School gap 1 gap 2 gap 3 gap 4 gap 5 score total gap
Bedford MS 22 22 22 22 19 618.00 107
Meads Mill MS 28 28 28 16 581.00 100
Tower Heights MS 46 46 562.00 92
Slauson MS 22 7 23 7 32 518.00 91
Solon MS 51 26 9 6 506.00 92
Springhouse MS 22 23 24 23 499.00 92
Paul Gelinas Jr. HS 17 15 15 16 24 471.00 87
Community MS 18 21 20 18 461.00 77
Kennedy MS 23 15 21 12 446.00 71
Jeffrey Trail MS 34 35 432.00 69
As you can see, scoring totally dominated by the gaps. If the team made all their gaps, that set the order, pretty much, till VERY far down the list.
Only 6 devices with NO gaps, Pretty much at the bottom of their tier.
Top two teams ran about 30 seconds against the 41 second target. #3 hit 42 seconds. So it is possible to get good gaps and time, but obviously it wasn't good enough to overcome the gap difference.
The 19 way tie for last place. Yep, two failed runs. However, pretty evenly divided for missed gaps and stops on the timer portion of the device.
- To hit 41 seconds and leave as much time height as possible for the gaps required a pretty flat zig zag timer. The low energy available during that run encouraged hangups.
- I'd say the half pipe timers, while a little trickier to set up, were probably more reliable from that standpoint.
Some pretty interesting strategies to maximize kinetic energy conservation for the jumps. Probably the best was the loop the loops. Jump start conventional 45 degree (by eye) kick up, landing on a curved track that looped around 180+ degrees back over itself launching the next jump back in the opposite direction. Long jumps were all about conserving the energy from one jump to the second. Going around corners sideways doesn't do that as well.
Tiering, purely about size. 60 by 60 is a square and is ALL the way up. And that is square to the floor. Watch those fasteners heads or points on the outside of your 59.9 by 59.9 box. Watch the tilting support. Watch the flaring paper catch track. Watch that track looping JUST outside your supports.
Appeals, two. Though one covered multiple devices.
1. What I expected. What constitutes enclosed and what constitutes a funnel. Folks, a funnel doesn't have to be round and it doesn't have to be upright. However, I was overruled, not because the committee didn't agree with me on funnel, but they didn't like the word 'enclosed'. Most of the funnels only enclosed the ball at a single point where it passed through a hole. Appeals committee ruled that too vague so all those teams were NOT tiered. This will be addressed better (to the best of our ability) in next years rules. Wording has been proposed, now to subject it to scrutiny of as many people as possible.
2. This was a creative attempt on the competitors part. They took the concept of bouncing the ball across the whole diagonal and broke it up into two jumps by drawing two lines on the board at least 5 cm apart and declaring the first line the end of the first jump and the second line the beginning of the second. I ruled it a single gap with a bounce, appeals committee upheld the decision.
General comments on designs.
- maximum gaps (as already commented on) require conserving energy!!! Besides the care in your turns, you need low friction track during the jump portion of the event device.
- CONSISTENT results critical (as can be seen by the 19 double failed runs and many more single failed runs)
-- This requires SOLID construction so your device doesn't change from one run to the next. Paper is ultimately not a very good material.
-- Be careful how you test. Testing the first jump until you hit it once or twice and then moving onto the second is NOT the way to go. Test that first jump until you hit it EVERY time, time after time after time. Then go on to the second jump and test it until you can hit the first AND second time after time after time. And so on.
-- The tournament is NOT the place to do this testing. It is NOT the place to calibrate up your device. Several teams had no score because they failed to get any runs completed.
To get consistency you HAVE to get that in your practice at your home site. The only thing you should be 'testing' at the tournament is that nothing got messed up in transportation. Which if you go back to the first point and have SOLID construction should be minimal.
- Low sloped zig zags are dangerous on long times for the ball to just stop. Half pipe timers, while tricky to calibrate, are more reliable for at least completing.
SO, what to look forward to next year. GENERAL comments, subject to change by the higher powers, and still in work for clear wording.
- Expect the scoring balance to change. Less emphasis on gaps, more on height and time. More balanced so you HAVE to make tradeoffs on time, height and gaps and its not so clear where the balance should be.
- Fix the wording on "enclosed".
- Improve the definition of gap so its clear what not only the beginning of the gap is, but what its end is.
- Improve wording around failed run vs complete run.
- Change the scoring so failed runs are scored, but behind all completed runs.
- Some other wording tweaks to address other FAQs or ambiguities noted while running the event this year.
Enjoy your summer. If you choose to practice over the summer, DON'T obsess over next years rules. Instead focus on getting CONSISTENT performance out of your basic track design. Focus on perfecting each of the elements of roller coaster individually.
- Consistent, multiple jumps for maximum distances with least energy input.
- Consistent timing with minimal height.