No Rolls, Carnival Report Instead!

With a cold last few weekends, Sweepstakes hasn’t been able to hold rolls since the earliest Spring Rolls start in years. With Spring break looming over the next two weekends, and an inclination for low turnout, they’ve also decided to cancel those weekends. This puts the next possible rolls for March 25 & 26. We’re hoping for a greater showing then along with potentially 6 new buggies that are in the works!

Given the lack of reporting material, we’ll take this opportunity to share some Carnival info with you, including:

  • Buggy Events
  • Volunteering
  • Preview Info
  • Auction
  • Elections!
  • New Race Format?

Weekend Buggy Events

Start your weekend plan with these and meet up with the other awesome Buggy people. (Some items still TBD or Subject to Change)



  • 10am – Design Competition @ Weigand Gym
    • Open to all to see the buggies that will be on the course and vote on their favorite.
  • Noon – Buggy Showcase @ Weigand Gym
    • Robobuggy and Atlas will be sharing their progress and approaches to robotic buggies with a short Q&A after.
  • 7pm – BAA Welcome Happy Hour @ Hough’s in Greenfield
    • Come meet up with buggy people, swap stories and get in the competitive spirit for Friday Races.


  • 8am – Prelim Races @ Tech and Frew Street
  • 12:30pm – Luncheon Gathering @ Donner Ditch Tent
    • This year we are trying something new, Grab some food at the All-Campus BBQ then join us in our Reserved space in the Donner Ditch Tent.
  • 1:30pm – History of Buggy (Class of ’92 Showcase) @ Danforth Conference Room
    • Join us for Tom Wood’s Always awesome History of Buggy presentation with special focus on the class of ’92


  • 8am – Exhibition Races @ Tech and Frew Street
  • 9am – Finals Races @ Tech and Frew Street
  • 4pm – Post Race Happy Hour @ TBD
    • Join us for our first ever Post Race event and join fellow alumni in celebrating your team’s success or drinking away the pain of defeat.
  • ??pm – Awards Ceremony @ Midway Tent

Full Carnival Schedule

Volunteering for Raceday

This year, there are so many things going on that our usual Staff Volunteers will be elsewhere and we need some additional hands on deck during the races to help make sure things run smoothly. If you can lend us as little as an hour we will bribe you with:

  • BAA Membership for the 2017-2018 Season
  • Drink at the Saturday Happy Hour
  • Special Volunteer shirt.

If this is something you can swing, Please let us know!

Preview Info

It’s coming soon, and we are packing it with all sorts of goodies for you this year. Our Treasurer, Dan Becerra, is gathering membership info and will be putting that out in a separate post later this month. If you have any things to add, or that you’d like to see in this year’s Preview, Please email us:

Lead-Truck Auction

As with every year, we will be holding our Lead Truck Auction where you will get the opportunity to ride in the lead truck for your favorite Race and see all the action. This year, we hope to provide you all with some buggy artwork to bid on drawn by our very own safety chair, Linna Griffin! We are continually working with Student Activities to improve the experience and this year should be one of the best yet. The seat is open to anyone 18 or over, further info will be sent later as we get closer to the Races.

This year the Auction will be aimed at funding some upgrades for cmuTV both for new reliable hardware and some awesome graphics packages. Given our experience last year, we know this can help them achieve awesomeness and they are excited to improve everyone’s experience on and off the course.


Though we’ve been sounding a little like the boy who cried wolf lately, we will be open for new BAA officer nominations before Carnival and will hold the elections themselves in the weeks following the races. Many of our officers have reached the end of their first 2-year term and their position will be up for grabs. Any graduate is eligible including those graduating this year. Nominate your friends, Nominate your enemies, give us the ability to keep doing what we do! More info on this in April.

New Race Format?

We’ll leave off with something that has been coming up more and more in recent years. With the advent of a more even distribution of Men’s and Women’s entries, it’s looking like, for the first time ever, we could see the same number of awards for each this year! That alone is very exciting news, but has brought up the question to possibly swap Men’s and Women’s Races. Since the start of the Women’s races, they have always rolled first in the morning. We know this is a heated topic for some people, but this is a serious consideration by Sweepstakes and many in the buggy community.

With even race entries, is it time we start alternating Men’s and Women’s Races? (be civil)

5 thoughts on “No Rolls, Carnival Report Instead!”

  • “With even race entries, is it time we start alternating Men’s and Women’s Races?”

    No, of course it isn’t. Teams competing against each other need to run as close to each other in the day as possible. Unless you are asking if it’s time to switch Men to the morning and Women to the afternoon – is that what’s on the table?

      • In that case I’ll be pleased that at least the kids are keeping it competitively reasonable, and touch no part of this conversation over the internet with a ten foot pole.

  • Running all heats of the same gender in one block gives the most equal conditions within a gender AND ensures that at least one gender has complete results in case rain arrives halfway through the day. Going second has the advantage of warmer weather. Going first has the advantage of being more likely to get in both prelims & finals. I don’t buy the argument that the Women’s freerolls should go first to give the drivers an easier first race – there have always been teams whose Men’s A driver doesn’t run in the Women’s races at all or runs as Women’s B or lower, and this doesn’t seem to cause undue problems. Every team has its own motivations to prefer one order or the other, so why not vote (1 vote per entry) on it at heat selection time?

    Alternating or mixed heats run into serious logistical problems – the same buggy may have to race in adjacent heats, and teams that use their pushers for crowd control chores would need to do something more complicated that “use the men in the morning and women in the afternoon.” With fewer heats and more time, it may be more feasible during Finals, and appealing to have the outcome of both races be in play until the end.

  • I am not clear that alternating heats or mixed heats would run into SERIOUS logistical “problems” . I would suggest that it poses a few small solvable problems. Adopt a few easy rules about how you shuffle the seating so that no buggies has to race back to back heats and you have a path forward.

    If we are looking for ideas, I will toss this idea out there: For safety and fairness and for the children…:

    Run alternating heats,(by gender) one buggy at a time.


    Combine both genders for prelims and finals:. For prelims,fold the women’s and men’s seating lists together based on rank of average finishing time within gender (vs simply average finishing time). Thus, sdc women’s A gets first pick then sdc men’s A then who ever is next up for women then men and so on. That way, if you end up racing back to back, or yourself, you only have yourself to blame and you deserve it. For finals put Women’s 10th qualifier vs Men’s 10th Qualifier and so on.

    In the finals,allow the order to be changed if that causes the same buggy to race itself or in back to back heats. Since they are really racing the clock and not each other, this would provide goodly spacing between buggies. This takes favoring one gender vs the other off the table.

    I will note that this will also make race day much less exciting. Therefore it sucks. For more excitement, we should add a jump with a flaming hoop, an oil slick, and a shark tank.

    And, if we are going to address gender fairness, where is the discussion of the rule that makes sure there are even numbers of male and female and gender non-specific drivers? It is time for men to demand a fair share of the driving glory.

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