Information for Race Directors
How does chip timing change my application form?
The race application should include an explanation of the chip system. Proper
education of the runners will assure a smoother execution of the system
and will promote a higher collection rate of the chips after the race.
Runners who race frequently will likely elect to purchase their own chips.
The race application must have a space designated for the runner to enter
his/her chip number. Finally, there should be an addition to the application
waiver passing the responsibility of returning the chip to the runner.
The example below provides ample information and can be used in it's entirety
on your race application.
This event will be scored by The Runner's High using the ChampionChip Timing
System. On race day, runners will be issued a rental computer chip which
is attached to the shoe lace and worn throughout the race. Special mats
at the finish will record a finishing time for each chip. All rental chips
must be returned at the finish line.
How are the chips distributed to the runners?
It is highly advisable to distribute the chips on the morning of the race
even if there is packet pick-up before race day. This assures a much higher
rate of return of the chips. Inevitably, there will be runners who pick
up their packets before race day, and don't show up for the race because
of illness, work, or inclimate weather. It is then necessary to contact
these "no shows" to get the chips back. It's usually not a big
deal, but if you can have the chips distributed on race day, this problem
After the runner picks up his packet at the registration table, he takes
his number to the "chip table." The chips are arranged in small
envelopes in numerical order in boxes at the chip table. He shows his number,
a volunteer reaches for the appropriate envelope and dumps the chip out
in the runner's hand. He's offered an instruction sheet and instructed to
secure the chip to his shoe. He is also told that the chip will be collected
at the finish line. This whole chip table process should take less than
15 seconds. One volunteer should be able to comfortably distribute 100-150
chips on the morning of the race. Runners who own their own chips would
not have to report to the chip table.
How are the chips attached to the runner?
The unique housing of the chip allows one to tie the chip in the laces in
a variety of ways. Self-locking ties will be available at the chip table
if the runner wishes to use them. The ties are easier to cut off at the
finish line. They also take less time to remove than untying a bunch of
knots from the shoe of a runner who wants to make sure he doesn't lose his
Velcro straps (5/8" x 10") are also available for use in triathlons.
The straps weave through the chip and secure the chip to the lower leg of
the swimmer, biker and runner. They remove quite easily at the finish line.
Is the starting line format any different?
In larger events, scanning mats can be placed at the starting line to record
a start time for each individual. The finish line computer system then subtracts
the starting time from the finish time and creates a new "net time"
or "chip time." This eliminates the lost time that many slower
runners have always experienced at the starting line.
The starting line mats can be stretched effectively about 25 feet to easily
span a two lane road. Additional mat systems are necessary to span wider
starting lines. Unless the starting line and the finish line are exactly
the same line, a separate set of mats must be used for the finish.
There is an additional expense to utilize starting line mats. Races with
under 1500 runners may not be able to justify this extra expense. Events
without starting mats would therefore record a starting time at the sound
of the gun, and all finish times would be relative to the same starting
time (just like we do now with the tear-off tag system.)
How are the chips collected at the finish line?
No chutes will be set up at the finish line, but it will be necessary to
set up a wide corral area with our ropes and poles to keep the runners contained
in an area for chip retrival. The race volunteers can be the same ones used
to distribute the chips. These volunteers will assist the runner in removing
the chip from the shoe. The chips are deposited into buckets and returned
to the timer for follow-up scanning.
A small percentage of chips will be owned by the runner and obviously must
not be collected. These are usually not a problem. A runner who has paid
$35 for his chip will be the first to point out to the volunteer that his
chip is runner owned. The privately owned chips look different than the
rental chips. The differences will be pointed out to the volunteers on race
How do "Chip Times" affect the awards structure?
Even if starting line mats are used to collect a start time and ultimately
create a "chip time" or "net time," most races regard
the actual "finish time" or "clock time" as the official
time for awards tabulation.
