U.K. PHOTO-FINISH DATA, 1958-1980

From 1958, all major meetings at White City and Crystal Palace were 
covered by Racecourse Technical Services.   B.A.A.B. teams took over 
the operating following the acquisition of an Omega "Photosprint" in 
1974.   A camera was also installed at Meadowbank in 1972, but used 
somewhat spasmodically until the end of the decade.

For a year-by-year index of meetings covered, and links to each year's 
results, go to Catalogue of meetings

Inevitably not all meetings have been documented.  In the early years
photo-finish data was treated as highly secret information, and only
the perspicacity of Harold Abrahams ensured that it was not lost to 
posterity.  Ironically, in the later years (particularly 1978-80) the
results of many smaller meetings increasingly covered by photo-finish 
were not preserved, so the data is incomplete for these.  Any reader 
who can provide original documentation in any of these cases is asked 
to contact Bob Sparks (rsparks@easynet.co.uk).

In these compilations, times in brackets are (for the most part) the 
"official" returns.  These were originally manual times - at least 
until the mid-1970s, when photo-finish times gradually began to take 
precedence.  There were, however, several occasions when the manual 
times were adjusted according to the readings from the camera.

Timing rules for rounding off were altered several times during the 
period covered by these compilations, as the following shows :-

(A) I.A.A.F. Rules (fully-automatic timing)
    pre-1964  No formal policy
    1964-70   Photo-finish times start to be used for international 
              championships, but the timer mechanism was adjusted with 
              a delay of 0.05 sec.
              Times rounded off to the nearest tenth
                 e.g. 3:59.95-4:00.04 = 4:00.0
                      4:00.05-4:00.14 = 4:00.1, etc.
              Registration to fifths for events above 1 mile
    1971-76   Timer delay adjustment discontinued
              Registration to fifths for events above 1 mile
    1977-78   Registration in hundredths for events up to 440 yards, 
              and to tenths for track events above 440 yards
    1979-80   Rounding up (instead of to nearest tenth)
                 e.g. 3:59.91-4:00.00 = 4:00.0
                      4:00.01-4:00.10 = 4:00.1, etc.
              Registration unchanged
    1981+     Rounding discontinued for events up to 20km.

(B) A.A.A. Rules
    pre-1980  Times rounded off to nearest tenth
              Registration to fifths for events above 1 mile
    1980+     Same as I.A.A.F. Rules.

Catalogue of meetings

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