Create Start List

Creating and merging start groups, setting start times, and assigning bib numbers.

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 tab of Zone4 Timing, you will see is the “Create Start Groups” screen as pictured below.  The first you will need to decide  whether you want your race to have multiple start groups sorted using a racer field such as category or distance (as is usually the case) or whether you want to have one start group for all participants.

If you want all racers to 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.

  1. For multiple start groups select “Define start groups using racers fields”.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Once you’re satisfied with your start groups select the “Create these Groups” button.


If you have a lot of start groups, it is recommended that you use the Configure page as this will give you a concise summary and let you control the settings for all the start groups in one place.

Moving and Merging Start Groups

Once you have created start groups it may be necessary to merge certain groups together. An example of when this might be necessary would be in a xc ski race where in the registration, racers select their category (Juve Boys/Girls, Open Men/Women, etc).  When choosing fields to define your start groups you would choose the category field, however you may want some of these categories to start together (often Junior and Senior). In this case once you have defined your groups you would then merge the Junior and Senior categories together.

You can use the drag handles on the left hand side to drag-and-drop and re-order your start groups Then use the overflow menu (…) for your desired group and select “Merge with Next” as pictured below.

Note that you will want to order your start groups so that the first one to start is at the top of the Racer Groups grid.

You will be asked to confirm that you want to merge these groups. This will delete the selected group and add the racers into the next group in the list:

Once the start groups have been combined, you can click on the text to rename this new group.

Note if you ever make a mistake in the Merge process, you can click the overflow menu (…) and click Split Group which returns the groups to two separate lists.  You will have lost the original names of each group so you’ll likely have to go back to “View Start List” to double check who is in each group so you can rename them correctly.

Moving and merging can also be done in the main start list page (accessed the “configure” page via the “View Start List” button).

To merge groups click the overflow menu (…) for your desired group and select the “Merge with Next” option shown below.

To re-order start groups on the Start List page, click the “More…” menu in the upper right and select “Hide Racers”.

You can then Drag-and-Drop groups using the drag handles to the left of the groups.

Assigning Racer Numbers and Start Times

  1. 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.

    It can be helpful to have racer numbers follow some logic such as having those in one start group having numbers that start with the same decimal. This could be having 10km racers being assigned numbers in the 100’s and 20km racers being assigned numbers in the 200’s. This will help your event run smoothly.

  2. Click “Assign Racer Numbers” when done.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 specific start groups if needed using the overflow menu (…) for the desired group as pictured below.

  5. Once the Start times are setup as desired click “Assign Start Times”.

Note you can also Assign Bib and Times from the View Start List by clicking on each of the “Bib Assignment”, “Start Time” and Start Type links in the start group header.

In the Start Times link you will notice a checkbox titled “use scheduled start time for timing”. When this box is checked (default), the scheduled start time will be used as a backup to the recorded start time (if recorded).  This is useful if your start location is in an offline and you cannot record a live start time.  If no other start time is recorded, results will be calculated using the scheduled start time.  If you leave this box un-checked, the scheduled start time will only be displayed on the start list and not used anywhere else. Racers not given real start times will not show up in results and any other times they record will be ignored.  Note that GoChip times are only processed after a recorded start or after the scheduled start IF you select the “Use Scheduled Start for Timing” checkbox.


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.

Provincial and National Level Cross-Country Skiing Events

For provincial and national level cross-country ski races, complex rules regarding groups sizes, random draws, and points are implemented in the default seeding if the corresponding CPL points and licence fields are found on the imported registration data. Find out more here.

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. 


If you want to order your seeding alphabetically it is redomended to select last name first and first name second. This way those with the same last name (Families) will be grouped together. This will help  to speed up the process of bib/ chip handout.

Start Line Active From 

Warning: This setting is extremely important if you’re using the same device for your start and finish because if you get finish times still inside your start window they will be assigned as start times.

“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.

Updated on April 18, 2017

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