Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Automatic Timing systems

Looking for feedback on any pools using automatic timing systems.  Seen the Dolphin system in one pool and at the North Raleigh Championship meet.  Looking for pros/cons, vendors, and how this changes the format of the Tues night meet such as swimmer placement/filling lanes, and timer responsibilities. 

Todd Blevins - Springdale

1 comment:

Dieter Boessmann said...

Here's some feedback from our "Tech Lead" at Cary Park.

Cary Park got Colorado Timing System (CTS)’s Dolphin system 4 years ago, replacing manual stopwatches and an Excel spreadsheet that took hours to fill out from dozens of slips of paper, while wondering “is that digit a ‘9’ or a ‘4’?” With Dolphin (which we currently use along with MeetManager software for filling lanes, seeding swimmers, etc.), times are recorded real-time as the heats finish, and the times are complete and ready for posting shortly after meet’s end. Dolphin speeds up meets considerably. Each of our typical meets over the past two years had about 230 heats. If it takes just 15 seconds after each heat for the lane timers o write their times down and the starter to see they are all ready for the next heat, that’s an hour longer the meet will last. When we were using Excel and manual stopwatches, with about 180 kids on the team the meets would finish around 10pm. Now, with 280 kids on the team and Dolphin/MeetManager (plus dive-overs), our meets still finish around 10pm, and sometimes earlier. Instead of pausing after each heat and writing their lane’s time onto their hopefully-dry clipboards, to turn in that paper later to someone for manual entry, the timers simply hit the “stop” button on their Dolphin hand timers and they are done- their time is instantly on the laptop, clean and neat. The same horn/signal that launches the swimmers also starts the lane timers: no more missed lane times from a timer not paying attention. If a timer hits the stop button too soon, while the kid is swimming, they simply hit it again and the wireless timer picks up the race time- no lost increments or a too-fast time for the kid. I did the meet times spreadsheet manually for 2 years and have done Dolphin/MeetManager for the past 4. I would not for any reason go back to our previous spreadsheet system, and if our club’s leaders told me we were doing so, they would need to find someone else to do the job.

John Shaw
Cary Park Sea Dragons