Points vs. Times Scoring

Discussions on race planning, preparations and how to run a "fair" and fun race.
Pinewood Po
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Re: Points vs. Times Scoring

Post by Pinewood Po » Thu Mar 10, 2011 11:24 pm

For those of you that read my recent post, you know I questioned the timing accuracy at this years district races. So when I came across this topic I eagerly read it. I must say it is a very good thread and many many good points by all.

I think ultimately the main thing that should be kept in mind is having a fun event for the kids. My grandson enjoyed the pack races much more than the district races. It wasn't as much that he won at pack level and ran 5th at district as the way the race was ran. At pack the kids staged their own cars then ran down to the end of the track to be there when their car crossed the finish line. At district someone else staged the cars then the boys stood there until the race was over and then went to get their car. The excitement of the race just didn't seem to be there at district. I know why for my grandson, he has a vision problem and couldn't see if he had won or not. We had to tell him after the races and for him it was kinda like the difference in watching a football game and being told the score after the game is played.

I now see running the show is much more complicated than the casual observer is led to believe. Lots of things to think about and many will be overlooked.



rkibby
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Re: Points vs. Times Scoring

Post by rkibby » Tue Mar 15, 2011 2:59 am

I really like this tread, love the different opinions and experience involved. I'm extremely new to pinewood. But I'm extremely experienced in drag racing. When I was asked to take over last year it seemed right up my alley. But my pack at the time just got a 4 lane Best Track with no timer. So we just used two lanes with a judge and I found a free excel program and ran Perfect-N, was very odd for me but I managed to run the event. Had a few ties, and had to do a couple run offs to figure placement but everyone was happy with the total out come. This year we got the Champ timer, and I used time, and didn't even give points a thought. Compared to last year everyone was really happy with me how the whole event went. So just adding the timer was a big plus for the pack. Specially in one of the Den races we had a 1st and 2nd place finish .001 difference. The crowd went nuts. That right there paid for the timer.

But I'm a drag racer, we dont race to the finish for points we race to the finish for the "W", and when I drive my car back I dont get a Point slip, I get a Time slip. Now after reading this I'll have to think about it for next year, points makes it awhole different race. It be interesting to show the pack. Hard thing is selling it. Since Districts and Council run time, and I think everyone would like to see it ran the same.



rpcarpe
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Re: Points vs. Times Scoring

Post by rpcarpe » Tue Mar 15, 2011 3:03 pm

2. What is the optimal number of cars to include in a points race? And - ideal # for a timed race?
Optimal in terms of the time to complete the event, without losing audience interest.
We dealt with this in District. When racers KNEW they'd run all their runs and weren't competitive, they came and got their cars and the sad kid plus the exhausted parent all took off to lick their wounds or do whatever was next on their hectic Saturday schedule.

In our pack we tried something different this year. We had a TEAM trophy and we explained many times that EACH race for EACH racer counted towards it. BTW, the team trophy was a huge ol' wrench I picked up at an auction (came free with $5 rusty tool box). Big Team trophy, little tiny 1,2,3 trophies.

This changed a few things. Instead of the 2 Webelos that are intense rivals on PWD, they became teammates and tried to help others. And they cheered for everyone in their Den. All the other racers did likewise. Dads shared secrets and talked OPENLY about what they used, how they did it etc. It made for a much friendlier event.

So no matter your Pack size or scoring system, keep them involved by:
- Only Cubs handle Cubs' cars. I even coached them through the scale and a ruler portions of check-in. Easy!
- Big Traveling Team Trophy
- Winners, before they get their trophy, share their Best Speed Secret!
Dads and Scouts get a free mini PWD lesson. Nice incentive to stay 'til the end. 'Stick around, you might just learn something'.

That's my .02


My wife started a new support group... Widows of the Pinewood Derby.

