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Getting Your Stage Times Fixed or Changed

Sometimes, you might get to the finish of a rally, and the scores are posted, and they're wrong. What happened? What do you do?

The answer is submit an inquiry. There are several pieces it will need to be successful:

  1. It has to be turned in on time.
  2. It has to get to the right person.
  3. It has to have enough detail in it so that the officials can properly review it. See The Art of the Inquiry

Turning in your inquiry on time

At the end of the event, the "Provisional Scores" are posted. It's important to pay attention for this, because the second they are posted, a thirty minute clock starts ticking. Once the clock runs out, you cannot file any inquires to have mistakes fixed. You can file inquires before this period starts, but after the 30 minutes is up, your inquiry won't be accepted. It's also important to know that the once the clock stops, it doesn't matter how obvious the mistake is, it's frozen. For example, let's say that your time on Stage 3 is listed as 17 days, 23 hours, and 17 seconds. That's so obviously not correct that just looking at it proves it should be fixed. But if you bring that up after the inquiry period is over, it will not change. When the Provisional Scores are posted, there is usually an announcement stating that they are up.

It's the team's responsibility to check their scores during this period. In the case above, they should spot the timing mistake in about three seconds and it will be happily fixed when you submit the inquiry.

Why is there a time limit at all? The answer is that there has to be some time limit, otherwise you would be changing the results of the rally a week later, long after everyone had left with their trophies, and then changing them again a month later, and then, after some video footage shows up, six months later. So you could never publish the results, or write press releases, or interview winners, or award season points till a year after the fact. So this hard limit.

Turning in your equipment to the right person

Who do I submit an inquiry to?

  • A Steward
  • The Clerk of the Course
  • The Chief of Scoring
  • The Competitor Relations Officer

Who do I NOT submit an inquiry to?

  • A volunteer at a timing control at a stage
  • A volunteer at a timing control at service

It has to have enough detail

We have a whole article on this: The Art of the Inquiry. However, it's worthy mentioning here that initials on your time card, or a note made by the volunteers on the log sheet, are not inquiries. These notations are merely evidence that will be checked later to verify the details you submit in your inquiry.

Why do I have to turn it in on paper? It's so obvious!

Inquiries must be handed in on paper so that, literally, they aren't forgotten about. All of the officials to whom you can submit an inquiry are working on the operations of the rally when you see them. When you tell them something and walk away, in five seconds the next thing they are dealing with could be a medical accident or massive fire or arrest or something else very serious. The paper inquiry gets looked at in a moment when things are quieter, but when those quiet times happen are unpredictable.