This a term most used in drag racing.
Prior to the actual drag race, participants stage their cars to the starting point of the race. They do this by moving the cars across two pair of light beams that are spanning across their lane. As the front tire moves into the first beam, it breaks the path of light one one side of lane aimed at a photo transistor on the other side, which triggers the Pre-Stage light bulbs (typically two, in case one was to burn out) on the tree for that lane to turn on. Breaking the second set of the beam of light in the lane will light the Staged bulbs (also typically two) on the tree for that lane.
Courtesy Staging, has the first competitor to pre-stage wait until the other(s) have pre-staged, before they stage. The reason is because most races have a timer start once the first competitor has fully staged. Any competitor who has not staged when the timer expires, times out - meaning the race is over for them and they've lost. While not mandatory in most cases, giving your competition the courtesy of pre-staging before you stage is good sportsmanship, as it will not put undue stress of being rushed on others.
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