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Road Running Technical Council

Road Race and
Finish Line Management

Note: This material was originally posted by Jim Gerweck in November 2001 in webspace provided by his AOL account. Interestingly, even though Jim terminated his AOL account soon afterward, that copy on AOL's website remained online for many more years, until it finally disappeared when AOL shut down all of their "AOL Hometown" member websites on October 31, 2008. Meanwhile, as we hadn't trusted AOL's copy to remain online indefinitely, we copied it to this rrtc.net site in October 2005. We haven't copied it to the USATF site, due to the unfinished nature of this material.

Table of Contents

Chapter I: The Start
Timing Requirements
Watches and Timing Devices
Official Times and Provisions for Alternate Times
Synchronizing the Primary Timing Device
Reporting Times from a Running Watch
Handling Automatically Truncated, Rounded or Rasied Times
Official times when Fractions of Seconds are Unavailable
Timing the Start
Multiple Starting Lines
Auxiliary Watches and Digital Display Clocks
Managing the Start
Pseudo-Starting Line
Starting Command and Countdown
Seeded Runners
Starting the "Wave" Start

Chapter II: Finish Line Theory
The Ladder
Arrival Rates and Processing Rates
Estimating Peak Arrival Rates
Estimating Chute Build-Up
Finish Line Back-Up
Processing Runners in Batches
Ideal Chute Length
The Wave System for Handling Mega-Races

Chapter III: Finish Line Sub-Systems
Time versus Bib-Number or Name
Manual Select Timing
Tape Recorder
Video-Tape Recorder
Direct Computer Entry
Time versus Place
Tic Sheet Recording
Select Timing Only
Printing Timers
Direct Computer Entry
Place versus Bib-Number or Name
Place Stick
Place Card Only
Place Card/Pull Tag
Pull Tag/Spindle
Manual Recording
Bar-Code Reader

Chapter IV: Design of the Finish Line System
Toll-Booth versus Multi-Plex Systems
Combining Sub-Systems
The Pre-Finish Line Area
The Finish Line
Judging Close Finishes
The Deceleration Zone
Single Chute Operation
Multiple Chute Operation
Two Chute Operation
Four Chute Operation
Six Chute Operation
Eight Chute Operation
Processing Chute Design and Construction
Processing Chute Dimensions
Chute Construction
Handling Interlopers and Other Problems
Example of Finish System Design for a Large Race
Example of a Short Race of Medium Size
Example of a Small Race
Example of a Really Small Race

Chapter V: Race Registration
Entry Forms
Race Flyer Information
Entry Blank Information
Pre-Race Registration
registration for a Manual Recording System
Number Blocking
Letter Coding
Registration for a Pull-Tag Finish System
Peelable Pull-Tags
Pull-Tags for the Spindle System
Pull-Tags with Bar Codes
Packet Pickup
Using Computers to Facilitate Packet Pickup
Organizing Packet and T-Shirt Pickup
Late Registration
Number Blocking and Color-Coding
Handling Entry Fees

Chapter VI: Award Search and Posting Results
Manual Recording Systems
Place Card Systems
Pull-Tag Systems

Chapter VII: Race Result Preparation
Preparing the Data
Using Select Times
The Select Only Mode
Results Format

Chapter VIII: Scoring Races By Computer
Race Setup
Recording Times and Select Times
Processing Results with the Computer

Chapter IX: Verification of Performances
Types of Cheating
Course Cutting
Failure to Start at the Start
Course Monitoring
Start Check-In Procedure
Video-Tape the Finish
Awards and Disqualification

Appendix A: USATF Rules of Competition

Appendix B: Glossary of Terms

Proceed to first section of manual: Introduction

Last revised 2001-11-22