Differences if SI is not being used

Last updated: Thu 9 Dec 2021

There are occasions when we decide not to use SI equipment, generally if it is only a very small, informal event, there is a risk that equipment will be stolen or damaged or if the regional equipment has already been booked by another club.

Introduction Setting Up Registration Start Finish


There are occasions when we decide not to use SI equipment, generally if it is only a very small, informal event, there is a risk that equipment will be stolen or damaged or if the regional equipment has already been booked by another club.

In this case, control cards will be used. These need to be obtained from the Equipment Officer, making sure that there are plenty of each colour for the expected number of participants. If, for some reason, the control cards are not the appropriate colour for the course it is particularly important that the name of the course is clearly entered on the card.

Setting up

Without the SI equipment, reliance has to be placed on clocks to record the time each competitor takes. At the Start there will be a ‘flippy over’ or call up clock to tell competitors when they should enter the first start box, and a ‘beepy’ or start clock which is actually the start time. This is radio controlled and so should already be synchronised with the radio controlled clock at the Finish. If the printing out clock is to be used at the Finish it has to be synchronised with the start clock by the Organiser.


Registration will need to allocate a start time to competitors as they register. This means that the team needs clipboards and pens as well as a Course Registration Sheet for each course. The Registration slips normally used for inputting details into the SI computers are not necessary. The team will need to remember to leave enough time from when competitors are registering to the allocated start time to allow them to get changed, etc and walk to the Start.

At EAGAL and ESSOL events the Registration Team will need to ensure the separation of members of the same club/school when allocating start times.

As well as the control descriptions and map (if not premarked) the Registration Team will complete a control card to hand to each competitor, noting the start time on both sections.

At a very small event it may be preferred to allocate the start times at the Start in which case a larger team will be required there to complete the Course Registration Sheets.


Without the automatic timing of SI equipment, the times when competitors start have to be controlled much more carefully. The time should be called 2 or 3 minutes ahead of the start clock (at the time shown on the call up clock) for competitors with that start time to come forward. If the Start grid consists of two boxes the call up clock must show a time two minutes in advance of the start clock. This allows the competitor to step into the first box two minutes before his start time, to move into the second box one minute before his start time and to leave the second box at his start time.

The small stub from their card must be collected and the whole card checked to see that it is completed correctly and is for this start time. Then the competitor is allowed to step into the back box, moving up a box as the passing of each minute is marked by the start clock. Competitors should be told about the Start layout when it is not obvious and instructed to step over the front line of the front box about 10 seconds before they are due to start so that they do not trip over the tape marking the box. But they are not allowed to collect their maps or start running until they hear the long beep.

The card stubs need to be taken to the Finish at regular intervals and will be used to ensure that all starters report to the Finish and are accounted for.


The Finish becomes a much more prominent place and will require at least 2 people. A tent to protect the officials and table and chairs to work at will also probably be needed. As each competitor crosses the Finish line / passes under the banner, the time should be noted on their card.

The punch marks on the cards have to be compared to Master cards to ensure that the correct controls have been visited and the time taken calculated.

The time taken can be entered on the control card stub which can then be stapled to the appropriate ‘washing line’ in the Results display.

For bigger events a special finish clock is used. This requires someone to press a button so that it records on a printed strip the consecutive number of the finisher and their finish time. As they finish, each competitor’s control card must be marked with their consecutive number or they are handled a raffle ticket which is stapled to their control card. This ensures that the finisher’s time can, when convenient, be transferred from the printed strip to the control card.