Calls for McEvedy cleanup

10:46, May 11 2009

St Pat's Town athletics convener Leigh Lidstone is calling for the use of video replays in next year's McEvedy Shield after a confusing finish at Newtown Park last Tuesday.

Wellington College reclaimed the coveted shield from Town, fighting back from a huge track deficit with a dominant points haul in the field.

Wellington won with 184 points to Town's 176, but that total was settled upon only after a Town athlete had his points rightly awarded to him after they originally went to Silverstream because of a judging error.

Lidstone was gracious in defeat but said the judging process needed tidying up and the boisterous crowd needed to be updated with scores more regularly, as many believed Town had the title wrapped up heading into the final relays.

"That's what caused the confusion because, on the track, you see St Pat's really dominating but the crowd don't actually really see the domination of Wellington College in the field," Lidstone said.

"The points didn't really come up, we were leading all day except for the last hour when they collated the points. That sort of threw the crowd."

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Lidstone said there was also confusion with the scoring after three dead-heats in the long jump.

Points were eventually correctly awarded to Wellington on countback to the school's next-best jumper.

"This is written in the rules but one of the guys running it didn't realise that and, if it had worked in our favour, then it would have been a bit chaotic they would have actually presented the shield to the wrong team," Lidstone said.

"But they're deserved winners. It's worked out, but it could have been quite controversial."

Each school provides two officials to the McEvedy Shield committee and Lidstone, who is on the committee, said scoring needed to be handled better next year.

"It's something the committee has to sort out, absolutely. It's done on computer but there should be scrutineers to it, that's for sure, because of the nature of it, that when you go into the relays, the crowd should know basically where they sit and then it's quite obvious the whole crowd sees."

With emotions running high in close finishes, Lidstone also called for video replays to be available for the sprint events.

"Because it's such an intense competition, the scrutiny of the 100m and 200m finals has to be tidied up because there's dipping on the line.

"You have judges on the line but, with so much at stake, the whole school behind it, you really should have video evidence of it. In the past that has been done. They won it fair and square, but it could have been embarrassing."

The Dominion Post