8.00 – Clock Operations
8.01 All timers, to include electronic band scanning clocking systems, shall be started and operated on a continuous running basis.
8.02 Only continuous running timers, or Electronic Band Scanning Systems as approved by the AU, shall be acceptable in AU sanctioned races.
8.03 Each competitor must have his or her name on or affixed to the outside of their clock.
8.04 Each competitor is responsible for winding and setting the start-time of his or her clock, for seeing that the clock has a proper supply of paper tape, and an ink ribbon that prints a clearly legible stamp. Note: Race Committee members are NOT responsible for the paper tape supply, ribbon quality, winding, batteries, or the operations of the clock.
8.05 Remote basketing and knockoff:
Clubs may allow remote shipping and knockoff by a vote of the competing membership before a race series starts (OB/YB), and all of these conditions must be met:
a. Club must elect a remote Race Secretary prior to the start of the series.
b. All AU race rules shall be followed.
c. Birds must be securely transported in sealed crates. (7/07) See AU Race Rule (7.27)
8.06 All clocking devices or systems must be able to generate a printout of the arrival times of all birds clocked. (7/03)
8.07 Electronic Band Scanning Systems or computerized clocking systems that have been approved by the AU Board of Directors are acceptable for either organizational or individual use.
8.08 Basketing and Knock-off Time Reference
All Clocks shall have the time set by one of the following as the reference time used to basket and knock-off a race.
2. Atomic Clock Radio
3. WWV Radio
Electronic clocks should use GPS or Atomic Clock Radio as the reference time usually supplied by the electronic clock manufacture or equivalent. This should be directly hooked up to the Club unit. (7/09)
8.09 Setting of Clocks
Each competing organization shall establish its own standards for setting the clock DAY hand on time stamps. SEE AU Race Rule (8.08)
8.10 No competitor (including Race Committee members) may inspect or seal his or her own clock. Each competitor is responsible for verifying the operations of his or her clock prior to beginning competition.
8.11 For clocks that use paper tapes, the owner must either write or have his or her name written on the clock tape along with the race station and date of race.
8.12 A Race Committee member will be responsible for checking each competitor’s clock, ensuring that their name, race station, date of race, and the “Time” and “Day” settings of the clock for the “Kick Off” or “Start” is correct. A Race Committee member will either initial or sign each competitor’s clock tape.
8.13 For Benzing computer clocks, after the start “Kick Off”, the clock will generate a specific race number (randomly generated) for that race series. A Race Committee member shall record the race number from the computer clock on the competitor’s entry form and shall verify the race number again after the clock knock-off (Stop Time). If a different race number is displayed, the computer clock is disqualified for that event.
8.14 Each clock shall be sealed with a numbered seal by a Race Committee member checking the clock. If numbered meter seals are not used, a plain lead seal may be used in conjunction with a seal press containing a distinguishable die known only to that racing organization. All lead seals shall be pressed with a seal press. The Race Committee person shall record seal numbers or verify all distinguishable organization die imprints before timer start and after timer knockoff.
8.15 The competitor is responsible for verifying the proper placement and physical integrity of the seal on his or her clock prior to removing the clock from the club, or shipping point for clocking race returns. The competitor is responsible for making sure a seal is present, the seal number is properly threaded, (through all holes in the clock’s pin and locking mechanism) and the lead seal proper has been crimped tightly. The competitor should report and discrepancy found to the Race Secretary or Race Committee before the timer is removed from the shipping point.
8.16 No clock will be considered in proper working order if the number one (1) porthole for clocking the first bird has not moved to the ready position during the starting knockoff, and the tape moved proportionately. If a competitor’s clock has an operational problem that will not permit the number one (1) hole to come up, the organization Race Secretary shall be assured of the clock’s integrity before use of the clock is authorized. If satisfied with the clock, the Race Secretary shall record the cylinder hole position on the competitor’s entry form and release the clock.
8.17 All clocks will remain on the table until inspected and released by a Race Committee member who shall record the porthole number up for each competitor’s clock.
8.18 If the competing organization requires that clocks be “knocked” a second time BEFORE clocking birds, the Race Committee shall perform the second knock at random times insuring that the capsule cylinder moves in sync with the knock.
8.19 Left Blank Intentionally.
8.20 Opening of Clocks
When an organization requires a double bump of a clock at closing, and the clock CANNOT be bumped the required number of times due to the portholes being full, a Race Committee member from the local organization shall open the clock, pull the tape forward and take the closing bump, to obtain any clock variations. Computer clocks shall not require double bumps at closing.
8.21 After the closing knockoff (Stop-time) with the Master Timer, the competing members may open the clocks. However, clock owners may not open their own clocks. Competitor’s clocks must be opened and read by the organization (club, combine, etc.) sponsoring the race. Example: A competitor may NOT take a clock to another competing organization and receive a clock opening and reading.
