ChampionChip Technology

What is a ChampionChip?

How does it work?

Why ChampionChip?

Where has it been used?

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The world's leading timing technology for active sports events

In many sports events people compete, with one another, with themselves and with time. For active sports events the ChampionChip company has revolutionized timing. In 1994 the company introduced an automatic timing system, which can not only time the finish but also split and start times. This made net times for every individual athlete possible.

The ChampionChip System is simple, accurate and professional. There is no similar system in the world:

  • High-tech and easy to use timing system
  • Fast and accurate results for small up to very large events
  • Multipurpose utility: the system can be used in many different active sports events
  • High level service by providing net times and splits for every individual competitor
  • Regional, national and worldwide network of professional timing companies

ChampionChip technology


The development of the ChampionChip technology started in 1993, initiated by the organization of the Seven Hills Run in Nijmegen, The Netherlands. It was officially introduced at the Berlin Marathon in September 1994. Presently the ChampionChip technology is used in the big city marathons, Ironman triathlons plus thousands of other events around the world, with proven superior performance.

The basis for the ChampionChip technology is the radio-frequency-identification system (RFID) from Texas Instruments, which is also used for security-locks in cars and admission control in buildings.

The success of the ChampionChip technology is achieved through the combination of synchronized multiple antennas, high-tech analog and digital electronics, and dedicated software for live bulk data handling.





What is a ChampionChip?


ChampionChip is a miniature transponder in a specially designed plastic housing. This device contains a chip in combination with an energizing coil. These elements are encased in a waterproof glass capsule, meaning the ChampionChip can be used under all conditions (wet, dry, cold and hot).

The ChampionChip can be worn in different ways. For running races, the ChampionChip is attached to the runner’s shoelace. In triathlons it is attached to an ankle bracelet.

There are no batteries in the ChampionChip. The transponder is passive until moved into a magnetic field, generated by a send antenna. Here the energizing coil produces an electric current to power the chip. The transponder then transmits its unique identification number to a receive antenna. The whole procedure takes approximately 60 milliseconds and is repeated continuously.



Classic ChampionChip ChampionChip LogoChip


How does the ChampionChip System work?

The send and receive antennas are cast in thin tartan mats. These antenna mats are placed at the finish line and other timing locations. They are connected to a Yellow Box at the side of the road, containing electronics and batteries. Each time an athlete wearing a ChampionChip crosses the mats, the chip gets energized and sends out its ID-number. This number and corresponding time are then stored in the Yellow Box and transferred to a timing computer for further processing.






Figure 1
Antenna mat sends out electromagnetic field
Figure 2

ChampionChip sends its unique code

Why ChampionChip?


With the ChampionChip technology participants can rely on fast and accurate net results.

Two examples of the system’s performance:

  • In the 2000 Boston Marathon ChampionChip timed start, 9 splits and finish. 175.000 Actual accurate times for the athletes were recorded and loaded to the Internet within seconds.
  • The start of the New York City Marathon at the Verrazano Narrows Bridge is timed with a total of 36 meters wide ChampionChip equipment. At this point the system is handling approximately 5000 athletes per minute.

The ChampionChip System offers many advantages, for event organizers, timers and participants alike.


Finish at the Boston Marathon, 1999


Some advantages for


Event organizers

  • Fast and accurate results
  • High level service by providing net times and splits for every individual participant
  • Split time services for press, TV and Internet
  • Free flowing finish line (no chutes, less building up and taking down material)
  • Check points along the course


  • High quality service for event organizers and participants
  • Working with a high-tech and easy to use timing system
  • Collection of more data than ever before
  • Possibility for real-time online services to speaker, press, TV and Internet
  • Multipurpose utility: the system can be used in many different sports events and in many different set-ups


  • Fast and accurate results at each event
  • Net times;the ChampionChip can register every individual start time, even when participants are at the back of the pack
  • Split times, transition splits for triathlons, lap times
  • Free flowing finish, no more restricted space at the finish
  • A personal ChampionChip can be used all around the world in many sports like running, triathlon, cycling, mountain biking, in-line skating, cross-country skiing



The ChampionChip can register every individual start time, even when participants are at the back of the pack.


Where has the ChampionChip System been used?


Since its introduction at the 1994 Berlin Marathon, ChampionChip Systems have timed thousands of events around the world, including the major international Marathons in:

  • New York
  • Boston
  • Chicago
  • Los Angeles
  • Honolulu
  • London
  • Berlin
  • Paris
  • Rotterdam
  • Moscow
  • Tokyo
  • Gold Coast
  • Durban
  • Cape Town
  • Buenos Aires
  • Since 1998 ChampionChip has also timed the Ironman Hawaii and many other Ironman events around the world. The system has been used at the famous Broloppet in June 2000, the half marathon between Denmark and Sweden across the new bridge connecting these countries. 79.837 Competitors attended the race; ChampionChip timed all of them.

    ChampionChip:superior service for timers, events and participants alike.



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