From the moment an event registration is opened until the final set of results are published, the quality, correctness and cleanliness of the data involved will be a factor on how well the event runs. It is unlikely an event will ever have perfect data but doing whatever possible as soon as possible will keep an event running smoothly. Higher tier races require more data for building Start Lists then lower tier races which requires more attention and time. The methods used to clean up the data are as follows:
- Validation tool that finds discrepancies between the registration data and national license database
- manually cleaning up data using sorted and/or grouped reports
- publishing lists for coaches and athletes to review for accuracy
Validation is a tool provided in the Zone4 registration system that compares the registration data to the national license database system. The tool shows any discrepancies between the data and suggests changes to ensure the registration data matches the data in the licence database. This tool is also used to bring racer points into the registration form. Validation can be started once the first racer is registered and should be completed by the time the first race is created from the registration. There is a separate article on the Validation Tool.
Data Cleanup and Review
Data cleanup is the process of manually cleaning up fields to contain consistent data for reporting and generating other lists. Bib Pickup is the only field that really needs to be made consistent but making Club, Team and University consistent as well will speed-up generating reports on these fields. Using registration reports is the easiest way to do this by taking advantage of sorting, filtering and grouping.
The registered athletes eligibility needs reviewed based on the rules required by event sanctioning. Eligibility is based on licensing, age and club membership. The Validation tool will confirm that FIS and CCC licences entered by the registrant are valid for the current year. Use registration reports to filter out eligible athletes and create a short list of athletes that need to take action in order to become eligible.
Once points have been brought into the registration with the Validation tool, those without points should be reviewed. These athletes should be looked up in the points database to confirm they indeed have no points. International racers may get special seeding consideration at the Jury’s discretion. This is best handled by giving these racers ‘fake’ points that will place them appropriately on the Start List.
Having a well defined process and timeframe for generating and distributing lists will establish predictability for coaches and athletes. The goal is to establish habits within the community for limit the number of last minute changes. The following is the recommended timeframe:
- 1 to 2 months before the event:
- Open registration with a minimal confirmation list (name, affiliations and categories).
- About 2 weeks before the event until registration closes:
- Begin validating data with the Validation tool
- Start data cleanup and review
- Confirm eligibility of racers
- Contact racers with issues
- About 1 week before the event:
- Add licensing and point information to the confirmation list and group by Bib Pickup or Club
- Email all coaches with a link to the Confirmation List and instructions on what to review
- Once registration has closed:
- Do final check of validation, cleanup and eligibility
- Email all coaches once again to review the Confirmation List
- Between registration closing and the first race:
- Pursue remaining issues case-by-case
- About 2 days before the first race:
- Create the each race from the registration and draft the start list
- Publish the Seeding List for each race and email coaches to review it
- Make the Draft Start List available for each race and email link to key officials
- During the Team Captains Meeting for each race:
- Make last call for changes announcement at beginning of meeting
- Publish the Start List publically
- Create the Bib Pickup List and sort bibs
An initial Confirmation List should be available the moment the event registration goes live. As additional fields get populated and validated, they should be added to the Confirmation List. Fields included on this list should be limited to those that that have an impact on Start Lists and results. Personal information should avoided. The following are the recommended fields:
- First Name
- Last Name
- Team (typically just Tier 1 events)
- University (typically just National Championships)
- Province (typically just National Championships)
- Category (for every race available in the event)
- Licences (CCC, FIS, USSA, etc…)
- Points (sprint and distance)
The Confirmation List should be grouped by Bib Pickup and sorted by Last Name then First Name. Use a filter to include only racers on the list.
A coaches confirmation list should also be included for most Tier 1 and 2 events. This allows coaches to confirm they will be included on any informational emails. This should include:
- Coach First Name
- Coach Last Name
- Coach Club
- Coach Team
The coaches list should be sorted by Club and Team. Use a filter to include only coaches on the list.
The Seeding List is best defined as the Start List without bib numbers or start times. There will be one Seeding List published per race. It is used by coaches and athletes to confirm the correct race start order without publishing bib and start time information that is likely to change. The Seeding List should be published as soon as possible after the bulk of the validation has been finished. It should be possible to publish all Seed Lists for an event before the start of the event.
The Seed List should include the following fields:
- Points (sprint or distance)
- Seed (interval start distance races only)
- Year of Birth
The Start List acts as the schedule for the race. The racers will be ordered by their start order in an interval start race or chevron order in a mass start race. The Start List should include the same fields as the Seed List and will automatically add the Bib and Start Time columns. The timing software has the option to make a private Draft Start List available at the same time as the public Seed List. The URL of this Draft Start List can be sent to key officials for review while remaining hidden from the public. The final step with an approved Start List is to make it public.
Once a Start List has been publicly published, there is still a chance that mistakes may be found. If the Confirmation and Seeding lists have been published well ahead of time and communicated with coaches and athletes, then there is strong case to leave the Start List as is. Any change made to a published Start List should be done based on the following guidelines:
- any changes made should have a meaningful benefit to the race
- never mass change bib numbers
- never mass change start times
- never re-organise an entire start chevron
- the Jury must approve the change
- ensure the change is communicated to key individuals including the start volunteers
Bib Pickup List
The Bib Pickup List is used to ease distributing bibs to coaches and can be built once the Start List is published. The Bib Pickup List is based on either the Bib Pickup field for Tier 1 events or the Club field for Tier 2 or 3 events. This list is used to build packages for each coach containing the bibs for the athletes they are responsible for and should contain a copy of their list. Citizen Tier events typically distribute bibs to racers at a package pickup location based on name. The Bib Pickup list is generated using race reporting with the following fields:
- First Name
- Last Name
- Start Time
The list should be grouped by Bib Pickup for Tier 1 events or Club for Tier 2 or 3 events and be sorted by last name then first name.