- Jeff Feeney
USATF Cross Country Council - Placement at Finish Line
Cross Country Council – USATF
We hope that all sports organizations in the USA organizing cross country running events, regardless of the method of timing, will remember that cross country is basically a team sport and that place is more important than time.
To that end, the USA Track & Field’s Cross Country Council wishes to emphasize and reiterate that there is one, and only one, method to utilize regarding placement of runners at the finish line of cross country races.
Competitors shall be placed at the finish line in the order in which any part of their bodies (i.e., the “torso”, as distinguished from the head, neck, arms, hands, legs, or feet) reaches the finish line.
USA Track & Field Cross Country Council Executive Committee – December 1, 2017
Please bare in mind that an RFID tag system utilizes antennas that have a "field" that the tags are read within. This field is not contained within the plane of the "finish line" but extends beyond the finish line in both directions. There is no way to tell with the technology exactly where the tag is read within the field, therefore I agree strongly with the statement put forth by the USATF Cross Country Council regarding placement of competitors at the "finish line" in cross country. A competitors placement is determined when any part of their "torso" breaks the plane of the "finish line"