Special Stage Forums banner
1 - 20 of 49 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Can someone please explain to me why the results from rallies in the USA are never online during the events and take days to be available.

I am not even talking about the local club rallies either, i am talking about SCCA Pro Rallies.

You have a growing sport in the USA and a suposedly profesional series in Pro Rally yet your timing systems dont even match a club rally here in the UK.

For example you have the LSPR event this weekend, even the official website has no times posted. The SCCA site is never updated until well after the event.

Compare this to the event my team won yesterday in the middle of Wales, UK. The results for the stages are listed on the net LIVE. You have every competitors stage time listed.

Just take a look and see how it can be done, it's hardly rocket science. http://www.tcs02.demon.co.uk/bulldog/2/index.html

Comunication with the fans is essential, especially so when you have a National series like Pro Rally where people cant get to spectate at all events, yet want to know how their favourite drivers are fairing. Come on guys, wake up.:p ;)
 

·
1973 WRC POR
Joined
·
2,421 Posts
John:

I agree 100%. One of the problems in the USA is that each rally does its own scoring. There is no central scoring system or standard scoring methodology/software/training/etc. In Canada, most of the scoring is done by the same person/system and the results, although not in real time, are very quick. There really is no excuse for the lack of up-to-date results with today's technology and the number of people who are computer/internet knowledgeable.

Doug Woods
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Actually, even PROrally events are staffed by volunteers. Timing has to be sent to a scoring team. It can be done by carrying the time cards, sending the info by radio or telephone, or any other means.

Fact is, the website is not attached to the scoring process. Again, after the scores are calculated, they would need to be transmitted.

All of this requires workers. It's not the technology, it's HAVING the technology all lined up and waiting.

Rallies may have the workers and means. It adds to the workload, which is immense in all cases.

Some PROrallies will eventually have 'direct' connection to results display. A simple part of the problem may be terrain, where wireless and wired phones don't exist and radio has a serious challenge. Sometimes it's just not possible to readily get the data moved.

Everything could be solved by flat terrain, total phone coverage, and/or lots of money.

You have to realise that Wales is a tad smaller, although the terrain is as challenging I suppose, than the US. You may have resources that make it simpler. Could be the data transmission technology is shared across the entire rally community, which would be much simpler there than for STPR and Rim, for example.

I'm working hard to provide near real-time results at Cherokee Trails next year. It's much harder than would appear. My challenges include no telephone except on the periphery of the rally area, radical terrain challenges, few amateur repeaters, 1 commercial repeater system that is currently for sale and may not exist at rally date.

To get an idea, work scoring at a few rallies. Then let me know all the ideas you gather so I can see if they will help me.

Let me know, please!!!

Tony
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Well, I often wondered abou that too which is why I made it a priority at Cherokee Trails. We had results posted as soon as they were available. As you say it's not rocket science it merely takes a few bodies and a willingness to get it done.

The scoring system used can make a difference in how easy it is to make the results available. If they're using some homebrew spreadsheet system it may not be easy to export it to the web guy. I know it CAN be easy but not always. At Cherokee we had timing and scoring and my web posting and Tim Winker all sharing my one 56K modem connection and we still got it all handled nicely.

It mostly takes a desire to make it a priority and a person or two to make it happen. At some rallies they may not have that in place.

Are posted results important? According to your desires yes! During Cherokee I received cell phone calls and email discussing the posted stage times and dnf's DURING the rally and many from overseas! So I'd definately say there's a need for timely results.
....0ran....
edited 'cause I can't type.
 

·
don't cut
Joined
·
4,075 Posts
>Well, I often wondered abou that too which is why I made it
>a priority at Cherokee Trails.>snipped<
>Are posted results important? According to your desires
>yes! During Cherokee I received cell phone calls and email
>discussing the posted stage times and dnf's DURING the rally
>and many from overseas! So I'd definately say there's a
>need for timely results.
>....0ran....
>edited 'cause I can't type.
Uh, Oran, try once more. See the missing T in the first sentence?;)

Actually, I hated the on line results when I ran Cherokee. As we were driving back to town to get the trailer to pick up a dead car, my cell phone rang. It was my mother-in-law wanting to know why we were out. And I hadn't even gotten the car out of the woods yet. (just joking about hating the timely results.)
Richard Miller
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
rather than try and re-invent the wheel, why dont you talk to the guys that run the UK timing system?

