Roller Coaster B

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sciolyperson1
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Re: Roller Coaster B

Postby sciolyperson1 » June 6th, 2019, 8:06 pm

As a competitor which has competed in this event throughout the year, I just have some suggestions. Hopefully some others agree, but I'm sure some others may not disagree as well:

Next time when roller comes around, time should be weighted a lot more heavily. Something like a 3:5 or 1:2 ratio for gap:time seems pretty good, because in this national tournament's case, the top 6 were easily ranked by just their gap. In addition - the penalty for the time going longer than the target time should be just a tiny bit more severe; in my case, I generally aim "over" on my first run, then go right for the target on the 2nd. If going over was weighted more heavily, it would allow those which adjustable timers to be ranked more easily over those with one, long nonadjustable 60 second timer.

I also suggest clarifying the rules about leveling the device a fair bit more. In general, depending on the competition, the device was measured during impound, before the 8 mins, or right before each run. Personally, I prefer right before each run - this allows the competitor to readjust and relevel the roller coaster between runs. However, at nats, they allowed us to level at impound, but not at competition - this was run quite nicely, and I loved the non-rushed feel of my last div B event I would compete in. Moreover, not allowing competitors to run the ball at impound was a fantastic idea - it allowed those which practiced with their device to have an advantage to those which didn't know their device as well.


Start Line/Finish Line: At Garnet Valley, I still maintain that I was unfairly tiered for my "unclear" start line. In any build event, or rather any event whatsoever, no more than 1/2, or even 1/3 of the teams competing should be tiered, penalized, or disqualified. Teams placing 1st-9th were placed under tier 1, the rest, placements 10th-33rd, were given either tier 3 or tier 4. Obviously, many tiers like this indicate one of few things: 1) The test or prompt was too difficult for competitors (this mainly applies to mystery). 2) The lead supervisor was too strict. Garnet was by far one of my worst experiences with any build event - 2nd to only mystery architecture, 2019 regionals. (Just want to note, "Officials are encouraged to apply the least restrictive penalty for rules infractions - see examples in the Scoring Guidelines. Event supervisors must provide prompt notification of any penalty, disqualification or tier ranking." When 2/3 of all teams which participated were placed under a non-tier one tier, this simply shows the amount of unfair strictness placed under these events. So I'll repeat - If a building event like this were to have an abnormal amount of tiers, simply trial the event. Not trialing an event simply skews the results - and at Garnet, roller represented a full 1/6 of my team score.

In addition: competitors should know if they got tiered RIGHT AFTER EACH RUN. Since there are two runs, competitors should be able to know, then be given a fair chance to solve the problem or issue with the device before the 2nd run. At garnet, the supervisor simply told me and my partner - "So, good news or bad news", after the 2nd run - not allowing us to alter or fix the issue at all. (Thinking back on it, it was kind of cruel - seriously, who turns a fun science competition into a bad news good news thing?)

"Funnel" rule: Since the 2018 season, the funnel rule was removed - it them became Rule 3.c: "The ball/sphere must be visible at all times." This change was by far, in my opinion, one of the best changes between the 2018 and 2019 season for roller coaster. Contrary to some teams thoughts, having tubes for jumps are not useful - they're inconsistent, and are simply not the optimal option for most parts of the device.

Finally, I still to this point do not understand rule 3.j: The beginning and the end of each Gap must be at least 0.5 cm above the next surface(s) below them. How would that be an issue, and why would that be an issue?
WW-P HSN '22

Nats:
Team - 3rd '18, '19
Roller - 1st '19
Mystery - 3rd '19
Buggy - 4th '19, 5th '18
Mission - 3rd '17

'20: Gravity - Boomi - WIDI - PPP
Vehicle event medalling streak - 15
Rate my tests!

