First Round Qualifier Followed by Round 2 and 3 Perfect N

Debates and discussions on the various race scheduling methods that can be used and their fairness and accuracy in determining the winners.
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jspearm
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First Round Qualifier Followed by Round 2 and 3 Perfect N

Post by jspearm » Thu Apr 21, 2022 1:44 pm

Hello, We are about to run our annual race, and have decided to come up with a modified way of running the race, in an effort to save time on the overall event. Our plan is to run 3 rounds of racing. But I generally think of Round 1 as a qualifier, and Rounds 2 and 3 as the actual race.

We have had as many as 120 racers in the past, but generally expect between 40 and 60 race cars.

42', 4 Lane Best track. My kids' cars are very consistent and the same car will run times within 0.005 seconds between all 4 lanes on the track alone. Even when you add traffic, only 0.010 seconds separate the slowest time from the fastest time on the consistent cars between the lanes.

Qualifying Round:
All cars will have 2 chances to meet at least one of following three requirements
a. Run a single heat time of 3.200 seconds or faster.
b. Finish in the top 16 fastest times
c. Be within 5% of the 16th place car’s time


If your car finds itself meeting any of those requirements, you move on to Round 2, in which we will use Perfect N and run all cars down each lane, and drop the lowest time. Round 3 will be the top 8 cars and will continue Perfect N and drop the lowest time.

We will immediately advance the cars that post a faster time than 3.2 and will not require them to run their second heat of their qualifier.

I expect this will narrow the field to 20-25 racers.

This allows everyone to see their car run twice, and then narrows the action to the closer racers battling at the top for the speed award. I'm planning on manually recording the results of Round 1, and then will select the racers who passed the Round 1 Qualifier to build the schedule for Perfect N in Round 2 and Grand Finals in Round 3.

I think this is fair because of Point C above, "Be within 5% of the 16th place car’s time". The variance in lanes in our track is around 0.5% for a high level car and around 1-2% for less consistent, slower cars.

Have any of you tried a similar method to reduce ttime?



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Darin McGrew
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Re: First Round Qualifier Followed by Round 2 and 3 Perfect N

Post by Darin McGrew » Thu Apr 21, 2022 4:35 pm

I've never run a derby with a finish gate that provided times (just finish order).

But the point of Perfect N scheduling is to make the competition as balanced as possible for a points-based scoring system using finish order. It really doesn't do much if you're basing everything on times.



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Re: First Round Qualifier Followed by Round 2 and 3 Perfect N

Post by gpraceman » Fri Apr 22, 2022 10:05 pm

Darin McGrew wrote:
Thu Apr 21, 2022 4:35 pm
I've never run a derby with a finish gate that provided times (just finish order).

But the point of Perfect N scheduling is to make the competition as balanced as possible for a points-based scoring system using finish order. It really doesn't do much if you're basing everything on times.
Well, the three main goals of a Pertect-N Type schedule is to run every racer down each lane of the track, they all run an equal number of times and will face as many opponents as practical. While that helps when points scoring, it also leads to a better race with times scoring, when each racer has as many opponents as practical. Limited opponents can end up being a boring race.


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Re: First Round Qualifier Followed by Round 2 and 3 Perfect N

Post by leerbennett » Wed Apr 27, 2022 9:48 am

I have tried several race formats to keep our race schedule quick and entertaining.
One thing we do (that is not recommended) is have a single final race instead of a perfect N with the finalists. To make this more "fair" the fastest cars as determined by previous perfect N round races in the best lanes.

If keeping the schedule short is a key goal, what is the purpose of a 3rd round?
Your proposal has only two runs for the slower cars, but 10 runs for the top cars, quite a disparity IMHO. I would echo the recommendations to delay elimination in order to keep contestants engaged for more of the event.

Your proposal does seem to guarantee that the top 16 cars will qualify. I wouldn't call it "fair" because it still leaves a reasonable chance that cars that don't qualify are faster than the last car(s) that does qualify. More importantly your qualifying criteria is rather complicated; how long will it take you to figure out which cars qualify? IMHO any time spent "figuring out" would better be spent running additional races.
You mention that cars may not need to complete their second heat if their first run is <3.2 seconds. Not sure what your first round scheduling method is, but prescheduled races would need to be run even with one car. Even the task of scheduling 2 runs per lane will also take more time than creating a perfect N race schedule which is an automatic feature of GPRM. Dynamic scheduling also takes time to determine which cars race next. Making sure that both of a car's qualifying runs are in different lanes is complicated enough to do on the fly.

A very slow car may run in 5 seconds, 1.8 seconds slower than your 3.2 qualifier time. Car speed is a very small part of the racing time. We average about 1 minute per race, but are capable of turning around races in less than 30 seconds. We can turn around races quickly with three volunteers, car runner, pre stager, and start gate stager. So improving your race turn around time can be a more effective way of staying on schedule.

As part of our check-in process, we run the cars down the track to insure they can finish the race. Cars that don't finish go back to the pits for more lubrication or other adjustments. Since this takes place prior to the start of racing, it doesn't effect our event finish time.
You might use a similar procedure with a minimum qualifying time of between 3.2 and 4 seconds. This would allow your "qualifier round" to be completed as part of the check in process, shortening the time needed for the main event.



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