Competition Management System
(Page in progress)
This page documents how to create and setup competitions in the OpenTrack Competition Management System (CMS). It contains all directories and instructions for running your own meeting, whether it is a simple road or XC event through to a complete track & field athletics meeting.
Pay particular attention to the relevant sections - depending on what you require not all features are going to be relevant to you.
First port of call for all questions and queries should be our forum. Please also use this to discuss all things athletics and OpenTrack!
Look here for the existing races, and take a look at the competition home pages and results.
|Table of Contents|
Before you start, remember you can always practice on our test server.
C1.1 Learn the Entire Process
Simply read the entire documentation below!
C1.2 Setup my Organisation
Each competition must have an organiser. Therefore, the first step for setting up your competition is to first ensure that your organisation exists in our database and, if it does, that it has a complete record.
From here you can search for your club. The results will show you whether your club:
a) Exists in the system and,
b) Has a code
These two aspects need to exist for an organisation record to be "complete".
As you can see from the image below Belgrave Harriers do have a complete record. We can ignore the further details such as City/County for now; they are not integral to this.
If your club does not exist or does not have a code, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will sort this for you to get you started.
If all you are doing it creating and running a competition, such as for a European Permit Meeting then that is all that is required - please move onto your next relevant section.
However, if you are going to need to take payments, whether it is for entry fees, charitable donations or anything else, then you will need to finish reading this section:
Once your club exists, you'll need to make sure that:
a) You have access
b) It can take payment
a) Firstly, make sure you are logged in. Taking Belgrave as the example (but substitute for your club), put "profile" at the end of the URL. If you have access it'll take you to your club's profile page. If not, you need access: please email email@example.com.
b) Once you have access, you'll need to set up a Stripe account for your club. When this is done, let us know and we will connect it to ours so money can flow from OpenTrack to you.
C1.3 Create my Competition
Before starting anything else, you first need to create your competition.
Head to the OpenTrack homepage. Search for your competition, just to make sure no-one has beaten you to it! If it is not there, do the following:
Click the button labelled "NEW COMPETITION+"
You will be taken to the screen below. Please complete the form.
- For "Location", just start typing to choose a location. You can choose a specific venue or location later.
- The "slug" is a short section of the URL that will identify your competition. Please keep it short and succinct. For example, Welsh Athletics Senior Indoor Championships is “wasi” and Highgate Harriers Night of 10000m is “not”. Do not include the year of the competition in this; it is always in the URL anyway.
After completing and submitting this form you will be taken to the following screen:
This is required so we know what you want to do with the competition; some organisers just like to use the listings. The DOB and gender is so we can complete a "person" record for you in our database, meaning we can provide the correct credentials for this competition.
Submitting this page will take you to a "Request Sent" screen.
OpenTrack will then receive an email detailing your request and we can approve it, getting you started. You can search for your competition from the homepage if you lose the link.
C1.4 Gaining Access
Once you have created your competition, you will be the competition Director and have access to all the "Manage" screens. The "Manage" button can be seen at the top right when logged in.
If the "Manage" button is not there when logged in, and it should be, please contact the Race Organiser, who can invite you to have access, or, if you are the Director, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Once into the Manage screen, you can invite officials to help you with your competition. Head to the Officials page from the left side.
Simple click ADD OFFICIAL and complete the form. You can start to search for the person first of all to see if they are in the database. If so, click on them and choose the role and invite them. If not, click NEW PERSON and fill in their details, choose role and invite.
The person will receive the invitation and can then accept it and help you with the event!
C1.5 Set the Date, Location, Organisation & other Basic Info
Click "Manage" and then head to the first tab, labelled "Basic".
Scrolling down this page, you can see a lot of editable info. Not all of this is fully implemented yet so do not worry about having to complete everything. Important aspects to pay attention to:
- Full Name - Should already be completed but can be changed
- Short Name - this will be what is displayed if your "Full Name" is too long for our display
- Slug - Do not change this. If it needs to be edited, email email@example.com first
- Country - Should already be completed but can be changed
- Home Country - UK only
- Address - Type your address. This will display on the homepage. You can leave it blank if you want.
- Venue - We have a large database of athletics venues (tracks). Start typing the name of your track and then select it from the dropdown. We have tried to document the venues with the correct names but so try searching for its formal name rather than a "nickname". You can check that your venue is in the database here.
