These observations were made over time and maybe helpful to users in avoiding potential problems.
- The user should be one of the first people to arrive at the venue. The
computer and printer should be set up 1 hour before the first event. For an
user with basic typing skills it will take about 10-15 minutes to enter a full
team declaration. Remember that for the program to run successfully all the
team declarations should be entered before the first event start.
- Entering the team declarations will be the most demanding task for the
user. It will be made more difficult by everybody else around talking loudly
as they arrive in the officials box. If entering information becomes difficult kick
the noisy people out. If concentration fades take a break or let someone else
have a go.
- Officials boxes are cold places even on boiling hot days. Make sure you bring
- Typing itself will be made easier if the correct posture is adopted.
Unfortunately furniture at venues is not ideal for typing. As a good rule is to
have the keyboard just above hip height so that when sat normally your
forearms should be level or tilt slightly down and away. This will prevent your
fingers getting cold because blood will flow easier downward than up. The top
of the VDU should be at eye level, creating a slight downward view.
- The practice of posting results immediately after being printed is strongly
advised. This keeps athletes and team managers up to date with the current
match position without them having to come and hassle you. It can also give
feedback from athletes or team managers should an incorrect name have been
entered or A and B-strings been crossed. In higher profile meetings the
announcing of event results after being printed and then being posted is
probably more appropriate. These two step however may mean that track
events are interrupted due to the continual announcements. A rule of
thumb is only announce all result/start lists if the meeting is a
single match or double match with one string.
- Team managers have a tendency to enter any age group
etc. indication as they work down the sheet and not
repeat the indication even though an athlete may be
repeated. It is the choice of the user whether or not to ask for clarification,
copy the team sheet exactly or to use common sense and enter the indication
- If you can get the team managers to submit declarations on the day in the
file created by the associated team manager program, You
will find that the entire task becomes very easy allowing you to watch
- Entering a field series is more time consuming than entering just the
final result. The suggestion is to only use this feature at high profile
meetings where there is 8 or less teams of one gender and age group. Remember
the more age groups the more work. Indeed there may not be sufficient
time to enter all series for all events without causing a delay in production
of final results. If you do use this feature, setting the draw order
will help fluency in entering performances because the athlete menu
will be ordered the same as the filed card. Here too peace and
quiet will help speedy and accurate entry. An assistant reading the
series aloud may also help. A ruler may assist you to follow a line on the
result card itself.
- The user should be prepared for a burst of activity centred around entering
relay team names shortly before the events are due.
- The final results are printed as fast as the printer can print or as fast a
photocopier can copy the first set of printed results. In the case of dot-matrix
and ink-jet printers these will probably be slower than a photocopier. For
Laser printers there is likely to be little difference.
- The user is also one of the last to leave, 30-45 minutes after the last event.
This situation arises because the user is the person in charge of printing
results and must make sure all teams, press etc have copies of the final results,
hence the user leaves after just about everybody else. The user should
be prepared for a long day. Obviously with experience this time will reduce.
- Some computers may interfere when in close proximity, 1-2 metres, to the
public address or walkie talkie systems used at venues. Move the computer
further away from the P.A. and or use a different mains sockets if this becomes
a major problem.