A Refresh of our Start List Building Tools

As we’ve expanded into new sports and met new customers, we’ve found new requirements and learned new patterns that our tools need to support. So today we’re updating the start list tools with a few new features, a bit more intelligence, and a new layout with a bit more space for the new features to live in.

Start Time Order

This feature is the main motivator of today’s changes. Up until now, in an individual start race the racer numbers and start times needed to be assigned in the same order. Racer #1 started first, racer #2 started second, and so on. This doesn’t work for races where the top ranked racer gets to wear #1 but the start list needs to be ordered slowest to fastest.

You’ll now see a Sort By option under the Assign Racer Numbers section, and another Sort By option under the Assign Start Times section. By default, start times are assigned in order of ascending racer number – the existing behaviour that you’re used to if you’ve built a start list in Zone4 previously. However, if that behaviour doesn’t work for your race format, you can now change the sort to any other racer field.

For an example of how this can be useful, some cycling races issue number plates that racers keep for a whole season, but want to run a time trial with racers starting in order of series points. After importing both the racer numbers and points, the start list can now support that ordering.

A bit of reorganization

The “assign seperately for each group” button hides in a menu now

If you’ve clicked on that “Assign Separately for Each Group” button before, you may have been confused when you had to scroll back up to the table at the top of the page to access the options it exposes.

With this change, when you switch between the group-by-group interface or the whole race interface, it will switch in-place so you don’t have to scroll back up to the top to access it.

This change also gives us a bit more room to work with – we have space here now to show a sort order option in the Assign Racer Numbers section, and another sort order in the Assign Start Times section.

Depending on which race format you select, you might be taken directly to either the simplified race ui or the group-by-group interface. You can always switch between them with the toggle in the options menu:

Auto-fill for less typing

We’ve brought the convenience of the whole-race interface over to the group-by-group interface. As you enter the first racer number, or the first start time, for the first group you’ll see a first racer number or start time auto-populate for all the subsequent start groups. You can type overtop of this greyed out placeholder value if you don’t like it, or you can leave it in place if it works for your race.

The Publish Button is now Always Available

At the bottom of the start list builder, you’ll see two buttons: Publish & Print, and View Start List. Previously, the Publish button was only available on the View Start List page, but to help out anybody who couldn’t figure out how to publish their start list, the button is now available on the configuration screen too.

We still recommend clicking “View Start List” first and having a good look through it before actually clicking on that publish button though – once you’ve published the start list, it’s a really bad idea to make changes to it.

A note on terminology

Coming from skiing, we’re used to the term “Bib Number” for the number assigned to a racer. However, in cycling the racers have a “plate number” and in triathlon it’s a “body number”. We’ve been gradually updating the terminology we use in our software and our help documents to always use the sport-neutral “racer number” instead of any sport-specific language to avoid any confusion.

Also coming from skiing, we’ve been using “seeding” as the terminology for the order that racer numbers are assigned in. This terminology is foreign to many new racer directors, and with this change we’re moving to the more understandable “Order By” label when choosing how racer numbers are assigned.

You might still see a few references to “bibs” and “seeding”, but they’ll be going away in time.