Running a Pylon Race
Software to support pylon racing is available on the NMPRA website.
The intent is not to replace the core functions of those programs, but to integrate them and fill some gaps
As this is web based, it does require internet connectivity at the race site to enter scoring. The data requirements are not large - and can be easily accomodated with any cellular hotspot if other wifi is not available.
Let's run a race!
This software is Copyright @ 2018 by Greg Cardillo, GMC Design
Use NMPRA Race software to register your pilots, assign to classes, teams, and build matrix. You can have multiple classes in a single race file (within NMPRA Race limits) - or a separate file per race. Either will work with this process.
Once the matrix is built for a class, select View -> Heats, then select 'Output Timing System File' from the file menu.
For the process to work properly, it is important that last names and AMA numbers are correct and match AMA's records.
AMA verification is currently manual pending restoration of a batch verification capability on the AMA website... It will be integrated here once available again. Soon I hope!
NMPRA Race is Copyright @ 2018 (No names given in software copyright notice.)
Use Judgeman/JudgeTimer to collect data from your light system - capturing lap times, total race times, cuts, DNS, DNF.
Judgeman creates a file named JudgeMan\dd-Mmm-yyyy.ini (or whatever name you used for race). Once a race heat is 'Saved' or 'Reset' in Judgeman, the data file will contain that heats info and can be uploaded. JudgeMan can continue to run throughout the race.
Judgeman software is Copyright @ 2004-2012 by Stan Douglas and Hank Kauffmann
Let's build a race!
The race is driven from this menu. Functions are enabled/disabled based on the current race status. (ie - you can't start a race that hasn't been loaded, and you can't change the matrix info for a race already started.)
Starting at the beginning, select 'Insert New Race'
Very simple information to define a race - a name for the race (used in Web displays), race dates (used for AMA verifications and score status), and an optional event key to group related events (last years race, etc)
The race information will be inserted, and option to Insert New Race Class will become active. Select this next.
Again simple information for each race class. Select the desired race class from pulldown,
If running an FAI 'time trials' event, check the box for single lane racing which will provide special functions for building the matrix not supported by NMPRA Race. (covered in separate tutorial)
Select race start type - staggered (coin flip) or race horse, and start for odd ending heats and flyoffs. (used for heat sheets)
Select tiebreaker method - flyoff or low time (used for final scoring - determining if flyoffs needed)
Select number of places receiving awards (used for determining how many places we need to have flyoffs for - and for highlighting winners)
Click on 'Insert Information'.
The class is inserted, and status information displayed. You can see this information anytime using the 'View Race Class' option in the menu.
The option to 'Upload Race Class Matrix' will now become active for non trials events - and our next stop.
Special options to build single lane matrix are substituted if trials event - described in separate tutorial.
Use Browse buttons to navigate to your NMPRA Race directory, and select the pilot file and race class file (see above for how to export the race class file).
Click on 'Process Uploads' to proceed. The files will be uploaded to the server, and the matrix data processed building the pilot and heat information. Start type, number of rounds, number of lanes are all obtained from this data. Heat Sheets and Pilot Sheets will be displayed.
You can reprocess or reupload this information as needed until you start the race. You can 'View Raceclass' any time to see the current status.
Additional classes can be added by repeating the steps to 'Insert New Race Class' and 'Upload Race Class Matrix'
Here is an example of heat and pilot sheets produced.
Let's go RACING! Click 'Start Race' once all is set for this class. This is done for each class independently, so one class can be started, while others are being prepared.
If you will be loading scores from Judgeman, it is important to insure the Round/Heat shown in Judgeman matches the race being flown (and of course that people are in the correct lane!). That is the data used to match scores to pilots when importing timings.
Scores can be entered manually - or uploaded from Judgeman (or a combination as needed.)
The manually enter scores, click on 'Edit Race Results'. There default view (for non-trials events) is to enter by Heat.
