Why does it take so long to get T&F results? ... Why do match results change so much after scrutiny? ... And what exactly is "scrutiny"?

For team based meetings, such as the various Leagues we compete in, there is a team sheet which needs to be completed detailing the events that each athlete is doing. In some leagues there is other athlete info, such as Date of Birth and Athletics Scotland registration number which also has to be recorded. (The job of team manager is detailed separately). These sheets are passed to the convening clubs who are responsible for the administration of the meeting. (All clubs take turns in convening and we've also described that...).

As the results come flooding in during the meeting, the convenors have to work out the points for each competitor in each event and transfer these to master score sheets. At the end of the meeting they will work out the overall match result. And that is what usually appears, in very small print, in The Scotsman or The Herald on Mondays (and in Athletics Weekly on Thursday). As those who have convened, or who come along to meetings regularly will know, compiling and processing all this information quickly and accurately can be a bit challenging. (Harmeny has a reputation as being one of the more reliable clubs.)

Scrutiny is the process which happens a few days (or weeks!) after the meeting when all the paperwork – team sheets, event results and scoresheets etc are sent to someone who has time to sit down and check everything.

Inevitably in calculating the points for each club for each event and adding up all the scores there will be minor mistakes made on the day.

However, what usually causes the biggest changes in a club's score is usually mistakes that a club has made in compiling their team and entering the information in their team sheet. For example, competitors might be put in the wrong age group, competitors are declared in too many events (points for all their events are lost), clubs might not provide enough officials/helpers (points are deducted for each official in their quota that a club fails to provide) etc etc.

The effect of these checks can be substantial, and will change the overall result of a match. In 2000 Corstorphine were deducted over 150 points in the last CSSL league match of the season following scrutiny. As a result they dropped two places in the match result, one place in the league, and ended up being relegated! In 2001 Giffnock North had a pole-vaulter in the Men's League at Inverness. Unfortunately none of his team-mates travelled, nor did any helpers. The net result was that the points deducted for not providing any helpers meant that the poor athlete ended up with a negative score (rounded up to zero) for his efforts.

Updated 8/1/02

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