I am running an Awana Grand Prix for TnT(3rd-5th grades) Boys (20+) and Girls(15+), no other age groups.
Will continue to run a perfect a Perfect N 1st round on our 4 lane track. Cars are only handled by officials to keep event moving, so no additional lube between races.
We have decided to add a Best Gas Milage (aka Turtle) award this year.
Historically we have had a single final race for each group for the top 3 or 4 cars to which determine the speed awards. We also usually ran an unoffical race between the top boy and girl, a race that only uses two lanes.
I am looking for a race format that meets the following requirements, shown in priority order:
1. Schedule can be created quickly for all remaining races during an intermission, so races can be run quickly.
2. A final round race result is used to determine all awards.
3. Utilizes 1st round standings to make all races as competitive as possible, so it "feels more like racing".
4. Each race uses all four lanes
5. Minimal number of races which gives every car get one more run to minimize event duration.
6. Any unavoidable biasing of results should sway towards the seedings made with the more fair 1st round perfect N schedule. So seeding determines lane selection.
I would appreciate opinions on how to achieve as much of the above as possible.
My thinking is to run the cars from slowest to fastest.
Since we only want one overall turtle award, it is the first race of a grand finals round.
The next races featuring progressively faster cars, with any necessary bye lane in the schedule filled by the winner of the previous race.
The toughest decision is in the selection of cars for the final two races. I am debating between the following options:
A. Gold race featuring 1st and 2nd seed from both groups, Bronze race with 3rd and 4th seeds.
B. Boy and Girl races featuring the top seeds.
With either method could replace the 4th seed spot with the winner of prior race as a wild card seed in order.
I did manage the pull-off this 5th round of racing. Went with option A with Gold and Bronze final races featuring two boys and two girls in each race.
To do this, I created a spreadsheet which created scheduled races based on seeding and track lane performance from last year. Cars with the better seed were scheduled in the better lane.
On race day, this was the procedure for GPRM17:
1. At the end of round 1, print and export standings.
2. Create a Grand FInals round advancing all of the cars from both groups which finished their races.
3. Copy exported standings into prepared spreadsheet.
4. Adjust the top seedings so that Girl cars are 1st, 3rd, 5th, & 7th and remaining top 8 slots are boys cars to achieve goal of 2 each in the Gold and Bronze races.
5. Export race schedule from spreadsheet to CSV file.
6. Import CSV schedule file into GPRM as a manual schedule for the Grand Finals round.
7. Printout the Grand Finals schedule for the crew staging the races.
This process was a fun way of presenting the standings. It did result in some very close races especially in the middle of the round.
I applaud you for the knowledge you obviously have with the computer. What broke my heart was when you started out and said cars are only handled by officials. Staging the car is a very big part of the derby and a lot more fun then sanding a block of wood. For a child, or a Nursing Home resident, to sit there and watch someone else touch their car can't be any fun. Also, the racer doesn't learn anything about the importance of staging. If time is that critical, simplify everything, run as many races as you can, and let the racers stage their own cars and teach them how to do it. I think the race will bring a lot more joy to the racers than just sitting there.
Thank you for all you do. You are obviously very involved in the derby.
I wish you the very Best.
A key factor in how we run our derby is fitting it into a 90 minute schedule. Our Awana program runs in the evening and the families often have younger siblings. Last cars are qualifying at 6:30 and families want to leave around 8pm.
Things run so much faster with an adult stager and that makes for much less waiting around time for those not in the current race.
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