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TIMING WITH WEBSCORER
Common questions regarding this timing method include: What is ‘Webscorer’ timing? Why don’t I have a timing chip? What’s the purpose of a timing chip? How are my results calculated?
Webscorer is a software for timing and reporting results that can be used with or without timing chips.The software is app based, meaning it operates from a mobile device which has the advantage of constant internet connectivity. When we time an event with Webscorer, you’ll see our timers holding iPads which are broadcasting times to the internet in REAL TIME. Participants may look up their results by navigating to www.Webscorer.com/3WRaces from a smart phone or computer.
When the race starts, the clock in Webscorer is started. Or, if the race is started in multiple ‘waves’ a separate clock in the software is started with each wave. This becomes the start time for every racer. We call this ‘gun start.’
To capture YOUR time in Webscorer software, our timers at the finish line are completing two operations. First, as each participant crosses the finish line, a ‘timestamp’is being captured on the iPad by the tap of a finger. Secondly, the bib number worn by that participant is being entered into the software to match the ‘timestamp.’ In the case of a high density finish (meaning, multiple participants are crossing the line at the same time) the timer may not have recorded each bib number with the timestamp. That is why you’ll see a second timer recording bib numbers from each participant as a backup and cross reference. The bib numbers can be matched to the timestamps at any time during or after the event.
The purpose of a timing chip is to capture an exact start time and an exact finish time without a physical operator or to supplement a physical operator with a high volume of participants. Timing chips must be programmed to correspond with each participant’s bib number which is done in advance of the event and then distributed with the bib numbers and attached to the racer’s body/shoe, etc. An antenna at the start and or finish line (usually incorporated into a mat on the ground or suspended panels on a truss) ‘talks’ to each timing chip and records the time at which the chip crosses the antenna. Timing chips are most useful when, due to the volume of racers, participants do not cross the start line in a timely manner and numerous participants are crossing the finish line at the same time for an extended time. The use of a timing chip provides a participant with a ‘net time’, taking into account any tardiness the participant had when getting to the start line.
Traditionally (and per USATF sanctioning) a foot race is scored based on a ‘gun start’. A ‘gun start’ scenario is like a cross country meet where all participants start at the same time, with an identical start time. No credit is given for not being at the start line when the gun goes off. Most races continue to base their awards (overall and age group recognition) off of gun time, regardless of whether a timing chip is utilized. This is especially true in cases where prize money is awarded.
GET THE MOST ACCURATE TIME
If your event is timed using Webscorer without (or with) a timing chip, there are some ways you can ensure the most accurate time for yourself.
1. Start with the front of the pack at the start line and be there when the event starts.
2. Wear YOUR bib. Many timing errors occur when family and friends mix up bibs and wear one another’s number. This is true when using timing chips as well. Pay attention to any label that has been adhered to your bib and make sure that it has YOUR name on it.
3. Keep your bib visible at the finish line. Wear your bib on the front of your body on your outermost layer of clothing. It is best to wear it on the center of your torso and NOT on a leg. (Think about trying to read a two-inch number that is rapidly bouncing up and down.)
4. Run the distance for which you are registered or make the change legitimately before the event. Example: In some cases, a 10k runner will decide she wants to drop to a shorter 5k distance. If that runner finishes the 5k in 36 minutes, but is still designated as a 10k runner in the software, the software will show her as a winner in the 10k. Oftentimes, our marshals on the course and our timers at the finish line can catch these errors based on the bib sequence worn by the runner, but if the race crew catches the error and it has not been reported by the racer, the racer will be disqualified and the time will be removed. Again, this is true with or without chip timing.
At events where there are less than 250 participants in each distance, we will use the Webscorer timing system without the aid of timing chips. Oftentimes, you’ll notice the race director starting the events in predetermined waves of 100 people or less based on distance and or gender–this is done to keep the racers’ start time very close to the gun start time. Additionally, this saves the time and expense of the physical chip and the programming of the physical chip.