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Oct 05, 2012, 07:05 PM
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Contest

VTPR Instant Scoring Contest - SoCal Date TBD


In the past there has been much discussion on suitable formats to use for running VTPR contests. But a design which could be clearly understood and which could provide for a fair and consistent outcome never materialized. Instead, we were left in limbo with more questions than answers. In the final analysis, it was determined that a completely new language was needed to address the VTPR artistic style of flying; one which would enable contests to be scored objectively and to the satisfaction of all those who may participate in them.

For those striving for perfection, there is the traditional aerobatics approach which has set aerobatic maneuvers judged to a strict criteria. There is also the more relaxed style of aerobatics known as freestyle aerobatics. Both of these disciplines have their issues with judging, particularly when attempting to provide fair and subjective outcomes using online polls. In summing up past methods, I have tackled this from a different angle and have come up with a fresh approach which I call the 'VTPR Instant Scoring Contest Format’ (VTPR ISC).

I have now presented this new format, or system if you like, here on RCGroups for those wishing to become actively involved in competitive VTPR flying. The instructions and guidelines etc, have been categorized into 7 parts and are explained in detail here. Click on links to view.

1. Introduction
2. Basic Guidelines
3. Figure Selection, Criteria, Points, Freestyle
4. Online Video Contest
5. Judging, Scoring & Score Cards
6. V-Cup Challenge
7. The Models

The idea of the new format is for fliers to begin to organize VTPR contests at your local slope and be able to compete with like-minded pilots in an orderly manner. While I understand that competitive slope aerobatics isn’t for everyone, for those interested in wanting to fly and/or organize VTPR events, I am confident that the new format provided will enable you to run them in a way that should provide objective outcomes which are fair - or should I say, as fair as they can be made possible. The end result it that this will foster better individual flying techniques and I expect, the development of new glider designs. I welcome your feedback.

For those wishing to enjoy some good, clean, fun competition with your slope brothers, like any other radio controlled experience, be it dynamic soaring, F3F or F3J styles, to name a few, I invite you to climb on board and get involved.

I am open to suggestions, as in tweaking or fine- tuning the format. But at least we now have a new format presented in a language which is void of most of the subjective elements that surrounds other systems. I have spent a great deal of time putting this together for the slope community. All I ask is that you take the time to browse through this thread and if you like what your read, to become involved in this newly organized format for VTPR aerobatics either online and/or on the slope.

For the Southern California group, suggestions are welcome for the inaugaral VTPR-ISC contest meeting, place and date. Post your suggestions in this thread. If you are out of my state or country, let’s hear your efforts in doing an ISC contest in your neck of the woods.

Thanks, Eric

A special thanks goes to:

- IAN COLE for his expert line by line proofing and editing
- PIERRE' RONDEL for his International Support on Planet-Soaring
- The ISX Instant Scoring eXperience in SoCal for the idea.
- Those of you who know who you are for the words of support
Last edited by oldscooler; Oct 31, 2012 at 09:37 PM. Reason: spelling, sentence structure
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Oct 05, 2012, 11:42 PM
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PDF files of the format ... Parts 3 & 5 are removed, and updated to include a Freestyle format. SEE post #15.
Last edited by oldscooler; Oct 12, 2012 at 08:21 PM.
Oct 06, 2012, 12:11 AM
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Score Cards in 2 formats. Cards have been removed, and updated to include the Freestyle Round. SEE post #16... Eric
Last edited by oldscooler; Oct 12, 2012 at 08:22 PM. Reason: spelling
Oct 06, 2012, 02:44 AM
FSD
FSD
Definite Flight Risk
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Wow...this is a lot of work Eric. It's going to take a while to digest this. No one can question your dedication or commitment, that's for sure.

-PLA
Latest blog entry: Flow 3.5 Maiden With Aeros
Oct 06, 2012, 03:40 AM
Slopeaholic
jimbo320's Avatar
Awesome Eric. Love the vids on your website too, i can see a place for a 2.2-2.5m aerobat in my hanger after the demise of my psycho, if only there was something on the market.
Oct 06, 2012, 04:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FSD
Wow...this is a lot of work Eric. It's going to take a while to digest this. No one can question your dedication or commitment, that's for sure.

-PLA
Dont let it intimidate. Once you read through the system, its actually very simple to digest and impliment. The videos are a good guide to understanding the concept, then its just a matter of making your program choices and go fly. Judging will be the one area thats not completely known until we have a group at the slope actually putting the format in motion. Then the maneuver criteria will guide the piloting, judging and scoring. The most important aspect of this system is it forces the entrant to fly low, and the actual maneuver is what is being scored. Gone is subjectivity.

If you are reading along, go into your video files and put together a video similar to the samples. Even if you dont currently have actual low Vtpr material. Edit in just the maneuver, label and assign points to each of 8 clips as shown. Then string them together. You will find the elapsed time of your video will probably only be 2 minutes or less. Give it a try.

