Create a Start List

After you’ve reviewed all your race settings and have imported your racers, the next step is to create a start list.

To get to the Start List page, click the Start List button near the top of the page.

Creating Start Groups

The first thing you need to do is create Start Groups.

Start Groups: 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. If you add more racers after building a start list, it will affect your bib and chip assignment. For individual start races it will also affect already assigned start times.

Once in the Start List page, you will see the Create Start Groups screen as pictured below.  Here you have two choices:

  1. Split Racers into Start Groups: This allows you to have multiple starts and choose how to separate your start groups. It is common to use this option to create different start groups for different race distances.
  2. Keep All Racers in One Start Group: This means all racers will be scheduled to start at the same time.

Select either option to proceed to the next step. If you decide to have all racers start in one group, skip to the Assigning Racer Numbers, Timing Chips and Start Times section. If you want to have multiple start groups continue with the steps numbered below.

  1. Use the drop down menu Select a field to group racers by… to select a field from your registration to define your Start Groups. This will create different start groups separated by the field you chose.

For example, if you picked the race distance field, a separate start group for each distance will be created. This allows you to have different start times for different race distances.

2. 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 Select a field to group racers by…. 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.

You can also delete fields by clicking the red X to the right of the field name.

Age Field

If you select the Age field as a field to group by, then you must define age group ranges. You can type these directly into the area beside Group Ranges. These are commonly 0-10, 11-20, 21-30, etc.

3. Once you have chosen the field(s) you will be using to your define start groups, a list of all the start groups will appear below the Groups to Create area.

4. 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. An example of this is pictured below.


A common reason why there would be groups with no value for a given field would be an event with races on more than 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.

5. All the start groups that are checked will be created, while un-checked groups will not. You can manually check and un-check the groups by clicking the check box to the left of the group name.

Groups with no value for a field will be automatically un-checked, even if there are racers in them.


Un-checking groups does not remove the racers from your race file. They will still appear in the “Racers” page and can be added to groups if needed.

6. You can also click the Only Groups with Racers button to un-check all groups with no racers.

7. Remember that if you are creating your race before registration closes, new registrants will only appear in Zone4 Timing if you re-sync registrants. These new registrants may effect the separation of your start groups, so it is recommended to make the start groups after your registration is closed.

8. Once you’re satisfied with your start groups click the Create the Start List button in the bottom right corner of your page.

Re-ordering and Merging Start Groups

Once you have created Start Groups the first thing you may want to edit is the order of your start groups. The groups will be automatically ordered based on the ordering of the fields on your registration form. It’s best to reorder them to match your race day schedule. In general the first group scheduled to start should be moved to the top of the list of Start Groups followed by the next group to start and so on.

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).

Use the drag handles (circled) to re-order the start groups

The next step is merging groups together as needed. You will need to do this if you created separate start groups, but all the racers in both groups should be starting together. 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.

1. To merge start groups select the Tools button and the Merge Start Groups option pictured below.

2. The Merge Racer Groups window will appear. Here you can select which groups you would like to combine by clicking the check box to the left of the group.

3. Once the groups have been selected click the Merge button to apply the changes.

4. If multiple sets of groups need to be merged you will need to repeat steps 2&3.

5. Once satisfied with the start groups click Done.

6. You can then edit the name of each start group. 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 first start list window where you can choose between Split Racers into Start Groups or Keep All Racers in One Start Group. From there you can recreate your start groups.

You can review the changes you have made to your Start List by selecting the View Start List button located both at the bottom of the Start List page.

Assigning Racer Numbers

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:

  1. The range of bib numbers you have available for your event
  2. The type of seeding you are going to use


What is Seeding? Seeding is the logic that you apply when assigning racer numbers. Different sports have different methods of seeding racers. The default seeding method used in Zone4 timing will depend on the sport template you have selected.

Zone4 Timing has 3 main types of seeding you can choose from:

  • Random: Bib numbers will be assigned randomly for all racers.
  • By Racer Fields: Bib numbers will be assigned based on the any field from your registration that you choose. A common example to sort racers alphabetically.
  • By a preset seed function: Cross-Country skiing has very specific seeding requirements. To find out more about seeding for Cross-Country Skiing races click here.

Most of the time 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, as having bib numbers assigned randomly can make 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 and 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.

You can use the above method to select any field(s) to sort racers by. Just select the desired field(s) from the Seeding Order drop down menu.

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:

1. Assign For Whole Race: If the numbers you’re using for your race are in one continuous set you can just click Assign Racer Number button as shown below (this is the default option).

2. Assign Separately For Each Group: If your bibs are not in one continuous set of numbers or specific bibs have been set aside for specific start groups, click the Assign Separately For Each Group button.

If you change your mind and you simply want to assign bib numbers for the whole race, click the Set for Whole Race button.

Tips for Racer Number Assignment:

  • Always start the numbering for your first 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 lose their numbers or if you are allowing registration on race day.

If you choose to “Assign Separately For Each Group” the seeding method you have already chosen will be carried over. If however you want to use different seeding logic for different start groups you can do this using the “Edit” option for individual start groups shown below.

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.

Assigning Timing Chips

If you are not using GoChips you can skip this step and go straight to Assigning Start Times.

If you are using GoChips 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.

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 you have multiple racks add commas in between letters.

Then click the Assign Timing Chips button. This button 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.

Warning: Make sure racers get the correct Timing Chip

You must always ensure that Timing Chips are handed out correctly on race day. Most of the time there is a volunteer or group of volunteers in charge of handout. It is very important to properly communicate with them the importance of handing out the correct chips. Avoid having racers take their own chips off the rack and if need be print a Start List for the volunteers to use at chip handout.

Assigning Start Times

The next step is to assign start times for each of your start groups.

Keep in Mind

Start Times are the anticipated times that Racer Groups will begin their races. These times are overridden on race day when you have the actual start time (races don’t always start exactly on time).

There are two ways that you can assign Start Times: Assign for Whole Race or Assign Separately For Each Group.

1. Assign for Whole Race: 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 in 24 hour clock format) and a Gap between Start Groups (in minutes). To do this, type your chosen times into the correct boxes and then select the Assign Start Times button to apply.

2. Assign Separately For Each Group: If your Start Groups go off at inconsistent intervals you will need to assign Start Time separately for each group. To do this click the Assign Separately for Each Group button.

Then enter either the first start, or the time gap to leave after the previous group. As you enter one of these, the other will be disabled and display the calculated value.

In this example, the “gap” between start groups is calculated as 51:30 and is not editable because the start time for the men’s start group has been set.

When you have entered the start times for each group, hit the “Assign Start Times” button to apply those start times to racers.

Keep in Mind

Zone4 timing uses 24 hour clock format so be sure that all Start Times are in this format.

Interval Start Time

Here is how to activate the interval start time option when choosing a template other than the individual cross country ski race.

Under setting, activate the “Experimental settings” option:

Then go to “Change template settings”

Under “Start Options” choose interval start.

You can now return to the start list and assign interval start times.

Next Steps

Updated on 2019-11-02

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