Making Up The Numbers (03/11/2018)

This year is the second that all divisions will be using the same style of numbers and the same methods of race results production masterminded by Ray Morgan of Leamington C & AC.

The system has its roots in the West Midlands Young Athletes Cross Country League where it has been honed over many years. In our League it began in Division 3 and has evolved upwards through Division 2 and finally in 2017/18 into Division 1.

Each athlete will be allocated his own unique race number which he should keep for the whole season. The number, made of tyvek, is weatherproof and tough - though probably not indestructible!

Please make sure that you have a good supply of safety pins to attach the number to the front of your vest preferably at each of the four corners. The League does not supply safety pins. Check with your Team Manager if they have a supply.

Each number will be unique. It will have his race number, his name and club together with dates of the four races and the logo of our number sponsor Coventry Runner.

BDXCL Coventry Runner Logo 2018 Website 2

This will be the second year Coventry Runner have provided the race numbers for all three divisions and we extend our thanks to Anne-Marie Goodwin from Coventry Runner for her support. Anne-Marie is a member of Massey Ferguson RC and so is very familiar with the League and is glad to support the sport at grass roots level.

Coventry Runner are based at 223 Burnaby Road, Coventry, CV6 4AX where you can find stocks of kit for the coming cross country season.

We asked Ray how this number system works for him and what is involved in preparing for the season.

When do you start planning for the new season?

"I ask the team managers two months from the first race for declarations of athletes they are reasonably sure of and then place a bulk order for well over 1000 bibs a month before the first race. This year I ordered 678 for D1, 439 for D2 and 430 for D3. The month is generous but with that many bibs we don't risk leaving it late.

The next step is to give the clubs up to a week before the race to order a top-up of athletes who have joined the club or were previously injured or unsure. They are ordered and delivered in the week before the first race. All of the first two sets have names and clubs on them."
 
What happens on the day if someone "just turns up" that the Team Manager was not aware of?
 
"Managers can make new declarations on the day and they get a proper bib number but these can't possibly have bib numbers on. That applies all season. New declarations have to be declared on a sheet that the Divisional Secretary maintains (so that he can get the results right afterwards)."
 
What happens to the numbers after a race?
 
"Some team managers recover and retain the numbers after the race and some let the athletes keep them. That's a matter of personal preference for the Team Manager."
 
No doubt numbers can get lost between races so what happens then?
 
"It is possible that an athlete loses or forgets a number. In that case he is given a new one that he retains for the rest of the season. Again, these new bibs have to be recorded on a sheet so that the Divisonal Secretary can get the results right afterwards."

What are the advantages of this system?

"The main advantage of these numbers is that the Team Managers no longer have a declare their full team at every match. Having the athletes name on the bibs reduces the risk of running in the wrong number and makes the results easier. Frankly, it's also a nice touch to have your name on your bib."
 
Are there any administrative changes this year that runners & Team managers need to know about?
 
"The big change for this year is the checking or the athletes' URN. The URN must be for that athlete (we have had some declarations borrowing a URN from a sibling or wife - not allowed). The URN must be current i.e. the Club must have paid EA an affiliation fee for the 2018/19 season. If they have not it is probably because the athlete has not paid his club subscription.
Although athletes can be declared right up to and even on race day, they should not run unless their URN as valid as shown on the EA licence checker on the EA web site home page. If a URN is not current it may take time for the club to pay the EA affiliation fee and more time for EA to process it - typically from 2 days to over a week - so think ahead."