Which race scheduling method do you use?

Debates and discussions on the various race scheduling methods that can be used and their fairness and accuracy in determining the winners.

What race scheduling method do you use?

Perfect-N Type Charts
17
29%
Stearns Method
4
7%
Lane Rotation
17
29%
Round Robin
0
No votes
Single Elimination
1
2%
Double Elimination
12
20%
Triple Elimination
1
2%
Custom
2
3%
Random
0
No votes
Other
5
8%
 
Total votes: 59

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gpraceman
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Which race scheduling method do you use?

Post by gpraceman » Sat Jul 05, 2003 6:54 pm

There are a variety of race scheduling methods in use out there. Which method do you use?

If you use a method not listed here, let us know about it!


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Stan Pope
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Scheduling Methods that I Use

Post by Stan Pope » Sat Jul 05, 2003 7:20 pm

For district races (50 to 120 per category) I use Quintuple Elimination - No Chart. For small groups I prefer compound Partial Perfect N charts.

Quintuple Elim - No Chart (3 racers at a time) takes about the same time as a charted double elimination, but individuals get much more racing, the results are more accurate, and high heats per minute pace is much easier to maintain.



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Re: Which race scheduling method do you use?

Post by Da Graphite Kid » Mon Jul 07, 2003 5:44 am

We use double elimination but not by choice. This is due to track and finish line timing restrictions. We are waiting on a new track to update our racing method and will have to research the various methods that the finish line software will support.

Da Graphite Kid



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Re: Which race scheduling method do you use?

Post by Stan Pope » Mon Jul 07, 2003 4:48 pm

Even without the hardware upgrade, there are alternatives that may make for better results and more interesting racing. You wanna award 4 place trophies? Yes, you _can_ do it with some DE charts but the accuracy is poor. You can also run a quad-elim and give 'em good accuracy and more racing.


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Re: Which race scheduling method do you use?

Post by Barga Racing » Fri Jul 18, 2003 10:14 pm

Our pack uses a 3 lane track with phototransistor finish line that I tied to the present Supertimer system using Racemanager software. Everyone races the same number of times on every lane. The starting gate is operated by the starter pulling a pin and a rubber band slams the gate down, so all the starts are pretty equal. Until last year we were the only pack in our district that had any kind of finish line with a timer so they have used our track for the disrict race for about the last four years. Now there is another pack with a supertimer II and another pack with a 60 ft aluminum track but only an electronic finish, no timer. We are talking about building a 5 lane track which will still use our supertimer with 2 more phototransistors added. The supertimer is capable of running 7 lanes.



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Re: Which race scheduling method do you use?

Post by gpraceman » Fri Jul 18, 2003 10:19 pm

Wooden Wonder wrote:Everyone races the same number of times on every lane.
There are several race methods that keep the heat counts even. Which one is that your pack uses and why did they select that method?


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Re: Which race scheduling method do you use?

Post by Barga Racing » Sat Jul 19, 2003 9:40 pm

They use the one that the racemanager software dictates. All the car numbers are entered into the computor. The software will then tell what car number races in which lane. Sometimes it works out that 2 cars need to race in the same lane so the computor will have one car race by itself. After all is said and done all the times are averaged by the program and the winner and other places are determined by the fastest averages. We use this method because several years ago the then cubmaster decided to make the investment and buy the software and timer equipment. I know that some will argue that there can be glitches with the electronics or the starting gate and some times may be compromised but I feel that with our equipment and way of doing it this is the fairest. Also the more rounds we run the less effect a possible glitch would have. For example during pack we run 9 heats (3 on each lane). Last year during districts with 110 kids we ran 6 heats (it took a long time). This year with 154 kids most adults only wanted to run 3 heats (once on each lane) so that is what we did. However I still feel that it turned out as good as any. I know this reply is getting quite lengthy but I would also like to add that at council race they run double elimination. They draw names to see who races who. Whoevers name is drawn first races in lane 1 and whoevers name is drawn 2nd races in lane 3 ( they don't use the middle lane on their track.) It is very unfair because there is nothing to keep the same 2 kids from racing each other consecutively and in the same lanes both times. I have seen it happen. Last year our cubmaster told them it was unfair and they should check into a different way of doing it. He was told that it was not about being fair, it was tradition that it had always been done that way and sometimes kids win on the luck of the draw. Isn't that a fine thing to teach the cubscouts? Well enough rambling, I hope this helps clear up my earlier reply.