We have this service on all the major and a lot of the minor rallies in the UK, no matter where they are (so it cant be that expensive or dificult to implement). You can even walk into rally HQ and print the times off on a PC sat in reception for that purpose.

I dont see the logistics as an issue if you put your mind to it. OK, doing results live at times is dificult, but to not have results available on the web when they go final has no technical reasons at all. Trust me, mid wales this weekend was not flat! I had no signal for 90% of the time on my cell phone. I worked Monte Carlo this year and saw first hand the timing systems/technology used on the WRC, now that is a hell of system controlling the timing/web integration, but the tcs system just runs on a basic server.

I have worked many rallies too, been involved with rally for 19 years, the UK has had this kind of system since 1995. I can go online now and grab my teams stage results per stage on any event since 1995. It's just so easy which makes trying to find Pro Rally results doubly frustrating because i see no valid reason why i cant do the same with those events too.

The company that runs this/wrote the software is Tynemouth Computer Services. Talking to them would be a good start. http://www.tynecomp.co.uk/

I have no connection at all with these guys, i am just interested in keeping up with events like Pro Rally and it's proved almost imposible this year. (thanks for the mails i recieved on the some events this year)

Comunication is very important, it is expected these days, not just a nice thing to have.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
>You can even walk
>into rally HQ and print the times off on a PC sat in
>reception for that purpose.

We had that at Cherokee, located at the hotel. Results at a PC with no printer was in the lobby of the Whitewater Center.

>
>I dont see the logistics as an issue if you put your mind to
>it. OK, doing results live at times is dificult, but to not
>have results available on the web when they go final has no
>technical reasons at all.

Agreed. It doesn't happen because there is no one to do it (or no one wants to do it).

>The company that runs this/wrote the software is Tynemouth
>Computer Services. Talking to them would be a good start.
>http://www.tynecomp.co.uk/

Software really isn't the issue. Getting the scoring from the stages IS the problem. If you're willing to wait until the scorecards are turned in you can post stage scores then otherwise you have to find some friggin way to get the times back to the scorers. Cell phones suck in the mountains, so do radios without lots of repeaters & equipment.

I've talked with several people across the world on how they get their results quickly and the answer is always the same, phone lines! When a rally uses the same stages often or the area is slightly residential there are always phone lines it seems. We can't seem to make that happen.
...0ran...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
>Agreed. It doesn't happen because there is no one to do it
>(or no one wants to do it).

Someone has to collate those times in Rally HQ to give you a final result, so all the work is already done, it just needs integrating into a web server.

Better still, just have the results/web server the same system, that way its auto updating. I think a lot of the issues, certainly the final score, non live issues are down to coming up with a system that event organisors can use. Maybe the SCCA should run a dedicated service/system that the organisors are provided with each event, that way giving back the organisors something in return for all their hard work.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
>This how it is done in Canada.. And Maine Forest..
>http://www.rallyscoring.com/
>He does an excelent Job
>and it is all live, and on the net..
>Maybe SCCA should involve him in more US events
>Brian

from his website, events posted on a real rally.

126 cars
Three different championships
No transmission of times by radio or phone
Scoring done at service stops using competitor's time cards
Only four persons used to:
pick-up time cards
enter times
validate and file time cards and log sheets
Results printed for the board, posted on the web and distributed to competitors
Direct response to time enquiries from competitors
Numerous setups of computer equipment
Updating results on the Web
Full results books produced as soon as they became official
Work done outside on two picnic tables
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
115 Posts
>Only four persons used to:
[Edited out the Details]
>Updating results on the Web
>Work done outside on two picnic tables

I really don't see how this could have been done with 4 people at LSPR. Even if the scores could have been calcualted out in (for example) Kenton, getting them on the net would be pretty tricky. The entire town is about 60 miles south of Rally HQ, and made up of a couple of bars and a bait shop (or something like that). Not a whole lot of opportunity to dial in.

Getting updated scores quickly would be very nice, but I'm not sure that making noise on this forum is going to do anything more than frustrate and already over-worked, volunteer, specialstage.com staff.

