I consider myself competitive and perhaps old-school as well. I don't really see a problem with using chip timing systems so long as the official results and awards reflect the order of finish.
Actually, that's what I was trying to get at. I don't have a problem with chip timing. What I have a problem with is using chip times (“net times”) to determine place. I haven't encountered a competitive runner or “old school” runner who would support anything other than order across the finish line as official finish place.
For official results and awards, only the order in which runners crossed the finish line should matter. Order of finish has been the standard for race results before timing was even invented. Timing is not really necessary for a race. Timing is really only for the statisticians and for comparing of performances.
Precisely. If it's truly a race, timing is good, even expected these days, but secondary to ensuring that first across the line is first in the results, 5th across the line is 5th in the results, and 349th across the line is 349th in the results.
If you're going to use chip time, then there is really no point in lining everyone up at the same time. Just keep the starting line open for an hour or two and let people start whenever they're ready.
Exactly. Is it a race or is it a mass time trial?