Among the most spectacular winter sports, bobsleigh is distinguished by adrenaline-charged racing and exhilarating team spirit; and with roots deep in Swiss Timing’s home country it’s no wonder the two are so connected.
Swiss Timing and Bobsleigh
Bobsleigh has been a key sport since the Olympic Winter Games in 1936. Swiss Timing sister brand, Omega, served as Official Timekeeper at the Games and has maintained that role not only at the Olympics but also at the FIBT World Cup and World Championships.
Like many sports where speed is crucial, results are often decided by tenths, hundredths, or even thousandths of a second. In bobsleigh racing, a tenth of a second advantage at the start can translate into a three-tenths of a second advantage by the finish line.
Swiss Timing support begins well before the start of the run. A countdown clock with start lights indicates the time for the start release, which is then announced via an acoustic signal. Once the two- or four-man teams have pushed their sled 15m from the start gate, the start light beams are crossed and timing is activated. After 50m - already reaching speeds of over 40km/h - the first intermediate (known as the start time) is detected by the next active light beam. This continues through each intermediate point to the finish line, all with a resolution of 1/100th of a second.
Depending on the start position and discipline, the position of the five corresponding light beams for intermediate timing and the finish are preselected manually. The same applies for up to four points where the speed is measured. Swiss Timing typically install 32 timing points, accommodating all the requirements of the different disciplines in the sport.
All live timing data are shown on-line. Start times as well as intermediate and finish data are formatted and distributed to many devices, including rolling time displays, graphics control for video boards, TV graphics, printers, and any other information systems.
Scope of Service
Bobsleigh competitions are all about speed, and Swiss Timing provides a full range of services that ensure that every breathtaking hundredth of a second is timed, recorded, displayed, and distributed correctly. For more detailed information about bobsleigh timekeeping, data handling, and broadcasting services, click on the links below.
- Public scoreboards and displays
- On-venue results (OVR)
- Commentator Information System (CIS)
- TV graphics
- Virtual graphics