- Date - Start date of your competition
- Finish Date - Last day of your competition
- Type - Select from the dropdown list available
- English name - Input the english (latin alphabet) if using a different alphabet
- Local Name - If using a non-latin alphabet
- Latitude - Input for a start location if not using a venue in the database
- Longitude - Input for a start location if not using a venue in the database
- Is demo - only tick this if you want the competition hidden from the search listings and only accessible if you know the URL. This is how you can set up a "private" competition
- Demo expiry date - date to push the competition onto the public listings
- Year - Year of competition
- Organiser - Select your Organisation
- Summary - Best to leave this blank and to complete it on the Display page as it is more configurable but you can do it here. It is the display information for your meeting and goes on the homepage.
- Website - External website to link to.
- Contact Details - Your email address or the email address of the person who your participants should contact. They/you are the first port of call, not OpenTrack!!
- OT Supported - Please tick
- Display organiser logo - Tick if you want it displayed. You will need to supply one to firstname.lastname@example.org in 160x160.png
- Custom image - Prepare an image to share/like on Facebook, ideally 900x600 or similar aspect ratio
All these fields autosave when you complete them, unless otherwise stated.
Click "MANAGE COMPETITION" at the bottom. Until this is done, many, if not all, features will not work. (If it says "STOP MANAGING COMPETITION" then this has already been done).
C1.6 Set who can enter the Event, Age Group Categorisation & Other Configurable Options
Click "Manage" from the homepage of the competition and then choose "Config" from the options on the left.
This page is responsible for multiple variables within our system. Below we describe what each one does. Bear in mind that not all of them will be relevant for your competition or what you are trying to do.
- Closing date - This relates to Team Entries, which is only relevant if your federation uses OpenTrack for your athletics database. If it does then you can set a date to close entries and remove the button from the home page.
- Team Entries status - As above with regards to functionality. Manually open and close team entries.
- Athlete Eligibility - This relates to the individual entries. Here you can choose whether athletes must be licensed to enter. This only works if OpenTrack has an API to your country's licensing system. If it doesn't, just choose option 6 "anyone".
- Choose from options:
- 1 - Must be licensed to enter
- 2 - A warning is issued if not licensed but they can still enter
- 6 - Anyone can enter
- Choose from options:
Choose who you want to be able to enter the race:
- Allow unattached - Click if athletes can enter without representing a team
- Allow club/organisation - Click so athletes can choose an organisation to represent
- Allow adhoc teams - athletes can choose from adhoc teams created by the organiser
- Allow national teams - provides a dropdown of countries for entrants to choose from
- Allowed organisation types - If you selected "allow club/organisation", tick the relevant organisation types you want to allow
- Age Group date - Leave as first day of your competition to adhere to IAAF (or UKA) age group rulings. If you want athletes to keep their age group (i.e. if it is an end of season meeting and you want to avoid young athletes suddenly having to throw a heavier implement) then change the date accordingly.
- Age group category - Choose from drop down so the system knows which age group ruling type to adhere to.
- Auto age group - Tick to have the system allocate and display an age group for your competitors, e.g. SM, U17, V40 etc
- Use vets age group - Tick to have veteran athletes displayed as verterans, rather than seniors. For example, V45 rather than SEN.
- Allow competing out of category - Allow Vets to downage in team competitions if their performance warrants a place in a younger team (and teenagers to upage)
- Do individual rankings use team category - Related to the point above, if athlete compete out of age for their team, should it be the same in individual results? Tick if so.
- Categorise U23 as Senior - As it says
- Categorise U20 as Senior - As it says
- Filter vets events - If this is ticked and an event in the events grid to "SEN" as the age group, then they will not be able to enter that event. You'd need to leave this unticked to allow them to enter all SEN events, OR manually specify the age groups, e.g. V35,V40,V45.
- Minimum age - Anyone younger than this age will not be allowed to enter regardless of how you set up your event grid.
- Team Types - Just leave as it is - field under development
- Exempt Date of Birth - If you are loading in your competitors in bulk, click this if do not know some or all of their date of births. This will mean you can still load them in. Bear in mind they will not have an age group or category so it is still advised to get the DOB.
- Allow relay team additions/removals - Just leave as it is - field under development
- Require checkins for whole competition - If you require athletes to check in/register when they arrive then tick this. Officials can then check them in when they "sign in". They cannot be added to a start list or seeded until checked in.
- CallRoom checkin time (Races) - This can be used independently or in conjunction with the above. Set a time that the athletes must report to the call room / be checked in (for an individual event) by.
- CallRoom checkin time (field) - This can be used independently or in conjunction with the above. Set a time that the athletes must report to the call room / be checked in (for an individual event) by.
- Team managers must approve entries - If using the entry system you can set an "approval measure" so no-one can be added to a start list until an TM has approved their entry.
- Director must approve entries - If using the entry system you can set an "approval measure" so no-one can be added to a start list until a Director has approved their entry.
- Guest Countries - Just leave as it is - field under development
- Combined Events tables - If doing a Combined Event, such as heptathlon, make sure you choose the correct scoring
- submission_start_time - If doing a virtual race, choose the time (on Day 1 of the competition) for the Result Submit button to appear
- Submission_end_time - If doing a virtual race, choose the time (on the last day of the competition) for the Result Submit button to disappear
- Pause submission - Can halt submission to hide the submit button.
C1.7 Write my Homepage Text and Choose Results Display
Click "Manage" from the homepage and then choose "Display" from the options on the left.
Complete the "Basic Description" text box and click "Save". If you want to link to a document, then you can host it on an external website and then put the hyperlink in the Basic Description. Ask email@example.com for help with this if you do not have a hosting site.
- Short sharing description - Field under development
- Timetable description - Field under development
- Rules description - Field under development
- Video URL - Appears on the homepage instead of the map. Can use in conjunction with the image from the Basic tab.
- Show category rankings - Display a column on the results screens with the category (Age group+Gender, e.g. U20W) so you can easily filter and view who won each category on the web-based results page. Helpful if you have an event with multiple categories.
- Show Combined Events - Choose to show what points a result would have scored if it were part of a combined event
- Show age grades - Field under development
- Hide competitors - Choose not to display any Competitors until start lists or results are displayed
Make sure you click SAVE at the bottom.
Heading back to the homepage of the competition (click the name in grey at the top) will display your info.
C1.8 Set up my Events
Head to "Manage" and then click Events from the left hand side
Here you will see the Events Grid:
From here please complete the grid as follows:
- Num - Enter a number for your event(s). It can be simple as "1, 2, 3" etc or "R1, R2, R3", or you could use T&F numbers - i.e, T01, F01 etc) - whatever you want.
- Event code - Enter your event code. Please view the event codes page for the complete list of event codes to use.
- Age Groups - This will default to the IAAF or UKA defined age groups. List the age groups you want a given event to be available for. Put ALL if it is for everyone. As an example:
- U15,U17,V35,V65 - this would be eligible only for the age groups listed and no-one outside these groups could enter
- Gender - Similar to above but use "M" and "F". Put "MF" for both genders.
- Category - User defined. Can simply put "SW" or "WHEELCHAIR", etc. Note 1: You cannot have a duplicate event, which is defined by the same event code and category. You need to label a separate category if two events with same code.
- Name - Name your event
- Rounds - This column dictates the structure of the event and denotes whether there will be just one race or heats and finals. The number you type defines the number of heats and you can specify rounds using a comma:
- 1 round with 1 heat: 1
- 1 round with 5 heats: 5
- 2 rounds with 5 heats and 1 final: 5,1
- QF(4), SF(2), F(1): 4,2,1
- Day - The day your event is on. If your event is just over one day then just put "1", otherwise write the day it takes place. If your event has multiple rounds, specify the day of Round 1.
- R1 Time - As above, specify what time Round 1 is scheduled to take place.
- Parent - This relates to Combined Events, such as heptathlon. See explanation>. Leave blank if not doing a combined event.
- Entries - This is just a simple count to see how many entries you have in a given event. Click the green "Count Entries" button for it to calculate.
Note: If using PhotoFinish then ensure that there are no overlaps in your start times. If you have multiple rounds then the system will automatically generate a sensible gap between them. So, for example, 1500m races are given a 7 minute gap - if you have five 1500m races and the first is at 17:00 then the following races will be at 17:07, 17:14 etc. (Obviously once the race happens then PhotoFinish will update this with the actual time). The important thing to bear in mind is that the final heat (i.e. 17:28) is not before the scheduled start of the next event - this will create errors with PhotoFinish. The next track event must have a scheduled start of after 17:28.
Note 2: If you want to make sure your events are in chronological order but you are not sure of your final timetable, then just list them simply 1, 2, 3 etc. Once you timetable is finalised, click the RENUMBER EVENTS button.
Click SAVE when done.
C1.8.3 Multi Events
For combined events, you need to complete the "parent" column. Please complete it as per the image below.
As you can see the Decathlon has been given event "Num" 11. In the Parent column, for all events (10 in this instance) that belong to your master event (Decathlon), type the event number you gave to the master event (decathlon: 11).
C1.9 Bulk Adding Competitors
Click "Manage" and then go to the Competitors page (options on the left side)
If you already have competitors loaded in, you can view and edit them here. To edit them, simply click on their name and edit the resulting popup box.
To add competitors in bulk scroll to the bottom and click "BULK ADD / DELETE". (This is easiest done if copying from a pre-prepared spreadsheet).
You will see the following:
Input the data as follows, ignoring the columns not mentioned here:
- Competitor id - this is the "bib number". The system needs to assign a bib number. If you've prepared bib (or ID) numbers in your document, put them in. If not, leave this blank and the system will assign a temproary/fake one (identified as it starts with an underscore) and you can assign numbers later using the Numbering function.
- National Id - their national license number. This does not matter if they do not have one or if you do not know it.
- First Name - as it says
- Last Name - as it says
- Gender - enter M, F, or X
- Date Of Birth - format of "yyyy-mm-dd"
- Team id - 3-5 digit code for their club. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you do not know the codes.
- Nationality - This will default to nationality of competition location unless otherwise stated
- Event - Input the "Num" from the Event grid of the event(s) they are competing in
- Pb - Enter their PB if you have it. Used for start list info and an automatic "PB!" if they break it in results.
- Sb - Enter their SB if you have it. Used for start list info and seeding purposes.
If your athletes are entering multiple events, repeat the row for the athlete just changing the Event, Pb, Sb.
If you just have one or two you wish to add, click the blue "+" at the top right of the page:
You can search for them using the top input bar to see if they are already in our database. If not, input their details.
Complete the form ("Details" & "Events entered" tabs) and hit the appropriate SAVE button. Click here for a video demonstration of this process.
On the "Advanced" tab, you can specify them as a non-scorer.
C1.10 Set up an Individual Entry Process - Pricing & Custom Questions
To set up your entry process and pricing, head to the Paid Entries page.
C1.11Email my Participants
Click here for a video demonstration of this process.
Click "Manage" from your homepage and then choose "Mailing" from the left hand side
Click "NEW MESSAGE" from the right hand side
You will see the following screen:
Complete the form as the instructions on the page suggest You can choose who receives the message and also input "tokens", like a mail merge, so it is addressed appropriately.
We advise sending a test message to yourself before sending to all your athletes!
C1.12Number my Participants
Click here for a video demonstration of this process.
This is important as participants must have a UNIQUE "bib" or "ID" in our system to get a result. Unless you have loaded them in with pre-prepared numbers, your participants will have a "fake" ID, identified by starting with an underscore.
Even if you don't have proper numbers, i.e you are just inputting results, it is neater for the IDs to look like proper bib numbers.
Click "Manage" from the homepage and then hit "Numbering" from the left hand side.
- Numbering System - Choose from the relevant options. Most people will choose "Unique numbers, automatic". However, you can also repeat for "gender", "age group" and "category". As an example, "gender" would look like 1-M, 1-F, 2-M, 2-F etc.
- Order 1 - Select whichever you want
- You may want to choose up to 5 orders in case of people with identical name
- Numbers available - Specify the number range to use. If you have physical numbers left over from a previous competition, you can specify to use these numbers - e.g. "50-75,129-171". Otherwise, you will usually want to leave it as "1+"
If you get more participants after you number them, you do not need to start again. Simply hit Save again and it will number those without bibs.
You can start again by clicking "Clear Numbers"
C1.13 Set up my Scoring Methods
Head to the Scoring tab from the Manage screen.
There are two types of scoring:
- Track and Field matches
- Distance running
C1.13.1 Athletics Scoring - Track & Field
These scoring methods have all been coded bespoke for competitions, many of which are repeated annually. Some examples of common methods, which you can use, are seen below.
Simply click on the method you want to use.
Click SAVEwhen done.
With Athletics Scoring you will need to specify which of the clubs, that athletes are competing for, will be scoring in the match.
If you head to the TEAM section on the left hand side you can specify your teams. In this example we are looking at an indoor match between Wales & England from 2019.
As you can see, only England and Wales have been designated to participate in the match - as shown by the WAII. This means that only athletes competing for England & Wales will be included in team score calculations.
To do this, first enter your teams, so click ADD+. You will see the following screen:
If your team is in the database, just search for it and click it when it appears. If it is Ad-hoc for this competition, click Ad-Hoc and fill in the details.
Contact email@example.com for the Flag url.
The scores are now automatically calculated based on the scoring function chosen.
If you need to edit a score based on a rule discrepancy or a "one-off" scenario then this is possible. Head to the event and click Edit Results.
As you can see form the image above, England's score has been overriden. Simply type the TEAM CODE (not the athlete bib for this event) and then "=Number" so in this example we have ENG=9 to override the automatic score and give 9 points instead.
Examples of systems already coded:
Welsh Indoor Intl (5-3-2-1): 2 Competing Teams, Winner = 5, Second = 3, Third = 2, Fourth = 1
8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 based on position in final: As it says
6-5-4-3-2-1 based on position in final: As it says
Bosnian (winner points = number of teams): Points are defined by the number of teams in the event. If you have 16 teams, 1st place in an event would get 16 points, with 16th place receiving 1 point and everything inbetween.
Welsh League (winner points = 2 x Num teams, B string = 1x): Points are scored per age group and then all are added up at the end of the event to provide an overall score as well as per age group. Age groups include U17, U20 and SEN (Masters age groups are included with the seniors). Points scored are defined by the number of teams in the event. Each team can have an A & B string scorer. The A string scorer receives double points per position based on number of teams, whilst B scorer gets 1 times. For example if you have 10 teams and your A String winner comes 3rd they will receive 16 points (1st gets 20, 2nd gets 18, etc etc). A 3rd place B string would get 8 (4th gets 7, 5th gets 6).
If you have a competition where you need a specific scoring system then we can code this for you. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
C1.13.2 Distance Scoring
Some races will simply be, "who can run the quickest time?" in which case, this section is not relevant. However, many races will have a team element, which is where this comes in.
The basic concept is to filter a (possibly large) race and apply a scoring system to a sub-group of the runners. You do this by defining the Scoring Tables you wish to display. Each of these becomes a web page you can link to. So, for example, within a race of several hundred athletes, you can have multiple matches going on such as...
- Men's or women's team of N runners
- Mob matches where almost every runner counts
- Age group competitions (e.g. M40/M45 team prize)
- Age graded virtual team competitions, which engage everybody
- A two-club match within a much larger race
Choose the second tab, labelled "DISTANCE SCORING"
Here is your Scoring configuration. Below is an example of how a 12 Stage Relay would work "virtually". Obviously, it is not a literal relay so what we do is take the fastest 12 times from teams. If they have 24 teams, we would allocate a "B" team.
- Event - Choose your Race you are sorting scoring for
- Filter categories - leave blank unless you only want to be looking at specific age groups. E.g. You may want to have different scoring systems for various Vet age groups so they don't feel left out! If you do this, simply input as follows: "V35,V40". This would filter these two age groups
Method - Choose:
- Sum of filtered race positions
- Athletes outside a scoring team (non-scorers) are not included in positions/points. For example, if an athlete comes 75th and there are 10 non scorers in front of them, they score 65 points.
- Sum of absolute race positions
- Regardless of whether athletes are scoring or not, they are included in the points calculation. For example, if an athlete comes 295th they score 295 points regardless of whether there are non-scorers in front of them or not. This is common in schools races (do you remember the old brass numbered tokens the teacher used to add up), and the English Southern and National, as it was too complex to eliminate non-scorers in the old days.
- Sum of times
- For a relay style race; it is just cumulative times.
- Multi-stage sum of times
- Like the above but configured to have 2 distances
- Sum of age grades
- A calculated listing by age grade data
- Sum of filtered race positions
Teams per club - Selected how many teams per club you wish to allow
- Name - Name your scoring system
- Filter genders - Choose your gender for this scoring system
- Allow non scorers - allows non-scorers to displace athletes. Instructions on how to label non scorers here
- Allow incomplete teams - penalty scores will apply
- Subtitle - give a subtitle to youor scoring system
- Filter teams - Choose which teams (from those entered in the competition) will be eligible to score in this system
- Scorers - how many make up each team
- Displacement - relevant for a few scoring systems, where they could impact on points. This would mean that, for example, in a 10 scoring team, the 11th finisher of a team would impact scoring places for teams further down the placings.
C1.14 View my Scores
Finally, to view the Scoring results, click "Scoring" from the homepage.
Choose the system you wish to view from the options:
You will now see the results. In the example below, it is a mock of a 12 stage relay where participants all ran 5k. The system has calculated the quickest 12 times within each team. If results are uploaded over the course of a few days then this will update as and when new results are input so athletes can see how their team is getting on throughout the competition.