I used the popular AI bot, ChatGPT, to ask what the World Athletics procedures are for course measurement. This is my question:
What are the World Athletics requirements for measuring the length of race?
Below is the response. I couldn't find this anywhere at the World Athletics site. In particular, what is all the nonsense about always measuring in a straight line? Does this mean that all road races must be dead straight?
World Athletics, formerly known as the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), has established specific requirements for accurately measuring the length of a race. These requirements apply to all races that are recognized by World Athletics and include:
- The use of a calibrated measuring wheel: The measuring wheel must be calibrated and properly maintained, and it must be used to measure the entire course.
- The use of multiple measurements: The course must be measured multiple times to ensure accuracy, and the measurements must be averaged to determine the final course length.
- The use of a straight line: The course must be measured in a straight line, regardless of the actual shape of the course. Any deviations from a straight line must be accounted for in the measurement process.
- The use of a continuous path: The course must be measured along a continuous path, without any interruptions or gaps.
- The use of marked courses: All courses must be clearly marked with visible and distinctive markings to indicate the exact route that must be followed.
By following these requirements, World Athletics ensures that all races are accurately and consistently measured, providing a fair and equal playing field for all competitors.
I think all of you will find this as strange as I do. But how did the bot come up with this statement which, to the non measurer, probably sounds okay?