for you. Although I suppose maybe a lot of people who are frustrated with these new-fangled devices are still using thier Avocet cycling computers to train with. Did you know they make powermeters now? Of course I would never use one, setting it up and figuring out how they work correctly is just too hard.
I am glad you both agree with me. Timing chips are a nonsequitor with little use at the vast majority of our races. Can we retire them then?
Joel, please don't retire!
I will write a short report on the chip timing soon. In the mean time, if you have a question I can answer, let me know and I'll try to help you be informed.
Ooops: I meant 'day of results'
More importantly, was the salsa fresh?
I like salsa. Especially mango salsa on salmon or grilled chicken.