The SCCA doesn't care, and it doesn't look like there is much we can do to change that. If whatever updates appear here is what we've got to work with, then I'm atleast greatful for that.

Matt.

PS- I bought the Calendar from the rallysportonline folks at LSPR, and I can't wait unitl Jan. 1 to hang it up in the office.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I am not sure how wanting to improve things to the standard of the most basic club rally elsewhere can cause anyone to be upset or frustrated? Thats not the aim. What have the staff of special stage got to do with this? I am not suggesting it's them that do this?

If people dont swap ideas and start some dialogue/thoughts going, nothing ever changes or improves.

I posted the above info from the website to show that even in North America, it's achievable to do this. I dont expect any one particular rally to be an identical reproduction of that. It was just a real example.

If the SCCA dont care, maybe thats because no one is putting presure on them? The manufacturers should as this is all part of good PR for them.
 

·
Administrator Emeritus
Joined
·
1,253 Posts
>This how it is done in Canada.. And Maine Forest..
>http://www.rallyscoring.com/
>He does an excelent Job
>and it is all live, and on the net..
>Maybe SCCA should involve him in more US events
>Brian

Do you have any idea what he costs? It ain't cheap.
 

·
Administrator Emeritus
Joined
·
1,253 Posts
John,

What you are saying is true. It is not rocket science. All it really takes is some coordination and some people willing and able to do it. This is becoming a priority, and certainly is a lot better than it was 5 years ago. The main problem has always been finding volunteers to do the work. Most rallies are always short of workers as it is, freeing up a few to do this is a low priority I imagine. It should be a big issue for SCCA, they are the ones that should be pushing hard for this to happen. We here at SpecialStage are trying to help as much as we can. Some of us are usually at every event, and there is usually someone at home by a computer. One phone call would get the results up, assuming we actual got some timely results from the T&S crew. From what I have seen, the main problem is that every event has their own software/programs for doing timing and scoring. If we were to have a seperate organization available to do T&S at each event, this would be a piece of cake. I want to see it happen, and will help in any way I can.

Seeing how long it can take to post results at the event, it seems like we have a lot of work still to do.
 

·
1973 WRC POR
Joined
·
2,421 Posts
>Do you have any idea what he costs? It ain't cheap.

Jim:

What does he charge? It cannot be that much, as the rally organizers in Canada that use his services certainly do not have much money.

Whatever it is, the SCCA should buy a year's worth of scoring services and provide them to the Pro Rally organizers for free. It might help prevent more rallies from jumping off the sinking Pro Rally ship.

Doug Woods
 

·
Administrator Emeritus
Joined
·
1,253 Posts
I was told $5000 per event, although he did give me the software, for free, to play with. Without any documentation it was not very easy to figure out, which may be part of the plan, eh? I guess we need to ask him ourselves if we want to know if the price I was told (by an organizer) is accurate.

Regarding your comment: "Whatever it is, the SCCA should buy a year's worth of scoring services and provide them to the Pro Rally organizers for free. It might help prevent more rallies from jumping off the sinking Pro Rally ship."

That sound you hear in the distance is thunder of change already in progress...
 

·
1973 WRC POR
Joined
·
2,421 Posts
>That sound you hear in the distance is thunder of change
>already in progress...

Excellent!

Doug Woods
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Yeh, i understand the problems with getting workers to rallies, this is one reason why promotion of the sport and making people feel involved is very important. If people can get up to date information, they feel involved and are more inclined to buy into being a part of that.

PR is massively important for future sustained growth, everyone now understands the net and how it can be used efectively.

I find it very disapointing that an organisation such as the SCCA are not hot on this kind of thing, what do the SCCA do anyway? Do they provide event assistance or leave that to the event organisors in its entirity?

I know this is a bad analogy, but look at how the WRC has embraced live results. One of my friends is heavily involved in the WRC systems, the investment is absolutely mind blowing. There are very good reasons why this money is being spent. I am amazed Pro Rally hasnt embraced this mentality, and by that i dont mean spending huge money, i mean having people feel they are part of the event, even if they are thousands of miles away.

Anyway, time for bed in the UK for me. Best of luck, it would be great to be able to follow the rallies properly over there rather than trying to find patchy information from all over the net.
 
1 - 20 of 49 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top