make WWAY your homepage  Become a fan on facebook  Follow us on twitter  Receive RSS Newsfeeds  MEMBERS: Register | Login

EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLE: Bolivia man's invention stops time


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- A Bolivia man has mastered the art of making time stand still. Mike Costabile's invention allows a basketball referee's whistle to travel at the speed of light to stop the game clock.

Basketball is a game where every second counts. The game clock is the ultimate authority in who wins and who loses. Its importance sparked Costabile's mission to invent a technology that would change the game of basketball forever.

"When the ref blows the whistle, the clock needs to stop," Costabile said.

It was after a controversial call he made refereeing in the NBA when Costabile saw a need for a big change.

"When a human being is working, it's at the speed of sound," he said. "This works at the speed of light."

So he tapped into his knowledge of operating a ham radio, and Costabile invented Precision Time System, which is designed to stop the clock as quickly as possible. It is now the industry standard in timekeeping and is used in all levels of play from the NBA to high school.

"When they're fouling to stop the clock because they want to stop it, because the team is behind, that's when this thing comes into play," Costabile said.

Its superiority is in its speed. A small microphone attaches to the ref's whistle. When the ref blows the whistle, the frequency runs through his belt pack to a base station and stops the clock.

Traveling at the speed of light, the whistle wins every time stopping the clock at merely tenths of a second and making a game like basketball even more thrilling.

Costabile's Precision Time System is used at schools across the Cape Fear, including New Hanover High School and UNCW.

If you know an extroardinary person in our area, e-mail Cacky Catlett at

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.



The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

More information about formatting options

To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.
Please re-enter the code shown in the image below.