Tuesday, May 19, 2009

cha-cha-cha-cha-changes to the rules, that is.

i spent last weekend working on the rally rules to reflect the way the rally will be scored (instead of each team starting with a score of zero, they will begin with “perfect scores”. as with other types of rallies the world over, points will be deducted from each team for not finding caches or reaching checkpoints at the wrong times, etc., instead of being awarded points.) and working on the addition to a rule for a new checkpoint challenge.

also, while i was out letting the dogs swim in the canal (sorry. too deep for a water crossing) and run through the desert that i had an epiphany: i came up with an idea for an additional checkpoint challenge.

i’m still working on the explanations and rules for both of the challenges. but, i can tell you a little.

one of the new challenges will require the use of all team members to find a series of caches (a multi-cache) in a certain length of time. unlike the non-goto hunt that has previously been the only type of checkpoint challenge, the group hunt will allow the use of goto. but, you may only use one gps during this particular checkpoint challenge.

the other challenge that i have been working on for the last month or so is going to be a test.

it goes something like this:
  • only 1 team member (the quizee??) will take the test.
  • you will have a total of 3 minutes (the time may increase or decrease depending on how tests go) to study for and complete the test.
  • when the timer begins you will be shown a map with pinpoints at various cities and towns with their respective names. you may look at the map for as long as you would like. but, you only have a total of 3 minutes to examine the map and complete the test.
  • you may only look at the map one time.
  • on the other side of the map will be an alphabetical list of all of the cities and towns that were marked on the map. there will also be a numerical list of the coordinates of each of those cities and towns.
  • your task is to match the cities and towns with the correct lat/lon.
  • -5 points for each wrong match with a total of 50 points at stake. in the past it would have been 5 bonus points for each correct answer.
it may be that the above quiz will be offered in addition to the traditional checkpoint challenge, which i am now calling the “non-goto hunt”. it may also be used at night checkpoints instead of the non-goto. that is still undecided.

if you have any input on either of the new, or old, checkpoint challenges, please, let me know. it’s always nice to have a ball bounce around a bit before you use it.

i also made a few other unexpected alterations to the rules as i was reading through the file to correct the scoring (man, that was a lot of work changing the pluses to minuses, inverting the various wordings, finding the correct nomenclature to replace “bonus points” {bonus penalty?????} etc.), due in part to the new scoring method and a couple of things that hit me between the eyes when i read them.

i should have the latest version of the rules in the hands of proofreaders in the coming days and then available for download soon thereafter. but, there have been, except for the new challenges, few changes. there will also be a list of all of the changes, so you don't have to read the whole rulebook again.

# # # # #

rick (rrinnv) informs me that he just ordered a new delorme gps-r (not sure what model, but it’s got sat. imagery, including the imagery subscription, and all the bells and whistles), so we should be using both the delorme and the map60 we’ve been using since ’06 as we prepare for the next 2-years + of rallies.

yes! you read that right.

after a few years of putting these rallies together, rick and i have been learning a lot about how to do this.

first: it’s not as easy as it seems to just go out and put a rally course together. loops (the more the merrier) are vital; you can’t have 30 vehicles heading into a canyon, only to have them all turn around and come out the same road in which they entered. scenery is also very, if not the most, important aspect of building a rally course. approach is also a big deal: what may look nice one way may look stunningly spectacular the other way. avoiding deep sand is another issue.

but, despite putting the rally together being the greatest job(?) in the world, it would save us a few coins if we could eliminate some of the many trips way take to put the rally together.

so, during last winter and early spring when the snow wouldn’t allow us to survey areas of the course i intend for this october, we went into completely different deserts in search of future rally courses.

we found some amazing areas and ruins that we never knew existed!

one of the courses (maybe oct. 2010?) has an old cemetery out-in-the-middle-of-nowhere that’s about an acre, +/- a few yards, that’s not listed on too many maps. we also came across the largest herd of prong horn that we’ve seen in our trips since we began building rallies.

on another trip we ventured into a mining district that ivan (devil in my ear) had recently learned about, that is near an area where i’d been looking at a route and has a series of looping roads loads that roam in and out of the various camps.

on one of those trips we found a petrified wood forest. some of the trees we saw would have to weigh tons and tons, while others were small frags you could pick up and hold in your hand.

willybeee and i and ivan (devil in my ear) and i have also explored some very interesting areas that could become parts of fifth or sixth rally courses.

by incorporating the one-day format, it allows us to venture into greater distances from rally hq, therefore more remote areas. this has given us a seeming endless choice of courses.

with the advent of the limited entry fall invitational rally, i’m considering a dual-venue event that would, for example, start in fallon on a friday afternoon, go to yerington for a night and return to fallon the next night, with an awards breakfast on sunday.

how would you feel about?

a few intrepid ralliers have asked about a rally with a camp in the middle. that might not gather the interest of a long distance 2-day event. but, you never know?

any thoughts on that?

betsy (buggy bunch), assistant rally director, and her husband, robert, have recently taken ham radio course. i know that there are a few hams amongst yourselves who have used them for years. i have been considering making cb radios a mandatory item for each vehicle since the first rally in 2004. but, they’re not much better than the useless frs radios.

i really think if we’re going to have ourselves out-in-the-middle-of-nowhere, it might not be a bad idea to get licensed and buy a radio.

what do you think about making ham a required item in future rallies?

you can always send me an email or post a comment on the blog.

there’s an idea: be the first person to comment on this blog!

1 comment:

  1. I don't think I would ever own a ham, making it required might put some off. I have a CB in the Jeep and a lot of off-roader have them. Just my 2 cents worth.