For example, let's assume two runners in the same age group line up at the
start. Runner A lines up 10 rows behind Runner B (10 second difference in
starting time), and Runner A finishes only one second behind Runner B. Runner
A's "net time" or "chip time" is 9 seconds ahead of
Runner B even though Runner B's "clock time" is one second faster.
Runner B is therefore awarded the appropriate prize in the age group in
front of Runner A.
How many volunteers are needed?
One person can accommodate the distribution and collection of approximately
100-150 chips. The same volunteers used to distribute the chips can be used
to collect the chips at the finish line. For a 1000 person race a minimum
of 10 volunteers will be needed for the distribution and collection of the
chips. This is significantly less than the 30-40 volunteers needed for tag
collection using the chute system.
One race official should be crowned the title "Chip Master." This
person will be thoroughly instructed by our officials. He or she will be
responsible in securing and teaching the shortcuts to chip distribution
and collection. The Chip Master will also be responsible for overseeing
the process and accounting for any unclaimed chips at the chip table.
When do I get the chips for distribution?
Since our investment in a chip race is significant, we can not be in a position
to float an invoice for a month or two following a race. We may require
a deposit of $1.25 per chip before any chips are released. If we are travelling
to your race the night before chip distribution, we can hand deliver the
boxes of chips. Otherwise, they will be mailed to the race director after
the receipt of the chip deposit. The chips will be arranged in numerical
order in envelopes or small zip lock bags.
Who is responsible for lost or unreturned chips?
Races will be held responsible for all rental chips. After the race, the
timer will scan all of the collected chips and make a printout of any and
all chips that were not collected. As a general rule, almost 99% of the
chips are routinely collected at most races. The race director will usually
assign one person to make follow-up phone calls to these runners soon after
the race. The chips need to be returned to the race director in a padded
envelope marked "HAND CANCEL ONLY."
Races will be charged $35 for every chip that is not returned on race day
or within 10 days of the event. Races are encouraged to add a clause in
their signed waiver passing the responsibility of returning the chip onto
Are race entry fees higher for Chip Races?
Many races offer a $2.00 discount if the runner wears his own chip. This
encourages runners to purchase chips and thereby releases the race director
from the responsibility of lost chips.
If the old race entry was $12, then most races increase the fees to $14
and then offer a $2.00 discount if the runner wears his own chip. It is
estimated that up to 25% of regional runners will eventually purchase chips.
How much more will a Chip Race cost my race?
Our timing services are $1.00 per person higher for chip races than they
are for pull-tag races. This fee covers the $1.00 per chip rental fee.
A separate price list itemizes our fees for ChampionChip events. We have
a separate finish line service catalog and price list that lists other services
Transportation costs are in added to all timing services. If the event is
located more than two hours from our home in Western PA, we may require
SUMMARY OF RESPONSIBILITIES
FOR CHIP SCORING RACES
Explanation of system on application
Line on tear-off requesting chip number from chip owners
Race numbers are still required for identification purposes
No bar codes are needed on the bottom of the tags.
Race number includes label with number, name, age, & sex
Highest percentage of chips returned if chips distributed on race day
Chips will be arranged in numerical order for ease of distribution
Chip pick-up area at different table than number pick-up
Runners shows race number to get corresponding chip
Instruction sheet provided for runners
Self ties or velcro straps (triathlons) provided
Process requires at least one volunteer per 100-150 runners
Leftover chips, ties, and instruction sheets returned to Runner's High
Runner instructed to affix chip to shoe lace with self locking ties.
Same volunteers from packet pickup can work finish line area
Locking ties cut and chips collected at finish line
Some chips are runner owned and are not to be collected
Clippers, buckets and chips returned to Runner's High
LOST AND UNRETURNED CHIPS
Race is responsible for all unreturned and lost chips
RH will provide list of runners who did not return chips
Race will contact runners for return of chip
Chips must be mailed in padded envelopes.
Deposit of $1.25 per chip may be required before chips are delivered.
Final payment due within 15 days of date of invoice.