Course Setup

There are two important tasks performed on the Course Setup page.  First you will divide racers into “course groups”, and then you will select which timing devices should be used for each course group, and the order that racers in that course group will cross the timing devices.

Setting up Course Groups

In the most simple case, all the racers in your race use the same course.  This means that all racers cross the same timing points, in the same order, the same number of times.  In more complex races, some racers will do a different course or number of laps than other racers. In this case these racers should be divided into separate Course Groups.

  • In a multi-lap race, you should create a course group for each group that does a different number of laps. For example, in a race with a 5k and a 10k option where the 10k is two laps of the 5k course, create separate course groups for 5k and 10k.
  • In a point-to-point race, course groups should be set up for each distance.
  • In a time limit race, each group with a different time limit should be in a different course group. For example, in a race where one group does as many laps as they can in 8 hours and another group does as many laps as they can in 24 hours, create a course group for the 8hr racers and a course group for the 24hr racers.

When you first navigate to the course setup screen, you will have the option to split racers into course groups, or to keep all racers in a single group.  Choose the appropriate option based on your race requirements.

Course groups, like Start Groups and Result Groups, can be defined using any combination of racer fields.

Timing Point Setup

When you have created your course groups, the next step is to define the actual race course that the racers in each “course group” will follow.  This means adding the correct number of timing points in the correct order.

To add additional timing points, other than start and finish, click the Add Mid-Lap Split button.

To remove a timing point from your course, click the three dots on the right side of the timing point and select Remove this Crossing from the drop down menu.

Shared Courses

In multi-lap races and triathlons, the different course groups often share a large amount of their timing configuration, and are only differentiated by the number of laps racers will have to complete.  If you have chosen a race format with a shared configuration, you will see a simplified course map below the list of courses.  

You can change the number of laps that each course group does by typing the desired number of laps directly into the # of Laps column.

In the example below, we can see there are 4 different course groups, each doing a different number of laps but always crossing the two intermediate split points on each lap.

The for the above example, the “junior women distance free” will not cross the “lap” timing point, but instead go straight to the finish after they cross the two previous timing points.  All the other courses use the same lap point to record a time in between laps, and then cross the finish line when completed the set number of laps.

Setting a Custom Course

Shared courses can save you time when setting up the race, but your racers don’t necessarily do the same course.  If you have some racers doing laps of a long course that crosses two mid-lap splits, and other racers doing a short course that crosses only one mid-lap split point, you can click the Edit button beside each course name and set a completely different crossing order for the course group. The only way to change the timing devices for the different courses will be to click the Edit button.

No Shared Configuration

In the above example, we still have two course groups that follow a shared course, but if each course group crosses a different set of timing points then there is no shared course at all, so the shared course map UI is replaced with a list of active timing points and the courses that they are assigned to.

In this example, all four courses start and finish at the same timing point but have a different intermediate split point.

Assigning Timing Devices to Points

At each timing point configured in the race, you will need to select at least one device that will be used to record times. Click on the Select a Timing Device button beside each timing point name to select the device that will be used at that point. The Modify Timing Point window will pop up and you can search for the desired timing device.

This list only contains timing devices that are owned or rented by your club; until the device has been assigned to your club it will not appear in this list. See the “How do I assign Timing Devices to my Organization?” page for help linking a GoChip activator or a phone with the Zone4 Go app to your club. Summit timers (which require a bridge function to work with Zone4 Timing) are linked to your club by entering a valid licence key in the Zone4 desktop application.

Using the Same Device to Record Lap Times and Finish Times

In most multi-lap races, the finish line is a separate location from the lap point, and different timing devices are needed at each location.  However, if your racers cross the finish line on each lap you can simply select the same device at both the “Lap” and “Finish” points on the timing setup screen. Once a device is already assigned to one timing point, when you click the
Select a Timing Device button, you’ll see the device in the Re-use the devices from a different point section of the Modify Timing Point window:

This can also be useful if, for example, the course loops back on itself and you need to use the same mid-lap split point twice in the same lap.

If you have configured multiple timing devices at a point, those timing devices will always be used together – i.e. if GoChip Activator #25 and Phone #30 are both assigned to the finish, and you want to use Activator #25 to record lap times as well, phone #30 will also be used to record lap times.

Using Multiple Devices at the Same Timing Point

Using a few devices to record times at the same point can be great for redundancy, to protect against technical failure or human error.  To add another timing device, click on the three dots to the right of the timing point and select Set Timing & Backup Devices:

And then click the Add a Timing Device button and select any additional devices that will be used to record times at this point.

Deleting a Timing Device from a Timing Point

If you need to change which timing device you are using at a timing point, you can delete a device by clicking on the timing device at that point.

This opens up the Modify Timing Point window. In this window delete the device by clicking on the X to the left of the device’s name.

Using Backup Devices

Backup devices can be added to and removed from each timing point using the same processes as adding and removing additional timing devices (See above). However, select Add a Backup Device instead of Add a Timing Device.  

A backup device will record times, but those times will not automatically be assigned to racersThe times will be stored and linked to racers so they can be looked up and used for reference later on, but will not affect the results by default.  In general, if you have multiple devices recording times at a point they should all be used as timing devices instead of being added as backup devices.

Using Precall Devices

Precall devices can be set up 15-20 seconds before the finish line (or any other timing point) and will provide data to the Commentator View“.  This allows your race announcer to call racers as they approach the finish line, instead of only calling out racers after they have crossed the finish line, giving the commentary a much more live feeling than just an after the fact announcement of finishers.

Precall devices can be added to and removed from each timing point using the same processes as adding and removing additional timing devices (See above). However, select Add a Precall Device instead of Add a Timing Device.

Setting Minimum Split Times

Minimum splits can save a lot of headaches on race day by ignoring unreasonably fast times.  For example, you might know that the back stretch of your course is hilly and rough and it’s going to take racers at least 20 minutes to go from split 1 to split 2, but there’s a shortcut that could allow racers to get there in 5 minutes if they get lost.  If you set the minimum time between split 1 and split 2 to 15 minutes, anybody who inadvertently ends up at split 2 after taking the shortcut will not get a split 2 time recorded, and a warning about their missing time will be generated in the timing dashboard.

To do this type your desired minimum split time in the Min Split box under the desired timing point.


Course setup is the most critical step of the race.  Review your setup carefully to make sure that the correct devices are assigned to their proper locations and that each racer group has been assigned the right number of laps. Also be sure that you are satisfied with your Course Groups before proceeding to setting up results as any changes you make to Course Groups will erase result sets you have created. Once your review is complete you are now be ready to proceed to the Setting Up Results section of the user guide.

Updated on 2019-05-14

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