This is usually a simple problem to fix – options are:

    1. Ignore it (i.e. accept that it has genuinely failed) and assume competitors will use the backup pin-punch. The normal procedure is to collect the competitors’ maps and write their names on the maps punched and to compare the punch patterns to the accepted punch pattern of the backup pin-punch on maps of those competitors reporting the problem. See “Reinstating competitors” below.
    2. Replace the SI unit with a spare, after noting its number and affixing a new number (i.e. the number of the failed unit) to the replacement. Note that it is not necessary to re-program the replacement unit with the number of the failed unit – SITiming can handle that situation (Courses>Control Master List>Mode/Code 2 to record alternative code numbers for the control).
    3. For local events we normally don’t bother with reserve boxes, but they should be placed on the map for OST and championship events. A simple way to do this is to create a JPEG file in Microsoft Paint and add it to the Condes course file using the “New Graphics” tool.

Reinstating competitors 

The default setting in SITiming is that competitors can’t be credited with missing controls, however competitors legitimately using the backup punch must be reinstated, so how is this done? Some alternatives are:

Major events where you want to maintain a reasonable flow of competitors through the download area

    1. In SPORTident Settings, check the Enable Credit All check box (required only for the first competitor to be processed).
    2. Record affected competitors as DNF and direct them to the enquiries desk with their map and splits printout.
    3. At the enquiries desk, confirm that the only problem with their course is a missing punch at the control with the problem SI box, and confirm that their backup punch is valid.
    4. Select the competitor from the entry list in Entries and select Edit Splits.
    5. Click Credit All Controls and click Yes when asked to Credit any missing mandatory controls? NB – make sure that there are no other incorrect controls!
    6. After returning to the competitor’s results page, select Actions>Recalculate Results and then print another copy of their splits by clicking Print Splits.

At smaller events where the flow of competitors is not so great, this procedure can be handled at the main download desk.

It is possible to mark the problem control as optional, however this method will not pick up competitors who have actually missed the control. It is also possible to credit a specific control (i.e. the problem control), however this is a slightly more time-consuming process than the Credit All Controls option, however it eliminates the potential problem of incorrectly reinstating a competitor who has mis-punched other controls:

    1. There is no need to select the Enable Credit All option.
    2. At the enquiries desk, confirm that the only problem with their course is a missing punch at the control with the problem SI box, and confirm that their backup punch is valid.
    3. Select the competitor from the entry list in Entries and select Edit Splits.
    4. Select the problem control and click Edit
    5. Click Credit, then click Up
    6. After returning to the competitor’s results page, select Actions>Recalculate Results and then print another copy of their splits by clicking Print Splits.

Failed punching units (SI cards)

Of course there are situations where competitors claim that they punched and are quite adamant that they heard a beep/saw a flash (traditional punching), or their SIAC beeped after passing the control, but alas no punch is recorded on the card. If every other competitor has managed to record a punch at that control, then those competitors must be disqualified (IOF rule 20.5, OA rule 20.7). 

Where a competitor claims that their SI card failed to register a punch and they consequently punched using the backup punch then the claim should be looked at objectively:

    • Does their SI card have sufficient capacity for the course? For example, a P card or older SI card on a course with 20+ or 30+ controls. In this instance, it’s reasonable to accept that explanation, however the punch pattern should still be checked. Note that the latest version of the OA rules puts the onus on competitors to use a card that is fit for purpose.
    • If the failure to record a punch is random (isolated to one punch for one competitor), then in addition to checking the punch pattern, the organiser should also check that the card does in fact fail to record a punch at the control in question. This might seem a bit extreme, but if the card does record a punch when subsequently tested and there is possibility that the competitor could have taken the controls out of order, then the competitor should be disqualified.