Sport Systems


What is the UKA Licence Scheme?

From 1st April 2008 the England Athletics registration scheme for runners was fully implemented. This replaced the previous unattached levy and entitles registered runners to a discounted race entry fee. As the scheme stands now (October 2008) only club runners can be registered; however some clubs have decided to operate schemes where individuals can choose to be licensed or not. So, even if you are a club runner, you may not be licensed! The definitive test is whether you have a valid England Athletics Competition Licence card and registration number. If you don’t then you are not licensed and not entitled to the discounted rate. For more information (when available) please visit Similar runners’ registration schemes operate in the other Home Countries.

Card Not Present Security

To reduce credit card fraud the card payment systems like WorldPay (used by Sport Systems) and Mastercard, in conjunction with the card issuers, have introduced additional “Card Not Present” security when purchasing online. This requires an additional password or pin or memorable question to be answered before payment can be taken. It may be that you will be asked to set this up for the first time while entering a race through Sport Systems, or your payment fails because an incorrect security response has been given. From our observations in talking to customers it seems that your cardholder may give you some grace time before you have to set a password but in the end it’s just another level of security that we will all have to deal with and (sigh) yet another password to remember.

Why is my number not yet here?

If Sport Systems are sending out race numbers for a race we normally post them between three weeks and one week before the race. You can normally review a list of people entered into the race from a link via the store. If you are on the list, you are entered into the race. If you are not on the list and think that you should be, please contact us.

Lost numbers

If you have lost your number or it has not arrived please don’t panic – you are not the first nor the last! Please still turn up at the race and we will issue you with a replacement. We will have a list of competitors but it would assist us if you have a copy of your final email from us showing the Paid status.

Swapping numbers

For health and safety reasons and results integrity we do not encourage people to exchange numbers. It is not unknown for the nearest and dearest of a hospitalised runner to be contacted by the race organiser and for them to discover that the injured party is someone entirely different, or for a number originally allocated to a lady to be worn by a man who then wins a “female” prize.

Each race will have its own policy on number changes, but as general guidance if you want to swap a number please take the number and other relevant information to the race’s information desk for them to adjudicate on.

Understanding Age Graded Results

Age Graded Results (AGR) are based on the Open Class Standard produced by The World Association of Veteran Athletics (WAVA) which Sport Systems have incorporated in their RaceMaster98 race management software. An AGR gives runners their result expressed as a percentage, where the value shows how well they did regardless of their age and gender. This allows for easy comparison of relative performance across age and gender. With AGR it becomes easy to see, for example, if the 25 year old in 26th place (AGR 65%) ran better than the 57 year old in 113th place (AGR 72%).

To find out more about the mathematics behind this process we have a more technical answer to AGR.

Gun Time / Chip Time Defined

At many races we are asked to produce two times. The first is what is called the Gun Time. It’s the official race time and is the time that the runner takes to complete the course from the time the gun was fired. Of course if you take say thirty seconds to cross the line this additional time is part of your race time.

We can also produce a Chip Time (or Chip to Chip Time as it’s sometimes referred to). This is the time that the runner actually takes from the time they crossed the start line (even if they took thirty seconds to do so from went the gun was fired) to the time they crossed the finish line. However, this time has no relevance to the results whatsoever and is used for information purposes only.

As far as the rules of athletics are concerned the Gun Time is the important time, and this is what the results and prizes are based on, otherwise the race becomes a time trial where the winner need not be the first person to cross the finish line.
At some events it is not possible to produce Chip Times because of the constraints of the course. For example, the race may start on a road where there is no legal road closure and so setting up the timing equipment is impossible. However, we always have timing equipment at the finish which enables us to produce Gun Time results and prize lists quickly and efficiently.

Our Terms

Shopping with Sport Systems Ltd – our Terms and Conditions for and

Sport Systems Limited provide race timing along with data and entry management services to race organisers. Our customers are normally running clubs, charities, local authorities and event organisers.
When Sport Systems sell an entry on behalf of a race or event, be it paid by online credit card transaction or by a cheque and entry form in the post it is done on a NO REFUND basis. There are many other instances of higher-priced services, such as plane, train or theatre tickets, where no refunds can be given for cancellation in these circumstances.
If an individual event has terms and conditions which differ from these then they will be listed via that event’s own website or the Sport Systems web page relevant to that event.

Why an event can’t refund?

Did you know that anything between 10% and 25% or entrants choose not to turn up on race day. If an event had to make refunds to all these entrants, budgeting would be impossible and most, if not all events, would not take place.

For most races your entry fee is invested in the cost of staging the event. These entry fees cover the main costs to contractors, suppliers, administration etc. that are already committed by the event well before race day. From the moment you enter, the organisers start to incur administration costs and banking charges, simply by processing your entry and accepting the payment. They would also incur further charges in administering cancellations and additional banking changes for processing refund payments.

Number Dispatch

When Sport Systems are proving their full event management service, e.g. posting numbers and race instructions, we aim to dispatch these about two to three weeks before the event date. This is to minimise the loss of numbers by entrants if they are sent out too far in advance. For events where we are providing full entry management you will either find a list of pre-entered runners or a pdf version of the entrant list.

Number Transfers

Many events will allow you to pass your number to another runner. When this is the case you must follow the procedures laid down by each event. These will vary from event to event but will normally require written authority of the donor and a completed race terms and condition for the recipient.


Publishing the race results will form part of the service we provide to the race organisers.
This will either be in our interactive race results database or less frequently as a pdf document. The event organisers may also publish the results and we may also be asked to provide copies of the results to other results databases.
 The information that we publish will include the entrants name, club/team affiliation, race category and their race time. For some events, an age adjusted performance known as Age Graded may also be displayed.

What is my Race Category?

Most races have races for people of different ages. These are commonly referred to as Categories. UK Athletics normally divide into ten year groups although some races and championship events use five year categories.

Standard ten year categories from Men are:
Junior Men – Under 19
Senior Men 19-39
Veteran Men 40-49
Veteran Men 50-59
Veteran Men 60+

Standard 10 year categories for Ladies are:
Junior Ladies Under 19
Senior Ladies 19-34
Veteran Ladies 35-44
Veteran Ladies 45-54
Veteran Ladies 55+

Veteran categories can also be referred to as Masters.