RunSignUp Kicks off New RaceDay Scoring Platform with Introductory Webinar

rdgoUpdate: The recording from this webinar can be found here.

February 15, 2017 – Moorestown, NJ – RunSignUp announced the commencement of development on RaceDay Scoring, their next generation open scoring platform that will become the next generation of The Race Director over the coming years. RaceDay Scoring aims to take advantage of modern technology to create a “Goldilocks” scoring option that is neither too simple nor too hard, and is not proprietary to any specific hardware option.

The early stages of the project, which should yield initial components in 6 months with work continuing throughout 2017, is being introduced to the public via a Webinar on February 22nd (2:00pm ET).  The RaceDay Scoring webinar is one of RunSignUp’s series of Endurance Event Education Webinars, and will cover:

  • An overview of RaceDay Go, the platform that houses RaceDay Scoring
  • The goals of RaceDay Scoring
  • RaceDay Scoring Architecture
    • Native PC and Mac or Cloud-Based
    • Connectors to timing equipment and GPS data
    • Filters for Timing Locations
    • Scoring Engine & Scoring Module
  • Massively scalable real-time results
  • Setup and use: wizard, dashboard, graphical, JSON-based API

“Even though The Race Director scored over 11 Million finishers last year, new technology creates some great opportunities,” RunSignUp Founder Bob Bickel explained. “We are looking forward to working with timers and partners to create a next generation solution for races.”

To sign up for the webinar and learn more about the goals and functionality of RaceDay Scoring, visit: http://resources.runsignup.com/webinar-301-raceday-scoring/.

About RunSignUp

RunSignUp is the leading innovator of online tools for race registration, race day solutions, and running clubs. Services include RunSignUp for registration, fundraising, and race promotion, RunSignUp Go for RaceDay, RD Go for Timers, RunSignUp Clubs to enable membership management, and RaceJoy for mobile experiences. More than 10,000 race directors, timers, running club officers and running stores use these services today, including leading organizations like the Boilermaker Road Race, Crim Festival of Races, Pittsburgh Three Rivers Marathon, Inc., Fifth Third River Bank Run, Komen Race for the Cure Philadelphia, Mercedes Marathon, Kentucky Derby Festival, Leone Timing, KC Running Company, Compuscore Timing, Knoxville Track Club, Pikes Peak Road Runners, Gulf Coast Runners, Columbus Running Company, Playmakers Running Store and many more. In 2016, over 14,000 races used the system to register more than 4.2 million participants. Services are free except for processing fees when conducting monetary transactions such as race registration or club membership renewal. RunSignUp is founded by runners for runners, using technical capabilities to bring the power of cloud computing to benefit the running community. For more information, visit http://www.RunSignUp.com.

RaceDay Scoring – Why Build it

rdgo_scoringWhen we announced the RaceDay Go Platform, we talked about our desire to build out the RaceDay Scoring component for timers. As we embark on the considerable development effort (multi-person project that will continue forever), it is a fair question to ask ourselves and for the market to ask us: WHY????

Current State of the Market
There are two dominant scoring offerings today – The Race Director and RunScore. The Race Director scores about 11 Million finishers each year and RunScore probably does a similar amount. Both are PC based products originally released over 20 years ago, with very low cost to timers (typically less than $300 per year). They both have exceptional levels of functionality, with The Race Director being more menu driven with pre-canned mechanisms to score a race, and RunScore being more open to field definitions and customized scored capabilities with a powerful scripting like language.

One of the challenges of entering the market for new competitors has been the low cost of these very functional products. Most timers will not pay a lot for an alternative, especially given that these products meet their needs very well.

There have been two independent vendors who have developed scoring/results based systems and have business models aimed at the high end of the market for large races or large timers – Xact and RTRT. Software development and support is obviously expensive, so they have to earn a return by targeting the high end where there is enough money to support their business models. RaceTec in Australia has also made a high end system.

The other business model that has supported the development of scoring platforms is the timing equipment makers. ChronoTrack with their CTLive offering is probably the most successful scoring about 4 Million finishers last year. Active-IpicoMyLaps, and Agee Timing also have alternatives. These scoring systems are all tied to their hardware and other software products to optimize both the integration as well as the revenue coming from their customer base. The scoring component is typically free or very low cost (under $1,000).

Problems with Current Market
There are several problems with the current offerings in the market. The Race Director and RunScore were both built many years ago. While both have been kept up to date and have many happy users, there is a new generation of technology that can be built upon to offer new levels of capabilities. For the high end scoring vendors, they do not meet the needs of the many, many smaller races. And the proprietary systems have the issue that they are closed and may not have the functionality or openness to solve specific needs.

Why RunSignup is creating RaceDay Scoring
There are a number of reasons why we are building this platform:

  • The Race Director is a part of RunSignUp and we need a way to support these customers in the long term.
  • We do not want to lose current The Race Director customers to alternatives in the market that are more modern.
  • We have a registration business that gets “dragged along” with some % of users of scoring. This means there is a financial incentive for us to build the scoring system, even if we lose money on directly building and supporting the software (much like the hardware vendor’s motivation).
  • We want to meet the needs across every segment of the market – small to large races, all timing equipment (including hand-timed), and all modes of timing – Chip, Gun and GPS.
  • As technologists, this is a very interesting problem domain that is fun to build. As runners, we like to build good technology for this market.

goldilocksIn Search of Goldilocks
We feel there is a chance at finding the right “Goldilocks” solution. Not to hard, not too simple, not too proprietary, not expandable enough.

If we are able to build this “just right”, then we will hit a very sweet spot in the market that will offer all timers a new option for their scoring needs.

RaceDay Scoring – Your Help and Patience Requested

rdgo_scoringWe have begun serious work on RaceDay Scoring. This is the next generation open scoring platform that will become the next generation of The Race Director over the coming years, and a core component of our overall RaceDay Go platform and strategy.

We are asking for your assistance and patience over the next 6 months. We are focusing a lot of our development resources on this project as we feel it will bring a tremendous amount of value to the endurance racing community (Our The Race Director PC offering currently scores about 11 Million finishers each year, and this new offering is the next generation of that offering with much greater power). We will continue to do other projects and make some incremental improvements, but not at our usual pace. So your patience on maybe some smaller requests may have to go on the back burner.

We will publish an initial architecture ppt and will do a webinar of what RDScoring is in the coming weeks. It is really quite exciting, and our early prototyping and design work is very encouraging. Here are some of our high level goals:

  • Modern architecture
    • Ease of use AND completely customizable (think the best of Race Director and RunScore)
    • Local AND Web mode
    • Scalable real-time updates
  •   Open architecture
    • Race & Event Definition
    • Timing equipment Connectors and Filters
    • Data Import
  • Modular Scoring
    • Multiple Output Options
    • Gun, Chip and GPS Scoring
  • New Website and Dashboard for Timers using RaceDay Scoring and RaceDay Go

We are expecting to have some early work done in the next 6 months that timers will be able to start to play with. Until then, we will try to communicate status as frequently as it makes sense and seek feedback on our approach.