Eric
Oct 06, 2012, 04:22 AM
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Sample ISC video that will help you understand the concept and how the program is judged and scored at the slope. You would also submit a video like this for the online video contest. Eric

Sample Instant scoring contest video 1 (1 min 48 sec)
Oct 06, 2012, 11:44 AM
Flagstaff, AZ
dawsonh's Avatar
Eric:

You have obviously put a lot of thought and energy into this project. I have made some comments to the figures section. See attached pdf file.

While I like to pass by pass format. I do miss having transitions as a part of the competition. For me the "upright pass, to half snap roll, to push to an up-line, to hammer head" transition is classic VTPR.

Also I would like having a landing pass.

Thanks for the great work!

Dawson
Oct 07, 2012, 11:46 PM
Abundantly deficient.......
CptMike's Avatar
Hey Eric, in keeping with the idea that VTPR is a style of slope soaring and that it has a flow or fluid nature, maybe making a "free-style round" part of the contest would help in bringing it all together. Each contestant could show his style, technique, transitions etc., and the round would be included with the others. It could be weighted however you want, maybe like 20% of the total score or even higher. Just thinkin.

M
Oct 08, 2012, 03:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CptMike
Hey Eric, in keeping with the idea that VTPR is a style of slope soaring and that it has a flow or fluid nature, maybe making a "free-style round" part of the contest would help in bringing it all together. Each contestant could show his style, technique, transitions etc., and the round would be included with the others. It could be weighted however you want, maybe like 20% of the total score or even higher. Just thinkin.M
Thats an interesting concept. Maybe it would be possible to have both worlds in one event. This could serve as you say to 'show his or her style'. If for instance there is only time for two rounds that day, have a coin toss as to which format gets run first. If there is lots of time to run 3 or 4 or more rounds that day, let the artistic round go last or when the best weather conditions arise. This can all be sorted at the slope.

Regarding the weighting of the artistic round, im open for suggestions but i would probably lean towards 20-25%. Example: one regular round of your chosen 8 figures equals 66 points possible. The artistic round points based on the 66 would be 16.5 points for a total possible points of 82.5. How the artistic round actually gets scored is the judges overall impression based on execution, creativity coupled with lowness to the ground. Hmmm, this idea is kind of cool, what do others think about Mikes idea?

Eric
Oct 08, 2012, 03:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dawsonh
Eric:

You have obviously put a lot of thought and energy into this project. I have made some comments to the figures section. See attached pdf file. While I like to pass by pass format. I do miss having transitions as a part of the competition. For me the "upright pass, to half snap roll, to push to an up-line, to hammer head" transition is classic VTPR. Also I would like having a landing pass. Thanks for the great work! Dawson
Thanks Dawson for your input. I havo gone through your notes and have edited most of it in my draft copy. The 'landing pass' is interesting. If you would, post or PM me how you think the full criteria should be worded and include the points assignment.

I'd like to hear from some others that are interested in the format so they have a chance to express some more constructive ideas. Then i can re-do the PDF's and score cards.

Thanks, Eric
Oct 11, 2012, 11:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CptMike
Hey Eric, in keeping with the idea that VTPR is a style of slope soaring and that it has a flow or fluid nature, maybe making a "free-style round" part of the contest would help in bringing it all together. Each contestant could show his style, technique, transitions etc., and the round would be included with the others. It could be weighted however you want, maybe like 20% of the total score or even higher. Just thinkin. M
In part 3, I have modified the 'figures' section with most of what Dawson suggested here.
In this same section the new 'freestyle round' recommended by CptMike has also been added. You can read it over at the bottom of the page.

http://vtpraerobatics.blogspot.com/p...art-3.html?m=0

The 'judging and scoring' criteria for freestyle is at the bottom of part 5, here.

http://vtpraerobatics.blogspot.com/p...art-5.html?m=0


I have received input regarding the skill level that might be necessary to participate in this new format. Let me just say this. It may appear one needs higher than average flying skills to compete and be in the running for a favorable finish position. This is true if you are competing with really good and disciplined pilots. The reality is though, most all in the small community of Vtpr flyers are in a constant state of improvement which translates into 95% of those who sign up are more than likely of all the same general skill level. So guess what. If 95% of flyers are on a semi even plain, the scores are going to be generally close, even if they are in the midrange of total possible points. If you are unable to fly a 10 but edge out your close competitor with a 5, then its a good thing.

So, don't allow yourself to believe you won't be competitive, everybody else will make the same mistakes. The good news is that all who enter the contest will get better and better each time out, including me lol. The neat thing is that you are together with your slope brothers having some good clean and fun competition. I don't believe its as serious as one may make it out to be.

Lastly, the more i think about it, the freestyle addition will balance out the day of flying really well. Thanks Mike for the plug and Dawson too for the figures adjustments.

