Going from three line to four lane - Help!!!

Debates and discussions on the various race scheduling methods that can be used and their fairness and accuracy in determining the winners.
nerangers
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Going from three line to four lane - Help!!!

Post by nerangers » Mon Apr 04, 2005 7:00 pm

Hello,

I am new here and love the site.

I am looking for some "expert" help. I have helped in many three lane, double elimination Derbies. I have all of the charts for laying out this format.

Well we built a new track this year, and now it has four lanes. I have not seen alot out there for using four lane, double elimination (for charts). Just looking for guidance about this. Is it done the same way where the last place car counts as an elimination? Is it the last two cars? Is it charted the same way?

Also, from what I been reading here, it seems that there might be better ways of doing this. We have three different divisions running (25 cars, 14 cars, and 13 cars) and a final race with the three winners from each division. The last time we ran our race we had 30 participants, and this time 53! I am starting to feel a little overwhelmed by changing the format from what I am used of. There seems to be a load of experience here at this site, so I am seeking your assistance.

Thanks in Advance,
Michael



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Stan Pope
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Re: Going from three line to four lane - Help!!!

Post by Stan Pope » Mon Apr 04, 2005 7:09 pm

Need to know about capabilities ...
Can you reliably record times for each car in each heat?
Can you reliably identify finish place in heats?
Can you reliably identify heat winner?
Do you think that having 4 lanes available requires that you use 4 lanes?

Depending on the answers, we can suggest
1. triple elimination (or quad elim) since you want to do a good job of finding 3 fastest cars.
2. PPN charts and final standings based of points for heat finish places.
3. PPN charts and total time per racer.

At our district races, we run quintuple elim 3 racers at a time, whether the track has 3 or 4 lanes.


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Re: Going from three line to four lane - Help!!!

Post by nerangers » Mon Apr 04, 2005 7:17 pm

Stan Pope wrote:Need to know about capabilities ...
Can you reliably record times for each car in each heat?
Can you reliably identify finish place in heats?
Can you reliably identify heat winner?
Do you think that having 4 lanes available requires that you use 4 lanes?

Depending on the answers, we can suggest
1. triple elimination (or quad elim) since you want to do a good job of finding 3 fastest cars.
2. PPN charts and final standings based of points for heat finish places.
3. PPN charts and total time per racer.

At our district races, we run quintuple elim 3 racers at a time, whether the track has 3 or 4 lanes.
We do not use time in the races.
We have been reliable in identifying the order of the winners, including the heat winner.
I don't think we have to use all four lanes, but I didn't know if it allowed the boys to race more with having the same double elimination format.

I don't think I can change the format since we have been announcing for months that it is a double elimination race, but can for next year.



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Re: Going from three line to four lane - Help!!!

Post by Stan Pope » Mon Apr 04, 2005 8:23 pm

nerangers wrote:We do not use time in the races.
We have been reliable in identifying the order of the winners, including the heat winner.
I don't think we have to use all four lanes, but I didn't know if it allowed the boys to race more with having the same double elimination format.

I don't think I can change the format since we have been announcing for months that it is a double elimination race, but can for next year.
Well, you are kinda locked in to the DE format!
That excludes both PPN and N-Elim.

Let's look at what you might do in terms of defining what constitutes an "elimination" ... If you race 'em 3 or 4 at a time and count anything better than "dead last" as a win, then only 1/9 to 1/16 of the youngsters go out after 2 heats. and 8/9 to 15/16's of 'em get credited with at least one "win" for the competition. Charts for this kind of elimination are nasty, but it is easy to run without charts.

In a pure DE format, 3rd place is not identified accurately. I presume you will alter the DE format somewhat to get a quality designation for 3rd place. (Hmmm if you can do that, you could modify it to be 3E without torquing anyone off.)

The small numbers of racers in each category makes wide (3 and 4 lane) multiple elim nasty ... Pares down the top bracket too quickly.


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Re: Going from three line to four lane - Help!!!

Post by nerangers » Sun Apr 10, 2005 12:27 pm

We had an awesome day of racing yesterday!!!

I ended up doing my charts in Excel to keep it easy to score. It took a little time to figure out, but once I got down the basic formula, it worked out well. In each heat, you just needed to mark which cars won and lost, and it would fill in the remaining heats. If you were in an elimination race, it would tell you what car was eliminated. When you got down to the finals, it told you your top three places. I did them for a 11, 13, and 14 car double elimination. I also had a special nine car single elimination for our overall finale race.

I also added a second table to use with eliminations (I read the idea somewhere and implemented it). This was the best thing we have ever done in making racing simple! If you lost a race, your car was moved to the single elimination table. If you lost a second race, we moved your car to a table where you could pick it up. Anytime we were in an elimation round, we knew exactly where to look for the cars.

