The BMAF has now started to use OpenTrack for most of its championships and last weekend was the turn of the BMAF Indoor championships. We have been hesitant to publicise this in advance since it was new to most of the results team and this the first time we linked to the photofinish in Lee Valley. Moreover we are still dependent on some of the processes being paper-based which slow down declarations and medal presentations.

Nevertheless we announced on Sunday that results were available online. this meant that athletes and their friends/supporters could see the results a few minutes after each track race was finished instead of having to wait for the results to be posted on the display boards and passed to the medals desk an hour or so later.  The start lists/lane draws could also be viewed before each race.

The field side of the competition has the same potential for speed of results as was demonstrated by the last event in which the results went online throw by throw and some of the competitors picked up the medals on the way back into the arena, even though the stadium was pushing everyone to leave. About a fifth of the field events in total had live recording but next time there will be many more, weather permitting, as the recording process is integrated with the roles of the judges on each event.

Feedback we have had so far has been very positive – everyone likes the instant access to results and as a spectator you can actually follow a field event properly, throw by throw, jump by jump, and compare the progression of each athlete through the rounds.

There is much more to come, some of which will eliminate the paper flow:

  • online event declaration
  • medal presentations without waiting for a paper copy of the results
  • start lists/results of  track races and progression/results of  each field event shown on the big screen.  (In bigger stadiums or special events such as the “Night of the 10000 PB’s”  TV pictures and multiple displays are in use.)

Comments and suggestions for further improvements welcome

Peter Kennedy
BMAF IT Manager

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