This year the FQA asked me to go through the distance events (800m+) and check to make sure the seed times were accurate. Trackie could do this automatically if we registered the meet through them (like nationals) but there is some opposition to this. I don’t agree with that opposition, but there are also other considerations which make Quebec (as usual) a special case.
Here is the criteria I used. To be honest, I don’t think the criteria itself matters so much, as long as it applies the same to everyone, though with some hindsight, as we will see, perhaps some changes could be made.
1. Performance in the AC rankings in the last 6 months in the event entered.
2. Performance in the AC rankings in an adjacent event (i.e. 800-1500) transferred as an equivalency by a table (attached).
3. Performance by the athlete in a non-sanctioned event (i.e. school meet that didn’t make it to AC rankings).
4. Equivalent performance in a school meet (same as #2 but wrt #3)
5. Coaches’ estimation, double checked by meet director/FQA. (in this case if I couldn’t find a time, I usually left it as is, instead of making the athlete have NT)
Here is the file that was sent to me, with my corrections and notations on where I got the times. Seed times.
I think everything turned out ok. There were only a few egregious seedings, and they were adjusted. Where there were problems were potentially the equivalencies. For the younger kids, to be honest, it is such a crapshoot as to how much they can improve over a few weeks, I don’t think it matters much how they are seeded. Indeed, some of them broke their adjusted seed by several seconds, while others didn’t come close to it (even after it was adjusted down!). For the most part it was good, although I think in Jr boys one kid was in the slower section who should not have been. He still ran a good time though, so I don’t know that any harm was done. The problem is that if a system is going to be applied, it has to apply equally to all. So you take the good with the bad. The issue with equivalencies is that not everyone is the same, and one runner might be able to run 4:00/2:00, but another would be 4:00/2:05, just based on physiological profile. There wasn’t enough data here though to justify changing the equivalencies table, as if you averaged out the times, they were about right, just variation in individual cases.
There was some discussion about staying strictly with AC rankings and if you haven’t run an event, you get NT. This is tough for some younger age groups as they may not get the opportunity to race as much as junior and senior athletes. The thinking is that we will use the AC database as a starting point, but create our own, in-house, which would be able to track all the events that take place in Quebec, as well as races where Quebecers go to run. The trick will be getting coaches to submit results, in the way it is done for the CIS (again, such a system exists at Trackie, but I am not going to try to argue why it would be easier to let them do it…), but I think the spectre of a NT if a result is not found in the database will quickly spur them to submit.
The point of this post was to explain the system. The system was applied the same to everyone, and the FQA did send a message with revised seed times asking if anyone wanted to show proof of their original seed. I don’t know if anyone did, as the FQA managed that end of it. The reason there wasn’t more communication about this, especially ahead of the deadline, was that the FQA felt that because the rules already state that the FQA can review and adjust seed times anyway, that coaches would know it was a possibility. I think it would have been better to announce it a couple weeks ahead of time to let the coaches get their ducks in a row. It probably would have made it easier to check, as there may have been fewer made up times. I hope this explanation was helpful.
photo by Pierre Morin