68sportcoupe
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Re: Points vs. Times Scoring

Post by 68sportcoupe » Sun Jan 15, 2012 7:51 am

old thread but heres what i think.
I agree times are more accurate.
but points are more interesting to watch.
to do points correctly you would have to look to the pros and see how they do it.
and the first thing they do is every car has a qualifying run.
then they set it up off of that.
but the problem with this is you brake it down into single or double elimination and the faster cars race the slower cars eliminating them.
and you have the faster cars left at the end.
its nice to watch all the fast cars race together and the slow cars race together but if you do that then out of the 4 fastest cars you will probably eliminate 3rd and 4th rite away.
wich would not be very fair.
its a tough choice maybe we could run all the cars by time then take the top 8 on a 4 lane track and do an elimination round to find the winner.
but still with top 8 you would race 1st 8th 6th and 4th then the next set would be 2nd 7th 5th and 3rd .
or two cars at a time .
1st -8th
2nd-7th
3rd-6th
4th-5th.
then the winner of the first race races the winner of the last race..
and the two middle race and if the cars remain consistant than when you have two cars left you should have 1st racing 2nd.
i would think the software would do all this.
thats just my thought.
we had our race yesterday.
first time with a best track timer and gprm software.
i was amazed at how fast it whent.
we had over 60 cars ran the first 2 heats all cars in two lanes in 25 minutes.
then took a brake.
and did it again.
it was an awesome time.



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Darin McGrew
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Re: Points vs. Times Scoring

Post by Darin McGrew » Sun Jan 15, 2012 11:57 am

68sportcoupe wrote:to do points correctly you would have to look to the pros and see how they do it.
and the first thing they do is every car has a qualifying run.
then they set it up off of that.
There has been some discussion of systems that do something like this. Basically, the race schedule is random for the first round. Then, for the second and following rounds, the race schedule matches up cars of similar results, so all the races are closer (i.e., more interesting to watch).

The catch is that you have to make sure that everyone understands how the final results are determined. If someone watches their car win most of their races, then they may not understand that they were racing with other slow cars in a consolation bracket because they did poorly in their first race or two.

Another system was designed for larger regional derbies. It used multiple tracks. Cars are assigned randomly, but then cars that win move up to a faster track, and cars that lose move down to a slower track. After a while, all the faster cars are at the fast track, with very close (and exciting) finishes, and all the slower cars are at the slow track with very close (and exciting) finishes, and everyone else is on one of the middle tracks with very close (and exciting) finishes.

But I think it works just fine to schedule everyone for a round-robin type of schedule. Everyone gets the same number of races, the same number of races in each lane, against as many different opponents as possible. There's no need to seed the schedule based on times (especially for those of us who don't have timers).
68sportcoupe wrote:but the problem with this is you brake it down into single or double elimination and the faster cars race the slower cars eliminating them.
and you have the faster cars left at the end.
I'm confused. Are you talking about a points system, or an elimination system?
68sportcoupe wrote:its nice to watch all the fast cars race together and the slow cars race together but if you do that then out of the 4 fastest cars you will probably eliminate 3rd and 4th rite away.
wich would not be very fair.
Yeah, that's one of the problems with double elimination. It's great if you care only about first and second place. But if you want to determine fourth place with any accuracy, then you need quadruple elimination. Stan has a nice description of a quintuple elimination system that doesn't require a computer, and that works well for large regional derbies. That system determines first through fifth place reliably.



68sportcoupe
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Re: Points vs. Times Scoring

Post by 68sportcoupe » Sun Jan 15, 2012 1:45 pm

yes i did get carried away my fingers where typing faster than i could think.
i started thinking elim and not points.
ive never raced with scoring points.
sry about that



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Stan Pope
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Re: Points vs. Times Scoring

Post by Stan Pope » Sun Jan 15, 2012 4:16 pm

Darin McGrew wrote:...
Another system was designed for larger regional derbies. It used multiple tracks. Cars are assigned randomly, but then cars that win move up to a faster track, and cars that lose move down to a slower track. After a while, all the faster cars are at the fast track, with very close (and exciting) finishes, and all the slower cars are at the slow track with very close (and exciting) finishes, and everyone else is on one of the middle tracks with very close (and exciting) finishes.
...
Our district derby will utilize this method in just under 2 months from now. Chairman has figured out how to fit 8 tracks across the gymnasium. Seven of them will be used to sort the cars from (roughly) fastest to slowest during a fixed duration. At the end of this period, the finalists will all move to the 8th track for a timed competition. Meanwhile, the seven tracks can start sorting out the next age group! I'll try to get a good report on what went well and what needs work after the event is over. I'm hoping to be able to say that even the driver of the slowest car got to race a bunch of heats, that all went home at the end of the feeling that they had enough excitement and racing to make the time they spent seem worthwhile, and that the speed trophies ended up in the hands of the most deserving.


Stan
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rpcarpe
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Re: Points vs. Times Scoring

Post by rpcarpe » Tue Jan 31, 2012 2:23 pm

Look forward to the follow-up!


My wife started a new support group... Widows of the Pinewood Derby.

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