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 meet/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.


This option allows you to select athletes who qualify for the next round.

  • Q - means qualify by place finish in track events or qualify by meet/meeting the standard in field events.
  • q - means qualify by time in track events or qualify without meet/meeting the standard in field events.
  • qR - means qualify for the next round by Referee.
  • qJ - means qualify for the next round by Jury of Appeal.
  • qD - means qualify for the next round by Draw.

Suppose you set advancement rules in the Schedule settings (for more information, see the Set schedule guide). In this case, Q and q marks will appear automatically if the Calculate advancements option is enabled under the Automatic calculation menu.

Please note: enabling or disabling the automatic calculations applies to all groups of a given event stage (including the summary group).

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 in both start lists and results views.


The list of promoted athletes is taken from the lower stage from the summary group and includes all set records. 

Please note: athletes marked as out-of-competition (OOC) will not be included in auto advancement, however you can still advance them by selecting qR, qJ, or qD manually.

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

  1. In Schedule, for a given running event, set your stages (Preliminary, Heat, Semi Final, Final) and number of groups per stage (please note that you can also change the number of groups and set advancements rules 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 the 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 start list, and 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 and make sure Automatic calculations of places and advancements are enabled. Once results have been entered (either through the fully automatic timing system, Roster web admin platform or Roster Meet Mgmt app), you will see the following (Heat - Group 1 shown):

Places and Qs are added automatically.

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 manually change 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 in field events is essentially the same as that above for running events. The only difference is in setting up the Advancement rules in the Schedule or Seeding. 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 meet/meeting the Qualifying performance standard is greater than the number of Total advanced participants set, then ALL the athletes meet/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.

You can also select Qualification in the Event model field. Read more about models in the Set schedule guide.

Adding qR, qJ and qD

If an athlete advanced to the next round by Referee (qR), Jury of Appeal (qJ) or Draw (qD), you can manually select the correct status from the Adv. column. You can do this anytime regardless of the athlete's status and auto-advancement calculation setting.

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 into the next round, even though the total number is more than what was originally specified. This allows the organizer/organiser to determine how they wish to handle the ties. The organizer/organiser 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/organiser can manually change the advancement result by disabling the automatic calculation of advancements and 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, 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.