For many years, conventional wisdom has been that only the most experienced and smartest measurers were capable of successfully using the electronic method. I have been told, “Sure you find it easy because you have a PhD. There is no way the ordinary beginning measurer without your background can make it work.” Recently, some have called for a ban on its use by the beginning measurer.
Now, recent news has confounded conventional wisdom with the reports that two new measurers have received certification of electronic measurements. Chris Hanson had watched Rick Recker perform a conventional measurement, but was completely self-taught in the electronic method. I measured his 10-km course on Google Earth and found 10,000 m exactly after allowing for the SCPF. Helen Fennelly was also self-taught and moreover did not have the benefit of seeing a conventional measurement. On her own initiative, she confirmed her 5-km measurement on Earth, and checked her map technique by measuring a track. These results show a ban is unwarranted.
As Neville states that a ban is unwarranted. There is no ban! If a Certifier feels he can work with a new measurer then that's OK.
Before anybody sets out to certify electronically-measured courses the method should be adapted so that ALL measurers can follow the methodology. There needs to be a procedure whereby ANY certifier can know that the electronic meter has been set up properly (maybe the measurer should send a JPEG of their rim and an explanation how the rim was setup). I am not concerned with a bad reading by the operator. That can happen with any meter. It is giving the certifier confidence that the electronic counter was set up properly and is generating accurate counts. I understand one can verify a course length by a satellite image, but its accuracy is limited and a certifier should not have to do this.
Neville has offered to be the person we could use for the submissions of all EC measurements. This offer is appreciated, but I feel it's best to educate our Certifiers and clarify our forms for an Electronic submissions. Neville has promised to get us more simplified forms. I'm waiting!
The RRTC will discuss this at the USATF Convention. All that has to happen is what's explained above.
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