I purchased the Position Fitness Timing System about 9-Months ago, and use it at least 2-3 times per week. We have used it mostly for Flying Sprints and for 505 COD. Overall it has been a nice addition to our facility, especially considering the price at the time.
This timing system connects wirelessly and each gate has infrared motion sensors that communicate times. The start unit has a display that showcases the times and let's you navigate the different timing options.
The unit is not $595 and comes with tripods for the start and finish unit. At the time of my purchase, this unit was only $250, so it was a no-brainer for me at the time.
More Info here - https://positionfitness.com/products/infrared-sport
- The timer is very reliable, especially indoors. It doesn't miss very many reps like I've experience with other timers. Issues arise in missing times when battery charge is low, outside, and when athletes do not run close to the timer.
- It is very easy to set-up, only take about 45seconds. I've used other timing systems and they can take 3-5minutes to set-up and tear down, which can be a big hassle when dealing with multiple groups.
- Price - At the time, it was about 1/10th the cost of a Brower, Freelap, Fusion Sport, etc.
- Ryan is the man behind this system, and he is very accessible, open to feedback, and gives great customer service.
- It's ugly - it looks kind of like an old Gameboy. I remember the first time I used it athletes asked if it was from the 1980's. I could care less, but I know in today's World people prefer sharp looking technology.
- I have ran into troubles with this system missing times when outside - I don't know if it's the wind or sun but it tends to have trouble when using it outside. Outside, I'd say it missed 1 in 5 sprints. Inside, it misses 1 in 20+ sprints.
- It has just shut down before, especially if it's sitting on, without use for a while. So you have to restart each unit and reconnect. I don't know why it does this, but the restart process is only about 45seconds so it's not too bad, but can be a little bit of a headache.
- Accuracy - this is the main complaint, but because it is a single beam timer, it's accuracy compared to a dual beam is off. Single beam units, sense the first thing to cross it's path, whether that be a knee or arm. Dual beams do a better job of sensing the torso, since it has to break both beams.
I tested the Position Fitness Timer against a Brower Timer, over sprints of 10-40y and the Position Fitness consistently gave times .02-.05 faster than the Brower. This coincides with some of the literature that demonstrates single beam timing unit are typically faster than dual beams (1).
An interesting study by Haugen et al. (2014) found that because of the variability of limbs during sprinting, single beam timers give more variable times and tend to give faster times. But single beam timers become more accurate when limbs are taken out, for example cycling. Observe the graph below for the results.
I would not and cannot recommend the Position Fitness Timer for research purposes due to it's accuracy and reliability needed for single bouts of time, but as a tool to record sprint trends, promote competition, and give feedback, I'd highly recommend the Position Fitness Timer as an inexpensive ($600) alternate to the much higher priced (~$2000) options.
For more info about the Position Fitness Timer, check here - https://positionfitness.com/products/infrared-sport
* I do not receive any benefit or compensation from this review
- Haugen, T. A., Tønnessen, E., Svendsen, I. S., & Seiler, S. (2014). Sprint time differences between single-and dual-beam timing systems. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 28(8), 2376-2379.
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