Timing a Relay Race

What is a relay race?

A relay race is any race in which one team member hands off to another team member – that is, only one team member can be on course at a time.  When the first team member finishes their portion of the race, the next team member starts racing.  If more than one team member is racing at the same time, that is not a relay race and is not supported by Zone4 timing.

What isn’t a relay race?

If more than one team member is racing at the same time, that is not a relay race and is not supported by Zone4 timing.

Setting up a relay race in Zone4

In Zone4 Timing, racers are grouped into a relay team by the value of any single field – in your registration form or data import file, there must be a single field specifying the “team name” or similar, and everybody on the same team must have the same value for that field.

Zone4 registration does not currently have any enforcement that two teams don’t create duplicate team names, so you will want to check through your file before creating the race to ensure that if your registrants are allowed to choose their own team name, each team chooses a unique name.

After creating your race, find the “Enable Relay Team Grouping” option on the settings page:

Turn on Relay Team Grouping, and select the field that contains your team names.

If you are assigning racer numbers in Zone4 Timing, you might also want to choose an ordering for the team members.  For example, if you know ahead of time which order the team members will be racing in, you can give the first team member the lowest number by selecting the field that contains this information.

Ordering team members is optional, if you do not select a field to order team members by, we order them randomly when assinging racer numbers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can one team member race multiple legs of the relay?

Yes.  Zone4 Timing does not require team members to race in any specific order.  As long as each team member is registered as part of the team, we determine which racer is racing each leg by which bib number or timing chip is recorded at each split – not by any pre-determined racer order.  Whichever team member crosses the timing point is recorded as having completed that section of the race.

Can Solo and Team races be combined into a single race?

Yes.  Any racer with no value in the team field will be treated as a solo racer, and must complete the whole course themselves in order to be counted as finished.  Or, if the racer does have a value in the team field, as long as it is distinct from all other racers they will be a one-person team, which is no different from a solo racer.

If your race is a mix of Solo and Team racers, it is usually best to hide the “relay team” field on your registration form from anybody who has selected a team category.  Relay team racers are usually pretty good about choosing creative and unique team names, but if you expose a team name field to solo racers they will inevitably put their club name in that field, and you’ll have to manually erase it so that all the solo racers from a club aren’t grouped together as one big relay team.

Updated on 2019-05-19

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