Race Day Registration is one of the first impressions a racer will have of your race. The process can seem daunting, but with a little organization you'll be able to ensure a smooth process for everyone involved: Here are some things to keep in mind to help registration go more smoothly for riders, staff, and officials.
One way to speed up registration is to use a computer based Registration/Results system that can be used at the race site. USA Cycling has the rider database information available to promoters who want to use computers in the Registration/Results process. The big advantage to these systems is that instead of having people hand-write a rider's name, license number, club, and race number the computer can fill in most of this information, saving time and ensuring accuracy.
Promoters who are interested in using this information can contact the NCNCA President (firstname.lastname@example.org ) to get a copy of the latest database information for the NCNCA region. Ken Hernandez (email@example.com ) has a Registration/Results program that runs as an Excel spreadsheet that he is willing to make available to interested promoters. Just about any database program can be set up to act as a Registration/Results system fairly easily. It mainly comes down to having someone in your club who knows a little bit about a spreadsheet or database program and then setting up something they are comfortable with.
For road races where you have just about everyone registering at the same time it is a good idea to have separate lines for riders who have pre-registered and race-day registrations. This should allow the people who have pre-registered to check in quicker, and it is a nice little reward for riders who have pre-registered. In a criterium where you tend to only have 1 or 2 different categories registering at a time it isn't as critical to have separate lines (it is still a nice touch though).
Timing of your race-day registration is crucial and should be considered before you submit your race ad and permit application:
- Registration must open at least 60 minutes before your first race start.
- If you anticipate sold-out fields and are running a wait list, consider closing registration a bit earlier before each event. The standard has always been 15 minutes, but a longer period (30 minutes) will give you more time to process wait list and will give racers a bit more time to prepare for the start. Whatever time you choose to close registration must be posted on your race ad.
On race day, make sure you have enough supplies to last the entire day:
- Standard release form
You may want to store your supplies with the registration folks and only put more supplies out as needed. This may help reduce the loss of pens, over-consumption of pins, etc. Do not under-estimate the amount of supplies you will need.
Here are the key issues your registration staff should be aware of:
- The category number on the license matches the race the rider wants to enter. A rider with Cat 4 on their license may not enter a race for Cat 3 riders. Likewise a Cat 3 rider may not enter a race for Cat 4 riders. If there is any question about what category a rider is allowed to be in the rider should be sent to the Chief Referee to discuss the matter. If a rider has recently upgraded, his license may not reflect his new category so refer to the USAC database for verification.
- The rider's license must state the current racing year. Expired licenses are not acceptable.
- Racers should not be given a race number unless they provide a signed copy of the standard release form:
- All release forms must have an original signature (no photocopies).
- Riders under the age of 18 must have a parent/guardian sign on site.
- The release form must be from the current year.
- The release form cannot be reduced in size.
- Photocopies that don't have the complete form are not accepted.
- Riders who register through an online service must fill out a regular event release form, sign it, and submit it on race day. While some online registration services provide riders with a pre-printed version of the regular release form that riders can print and sign, it is the promoter's responsiblity to verify that the registration service provider's pre-printed version of the event release form is the same as the USA Cycling official event release form (http://www.usacycling.org/forms/rider_release.pdf ).
- Keep the standard release forms organized. You need to be able to find these release forms quickly when a rider is injured, and the release needs to be attached with the occurrence report. It is recommended that registrars write the racer's bib number on the standard release and sort the forms sequentially by each race category. Creating folders for each race, sorted during the registration process, will make it easier to find a rider's form if needed after a crash.
- You are required to keep all the release forms from your race for 10 years after the race date.
In addition to the release forms there are two other forms that your registrars will need on race-day:
- The one-day license form is a three-part form. The one-day license form also doubles as a release form so riders who are taking out a one day license don't have to fill out an additional release form. The one-day license costs $10 in addition to the race entry fee and any late surcharges. Only CAT5 men and CAT4 women may purchase a one-day license. At the end of the day the Chief Referee will need the white copy of all the one day licenses sold at your race so make sure that all the one day license forms are put in a place where they can easily be identified at the end of the day.
- The annual license form is also a 3-part form. The annual form allows a rider to either renew their USA Cycling license at the race or buy a new license at the race. It is very important that your registrars do the following:
- Fill out the box in the lower left hand corner of the form. This box asks for the name of the race the license was sold at, the date of the race, the amount collected from the rider for the license and the signature of the person who sold the license. This information is important to verify the temporary license the rider will be using until they get their regular license from USA Cycling.
- Your registrar must give the middle (yellow) copy of the annual license form to the rider. The registrars must explain to the rider that the yellow copy of the license form acts as their temporary license and that it will be required to enter any races until they get their regular license from USA Cycling. It should be explained that it can take anywhere from 6 to 8 weeks to get their regular license from USA Cycling.
- Ensure the annual license form has been properly filled out, signed by the rider, and the writing is legible. Make sure the forms for any annual licenses sold at the race are put in a safe place where the Chief Referee can collect them at the end of the day. At the end of the race the Chief Referee will be collecting the top and bottom copies of the annual license forms along with the top copy of the one day license forms sold at the race.