Heads or Tails?

Allyson Felix and Jeneba Tarmoh both crossing the finish line at 11.068 seconds

Heads or Tails? This is a common method I use to decide what’s for dinner or what color nail polish to choose. My parents even used a coin toss to decide which parent would attend my college graduation. (My twin brother and I graduated college on the same day, at the same time in different states, 300 miles apart.) For my parents, it was the only logical way to solve the problem. But a coin toss is never the answer to serious problems like what shoes I should wear, who I should start in my fantasy lineup or who should represent America in the London Games.

The coin toss is also used in sporting events to decide who starts on offense or defense. Funny, I can’t find anywhere where a coin toss decided the outcome of any game, but a coin toss could be the deciding factor for the women’s USA Track and Field team. There seems to be a third-place tie between Allyson Felix and Jeneba Tarmoh in the women’s 100 meters and with no protocol for tiebreakers, both athletes get to choose between a coin toss or they can race again to see who will complete the final spot and represent the USA in London. Both athletes must agree on the toss or the race, but if they disagree, they will race to the finish line.

Can you hear the world laughing at us now? Seriously, A COIN TOSS? Geeeez, just give everyone a gold medal and a cookie and tell them thanks for coming to London.

June 18, 2012  ·  709 Views