We are a new company that is aiming to bring technology into athletics. We want to improve the experience for competitors, officials and spectators alike. We are runners and want to see the grass roots sport benefit from the leaps forward in IT.
OpenTrack is a spin-off from ReportLab, who have been building and managing web solutions for demanding enterprise clients for 17 years, and lead the world in generating complex documents on demand.
We believe the hard-working officials should be spending their time on the track and not spending weeks dealing with entries, start lists and displaying results. Similarly, today’s competitors don’t want to have to wait for results, or take photos of “post-it”s on a wall.
Though we are a young organisation, we have successfully dealt with the entries, programmes and general clutter that goes with a County Athletics Championships for 6 counties with more than 3,000 athletes.
We love all athletics, so have provided the technology for recording and running the Surrey Cross Country League (probably the premier XC league in the country, well we think so anyway).
If you would like us to help with any athletic events, please get in contact.
Andy & Andy
The benefits of OpenTrack start from the moment you need to enter data: we organizes all Athlete information in your event for you.
Switching to OpenTrack means getting rid of most of the paperwork, Nicola Fleet of Croydon Harriers, says she has 90% reduced paperwork – and she can do it all on holiday!
The system saves time for athlete and organiser alike. Not only do we take the credit card payments, OpenTrack also checks if athletes are registered with England Athletics and comply with their regulations, letting you focus on the race rather than the housekeeping. OpenTrack will even only let athletes sign up for events relevant for them.
We currently have more than 20,000 athletes registered on our system in the UK alone; for these athletes their details are filled in automatically. For a first time athlete, the entry system checks the fields as they are entered, PBs will have the correct format and our club picker ensures that the athletes club will exist and be spelt correctly.
The benefits are not just in terms of data accuracy and entry speed. Nicola also mentions that the young people in her club are more engaged, because they can see and talk about who’s entered for what – no more secrecy means more fun.
Athletics events are complex; it is not just a matter of taking a few entries. We have helped organise some of the biggest and high profile meetings, from the Surrey County Champs with 1,000 athletes to the Night of the 10,000m which included the UK Championships. This complexity takes hours and hours of volunteer time, most of which is labouriously spent moving data around different spreadsheets or labelling numbers.
Once we have taken the entries individual bib numbers can be automatically assigned. We can produce Registration Sheets making organizing and distribution of bibs on the day of the event fast and efficient. Similarly, field cards and seeding sheets are produced instantly.
For cross country leagues we allow team managers to pick their squads on the day, using their mobile phones, and removing the need for last minute paper declarations. After the event, we calculate team scores and individual category winners; we have experience of perhaps some of the most complex scoring methods on the planet.
One of the biggest gripes of athletes, is the wait for the production of results. And they want them on the web, not a piece of paper stuck on a wall. The delays in the production of results are due to a few causes: having to retype data, not having a link between athletes details and their bib-number or fear and lack of understanding of the internet.
With our systems, there is no retyping, we have all the details and we will even give you a link or let you inbed the details on your own web-site.
A live feed enables you to broadcast the results online to anyone with access to the URL. Now anyone anywhere with an internet connection can see your results, improving the visibility of your event. Timing chips and photofinish are supported: OpenTrack can automatically fetch information from them to put into our servers. Do see our OpenStandards work that is improving the transmission of athletics data globally.
Large scale races, with budgets to match, can afford chip timing systems. Our aim is to allow an athletic event to be run with just normal mobile smartphones.
Using our web-based system, an event can be set up, and times recorded as long as there is access to 3G/4G or wi-fi. The system is intuitive enough that it has been used by “officials” between 10 and 70 years of age and from small club fixtures to the European Cross Country Championships.
We are adding field event software as well. With a device you can input your information right on the track. The days of running from the long jump pit to the clubhouse with a hand-written field card may soon be over. Phones and tablets may fail to connect to the internet, but the OpenTrack software will continue recording data and then resync once it’s connected back up.
