Multiple track racing

Discussions on race planning, preparations and how to run a "fair" and fun race.
goldrush
Journeyman
Journeyman
Posts: 27
Joined: Thu Dec 30, 2010 2:26 am
Location: Balzac, Canada

Multiple track racing

Post by goldrush » Fri Jan 14, 2011 7:10 pm

Somewhere over the last month, I read about a "shotgun start" approach.

Multiple tracks, race in threes winner moves left one track, loser moves right one track, other car stays on same track. Eack track runs the same, and over the first hour of racing the fastest cars end up towards the left hand track (and slowest at the right hand track).

The kids end up racing a whole lot over a couple of hours, then the top X number of cars move to a timer track for the finals.

I can't find it now in all the pages I have saved and bookmarked. And I can't search like FatSebastian yet :thinking:

Can anyone point me to the correct place?

Gerry



User avatar
Stan Pope
Pine Head Legend
Pine Head Legend
Posts: 6888
Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2003 7:01 pm
Location: Morton, Illinois
Contact:

Re: Multiple track racing

Post by Stan Pope » Sat Jan 15, 2011 4:29 pm

Well, I couldn't find a reference either, so don't feel too bad.

You will find a lot of oscillation of cars between two tracks. The majority (I think) will end up in the middle track including about 1/3 of the fastest cars and 1/3 of the slowest cars (assuming 3-lane tracks). I think you would have to run more tracks if you want to do this as a screening for later race-off.

Multiple elimination works fine on multiple tracks and most of the time can keep all of the tracks busy with serious racing. The next N boys in line draw for lanes and race against each other on the next available track. The tracks don't have to be identical, since the random lane assignment makes things even out.

And, you can play multiple tracks with a timed event, but scheduling and integration of timed results aren't widely supported. I haven't seen any software capable of scheduling or managing that mode.


Stan
"If it's not for the boys, it's for the birds!"

goldrush
Journeyman
Journeyman
Posts: 27
Joined: Thu Dec 30, 2010 2:26 am
Location: Balzac, Canada

Re: Multiple track racing

Post by goldrush » Sat Jan 15, 2011 8:47 pm

Hah!!!

I went back through all my history from the last month ( boy did I spend too much time on the net), and I found it.

http://home.cogeco.ca/~cub15bur/kubkar/scoring.htm

Anybody have experience with this?

We will only have 5 or 6 tracks available, but also only 100-150 cubs (best guess).



User avatar
Stan Pope
Pine Head Legend
Pine Head Legend
Posts: 6888
Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2003 7:01 pm
Location: Morton, Illinois
Contact:

Re: Multiple track racing

Post by Stan Pope » Sat Jan 15, 2011 11:42 pm

The KubKar tournament director did not show me "how the gold track occupents were scored" so as to assure that the fastest would be there at the end of 2 hours. (Or if he did, I missed it.) In thinking about it earlier today, it does seem that frequency of occupancy in the gold track during the 2nd (last) hour of racing would be a strong indicator, so perhaps those N racers who have occupied the gold track most frequently during the last hour of racing, even if they aren't on the gold track when racing stops should be the finalists. With that stipulation, you might accomplish the goal with 6 tracks. Even so, I'd take about twice as many to the finals as I have trophies to award.

I think that I'd like to see them draw for lanes rather than according to their arrival time. I have visions of a nasty cycle being established that unwinds the careful plans. I'd like to run a simulation to get a clearer picture of how things develop. For one thing, depending on the ration of racers to tracks, the heat per minute rate on the left side tracks and the right side tracks probably gets slower as you move toward the ends of the line of tracks. However, since I expect higher occupancy of the central tracks, the faster and slower groups may bet more heats per racer.

With thr Kubs staging their own cars (at least I think they are doing so in the KubKar example), I think 2 heats per minute per track is optimistic. But the Canadian youngsters may be faster (or care less) than ours.

Whether it works well or not at finding the fastest cars, it should certainly produce a lot of racing for all of the youngsters! And that isn't all bad!


