When a time is recorded on a timing device, the Zone4 Timing system will attempt to assign that time to a racer by looking up which races are currently in progress .
In order to do this, we need to know when a race should be counted as “in progress”. To tell the system when your race is happening, you can change the beinning and end time for the race. We refer to the period between when the system begins assigning times to your race and when it ends as the “Race Window”.
When should the race window begin?
Before the first racer starts
You should always be testing your timing devices to make sure they have been set up correctly before any actual racers cross, so the beginning of the race should be about the same time you plan to start setting up timing devices. The system defaults to 6am on the date you selected when you created the race, and in most cases you can leave it at that.
The beginning of the race timing window should always be before the actual time that racers start racing. Do not enter the first racer’s start time as the time when timing should begin. The system will not assign times to a racer before their scheduled start time.
When should the race window end?
After the last racer could possibly finish
The system default end time for all races is 18:00 (6pm). By setting the race window to 6-6 we can avoid any ambiguous times – that is, if you type in 2:00 and the race window is 6-6, we know you mean 2PM. If the race window were 0:00 to 23:59, we would have to assume you meant 2AM even though you probably didn’t. If you change the race end time to encompass some ambigous times, make sure that you are always entering times in 24-hour format.
If you are timing a race in the evening, make sure you change the race end time to be well after you expect the last racer to finish. It’s never good to have to explain to the last racer that you missed their finish time because they were so slow that the system shut down before they finished.
Timing multiple races on the same day
If you are timing more than one race on the same day using the same timing equipment and the same racer numbers, make sure they do not have overlapping race windows.
For example, imagine a scenario where you have a morning race and an afternoon race, and you have a racer number 15 in both races. If you leave the race window as 6am-6pm on both races, when the morning racer #15 crosses the line, a finish time will be also be recorded for the afternoon racer #15. If your morning race is set to end at noon and the afternoon race is set to begin at noon, then your afternoon timing won’t be affected by the morning race.
Timing a multi-day race
There is no limit to the length of a race window. If you are timing a 24 hour race (or something even longer) you can set the race beginning time to be on one day, and the race end time to be on another day. Once you do this, you’ll see little datepicker icons appear beside each time entry field – click on that to specify the date when you are editing a time. All racer times are recorded and edited as “time of day”, not elapsed time since the start.