We setup a second track for the kids to play on with their eliminated cars! It was a big hit. Some of the kids wished their cars were done in the real race so they could race on the second track.

Between the Excel Charts and Elimination tables, we kept things moving well. We actually handled twenty more cars this time and still got done in the same amount of time! (53 cars in all, double elimination, in three hours).

The good news is that we had someone volunteer to purchase a electonic line judge for us. Now the researching begins! Electonics and software!!!
Guess I will be reading more on the site! Thanks Stan for your help. I am going to work on it for our next race.



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Re: Going from three line to four lane - Help!!!

Post by Stan Pope » Sun Apr 10, 2005 12:43 pm

nerangers wrote:Between the Excel Charts and Elimination tables, we kept things moving well. We actually handled twenty more cars this time and still got done in the same amount of time! (53 cars in all, double elimination, in three hours).
This is only slightly longer than needed for our district races where groups were of comparable size. The difference is that we ran quintuple (5-loss)elimination. (Our 80+ racer group took longer partly because of additional rounds and partly because didn't get a key skill position trained well.) The racers staged their own cars. (Our adults are not allowed to touch the cars during racing, only the owner!) Many of the track staffs were filled from the audience ... only a few "skill positions" needed advance training.

Get with me if you want details.


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Re: Going from three line to four lane - Help!!!

Post by nerangers » Sun Apr 10, 2005 4:14 pm

Stan Pope wrote:
nerangers wrote:Between the Excel Charts and Elimination tables, we kept things moving well. We actually handled twenty more cars this time and still got done in the same amount of time! (53 cars in all, double elimination, in three hours).
This is only slightly longer than needed for our district races where groups were of comparable size. The difference is that we ran quintuple (5-loss)elimination. (Our 80+ racer group took longer partly because of additional rounds and partly because didn't get a key skill position trained well.) The racers staged their own cars. (Our adults are not allowed to touch the cars during racing, only the owner!) Many of the track staffs were filled from the audience ... only a few "skill positions" needed advance training.

Get with me if you want details.
WOW....That is incredible in my mind! 80 cars, qquintuple elimination. I definitely have some research to do for next year. We ran 112 Heats plus four additional due to the races being too close to call. I think when we have an electronic gate it will help us pick up the pace as well. Our actual race time was closer to two and a half hours. We had also done our opening with the national anthem and covering the rules, and our closing award ceremony. I was doing the math, and we were averaging one race every 1 and a half minutes. This included announcing the race, setting the cars, doing the christmas tree lights, racing the cars, judging the line, and getting the cars back to the stage.

I have a race planned for our church in October called "Blast from the past". I am looking for 64 cars to participate. It is going to be setup in a March Madness format. Each Matchup will be a double elimination (we thought only having one like the real event would be too quick).

I would love to know how you get that many cars done. We used to run about 200 cars when I lived in MA, but we had three tracks.

Thanks for the advice. I am hoping to grow our event every year. We had a power point presentation of all of the winners to show the whole church this morning. I already have people asking for cars for next year (We have an Open division for the church to participate in).

I am already making plans to better the event for next year. :D

I am from PA by the way.



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Re: Going from three line to four lane - Help!!!

Post by Stan Pope » Sun Apr 10, 2005 6:10 pm

nerangers wrote:I would love to know how you get that many cars done. We used to run about 200 cars when I lived in MA, but we had three tracks.

I am from PA by the way.
This works in PA as well as IL!

Plan is no-chart multiple elimination as described on my website. http://members.aol.com/standcmr/nelim.html. Cars running (mostly) 3 at a time. Winner(s) advance. (For most of the racing, if judges disagree, each judges selection is honored.)

Racers grouped with cars of like record. Group managed as a bunch. As each group's turn to race arrives, we "string out the group", mix 'em up, and lead the line to the starting line. They draw for lane assignment and final sequence. (Most of the time, 4 racers are drawing for 3 lanes. One goes back to the front of the line. [Thinking about sending him to the back of the line next year to help solve another concern.])

It can be run with no records at all, but we pin a "record card" on each competitor, so that if they need to leave the area, we can be sure that they get back into the right group AND that they haven't "claimed a bye by their absence".

Key to speed is that each track staff job can be done with little coordination with other track staff and there is no waiting for boys to be called up by namd or number. Independence of staff jobs allows lots of function overlap. (Gotta watch the starter, tho, cause sometimes he wants to watch how the heat that he just started ends up instead of getting the next three cars staged!)


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Re: Going from three line to four lane - Help!!!

