Transponders update and Q&A
New 2020 Season update coming soon ...
Following trials and lengthy discussions, the South Region has taken the decision to invest in the MYLAPS timing system to improve racing, administration, results and our regional series events. This does mean that riders will have to invest in transponders but we feel the benefits far outweigh the costs, and we have taken this decision as soon as possible in order to provide as much time as possible before the 2019 summer series commences.
Set out below is a Q&A which should provide the information you need and answer all your questions. If, once you have read it, you still have a question, please drop us a line.
We are really excited about the benefits this system will bring to races, to riders and to clubs, and urge you to get behind your Region which remains at the forefront of improving BMX racing in the UK.
Where to buy your transponder?
The region has now sold the 400 transponders it purchased to sell to our riders so you must now purchase online from the UK distributor called HS SPORTS
What is a transponder?
A transponder is the small red (or grey, tbc) sensor that you attach to your bike. Each transponder has a unique ID number. This is so the system can tell when you start and finish, and the time taken to pass between points on a track. Once you have purchased a transponder for your bike, you need to go online to activate the unit. If you have bought your transponders from anywhere other than the South Region you will need to let admin know your transponder number. Once this is done, the ID number is used when you enter a race. Your transponder is activated for a set term (1,2 or 5 years) and at the end of the term you will be advised that you need to re-activate, which can again be completed online.
What is the new system and how does it work?
The new system we intend to use comes in two parts.
The hardware side of the system is the MYLAPS transponder, track loops and decoder.
The MYLAPS system is a digital timing system made up of sensors. At the beginning of a BMX moto a sensor starts the race time when the gate is dropped. Then other sensors in the form of wire loops in the ground detect the 'transponder' on your bike as it passes over the loop. These loops are located at the bottom of the start hill and at the finish line - they let the race system know each rider’s ID and the time taken to pass over each loop so accurate lap times can be obtained. The software system records all the riders & times in that moto. The next moto is started on the system when its gate is dropped.
The software side of the system is the Sqorz race software.
Developed in Australia, Sqorz brings the BEM system you are used to right up to date. It uses modern software and up to date development practices, continuously updating technology to stay current and always provide a reliable, secure system. Sqorz utilises a logical workflow to step through all the stages of an event. It is a web-based system that works directly with your smartphone.
Why move to transponders?
There are many reasons for deciding to use transponders. Primarily, it reduces our dependence on volunteers on race day and makes administration of races much simpler; it gives the sport new data in the form of race times; it is a more accurate way to determine finishing positions and it will, in time, also speed up race days due to the efficiencies of the finishing process, removing manual finish line decisions and data entry. On the day sign-in is much easier, as transponders can be scanned to confirm rider attendance.
What is the cost?
The South Region is offering a 2 year subscription transponder for £45. 1, 2 or 5 year transponders are available from MYLAPS or MYLAPS resellers but will be more expensive. The South Region is selling these transponders at cost price and makes no profit from their sale or use. There is likely to be a small rise in race fees to reflect the subscription to the Sqorz race software system – this will be confirmed in due course.
What are the benefits to riders?
BMX racing can be incredibly fast-paced, so finishes can be extremely close. A transponder system measures riders to the millisecond and instantly determines the undisputed winner and placings. Lap times and any split times around a track can also be used to track performance over time.
What are the benefits to race organisers?
The amount of regular volunteers we have for events is dwindling at a time when the expectation to get things right has increased. This new system will make running and administering races and events easier, help us to get races and results completed quicker, bring us and our riders the benefits of using a 21st Century system and reduce the amount of pressure on the South Region event team and host clubs.
What are the benefits to clubs?
If clubs have their own decoder, the transponder system can also be set up in practice mode, which allows clubs to run the system during training and coaching sessions. With a personal transponder, riders can see their performance data. Further development of Sqorz will allow riders to share data with coaches or access on their personal online account.
Will it be compatible with other BMX regions?
At present the South West and Midlands Regions also have the system in place and discussions are ongoing within the other Regions. Furthermore MYLAPS is used for BMX in many international locations so you will be able to use your transponder when racing abroad.
Will Nationals be run using transponders?
The NSWG/Commission are watching from the sidelines to see how the regions get on – we hope that the more people that are using them, the greater the chance that the National Series will follow suit.
Will it be compatible with other bike series events (eg 4x/MTB)?
The software side of the system is BMX-specific but the transponders are used in other disciplines such as triathlon and road racing.
How do I get hold of a transponder?
Transponders are now on sale - hosted by Bournemouth BMX Club shop
Can I share my transponder?
Each transponder has a unique code that is registered to an individual rider so cannot be shared – if you quit racing for some reason, transponders can be transferred/sold to another rider but you must inform the region so details can be changed on our system. The Region will also offer a buy back service on a pro-rata basis for time remaining on the MYLAPS subscription.
What happens if I lose my transponder?
You will have to buy a new one or hire one. So don’t lose it!!!
What if I already have a transponder?
If it is a compatible MYLAPS transponder, then you will be able to use it. The ID number will need to be registered to the rider on the South Region system.
What happens if it breaks?
The transponders have a lifetime guarantee if activated with MYLAPS – the South Region can send it back to be repaired and lend you one while it is away.
What about riders from other regions who only race a couple of south regionals?
Hopefully they will be from another region using transponders but if not they will be able to hire one from South Region race admin for an agreed fee.
What about second bikes/only riding three regionals to qualify for the Brits?
We actively encourage riders to buy transponders to save them time at sign-in or registration but for those wanting to borrow one for the day they will be able to hire one from South Region race admin team for an agreed fee.
How do I get my results/times
We will be transferring over to the Sqorz Race Software system which works in partnership with the MYLAPS transponder system and is smartphone compatible; this is the same system that we trialled at the 2018 South Champs. The website updates in real time and your results should be able to be viewed by the time you return to your club or team area. If you don’t have access to a smartphone then we will post sheets as usual on the noticeboards. The Sqorz system also updates the Series rankings at the end of each event so you will be able to see where you are ranked instantly at the close of the event.
How can I find out more?
Search the internet for MYLAPS or talk to the South Region race team and they can put you in touch with specific people to help with any other questions you may have.