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GSE Timing Wave Start Guidelines

General Guidelines

GSE Timing has adopted four main methods of managing wave starts during the COVID-19 pandemic. One is better suited for larger events, one is better suited for smaller events, one is designed specifically for medium and larger cross-country running, and the fourth is for smaller cross-country meets (dual meets and triangulars). While we are more than willing to work with event directors on a hybrid of these approaches, or other approaches altogether, we feel like these approaches are more likely to create accurate results with the least amount of management than variations on them might require.

GSE Timing does not assist in start line administration on race day. We will provide a visible clock if needed to assist in getting all participants started on time. We strongly encourage whoever is administering the start to have a back-up clock/wristwatch with running time. This is not needed for the chip start option.

Please note that these start methods are not limited to events where social distancing is expected but were designed with that in mind.

Smaller Races | Larger CC Meets | Chip Starts (Smaller CC Meets)
Method I: Designed for Larger Events

This approach generally works better for events that need greater time between waves (from 5:00 to 20:00) due to having a larger number of participants.

  • For this method, the start and finish line can not be in the same place given that, depending on the distance and field size, it is likely that there will be finishers before all participants have started.
  • Wave delays can be any length of time but the greater the length of time between waves, the less close contact between participants there will be at the start/finish, as well as on the course.
  • Any number of people can start in each wave but there will generally be between 15-25 and be determined by event management prior to the event based on the size of the field, space available at the starting area, and local/state limits on gatherings/group sizes.
  • Electronic start times based on when a participant crossed the mat at the beginning of the race will not be used. A participant's sheduled start time is pre-programmed into the system and that will be what the system will use to calculate each participants' time. Note that these can be easily edited, even after a participant finishes, but results are not accurate until all adjustments have been made.
  • Unless otherwise requested, bibs will be assigned in start order and the participant's start time (elapsed time after the race starts, not time of day) will be printed on their bib to assist them in getting to the start area in order to begin at their scheduled time.

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