If an event includes at least two stages (e.g., heats and final), you can use the advancement feature to set automatic qualification.

This guide is divided into four sections: 

General information

If your meeting includes qualifying rounds (e.g., heats, semi-finals for running events, and qualifications for field events), you will see an extra column in results called Adv.


By using this option you can select athletes who qualify to the next round.

  • Q - means qualify by place finish in track events, or qualify by meeting the standard in field events.
  • q - means qualify by time in track events, or qualify without meeting the standard in field events.

If you set advancement rules when setting a schedule (for more information see the Set schedule guide), Q and q marks will appear automatically.

You can use the promotion option to generate start lists for a higher stage. To do this, click on the Add Q/q button. This option is available for start lists and results.


The list of promoted athletes is taken from the lower stage from the summary group.

Setting up and using automatic qualification Q/q for running events

  1. In Schedule, for a given running event, set your stages (Heat, Semi Final, Final) and number of groups per stage (please note that you can also change the number of groups during Start list Seeding). In the given example here, there are 2 stages (Heats and Final), and 2 groups of Heats and a single Final. You can always change this by the + symbol on the right-hand side of the Summary group for the event.

  1. Next, select your automatic qualification criteria by selecting Set up under the Adv. column. You will now see the box appear with Top Q places per heat (Q) and Additional q fastest across heats (q). The Q designates how many qualifiers automatically move to the next round per heat. The q designates how many of the remaining combined finishers move to the next round. In this example, Q = 2, q = 2 which means top 2 finishers in each heat will move to the finals, and then also the next top 2 of the combined heat results will also move to the finals. Thus there will be 6 athletes in the final.

  1. Next, go to the Startlist, add your athletes (see Create start lists guide on how to add athletes or Add athletes from a CSV file guide if loading athletes from a file) if they are not yet loaded. Once they are loaded, hit the Seed button.

  1. Once in the seeding view, seed according to your preferences (see the Seeding and lane/order assignment methods guide for more detail). The seeding in the current example is shown below:

  1. Go to the Results page. Once results have been entered, either through the fully automatic timing system or Roster Meet Mgmt app, you will see the following (Heat - Group 1 shown):

Places and Qs are added automatically.

If results have been entered manually through the Roster Platform, you must sort results by pressing the Resolve places & sort icon and hit Save. You will see the automatic qualifiers marked as Q.

After entering all results, mark them as FINISHED and hit Save. This is necessary to ensure this group is finalized and results are properly calculated between groups.

Once results for all individual groups are ready and marked as finished, go to the event Summary to now view all qualifiers, both Q and q. You will find the 4 Q’s (2 Q’s from each heat), then the next 2 small q’s (from the combined heats).

  1. Now you are ready for the next stage. In this case, the next stage is the Final so if you go to the Final start list by clicking on the left-hand side, you will see the following:

Select the Add Q/q option on the upper right-hand side and now you will see all the athletes that have qualified to the Final from the previous heats. Make sure you hit the Save button to save this start list.

Please note that you can still make manual changes to this start list when necessary.

  1. Now that your Final start list is set, go ahead and take a look at the seed options by selecting the Seed button on the upper right-hand side. Once in seeding, note that you can select the Seeding basis as previous Qualifying result. Make sure you hit the Save button once you are done choosing all your seeding and lane assignment options.

Please note: any change to the previous round's results after athletes have been added to the start list of a higher round will not update the Qualifying results automatically. To update the results remove the athlete with the changed result from the start list of the higher stage and use the Add Q/q option again.

Setting up and using automatic qualification Q/q for field events

The process for setting up automatic qualification is essentially the same as that above for running events. The only difference is in setting up the Advancement rules in the Schedule. After setting up your qualifying rounds, press the Set up button under the Adv. column. For field events, you will see the following Advancement rules:

The two fields for automatic advancement rules are: Qualifying performance and Total advanced participants.

  • Qualifying performance: this is the min. standard in which the athletes need to reach in order to automatically advance to the next round.

  • Total advanced participants: this is the number of athletes that will move on to the next round.

    • If the number of athletes meeting the Qualifying performance standard is greater than the number of Total advanced participants set, then ALL the athletes meeting the mark will move onto the next round regardless of number.

    • If the number of athletes reaching the Qualifying performance is less than the number set in the Total advanced participants, the next best performances will qualify regardless of reaching the standard so that the Total advanced participant number is met for the next round.

Special case: Resolving ties with automatic qualification

There are 2 cases of ties to consider when using automatic qualification:

  1. The number of big Q qualifiers with ties are more than the big Q number set under Advancement rules. The default resolution is that all big Q qualifiers will move on, and the number of small q qualifiers will reduce by the same number. Thus the total number of big Q plus q qualifiers remains the same. In the example above, big Q = 2 and small q = 4. With 2 heats, this means that there are 2 big Q qualifies from each heat and the next best 4 times qualify as little q. If the result happened to have a tie for the big Q finishes (as an example here, let’s say there is one tie), then there will be 3 big Q qualifiers for that heat with a total of 5 combined big Q’s. This then means there will only now be 3 small q’s as a result of reducing the number of small q by 1 to keep the total number of qualifiers the same.

  2. The number of all big Q qualifiers including ties or tied last small q qualifiers are more than the total number set under Advancement rules. The default resolution is that ALL qualifiers will move onto the next round, even though the total number is more than what was originally specified. This allows the organizer to determine how they wish to handle the ties. The organizer may wish to:

    1. Allow all qualifiers including ties to move on if enough lanes can support all of them (default in Roster).

    2. Draw lots to determine the outcome of the tie and manually remove the appropriate “unqualified” athlete from qualification by setting a - in the Adv. column for that athlete.

    3. Re-run the event with just the ties to determine the outcome and manually qualify the appropriate athlete.

Please note: at any point, the organizer can manually change the advancement result simply by choosing the appropriate action (-, Q, q) for each athlete under the Adv. column in the Results Summary for that event.

Special case: Changing advancement rules AFTER entering results

If you want to change the qualification rules after having added results under either of the following situations:

  • a mix of groups with results marked as FINISHED and not FINISHED,
  • groups with results but not marked as FINISHED,

- you must rank athletes in each not FINISHED group once again. This action will then update all big Q's according to the new rules (small q's will be added automatically when all groups are marked as FINISHED).

You can also rank athletes in the summary group for the event. However in this case, the system will add all big Q's and all small q's according to the new rules, whatever the current situation in the event, even if not all results have been entered for all groups.

If all groups are marked as FINISHED, each change in the advancement rules will apply automatically after saving. However, it will not change the start list of the next stage if you have already used the Add Q/q option to add qualifiers into the next stage.