Stan
"If it's not for the boys, it's for the birds!"

goldrush
Journeyman
Journeyman
Posts: 27
Joined: Thu Dec 30, 2010 2:26 am
Location: Balzac, Canada

Re: Multiple track racing

Post by goldrush » Sun Jan 16, 2011 11:32 am

Stan Pope wrote:it does seem that frequency of occupancy in the gold track during the 2nd (last) hour of racing would be a strong indicator, so perhaps those N racers who have occupied the gold track most frequently during the last hour of racing, even if they aren't on the gold track when racing stops should be the finalists. With that stipulation, you might accomplish the goal with 6 tracks. Even so, I'd take about twice as many to the finals as I have trophies to award.
My thought were to take the top 10-15 (our newest track has 5 lanes) for the timed finals. Trophies for 1st, 2nd, 3rd.
Stan Pope wrote:
With thr Kubs staging their own cars (at least I think they are doing so in the KubKar example), I think 2 heats per minute per track is optimistic.


I think with an adult staging , and an adult Judging the finish on each track, it should remain fairly consistent.
Even if it drops to 1 heat per minute, with 5 tracks + the gold track, and 100-150 cars, thats more racing for every kid (not just the winners), than what seems to happen at events I have been to.

Stan Pope wrote:Whether it works well or not at finding the fastest cars, it should certainly produce a lot of racing for all of the youngsters! And that isn't all bad!
And that is what was driving my obsession to find it again.

Lots of racing for every kid.

Actual timed event for the "Cream of the Crop".

Once the KubKars have sorted them selves out, the other tracks can then run the lower volume races:
Scout Trucks (18 wheelers)
Open cars (Venturers, Rovers, Leaders)
Sponsor Races (Cars $50 entry, Trucks $100 entry)
The ever popular Grudge Matches :O



User avatar
Stan Pope
Pine Head Legend
Pine Head Legend
Posts: 6888
Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2003 7:01 pm
Location: Morton, Illinois
Contact:

Re: Multiple track racing

Post by Stan Pope » Sun Jan 16, 2011 12:02 pm

I ran a 50 car 6 track paper simulation and developed some interesting observations in a reply. Unfortunately, I got logged off during the reply and the contents lost. Dunno if it is the result of a change in DT specs or some recent Windows maintenance, but it was irritating (to say the least.) On lesser boards, I would routinely do Ctrl-A, Ctrl-C before activating any controls ... maybe I must start doing that on DT as well.

Here are the high points ... at least those that I can remember:

It appears from the sim that Track 1 heats (occupancy) frequency during the latter half of the competition is a good indicator for selecting finalists.

It also appears that there is a steady state issue that severly reduces the number of distinct opponents for each racer once he is on his "proper track". Periodic reshuffling of each tracks occupants appears to correct that problem.

Occupancy on track 1 seems to hover at around 4 coming mainly from track 2 which is reduced by the same number. The other tracks stay at or near their original occupancy, varying up or down temporarily as the pace of the racers slows of increases.

In summary, it works.

Whether it would be feasible for our 5-class system or not is still open ... 10 hours of race management (2 hours for each class) is a long time! It depends on how much the racing period can be shortened and still work.


Stan
"If it's not for the boys, it's for the birds!"

User avatar
Stan Pope
Pine Head Legend
Pine Head Legend
Posts: 6888
Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2003 7:01 pm
Location: Morton, Illinois
Contact:

Re: Multiple track racing

Post by Stan Pope » Sun Jan 16, 2011 12:22 pm

goldrush wrote:
Stan Pope wrote:
With thr Kubs staging their own cars (at least I think they are doing so in the KubKar example), I think 2 heats per minute per track is optimistic.


I think with an adult staging , and an adult Judging the finish on each track, it should remain fairly consistent.
Okay, if adult staging is your "tradition". I think I'd be tarred and feathered if I tried to institute that here.

I reread the web page and see that adult staging was the basis for the estimated 30 seconds (or faster) per heat per track. That is not too unrealistic.


Stan
"If it's not for the boys, it's for the birds!"

User avatar
Stan Pope
Pine Head Legend
Pine Head Legend
Posts: 6888
Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2003 7:01 pm
Location: Morton, Illinois
Contact:

Re: Multiple track racing

Post by Stan Pope » Sun Jan 16, 2011 12:41 pm

Other concerns:

I like the idea of "wrapping each track" with the racers running there. This is a great viewing location for the participants. For the interested parents, sight lines are nearly impossible. Maybe need closed circuit TV's for each track!

What do the boys do with their cars between heats? Frequency of heats makes me want the boys to keep the cars in their own hands for the duration!


