Penalty System?

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gpraceman
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Penalty System?

Post by gpraceman » Sat Feb 07, 2004 11:48 pm

I read in another forum how a couple of racers were given a time penalty for having a 3 wheeler. :!:

I had never heard of such a thing. Have any of you :?:

What reasoning could there be to justify such a system :?: :?:

To me it seems that it would just squelch innovation and implementation of freely available tips, like offered on this forum. :cry:


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Re: Penalty System?

Post by Stan Pope » Sun Feb 08, 2004 12:12 am

gpraceman wrote:I read in another forum how a couple of racers were given a time penalty for having a 3 wheeler. :!:

I had never heard of such a thing. Have any of you :?:

What reasoning could there be to justify such a system :?: :?:

To me it seems that it would just squelch innovation and implementation of freely available tips, like offered on this forum. :cry:
Golly, they'd probably do a sea cucumber imitation if they saw one of my one wheelers go down the track! :)

That sounds rather strange. What kind of organization hosted the event?


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Re: Penalty System?

Post by gpraceman » Sun Feb 08, 2004 12:17 am

Stan Pope wrote:That sounds rather strange. What kind of organization hosted the event?
It was a pack race. Here's the excerpts:
My son and I both raced in our first derby tonight and we had the lowest cumulative time (#1 and #2). But we were both three wheelers and the Pack gave us a 10% time penalty (came out to about .125 seconds per race). This moved us both down to middle of the pack (#21 and #22).

My question is what other methods of time adjustment penalty are there for Cumulative Time races. It seems really excessive. The old -5 penalty for 1-2-3-4-5 races would have only dropped us to #2 and #4...

-Glenn
The actual penalty per race was .25 (!) seconds.

This was their first year with the computer and they decided that since 50 points minus 5 points (standard 3 wheel adjustment for a 1-2-3-4-5 race) was 10%, then a 10% penalty on the time *must* be the same thing. I blame our educational system.

It was really my fault for not sitting down and figuring this out up front. But, since I'd never been to a Pinecar, I wasn't expecting much (until my son and I won every race we were entered in!). My car was such a jury-rigged little bugger I didn't even expect it to last the evening. In fact, the reason it was a three-wheeler was that I got super glue inside one wheel and HAD to bend it up.

My wife does numerical analysis for a cable channel and she sat down and prototyped various per race penalties versus what the finish would have been with a 1-2-3-4-5 point system. She found that just over .02 seconds a race gave a 99% overlap with the 1-2-3-4-5 system. So, by your numbers, about a 3 inch penalty.

-Glenn
To me this system makes no sense.


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Re: Penalty System?

Post by Stan Pope » Sun Feb 08, 2004 12:43 am

Sounds like the organization has some rather strict rules on car configuration and was looking for a way to allow violators (intentional or not intentional) to race in spite of the violations but prevent him from benefitting from the violation by effectively eliminating him from competition for trophies.

It is pretty much a no win situation when a car reaches inspection on the day of racing and its violations cannot be corrected. I really don't have a solution for the quandry once it has occurred.

The other issue is why make the rules that strict? (Which I think is your point!) However, once made, the rules really need to be abided.


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Re: Penalty System?

Post by Darin McGrew » Sun Feb 08, 2004 2:37 am

gpraceman wrote:To me this system makes no sense.
Amen. Either let the car race or don't let the car race.

But I think that prohibiting 3-wheelers is silly in the first place.



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Re: Penalty System?

Post by Cory » Mon Feb 09, 2004 7:21 am

darin_mcgrew wrote:But I think that prohibiting 3-wheelers is silly in the first place.
Yep, like the "axles in the same plane" rule, this is a bad one.

If you have drill press with a fence, or perhaps a Pro Body tool, it's not hard to make a four wheeler. Otherwise, it's hit or miss -- you're very likely to make a three-wheeler whether you try to or not.



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Re: Penalty System?

Post by MathGuy » Wed Feb 18, 2004 10:23 pm

MaxV just released this months derby-times, and he said 3 wheels saves 10 inches at the finish line. So I guess it matters (I would not of thought it was that much)

Getting 4 wheels touching is a nitemare for most parents and a really trying day when you are working the inspection table.

Our council rules (thus our packs) rules are that all 4 wheels have to touch the track. Our pack would bring a piece of glass to check that all 4 wheels are touching. Given that I am the chairmen, I will do away the "Glass", and use a piece of wood, because wood is going to be slightly more forgiving.

As a organizer caught between a rock (council derby rules) and a hard place (a parent wanting to race today), I can see some slight logic in giving a parent a option of racing with 3 wheels with a penalty or fixing the car. Right now we have them fix the car.

Again, I am against our 4 wheel rule, but I have to live with it.


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Re: Penalty System?

Post by Stan Pope » Thu Feb 19, 2004 12:21 am

MathGuy wrote:MaxV just released this months derby-times, and he said 3 wheels saves 10 inches at the finish line. So I guess it matters (I would not of thought it was that much).
Sounds quite high for a 28 ft racing surface. I couldn't find any specification of the test environment, so I assumed it was a long track.
MathGuy wrote:Our council rules (thus our packs) rules are that all 4 wheels have to touch the track. Our pack would bring a piece of glass to check that all 4 wheels are touching. Given that I am the chairmen, I will do away the "Glass", and use a piece of wood, because wood is going to be slightly more forgiving.
How about using a "mouse pad"? Better yet, a sponge?


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Re: Penalty System?