For events like cross country there is no rekeying of information and, of course, if you used opentrack for the entries, the results will link to the athletes automatically through the bib number. Results can be on the web-site in real time with live team scores if required.
At OpenTrack, we have experience of working directly with athletics organisations in most aspects of management and administration. Our main clients so far are the Estonian Athletics Federation and the British Masters’ Athletics Federation, which is the umbrella organization for masters’ athletics here in the UK. Working with European Athletics we are keen to offer federation management across the 51 member states.
Working closely with and listen to our client federations we feel we have produced a modern, web based single system that improves efficiency of federations and club volunteers alike.
Our federation management system has a modular design consisting of a core database, a membership management module and an entry component for nationally organised events. If a federation already has one of these components that they feel functions well, for example a core database, then we may be able to “plumb” that module into our system.
Managing of Athletics Data
The efficient running of athletics requires a central database. This must be the core of a federation management system. The Data must be accurate and be managed with controlled access. In line with our tiered access policy, individuals can see their data and make sure any errors are corrected. The only other organisations with access will be their club and the federation. The data may only be used for the smooth running of athletics in that jurisdiction and we will keep to the standards recommended by European Athletics regarding the GDPR.
The membership status of any individual is accessible either through an API or Federation and club management screens. Example states could include: Licensed with expiry date Lapsed with last valid date Being processed
Individuals can check their own status and contact their club secretaries if they see any errors; this is normally the most efficient method of keeping data clean. Similarly the secretaries can use the “club view” to efficiently identify unlicensed athletes and forward the membership request to the federation. The federation has the overall view and can swiftly update and keep track of requests.
Approved third parties such as external race organisers can be allowed to access the membership status of a given athlete/athletes to let them to charge levies or restrict entries.
The most basic requirement of a system is to list the championships and events run by the organisation. However, especially for closed events (where entry is limited to registered athletes) there is much more that can be done. Much of the wasted administration time for events involves moving data from one system to another. We will already know the athletes’ details so a team manager can simply allocate identified runners into teams. Athletes, or just the relay leg order, can be changed on a mobile phone by the trackside.
The race organiser gets the most up to date teams, electronically, before the race starts. Any relevant data such as gender and age group is checked and updated automatically into the event management module resulting in a more efficient and accurate match set up.
The final strand is results management and data-capture. We can uniquely identify each athlete so it is far simpler to update statistics databases and allow fans and athletes alike to see the results.
We would love to work with Federations across Europe, if you would like any more information please contact us at OpenTrack or feel free to browse our manuals.
Make Athletics Go Faster
OpenTrack is the first modern, fully hosted multiuser service that’s designed to help athletics events organizers save time and effort, while making it fun for athletes. We help you quickly and efficiently track and organise the entire life cycle of any athletics event, from your school sports day to a nation wide event. Saving time will let you save on results and presentation, letting anyone run events professionally.
Matthew Kiernan says: For every single fixture, the admin time has been cut from 2 hours to 5 mins.
OpenTrack: Features and Benefits
The benefits of OpenTrack start from the moment you need to enter data: OpenTrack organises all Athlete information in your event for you.
Switching means getting rid of all the paperwork, Nicola Fleet of Croydon Harriers, says she has 90% reduced paperwork – and she can do it all on holiday!
Save time: No more need for volunteering when OpenTrack can handle event management automatically. OpenTrack also checks if athletes are registered with England Athletics and comply with their regulations, letting you focus on the race rather than the housekeeping. OpenTrack will even only let you sign up for events relevant to you.
Flexible spreadsheet like interface: Each entry lets you enter many different fields. OpenTrack also uses look up fields, meaning you should never get the wrong information without being notified, and there will be far few queries for you to fix.
Take away the pressure to sign up: Lets either team mangers or individual athletes sign into events, all from one website or from a mobile device. Team managers can now focus on their team instead of admin work. If you’ve planned the timetable but only have 3 people for an event you can easily let people know there are open slots.
