NO GPS WATCHES IN RACES NOW?
09/04/2018 7:33:54 PM
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So we were told at a meet today that athletes couldn't wear GO Pro's (Don't know why they would), but also that they couldn't wear GPS watches in races. My question is since when? None of the coaches had heard that or remember it from the training video this year. We were told because of incidents? Meaning what? How is this rule a thing without people being clearly alerted to it. If all of us at today's meet missed where that was outlined please let me know where i can find that information and what is the reasoning. Lots of kids and programs have purchased these to use for the season.
So we were told at a meet today that athletes couldn't wear GO Pro's (Don't know why they would), but also that they couldn't wear GPS watches in races.

My question is since when?

None of the coaches had heard that or remember it from the training video this year.

We were told because of incidents?

Meaning what?

How is this rule a thing without people being clearly alerted to it.

If all of us at today's meet missed where that was outlined please let me know where i can find that information and what is the reasoning.

Lots of kids and programs have purchased these to use for the season.
09/04/2018 8:02:44 PM
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On the NFHS Rules Interpretations-2018 page the GPS watch is one of the examples, situation 2. Here is the link to the page. here [url=http://www.nfhs.org/sports-resource-content/track-and-field-rules-interpretations-2018/]http://www.nfhs.org/sports-resource-content/track-and-field-rules-interpretations-2018/[/url]
On the NFHS Rules Interpretations-2018 page the GPS watch is one of the examples, situation 2.

Here is the link to the page.
here http://www.nfhs.org/sports-resource-content/track-and-field-rules-interpretations-2018/
09/04/2018 8:25:22 PM
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@mutiger31 I don't think this is a new NFHS rule, I just don't think it's enforced at all. A quick search resulted in NFHS PDFs as far back as 2012 with GPS not being allowed. Some of the GPS watches have the capability to be used with or without GPS. Is it still legal to wear the watch if it is not using GPS capabilities? Maybe this is why it has been ignored?
@mutiger31

I don't think this is a new NFHS rule, I just don't think it's enforced at all. A quick search resulted in NFHS PDFs as far back as 2012 with GPS not being allowed.

Some of the GPS watches have the capability to be used with or without GPS. Is it still legal to wear the watch if it is not using GPS capabilities? Maybe this is why it has been ignored?
09/04/2018 8:35:13 PM
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I am sorta glad you brought this up because I was unaware. Of course, as I speak for many starters (maybe), I am unaware of what a GPS watch even looked like different than any other watch - not something I even look at - nor can I understand what additional aide it would give. Somebody educate this old toot. I clerked the state CC meet last year. Neither I nor Mark Ness, my partner in crime, looked at watches nor were we instructed to do so.
I am sorta glad you brought this up because I was unaware. Of course, as I speak for many starters (maybe), I am unaware of what a GPS watch even looked like different than any other watch - not something I even look at - nor can I understand what additional aide it would give. Somebody educate this old toot.
I clerked the state CC meet last year. Neither I nor Mark Ness, my partner in crime, looked at watches nor were we instructed to do so.
09/04/2018 10:27:19 PM
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@Hays The GPS watches can give you real time pace, and some will even beep if you’re running slower than a set goal pace. I don’t really have a problem with this though, as to me it’s no different than a coach yelling a split or you seeing a time on a clock at a mile marker.
@Hays The GPS watches can give you real time pace, and some will even beep if you're running slower than a set goal pace. I don't really have a problem with this though, as to me it's no different than a coach yelling a split or you seeing a time on a clock at a mile marker.
09/05/2018 8:04:20 AM
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Seems like it may be an outdated rule. It is the only watch owned by most runners that have one. It's difficult to spot them. Most importantly, they are proven to be inaccurate on cross country courses. I can't see any real advantage to using one in a race.
Seems like it may be an outdated rule. It is the only watch owned by most runners that have one. It's difficult to spot them. Most importantly, they are proven to be inaccurate on cross country courses. I can't see any real advantage to using one in a race.
09/05/2018 8:28:30 AM
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@palmtree While this may be in the NFHS manual, not one mention has been made of it as an "electronic device" and that kids should not be using one. If MSHSAA is going to enforce this as a policy then they need to make a statement to the masses on it so people know. As of this thread there are starters who hadn't heard this.
@palmtree

While this may be in the NFHS manual, not one mention has been made of it as an "electronic device" and that kids should not be using one.

If MSHSAA is going to enforce this as a policy then they need to make a statement to the masses on it so people know.

