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How to set a sports timer stopwatch

Although the exact method for setting a sports timer stopwatch varies somewhat depending on the model, the general steps remain the same. You can master the basic functions on the stopwatch within minutes, and, with a little practice, you can utilise the watch's full potential. Whether you're timing a short sprint, a long race or, even, an exercise regiment, this handheld timing device can do the trick.

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  1. Locate the on/off switch for the stopwatch. In some cases, there's no button with this specific title, and the device activates when you press any button.

  2. Verify the display on the stopwatch's face shows all zeros.

  3. Press on the button labelled "Start" to begin the timer.

  4. Stop the timer at the desired moment by pressing on the "Stop" button. In some cases, this button is the same as the "Start" button, with a "Start/Stop" label.

  5. Prepare the stopwatch for additional timings by pressing on the "Reset" button.

  6. Repeat Steps 3 and 4 for additional timings when the display on the stopwatch's face shows all zeros.

  7. Tip

    If you wish to continue from a previously stopped time, press on the "Start/Stop" key again rather than pressing on the "Reset" button. Practice starting and stopping the device a few times before using it when it counts. It's important to get the feel for button sensitivity, because you'll likely be watching the event when you press on the "Stop" button. More advanced stopwatches offer the ability to save previous times for future reference. If you're looking to compare times without writing them down, one of these models is the best option.


    If you're timing longer events/activities, read the instructions for your specific model to determine the maximum amount of time the device will run.

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About the Author

Brian Polking has been a sports writer since 2004. He has covered almost every collegiate sport imaginable, including March Madness on a few occasions. He has written on professional sports as well and currently serves as the NASCAR editor for Fanball.com. Polking holds a Bachelor of Arts in public affairs journalism from The Ohio State University.

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