Stan
"If it's not for the boys, it's for the birds!"

goldrush
Journeyman
Journeyman
Posts: 27
Joined: Thu Dec 30, 2010 2:26 am
Location: Balzac, Canada

Re: Multiple track racing

Post by goldrush » Sun Jan 16, 2011 3:57 pm

Thats my vision of it as well.
Kids lined up on one side of the track they are racing on, and they are racing so much, they keep the cars with them. :bigups:

Parents can follow along on ends of track as their kids move from track to track. :pray:

The hall we are renting has a good size dance floor for the tracks, hopefully we can space things out.

I am in the process right now of trying to get an idea of kid and track numbers. Maybe we can borrow tracks from some of the groups in Calgary.

This is all for our District event http://scouts.ca/dnn/LinkClick.aspx?fil ... tabid=1065 .

As we are next to a major city, I hope we can get enough tracks to run this.



goldrush
Journeyman
Journeyman
Posts: 27
Joined: Thu Dec 30, 2010 2:26 am
Location: Balzac, Canada

Re: Multiple track racing

Post by goldrush » Tue Jan 18, 2011 9:00 am

This is a response to the multiple track "Bubble sort"
Just as Stans simutation showed......it works.
I will try to convince our committee to do this this year, and see how it goes.

We ran into a few problems—however, they were easily fixed.

Firstly, we were unprepared for how fast the bubble sorting would work. For many years, we had used a 10-track setup with approx. 30 Cubs at each track, and had been used to budgeting two hours just to find the fastest car at each track using a system of many random runs, followed by “play-offs” at each track to determine the fastest car at each track. Those 10 cars would then race against each other to determine the fastest Kar while the rest of the Cubs were eating lunch. However, the bubble sort proved to be much faster, and the cars were completely sorted—including determining the fastest Kar—after just an hour. When we realized that the sorting had been accomplished, and that movement of Cubs was basically stable, we ended up doing some on-the-spot stuff—as I recall, we sent the Cubs back to their original tracks, and restarted, but this time, we advanced the 3rd place cars, ending up with the slowest Kar, for which we awarded the “Safest Driver”.

The second problem was that, although the number of Cubs at each track should have remained stable, we noticed the population slowly drifting “upstream” to the faster tracks. Upon investigating, we found that some of the Cubs (unfortunately) had decided to advance themselves even though they had not come in 1st. This merely required more supervision about who advanced and who was relegated.

In short, the time to find the fastest car was greatly shortened, and in retrospect, we could have moved on to other fun Kubkar activities much sooner, or should have already planned different tyopes of races (most average Kubkar, etc.). However, the advantages outweighed these problems—in previous years, Cubs were only guaranteed 8 races in 2 hours, and most of that time was sitting waiting. Using the bubble sort process, the Cubs got to race many more times—usually about once every 2-3 minutes—and were on their feet for the entire time. We felt the energy in the room was much better than in previous years, when the Cubs spent most of their time sitting and waiting.

If you have any questions, please let me know.

Regards,
Alan Brown
Administrator
Tansley United Church
Burlington, Ontario, Canada



User avatar
gpraceman
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 4606
Joined: Fri Jun 20, 2003 12:46 am
Location: Highlands Ranch, CO
Contact:

Re: Multiple track racing

Post by gpraceman » Tue Jan 18, 2011 9:05 am

These multi-track races just make my head hurt. :wacko: I much prefer using a single track and slotting the age groups into different time slots. Makes for a long day for the race crew, but far easier to manage and I think less confusing for the racers and their families. This is how we did it for our distract races and we'd have up to 250 racers.


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.

User avatar
Stan Pope
Pine Head Legend
Pine Head Legend
Posts: 6888
Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2003 7:01 pm
Location: Morton, Illinois
Contact:

Re: Multiple track racing

Post by Stan Pope » Tue Jan 18, 2011 10:39 am

gpraceman wrote:These multi-track races just make my head hurt. :wacko: I much prefer using a single track and slotting the age groups into different time slots. Makes for a long day for the race crew, but far easier to manage and I think less confusing for the racers and their families.
The aspects that I like is the "heats per hour per driver", its ability to easily integrate late arrivals, its ability to operate with little "central control", its insensitivity to occasional errors and equipment malfunction, and its ability to handle large numbers of racers in a class. It is also easily "scalable" and easily adapts to more or fewer tracks than planned.

Heats/hour/driver:

If I can complete the racing for one group in an hour and get them "out the door", I need a smaller facility than if I run 3 groups a time and need 3 hours each to complete their racing. And, the drivers get as much "action" in one hour as they would get in 3 hours running 3 simultaneous groups on 1/3 of the tracks each.