The benefits don’t stop with you: Nicola also mentions that the young people in her club are more engaged, because they can see and talk about who’s entered for what – no more secrecy means more fun.
Timing and Recording
Results are kept as open data: Register once, pick your own personal OpenTrack code and your data will always be kept to compare against your best results and the world’s best. This allows users to keep track of their race stats with no effort, and you can even see other Athlete’s results.
With a tablet device you can input your information right on the field: So data will be more accurate because the athletes themselves are entering it. Phone and tablets may fail to connect to the internet, but the OpenTrack software will continue recording data and then resync once it’s connected back up. For events like cross country there is no rekeying of information, and multiple observers mean no one has to waste time focusing on who’s in what place.
Get rid of unnecessary tasks: There’s no need for separate recorders, timekeepers, someone to help funnel the athletes and no need for the athletes to funnel themselves: Why waste your time when OpenTrack can prevent anyone from doing all of this?
For other kinds of athletics events, as each event happens you can use OpenTrack to record it right there and then. No need for photocopiers and no need to type it into the spreadsheet - It’s already on the web.
Timing chips are supported: OpenTrack can automatically fetch information from them to put into our servers. In fact any technology which you already use we can fetch information from, as long as it comes in as a spreadsheet.
Additional features include: Linking to google maps. Anyone see where the event took place and browse the route as it happens. Or they may browse routes from any event where OpenTrack has been used.
Each athlete is assigned a team flag matching their bib, and individual bib numbers are automatically assigned, making organising and distribution of bibs on the day of the event fast and efficient.
Results are viewable almost anywhere: PCs, mobile devices, tablets and large monitors. They are syndicated, searchable by anyone as open data. For ease of use, OpenTrack supports all formats. OpenTrack works on any modern web browser, including on mobile devices - you don’t even need to download a separate app.
Live results as they happen: A live feed enables you to broadcast the results online to anyone with access to the URL. Now anyone anywhere with an internet connection can see your results, improving the visibility of your event. Since anyone can add them and since they can be shared anywhere on the web this will let you get the most out of your results by using them to boost numbers.
Results are presented as a live bar graph:
Watch the results as they happen, not after.
And it’s better for the sport as well: the ability to easily exchange data means that everyone will have an incentive to work together, which benefits everyone involved in the sport in the long run. Start lists and results can be exchanged easily and quickly. This is great for events that take several days and for larger events as well.
As an extra, at the end of the event OpenTrack can automatically generates a PDF of the results, your club is now ready to print out a results booklet with no extra effort.
Save time and have fun. Use OpenTrack.
We are not promising any particular dates, but are working to deliver the features below during 2017. They will be rolled out to all of our users as they are developed and tested.
- Set up new competitions yourself
- A newer “club picker” which can handle
- unattached athletes, if the competition allows them
- select from UKA-affiliated clubs (1800 in UK);
- select from all known running clubs and schools (3000+ in UK)
- select from a specific list of clubs/teams provided by the organiser
- A smarter license checker, which can check English/Welsh registered athletes as we do now, but also “park” ones from Scotland, Northern Ireland or overseas for you to review - at least until UKA provides a national system
- Allow you to fully edit and adjust any individual entry, either before it has been paid (if the person entering needs help) or afterwards
- a “bulk entry” option with a spreadsheet interface, useful for coaches or club admins who want to enter large numbers at once
- alllow you to issue refunds, at your discretion. (This is quite a bit of work, and until we have done it, we can do it for you on receipt of an email)
- provide additional (paid) services for programme and race number layout and printing
provide social media features to help promote entries
- A dedicated road relay entry process with 2 or 3 phases
- pay for the right number of teams at the outset
- if required, declare the “squad” online in advance
- let the team manager say who’s running which leg in which team, on the day, with mobile devices
- A dedicated track and field “team sheet”
- A high-speed “entry on the day” screen for meeting organisers, so that late entries can be put into the same start lists.