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Re: Which race scheduling method do you use?

Post by gpraceman » Sat Jul 19, 2003 10:24 pm

Wooden Wonder wrote:He was told that it was not about being fair, it was tradition that it had always been done that way and sometimes kids win on the luck of the draw. Isn't that a fine thing to teach the cubscouts?
:wall: I hate that "we've always done it that way" reasoning! If we follow that reasoning in everything, we'd never improve anything. Basically, it comes from people that are either afraid of change or are just very close minded. The scheduling method decision should be based on what is fair for the racers not on some tradition that may have started before other options were available or known about.


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Re: Which race scheduling method do you use?

Post by Darin McGrew » Fri Aug 15, 2003 4:38 pm

gpraceman wrote:There are a variety of race scheduling methods in use out there. Which method do you use?
We use custom software (one of these days we'll "productize" it and put it on the web, really...) that implements the "chaotic rotation" method described at the end of my Race Methods web page. It's basically the Stearns Method, with a few additional constraints thrown in.

It tries to avoid scheduling any car in two consecutive races, but sometimes you just can't avoid this. However, we have a trick that avoids the problem: After generating race schedules for the various race divisions, the program interleaves the races to create a single race schedule. It's pretty mindless: Builder Race #1, Sentinel Race #1, All Comers Race #1, Builder Race #2, Sentinel Race #2, All Comers Race #2, etc.

Thus, even if a car is in two consecutive races within its division, there are two other races (from the other two divisions) to give you time to stage the car for its next race.



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Re: Which race scheduling method do you use?

Post by 12lanes » Thu Oct 09, 2003 7:26 pm

:? Good Question. I have been studing which one to use and they are all limited usually 6 lanes or less. I have not found one which will accomodate a 12 lane track. Any suggestions?

We are building a twelve lane time and need to be able to generate some type of race schedule method. Any help would be appreciated.

We currently use lane rotation for the den. If a den has 10 racers in it, we set up each lane with a car then after the race rotate 1 to lane 2, 2 to lane 3... 10 to lane 1. When car 1 finishes in the 10th lane we caluculate the number of wins each car had. 1st place is awarded 4 points, 2nd place 3 point, 3rd place 2 points and the rest 1 point. The car with the most points takes first, second highest points get second. If there is a tie the tie breaker is a 2 lane race. Car 1 lane 1, Car 2 lane 2, switch car 1 to lane 2 and car 2 to lane 1. The winner of those two races wins.



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Re: Which race scheduling method do you use?

Post by Stan Pope » Thu Oct 09, 2003 9:46 pm

12lanes wrote::? Good Question. I have been studing which one to use and they are all limited usually 6 lanes or less. I have not found one which will accomodate a 12 lane track. Any suggestions?

We are building a twelve lane time and need to be able to generate some type of race schedule method. Any help would be appreciated.

We currently use lane rotation for the den. If a den has 10 racers in it, we set up each lane with a car then after the race rotate 1 to lane 2, 2 to lane 3... 10 to lane 1. When car 1 finishes in the 10th lane we caluculate the number of wins each car had. 1st place is awarded 4 points, 2nd place 3 point, 3rd place 2 points and the rest 1 point. The car with the most points takes first, second highest points get second. If there is a tie the tie breaker is a 2 lane race. Car 1 lane 1, Car 2 lane 2, switch car 1 to lane 2 and car 2 to lane 1. The winner of those two races wins.
Your method produces a full "round robin", so long as the number of scouts does not exceed the number of lanes. You can add accuracy by repeating the pattern with the cars in reverse order. This means that every head to head matchup on a pair of lanes is repeated sometime by the cars exchanging lanes.

The problem with wider tracks is that it is increasingly more difficult to construct equal lanes. Ideally, if two cars race and then swap lanes and race again, the cars finish separation should be unchanged. Piantidosi tracks routinely turn in variances of 1/4" or less by that test. The 4-lane track that my first pack used was lucky to get variances of only 3" on the most mismatched lanes. The 3-lane track that my grandson raced on in his pack races this year was about the same. (Fortunately, he had no top-tier opponents!)

