Storm the Castle B

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Re: Storm the Castle B

Postby sandpas » April 4th, 2011, 4:52 am

As you may or may not know, we on the national rules committees at Science Olympiad begin work about this time every year on updating the rules for next year. We have a general policy of trying to make at least one significant change to each returning event (not all events return every year - they rotate in and out every so often), as well as trying to correct issues that required clarifications or FAQs.

The day after Nationals we (the national event supervisors, state directors, etc. etc.) always have a big meeting where we hash out issues face to face and try to come up with a near final version of the new rules. While many of us (myself included) are former competitors, in general we don't get direct input from current competitors during this process, although we do get some input from some coaches who happen to be involved at the national level.

Thus, as the Physical Sciences Committee chair, I've decided to try an experiment this year. Storm the Castle is tentatively scheduled to return next year (2011-2012 season). What specific changes would you make to the rules? I'm open to all suggestions (small and large), but can't promise we'll actually implement any of them. Feel free to post ideas here or send me a PM if you'd like.
The current rule really count distance more the accuracy. The precision score should count more.
I will use an example. Two teams can both shoot the same projectile about 20m using the same counterweight.
Team one chooses to place the target at 20 m and overshoots by 0.5 m getting a score of 19.5m
Team two chooses to place the target at 30 m and undershoots by 9.5m (the same overall 20.5 as team one) and get a score of 20.5 m.

Both teams shot the same distance bu tthe team that came closer gets a lower score. There is no real advantage to trying to come close. Even if team one would have landed in the castle they would have gotten a 10% bonus oand scored 22.

But another team that shot 22m at a 30 m target (missing by 8m ) would get the same score.

If distance is the main thing then get rid of the farce accuracy score.


It gets worse. You get a lower score if you don't put your target as far as possible.

Team A sets the target at 10 m. Their shot lands goes 10 m, but is 3 m to the left of the target. Measured from the center of target to where the ball lands. They get a score of 10 - 3 = 7

Team B sets a target at 14 m. Their ball lands in the same spot as team A. Because you will measure a diagonal, their accuracy score would be 5. a^2+b^2=c^2. 3^2 +4^2 = 5^2. 14-5=9. Team B would bet a better score than Team A simply because of the target placement.

Your score will improve the further you can get the target away from where your shot lands.

A simple change would be to double the accuracy penalty. LS = TD - 2 x A.

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Re: Storm the Castle B

Postby old » April 4th, 2011, 11:16 am

Is anyone having issues with the event coordinators choosing CWs that are too big for the launching area? My team missed a trip to nationals because the judges gave us a 2.5 kg CW and the celling was rather low (we hit the celling on the first two shots and we had to adjust our treb to not hit the celling which caused the ball to fly very close to the ground and land 5m off target). If we had a higher ceiling we would have hit the target and gotten at least three ranks higher in storm which would have given us that extra one point we needed to get to nationals.
This happens all of the time. Out of 6 competitions this year, our team had this issue at 4 of them.
I always thought theory behind impounding copies of the graphes was to allow the event supervisors to check to make sure they don't have this problem.
It doesn't always happen, however.

All I can recommend is making 2 sets of graphs.
I copy is the setup if the ceiling height is not an issue, the other is for short ceilings.
You can then be prepared in case of big CW and low ceilings.
There used to be something in the instructions to the event coordinators that told them to allow a certain amount of room (in the competition area) for various combinations of counterweights and projectiles. For example they might have said for a 2KG weight and a golf ball you need 30 meters. But there never was, apparently sill isn't, any recommendation about how high a ceiling you might need for these counterweight / projectile combinations. In addition to this, though the recommendations seemed to work well for most trebuchets, they underestimated the room necessary for exceptionally good trebuchets. As far back as Nationals about 5 years ago, we had a problem with only the top few teams hitting the ceiling. The event coordinator refused to do anything about it because he said that all the teams had the same height limitation, but of course only the very best teams had an issue with the ceiling height. Essentially what happened is that the ceiling height became the great equalizer, where the very best teams were pushed back into the middle of the pack because they had no charts or settings to deal with a low ceiling (since the event coordinator was supposed to insure that the competition area was large enough).

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Re: Storm the Castle B

Postby fleet130 » April 4th, 2011, 1:28 pm

the event coordinator was supposed to insure that the competition area was large enough
In many cases the event supervisor has little input into selecting the event venue. The tournament organizing committee picks the site & decides if it is suitable for the event.
Information expressed here is solely the opinion of the author. Any similarity to that of the management or any official instrument is purely coincidental! Doing Science Olympiad since 1987!

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Re: Storm the Castle B

Postby sandpas » April 5th, 2011, 3:24 pm

As you may or may not know, we on the national rules committees at Science Olympiad begin work about this time every year on updating the rules for next year. We have a general policy of trying to make at least one significant change to each returning event (not all events return every year - they rotate in and out every so often), as well as trying to correct issues that required clarifications or FAQs.

The day after Nationals we (the national event supervisors, state directors, etc. etc.) always have a big meeting where we hash out issues face to face and try to come up with a near final version of the new rules. While many of us (myself included) are former competitors, in general we don't get direct input from current competitors during this process, although we do get some input from some coaches who happen to be involved at the national level.

