In Speed & Agility every fraction of a second counts

If your timing is not reliable, there is no way to objectively identify improvements in your athletes. Hand timing results in errors of up to 10%, while even many timing gate systems can suffer errors of 5-7% with hand breaks and false starts. With inaccuracy like this, an athlete may improve by 5%, but your timing method could tell them they have become slower.

The low down on speed diagnostic systems
Timing gates are a crucial tool in the toolbox for any speed & agility training or combine testing program. A range of these systems exist, either commercially or in-house developed. Despite the typical claims of “accurate to 1/100th of a second”, this is actually a technical spec which does not hold true in the real world. Why? There are currently 3 main types of sports timing lights on the global market and they are not all created equal.
Uncorrected Single Beam
78% accuracy rate*. Single beam systems will be triggered by the first event at both start and split/stop gates, and hence the source of the unreliability.
Single Beam with Error Correction
100% accuracy rate*. Error Correction Procession (ECP) like what is used in Smartspeed interpret all events as an athlete passes through the light beam, and take the start of the largest event, which is always the torso
Dual Beam
90% accuracy rate*. Dual beam gates can register false triggers due to events such as a hand/leg combination activating the gate. Dual beam hardware approach is less flexible in application and harder to align.


All Smartspeed models use our Error Correction Processing algorithm to eliminate errors caused by hands, feet and other equipment, proven by independent research* to be superior to other single and dual beam systems. Errors caused by hands and knees seriously affect the accuracy of your results. Here’s how often you can expect your times to be accurate with various types of timing gates systems.
WHY IS SMARTSPEED THE MOST ACCURATE TIMING SYSTEM?

All Smartspeed models use our Error Correction Processing algorithm to eliminate errors caused by hands, feet and other equipment, proven by independent research* to be superior to other single and dual beam systems. Errors caused by hands and knees seriously affect the accuracy of your results, especially at the start and ruing the acceleration phase.

Photocell Detection of Torso using error correction processing

Systems such as Smartspeed are programmed to interpret all events as an athlete passes through the light beam, and takes the start of the largest event, which is always the torso. Using this correction method, there can be any number of hand breaks, trailing foot breaks etc – the microprocessor will simply take the largest event, and take the start of this event as the time point.

*Source: Earp, J.E. & Newton, R.U.  (2012) Advances in electronic timing systems: considerations for selecting an appropriate timing system.
Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 26(5):1245-8.