I know that this link has not been responded to for a while, but there is a new option available:
CrossMgr is software that fills the gap between manual timing (error-prone, slow, no lap times) and chip timing (expensive, lots of administration) and has been used at dozens of races around the world . It handles multiple categories simultaneously, produces nice-looking results (including lap times) and has additional features like figuring out the number of laps in the race based on time and reminders to ring the bell.
Here is an example from a race at Port Adelaide Cycling Club in Australia.
CrossMgr relies on typing in race numbers, but only until it creates a statistical profile for each rider. It then "prompts" the next 10 expected riders, allowing you to check them off as they go by. It auto-corrects for missed numbers based on the rider's profile, so if you don't always get every number, that's OK.
CrossMgr can be used with almost no preparation - the rider names, teams and categories can be typed into a spreadsheet during the race and then "linked" into the results afterwards. Output is available in HTML and Excel format.
The software has been used by relatively unsophisticated volunteers.
Unlike standard results output, CrossMgr has views designed to settle disputes. For example, you can easily show which lap a rider was lapped in, and whether that makes sense based on the rider's average lap time.
CrossMgr is free for U17 competitors and events without an entry fee (club events, etc.)
There is a $0.25 suggested donation for each 17+ aged competitor at events with an entry fee.
I started using CrossMgr in 2012 and went on to provide timing for 30 races that year. I timed just one CX race with chips; it created a lot of extra work and didn't produce better results than scoring the race manually using the same software. After that, I never used chips for a cross race again, and I consistently get every rider entered correctly on every lap.
Even without chips, I was able to handle cross races with 75 starters in multiple categories with offset start times. With a good number caller reading bibs, I had no trouble entering 7 riders coming over the line on the first lap.
Since then, I've scored over 150 races with CrossMgr, consistently producing complete and accurate results with every lap time and finisher recorded. CrossMgr is truly the ultimate timing software for CX races.
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