As of this thread there are starters who hadn't heard this.
09/05/2018 8:35:24 AM
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Here are the responses I got from Ron Whitaker and Don Maurer. The NFHS ruling making the GPS illegal came out last year in their reference to the coming 2018 track & field/x-country rules. I don`t know if I could recognize a watch with a GPS function. Plus the time piece may have many functions beside the GPS function. I speak at several officials clinic through out the pre-season and mentioned this item. Unfortunately these are almost all officials in attendance and rarely a coach. If I see a watch on a competitor regardless of gender I assume it is a regular central time piece and leave it at that. All X-Country courses are supposed to be laid out as the shortest distance between 2 points possible on a tangent. The white line, if present, is only a directional indicator so I don`t see the extra advantage of a GPS watch. Also the new 2019 NFHS x-country uniform rules regarding undergarments is being implemented by MSHSAA for the 2018 season. If you don`t have this information, let me know and I`ll send the info to you. Hope all this helps. Take care and best of luck this season I believe Ron replied to your inquiry with a copy of a memo he had, related to a runner wearing a GPS watch. The rule in reference is 4-6-5d, f, on page 28 of the Rules Book. It does not specify GPS watch. But the interpretation is that using a GPS is a violation of that rule. Don
Here are the responses I got from Ron Whitaker and Don Maurer.

The NFHS ruling making the GPS illegal came out last year in their reference to the coming 2018 track & field/x-country rules. I don`t know if I could recognize a watch with a GPS function. Plus the time piece may have many functions beside the GPS function. I speak at several officials clinic through out the pre-season and mentioned this item. Unfortunately these are almost all officials in attendance and rarely a coach. If I see a watch on a competitor regardless of gender I assume it is a regular central time piece and leave it at that. All X-Country courses are supposed to be laid out as the shortest distance between 2 points possible on a tangent. The white line, if present, is only a directional indicator so I don`t see the extra advantage of a GPS watch.
Also the new 2019 NFHS x-country uniform rules regarding undergarments is being implemented by MSHSAA for the 2018 season. If you don`t have this information, let me know and I`ll send the info to you. Hope all this helps. Take care and best of luck this season

I believe Ron replied to your inquiry with a copy of a memo he had, related to a runner wearing a GPS watch. The rule in reference is 4-6-5d, f, on page 28 of the Rules Book. It does not specify GPS watch. But the interpretation is that using a GPS is a violation of that rule.

Don
09/05/2018 9:05:30 AM
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I agree with the above blog. I would rather see a kid look at their watch from time to time and see where they are as far as pacing than a coach running around screaming their head of and annoying everyone with splits. Even though I don't believe any of my kids have such watch I don't see how it is an advantage beside knowing where you are as far as splits. You still have to run the 5km your watch isn't running for you.
I agree with the above blog. I would rather see a kid look at their watch from time to time and see where they are as far as pacing than a coach running around screaming their head of and annoying everyone with splits. Even though I don't believe any of my kids have such watch I don't see how it is an advantage beside knowing where you are as far as splits. You still have to run the 5km your watch isn't running for you.
09/05/2018 11:38:54 AM
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@zoughaibs This rule needs to be changed. All of my kids wear GPS watches and they help with data collection. We've invested quite a few dollars in these watches as well.
@zoughaibs
This rule needs to be changed. All of my kids wear GPS watches and they help with data collection. We've invested quite a few dollars in these watches as well.
09/05/2018 12:09:57 PM
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Agreed we need the law to be changed. What would be the process to remove this rule.
Agreed we need the law to be changed. What would be the process to remove this rule.
09/05/2018 1:23:52 PM
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Mshsaa sent out a memo to all schools with this information.
Mshsaa sent out a memo to all schools with this information.
09/06/2018 8:24:28 AM
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This is complete bunk. Yet another mshsaa fail. In it for the athletes, eh? Let the kids keep wearing them. What’s going to happen? Is the official going to dq half the runners?
This is complete bunk. Yet another mshsaa fail. In it for the athletes, eh?

Let the kids keep wearing them. What's going to happen? Is the official going to dq half the runners?
09/06/2018 9:07:17 AM
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@mutiger31 At least on the coaches ppt we know the admission to the state meet. What a crock coach!
@mutiger31

At least on the coaches ppt we know the admission to the state meet. What a crock coach!
09/06/2018 9:08:03 AM
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@TheInformant Uniforms and now GPS! Joke all the way!
@TheInformant

