District Race has 2 different rule sets (unintended)

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birddog
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District Race has 2 different rule sets (unintended)

Post by birddog » Thu Apr 02, 2015 10:54 am

Well, despite my best efforts to host a "fair" district race this year, I come to find out that a "rogue" copy of draft rules has gotten into the wild.

I've had my official rules posted to the district web site since October, but I've just learned 3 days before the race that an "unofficial/rogue" copy was copied and distributed at some Round table events without my knowledge or approval. I know the BSA execs who did this were just trying to be helpful, but it turns out they printed out the WRONG version of some draft rules that we were considering using early in the year, but didn't get approved. I'm even hearing that the rogue rule set may have been posted to the web site for a short period of time (this is hard to validate).

The rogue rules are easy to identify as they contain red change tracks showing all deleted and added lines. My official version has no change tracks.

This means that some packs built to the "official rules" and some packs built to the "rogue" rules. Given we made the mistake, I have to allow either builds into the event, given it is only 2 days away.

The difference between the two rules is that the "rogue" version allows any wheel base and the "official" version says the wheel base must be standard 4 3/8".

Lesson learned is to clearly mark draft versions as draft so even if they do get distributed, somebody may ask why the copy says "draft" and reach out and ask for help finding an official copy.

I'm not sure I'll ever send the BSA execs a draft version again asking for feedback either. I'll just submit my questions in email and not offer up draft versions for comment. Just too risky.

I'm pretty disappointed. I try hard to put on a fair race for the kids and despite my best efforts, it won't happen this year. I'll be curious to find out if any of the extended wheel base cars end up winning trophies over the standard wheel base designs.

Next year I'm not asking anybody, I'm just changing the rules. The entire reason the draft was there to begin with is that I wanted to change the rules to allow extended wheel bases, but I got feedback from some folks who wanted to leave it "as is". I listened to them and left it "as is" (or so I thought).

One of the reasons I wanted to change the rules is this race has a history of kids showing up with extended wheel base cars and not being able to race. I thought I'd end that history by just allowing it.

Next year all will be allowed to use extended wheel bases, not just those who happened to get a "rogue" copy of the rules from a well intention-ed BSA exec.

birddog



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Re: District Race has 2 different rule sets (unintended)

Post by Vitamin K » Thu Apr 02, 2015 11:38 am

Man, that's brutal, and I feel your pain.

My only advice would be to highlight this upfront before the District race and let all attending know why the decision was made.

(Hopefully your winners will be using standard wheelbases!)



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Re: District Race has 2 different rule sets (unintended)

Post by Stan Pope » Thu Apr 02, 2015 12:16 pm

Arghhhhh!!!!

Does your racing format allow those who built to both rules to race together and to be ranked separately? If so, consider sticking the Exec with the cost of a 2nd set of trophies. This, of course, needs to be negotiated (quickly) with the Exec, and may well eat into the various contingency funds that are routinely included in such event budgets. (At least, a significant percentage was added onto the district/council event budgets that I participated in those many years ago... they have probably increased sinced then!)

By all means, include the words (or "watermark") "DRAFT ... Not Official" on future preliminary rule sets. Do continue to solicit input from the packs, perhaps by forming a committee with reps from every pack that is willing to participate. They will still need to have in hand the text of proposed rule changes!


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Re: District Race has 2 different rule sets (unintended)

Post by birddog » Thu Apr 02, 2015 1:56 pm

Stan Pope wrote:Arghhhhh!!!!

Does your racing format allow those who built to both rules to race together and to be ranked separately?
No, we have 7 trophies we are giving out to the top 7 fastest cars.

I suspect most folks built to the standard wheel base rule. I only know of 2 cars who have built to the extended rule base wheel (there could be more who show up on Saturday, but I'm not expecting many). I don't think the 2 extended base cars would want trophies or rankings just because they built to a different set of rules.

I suspect once I "cool down", I will take a more collaborative approach to changing the rules next year, I'm still just a little hot.



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Re: District Race has 2 different rule sets (unintended)

Post by Stan Pope » Thu Apr 02, 2015 3:10 pm

birddog wrote:
Stan Pope wrote:Arghhhhh!!!!

Does your racing format allow those who built to both rules to race together and to be ranked separately?
No, we have 7 trophies we are giving out to the top 7 fastest cars.

....
How many trophies you have in hand is the answer to a different question. My question is whether or not your racing method can establish two rankings, e.g. are you scoring by time or an accurate points method?

It is generally believed that extended wheelbase gives a competitive advantage. Should cars built to that rule (even if only one or two of 'em) finish "in the money", then you can award them accordingly, and exclude them from the primary ranking.
Example:
Ranked finish ....... Adjusted/ trophy
1 - A (extended) ... 1-Ext
2 - B (standard) ... 1-Std
3 - C (standard) ... 2-Std
4 - D (standard) ... 3-Std
5 - E (extended) ... 5-Ext
6 - F (standard) ... 4-Std
7 - G (standard) ... 5-Std
8 - H (standard) ... 6-Std
9 - J (standard) ... 7-Std
10 - K (extended) ... (none)

This is fair to all and (probably) limits the cost.