8.22 Prior to opening a clock, the clock seal number (where used) will be verified against the recorded record, and the seal checked to see that it has not been tampered with: broken, replaced, or mis-threaded through the locking mechanism. If a seal is not present, or the seal number cannot be verified by the recorded record, or the seal has been broken or altered against without the Race Secretary’s and/or Race Committee’s knowledge, the clock and all race results shall be disqualified. Any discrepancy found should be reported to the Race Secretary or the Race Committee.
8.23 The clock shall be opened and the capsule cylinder, or top of the timer (for computer clocks) will be removed. Clocks with holes left empty inadvertently will not be disqualified.
8.24 For clocks with tapes, the tape must be removed and checked to see if it has been perforated at closing and opening of the clock. There must be ONLY two perforations on the tape, and all stamp times MUST be positioned between these perforations. (Any other perforations between these stampings indicate the clock has been opened during the race and is thereby disqualified subject to section 8.26 below.) 20
8.25 For clocks with tapes, the tape must be advanced so that when the clock is opened, the tape will be perforated after or near the knockoff stamping. (See sections 8.49 through 8.52.)
8.26 If uncertain of the perforations on a particular clock, the Race Secretary may perform a test with the clock tape. The test must show that the beginning perforated hole(s) was made prior to the starting knockoff and that the ending perforated hole(s) was made after the closing knockoff (stop-time).
8.27 Reading of Tapes
Read the time-stamp and write “START TIME” for the first imprint on the tape. This is the time the clock was started with the Master Timer. The next time stamping will be the first bird clocked, unless your organization requires a second knock.
8.28 Next, write the ”BIRD CLOCKING TIMES” beside each time-stamp. If the minute hand prints between two numbers on the tape, read the SMALLER number. If the second hand prints between two marks on the tape, read the LARGER number.
8.29 Finally, the “STOP TIME” must be recorded, and marked FAST or SLOW. This is the time the clock was stopped with the Master Timer. If the minute hand prints between two numbers on the tape, read the SMALLER number. If the second hand prints between two marks on the tape, read the SMALLER number.
The difference between this recorded STOP TIME and the Master Timer is the amount of time the clock is FAST or SLOW, and is commonly known as the VARIATION (i.e. slow 0 minutes, 44 seconds). The variation is then properly recorded on the competitor’s entry form.
8.30 For FAST clocks the variation (after being corrected) will be subtracted from each bird’s clocking time; for SLOW clocks the corrected variation will be added to each bird’s clocking time. Clocks varying more than five (5) seconds per hour will be penalized (see section 8.40).
8.31 Checking Countermarks
The countermarks must then be removed from the clock cylinder porthole – one at a time. Each countermark number is read and recorded on the clock tape, starting with the first bird’s stamp time. After each countermark is read, the countermark (and capsule, if used) is placed back into the original cylinder porthole or placed in clocking sequence order. This is required, in the event an error has occurred with the clock reading and an audit is necessary. If electronic band scanning systems “chip rings” are used, the organization scanner shall display and record each electronic countermark clocked.
8.32 The countermark numbers must then be checked against the entry sheet countermark numbers, and also the band number of each bird marked on the tape at each stamping. The entry sheet is then marked 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc., to indicate the clocking sequence.
8.33 The inside countermark number must be verified on at least the first bird clocked by each competitor in each race. With Electronic Band Scanning Systems (EBSS), on basketing, they automatically write a security code to the electronic countermark (chip ring), and authenticates that security code when the eligible race entry returns. The electronic security code written on basketing must match the authenticated security code when the bird returns, or the systems will not recognize that clocking as being valid. 21
8.34 For computer clocks, after the clocking sequence has been recorded, the competitor reading the clock will scroll through each clock stamp time and record that time against the proper countermark or sequence number 1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.
8.35-8.39 Intentionally Left Blank.
8.40 Clock Malfunctions
A clock which varies more than five (5) seconds per hour of running time will be penalized. Clocks fast more than five (5) seconds per hour shall have each bird timing read and calculated without any adjustment. Clocks slow more than five seconds per running hour shall have the variation, without adjustment, (entire amount slow) added to the clock’s time of each bird’s arrival as a penalty, before calculating. A clock running in excess of eight (8) minutes fast or slow in a 24-hour period shall be disqualified. (7/2001)
8.41 If a competitor’s manual clock malfunctions, the competitor may time a countermark in another member’s clock with that member’s permission. For malfunctions of Electronic Band Scanning Systems, see Race Rule 16.15. (7/2001)
8.42 The official distance of the competitor whose clock had the malfunction will be used, as will the time of clocking, with no allowances for traveling time or distance.
8.43 Should a competitor, before clocking time, notice that his or her clock has malfunctioned or may be disqualified for any reason, he should then take advantage of section 8.41 or contact a Race Committee member with a time Cube or official club timing device for a clock inspection and reset, if time permits.
8.44 If a clock inspection and reset is performed for a malfunctioned clock, the Race Committee member shall report to the Race Secretary the procedures that were followed.
