Project Definition

Introduction

A few years back, I was assigned to my first Cyclo Cross race.
The experience turned out to be an officiating "perfect storm".

To start, the organizer had day-of registration.  Because of unusually nice weather, about 100 additional riders came to ride.

Normally, this would be great news - all the better for a great day of racing.  However, there was a tremendous mix of skills in the new riders - some were highly experienced, others beginners.

The next problem was the course.  It had been unusually dry, and the course was fast - very fast.  And shorter too, because a loop that was usually used had to be cut out.  Lap times ended up being just over 4 minutes.

To add to the challenge, there were 3 starts with multiple categories in each (this is fairly common here in Ontario).  However, the start was on a flat section just before a steep hill into a forest.  It ended up that the fast riders could ride it, but the slow riders had to push their bikes.

The problems started right from the gun.  By the time the 3rd start got to the top of the hill, they were caught by the 1st start (lapped already!), and they all crossed the finish line together in a big bunch, so getting all the numbers was impossible.  The number caller disappeared for the first 2 laps in the first race.

Due to the short lap times, there were 9 laps in the 40 minute race, and 15 laps in the 60 minute race.  With the mixed abilities of the riders, a few beginner riders were down as many as 5 laps.

My results were a shambles - with so many riders,some multiple laps down, with gaps in the numbers, I had no idea who was where.  I talked to the riders to sort out the top 10.  I was able to piece together some results by the end of the week based on guesswork and deduction.

I am grateful that the organizer was apologetic and gracious.

However, I thought there must be a better way.  The idea for CrossMgr was born.

The Purpose (Mission)

  • Quick and easy-to-use software "Show up and Go".
  • Results available seconds after the race ends.
  • Automatically determine lapped riders by category.
  • Calculate the number of laps in a timed race and support the lap counter.
  • Show results at all times for all categories.
  • Show all information to resolve disputes and correct results.
  • Produce good-looking results (including rider times by lap) suitable for publishing

Who will use CrossMgr?

  • CrossMgr will be used by race officials and/or members of the race organization
  • CrossMgr is aimed at small to medium Cyclo-Cross races where:
    • the number of riders does not support the expense of professional timing (<300).
    • there are multiple categories on the course simultaneously
    • the UCI 80% rule may not be in effect - lapped riders continue to ride (and need to be tracked)
    • there are a small number of race officials present - no redundancy or backup
  • Use at large races (300+ riders) is not expected.  These races have:
    • a large number of riders supporting a professional timer
    • a large number of officials tracking the race
    • separate starts by category making scoring easy
    • application of the UCI 80% rule at high-level races where riders about to be lapped are pulled.

How will Organizers Gain?

  • Raise the value of the event to riders by publishing laps times
  • Reliably get results even for lapped riders on short courses
  • No delays between races getting results
  • Publish professional results in Excel or on the web
  • Eliminate redundant data entry by leveraging rider information in sign-on sheets

How will Officials Gain?

  • Accurate scoring of all lapped riders
  • Produce results seconds after the race ends
  • Full visibility to race data to handle disputes

    Objectives

    Help officials and organizers score and generate results for small and medium sized Cyclo-Cross races.

    Measurable Objectives:

    1. Time taken to open the program to start scoring a race
    2. Time taken to determine which laps a rider was lapped on
    3. Time taken to fix problems and get accurate results after the race

    Deliverables

    1. The CrossMgr software application.
    2. A manual/tutorial explaining how to use it. 

    Project Constraints

    1. My time.
    2. Limited user feedback to improve future releases.

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