Seeking advice for derby length

Discussions on race planning, preparations and how to run a "fair" and fun race.
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Stan Pope
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Re: Seeking advice for derby length

Post by Stan Pope » Thu Nov 27, 2014 4:42 pm

gpraceman wrote:Before I posted that, I did do a test with 11 racers, 3 lane track and 2 runs per lane. Every racer went against every other racer at least once, some twice. So, I don't think that would really put the Webelos II at a disadvantage,...
Therein is the problem, Twice around a three-lane track yields 12 opponents. So, two opponents will be faced twice, the rest once. He who faces the fastest racers twice instead of once is at a disadvantage. This is why I prefer to use PPN as a preliminary or qualifying race and a PN schedule for finals. PN has exact opponent balance.

In this case, you can "fix things" for 11 racers by creating a schedule for 13 racers (a PN schedule) and include two byes. Now, once around, each racer will face a bye racer twice and one of them will face the byes in the same heat. Guaranteed 1st place in that heat! But that doesn't give him an advantage since he doesn't face a bye in any other heat,

Twice around each racer will face a bye racer four times. None-the-less, the opposition has been equalized, and the points should be true.


Stan
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korey99
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Re: Seeking advice for derby length

Post by korey99 » Thu Nov 27, 2014 4:56 pm

Yes, Stan, that's what I meant. PPN means some guy will race the fast guy twice. I was thinking a true perfect N with byes was the better way to go. Racing my two Webelos 2 would be kind of lame, but if I mix them with my 9 Webelos 1,and add two byes, we're perfectly fair as far as I can see.



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Re: Seeking advice for derby length

Post by gpraceman » Thu Nov 27, 2014 5:17 pm

Adding two byes would be a good option. In GPRM you can just manually increase the number of racers listed on the Perfect-N Type scheduler screen to add those byes.


Randy Lisano
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Stan Pope
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Re: Seeking advice for derby length

Post by Stan Pope » Thu Nov 27, 2014 9:16 pm

korey99 wrote:Yes, Stan, that's what I meant. PPN means some guy will race the fast guy twice. I was thinking a true perfect N with byes was the better way to go. Racing my two Webelos 2 would be kind of lame, but if I mix them with my 9 Webelos 1,and add two byes, we're perfectly fair as far as I can see.
Make sure that you can quickly explain why the fellow who races 2 byes in one heat gains no advantage in points. In one time around, everyone who races a bye avoids possibly losing 1 point per bye raced. Everyone races two byes and, so, avoids possibly losing 2 points, total.

Since there may still be some sense of inequity in the pairings, be sure that racers are assigned to the grid randomly, i.e. in a manner that neither you and your track staff nor any of the racers can predict or manipulate. Randy should be able to tell how this is accomplished.


Stan
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Re: Seeking advice for derby length

Post by gpraceman » Fri Nov 28, 2014 12:29 am

Stan Pope wrote:Since there may still be some sense of inequity in the pairings, be sure that racers are assigned to the grid randomly, i.e. in a manner that neither you and your track staff nor any of the racers can predict or manipulate. Randy should be able to tell how this is accomplished.
Just click on the Advanced button on the Perfect-N Type scheduler screen and select to Randomize Car Numbers.


Randy Lisano
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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.

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Stan Pope
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Re: Seeking advice for derby length

Post by Stan Pope » Fri Nov 28, 2014 12:54 am

gpraceman wrote:
Stan Pope wrote:Since there may still be some sense of inequity in the pairings, be sure that racers are assigned to the grid randomly, i.e. in a manner that neither you and your track staff nor any of the racers can predict or manipulate. Randy should be able to tell how this is accomplished.
Just click on the Advanced button on the Perfect-N Type scheduler screen and select to Randomize Car Numbers.
Thanks, Randy! I was sure you would have the answer!

Korey, you must resist requests and urges to "hit the randomize button again" after the result has been viewed. If the software were to respond by re-randomizing the list, you will have "selected against" a random order, thus biasing the result and, therefore, introducing a less random result. Randy's usage instructions probably already warn of this, but I remind just to be sure!


Stan
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Re: Seeking advice for derby length

Post by ngyoung » Sun Nov 30, 2014 12:32 pm

If your track has a timer i would consider scoring mixed rank groups by cumulative time instead of points. That will take care of possible mismatches from the point system.



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Re: Seeking advice for derby length

Post by Rukkian » Fri Jan 30, 2015 11:42 am

I am somewhat in the same boat as you, as our dens are very unbalanced. We have 5, 13, 16, 3, 4 scouts for our ranks, as we had a couple of pretty good recruiting years. We have a 6 lane track, so the ones that do not even have 6, would not have even filled the track, and it would have been pretty anti-climatic. I very much like scoring by points better as it seems more like racing to me than by times.

This year, I decided to combine the Tigers, Web 1, and Web 2 into 1 group, each with its own subgroup, and then have each the Wolves and bears in their own groups. Unfortunately, that means we have to run by times in GPRM (which I understand), so we will see how it goes.

Last year was our first year with our track (6 lane Best Track, Microwizard timer), and we were able to run each car (35 total) down each lane twice for 12 total races, then moved the top 3 to the finals and did another 1 round finals (6 races per boy). We force check in to stop at 11, then our troop (which I am also taking over scoutmaster for next week) serves lunch while I get the schedule ready, print the schedules, and get ready for the race. Last year, we started racing around 11:30 and were done, and completely cleaned up by 2pm. We don't have the kids stage them (with 6 lanes and the start being 5.5' in the air, I think it would be chaotic), we did get a push button start that came with a 50' cable, which we place near the end of the track, and the boy lane one always gets to start the race. This way, every boy gets to be the starter at least twice (3 if in the finals).



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Re: Seeking advice for derby length

Post by rcmoeur » Mon May 04, 2015 10:08 pm

Two data points:

Our Pack's track is 1-2-3 only, no times, so we ran each boy at least twice (and sometimes 3 times) in each lane to ensure that everyone raced against everyone in a variety of lanes (we used a modified version of the Chris Sutton Excel spreadsheets to track places). The boys and families thought it was just right - not too long, not too short.

At the District race, we historically gave one hour to each rank, but due to a need to shorten the schedule to avoid another event at the venue we ran 45 minutes per rank. This still gave us enough time to run each boy at least twice in each lane (4-lane Freedom with electronic timing). And for the finals, the boys ran 3 times in each lane - but 51 heats might have been a bit too long (can't really complain we didn't get enough runs to determine a champion, though).



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