Need room layout advice

Discussions on race planning, preparations and how to run a "fair" and fun race.
Post Reply
korey99
Journeyman
Journeyman
Posts: 43
Joined: Mon Nov 17, 2014 9:37 pm
Location: Peoria, IL

Need room layout advice

Post by korey99 » Tue Nov 18, 2014 10:36 pm

Hello all-

I'm running a pinewood derby for about 30-35 scouts in a small gym, and I'd like some advice on how to set up the room, specifically a projector. Attached is a picture of the way we've done things in the past. The laptop and projector would be new. The top of the picture is a stage, which we use as the platform so kids can reach the track easily. The flags mark the edge of the stage.

Image

Any place I can think to put the screen would either block a good view of the track or would interrupt the traffic flow. The kids are kind of sequestered on the left side and have to travel between the impound table and the stage.

Any thoughts?

Thanks,
Korey



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

Re: Need room layout advice

Post by gpraceman » Tue Nov 18, 2014 11:46 pm

Maybe put the screen on the stage.

I would recommend putting the impound table closer to the start line. That will make it faster to get the next set of cars to the start gate.


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.

korey99
Journeyman
Journeyman
Posts: 43
Joined: Mon Nov 17, 2014 9:37 pm
Location: Peoria, IL

Re: Need room layout advice

Post by korey99 » Wed Nov 19, 2014 7:52 am

That's a really good idea, but my concern is that if the cars are stored up on the stage, they're unavailable for viewing by the audience. I guess we could maybe open up the stage for a few minutes during intermission to allow folks to go look.

I'm also a little worried that the projector and/or computer operator would be in the way of viewing the starting line, but perhaps that's not a big concern.



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

Re: Need room layout advice

Post by gpraceman » Wed Nov 19, 2014 11:11 am

You don't necessarily need the cars up on the stage. Just move them closer to the start line to reduce the time needed to get the next heat going.


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.

BallBoy
Master Pine Head
Master Pine Head
Posts: 196
Joined: Sat Jan 08, 2011 9:46 pm
Location: SoJo, UT
Contact:

Re: Need room layout advice

Post by BallBoy » Wed Nov 19, 2014 2:31 pm

korey99 wrote:...my concern is that if the cars are stored up on the stage, they're unavailable for viewing by the audience.
I suggest you determine what the audience will want to be viewing during different parts of the event. I expect that during the race the audience will be more interested in what's going on on the track and on the screen rather than look at cars on the impound table. I agree with gpraceman that the staging table should be near the start line to improve race logistics, if nothing else. Moving the impound table frees up some real estate for a projector and screen.
I would put the projector near the end of the track, the screen somewhere between where the impound and inspection tables are on your diagram, and move the inspection table to the left or right (as presented on your diagram).



ngyoung
Master Pine Head
Master Pine Head
Posts: 234
Joined: Thu Apr 03, 2014 6:36 pm
Location: Eyota, Minnesota

Re: Need room layout advice

Post by ngyoung » Wed Nov 19, 2014 10:27 pm

I would put the screen where the impound table is or on that workshop table. You could also put it on the inspection table once check-in is over. I think having it at the finish works better for viewing since everyone is panning to the finish during the race and can just look up if they cant tell who won. You could also tuck the impound table next to the stage and to the right of the track, parallel to it behind the string of flags. When the kids are racing you can move just those cars to a smaller staging table on the stage. Even if you are racing everyone together, having the table there allows for someone to hand the car up to the scouts on stage or a helper collecting all the cars on deck for the next heat.

Do you have a timer? If so you probably don't need judges flanking the finish line blocking it's view. Those people can be back and step in to collect the cars or guide scouts to put their own back or return to the start to run again.



User avatar
Vitamin K
Master Pine Head
Master Pine Head
Posts: 980
Joined: Sat Apr 20, 2013 7:26 pm
Location: Montgomery County, MD
Contact:

Re: Need room layout advice

Post by Vitamin K » Thu Nov 20, 2014 7:01 am

BallBoy wrote:
korey99 wrote:...my concern is that if the cars are stored up on the stage, they're unavailable for viewing by the audience.
I suggest you determine what the audience will want to be viewing during different parts of the event. I expect that during the race the audience will be more interested in what's going on on the track and on the screen rather than look at cars on the impound table. I agree with gpraceman that the staging table should be near the start line to improve race logistics, if nothing else. Moving the impound table frees up some real estate for a projector and screen.
I would put the projector near the end of the track, the screen somewhere between where the impound and inspection tables are on your diagram, and move the inspection table to the left or right (as presented on your diagram).
This concern resonates with me. The derbies I've been in have mostly been focused on the racing, but there's never been a lot of chance to admire some of the creativity put into the car by the boys and their parents. I'd love a solution that would allow good viewing of the lineup, while still maintaining an orderly and smooth race.



korey99
Journeyman
Journeyman
Posts: 43
Joined: Mon Nov 17, 2014 9:37 pm
Location: Peoria, IL

Re: Need room layout advice

Post by korey99 » Thu Nov 20, 2014 10:59 am

Vitamin K wrote:
This concern resonates with me. The derbies I've been in have mostly been focused on the racing, but there's never been a lot of chance to admire some of the creativity put into the car by the boys and their parents. I'd love a solution that would allow good viewing of the lineup, while still maintaining an orderly and smooth race.
Yes, that's tricky. We sequester the boys on one side of the gym, so that's why the impound table is located where it shows on my diagram. That way audience and scouts both can view, since it's pretty much the only spot on the border of the two zones.

Impound used to be up on the stage, but that made a lot of weird traffic as kids returned their cars to impound after each race. Of course, we rotated through the dens round by round, not just racing the tigers all the way through before moving on to wolves.



knotthed
Master Pine Head
Master Pine Head
Posts: 169
Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2011 10:01 pm
Location: Northeast, Illinois

Re: Need room layout advice

Post by knotthed » Thu Nov 20, 2014 1:35 pm

We have which ever rank is racing all sit along the track holding their cars. It goes very smooth. When that rank is done they return their cars to the impound and the next group goes. You could do that with your closest scout table spots and proximity of impound would not be a big issue.

We also start with the Webelos and work down so that by the time the younger boys are up they know how it works. If you start with the tigers, there is some getting started confusion usually associated with that.

Hope that helps.



User avatar
Darin McGrew
Pine Head Legend
Pine Head Legend
Posts: 1735
Joined: Fri Jul 18, 2003 1:23 pm
Location: Mountain View, CA
Contact:

Re: Need room layout advice

Post by Darin McGrew » Fri Nov 21, 2014 12:46 am

I'd move the impound table closer to where the scouts who are about to race are seated. The goal would be to have a smooth traffic flow:
  • get car from impound
  • take car to stage
  • place car in starting gate
  • go to finish line
  • retrieve car after race
  • take car to impound
Ideally, this circuit could be completed with a minimum of backtracking, and with as few scouts crossing each others' paths as possible.

Then I'd move the inspection and workshop tables outside, or at least to a corner where they're out of the way. Actually, I'd prefer to hold the inspection and final check-in on another day altogether.

Then I'd put the screen where the inspection table currently is located.



Post Reply