How to time ties and groups

This article presents two tactics for timing groups of racers arriving together

RaceSplitter is a manually operated timing system—i.e. to record a participant’s time, you type their bib number into RaceSplitter and tap the “Record” button. The use of any manually operated timing system is constrained by the number of participants that can be timed when arriving together as a group.

In our own experience, we regularly time groups of up to four or five racers arriving together, making RaceSplitter perfect for sports like mountain trail running, medium-distance triathlons or nordic skiing. For those race organizers expecting large groups to finish together, but wishing to use RaceSplitter over more expensive solutions like chip timing, here are three tactics that have been successfully used by our customers:

Timing ties

To assign the same time to multiple participants, just enter their bib numbers on the Timing Bar, and tap “Record All”. You can read more about the powerful Timing Bar in this dedicated article.

Single-file Chute

Many organizers will setup a single-file chute at the finish line, into which finisher enter, but can’t leave until timed. In this way, the organizer guarantees the correct recording of finish order, while sacrificing a few seconds of timing accuracy whenever racers are queue up waiting to be timed. For many informal races, this trade-off is more than compensated by the cost savings and simple operations of RaceSplitter over something like chip timing.

Rapid-fire “Bib-less” timing

In mass start races—and only in mass-start races—RaceSplitter allows you to record a time by simply tapping the “Record” button at any time, and without entering a bib number. This mode of timing is explained in detail in this article.

Many race organizers expecting groups to finish together will have one person at the finish line recording times in the usual fashion (by typing in bib numbers and tapping “Record”), but will then use the rapid-fire method whenever groups arrive together. For example, if a group of five people arrive together, the timer will just tap “Record” five times quickly in succession.

Just after the finish line, the organizer will have a single-file chute where a second person is collecting bib numbers, and keeping them in order.

Once everyone finishes, the organizer will then edit the bib numbers on the bibless entries, using the ordered bib numbers collected at the finish line. This method both ensures correct finish order and preserves very accurate finish time recording.

Scenarios & examples


This article explains how to use RaceSplitter to time a triathlon.

Timing 5k and 10k races together

This article discusses the considerations involved in a common timing scenario—5k and 10k running races, ran together in a single event.

Variable start races

This article explains how to time races in which the start interval between participants or waves is variable.

Complex Multi-Race Event

This blog article explains how we organized the timing of a multi-day, multi-race and multi-split ultra event using RaceSplitter.

How to time ties & groups

This blog article explains how we organized the timing of a multi-day, multi-race and multi-split ultra event using RaceSplitter.

Complex Wave Starts

This article explains how we helped a customer setup timing for a complex wave-start event.

Relay Races & Team Events

This article discusses considerations related to timing relay races and team events.

Multi-heat regatta

This article discusses timing of a multi-heat boat regatta.

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