Times vs Points

General race coordinator discussions.

Which scoring method do you use? (Tell us why!)

Times
9
39%
Points
14
61%
 
Total votes: 23

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Stan Pope
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Re: Times vs Points

Post by Stan Pope » Tue Jan 27, 2004 10:00 pm

PWTom wrote:We use points because we don't have a timer. We have a six-lane aluminimum track and race as a pack, more so than ranks or dens. This year we used a Stearns fragment to select the top 6 cars, then used a CPN chart to race the finalists. Very exciting racing in the finals.


Racing for time seems to take the sense of competition away from the race. You are racing the clock, not the other cars in your heat. What they do is not truly relative to your success. Also, racing for points yields more runs down the track. Each boy raced a minimum of 20 times in the Stearns frag, with the finalists going another 12. Lots of racing bang for all of the time that they put in building their cars.
Did any of the scouts who didn't get to race in the finals feel "left out" or "cheated"? Did folks feel that any of the fastest cars in the preliminaries were excluded from the finals? In general, how was the method received by parents and scouts?


Stan
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Re: Times vs Points

Post by Derby Wizard » Wed Jan 28, 2004 1:24 am

Stan Pope wrote:Here is why Darin is correct, even with the down-track laser timer start:

Car A has an elevated nose; Car B has a low nose.

Suppose the gate is operated briskly. The gate leaves the cars more quickly than gravity can accelerate them. Both cars react to equal gravity from the starting line and reach the timer start sensor at about the same time and travel at about the same speed as they pass it.

Suppose the gate is operated less briskly in a way that the higher part of the gate moves away faster than car A can react but the lower part of the gate moves away more slowly than car B can react. Car A is accelerated from the top of the run from the full effects of gravity. Car B is accelerated less fully by gravity because the first part of its travel is encumbered by the starting pin. Thus Car B reaches the clock start sensor later and is traveling less rapidly that car A.

If you like timed races, please read the Cory's notes on his "experiments" page to see some other issues that you should address to avoid shorting some of the racers.
Stan I fully understand your points and those by Cory.

Based on how our derby was done BT(before timer)...it was pratically a coin toss who would win. It was double elimination, first by den, then 'finals' between the dens. There was no consideration for lane placement and human judges were trying to determine who crossed the finish line. It amounted to incessant arguing amongst judges, very fast cars being eliminated because of lane variations and/or due to having several fast cars in a single den. At that time I think some just stuck the wheels on the block of wood so they could lose twice and sneak out before the turmoil begain.

Still room for improvement. I believe most are quite pleased with what we have now for the size of our pack and the area we are in.



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Stan Pope
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Re: Times vs Points

Post by Stan Pope » Wed Jan 28, 2004 10:00 am

Derby Wizard wrote:Based on how our derby was done BT(before timer)...it was pratically a coin toss who would win. It was double elimination, first by den, then 'finals' between the dens. There was no consideration for lane placement and human judges were trying to determine who crossed the finish line. It amounted to incessant arguing amongst judges, very fast cars being eliminated because of lane variations and/or due to having several fast cars in a single den.
Elimination racing and very unequal lanes is a bad match-up.

Final Standings methods (using charts with both lane equity and opponent equity) reduces the effect of lane differences, but, when lane differences exceed car differences, the method leads to ties at the end. If the track has no lanes that are sufficiently equal to discriminate the cars, then head-to-head racing can't resolve the ties. Resolving those ties is a valid application of timers.

The jump from "DE on a bad track" directly to "racing the clock" seems to me to skip over solutions which preserve the essence of racing.
Derby Wizard wrote:Still room for improvement. I believe most are quite pleased with what we have now for the size of our pack and the area we are in.
This, in the end, is what you need to achieve.


Stan
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Re: Times vs Points

Post by glaforge » Thu Jan 29, 2004 3:51 am

Last year was the first year we used times instead of points. I had one parent (of sixty racers) complain before the race that it would render the heats (4 cars at a time) useless...That every kid wants to see their car win. Once the race was over, he was singing a different tune.

What we found is that the kids accepted very well the total time as the overall winner (and easy concept for a 6 year old to grasp) and yet they could walk away and say I got 2 firsts and couple of 2nds, etc.

I was a little nervous about crossing over the great divide at first, but after making that trip, I'm glad I did. I had far fewer problems with parents in general. It is hard to argue with total time, when every kid races twice in every lane...I don't get complaints about lane assignments, who each raced against and in what lanes, etc. To me fewer complaints=more fun.

Finally, I managed to give every kid more races and keep the total time of the derby less than in previous years. Hmmmm..more races for every kid, fewer complaints, less time ... gotta love it!