Post by gpraceman » Thu Feb 19, 2004 12:41 am

Stan Pope wrote:How about using a "mouse pad"? Better yet, a sponge?
How about that Tempurpedic material :!:


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Re: Penalty System?

Post by Den_Leader » Thu Feb 19, 2004 9:19 am

Our cubmaster mentioned that for next year, we should consider a rule to prohibit the cars from leaving the church. This topic has also been discussed in this thread about inspection rules. His statement might have been a knee-jerk reaction to me talking about constructing a 28' test track for home, or to the incredible looking cars which showed up at our derby, and I don't know how seriously he meant it. I will voice strong opposition to an entirely den built car, and would like to seek an alternative.

Some reasons for seeking a 'Den-built' car rule might be:

1.) Equality of tool availability
2.) Equality of time worked on the car
3.) Minimize chances that dad built the car himself
4.) Others?

Number 1 is easily addressed with workshops, as we had this year. BTW, my test track at home will be open to all scouts, when completed.

Number 2 does not seem valid, as IMHO a young man should be rewarded commensurate with the effort put forth. Ie. if you work 2 hours on your car, It's probably not going to look as good or be as fast as the boy who worked 20 hours on his car. Of course we've all seen or heard of exceptions to this.

Number 3 seems like the big one to me. So.... what about a penalty or reward system which seeks to get at the heart of how much work the boy did on the car.

How about creating at list of questions about derby cars to be answered by the boys as part of the inspection process. The questions would range from easy (How long is your car?), to hard (Which grit sandpaper would leave deeper scratches on the bottom of your car, 100 or 2500.) Maybe some multiple choice questions. Maybe some questions which are unique to the individual (What color is your car?) Probably need to have all answers written down, so as to avoid ambiguity.

If you are using a PPN, PN, or CPN scoring system, some points or fractions of points could be added to or deducted from your final score. A similar method could be used in an total ET race setup. I think we would see the level of knowledge of the boys go up under such a system.

I'd love to hear some pro/con discussion about why this may or may not work well.


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Re: Penalty System?

Post by terryep » Thu Feb 19, 2004 11:04 am

IMHO we should just accept that some things are out of our control and just be happy! Life isn't fair and PWD can serve to teach this. Can't we all just get along. (the Canadian way)

Terry



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Re: Penalty System?

Post by Darin McGrew » Thu Feb 19, 2004 12:12 pm

I agree that workshops address the first issue, and the second is a non-issue. Regarding the third issue...
Den_Leader wrote:3.) Minimize chances that dad built the car himself
An Adults or All Comers category is a great help here. And it provides Dad a great way to teach Junior: Dad demonstrates some technique on his car, and then watches Junior do it on his own car.
Den_Leader wrote:How about creating at list of questions about derby cars to be answered by the boys as part of the inspection process.
And what if the boy can't express an answer to your satisfaction? That doesn't necessarily mean that someone else built the car for him. And the kids who can rattle off answers probably practiced answering trivia about their own cars, which has nothing to do with whether they actually built the cars.



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Re: Penalty System?

Post by Cory » Thu Feb 19, 2004 12:24 pm

darin_mcgrew wrote:An Adults or All Comers category is a great help here. And it provides Dad a great way to teach Junior: Dad demonstrates some technique on his car, and then watches Junior do it on his own car.
In my neck of the woods, it's more likely to be: Dad practices some technique on his car, and then executes it to perfection on Junior's car.

Maybe it's just a Northern Virginia thing, but a lot of the folks around here compete "through their children".



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Re: Penalty System?

Post by Den_Leader » Thu Feb 19, 2004 4:27 pm

We had an Open class district race this year, but no such pack event, and that is definitely a possibility next year.

I tried something not quite the same, but similar to what Cory described....

District races featured a new 49' aluminum track, compared with our 28' wood track the Pack uses.

Logan had built a rail car 'Cake I', which won the pack, but I was concerned that the CM was too far back to maintain stability on the district track. I built a car almost identical to his with the intention of racing it in the open class, which was the night before the boys’ races.

I broke my car :oops: , and we could not make any reasonable observations from any of my 3 runs down the track before being eliminated, since it was soooo slow after the repairs. (Not intended to be an excuse, just the unfortunate truth.)

Our intention was to have him race 'Cake I' as in the pack race if mine had held stability. If mine was getting a 'death rattle' at the end, then Logan would have run 'Cake III' ('Cake II' didn't rise to the occasion). His 'Cake III' car had a more forward CM, & I thought it would keep stability for sure.

He ended up making the decision. He went with 'Cake I' and made the top 9. The car held stability just fine.

I definitely want to compete through my son. He loves building and racing his PWD cars, & I love helping him make them faster.



Now then back to the reward system. I wouldn't want to recommend any system which either gives an advantage to the son of a pinehead, or which turns it into a trivia contest. I just wonder if there is some middle ground where you could weed out e-bay cars and adult built cars. It might not be possible, but I think it is worth exploring.
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Re: Penalty System?

Post by Derby Wizard » Mon Feb 23, 2004 12:13 am

I agree that getting all four wheels to touch can be a challenge especially if the kid doesn't carefully place the nails into the slots straight.

One comment I have heard before at a race, is that putting a rule in place that all four wheels should touch can actually help avoid the grossly misaligned or canted wheels a first time builder might construct. (It could result in better alignment.)

Another comment I've heard is that if a wheel is lifted and canted it can contribute to a car jumping the track which is bad for other racers.

Now both of the comments above were directed, at the time, to first time builders with no experience that have grossly misaligned and/or canted wheels/axels on their cars...not the ever so slighted lifted and straight type construction most on this board are thinking about.



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