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Old Nov 23, 2014, 06:38 PM
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Joined Mar 2007
235 Posts
CESS Pool Scoring

Got this writeup from Dave Brawner, who RD'd the USVMYG Nationals with great success using this system. I now hand you over to Dave :-)

The CESS Pool was designed to be used when the number entries are roughly equal to 1 ½ times what your starting line can handle.  Our lake can handle 16 boats on the line.  So, this works for us up to 24 entries. Yes, it was dreamed up as a joke for our end of the year fun regatta.  The fact that it works as well as it does was not necessarily the original goal.
The process, simply stated, is pulling numbered ping pong balls randomly out of Chinese food bag to create fleets. Hence, the name… Chinese Ergodic Sphere Selection Pool aka CESS Pool.  Remember, this was intended to be a joke. One little tweak made this work for real regattas.
The only additional supplies needed are a bunch of ping pong balls and one or two white boards.  A very important fact is that you have to think backwards with the CESS Pool.  This will make sense eventually.
Let’s use the example of a 27 boat regatta.  To set up the CESS Pool, put the sail number of each entry on a ping pong ball and then put them all in bag.  On the white board, make three columns labeled Race 1, Race 2 and Race 3.  
Pull 1/3 of the balls, which is 9, from the bag.  The sail numbers from that set of balls gets written down in the Race 1 column.  Set those balls aside, not back in the bag yet.
From the bag where there are now 18 balls, pull 9 more balls out and write those numbers in the Race 2 Column.  Again, set those balls aside.
Take the 9 balls remaining in the bag and write those numbers in the Race 3 column.  Now take all 27 balls and put them back in the bag.  Every three races, the process of randomly setting fleets starts again.
If you have a second white board, label the columns Race 4, Race 5 and Race 6 and start pulling the balls again nine at a time.  When races 1-3 are complete, that board could be used for races 7-9.  It’s easy to stay ahead this way.
On the top of each white board, write “Not Racing” in big bold letters.  This is where the thinking backwards comes into play.  These boards now represent who is sitting out each race.  If the skipper is *not* listed on the board for that race, they should be on the water.
There are some steps that make administering this system a lot easier on the race committee.  First, our heat sheet has a column to list the non racing boats referred to as the CESS Pool boats.  The race 1 heat sheet will have the same sail numbers in it’s CESS Pool column that the Race 1 column on the white board has. This will give the RD the list of who should not be on the water for that race.  
The scorekeeper will put an “X” on the master score sheet for each boat “not racing” that race.  When the score keeper has filled in the scores for each race, all the blocks will either have a score or an “X”.  This accounts for each boat each race.
After each race starts, wiping that column of the white board is suggested.  The skippers will get in the habit of looking at the next column.  With two white boards, the skippers can know when they race six races in advance.
The tweak that makes this work well and keeps it interesting happens on the last day.  We take the top third of the standings and remove their ping pong balls from the bag.  Their numbers are written down in the first column on the white board all day long. The remaining 18 balls continue to be randomly selected and written down in columns 2 & 3 over and over.
This means the top third will be racing against each other and another third of the fleet all day long.  A downside of the odd/even system is that top competitors may not go head to head.  The CESS Pool eliminates that potential problem.
As of this writing, we have used the CESS Pool for three NCR’s and some green chevron regattas.  Though it is not meant for everyone, it has been warmly received by those that have been subjected to it.  
Earl Boebert is offline Find More Posts by Earl Boebert
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Old Nov 24, 2014, 12:22 AM
Registered User
United States, FL, Indialantic
Joined Jul 2008
174 Posts
cesspool system

I would like to thanks Mr. Boebert for his explanation of the system I have sailed
in this system several times and it provides opportunity for everyone to sail not just the gold fleet when trying to encourage new sailor to travel to events it affords more opportunity for them to get experience.
I would also like to publicly thank Mr. Boebert for his help with a boat that had not been sailed in sixty years to get ready for the Vintage Model Yacht Group National.'
thx again Mike

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