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With the new FIS rules on timer sync, how did people deal with hand timing sync this past season? We did A&B timer sync 15 minutes before scheduled race start, which didn't leave enough time to have hand timing people in place. That forced me to do hand timing sync quite early so I could head out to do on snow setup, meaning hand watches were not properly synced with A/B timers as I prefer to do.

I have some ideas to handle this better, but I'm interested to hear what others decided to do. 

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"Before or together" So long as you use the same reference time for hand and electronic timer sync, they should be very close. I opt for 2 solutions, 1. using old electronic timers for hand timing (allowing for sync of all devices) and 2. sync late enough to allow for the longest travel times by the hand timers, but as close as possible to start time. 

We sync hand timers same as always -- about 45 min before the run to give people time to get onto the hill.  Electronic timers are sync'd ~15 min before 1st run to the same base.  So, as Matt said, they're close.  I also re-sync hand timers before 2nd run.

By the way, USS&S has chosen to interpret the rule change as disallowing sync prior to 2nd run, but I've never found that in the rules. 611.2.1 says to sync as close as possible to start of 1st run and not to re-sync during a run.  But nowhere does it say not to re-sync prior to 2nd run.  I like the new interpretation.  Since start and finish times come from the same timer, re-sync is unnecessary, but it certainly doesn't hurt anything.

For hand timing, since we're taking start and finish times from different timers, sync of the stopwatches is absolutely critical.  However, they need not be sync'd to the electronic timers.  It's convenient when comparing absolute TOD, but completely unnecessary for calculating run times.

Last edited by jacunskim

As close as possible might be 15, 30, 45 or 58 minutes before the start time, so long as you are within the hour window, you are complying with the rules.

Mark, there hasn't been any National interpretation of the rule. Specific education and the removal of the 2nd run sync from the TDTR shows the intent and purpose of the rule is to maintain the single sync for the entire event. 

I was reviewing the revised EET rules recently. I haven't had to do an EET calc since the changes were made, but it's so much easier to grasp if the hand timers are synced with the race timing. Easy comparison of electronic TOD with offsets in the 0.xx range instead of seconds or minutes. The FIS booklet recommends this as well. 

The ICR for season 19/20 has made TOD hand timing mandatory for FIS calendar events. Rule 611.2.2 says "(Hand timing watches) must be synchronised prior to the start of the first run, with the same time-of-day as System A and System B."

Means using contact watches like the Hanhart E200EC, or using handheld timers like Timy, Comet, CP 520, CP 545, Summit SRT1000. Pretty much forces us back to earlier sync for main timers so that there is still time to distribute hand timing and have everyone in place prior to first forerunner. Hosting a FIS event isn't that big of a stretch for most ski clubs in the physical sense, but this adds some more cost and complexity to the mix. 


I had a play around with the Hanhart watches last week, and found it is possible to connect a plunger to the terminals for recording hand times, and then to also connect the watch output to the race timer using spare pairs at start and finish. Swiss Timing were using this practice at Lake Louise WC this year as a safeguard following last season's mess at Crans Montana.

I think I'll start doing the same thing, drop the start and finish hand times into unused channels in Timy. They'll appear on the tape for access if needed. Unless there's an outright cable break, I'll have all the hand times recorded on the timer tape. It should make it a little easier to capture and calculate hand times for the TDTR as well. I just need to make a couple of small three-way boxes with banana jacks for connection to watches, plunger and patch cable to hill wiring.

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