Using advanced timing systems can be expensive. If you are an organiser of small road or cross-country races and do not wish to spend on buying or renting a full chip-timing system (or similar), you can now use the Roster Athletics Meet Mgmt app and its manual timing feature instead (available for Android and iOS devices).
The Roster Athletics Meet Mgmt app uses the "old-school"-way of measuring time by hand and a stopwatch and allows you to record the finish order, but with modern tools to make the entire process easier and more manageable.
By seamlessly integrating with the Roster platform for athlete registration, meet set up and management, fan engagement and live results, the Manual Timing feature allows organisers to put on road and cross country races using the same Roster experience for no additional cost.
This guide is divided into the following sections below:
- What do you need?
- How to enable manual timing
- Start the clock
- Adding results
- BIB order
- Making changes in the Competition Management Platform
- Additional resources
What do you need?
To start using the feature, first create a meeting/meet in the Roster Athletics Competition Management Platform (please go to Create a meeting guides to find more information). Start lists of the meeting/meet need to have all athletes assigned with numerical BIB numbers, (for more information see the BIB Allocation guide).
Please note: alphanumeric BIB assignments will not work with this feature.
You will also need at least two separate devices with the latest version of the Roster Athletics Meet Mgmt app (Download the apps). One is to record time and the other one is to record the finish order. You can use additional devices to collect more time results data sets, though you will need to use just one device to record finish order.
How to enable manual timing
To start using the manual timing feature, open your meeting/meet in the Meet Mgmt app. Once in your meeting/meet, select your running event to start marking your results.
The start list that appears in the app is configured from the Roster Competition Management Platform web admin. Any changes to the start list (including BIB allocation) need to be made in the Roster web admin, which will then automatically propagate to the Meet Mgmt app with an active connection. You can also manually trigger the update/refresh of the start list by swiping down on the screen in the Events view page.
Click on the stopwatch icon on the upper right-hand to go to the manual timing feature.
Please note: the manual timing feature is available for any events that are in the "Distance" category, which entails races longer than but not including 400m. As a reminder, the full list of events in Roster web admin can be viewed by selecting MEETINGS/MEETS → Events → Meeting/Meet Profile → Track & Field: Universal.
Start the clock
If you are ready to start your race, click the Start button in the Clock tab when the gun goes off. To stop the time, click on the red Stop button (to avoid stopping the clock by mistake, you will be asked for confirmation).
You can also manually set a start time, If not started at gunpoint. To do this, click the Set button and type in a time (e.g. 10:00 minutes from the start), and start it at the proper time by clicking the Start button.
When the time is running, you will see it in the rest of the tabs with a yellow background. You can go back to the start list or list of events without stopping the time. The time will be still recorded, even if you accidentally close the app.
To add the first result, go to the Results tab, enter the athlete's BIB number and click the checkmark icon exactly when the athlete crosses the finish line. Repeat these steps for other athletes.
If you missed one or more athletes, or there is no time to type in all BIBs from a big group of participants, the app can auto-allocate the time by making a linear time distribution based on first and last recorded time in the group.
You can also delete the result of an athlete my pressing on the trash can icon next to their time.
There is a group of 4 athletes who cross the finish line in a short period of time together:
- Athlete bib #1
- Athlete bib #2
- Athlete bib #3
- Athlete bib #4
To get times for all athletes without typing all their BIBs: 1.) in the Results tab, type in the time for the first athlete (Athlete bib #1 from our example) and the last athlete(Athlete bib #4) in the group and 2.) in the BIB order tab (see below), record the order of ALL four participants.
In our example, there is a time for Athlete bib #1 (e.g., 13:00.00) and for Athlete bib #4 (e.g., 13:03.00) recorded via the Results tab. The auto allocation will make a linear time distribution for runners between #1 and #4. It means in this case, Athlete bib #2 would get 13:01.00, and Athlete bib #3 would get 13:02.00.
Please be aware that when recording in manual timing mode, results in the Meet app will show hundredths of a second precision while the consumer app and public results will show lower precision as follows.
When using manual timing, all road events (e.g. 5 km) will appear in the consumer app and public results with seconds precision. If using manual timing for track events (e.g. 5000m), the consumer app and public results will appear with tenths of a second precision.
In the BIB order tab, you are ready to type in ALL BIB numbers in the order they appeared at the finish line. Type the number and click the checkmark icon to save the first BIB. Repeat these steps for other athletes. This provides the finishing order to the platform and enables the auto-allocation feature to work correctly as well as helping to resolve discrepancies post-race.
If needing to make changes to the finish order, press the three vertical dots option next to the athlete and select:
- Delete - to delete the BIB from the list.
- Edit BIB - to replace BIB with another number.
- Add BIB before - to be able to type in the BIB number before the selected athlete.
- Add BIB after - to be able to type in the BIB number after the selected athlete.
- Move BIB up - to change the position of the BIB up.
- Move BIB down - to change the position of the BIB down.
Please note: only one device should be used to enter finish order.
The Ranking tab is not editable and displays the current ranking list with all times and places. Times added by the user in the Results tab are marked by a blue background, while auto-allocated times are marked by a dark navy blue background.
Making changes in the Competition Management Platform
After the race, you can make changes to times and rankings in the Roster Athletics Competition Management Platform web admin. To do so, go to the MEETINGS/MEETS→ Results view, click on the upper right-hand side menu option, and select Manual timing.
In the Source data tab, you can see all data sets and preview the data. Remember one device can have two data sets (e.g. when results and BIB order were recorded using the same mobile device).
In the BIB + Results tab, you can add, edit or remove all times.
If an athlete has more than one result (from different data sets), press the three vertical dots icon to see the full list of Multiple values.
In the Finish order tab, you can edit the order.
Please note: in case two or more athletes have the same finish order, but different results, then the result (duration) take priority over the finish order (athletes will have different places).
The Merged view shows the merged data from the BIB + Results and Finish order tabs.
Please note: in case the finish order doesn't match the order of recorded results (e.g., a person with a better measured time is marked as having finished after a person with a slower measured time), the system will ignore invalid data and still calculate the rest of the results. Invalid results will be marked with a red color and auto-allocated times with gray color.
If you want to discard all manual changes and restore the original data, click Restore and proceed.
Please note: If the data has been edited manually in web-admin, then automated calculations are suspended. Please make sure that all automatic calculations are finished before manually editing data.
If you are new to the Roster platform, please see the rest of our user guides.
Of particular interest, check out the Create a meeting user guides to set up and manage a meeting, and Registration on how to enable and manage public entries and payment for your competition.
For further information, you can click to schedule a live demo with a Roster team member or reach out to email@example.com.