Understanding automatic start time adjustmentThis article explains the benefits and risks of its automatic start time adjustment feature.
In wave-start races, the starting wave position of each racer is specified in the start list, along with the fixed delay time between each starting wave. Knowing the wave in which a given racer starts, along with the delay time between waves, RaceSplitter can then auto-correct for that racer’s start delay when recording their finish times.
For example, say a racer starts in wave 3, and there are five minutes between wave starts. Then say that RaceSplitter times that racer 60 minutes after the race starts. Knowing that five minutes separated waves 1 and 2, and another five minutes separated waves 2 and 3, RaceSplitter therefore knows that this racer started 10 minutes after the race start, and then auto-adjusts the racer’s effective race time to 50 minutes.
What can go wrong? — If a racer happens to start in a different wave than that in which they are specified in the start list, it can happen that when RaceSplitter auto-adjusts their recorded time to account for their start delay, that the resulting corrected time is negative! Since a negative time can not logically exist, RaceSplitter can only assume that the timer was started late, and so it will adjust the race timer backwards until such time that the racer’s adjusted time is non-negative. This start-time adjustment in the race timer then affects the calculated effective race times of all other racers!
If you’re timing a wave race, and suddenly notice that the race timer has shifted backwards unexpectedly, you can be nearly certain this is the cause. In such situations, you’ll also likely find at least one racer who’s recorded effective time is zero, or much faster than all other racers. Unfortunately, there is not a way to recover from this—so the only solution, is prevention.
This problem is discussed in great detail in the article, understanding automatic start time adjustment
In almost all cases in which this has happened, it has been related to events that took race-day registrations, in which the organizer wasn’t careful (or just forgot) in the correct wave-assignment of race-day registrants who were added to the race. So if you’re timing a wave-race:
- Be very careful not to allow participants to jump starting waves.
- If you’re taking race-day registrations, take care to ensure newly added racers are assigned to the correct waves.