Thus, as the Physical Sciences Committee chair, I've decided to try an experiment this year. Storm the Castle is tentatively scheduled to return next year (2011-2012 season). What specific changes would you make to the rules? I'm open to all suggestions (small and large), but can't promise we'll actually implement any of them. Feel free to post ideas here or send me a PM if you'd like.

I would like to see a clarification of the energy rule, or rather how the energy rule will be tested by the judges at each competition. At most events that we attended, the judges either did not test for the energy rule, or they released the trigger with no counterweight to see if the arm would move forward. That's not quite how the rule is written, but it's too difficult to determine the point at which the projectile leaves the sling. I think we should pick a spot and instruct the judges to test from that spot for the energy rule. For example 90, or 135 degrees. Right now the judges are left to decide how to test the competitors don't know the criteria until the day of the event.

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Re: Storm the Castle B

Postby fleet130 » April 5th, 2011, 5:42 pm

I would like to see a clarification of the energy rule, or rather how the energy rule will be tested by the judges at each competition.
The energy rule simply states all energy used to launch the projectile must come from the falling counterweight. Due to the many ways the devices can be constructed, testing depends on the event supervisor understanding the physics of the event. If the supervisor doesn't understand the principles, no amount of clarification will explain how to do it. If the principles are understood, observing the device going through a launch motion should reveal the approximate position where the projectile is released and if the energy rule is violated. If there is suspicion the rule is violated, further checking may be required. Since there is no way to know in advance, how devices may operate, there is no way to define a single specific test. I'm sure suggestions for language to clarify this would be greatly appreciated.
Information expressed here is solely the opinion of the author. Any similarity to that of the management or any official instrument is purely coincidental! Doing Science Olympiad since 1987!

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Re: Storm the Castle B

Postby chalker » April 5th, 2011, 7:59 pm

I'm sure suggestions for language to clarify this would be greatly appreciated.
Yes they would be! There were a lot of questions submitted this year about this, and each required a specific answer because different designs are all evaluated differently.

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Re: Storm the Castle B

Postby Friedoyster3 » April 10th, 2011, 11:53 am

There used to be something in the instructions to the event coordinators that told them to allow a certain amount of room (in the competition area) for various combinations of counterweights and projectiles. For example they might have said for a 2KG weight and a golf ball you need 30 meters. But there never was, apparently sill isn't, any recommendation about how high a ceiling you might need for these counterweight / projectile combinations.
http://soinc.org/storm_the_castle_b
The ratio chart is exactly that.
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Re: Storm the Castle B

Postby fizwiz » April 12th, 2011, 7:12 pm

FYI,

Didn't see the first place throw but second in NY States had the target at 16 m and all three shots were within a meter at most. The third shot just missed the castle. CW 2.1kg Proj 40g (hacky sack type of ball). Standard hinged CW treb, nothing fancy.

I "heard" the first place team had the target at 17m. Not sure about many others but no one else I saw (about ten teams) was more than 13m.

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Re: Storm the Castle B

Postby 124113 » April 13th, 2011, 4:47 pm

I just want to say something about the "nice numbers" that has been talked about. At invatationals they just WON'T give you "nice number". But as the competition level gets higher(regionals to state, to nationals) You will get "nicer numbers" for both the CW and the projectile.


Oh, and for distances, I heard the winner of Nationals for 2006 got about 30m. I have no idea about the counter weight but I think it was 2kg.

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Re: Storm the Castle B

Postby bookluvr-yoyo39 » April 13th, 2011, 8:54 pm

On the trebuchet, can there be more than one triggering mechanism?
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Re: Storm the Castle B

Postby brobo » April 16th, 2011, 6:57 am

On the trebuchet, can there be more than one triggering mechanism?
Well I suppose so as long as you only need to activate one to launch it
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Re: Storm the Castle B

Postby Bennett » April 20th, 2011, 9:02 am

I was wondering what is the best angle for the release pin? We are making a FAT so I want it to be perfect.
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Re: Storm the Castle B

Postby Bennett » April 20th, 2011, 9:29 am

oh and what model is more consistent? What would you also prefer, a cup or a sling for the release mechanism?
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Re: Storm the Castle B

Postby fleet130 » April 20th, 2011, 9:37 am

what is the best angle for the release pin?
Pin angle is highly dependent on several factors, making it impossible to provide a specific value. There are several discussions on the subject on trebuchet sites on the internet. Some sites have online/downloadable simulators where you can observe the effects of changing various parameters. Try doing a search for "trebuchet release pin angle" or "trebuchet simulator".

Whether to use a cup or sling is something that is easily experimented with. Which is best depends on the configuration of the cup or sling and the rest of the trebuchet. One may work better in some circumstances and worse in others.
Information expressed here is solely the opinion of the author. Any similarity to that of the management or any official instrument is purely coincidental! Doing Science Olympiad since 1987!

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Re: Storm the Castle B

Postby Tramsarran » April 22nd, 2011, 4:22 pm

I would use a cup because I have had bad experiences with the projectile getting caught in the sling and being released too late. My partner and I switched to a cup for States after shooting the projectile with a sling and getting around 3 meters.
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