BAA Forum discussion feedback to Sweepstakes

DAConley
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BAA Forum discussion feedback to Sweepstakes

Postby DAConley » Mon Apr 27, 2015 1:24 pm

There was an excellent discussion at the BAA sponsored 'forum' Friday afternoon. Many issues around 'safety' and Sweepstakes 'execution'. Was anyone taking ownership of compilling that feedback and putting it into Kaycee's hands? Call it an extension of the Alumni Advisory Board info gathering session with mutiple notable alumni all with the same goal - long term preservation and competitive inspiration for the sport.

da Pope
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Re: BAA Forum discussion feedback to Sweepstakes

Postby da Pope » Mon Apr 27, 2015 2:03 pm

i am not aware of anyone taking charge or notes.
My recollection of gumpy old buggy fart recommendations was:

    it is never too cold to roll (after all with all the global warming, it has to be warmer than it was back in my day...)

    sweepstakes has the budget to pay for a rained out roll. no need to cancel early.

    more rolls = safer race

    the BAA and school will back up a safety chair who believes a design ( example, axles that shed wheels during a spit) is unsafe and demands a redesign

    a universal timing system would be highly desirable and participation by orgs should be required

starting the race with a wet course was a poor choice

shafeeq
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Re: BAA Forum discussion feedback to Sweepstakes

Postby shafeeq » Mon Apr 27, 2015 4:37 pm

There's a wrap-up meeting this week that I'd been planning on bringing up some of these at.

Does sweepstakes currently have an Alumni Advisory Board?

Sweepstakes turns over so rapidly that the Advisor is the only point of continuity, but her expertise is on the organizational side. It'd be useful if there were a "technical advisor" who could serve a resource for the safety chair or teams. Ben Brown (RI faculty, 70's PiKA alum) was one suggestion.

"But last year's chair let us use it" allows questionable things like weak axles, brakes that cause spins, and under-strength harnesses to stick around longer than they should.

With 1-term sweepstakes & safety chairs, they don't get much of a chance to learn from their own mistakes, and it's unclear what handoff process there is so they can learn from their predecessor's experience, or the rationale behind why certain things are required.

There's many people here with the experience to have useful reccommendations, but none of us have any real qualifications, so how much do we want to get into the topic of safety, beyond common sense?

Zatchmo
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Re: BAA Forum discussion feedback to Sweepstakes

Postby Zatchmo » Thu Apr 30, 2015 3:22 pm

da Pope wrote:a universal timing system would be highly desirable and participation by orgs should be required


I'm curious, what does this refer to? I suppose something besides the raceday timing system.

shafeeq
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Re: BAA Forum discussion feedback to Sweepstakes

Postby shafeeq » Fri May 01, 2015 3:42 pm

The wrapup meeting was yesterday; Kaycee couldn't make it, so we'll have to try to meet with her over the summer.

Apparently, none of the chairs objected to starting races in the wet, so if everyone was happy, sweepstakes saw no reason to wait longer. Gambling with an early women's heat in order to save time for the men's prelims might even be a rational decision on the chairs' part. It is true that the number of spins matched that expected from practice - however, I think that's a black/white view that ignores all the close calls and the fact that a spin in a race has the chance to collect the following buggies. Somebody has to be the guniea pig to find out if conditions are good enough, but at least send them by themselves.

The general apathy seems to be showing up elsewhere too. In addition to not getting the interest of the best athletes, we also don't interest the best mechanics or organizers either, and the same is true for WRCT, CMUtv and W3VC. They don't get anything out of buggy other than satisfaction of a job well done, but if they're not motivated one year, we grumble, but it ultimately doesn't affect the anything. If sweepstakes or the teams aren't motivated, then somebody gets hurt.

As it is, there's a single candidate for next year's Sweepstakes chair, and none for Safety or any of the assistants. With teams as small as they are, losing a body to sweepstakes is a large hit for the team. Does anyone have suggestions for recruiting organizers from outside the usual buggy pool - e.g., a sweepstakes chair from the management school, or a safety chair from one of the engineering societies? Or for structuring responsibilities so that organizers don't have to leave their team, or so that non-buggy students can be hired/given credit for doing some of the things that need to be done.

The beauty of buggy is that it is entirely student-run, with minimal oversight from the university. I feel that BAA's involvement has been steadily creeping upwards in recent years, and that's had some benefits (timing, jumbotrons, commentary), but I'm not sure it is good that the students constantly have alumni looking over their shoulder. People always say that buggy is one serious accident away from ending, and yet we've had two in the last two years and not much has changed. Perhaps that was a fluke of statistics, or perhaps that's the new normal. Next year will tell.

da Pope
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Re: BAA Forum discussion feedback to Sweepstakes

Postby da Pope » Sat May 02, 2015 12:22 pm

Zatchmo wrote:
da Pope wrote:a universal timing system would be highly desirable and participation by orgs should be required


I'm curious, what does this refer to? I suppose something besides the race-day timing system.
yes...

There was discussion of setting up a timing system that would capture meaningful split times an publish them to all during freerolls. This is thought to be a good tool for raising visibility and interest in sweepstakes as well as improve competition. Discussion also covered making participation in this mandatory and lightly touches on technology. Most present were in favor of such a thing. I like it.


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