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Last Post 12 Apr 2006 04:53 PM by  mattg
Heat selection
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Bryan S
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12 Apr 2006 12:22 PM

Some other issues that the solo committee discussed when we last considered an on-line system. Believe me it was seriously considered.

On-line registration would need a cut off to allow the registration team to enter the information into the system.

Then somebody (beleagured registration chief), prior to each event would need to analyze the entry list and prepare heat/work assignments (assuming we'd run by class). At the event the same chief and team would still need to man the trailer to check in folks and verify data (almost the same process as simply registering people the day of the event). Since it would be unfair to some to have only on-line registration there would need to be a line open to allow event day registration. Once registration closed the chief would need to verify that the heat assignments he gave up Friday night to work out were still valid and resort as required.

At the drivers meeting we would announce heat/work assignments to much groaning and grumbling.

Now after several events there would be a certian amount of predictability and perhaps run groups could be predicted somewhat.

What was obvious the last time this was considered is that the positive thing on-line registration would do would be to allow running by class. the downside is that it only increased the workload on registration.

It could be optional that wouldn't run by class and allow people to pick a heat on-line. The downside there is that you really discriminate against the member who isn't an internet junkie.

markhuebbe
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12 Apr 2006 01:02 PM

Since I've never worked with the registration software, how hard would it be to automate the integration of Myautoevents into the registration program?

I would think online registration would save at a minimum of one minute per entrant. (It took about 3 min. for my credit card to go thru) That's well over an hour with the numbers we usually pull each event.

A person would register on MAE and pay the member fee. (Members would be required to enter their SCCA #)

The person shows up to the gate and grabs a heat ticket like everyone else. They go to a special pre-reg. line to get their grid ticket and confirm that they are at the event.

Bryan S
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12 Apr 2006 01:25 PM
markhuebbe wrote:

A person would register on MAE and pay the member fee. (Members would be required to enter their SCCA #)

The person shows up to the gate and grabs a heat ticket like everyone else. They go to a special pre-reg. line to get their grid ticket and confirm that they are at the event.

Good idea. Member verification could easily occur at check-in.

blue&boosted
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12 Apr 2006 01:33 PM
my 2 cents . . . for however little its worth . . .

I left Sunday by 6:15am in order to attend the event and found that heat 3 was gone...I chose to run heat 4 instead of 1 because I prefer not to run first heat too. I certainly could have chosen heat 1 but i did not. Did I know the run/work order? no. But as I am willing to spend about 4 hours on the road for 2 minutes worth of seat time, I accept that it will effectivly consume my day when I go. I think part of the fact these events are far away, requires those of us From S. IL to accept this.
Is there a way for it to be less time consuming? Assuming that you would have worked before the event and then ran heat 1, it still would have been 12:30 ish when you were done. Add back in your almost 2 hours of travel time and its now 2:30...thats still 3/4's of your day. I'm not sure how a pregresitration would fix that.
Maybe I'm just getting more laid back as I get older, but my insight is just to relax and enjoy the fact you get to spend the day visiting, and autocrossing. Personally i find it a relaxing way to spend the day w/ the wife and kids.
Seth53
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12 Apr 2006 03:02 PM
markhuebbe wrote:

Since I've never worked with the registration software, how hard would it be to automate the integration of Myautoevents into the registration program?

I would think online registration would save at a minimum of one minute per entrant. (It took about 3 min. for my credit card to go thru) That's well over an hour with the numbers we usually pull each event.

A person would register on MAE and pay the member fee. (Members would be required to enter their SCCA #)

The person shows up to the gate and grabs a heat ticket like everyone else. They go to a special pre-reg. line to get their grid ticket and confirm that they are at the event.

I was just working on somethng very similar to this for my proposal on how everything could possible work out.

47CP
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12 Apr 2006 03:14 PM

Don't forget to factor in the MAE fees for accepting payments.

DLB Racing is an alternate service that appears to be cheaper, but less functional (I have only spent very limited time researching this, so don't take my word on it. )

Importing from MAE to the timing software is easy. I'll let Chad speak for himself, but I suspect the issue is more from the fact that he doesn't carry the registration computers around with him. :)

I wasn't timing it but it seemed like someone who had run with us before has a much quicker registration than 3 minutes. Especially if they had all the stuff out, knew thier class, etc. Perhaps it only took 3 minutes becuase the computer operator was new and slower?

If you can't select your run/work heat when you pre register, and still have to be there early to get the heat you desire, then what is the incentive to pre-reg?

