Split Time

A reminder — With the introduction of RFID chips to the marathon sportscape, there is effected a doubling of time: the time measured by the master race clock (race time) and the database time recorded with the RFID device (chip time). While the IAAF recognizes chip timing as official in most cases, timing provided by a chip system is not accepted under any circumstances for the purposes of determining record performances. This makes the question of why the chip identity is so important even more crucial. Almost every technological innovation in sport is designed to enhance performance and/or improve archival measurement techniques, which cannot be said for the RFID chip, save for the (contentious) claim that it allows one to better measure personal best times.

No, this chip and its split, shadow time exists to striate a heretofore large, open smooth space — and to track objects through said space.


3 responses to Split Time

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  1. Ben Sylvester says:

    As sport technology advances, the sports officiating also must keep with the times (pun intended). If we have the ability to record an athlete’s exact time through the RFID chip, and is reliable and valid enough to be deemed official in most cases, then it should be accepted in setting records. It is unfair to an athlete who starts a race midway through the pack, breaks a record and is not rewarded for their efforts due to not breaking the record on the master race clock. In regards to people cheating the system, this can happen with or without using RFID chips as determining official record breaking performances. As society becomes both increasingly competitive and increases pressure on athletes to win, more people will attempt to cheat the system. Technology must also advance in detecting cheaters, in more ways than simply falsifying an RFID chip. Perhaps this is a question of whether or not societies/ athletes morals can stand up to a new method of cheating one’s way to the podium.

  2. Stephanie Kerr says:

    Nothing is perfect. Therefore it is always good to have a backup. That is why the master clock is still needed. However, to say that it can be used to determine records would be a bad idea, when there are other methods that are much more accurate (the chip). Now we are in a sports culture that is all about wining and also they judge you based on how fast you go. Some sports come down to the hundreth of a second, and when setting records, that becomes important. All the prestige that goes along with setting a world record is a very desirable thing to some athletes. Therefore, in order to get an accurate result I believe that they should abolish the use of a race clock (use only as a back up mechanism) and use the chip in order to determine records.

  3. Jon Choptiany says:

    Aside from the obvious use of the RIDF chip in running and sports alike, the thought the came to me was: how long will it take a similar invention to penetrate the rest of society? As a society, we as a whole definitely put sports on a pedestal, and place sports ahead of many other things in our daily 'depth charts'. To me, it would be no surprise if such a chip showed up in society in other areas. For example, what if parents have had bad experience with their children and decided to issue a curfew; could a chip be used to track when someone enters/leaves a household? The same could be said for attendance in school, criminals on parole, prisoners, employees coming/leaving the workplace to meet man-hour quoda's. Would society accept such drastic guidlines? Or will human kind, trust and honesty prevail?