Elimination methods tend to lose accuracy as the lane inequities increase. Well configured final standings methods tend to produce more ties as lane inequities increase.

My own belief is that packs are better served by PPN charts (or compound PPN charts) on a 3 or 4 lane Piantidosi track than by full head-to-head racing with all the cars on the track at one time on a mediocre 8 to 12 lane track.


Stan
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Re: Which race scheduling method do you use?

Post by ExtremePWD » Sun Nov 16, 2003 6:48 pm

We previously used a double elimination on an old track with 3" of lane differences. This had become extremely inaccurate. To rectify the problem we have ordered a Piantedosi 4 lane wood track and electronic timer to use this year. We are currently discussing a new method to conduct our racing. I am recommending a quad elimination similar to the Wotamalo district race with possibly a P4-4 or a ladder for the top 4 racers to decide the trophies. The age group competitions will range from 11-20 scouts each. I think using all 4 lanes for the quad elimination will best fit the 3-3.5 hour time slot we have scheduled. I have calculated approximately 165 races would be needed to conduct all age group and pack level competitions using 4 lanes. Using 3 lanes would increase this number to around 250 races. Please provide your thoughts on the pros and cons of using 3 vs 4 lanes. I recall the Wotamalo district may only use 3 lanes for a very large group of scouts. Your recommendations would be much appreciated.



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Re: Which race scheduling method do you use?

Post by Stan Pope » Sun Nov 16, 2003 8:16 pm

ExtremePWD wrote:We previously used a double elimination on an old track with 3" of lane differences. This had become extremely inaccurate.
(snip-snip) Your recommendations would be much appreciated.
Tossing the double elimination method out is the start of a good plan!

Did you use the calculator at http://members.aol.com/standcmr/nelimsim.html to count the heats? If so, you see that quad-elim running 4 at a time pares the competition down very quickly, too quickly for my taste. If you have 16 or fewer cars in a competition, then one car has just 2 heats before he runs against competition again... and that is in the finals. Also the lane draw is more complicated. I prefer running 3 at a time... mostly there is one heat winner and two indistinguished 2nd place cars, and the lane draw easily helps shake up the queue of racers a bit. One strength of "No Chart" is its very high flexibility to go from end of inspection to start of racing in moments. Even late arrivals can be inserted into the competition with missed rounds counted as "non-win" as the only penalty, and even a late arrival can win the 1st place trophy (if his car is exceptionally good.)

For group sizes under 30, I prefer PPN (Young & Pope) charts, one or two rounds, with a 7 or 13 car PN or CPN final to decide trophies. Your setup sounds ideal for this latter plan. [Randy (host of this BB) has included PPN (Young & Pope) charts among those supported by his software, and it may be in some other race management software by now ... I've lost track.]


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Re: Which race scheduling method do you use?

Post by ExtremePWD » Sun Nov 16, 2003 8:43 pm

Actually I was looking at the Quad Elim in terms of sorting out 1-4. I would actually let all scouts keep running regardless as to the number of non-wins. The intent is to maximize the amount of racing for each scout after the investment they have made in creating their cars. I had whipped up my own quick spreadsheet to calculate number of runs for the modified format I was proposing. Our pack awards "best gas mileage" to the slowest in the pack and we could actually sort out this position by running the entire group until there was only one in the "most non-wins" category. I also like the no-chart format. I have taken a look at the formats you suggested for comparison. It appears there would not be a significant difference in the number of races and the formal pairings would be more even. The downside is managing the chart rather than herding scouts. Execution speed is important. I understand your comments on the 3 lanes. I was looking at drawing for lanes and having an official use some type of manual algorithm to mix the boys before presenting the line to the starter.



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Re: Which race scheduling method do you use?

Post by KLenort » Fri Jan 16, 2004 9:26 pm

I noticed on the pole that lane rotation has the highest number of votes. Is this because it provides ease in getting each scout to make their lane runs all at once? Why is stearns so low ? Isn't it very similar to Perfect-N ? I'm kinda confused as to what system to use. We have been using a 2-lane in the past and running double elimination. This coming March will be the first for my entire pack to use a timed track. Is their any rule of thumb to gage the optimum number of lanes for pak size? Sorry to ask so many questions ..... but hey .... I gotta know .... ya know ? :lol:



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