N. Cal Wind Power event was a joke

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N. Cal Wind Power event was a joke

Post by soyuppy » April 16th, 2016, 10:14 pm

I am appalled by whoever run wind power event at the N. Cal tournament. Clearly, the rule is not being followed by the event supervisor and left many team with legitimate/competitive blade fail to turn and produce any power. Many of these blade has been test in regional and have been deemed as top of their regional
Rule 4f clearly state that the team must be allow to attach the blade to the motor/generator and position it up to 5cm from the front of the grill of the fan.
The supervisor instead decided that a fix position is set in advance and that the position is not 5cm, but 5 in. The team are allow to move the blade horizontally along the fan to catch the air, but the team cannot move the blade close to the fan as specified by the 5cm rule.

Of course most blade that have been optimally designed for 5cm position fail to spin...even when team tried tapping it
What's further sadden is that when several of the school/team coaches file the complain with arbitrator, arbitrator didn't think there were any rule being violated.

When all said and done, winner then shift those blade with construction for high torque, i.e. pinwheel or CD with lots of blade will catch the weak win and spin and produce some small amount energy

Most of the kids walked out of the event completely disgusted by this action...clearly took away the spirit of competition,

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Re: N. Cal Wind Power event was a joke

Post by chalker » April 17th, 2016, 6:10 am

soyuppy wrote:I am appalled by whoever run wind power event at the N. Cal tournament. Clearly, the rule is not being followed by the event supervisor and left many team with legitimate/competitive blade fail to turn and produce any power. Many of these blade has been test in regional and have been deemed as top of their regional
Rule 4f clearly state that the team must be allow to attach the blade to the motor/generator and position it up to 5cm from the front of the grill of the fan.
The supervisor instead decided that a fix position is set in advance and that the position is not 5cm, but 5 in. The team are allow to move the blade horizontally along the fan to catch the air, but the team cannot move the blade close to the fan as specified by the 5cm rule.

Of course most blade that have been optimally designed for 5cm position fail to spin...even when team tried tapping it
What's further sadden is that when several of the school/team coaches file the complain with arbitrator, arbitrator didn't think there were any rule being violated.

When all said and done, winner then shift those blade with construction for high torque, i.e. pinwheel or CD with lots of blade will catch the weak win and spin and produce some small amount energy

Most of the kids walked out of the event completely disgusted by this action...clearly took away the spirit of competition,
Sorry you had this happen to you. While I don't know any details about what happened other than what you listed above, I can hypothesize regarding it.

The rules state "teams must attach their blade assembly to the motor/generator mount and position it" and "the final position must be no closer than 5 cm from the front grill". So technically it does sound like they were allowed to position it (just only in certain directions) and the final position was no closer than 5 cm from the front grill.

Things like this do happen more frequently that I'd like in SO tournaments. The arbitrators might have decided that the event was conducted within the letter of the rules, and since all teams were being treated equally (i.e. they had the same competition conditions), there was no need to make any changes after the fact. It can be REALLY hard to go back and retest a whole bunch of devices.

However this wasn't the spirit of what we tried to write into the rules, which is frustrating. Looking at the language, I see how we can make it more explicit in the future. I'd also like to point out that the 'go to' rule for situations like this is General Rule #1: https://www.soinc.org/ethics_rules

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Re: N. Cal Wind Power event was a joke

Post by soyuppy » April 18th, 2016, 9:28 am

English is not my native language. But when I read the rule it's pretty clear and understood that IT IS THE TEAM that can position the blade up 5cm in font of the grill, NOT THE SUPERVISOR.
I guess when all said and done, many rules on Wind Power are left open to let the event supervisor do whatever they feel like, especially the written exam.

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Re: N. Cal Wind Power event was a joke

Post by texas » April 18th, 2016, 10:47 am

I'm from Seven Lakes Jr. High in Texas, and I attended the Sartartia Middle School Invitational this year. It was SO disorganized and poorly run. At least your event supervisor was there. At Sartartia, the ES for Wind Power DIDN'T EVEN SHOW UP. Also, the event supervisors for Roller Coaster and Mission Possible were eighth graders.
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Re: N. Cal Wind Power event was a joke

Post by kenniky » April 18th, 2016, 11:38 am

Can we not turn this thread into PRES...

soyuppy, that sounds super unfortunate, but what can you really do. Event supervisors unfortunately aren't always experts at what they're doing; you just have to deal with whatever comes up.
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Re: N. Cal Wind Power event was a joke

Post by texas » April 18th, 2016, 12:00 pm

kenniky wrote:Can we not turn this thread into PRES...

soyuppy, that sounds super unfortunate, but what can you really do. Event supervisors unfortunately aren't always experts at what they're doing; you just have to deal with whatever comes up.
Well what if your event supervisors are eighth graders? I mean, of course they're not experts.
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Re: N. Cal Wind Power event was a joke

Post by soyuppy » April 18th, 2016, 12:39 pm

I would understand if this is an invitational event. But this is a State level event...the highest within the state. Only one winner is decided. The fate of winner is not in the hand of the team who put in all the hardwork, but the hand of event supervisor.

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Re: N. Cal Wind Power event was a joke

Post by samlan16 » April 18th, 2016, 4:13 pm

My thoughts on the setup:
1. Yes, it's unfortunate that you all were at a disadvantage thanks to some confusion. Unfortunately, SO has no way of controlling for errors like that, since they do not have a big appeals panel like some sports do.
2. The setup is vaguely defined in the rules. If you tried to appeal, you would have to be very careful to not appeal things covered by general rule 1.
3. You should check to see if NoCal has state specific rules for the event that require the proctor to do adjustments. Previous events have had issues with competitors getting injured by spinning propellors. For example, a competitor in MagLev supposedly had his finger cut off at nationals by his car's blades; the following year, everyone had to install safety cages around their entire propulsion systems. NoCal may have instituted such a rule as a precaution, since the event was in recent memory.
Remember, we are proud of every team that participated and you are all winners.

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Re: N. Cal Wind Power event was a joke

Post by chalker » April 18th, 2016, 5:03 pm

samlan16 wrote: For example, a competitor in MagLev supposedly had his finger cut off at nationals by his car's blades; the following year, everyone had to install safety cages around their entire propulsion systems. .
Before the rumors start.... nobody got their finger cut off at nationals. One girl DID get a pretty serious cut though that resulted in a lot of blood smeared around and a trip to the hospital for stitches. And yes, that did directly impact our decision regarding safety cages.

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Re: N. Cal Wind Power event was a joke

Post by soyuppy » April 19th, 2016, 6:37 am

samlan16 wrote: 3. You should check to see if NoCal has state specific rules for the event that require the proctor to do adjustments. Previous events have had issues with competitors getting injured by spinning propellors. For example, a competitor in MagLev supposedly had his finger cut off at nationals by his car's blades; the following year, everyone had to install safety cages around their entire propulsion systems. NoCal may have instituted such a rule as a precaution, since the event was in recent memory.
There were no N.Cal specific rule or provisional of such. The arbitrator simply refer to the main rule book from SO.

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