I'm just throwing out ideas here, not naysaying.

DaveW

cab3
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12 Apr 2006 04:01 PM

While I normally don't post to the forums, I've seen this discussion and wanted to point out a few things.

Your initial complaint of having only three heats open, as has been discussed, was in error. Chalk it up to the first event of the year, and move on. It likely will not happen at future events. Four heats will be open for each event when the gate opens, and you can pick from whatever is available when you arrive. If all 4 heats fill up, then the 5th will be opened up, and so on until we run out of time or competitors. We're ready for up to 6 heats. The gate workers now understand this in detail, and it won't be a problem.

As for online registration, many of the historical points made are quite accurate. If you do online registraton, there must be a cutoff time in order to get the data from online to some media to move it to the computers at the event. Someone has to do this work, and the same someone would then be responsible for getting it to the event. If they sleep in, or get run over by a bus on the way to the event, then there would be a lot of lost data, and no doubt people wouldn't like that either. If the entire registration team goes AWOL, there are a couple of people at the events that could set up the computers and get it to work. It may not be optimal, but the event would go on.

Many of the suggestions are possible, and if there are volunteer hours behind them to implement, then they could happen. The true fact of the matter is that many of these suggestions are addressed to the organizers, saying that they have been brought up in the past and that they "fell thru the cracks". When making the suggestions, did you offer solutions, or just point out the problem? Unless those that are making suggestions step up with zero-additive time solutions, or volunteer to take on the responsibilities themselves, then things will likely stay status quo. The last time I checked, everyone that does so much to put on the events has other jobs that pay the bills, and many also have families that they like to spend time with. Asking them to invest yet more time for what is a volunteer activity or hobby for them would be unfair. If there are those that would like to volunteer their time to help out, please step up.

If we're comparing the amount of hours that an event involves, you probably don't want to go there. I was up at 5:30am, out the door by 6am, and didn't leave the event site until 5:45p. After getting home at 7:30p, I still did all of the financials and SCCA insurance/sanction payments, etc. T&S puts in even more post-event time to audit the results and get them posted. All of the chiefs put in time above and beyond what goes on the day of the event, all to put on events for the rest of the membership. It's always difficult to hear how much additional time for the chiefs everyone else is willing to volunteer them for.

Also, just to point out some of the mathematics of the event. There were three computers, working continually. With registration open from 8am -10am (or 10:15 this event), that's a total of 135 minutes of wall time per computer, or 405 total man registration minutes. With 163 registrants, that's 2.48 minutes each. Typically newbies take longer because they don't know what they need. And even the seasoned rarely have their DL/SCCA Card/Heat Ticket/Payment ready when they get to a computer. The longer time may also be attributed to having to re-input all SCCA numbers on a yearly basis, as well as off-season vehicle/number/class changes. Subsequent events and registrations should be expedited as the data rolls over from event to event within the season.

Dave also points out the fact that if you go with online registration and payment, entry fees would likely go up to cover the costs incurred by the program doing online registration. Are the members willing to pay an extra $5 per event for online registration?

Again, I'm not against the ideas or solutions to them. It's just important that it comes with a way to implement the solution that doesn't require yet more commitment from our already taxed chiefs and board members. The events are a culimination of what the organizers put into them, and if you want more things done, the members need to become organizers as well, and be part of a solution, rather than just saying "someone outta..."

mattg
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12 Apr 2006 04:53 PM

Registration should not be a big deal once the entrants information is entered. If someone comes to me for registration, all information, $20 bill, and heat ticket in hand. I can get them in the computer and on their way in about 60-80 seconds.

Online Registration would speed things how? Unless we could pick heats online, which would still be first come first serve, what difference would it make? Once all the information is in the system registration should, in theory, be quick. If people remember lines 2 years ago, where often there wasn't more than a few people in line, its wasn't an issue. Without a really slick system, the cost benifit of online registation seems limited.

So the issue is not really online registration, but online HEAT SELECTION...payment is due at time of selection. If you don't show up the money is non-refundable. All unused heat tickets go back into general selection. The "offering period" for the event can be the Monday Prior to the event....that way an accurate weather report will be harder to obtain so those that jump for a heat may get a wet heat if it rains, or luck out. Those willing to wait will run the risk of not having the heat they want be available.

Why don't we auction off permanent heat tickets to 5 people per heat. Bidding starts at $150 highest bid gets to choose what heat and on down the line. Or put together a package which includes event payment, membership, and heat selection to all the local events. Money raised can go to Racers for Kids.

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