In Pilot/Round view (the default for trials events), there are options to enter scores by pilot (down right side), by round (along bottom), or to switch to Heat view ('Edit Heat Results') at bottom of page.
As scores are entered - or imported - they will show in these displays.
All options look similar - just displaying entry areas for heat, pilot, or round as selected.
For AMA/NMPRA races:
For FAI races:
'Use Manual' comes into play when Judgeman scores are imported - allowing you to override the Judgeman data (in event start judge has different finish order, etc..)
The dialog for 'Import Race Scores' is very similar to the importing of matrix above. Specify the JudgeMan\dd-Mmm-yyyy.ini (or whatever name you used for race) file to be uploaded. Judgeman can continue to run... The ini file is updated each time a race is reset or saved.
The same file/filename gets uploaded as often as desired during the race - only changed data since the last upload will be processed - including detecting reflys of previously uploaded heats.
The dialog also allows use of an already uploaded file to be processed - allowing the data to reach the server other ways (ftp, control panel, etc). Some sample scripts are available that can be used to FTP the file with just a double click from the computer running Judgeman as an example.
Again it is key to insure the round/heat displayed in Judgeman matches the round/heat being flown to attach scores to correct pilot!
*Note the scores used here were randomly generated driving Judgeman manually from keyboard, and used from other races.. They are not actual race results or a reflection on the pilots...
Once Judgeman scores are loaded for a set of heats - editing that heat data will display the Judgeman data (not editable) below the manual scores. If there are no manual scores for the heat, the Judgman data will be populated in the editable fields as well.
To override any Judgeman data - simply change the needed fields, check 'Use Manual Scores', and then 'Update Race Times for..' (whether heat, round, or pilot).
The scores to date are reflected in the edit race results/edit heat results pages, as well as the 'View Race Results' (single table with results/lowtime/points) and 'View Race Results Detail' (above plus scores by heat with time/points/cut information). Scores can be changed and imported data overridden until the race is marked ended.
In the 'Edit Race Details' view - just below the scoring table will be a list of overrides if any...
In addition, the scores are available to the participants/public on our events page during the race! So they can see the current point standings, times/point by heat, upcoming race pilots/lanes by heat, and heat numbers by pilot.
The options to Shorten or Extend a race are available once the race has started. (If the race hasn't started - a new matrix can be imported and will replace the previous information.)
A race can be shortened at any time using the 'Shorten Race' button. The new number of rounds (less than the loaded matrix) can be chosen. Since typically additional rounds are matrixed/loaded - this allows limiting heat sheets, etc to the number intended to be flown.
A race can be extended one of three ways:
'Time trials' (single lane) races are handled differently - a separate tutorial being built to assist in those races.
At the conclusion of the race, click on 'End Race'. Results will be calculated.
When the tiebreaker is low time, the race results are already sorted in that order.
If the number involved in a tie exceeds the number fo available race lanes - you will get a warning message. This should be a rare event after multiple rounds (I hope). I haven't coded around this yet, though certainly is possible if you see a need. Let me know!
Select either 'Prepare Flyoffs' or 'Bypass Flyoffs'. Bypass switches to low time to break ties.
Prepare flyoffs will update the matrix and scores adding flyoff heats.
Flyoff scores are manually entered. After each entry, this page will be redisplayed.
Once all flyoffs are complete and scores entered, select 'Complete Flyoffs' at the bottom of page.
Select 'Complete Race' to close things down - final results are saved to database to not have to re-calculate for each display request.
The sledgehammers... be careful - but sometimes something goes wrong and you just want to backup a few steps.
Click on 'Admin Resets' button at the bottom of the page, and some additional options will appear in its place.
Only options that 'make sense' based on the current race status are selectable. If you want to delete all matrix data for a started race, you must first 'Reset Started Race', then 'Reset Race'.
There is no 'undo' for these functions - and I will know you used them if you ask me for support!!