Creating Start Groups
Start Groups: These are Groups of racers that start together (in mass start races) or in the same sequence (in individual start races).
Once on the Start List page in the Zone4 Timing software, you will see the Create Start Groups screen as pictured below. The first step is to choose whether your race will use multiple starts, or if all racers start in one group.
If all racers will start in one group, skip to the Assigning Racer Numbers & Times section of this documentation. If you want to have multiple start groups continue with the following steps.
- For multiple start groups select “Define start groups using racers fields”.
- Select which field(s) from your registration you want to use to define Start Groups. Most often this will be based off of racer categories, a distance field, Age and/or Gender. Once a field is selected, you will have a preview of what the Start Groups will be in the “These Groups will be create” window shown below.
- You can define start groups based off of more than one field. For example let’s say you had a ski race where participants could choose from both a 10km or 20km distance. In this situation you may want to have a men’s and a woman’s start group for each distance. To do this you would select both the gender and distance fields which would create 4 start groups; 10k M, 10k F, 20k M, 20k F.
- By Default, the preview list will only include groups that contain racers. If you are setting up a Start List while your registration is still open, and expect these groups to be filled as more participants register, you can override this default setting by accessing the overflow menu (…) menu in the upper right and check “Create Empty Groups”. Remember that new registrants will only appear in Zone4 Timing if you re-sync registrants.
- By default, the preview of start groups will include a separate group for people who have NOT selected a value for the fields you have chosen. An example of this would be on a 2 day event that has a “Saturday Category” field and a “Sunday Category” field. People registered for the Sunday race may not have any category set for the Saturday event. Therefore grouping by the Saturday category would create a “No Saturday Category” group that is filled with racers who have not registered for that day. If you don’t want to create these extra groups, un-check “Create groups for un-selected options” in the overflow(⋯) menu. Remember that Start groups can be easily removed and merged after being created so it’s also possible to clean up unwanted groups after creating the initial list.
- Once you’re satisfied with your start groups select the “Create these Groups” button.
Moving and Merging Start Groups
Start groups will be created in the order of the options on your registration form (for example, if the first option on your registration form is Atom Girls, that will be the first group on the start list). If this does not match your race schedule, drag and drop the start groups into the correct order using the drag handles (six dots) at the left of each start group name.
If multiple categories are starting in the same group (for example, in skiing the Junior and Senior men will usually start together in a group called “Open Men”), you will want to merge start groups together. Find the “Merge Start Groups” option in the tools menu:
In the merge groups window, check the boxes beside all the groups you want to merge into one, and then click the Merge button to move all the racers in the selected groups into one group.
Assigning Racer Numbers and Start Times
- Once you are have created and, if need be, merged your start groups you will next need to assign racer numbers (bibs) and start times. In the “Configure” page, start by entering the first bib number in the first group (often #1). The screen will automatically calculate and fill in the last racer # so you know at what number that start groups bib sequence ends. Fill in the first number for each start group.
- Click “Assign Racer Numbers” when done.
- Repeat these steps with Start Times entering the first start time for each group. The last start time will be the same as the start time unless you’re timing an interval start race. The default racer interval for Interval Start races is 30 seconds but you can change that on a group by group basis.
- The race will default to a start type (Mass Start or Individual Start) based on the format your chose when you first created your race. However you can also adjust the start type for a specific start group by clicking the Edit this Group button.
- Once the Start times are setup as desired click “Assign Start Times”.
Seeding defines how racers are ordered within a Start Group. What the default seeding is will depend on the sport and race template chosen when you created your race. Most of these templates will make your seeding random, but many races choose to have their seeding ordered alphabetically by last name and first name. This can make bib/ chip handout on the day of your event much easier. Alphabetical seeding is shown in the custom seeding example below.
If you would like to override the default seeding, you can click the seed type displayed and choose “Custom” as shown below.
In the Apply Seeding screen, you can choose any field(s) from your registration data and choose the ordering. For example to order bibs by Last name then First name, add each field and click the “A-Z” to reverse the ordering as needed.
Start Line Active From
“Start line is active from” is an advanced setting for limiting when start times will be recorded for a start group. Most races don’t need to use this setting but if you’re planning on using the same device for your start and finish, then you will need to configure this window. This time frame defines when your single start/finish device will be recording Start Times. After the time frame ends, it will switch to recording finish times.
Publishing Start Lists
Some sports such as Cross-Country skiing will often require race organizers to publish a Start List before the event. To learn how to do this access the Publish Start List documentation here. This will also cover “Configuring your Start List Display” (adding headers and fields) and Publishing a seeding list (unique to skiing).
Once you have configure you start list take the time to review it before moving on to the Device Setup documentation.