CAZENOVIA, N.Y. – Student-Athletes competing at the 2016-17 North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) Men’s and Women’s Swimming & Diving Championships will be the first group to partake in an NCAA sanctioned championship meet with a Reaction Light System.
A rules interpretation from the NCAA permitted the NEAC to utilize the system at this year’s championship meet. The Reaction Light System was installed at meet host Cazenovia College and will be used, in addition to traditional starting protocol, to start all events throughout the weekend.
“I am truly grateful for the work that Brian Gordon, Secretary Rules Editor, and other NCAA staff members did to allow us to use this device,” NEAC Commissioner Candice Murray said.
The product, which is used to start an increasing number of high school meets, originally was developed by Nick Santino, Newark, N.Y. resident and owner of Reaction Lights of New York LLC, to help deaf and hard of hearing swimmers get a fair start in competition. Reaction Light Systems are installed on all starting platforms and use colored light tubes to signal the start of each event. The lights turn flashing red followed by a steady red to signal swimmers to get ready, blue to take their mark, and green to go.
“I think it’s great that the NEAC is on the forefront of improving communications for deaf and hard of hearing student-athletes and spectators,” Murray added.
“It’s a benefit to all student-athletes to have a visual starting command.”
In addition to using the Reaction Light System, the NEAC is also using visual PA announcements this year to provide an inclusive environment for all those attending the championship event. Throughout the weekend, a PowerPoint displaying captions for all audible announcements is being displayed at the venue.
Those interested in viewing the Reaction Light System can watch the NEAC Men’s and Women’s Swimming & Diving Championships all weekend on Cazenovia College’s live stream.