Timing and Photofinish Systems 


RULE 165   Timing and Photo Finish

Fully Automatic Timing and Photo Finish System
13. Fully Automatic Timing and Photo Finish System approved by IAAF should be used at all competitions.

The System
14. To be approved by the IAAF, a system must have been tested, and have a certificate of accuracy issued within 4 years of the competition, including the following:

(a) The System must record the finish through a camera positioned in the extension of the finish line, producing a composite image.

(i) For competitions under Rule 1.1, this composite image must be composed of at least 1000 images per second.

(ii) For other competitions, this composite image must be composed of at least 100 images per second. In each case, the image must be synchronised with a uniformly marked time-scale graduated in 0.01 seconds.

(b) The System shall be started automatically by the Starter’s signal, so that the overall delay between the report from the muzzle or its equivalent visual indication and the start of the timing system is constant and equal to or less than 0.001 second.

15. In order to confirm that the camera is correctly aligned and to facilitate the reading of the Photo Finish image, the intersection of the lane lines and the finish line shall be coloured black in a suitable design. Any such design must be solely confined to the intersection, for no more than 20mm beyond, and not extended before, the leading edge of the finish line.

16. The placing of the athletes shall be identified from the image by means of a cursor with its reading line guaranteed to be perpendicular to the time scale.

17. The System must automatically determine and record the finish times of the athletes and must be able to produce a printed image which shows the time of every athlete.

18. A system which operates automatically at either the start or the finish, but not at both, shall be considered to produce neither Hand nor Fully Automatic Times and shall not therefore be used to obtain official times. In this case, the times read on the image will not, under any circumstances, be considered as official, but the image may be used as a valid support in order to determine positions and adjust time intervals between athletes.

Note: If the timing mechanism is not started by the Starter’s signal, the time-scale on the image shall indicate this fact automatically.

20. There should be at least two photo finish cameras in action,one from each side. Preferably, these timing systems should be technically independent, i.e. with different power supplies and recording and relaying of the Starter’s signal, by separate equipment and cables.

Note: Where two or more Photo Finish cameras are used, one should be designated as official by the Technical Delegate (or International Photo Finish Judge where appointed) before the start of the competition. The times and places from the images of the other camera(s) should not be considered unless there is reason to doubt the accuracy of the official camera or if there is need to use the supplementary images to resolve uncertainties in the finishing order (i.e. athletes wholly or partially obscured on the image from the official camera).