Timed Scores

Sport: Track

What Was the Task?

When people race, you always have to remember that it is the shortest time or the lowest score that wins. On a website, I found 5 different contest/events that runners raced in and found the top 5 scores for each race. Then I ordered each score (In each contest) From least to greatest to see how people placed and who won. The next thing I had to do was start over and round all the times to the nearest tenth of a second. After that, the directions said to reorder the scores from least to greatest again. This was everything I had to do before discussing.

What Did You Notice About the Rounded Times?

At first when I ordered the times from least to greatest, and then reordered them when they were rounded to the nearest tenth, I noticed the places that the runners came in stayed the same. I also noticed that after I rounded the times to the nearest tenth, that there were only 3 numbers in each decimal/score. It was easier to compare the numbers that way, then to compare them when they were still rounded to the nearest hundredth.

Why are Sports Events Timed to the Nearest Tenth or Hundredth of a Second?

I think that races are timed this way because when rounding to the nearest hundredth for a score, you get an exact time. That is how there is a winner in every race. Lets say that scores were only rounded to the nearest tenth though. What if 2 racers were neck and neck right before the finish line. One finished at 48.89 and the other finished at 48.94. If the scores went to the tenths place then both times would be rounded to 48.9. There would be no winner and both runners would tie. I guess this is okay but I know some people would want to know the actual winner of the race. This is why I think sports events are timed this way.