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Old Feb 06, 2015, 10:46 AM
dharban is online now
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Flying = Falling (Slowly)
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Club Handicap Comp Format

There is always a lot of whining about how experts with their maxi-glass ships are going to ultimately take the fun out of competition and run off more casual competitors. Often, the suggestion comes up that we need another class or something like that. Rather than dividing any particular day's competition into classes, how about overlaying a simple club handicap system on our basic "scratch" system of scoring to add to the interest, much the way that golf handicaps work.

First, start with the principle that the handicap is on the COMBINATION of the pilot and plane he flies. A pilot establishes a handicap with one type of plane. If he switches from a Radian to a Maxa, the process starts over.

The initial handicap is established based on a pilot's first four competitions with a particular plane. In each competition the winning score is divided by the particular pilot's score. And once a pilot has flown in four comps his handicap will be the average of those four numbers. If the winner in a contest has a scratch score of 4950 and the pilot has a score in that contest was 3748, his handicap basis for that comp will be 4950/3784 = 1.31. Once he has entered four contests his handicap will be the average of these numbers for those contests. Once a contestant has qualified for a handicap, the handicap will be adjusted based on the running average of the results for his most recent 5 or 6 contests.

Once contestants have established handicaps, the contests they fly in will be scored first on a "scratch" basis -- no handicap applied. And then they will be scored on a "handicap" basis by multiplying the pilot's score by his handicap. And recognition can be given both ways.

Over time, a handicap system like this rewards pilots who improve their performances.

Just a thought.

Happy Landings,

Don
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Old Feb 06, 2015, 12:31 PM
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Works in golf, why not in soaring. The theory is not how well you fly but how well you flew compared to your typical flying, your average, your handicap.

Don't know if your math is the right math to use but I think the concept is sound if you are trying to level the playing field without creating classes.

How would you handle me? I fly a Supra and a Radian in our club ALES contests. Some days I fly one and some I fly the other. Usually the Radian is the back-up plane.

So, let's say I start with the Supra and fly two rounds. For some reason I switch to the Radian to finish the contest. How do you score it? Apply my handicap with the Supra for the Supra rounds and the Handicap with the Radian for the Radian rounds? If I have a Supra Handicap but no Radian Handicap I fly scratch with the Radian?


Don, I think your approach has merit. Will be interested in what others say.


My suggestion to our club CDs for ALES is to bring back 2M and Unlimited. Most of the new guys are flying 2M foam or wood. Most of the experienced pilots are flying bigger gliders, typically wood, bagged or molded. When you step up in size you automatically step up in class. If you don't want to play with the big boys stay with the smaller glider. We typically don't see 2M moldies at our field.

Naturally you can have a top pilot flying a Radian in 2M and his talent will give him an advantage.
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Old Feb 06, 2015, 01:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aeajr View Post
Works in golf, why not in soaring. The theory is not how well you fly but how well you flew compared to your typical flying, your average, your handicap.

Don't know if your math is the right math to use but I think the concept is sound if you are trying to level the playing field without creating classes.

How would you handle me? I fly a Supra and a Radian in our club ALES contests. Some days I fly one and some I fly the other. Usually the Radian is the back-up plane.

So, let's say I start with the Supra and fly two rounds. For some reason I switch to the Radian to finish the contest. How do you score it? Apply my handicap with the Supra for the Supra rounds and the Handicap with the Radian for the Radian rounds? If I have a Supra Handicap but no Radian Handicap I fly scratch with the Radian?
My first inclination would be to simply have guy who fly multiple planes to have their handicaps based on their performances with their highest performance plane. Remember, the results from a handicap class are IN ADDITION to your normal scratch scores. They are to add fun and interest to any particular competition -- not necessarily to provide a venue for the same guys to "win" another way.


Quote:
Don, I think your approach has merit. Will be interested in what others say.


My suggestion to our club CDs for ALES is to bring back 2M and Unlimited. Most of the new guys are flying 2M foam or wood. Most of the experienced pilots are flying bigger gliders, typically wood, bagged or molded. When you step up in size you automatically step up in class. If you don't want to play with the big boys stay with the smaller glider. We typically don't see 2M moldies at our field.

Naturally you can have a top pilot flying a Radian in 2M and his talent will give him an advantage.
Just an idea on the 2M -- especially since we haven't gone very far into the weeds yet with a 2M class. Keep a 2M class dirt simple. Something like 2M, 2 controls, some reasonable minimum weight, and a minimal simple skeg to make up for the lack of landing controls. Once you allow flaps or spoilers which simplify landings, and camber control which widens the flight range of a plane, you are quickly headed back to an escalation which leads to exotic materials and molded planes. A simple 2M, 2 control class would certainly fit the Radians. And it would also suit home builders. In addition, if it became a class, it is hard to visualize technology that would take the cost or complexity over the edge.

That said, it is worth remembering that adding a second class is likely to fragment competition -- not necessarily productive. Especially for places where turnout is a problem. This might be where a simple handicap system would allow a wide variety of planes and pilot skills to stay together in one class.

Happy Landings,

Don
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Old Feb 06, 2015, 01:53 PM
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Great ideas Don :-)
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Old Feb 06, 2015, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by dharban View Post
snip...

That said, it is worth remembering that adding a second class is likely to fragment competition -- not necessarily productive. Especially for places where turnout is a problem. This might be where a simple handicap system would allow a wide variety of planes and pilot skills to stay together in one class.

Happy Landings,

Don
Good point about low turn-out. The Handicap system would work better in that situation.
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Old Feb 09, 2015, 09:10 AM
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I have participated in both golf and bowling where a handicap system is used and after years worth of participation can tell you that they work much better in principle than they do in practice. Some humans will make every attempt to 'game' the system including missing putts (golf) and missing spares (bowling) on purpose. This created a strong enough bias to make me give up competitive participation in both golf and bowling. I fear that 'gaming' the system would also occur in soaring.
With ALES it is possible to restart the motor and climb back to altitude in the event that the participant launches into 'bad' air. Why not allow a motor restart with an appropriate penalty? For example: ten-minute task with altitude limited to 100 meters and a 30 point penalty for each motor restart. Now everyone gets to fly for ten minutes and the person that can best thermal from low altitude has the fewest motor restarts and is the winner (of the round).
I have run several events using this format and can tell you that things get very interesting when you are at low altitude and it becomes necessary to decide if another motor restart is required to complete the task.
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