Uniforms and now GPS! Joke all the way!
09/06/2018 10:09:43 AM
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This is an outdated and unenforceable rule in 2018. It's like telling high school kids to not bring cell phones to school. That might have worked in 2003, but that day has passed. This rule needs to be addressed by the NFHS first, and if they don't, then MSHSAA needs to do so. I cannot imagine the insanity of an official having to disqualify a young runner from a race because said runner had a watch on with GPS capabilities. Additionally, we should never have to put our outstanding officials in a situation of having to discern whether or not a watch has or doesn't have GPS functions.
This is an outdated and unenforceable rule in 2018. It's like telling high school kids to not bring cell phones to school. That might have worked in 2003, but that day has passed. This rule needs to be addressed by the NFHS first, and if they don't, then MSHSAA needs to do so. I cannot imagine the insanity of an official having to disqualify a young runner from a race because said runner had a watch on with GPS capabilities. Additionally, we should never have to put our outstanding officials in a situation of having to discern whether or not a watch has or doesn't have GPS functions.
09/06/2018 10:50:07 AM
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It seems like a rule put in place by people who don't have a good grip on how they function. A GPS watch is a great training tool for a runner when used for road runs and road workouts. It has been shown again and again that the GPS function that reports distance and therefor pace is not accurate on most, if not all cross country courses. when we built our course (which has a lot of long, straight stretches where GPS should work well) we measured it multiple times, on the tangents, by several people with 2 different measuring wheels. I know it is measured accurately because the wheel doesn't lie. Yet every measurement with a GPS watch (multiple people with multiple watches, multiple times) says the course is too long -- and not just by a little. GPS watches measure our course approximately 1/10 of a mile long. That's a solid 30-40 seconds off. Meaning that a person using a GPS watch to keep pace on a cross country course is going to be pretty disappointed when their actual time is far slower than their watch told them they were running. That doesn't seem like an advantage to me.
It seems like a rule put in place by people who don't have a good grip on how they function. A GPS watch is a great training tool for a runner when used for road runs and road workouts.
It has been shown again and again that the GPS function that reports distance and therefor pace is not accurate on most, if not all cross country courses. when we built our course (which has a lot of long, straight stretches where GPS should work well) we measured it multiple times, on the tangents, by several people with 2 different measuring wheels. I know it is measured accurately because the wheel doesn't lie. Yet every measurement with a GPS watch (multiple people with multiple watches, multiple times) says the course is too long -- and not just by a little. GPS watches measure our course approximately 1/10 of a mile long. That's a solid 30-40 seconds off. Meaning that a person using a GPS watch to keep pace on a cross country course is going to be pretty disappointed when their actual time is far slower than their watch told them they were running.
That doesn't seem like an advantage to me.
09/06/2018 11:26:20 AM
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Here is a serious observation. On TRXC, they have the pictures of the winners crossing the finish line at last year’s state CC meet. Two are clearly seen wearing watches. The Class 1 girl was as well. I do not know if they are GPS or not. I am not smart enough to tell nor do I want to learn. The other 5 were not. In 2016, it looks like only 2 of the winners were wearing a watch. In 2015, it does not like any were wearing a watch. First, this is not a MSHSAA rule but a NFHS rule just like the uniform rule in all its variations. Second, go back and read Ron Whitaker’s response early in this thread. Third, almost every ugly situation involving the “uniform” rule did not come from an official but from an opposing coach. There were exceptions. I have always felt if I did not see it before the start of the race, as a coach or official, I did not see it after the start.
Here is a serious observation. On TRXC, they have the pictures of the winners crossing the finish line at last year's state CC meet. Two are clearly seen wearing watches. The Class 1 girl was as well. I do not know if they are GPS or not. I am not smart enough to tell nor do I want to learn. The other 5 were not.
In 2016, it looks like only 2 of the winners were wearing a watch.
In 2015, it does not like any were wearing a watch.
First, this is not a MSHSAA rule but a NFHS rule just like the uniform rule in all its variations.
Second, go back and read Ron Whitaker's response early in this thread.
Third, almost every ugly situation involving the "uniform" rule did not come from an official but from an opposing coach. There were exceptions. I have always felt if I did not see it before the start of the race, as a coach or official, I did not see it after the start.
09/06/2018 1:21:10 PM
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@Hays so you’re saying, based on Whitaker’s statement, it’s not as big of deal as is being made? Also, Whitaker won’t be the official at every meet... Also, couldn’t just the coaches/officials/game committee just agree prior to a meet to allow the watches, thus overriding this “rule?” I’d actually just enjoy seeing coaches and athletes ignore this completely.
@Hays so you're saying, based on Whitaker's statement, it's not as big of deal as is being made? Also, Whitaker won't be the official at every meet...

Also, couldn't just the coaches/officials/game committee just agree prior to a meet to allow the watches, thus overriding this "rule?"

I'd actually just enjoy seeing coaches and athletes ignore this completely.
09/06/2018 1:52:23 PM
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@TheInformant I agree with your last statement 100%. I guess I could see how a GPS watch could be a useful traning tool, but what I got from Palmtree's post, how valid or valuable is it as a racing tool with all the other variables of racing come into play? Can anybody tell me of the 5 of previous 24 state champions wearing at least a watch at the state meet, if any were wearing GPS?
@TheInformant
I agree with your last statement 100%.
I guess I could see how a GPS watch could be a useful traning tool, but what I got from Palmtree's post, how valid or valuable is it as a racing tool with all the other variables of racing come into play?
Can anybody tell me of the 5 of previous 24 state champions wearing at least a watch at the state meet, if any were wearing GPS?

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