Cross Country Results
Updated: Oct 19, 2019
Reporting of cross country results has been a discussion item lately with various groups.
To what Precision should cross country times be reported?
There are several rule books to follow for cross country guidelines and they vary with the wording for precision of results. Accuracy of the timing can also play into your decision on result precision. I have been involved with cross country timing since the late 80's and I have always reported results rounded up to the second. Cross country places greater emphasis on Place and time is an approximate comparison. Courses vary by many factors from hills to flat, and hard surfaces to soft surfaces. It is tough to compare times and there is no guarantee that the course is measured accurately (unless it is certified by a legitimate organization).
What the rule books say!
IAAF: For races partly or entirely outside the stadium, unless the time is an exact whole second, the time shall be converted and recorded to the next longer whole second, e.g. 2:09:44.3 shall be recorded as 2:09:45.
USATF: The times for races conducted partly or entirely outside the stadium (off the track) shall be read in 0.01 of a second and shall be converted to the next longer whole second, i.e., for the Marathon, 2:09:44.32 shall be recorded as 2:09:45.
NCAA: b. When fully automatic timing (FAT) is used for the official meet results in
Cross Country, the times of all competitors shall be determined by viewing the official image from the FAT camera and then reproduced on an official printout. Times shall be recorded to the slower 1/10th second.
e. When a transponder system is being used for the official meet results, a ranked order list of times of all competitors shall be determined by reading the printout produced by the system, and recorded to the slower 1/10th second. The ranked order of competitors separated by not more than 1/10th second shall be verified.
NFHS: No language specific to cross country results and timing apparatus.