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).
It is highly recommended to wait until your registration has closed before building your start list since adding more racers will affect your bib and chip assignment as well as start times in individual start races.
First navigate to the Start List page in the Zone4 Timing software.
You will then 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, Timing Chips and Start Times section of this documentation. If you want to have multiple start groups continue with the steps numbered below.
- Use the drop down menu Add Racer Group Field to select a field from your registration to define your Start Groups. This will create different start groups based on the field you chose. For example, if you picked race distance, a separate start group for each distance will be created. This allows you to have different start times for different race distances. The field you choose will vary depending on the type of event and how your registration was setup, but most often this will be: Racer Age and/or Gender, racer category or race distance.
- You can also define start groups based off of more than one field. To do this, simply select another field from the drop down menu Add Racer Group Field. Creating a more specific start group can be useful when you have multiple race distances, but also have to start males and females or different ages separately. What you chose will very much depend on the sport and type of event you’re timing.
- Once you have chosen the field(s) you’re using to define start groups, a list of all the groups that will be created will appear below.
- The preview list will contain all groups including those with no racers and groups with racers who have not selected a value for the chosen fields. A common reason why there would be groups with no value for a given field would be an event with races on more then one day. In this instance registrants may have the option to sign up for races on Saturday and/or Sunday. In the race timing side, you would create two separate races, one for each day, but you would pull data for both days from the same registration. Therefore those who did not select any event for the Sunday would be placed in a group with no value selected when you make the start groups for Sunday’s race. An example of this is pictured below.
- Remember that if you are creating your race before registration closes, new registrants will only appear in Zone4 Timing if you re-sync registrants.
- You can remove any extra or unwanted groups from your Start List by un-checking them. You can also click the Un-Check Groups With No Racers button to remove all groups with no racers.
7. Once you’re satisfied with your start groups select the Create these Groups button.
Moving and Merging Start Groups
Once you have created Start Groups they will be ordered based on the ordering of the fields on your registration form. You may need re-order the Start Groups based on the race schedule. For example the first group scheduled to start should be moved to the top of the list of Start Groups.
You can drag and drop the start groups into the correct order using the drag handles to the left of each Start Group (pictured below).
Some of the groups created when you created start groups may actually be starting together. In this case you will want to merge them. For example, in a ski race the Junior and Senior categories will often start together in a group called “Open”, so the Junior start group and Senior start group need to be merged.
To merge start groups select the Tools button and the Merge Start Groups option pictured below.
Here you can select which groups you would like to combine. Once groups have been selected click the Merge button to apply changes. If multiple sets of groups need to merged you will need to repeat this process.
Once satisfied with the start groups click Done.
If you have combined multiple groups you can then edit their names to reflect these changes. To do this simply click on the start group name and type in the new name.
If you made a mistake and wish to go back to your original start groups or change the fields defining your start groups, click the Tools button and select the option Create New Racer Groups. This will take you back to the window where you can select new or change fields and choose the start groups you wish to create.
Assigning Racer Numbers, Timing Chips and Start Times
The next steps will take you through configuring your Start List. You can review the changes you have made to your Start List by selecting the “View Start List” button located both at the top and the bottom of the Start List page.
Assigning Racer Numbers and Seeding
Racer numbers or bib numbers are the primary way of identifying racers and are generally required for race timing. Before assigning bibs you will need to know two things. First, what the bib ranges you have available for your event are and second, what type of seeding you will use.
What is Seeding? Seeding is the logic that you apply to assigning racer numbers. Different sports have different methods of seeding racers. What the default method in Zone4 timing will be will depend on the sport template that you have selected.
Most times you will use Random or Alphabetical seeding. Random seeding works well for smaller events and is required for some types of sports. To seed racers randomly, select random from the seeding type drop down menu pictured below.
Random seeding is less useful for larger events where not having any logic associated with the racer numbers can make the bib handout complicated and time consuming. This is when alphabetical seeding can be useful.
To seed racers alphabetically, use the “Seeding Type” drop down menu to select “Custom“. Then in the “Seeding Order” drop down menu select “Last Name” and “First Name” as is shown below. It is always recommended to seed by Last Name, then First Name. This will make bib handout easier.
Other Types of Seeding:
- Custom Seeding: Some sport require very specific seeding. Remember that you can base your seeding off any field you like from your registration.
- Cross-Country Skiing specific seeding: Cross-Country skiing has very specific seeding requirements. To find out more about seeding for Cross-Country Skiing races click here.
Once you have selected the type of seeding you want, it’s time to assign numbers to racers. Here you will have two choices on how to proceed. If the numbers you’re using for your race are in one continuous set, you can “Assign For Whole Race” using the options shown below (this is the default option).
If your bibs are not in one continuous set or specific bibs have been set aside for specific start groups you can choose to “Assign Separately For Each Group” using the option shown below.
If you choose this method a window will open with instructions on how to proceed.
Tips for Racer Number Assignment:
- Always start the numbering for a Racer Group with 1. This will make your racer numbers match more closely with their chip numbers.
- Try to reserve some numbers at the end of each racer group. This will allow you more flexibility if racers loose their numbers or if you are allowing day of registration.
Once you have properly configured your bib assignment click the “Assign Racer Numbers” to apply changes. You can then move on to assigning timing chips.
If you are using GoChip’s to time your event you will need to assign them separately from race numbers. This is a quick and easy process that closely mirrors Racer Number Assignment.
If you are not using GoChip’s you can skip this step and go straight to Assigning Start Times.
Before assigning chips you will need to know what you have available for chips. Enter the letter on your chips into the Chip Rack field. If multiple racks add commas in between letters. Then you will use the “Assign Timing Chips” tool in Zone4 Timing. This tool will use built in logic to match GoChip numbers to Racer Number in a way that makes sense.
If you have missing chips in your set you can assign chips individually to racers in their “Edit Racer” window as shown below.
Assigning Start Times
There are two ways that you can assign Start Times. You can assign Start Times to the race as a whole or you can “Assign Separately For Each Group”.
Assigning Start Times to the race as a whole: This is the default option in Zone4 Timing. Use this option if your Start Groups will be starting at consistent intervals. In this method you will assign a “First Start Time” (Time of Day) and a “Gap between Start Groups” (in minutes). Then select Assign Start Times to apply.
Assigning Start Times Separately For Each Group: If your Start Groups go off at inconsistent intervals you will need to assign Start Time separately for each group. When this option is select a window will open with instructions on how to proceed.
Configure Display and Publish Start List
Some sports may require race organizers to publish a Start List before the event. If your Start List will not be made public you can skip this section and go Straight to reviewing your Start List.
If you are publishing your Start List you may want to add some relevant fields. This can be: Club, Team, Category, Country, Racing License etc.
Add these fields using the drop down menu provided. You can also choose to display a banner or extra header information on your Start List. To learn more about these features go to the Publish Start List documentation. This will also cover publishing a seeding list (unique to skiing).
Once you have configure your start list take the time to review it before moving on to the Device Setup.