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How are times assigned to racers?

The Zone4 timing software tries to intelligently assign the best possible time recorded at each timing point to each racer.

If multiple devices are configured at a single timing point, any times recorded for the same racer on different devices that are within two seconds of each other are considered to be a single crossing of that timing point, and only one time per crossing is assigned to a racer. So if a racer is supposed to cross the timing point twice in the race, and we receive a chip time and a keypad time one second apart, those will not be considered the lap one and lap two times, they will be taken together as a single lap one time, and the chip time will be used (regardless of whether it is earlier or later than the keypad time) because chips are a higher precision device than keypads are.

At the start line

In an individual start race, or a race with a chip timing system being used to record start times, each start time is assigned to a single racer. In a mass start race, times recorded on a keypad (i.e. a Summit timer or the android app) will be assigned to the start group instead of the individual racer, but the same logic will be followed.

If start times are being recorded for racers, the last possible crossing will always be used. This means that if a racer false starts and is called back to start again, or if a racer crashes just off the start and is allowed to re-start, their first start time will be automatically overwritten with their second start time.

Once a racer has been assigned a time from any timing point after the start (whether a split point, a lap point, or the finish line), any further start times are ignored.

Additionally, if a minimum time has been set for the course, if a start time has been assigned to a racer and the minimum time has passed, any start times recorded after that minimum time will be ignored.

The start behaviour can be controlled by setting an absolute time window, where any times recorded outside the time window beginning or after the time window end will be ignored, or by setting a time window relative to the racer’s scheduled start time, where times that are too far away from the racer’s scheduled start time are ignored.

At the finish line, lap point, or any other on-course timing point

After the start, the Zone4 timing software will always prefer the earliest crossing of a timing point to a later crossing of a timing point. So once a racer crosses the finish line for the first time, it is safe for them to cross the finish line as many other times as they want without needing to worry about affecting their result.

When a racer is supposed to cross a timing point more than once

In a multi-lap race (or a race with a complex setup that requires racers to cross the same split multiple times) all the recorded crossings of that timing point will be assigned in order – that is, the first time they cross the point will be assigned to the first lap split, the second time they cross will be assigned to the lap 2 split, and so on.

Any other times received on other timing points in the race will be used as anchor points, so if a course is configured with two split points on the lap, and the racer misses split one on their second lap but crosses split two, their second time across split 1 will be assigned to their lap three split and the lap 2 split 1 time will be left blank.

When times are received out of order

If the timing software doesn’t receive an earlier time until after a later time has already been assigned, times that have already been assigned to that racer will be re-assigned. For example, if the server receives two lap times for a racer, it will automatically assign them as lap 1 and lap 2 times. but if it later receives a new time from that timing point that was recorded before the previous lap 1 time but not transmitted to the server for some reason, that time will be assigned as the new lap 1 time and the previous lap 1 time will be moved to become the new lap 2 time.

Using minimum splits or time windows

Any timing point can have a time window configured for it. Times recorded before the time window begins, or after the time window ends will be automatically ignored.

Additionally, a minimum split time can be set between any two adjacent timing points. If a racer crosses a timing point at a time that is earlier than their time at the previous timing point plus the minimum split time, that time will be ignored.

What if more than one racer has the same racer number?

If more than one racer has the same racer number, each time received will be run through the time assignment algorithm for each racer that has that number. If two racers have the same number but different start times, this might mean that the time is assigned to one racer whose start time has passed, and is then ignored for another racer whose start time is scheduled for after the recorded time.

Updated on 2020-11-16

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