8.45 If a clock stops after birds have been clocked, the competitor with the faulty clock, in order to get a quicker “Closing Knock-Off”, may take his or her clock to a Race Committee member, place a slip of paper in the next porthole of both clocks noting the situation, and clock them the same as a countermark. The competitor with the faulty clock may also telephone a Race Committee member and ask them to perform the same stamping process to minimize penalty time.
8.46 The competitor with the running clock shall become the master timer for the faulty clock. The time stamped during this procedure shall be considered the “Closing Knock- Off” time for the faulty clock.
8.47 The arrival time of the birds clocked in the faulty clock will be adjusted with the full amount of time that the faulty clock is slow. Example: The time difference between the “Closing Knock-Off” and the last bird clocked in the faulty clock will be added to the clocking times of each bird stamped on the tape.
Note: The purpose of this provision is to aid a fancier whose clock has stopped after having timed one or more birds in a race in which the returns are spread out and/or to help the competitor stay in average speed. It would not be of any competitive value where the returns are close together, and is not intended to be so.
8.48 Clocks that have malfunctioned will not be opened and read until the regular opening time for all competitors. The clock shall be turned in to the Race Secretary or Race Committee with its numbered seal intact. Any alteration of the clock seal or other evidence of the clock being tampered with shall result in the disqualification of the clock and all results. 22
8.49 If a competitor’s clock tape tears, fails to wind properly, fails to print, overprints, or does not allow arrival times from being positively and accurately read, his results shall NOT be considered in a race. See 8.51.
8.50 If a tape partially tears and the stampings are readable, and the clock stampings are between the perforations, then they will be read and accepted.
8.51 If a clock tape tears during (or after) the “stop-time” knockoff, the Race Secretary may open the sealed clock and inspect the tape for perforations. If the clock tape bears any other perforations other than the opening “Kick,” then the tape and race results shall be disqualified. If the clock tape has the opening “Kick” perforation only, the Race Secretary may pull the tape forward and take a closing “Knockoff”. The closing “Knockoff” shall perforate the tape and provide the Race Secretary with a FAST or SLOW reading on the clock.
8.52 Every effort shall be made by the Race Secretary and/or the Race Committee to include all time stamps if readable.
8.53 Any evidence of a clock having been tampered with shall be sufficient cause for all awards and diplomas in that particular race to be forfeited by the owner of the clock. The AU Rules of Conduct, section 1.01, paragraph 11 shall be reviewed for any appropriate action to be taken, as club officers deem necessary.
8.54 No clock shall be used that has been modified from the original manufacturer’s specifications for clocking operations. Note: To help determine if a clock has been modified, take one in its original state, as shipped by the manufacturer and place it next to the one being reviewed. Both clocks should be the same operationally with nothing changed, bent, filed, enlarged, or modified in any way.
8.55 (See also 9.07.) Regarding the use of two or more manual clocks for timing returns, except as noted herein no competitor may time birds in a second manual clock in any given race until the first manual clock being used is full (the last porthole may be left empty for a knockoff or stop time). The second timer will not be used unless and until:
A. The first clock has malfunctioned; or, B. In special races, where a majority vote of the organization’s race committee or membership has approved the use of multiple clocks to ensure race integrity.
Note: The purpose of this rule is to reduce errors in data retrieval. Therefore, if, in the course of clock operations, a competitor fails to place (or clock) an official race countermark in a porthole, the clock will not be disqualified. Also, Race Rule 9.07 would apply.
8.56 – Computer Clock Defects
CLOCK DISPLAY MALFUNCTION – If a digital clock display is not functioning (display out completely or partially), the clock may be knocked-off in an unopened condition. If at all possible, the data shall be downloaded and be recorded manually by the Race Secretary or a Race Committee member. This data shall be used for calculating race results. Data may be printed out and evaluated only if the data is complete and in the correct chronological order. The Race Secretary shall perform verifications on any computer clock malfunctions. If deviation cannot be determined refer and use (8.57) below. Dec 2011
8.57 CLOCK DATA CANNOT BE PRINTED – the following procedure may be used. The loft must notify the Club Race Secretary and the Race Committee that the clock has failed as soon as possible. 23
A participant (loft) shall bring: (1) the birds entered in the race that returned, (2) the print out/copy of officially basketed birds for the race, and (3) the clock to the clubs official knock-off. The birds shall be given a race return time based on the official knock-off time. The official knock-off time shall be considered that knock-off time when the clubs (competing lofts) have gathered to read the first clock (or if the committee can convene at an earlier time). 1. The club, as always, shall follow existing race rules to perform an official knock-off. 2. The Club Race Secretary and at least two other members of the Race committee shall verify the clock failed. 3. The loft copy of the officially basketed birds shall be compared and verified with the Race Secretary’s official copy of the lofts basketed birds (race sheet). 4. This procedure shall only be performed at the club where the birds were basketed. Dec 2011
8.58 LOW BATTERY CONDITION – If the clock displays a low battery condition, the clock may be knocked-off immediately with another Race Committee member. As a precaution, a display report (as described above) is to be generated.
8.59 Left Blank Intentionally