Reaction Light Systems get NCAA approval

June 19, 2017

The NCAA has approved the use of LED lighting systems like the Swimming Reaction Lights System produced at Trine University to start races for swimming competition.

The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel (PROP) approved the recommendation that had been made by the NCAA Swimming & Diving Rules Committee to allow the use of any lighting system in conjunction with required verbal and hand commands to start races — as long as the lighting system is fully integrated into electronic timing systems.

The rule will go into effect Sept. 1, when the new NCAA Swimming & Diving Playing Rules are published. The rule permits the use of lighting systems, but does not require them.

A Reaction Light System was used in an NCAA-sanctioned championship meet Feb. 17-19, at the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) Men’s and Women’s Swimming & Diving Championships.

Reaction Light Systems also have received permission to be used to start events sanctioned by the National Federation of State High School Associations, the YMCA and USA Swimming.

The product, which is used to start an increasing number of high school meets, was originally developed by Nick Santino, a Newark, New York, resident and owner of Reaction Lights of New York LLC, and has now been accepted for swimmers at all competitive levels. Santino, a 1965 Trine alumnus, contacted the Innovation One business incubator at Trine University to refine and commercialize the systems.

Innovation One now manufactures and ships the systems.

“We are proud and gratified that the NCAA has recognized the benefit of Reaction Light Systems for starting swimming events,” said Jason Blume, executive director of Innovation One. “Reaction Lights offer the opportunity for a better start for all competitive swimmers.”

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, green to go, and white showing all touch pad activations.

To learn more about Reaction Light Systems, visit or

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