Monthly Archives: August 2014

Timing a race: Divisions or Not?

“Divisions or not?” certainly isn’t as eloquent or thought-provoking as Shakespeare’s “To Be or Not To Be?” question, yet has still consumed a great deal of my thought lately!

Since Good Times’ conception, we’ve successfully timed numerous events without providing functionality enabling grouping of participants within a division.  For those events demanding that sort of grouping, the solution was to simply have multiple events.

Using multiple events within Good Times is clean: it naturally creates a clear separation of race participants, their results, and all supporting capabilities from registration, to timing, to reporting.  But the creativity in today’s running culture has sky-rocketed, and along with it the complexity of many events.

I’ve already encountered some situations where having the ability to support divisions would have made things easier on the timing staff.  And since one core tenet of Good Times software is ease of use… well you see where I am going with this I bet!

Good Times Software will soon support the use of divisions.  While other solutions only provide similar capability with the use of divisions exclusively, our customers will enjoy the power and flexibility of using events and divisions simultaneously.  If an event is setup to use divisions, expect the two following major changes:

  1. During participant registration (either manually, or via Data Import), participants will be able to be registered to a specific division (or, alternatively, the open or default division if nothing is specified.)
  2. When an event is timed, participant’s will be timed as usual but their results can optionally be displayed within their division registration or within the event as a whole.

Other changes will be necessary, too, to accommodate the use of divisions within Good Times.  Expect division functionality to be rolled out soon, maybe within the next month or two!

Please like us on Facebook if you haven’t already… just click here to go to our Facebook page.  And as always. contact us if you’d like to setup an appointment to participate in a live demonstration of Good Times!

Timing Races and Staying Cool…

…and hydrated.  And nourished.  And energized.

Yes, of course, we know runners should stay hydrated while running.  But if you’re a timing service provider, make sure you remember to do the same.  It’s surprisingly easy to get so wrapped up in the activities of race day that one forgets to drink water, have snacks, and maintain a healthy amount of energy!

Fortunately, most of the software development for Good Times Software happens inside, and without extraordinary requirements for nutrition and water.  But timing a race is different, and the elements and craziness of race day can simply make these basic requirements too easy to forget.

Sorry for the short post, readers, but (speaking of the need for hydration) I’m on a brief hiatus in Tulsa, OK where it’s a balmy 96 degrees!

Recent Registration and Timing Changes

With the release of Good Times 3.6, we saw some new (and very necessary!) changes introduced with the registration module.  The most important change is a significantly better way of handling international addresses.  Though our current customer base is primarily US-based, a number of races have international participants from all over the world.  Even recently, we’ve seen race participants from Canada, Chile, Belgium, and UK.

We’ve kept the change to accommodate international addresses as simple as possible in the user interface.  For manual registrations, an additional street address line has been added, as well as country.  The ZIP Code field has been more appropriately changed to Postal Code, and State to State / Province.  This alone should help capture the vast majority of the world’s different addressing schemes.

Importing registration data now permits the inclusion of the third street address line, as well as the country field.

In the participant registration window, as well as when importing data, if a US or Mexican State is detected, the country will default to US or Mexico as you’d expect.  If a Canadian Province is detected, the country will default to Canada.

In the upcoming 3.7 release, age bracket configurations now include a “Display As” field, which is auto-populated but can be changed to anything you like.  This is mostly a cosmetic change so certain age brackets can appear with a meaningful name; for instance, instead of 40 and over, an event director may wish it to be displayed as “Master’s.”

Divisions are also being introduced, so participants can be registered to either the default (“Open”) division for an event, or a specific division established and defined when the Event Profile is setup in Good Times.  Divisions will have a name, and can really mean anything.  Some divisions are age-related (though you can–and should–use age brackets for that) and I’ve seen some which are weight-related.  Right now, we’re not planning on asking for people’s weight if you register them to a division based upon weight!

Watch for videos on our YouTube Channel that demonstrate these new features, and as always we invite you to check out our Facebook page, too.  Are you interested in a live web presentation, demonstrating Good Times to you or your race committee?  Then please contact us.  We’ll be happy to do that!