Monday, June 25, 2012

Tie In 100 Meters To Be Broken By Coin Flip or Runoff

We use overtime and extra innings in most sports if there is a tie at the end of regulation. We use the coin toss to determine who kicks and who receives at the beginning of overtime in the NFL. We use the jump ball to decide who will get the ball when there is a “tie” for the ball in the NBA. In swimming, ties are settled with swim-offs between the two opponents. There are rules in place for instances like these and they are in place JUST IN CASE. Well….. USATF has found itself in a doosy after this weekend’s Olympic Trials. Allyson Felix and Jeneba Tarmoh finished in a dead heat for third place and the final U.S. spot for the women's 100-meter Olympic team. Both women leaned across the finish line in 11.068 seconds.

I said repeatedly after the race that there was no way they could call a winner on was just to close. They were even (the decision is based on the torso).Track has tiebreaking procedures for many of its events, but in this case there is no written solution -- a tie for the last spot on the Olympic team.

With no set of rules in place at the time of the tie, they had to meet to come up with a plan, which was approved by the U.S. Olympic Committee. They released procedures on Sunday night, and they are both a little unusual.

One of the options was a coin flip, with the language as to how the coin will be tossed clearly spelled out. For example, it says, "the USATF representative shall bend his or her index finger at a 90-degree angle to his or her thumb, allowing the coin to rest on his or her thumb."

The runners will decide if they will use a run-off or a coin flip. If they can't agree, they will default to a run-off, meaning if one of the athletes asks for a run-off, they're doing a run-off. So why not just do the run-off? Why go thru all the “if one athlete says this and the other says that”? DecisioI Voten makers in sports always have a way of making things more difficult than it has to be! Either way, I think the loser will feel slighted. Rightfully so.

Bobby Kersee, who coaches both women, said "Nine times out of 10, most athletes aren't going to want to flip a coin. Would you go to the Super Bowl and after two overtimes or what have you, have the referees take both coaches to the middle of the field and say, 'We're going to flip to see who wins the Super Bowl?' I don't see that."

We won't find out what Felix and Tarmoh decide until later this week, though the U.S. wants to have its team selected by July 1. So while officials polish up on their coin flipping and finger angling skills…let’s hope the coin flipper isn't Phil Luckett (referee of Steelers, Lions Thanksgiving day game).

Like me on Facebook!

No comments: