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Most Common Participant Errors That Affect Your Timing

In this post we will discuss the most common human errors that occur in races and can hinder your impeccable timing results. When timing any sport event as a Macsha Timer, you work with a solid team of fellow timers, but keep in mind that it’s almost inevitable to exclude all roadblocks or unforeseen issues (like electronic systems or database errors). For more tips on this, read our blog post “Tips to Solve Roadblocks During a Race”. And remember, you can minimize the risks by using Machsa’s One4All equipment.

Next to technical inconvenience, we have human error that always lures around the corner. Although sometimes you can question if some cases are the cause of human error or unawareness from participants. Now, thanks to Macsha Timer Carlos, there is proof suggesting that sometimes participants are so extremely focused on achieving sharp results that they forget to think about the timers work efficiency. After analyzing participants behavior, these are the 5 most common participants stereotypes:

The Multi-Persona


You can recognize these participants because they are wearing multiple BIB’s. Perhaps it’s not so unusual to have more than one identity, but it doesn’t come in handy while timing a race. Particularly, if a multi-persona wins a race we would have a peculiar first place tie.

What to do? In this case you ask the participant why he or she has multiple BIB-numbers, and you have to deliberate with the organisation if you disqualify only one or both registrations.

John Doe

The John Doe’s are the opposite of the multi persona-type. They want their true identity to be unknown or withheld in a legal action case or discussion. That’s why they run without a BIB-number or think that the BIB-number is a souvenir to take back home, not wearing it during the race.

What to do? When someone is competing without a BIB, you should contact the participant and ask him what happened. Usually, the BIB is in his pocket or he lost it during the race. If he has the BIB there is no problem. When he has lost it, you have to consult the organisation and database to check if he is actually registered for the event. Another possibility is that he is joining the event illegally, in most of this cases it’s forbidden that the participants crosses the finish line. During the event we have security people in charge of taking John Does out of the race.


Scrooge doesn’t like innovation and change, especially when you charge them for it. That’s why they run with BIB’s from previous years or other races.

What to do? Immediately contact the security to get the participant out of the event, he can’t cross the finish line.

The Rebel


Likewise, you have the rebels, who don’t want to follow the ordinary mainstream. They attach their BIB to their shorts or on the back, while everyone else is wearing their number on the chest. This doesn’t make the job any easier for us timers, having to manually input their time in case of inconveniences or roadblocks.

What to do? You can advise the participant to put the BIB on his chest in the future. But if there are specific terms about where to attach the number you can disqualify the participant.

The Humble Roadrunners

Last of all we announce the humble roadrunners, they underestimate themselves and have to cope with humbleness but, once they start they can’t be stopped. Those participants subscribe for the 5K race and during the race they decide to run the 10K race instead.

What to do? In this case the participant will be disqualified, but at least now he knows what he’s capable of.

At the end all these participant stereotypes will feel unfairly treated and complain, because they are disqualified, have no registered time or their time is not correct. But who’s to blame? Indeed human error can also happen to timers, but we have excellent equipment, loads of experience, flexibility, and mastery to cope with any inconvenience to deliver impeccable results.

If you have any original anecdotes, tips or pictures please share them with us!