Post by mrvoltz » Fri Oct 21, 2005 12:41 pm

Have you considered a different race format?
http://www.rahul.net/mcgrew/derby/methods.html
This site discusses many race formats and why you might want to use something other than elimination racing.
As for software I suggest Grand Prix Race Manager.
http://grandprix-software-central.com/
And you can build your own finish line detector too.
http://www.wrightzoo.com/gptimer.htm
You will find the other links here too.



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Re: Going from three line to four lane - Help!!!

Post by nerangers » Sun Mar 26, 2006 3:50 pm

Well it is that time again...We did our check-in yesterday and have 68 Cars.

Three Divisions:
RR - 22 cars
M - 17
OD - 29

This year we want to race using all four tracks.

We made the investment in the Microwizard Gate.

We purchased the GrandPrix Race Manager Software.

Life has been so busy I have not had a chance to even look at the software, but will be tonight. Is it pretty easy to setup? We take the top three winners from each Division and they race for the final trophy.



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Re: Going from three line to four lane - Help!!!

Post by Stan Pope » Sun Mar 26, 2006 4:07 pm

nerangers, are you planning to race by time? or by points? or by ???

If by time, the PPN schedule is excellent.

If by points, the PPN schedule to select finalists is excellent... select 7 finalists and run them using PN final.

Other intention???


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Re: Going from three line to four lane - Help!!!

Post by nerangers » Sun Mar 26, 2006 4:48 pm

Stan Pope wrote:nerangers, are you planning to race by time? or by points? or by ???

If by time, the PPN schedule is excellent.

If by points, the PPN schedule to select finalists is excellent... select 7 finalists and run them using PN final.

Other intention???
I am going to check and see what the software can handle. We have always done Double Elimination, but from what I been reading in the threads here, it sounds like there might be better alternatives. I just have never tried anything different. I have been having a hard time understanding some of the other methods. I am more of a visual person I guess. I am hoping the software might give me the visual presentation I need to see.



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Re: Going from three line to four lane - Help!!!

Post by Stan Pope » Sun Mar 26, 2006 5:23 pm

The software likes both "points" and "time". The question mark is your hardware!

If your starting gate is not opened by "spring action", then stay away from competition by time. Operator variance can distort times.

If you wish to compete by time, then it is important that cars have equal number of runs in each lane. All charts from PPN generator assure that!

If you wish to compete by heat points, then it is important that cars have equal number of runs in each land AND equal number of runs against each opponent. PPN does a good job of this, tho there is some opponent inequity in some charts. On those charts (designated "PPN" or "Misc" as opposed to "PN" or "CPN", which are very well balanced), the PPN or Misc chart should be used for "screening" to select about twice as many finalists as there are trophies to award and to select a number of finalists which yield a PN or CPN chart. 3, 4, 5, 7, 13 are good numbers.


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Re: Going from three line to four lane - Help!!!

Post by nerangers » Mon Mar 27, 2006 8:26 pm

Stan Pope wrote:The software likes both "points" and "time". The question mark is your hardware!

If your starting gate is not opened by "spring action", then stay away from competition by time. Operator variance can distort times.

If you wish to compete by time, then it is important that cars have equal number of runs in each lane. All charts from PPN generator assure that!

If you wish to compete by heat points, then it is important that cars have equal number of runs in each land AND equal number of runs against each opponent. PPN does a good job of this, tho there is some opponent inequity in some charts. On those charts (designated "PPN" or "Misc" as opposed to "PN" or "CPN", which are very well balanced), the PPN or Misc chart should be used for "screening" to select about twice as many finalists as there are trophies to award and to select a number of finalists which yield a PN or CPN chart. 3, 4, 5, 7, 13 are good numbers.
Thanks for the good advice...I been playing around with the GrandPrix Race Manager Software and understand a little better now about the different types of racing. I created a Perfect-N Type Chart for one of my Divisions and did some practice racing. I think it is what I am going to use. I also tried a lane Rotation Chart. I think this software and changing our method of racing is going to make my life a lot easier. I will let you know how things turn out.



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Re: Going from three line to four lane - Help!!!

Post by nerangers » Tue Mar 28, 2006 6:21 pm

I really like seeing the timing of the cars, but after reading a few threads here, I am now a little concerned about it.

We purchased the fast track gate and the laser starting line. It sounds like for this to work best, we should change how our gate opens. We do not have a spring activated one, and I am going to look more on the site for maybe plans to fix this.

In the software there were different ways to determine your winner. We have four lanes, and will be running each car in each lane. You can either take an average of the four races, or the total. Does it matter really which one? I was thinking the total might be easier for younger kids to see that it includes all four races.



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