Eric
Oct 12, 2012, 06:02 PM
Silent Flight
Twyl's Avatar
Hi Eric, as others have stated, you have obviously put in an extraordinary amount of time and effort into formulating a very controlled competition and scoring system. For that you deserve recognition and praise for your work as it is undoubtedly helping to further the hobby of slope flying.

That said, I find it difficult to accept that slope soaring VTPR and the types of competitions such as skateboarding, etc which use a fixed scoring system based on predetermined routines written and handed in by the competitor, have enough in common to use the same type of scoring system. The key difference is that the stage or setting were skating events and other similarly scored events are held are far more, if not entirely, controlled. When you are standing on the slope, face to face with mother nature, there are no guarantees how the wind will blow or how the lift will take you, and thus each competitor is left to deal with a rather large dose of luck. While it is almost impossible to totally rule out luck in any competition, there is definitely a point where the balance of skill vs luck reaches a breaking point and the competition no longer becomes competitive but a gamble. In my opinion the only way around this is to allow for spontaneity.

Some may beg to differ regarding the above statement, but considering that theoretically those who are competing in a VTPR event are very likely experts or aspiring experts in the field, then they should all be able to perform and complete the moves listed in the scoring guideline. While obviously not novice material they are far from “off the charts” difficulty. Basically what it means is that the only thing separating each competitor from each other is the wind/lift conditions at the time of the pass or the time of their performance. While a good pilot should be able to adapt to the changing lift conditions restricting the routine to something that was prewritten and handed in to a panel of judges prior to the flight does not allow for any flexibility or spontaneity in the routine.

Maybe instead of modeling it after a skate competition, what if you modeled it after a surf competition instead? At least surfing has the same "mother nature" element to it. Perhaps 3 or 4 pilots could go up at once for a designated time window and compete for the best pass in front of the judges. MoM VTPR anyone?

Anyways, I'm not trying to rain on anyones parade, but rather attempting to throw some alternative ideas out there. Hopefully there is some method out there that can combine the free spirited "go with the flow" type flying that represents VTPR with an easy to follow competition guide line. I have the feeling that the answer that will get the biggest following is not something that forces strict predetermined figures and passes on pilots but one that allows for more artistic and spontaneous expression.

-Jonathan
Oct 12, 2012, 07:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Twyl
Hopefully there is some method out there that can combine the free spirited "go with the flow" type flying that represents VTPR with an easy to follow competition guide line. I have the feeling that the answer that will get the biggest following is not something that forces strict predetermined figures and passes on pilots but one that allows for more artistic and spontaneous expression.
Thus the recently added 'Freestyle solo round' to the program.

Your not raining on anything here, I appreciate your post and notice it covers topics many of us have already covered and come to an empass. https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show....php?t=1568747

The bottom line is, in order to produce a 'fairly judged and scored' VTPR contest, that which has never been officially done before, it cannot allow much if any 'subjectivity' in its outcome. The problem with Vtpr is (actually what Vtpr is at its core), its so darned artistic and a freely expressive sport. This is the wondrrful thing about flying it, but it poses problems in a real contest format. There are no qualified Vtpr judges, anywhere, that we can have total objective fairness with. Its an art plain and simple. But we can fairly judge standard Aresti type maneuvers, just low to the ground. The Freestyle round I have added is going to introduce some of that old enemy, subjectivity, but i think we can apply balance for just one round enough to make everybody happy.

Some of the figures in part 3 are difficult but not over the top imo. The neat thing about all of the listed 'choices', you dont have to fly all of them. Just choose 8 plus some bonus points.

So though your ideas are good ones in and of themselves, the go with the flow philosophy wont work. Even some of the best pilots have weighed in on this and have come to the same conclusion. How do we make it fair, objective, low to the ground and apply a points system all can trust. Read through the link above and you will see what we mean. Read through all the bitter arguing in many threads the last year and it will clearly show the difficulty we have been through.

This has been my passion, more than anybody on the planet to getting a subjective Vtpr contest format established where no others have gone. Dawson, Steve and Paige along with Mike B, the Leroyers in France and Canada have contributed the most so far and i thank them. So, this is the only fair and objective format out there strictly Vtpr. The 'go with the flow' idea just isnt going to cut it especially with the judges. I have looked at this from every angle to try and keep it more free spirited and fair but it just doesnt come home yet. To this point in time there must be a clear starting and ending point to facilitate the judges to properly judge as with all other sports that are contested. Even skateboarding. Like i said before, if someone can invent a clearly objective, fair and freeform contest format with points, im all ears. Put it out there on paper for all to read and critic like i have and lets see what they come up with. Whatever the case, i will still be sponsoring the V-Cup Challenge Trophy Event. Thats my baby hahaha...

Eric
Last edited by oldscooler; Oct 12, 2012 at 08:11 PM. Reason: spelling
Oct 12, 2012, 08:15 PM
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Revised 'Figures and Judging' PDF's. Parts 3 & 5 of the format. Take special note of the Freestyle section at the bottom of both files. Its very simple but built from the exhisting guidelines that lay the foundation. Eric


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