Help Me Answer This Parents Question About Points Racing

Debates and discussions on the various race scheduling methods that can be used and their fairness and accuracy in determining the winners.
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davem
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Re: Help Me Answer This Parents Question About Points Racing

Post by davem » Mon Feb 08, 2010 11:42 am

I know you have already replied. But there are a few other points you can make here.

1. The verification / validation issue is big (huge). Especially when you have kids staging the cars, or near the track.
If you cannot guarantee that the track has not been bumped, changed, during the race, you can verify the times are correct, but validation of the track / equipment is impossible.
I have seen (have the times to prove it) a track bumped slightly - and the average times for a certain lane go up by .008 sec for the following heats.
If this happens in a timed race (track bump) - the only "fair" thing to do is start over.
Let's say (as happened to my daughter) your car had only run 2 heats, and another car had run 3 pre-bump.
Now your car has to run twice more on the "slower" track conditions, and the other car 1. Throwing out the slowest time actually makes this situation worse (as the car with 3 good runs gets NO penalty), and the car with 2 clean runs gets the penalty of a bad heat in the average).

And most times, you cannot tell the track has been bumped (I only noticed the day after because we were using race replay, and the camera was rolling).

If this happens in a points race, the bump has much less affect on the race results.

And I have seen timer errors (especially with cars with more "pointed" front ends).
My daughter's car won one race, but registered an incorrect (slower) time because the timer didn't register the finish until the wider part of the car body crossed the line.
Didn't catch this until reviewing the next day's video as well.

Bottom line is, most tracks / equipment are NOT set up properly, and are NOT protected from mishaps during the race, and are really NOT monitored by experienced track judges (who have experienced all the things that can and do go wrong).
Points scoring makes this much less of an impact.

2. There is an excitement factor to the final round with points. More exciting for the kids and the observers.

So - whenever we have the time to do a finals round (based on the scheduled length of the race and # of cars) we have elected to run points for the verification / validation issues, and the excitement factor.
When we are pressed for time - we run average times (keep all times - don't throw one out).



Himey97
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Re: Help Me Answer This Parents Question About Points Racing

Post by Himey97 » Mon Feb 08, 2010 2:05 pm

Thanks Dave, excellent points.

Our Derby was last weekend and it was another overall success story.
We raced in the format described in the OP.

I have another example of why points was the better choice..

One of our Bears was racing very well but had a wheel/axel problem in his 5th race. Car came in last that race and had a very slow time.
They were however able to make repairs and get back up to speed in their final three heats.
As a result of points, he qualified in the top seven and ultimately won the second place Bear trophy.

Scoring by times would have eliminated him from making the top 7 into the finals.

Thanks to all for your replies.



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Darin McGrew
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Re: Help Me Answer This Parents Question About Points Racing

Post by Darin McGrew » Mon Feb 08, 2010 2:07 pm

davem wrote:If you cannot guarantee that the track has not been bumped, changed, during the race, you can verify the times are correct, but validation of the track / equipment is impossible.
IIRC, Stan is working on the validation issue. AIUI, his idea is to run a set of "standard" cars down the track on a periodic basis, to verify that their times are consistent, and thus to verify that the track is still reasonably consistent.

But the bigger issue remains: What do you do when the track fails validation? Do you start over from the beginning? Do you try to "put the track back the way it was" and then start over with the first race after the last successful validation?



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Re: Help Me Answer This Parents Question About Points Racing

Post by gpraceman » Mon Feb 08, 2010 2:21 pm

Himey97 wrote:Scoring by times would have eliminated him from making the top 7 into the finals.
Not necessarily. Depends on whether you are using all of the run times or are throwing out the slowest.


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Stan Pope
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Re: Help Me Answer This Parents Question About Points Racing

Post by Stan Pope » Mon Feb 08, 2010 3:39 pm

Darin McGrew wrote:
davem wrote:If you cannot guarantee that the track has not been bumped, changed, during the race, you can verify the times are correct, but validation of the track / equipment is impossible.
IIRC, Stan is working on the validation issue. AIUI, his idea is to run a set of "standard" cars down the track on a periodic basis, to verify that their times are consistent, and thus to verify that the track is still reasonably consistent.

But the bigger issue remains: What do you do when the track fails validation? Do you start over from the beginning? Do you try to "put the track back the way it was" and then start over with the first race after the last successful validation?
You are "on track", Darin. Actually, I'm looking at two issues. First is some kind of change occuring during racing on one track. The second is a realistic "normalization" of times from two (or more) separate but similar tracks.

Why? These are issues related to alternatives for high volume, walk-in, short stay racing. The competition may be open for hours (or days)... longer than we would want a few hundred cub scouts sitting penned up waiting for their next turn to race. For such a competition to succeed, I think that a provision for detecting and acting upon track changes and or compensating for actual track assignment during competition will be requirements.

There are a lot of issues to deal with in such a plan, and I'm mapping them out. But this is one of the most difficult aspects.


Stan
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