How to use SPORTident

Instructions on using the SPORTident electronic timing system at regular forest events
For pictures of the equipment go to the SPORTident page

Before the race

  • The SI ‘card’ or ‘finger-stick’ is held onto your finger by the elastic loop. Most people put it on either the index or middle finger of the hand which is not used to carry their map. Make sure it is on tight so that you don’t lose it, as it is worth $60 (replacement cost) if it is lost.
  • You ‘punch’ all the stations by placing your finger-stick in the hole on top of the station (unit).
  • Place it in the SI station marked CLEAR until you hear a beep, to remove data from previous uses. This may take a few seconds. The CLEAR station is either close to the start or at registration.
  • Confirm that your SI card is working properly by inserting it in the hole of the CHECK station. If you do not hear a beep or see a flash, contact the nearby official for help.
  • You only have to hear one beep or see one flash at any control station. Do not hold your finger-stick in a unit while it beeps madly away.

During the race

  • At most events, you insert the SI card in the station marked START and go. At larger events you are given a particular start time and leave after the start beeper has beeped.
  • Confirm that the 2 or 3 digit number on each Control Station (SI unit) located at each control location matches the number on your control description sheet. If there is more than one control station, any one will do (multiple units are used at controls where there is high traffic).
  • You ‘punch’ the control unit by placing your finger-stick in the hole of the control unit.
  • You should get a verification from the control unit in the form of a beep and/or flashing light in less than a second. Once you hear the beep or see the flash, head onto the next control.
  • If you do not get this verification from the unit, try once more. If still no response you must use the manual pin-punch and punch in one of the specially provided boxes on your map or, if there are none, anywhere on the edge of your map. If you used a manual punch at any control location, let the official know at the download station after you have finished.
  • It is no problem if, by mistake, you punch a control that was not on your course. As long as you eventually punch all the controls on your course in the correct order the extra punches will be ignored by the computer. e.g. if you should have punched 31, 45, 32, etc and you punch 31, 65, 45, 32, etc. (the 65 by mistake) you will be fine. But if you punch 31, 32, 45, etc. (the controls out of order) it will not count as being correct.
  • Multiple punches of the same control unit will also be ignored. However, if the same control is used two or more times on a course, you must punch each time.

Most older SI cards hold a maximum of 30 punches: anymore than that and you will not see a flash or hear the beep. So don’t overdo the mispunches or punch too many times at any station.

At the finish

  • You have to punch the FINISH station/unit at the finish line. That stops the clock for your course.
  • Then continue to the download unit. Your SI card will be checked automatically to confirm that you visited all your controls and that they were in the correct order. Your splits (time you took between controls) will be downloaded to the computer.
  • You will be told by the download official whether you had a clear run or not. If you did not punch all your controls and in the correct order, you will not be given a placing.
  • Continue to the thermal printer and punch the unit to have your splits printed for you to keep.
  • If your SI card is a rental, hand it in after you have downloaded your splits.

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