Error-Correction Processing in Timing Lights for Measuring Sprint Performance: Does It Work?

in International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
Restricted access

Purchase article

USD  $24.95

Student 1 year online subscription

USD  $114.00

1 year online subscription

USD  $152.00

Student 2 year online subscription

USD  $217.00

2 year online subscription

USD  $289.00

Purpose: To investigate if error-correction-processing (ECP) algorithms in timing lights are able to eliminate or reduce measurement errors (MEs) and false signals due to swinging arms or legs. Methods: First, a dummy was used to check if ECP generally works. Second, 15 male sport students performed sprints over 5 and 10 m. Timing lights with ECP and a high-speed camera as a gold standard were used to simultaneously capture the athletes when passing the timing lights at start, 5 m, and 10 m. MEs of the timing lights were calculated for hip and upper body. Results: The dummy condition revealed that ECP is able to eliminate MEs. In real sprint conditions, MEs were highest for timing light at start and when using the hip as a reference. Overall, out of 120 trials, only 4 false signals were not detected by ECP. They all occurred at the start timing light, with highest MEs being 0.263 s (hip) and 0.134 s (upper body). Regarding 5 and 10 m, all false signals were eliminated. Conclusions: As proven through video analyses, ECP eliminated almost all false signals. The largest MEs at the start timing light were associated with a distinct forward leaning of the athletes. Therefore, clear instructions concerning starting posture should be given to further improve measurement accuracy of the start timing light. This approach could also enhance comparisons between athletes. Nevertheless, based on the results, timing lights employing ECP can be recommended for measuring short sprints.

Altmann, Ringhof, Becker, and Neumann are with the Dept for Performance Analysis; Ringhof, the BioMotion Center; and Woll, the Dept for Social Sciences, Inst of Sports and Sports Science, Karlsruhe Inst of Technology, Karlsruhe, Germany.

Altmann (stefan.altmann@kit.edu) is corresponding author.
  • 1.

    Haugen T, Buchheit M. Sprint running performance monitoring: methodological and practical considerations. Sports Med. 2016;46:641656. PubMed ID: 26660758 doi:10.1007/s40279-015-0446-0

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 2.

    Altmann S, Hoffmann M, Kurz G, Neumann R, Woll A, Haertel S. Different starting distances affect 5-m sprint times. J Strength Cond Res. 2015;29:23612366. PubMed ID: 25647648 doi:10.1519/JSC.0000000000000865

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 3.

    Earp JE, Newton RU. Advances in electronic timing systems: considerations for selecting an appropriate timing system. J Strength Cond Res. 2012;26:12451248. PubMed ID: 22266643 doi:10.1519/JSC.0b013e3182474436

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 4.

    Haugen T, Tønnessen E, Seiler S. Correction factors for photocell sprint timing with flying start. Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2015;10:10551057. PubMed ID: 25803102 doi:10.1123/ijspp.2014-0415

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 5.

    Altmann S, Spielmann M, Engel FA, et al. Validity of single-beam timing lights at different heights. J Strength Cond Res. 2017;31:19941999. PubMed ID: 28277431 doi:10.1519/JSC.0000000000001889

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 6.

    Bland JM, Altman DG. Measuring agreement in method comparison studies. Stat Methods Med Res. 1999;8:135160. PubMed ID: 10501650 doi:10.1191/096228099673819272

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 7.

    Bond CW, Willaert EM, Noonan BC. Comparison of three timing systems: reliability and best practice recommendations in timing short-duration sprints. J Strength Cond Res. 2017;31:10621071. PubMed ID: 27398914 doi:10.1519/JSC.0000000000001566

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 8.

    Haugen TA, Tønnessen E, Seiler SK. The difference is in the start: impact of timing and start procedure on sprint running performance. J Strength Cond Res. 2012;26:473479. PubMed ID: 22233797 doi:10.1519/JSC.0b013e318226030b

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 9.

    Johnson TM, Brown LE, Coburn JW, et al. Effect of four different starting stances on sprint time in collegiate volleyball players. J Strength Cond Res. 2010;24:26412646. PubMed ID: 20885191 doi:10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181f159a3

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 1117 783 57
Full Text Views 10 1 0
PDF Downloads 5 2 2