Greg

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Re: Times vs Points

Post by PWTom » Fri Jan 30, 2004 6:26 am

Did any of the scouts who didn't get to race in the finals feel "left out" or "cheated"? Did folks feel that any of the fastest cars in the preliminaries were excluded from the finals? In general, how was the method received by parents and scouts?
Generally, all of the scouts seemed to enjoy the process and none felt left out. We had 2 Webelos 2s, 1 Web 1, 2 Bears, and a Wolf in the finals so almost everybody had a buddy who was in the finals! Everyone packed around the track to watch and seemed to really be interested in the results. Those who left early generally left for reasons of basketball, soccer, etc.

I did have a conversation with the dad of the boy in seventh place (and did not make the finals) about how his son's car and the 6th place car were trading spots throughout most of the day. But he was not at all unhappy with the process and thought it was about as fair as possible considering the number of boys racing (64) and not wanting to drag it out all day long.



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Re: Times vs Points

Post by fred » Mon Mar 15, 2004 8:11 pm

Our Grandprix used a timer for the first time last year. We ran all the cars on all the lanes which meant 4 races for each car. Prior to this we used an electronic finish line and double-elimination record sheets. We received lots of very positive responses about the change, and I feel much better about the accuracy and fairness. We were able to run the races much quicker and without confusion in getting the right cars on the track. Everyone really liked the "whiz-bang" effects of projecting the results on the big screen with sound effects. Only had one negative comment about losing some of the excitement, and he waited until we were selling the cars this year to make it. I'm thinking about racing off the 4 divisions top cars in a Grand Champion race.



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Stan Pope
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Re: Times vs Points

Post by Stan Pope » Mon Mar 15, 2004 9:24 pm

The subject comparison is times vs. points. Your comparison is time vs. double elimination. That's a "no-brainer!"

You jumped around the points-based final standings, which preserves much of the excitement of head-to-head racing and the ability of the audience to see the correctness of the process.


Stan
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Re: Times vs Points

Post by DMWOOD » Tue Mar 16, 2004 7:28 am

I did not think about this before and I have not re-read the entire post but what if:

The undefeated car is dropped just before the last race and given a chance to make emergency repairs. With the damage and repairs to the car it does not cross the finish line. I don't know what time to give this car but I can give it 1 point for being third on my three lane track.

If time was used it may make a difference between getting an award and not getting one. I will have both data collected at our race and will use it for comparison. I can pass on the info after this weekends race.



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Re: Times vs Points

Post by davekelly » Sat Aug 14, 2004 8:25 am

Our pack uses timing. Three heats, each boy races once in each lane and the times are totaled. From my point of view there are several advantages. Luck of the draw has nothing to do with your final result as it doesn't matter who you race against. Every boy races the same number of heats and the same number of times in each lane. No one is eliminated early and pretty much the exact finish order is a surprise until the end. Our program also arranges the racing order so that in the second heat, each race is run by cars with similar times and same for the third heat. Thus, by the third heat each race, including those races made up of the 'slower' cars, is a neck and neck affair - - much more exciting for everyone to watch, both boys and spectators. Also, this also avoids a boy being totally blown away two straight races, everyone has a chance to race closely and possibly win at least one race, or say that he was really really close. Needless to say when the racing gets to the point where every run is won by less than a car length -- people are on their feet cheering. It's pretty neat when a boy whose car is probably 23 of 30 has a bunch of people cheering him on! Yes, technically the boys are racing the clock, not each other - but you couldn't tell that by watching them get more and more exciting each heat as the races got closer and closer.

We used our system at the district race this year. This was the first time that the district was not a double elimination -- place driven race. Our district exec commented before the race that it was his job to answer complaints. How many did he have? None. How many did he have last year? Enough to make him seriously think of not doing a district race again.


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Re: Times vs Points

Post by FRANKLIN WHALEY » Wed Oct 20, 2004 8:39 am

We have a timer, but we still score the race by points. Here's why! We use a custom system that I took parts from various other systems. Here's how it works. We have two groups 1st-3rd and 4th-6th grade. A chart is made for each group in alphabetical order. All the cars on each chart race every other car on that group in both lanes.(we have a two lane wooden track) So if there's 15 cars in a group,every car will get to run at least 28 times. We award one point for each win. The timer we use only records the winning cars time,but it also has lane lights for the crowd to see who won. We give 1st -2nd -3rd place trophies for the most points in each group. After the two group winners are determined,we have the GRAND CHAMPION race as the nights finale. I'm positive with this method we always find the three fastest cars in each group. But for the boys benefit , they work too hard building the cars just to see them go down the track three or four times. This way takes more time,so if you have more than thirty cars to run it might not work best for your group. But for small groups it works great. In fact I've had parents that have been involved with derbies before, tell me it was the smoothest run contest they've been to.


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