Stan
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Re: District Race has 2 different rule sets (unintended)

Post by ngyoung » Thu Apr 02, 2015 3:54 pm

If wheel base is really the only difference run them all together. Extended wheelbase isn't necessarily faster. If the official rules still let you shift the wheel base back to the 5/8" from the back I would not separate them. The only advantage of an extended wheelbase is stability. It is more forgiving of alignment flaws or over aggressive CoM. Many of the fastest pwd cars made today have a standard wheelbase.



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Re: District Race has 2 different rule sets (unintended)

Post by birddog » Thu Apr 02, 2015 4:06 pm

We are scoring by time and I suspect I could setup GPRM to use subgroups and have "standard" as one subgroup and "extended" as the other sub group, but that still doesn't solve my trophy problem, unless I'm willing to defer handing out trophies to some subgroup of racers.

I'll discuss this option with a few of the committee members and see what they think.

I hadn't thought of this idea, thanks Stan.

I came to DerbyTalk to vent and I end up hearing a solution that seems fair, as long as we are willing to defer trophy delivery (likely deferring trophies to the extended wheel base cars and handing out existing trophies to the standard wheel base cars).

thanks,

birddog



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Re: District Race has 2 different rule sets (unintended)

Post by birddog » Thu Apr 02, 2015 4:12 pm

Thanks ngyoung. That is an interesting perspective on advantage of wheel base. Our "official" rules do allow shifting of the wheel base. My son's car employs that method while still using a 4 3/8" wheel base and I fully expect his car to finish at or near the top. I'm not worried about his car competing with an extended wheel base car.

I am, however, a little worried about the other competitors. With less experienced builders, the extended wheelbase could be more forgiving and give an advantage to those less experienced. I suspect if they were all pro builders, this would not be an issue.



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Re: District Race has 2 different rule sets (unintended)

Post by Stan Pope » Thu Apr 02, 2015 5:23 pm

birddog wrote:We are scoring by time and I suspect I could setup GPRM to use subgroups and have "standard" as one subgroup and "extended" as the other sub group, but that still doesn't solve my trophy problem, unless I'm willing to defer handing out trophies to some subgroup of racers.

I'll discuss this option with a few of the committee members and see what they think.

I hadn't thought of this idea, thanks Stan.

I came to DerbyTalk to vent and I end up hearing a solution that seems fair, as long as we are willing to defer trophy delivery (likely deferring trophies to the extended wheel base cars and handing out existing trophies to the standard wheel base cars).

thanks,

birddog
You may have to do this sorting manually ... as subgroups, car E in my example would receive a 2nd place, not 5th place! But, it would be easy to do IF the car ID includes which ruleset the car fits.

I see this costing the event one or two additional trophies at most. The budget can handle that.

Think carefully about how you introduce the problem and solution prior to racing. Probably best if you have it written down so that you say it exactly right without getting too wordy.

For pictures, "borrow" the trophy temporarily, but be sure to send it home with the "standard" wheelbase car! Then arrange to make the actual trophy presentation at "extended's" next pack meeting.

Good luck with this one!


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Re: District Race has 2 different rule sets (unintended)

Post by birddog » Fri Apr 03, 2015 8:43 am

We have decided to do exactly as Stan suggests. Our budget can handle a few extra trophies (as I had some late registrations from some packs).

My only dilemma at this point is whether I want to muddy the waters up front by telling the audience what we are doing and why before racing even starts. It is possible that none of the extended wheel base cars even finish in the top 7 and I won't have any explaining to do.

I was thinking of monitoring the number of cars that check in and if that number is enough for me to think that this is likely to occur, I'll explain it ahead of time. However, if there are only 2 or 3 cars, I may just explain it at the end as we are handing out trophies.

I have called the pack cub master who has the 2 extended wheel base cars and explained this to him and asked if he was OK with his kids getting "delayed" trophies. He understood and was good with it.

Stan: I cannot tell you how much you've helped me here. I owe you a beer some time!

birddog



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Re: District Race has 2 different rule sets (unintended)

Post by ngyoung » Fri Apr 03, 2015 12:37 pm

If there are less than a handful I would let it go and save the trophies for next year. Not the first time a derby allowed exceptions for cars under extenuating circumstances.



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Re: District Race has 2 different rule sets (unintended)

Post by birddog » Sun Apr 05, 2015 6:07 pm

Turned out only one car showed up with an extended wheel base (the person who gave me the heads up). I'm sure glad he gave us advance warning, not sure how I would have handled this at check in on race day (as I may not have been able to confirm the wrong rules were actually distributed).

In any case, since only one car had an extended wheel base, we let it race (and monitored how it did). It came in 17th place. Thus, I never had to make any announcements or confuse the audience at all with what went on behind the scenes.

I'm sure glad we had a plan in place though.

Everything else went very smoothly.

Birddog



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Re: District Race has 2 different rule sets (unintended)

Post by Noskills » Thu Apr 16, 2015 8:52 am

Mike,

Glad it all worked out. I run our district race this Sat. Fingers crossed. Will let you know if we have a smooth race too.

Seth (Noskills)


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