Late arrivals:

For a district event, located in another city in the dead of winter, the possibilities for late arrivals is heightened with little fault to the participants. The method accepts late arrivals with little effort and little effect on their results.

I'm going to run some programmed simulations to get a much better view of how rapidly the system stabilizes and accurately it selects finalists before I "buy it", but I think it is strong enough that the effort will be worth while.
gpraceman wrote:This is how we did it for our distract races and we'd have up to 250 racers.
But how would it work for large numbers of racers?


Stan
"If it's not for the boys, it's for the birds!"

User avatar
gpraceman
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 4606
Joined: Fri Jun 20, 2003 12:46 am
Location: Highlands Ranch, CO
Contact:

Re: Multiple track racing

Post by gpraceman » Tue Jan 18, 2011 10:59 am

Stan Pope wrote:But how would it work for large numbers of racers?
As I mentioned, we gave each age group a time slot. Basically, while one age group was racing, another was checking in.

I understand there are some advantages to using multiple tracks with a large number of racers, but I still would prefer a single track race. IMO, it is less complicated, easier logistics, less people required to run, and less confusing for all involved.


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.

User avatar
Stan Pope
Pine Head Legend
Pine Head Legend
Posts: 6888
Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2003 7:01 pm
Location: Morton, Illinois
Contact:

Re: Multiple track racing

Post by Stan Pope » Tue Jan 18, 2011 11:20 am

My question was mostly facetious ... but I couldn't find the "facetious" icon! :(

250 racers in a one-day event is a pretty good number, and, I think only one of our 4 districts has that kind of turnout. (You can probably guess which one that is.)

There is a component of "apparent disorderliness" in this model, and I can see many race managers having a feeling of "lack of control." But, if I can give each racer 5 runs using a multi-track system in the time it takes to give him 1 run in a closely managed system and produce comparably accurate results, it is at least worth taking a closer look.

The other aspect the tradition of racing in the area. I prefer racing by age group, but that is not a universal tradition. For those areas where "everybody competes against everybody" is the tradition, the method offers a lot of relief without requiring changes to important traditions.

In summary, I'd view this as another tool in the race manager's toolkit. It is not universally applicable, but there appear to be a wide range of situations in which it is a valuable tool.


Stan
"If it's not for the boys, it's for the birds!"

User avatar
Stan Pope
Pine Head Legend
Pine Head Legend
Posts: 6888
Joined: Sat Jul 05, 2003 7:01 pm
Location: Morton, Illinois
Contact:

Re: Multiple track racing

Post by Stan Pope » Wed Jan 19, 2011 7:46 pm

Anyone with some programming skill might be interested in working up a computer simulation. Might follow something like this ...

Simulating Bubble Race

Input:
Number of tracks (all assumed 3 lanes)
Number of competitors
Average time duration and standard deviation per heat for competitors
Track lanes standard deviation (seconds)
Competitor average speed and standard deviation (feet/sec, translate this to times)
Track length (feet)
Random factor standard deviation
Break point time interval for display, e.g. 1 minute of racing time
Break point time interval for evaluation, e.g. 5 minutes of racing time
Stop point - total duration to run
Number of finalists to select.

Repeat the following program some number of times, recording the results and averages:

A. Initialization for sample:

Generate array of competitors and tracks (Note that you will need a random number generator with a normal distribution for this and for steps 2, 6 and 7 below. For attaching average times to the competitors, it would be best to subtract 12 ft from the track length and add 1 second to the resulting time computation from random speed.)
If displaying the track queues graphically, note the 10% that are fastest and assign unique icons to them
Distribute the racers onto the tracks 2 - N
Display the tracks' queues

B. Run the heats on each track:
1. Start the clock.
2. Define the heats ready on each track with heat ET

3. Select the track with the earliest ready heat.
4. Run the heat
5. Dispose the participants (note that they are not available to their next track until the end of this heat's ET)
6. If at least 3 racers are on the track, define the next heat.
7. Check adjacent tracks: if either had no heat ready, see if the added racer made it okay, and, if so, define the next heat.
8. A. Check to see if at next display break point and, if so, display the status.
B. Check to see if at next evaluate break point and, if so, check for stabilization and display the stability measure.
9. Check to see if at end point and, if so, stop sample.
10. Continue at 3.


Stan
"If it's not for the boys, it's for the birds!"

Post Reply