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Re: Roller Coaster B

Postby bernard » June 6th, 2019, 8:26 pm

As a competitor which has competed in this event throughout the year, I just have some suggestions. Hopefully some others agree, but I'm sure some others may not disagree as well:
Thank you for sharing your takeaways. Could you add them to our Roller Coaster Wiki?
Finally, I still to this point do not understand rule 3.j: The beginning and the end of each Gap must be at least 0.5 cm above the next surface(s) below them. How would that be an issue, and why would that be an issue?
The FAQ from October 2018 suggests the purpose of this rule: "There has to be a step down to the next 'level' surface below the beginning and end of a gap. There can't just be a line drawn on a continuous surface. The Event Supervisors should be able to take a ruler, place it at the end or beginning of a gap, vertically oriented, and measure a minimum of 0.5 cm from the surface of the track before they hit something below it." When I supervised Roller Coaster during its first season as an official event, some teams' devices had us guessing where the vehicle contacted the track for the end of the gap. This rule would help avoid this.
"One of the ways that I believe people express their appreciation to the rest of humanity is to make something wonderful and put it out there."

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Re: Roller Coaster B

Postby jgrischow1 » June 6th, 2019, 9:13 pm

I think the point was to introduce risk...if it were just a straight surface and the ball didn't make it; no big deal, it would continue on the track. If there were an actual gap, and the ball didn't make it, it would probably lead to a failed run.

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Re: Roller Coaster B

Postby jander14indoor » June 7th, 2019, 8:16 am

Good description of my measurement method.
I loaded the design of the gauge on thingiverse: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3395737 and back in Feb posted that link to another string on roller coaster. I plan on doing that for all events I supervise in the future, no reason to hide how devices are measured, and I wanted to make it easy for other ES to use consistent methods

The lasers holders were set up so that, when the holders were just touching, the laser spots were 5 cm apart. I measured gap and added 5 cm. Gauge setup needed to be checked up close and at a distance to make sure no parallelism error.
The key thing was for the top of the gage where the laser bar set to be level and that the lasers projected vertically. This ensured I only measured horizontal gap.

Jeff Anderson
Livonia, MI

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sciolyperson1
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Re: Roller Coaster B

Postby sciolyperson1 » June 7th, 2019, 10:13 am

I think the point was to introduce risk...if it were just a straight surface and the ball didn't make it; no big deal, it would continue on the track. If there were an actual gap, and the ball didn't make it, it would probably lead to a failed run.
Which is why we went for complete consistency over riskiness. If calibrated correctly, we could run up to 5 or 6 runs in a row without readjusting the ball (rubbing my hands on it, wiping it, temperature, etc)
WW-P HSN '22

Nats:
Team - 3rd '18, '19
Roller - 1st '19
Mystery - 3rd '19
Buggy - 4th '19, 5th '18
Mission - 3rd '17

'20: Gravity - Boomi - WIDI - PPP
Vehicle event medalling streak - 15
Rate my tests!

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Re: Roller Coaster B

Postby builderguy135 » June 7th, 2019, 2:40 pm

I think the point was to introduce risk...if it were just a straight surface and the ball didn't make it; no big deal, it would continue on the track. If there were an actual gap, and the ball didn't make it, it would probably lead to a failed run.
Which is why we went for complete consistency over riskiness. If calibrated correctly, we could run up to 5 or 6 runs in a row without readjusting the ball (rubbing my hands on it, wiping it, temperature, etc)
One word: sweat
HSN '22 & DMAH Co-Captain
6-time medalist in Nationals 2019
2020 Events: Detector/PPP/Sounds/Wright/Code

builder83
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Re: Roller Coaster B

Postby builder83 » June 10th, 2019, 6:51 am

To add onto some other ideas here....

I really enjoyed roller the past 2 years. I was able to place 1st in my state each time. But it really was not the hardest event. Just figure out the biggest jump and win.

I would also like to see time factored in more. In addition to that I would love to see 'tasks' similar to mission. For example... X amount of points given to a ball that makes a 360 loop or a time bonus for being within 5 seconds of the target time. Or the greatest number of 5cm jumps.

Anything that would add more strategy to the event than who can catapult the ball the farthest.

I also think it would be helpful to have a track width specification.


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