ChampionChip System
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 is non-existent.

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 chip.

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 day.

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 the runner.

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 and products.

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 overnight lodging.


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

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.