How to Still Run Your Race This Year

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gpraceman
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How to Still Run Your Race This Year

Post by gpraceman » Sat Mar 21, 2020 2:28 pm

With the Corona Virus pandemic making meeting together for special events inadvisable, has anyone looked into live streaming their Pinewood Derby type race? We had one of our software customers asking us about that type of race. Basically, holding the race with the audience online only. Just a minimal crew to run the race and a camera to show the racing action. Maybe this type of race would be something that district, council and other races could consider instead of cancelling their races, if this crisis drags on.

I have seen big races, like Mid-America, do a live stream for their proxy racers, as well as the racing leagues. Have a camera setup at the finish line, so it could show the cars running from the start line to the finish and then panning over to show the heat results from our race software.
There would be some logistics that would have to be worked out, of course, like getting racers to drop off their cars. Then there is dealing with issues, like if a car needs to be adjusted to pass check-in inspection.

Anyone have experience with live streaming? My understanding is that you need a camera (of course), some live steaming software (like OBS) and a platform to stream to (YouTube, Facebook, Zoom, etc.).


Randy Lisano
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Awana Grand Prix and Pinewood Derby racing - Where a child, an adult and a small block of wood combine for a lot of fun and memories.

leerbennett
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Re: How to Still Run Your Race This Year

Post by leerbennett » Wed Apr 08, 2020 9:22 pm

Been thinking through these questions. Our race was postponed at the last minute in Mid March.
Our Awana commander's initial thought is to run the race in mid summer when presumably families will be able to participate in person.
My current thinking is to run a live stream oriented event in May. Current stay at home orders in effect the rest of the month, but expect some limitations on larger group gatherings will be put in place for May. Even if restrictions are lifted in time for a summer event, some families may worry about attending. Other families may be off to vacation if we pick a summer dates. Schools for our state (IL) will be distance learning for the rest of the school year, so remote events will still be the thing to do in May.

Many of our churches typical gatherings have been taking place over Zoom. We were broadcasting the sermons over Facebook live for about a year. The Awana small groups have been meeting over Zoom in recent weeks. So our church is already familiar with these tools.

Here are my thoughts on logistics for our event.
My family could be enough to staff event in person, if need be. Just need to have my 17 year old son make himself useful, perhaps staging cars at the start line. Wife already runs the car registration. Younger son is a car runner. I have the pleasure of running GPRM and the finish line timer.

So night before the event me and my boys can setup the track and hang a few on camera decorations

The night of the event I envision a broadcast channel e.g. Facebook live stream and a few concurrent Zoom meetings.
Participants would watch the broadcast channel on one device and participate in a zoom meeting on another device. We have TnT Boys division with 12 racers and a TnT Girls division with 15 racers. So each of these divisions would have their own Zoom meeting hosted by the group's director. This would allow a little trash about the current race and the on deck race. An official's Zoom meeting featuring our usual MC broadcasting from a secure location would supply the audio for the main broadcast.
So the simple broadcast channel format would show a live camera feed from near the finish line with officials Zoom audio. Our setup already has a GPRM display within this camera view, so no need to man this camera. The audience see who's staged for each race, . A more advanced broadcast would mix/switch video between this camera angle, GPRM output, and the officials Zoom meeting. I believe that our staff can do video mixing.

Event registration would run for a few hours before the event on a drive thru basis. We have run a few food drives on a drive thru basis. If the same level of restrictions are still in place, doing a food drive drop off or food service pickup could make this a legal "essential service" event. Gloves by everyone that handles the cars should be enough protection. Don't think it would be worth trying to bleach everyone's car.
Can have a few pit crew tables with bleached tools on the church patio for any last minute adjustments. Families would need to make adjustments themselves with advise from 6' away.

I think that covers everything needed.



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Re: How to Still Run Your Race This Year

Post by gpraceman » Wed Apr 08, 2020 10:03 pm

Please keep us updated on how things go. I pray that it goes will.


Randy Lisano
Romans 5:8

Awana Grand Prix and Pinewood Derby racing - Where a child, an adult and a small block of wood combine for a lot of fun and memories.

Eagle
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Re: How to Still Run Your Race This Year

Post by Eagle » Thu Apr 09, 2020 12:09 am

Not sure about the onsite adjustment aspect. Then it is no longer a drive thru. I suggest if you are going to go that way is to have a check in/adjustment event that is a week ahead of the event. Then the cars can sit for the week.

You could have same day, but under our state standards you would run into trouble if they are getting out of car and going inside.

If you do all the same day just be sure to not have more than 10 people in the same location or you could have problems.

Honestly, I think by mid May we will all be able to do more than we currently are. But, there will still be way more restrictions in populated areas.

Make sure you are aware of required forms. Right now in CA we have a form that is required at almost any public place that asks health questions upon entry. Those must be kept on file.



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Re: How to Still Run Your Race This Year

Post by leerbennett » Thu Apr 09, 2020 2:41 pm

Probably safest to have people sign up for drop-off time slots. I am thinking of two distant tables outside and time to disinfect tools between use. I am already on board with only event staff (my family) entering the building.
Historically about 50% of cars pass first time and could drive thru. 30 cars @ 10 minutes each is 5 hours of drop operations, but would keep people separated. Much less fun than the usual craziness in the final hour before racing.

Having the cars sit for a week is an interesting idea, don't think it needs to be quite that long. Direct sunlight or other UV light source and maybe some Lysol spay should shorten the length of the car quarantine period. Web MD says virus can last up to 4 days on wood under ideal conditions. Drop off operations a day or two before the event would be ideal for staffing and storage constraints. Not yet sure where I would keep the bio-hazardous cars for more than two days.

I just did a review of the projected dates from IHME. Things are projected to be much better by early May for CA and IL but still a lot of uncertainty.
https://covid19.healthdata.org/united-states-of-america
We will follow the rules, just not sure what they will be yet.

Trying to play for the worst case. Will hope for the best.



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