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Banner Rule

995 Views 32 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Lil' Rich
A competitor had this to say in the competitor forum:

Another subject we should be considering is the banner rule. As it sits right now you can drive your car 49% out of bounds as long as it's one motion, which gives the judges problems. It's one of those things we do because it's legal, but could have the potential to be harmful if someone were to step in the way you are heading. The lines become skewed between one motion and out of bounds or if it was the warning or the penalty. Unfortunately, it always waste time during the day to have to call a marshall over to clarify the action so that we may continue on without the penalty. I really think we need to come up with a more definable rule to try to keep things consistent for judges to figure out.
That pretty much states how I feel. This is one place where judging becomes very subjective and it has a big impact on points. It causes plenty of anger. What can we do to clarify this?
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The Formula Toy class uses this "grey area" probably more than anyone. Because we run on Stock Mod courses, Lil Rich has to design a course that will be competitive for the stock Mod's (typically short wheel base with front dig capability), the courses end up being REALLY tight for the longer wheelbase F-toys that cannot front dig.
If it wasn't for being able to fudge the banner, there would literally be courses last season that no F-toy could complete without pointing out.

As a competitor, I really like the current banner rule. It enables me to manipulate the lesser experienced judges by charging the banners to give myself more room to maneuver. It also gives me an advantage over the lesser experienced competitors (and it pisses Matt Messer off:p). It honestly adds to the competitiveness of our class because it's all about stratigy in F-Toy.
As a member of this board I can see it being a problem to manage because it leaves ALOT up to the judges call. But at the same time, if we restrict the banners to a "no touch" rule like Pro rock does, Lil Rich would have to open up the courses a little and I could see that being a problem cause some of the locations are small and don't offer alot of room between courses.

I think as long as the judges understand that no matter how they interpret the rules, as long as the competitors know in advance what their interepretation is, and AS LONG AS THEY TREAT EVERY COMPETITOR THE SAME. We should leave it.
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This is an issue we have to consider. The difficulty is that the wind and moving banner lines make it crazy and damn near imposible to judge fairly, so the Kleins came up with this solution of allowing a warning, in order to keep people from getting nailed by a wind touch. The problem is, teams take advantage of a "touch" versus a "RAM THROUGH IT!" so maybe the change is to simply say that if the team stretched the banner at all, it's an auto 10 points, no warning. Brushing the banner line won't stretch it, and would cover the issue of wind blowing the banner. Yes, it's a grey are, but until we paint lines on the ground (we've already seen those results) or we come up with a laser boundary line, we're going to have to be creative in order to try to be fair.

Any ideas or suggestions???
I like the idea of a penalty for charging, whether intentional or not
I still think there is a lot of subjectivity in that. why not just have a touch it you got 10pts. I can tell you in Neuroc you dared not come close to the banner because it was an automatic DQ and it really eliminated the possiblilty of the crowd and vehicles getting close.
With the way we set courses and the posibility of wind, would you like not being remotely close, having the wind pick up, and getting hit for 10 pts?
1)do we have more posts to secure the banner down with so it doesnt blow all over the place?

2) could we possibly move the banners back to make room on the courses so its a moot point.

Not only for points issues but for safety. Too many times I have seen fans and teams so close to see what is going on the course that its scary. I know we have all watched vehicles roll and seen fans and competitors scatter from getting hit. Judges are pretty decent with keeping people back but we all know how fast it happens and how timid some judges can be.

3) maybe a secondary banner outline that fans cannot cross to get close to the course?
We are currently updating our course barrier system and looking into more "Delineators" which are those White Posts that hold the stringer banner. In many places we have added a safety barrier where roll zones are located and possible safety issues may arise. We will of course continue to execute that, with the possiblity of adding more.

Just to let you know, we top out at 60 delineators per event. Many times we feel that we need more, and even with adding more to the equipment list, we will always be in need of more depending on peoples thoughts. Because of this, we need to come up with a good rule that will work both with our current amount and more. Why? Because the rules we are going over here are also being used throughout the regional network and international network of events.
then I think maybe we need to take all subjectivity out of the rule. Hit it and you have a penalty or a dq.
Then wind really becomes the subjectivity point of giving one team advantage over the other. Plain and simple...it's not that simple. Let's find a solution that works to cover both sides of this coin.
This might sound weird but more cones and harder more technical courses help teams from finding loops and such. I thing the warning system works pretty but I have seen when the banner is pushed on purpose at first so the warning is given after the distance is fully used. Judge issue again---we have to be able to trust those judges!!!
One way would be to make the banners a non issue by using cones. I keep thinking of that 180 degree turn in Houston where the banner made the course more than any cone. We could throw down some more cones but they could not be "gates", they would have to be "perimeter cones". Does this make it more confusing? Maybe.

What about a line spray painted on the ground? The footprint of any tire touches it and you get 10 points. When the second tire touches it, another 10 points. Would it look *******? Would it damage the enviorment? I don't know.

I have never seen a good solution to this problem. A little push here or influencing the judge there can make all hte difference in the world.
The perimiter cones could work...

The lines, well, we dealt with those in UROC and it was ugly. The unexpected issues that arose with random lines from the day before, and the last event, or unseen lines on the backsides of rocks, all created havoc and were a bad thing...plus, we don't want to paint, it looks bad in the future.

The judges are the keys here, and informing the teams that the judges will be strict. We should try a combo of perimeter cones at PUSU in areas that we expect to be pushed, and further inform the judges and teams that charging into banner lines will be a penalty...it's a "touch" forgivance, nothing more.

Your thoughts on this?
I think PUSU would be a better testing ground than any other series event...
I think PUSU would be a better testing ground than any other series event...

Well with just 4 courses per day, we should have enough cones:laughing::laughing:
what about the paint that washes away after use? somehthng like they use on football fields?
Like I said, paint brings other issues that the competitors DID NOT LIKE...really, teams hated it when UROC used it, simply because it was impossible to keep track of.

Maybe a paint line under a banner pennant would work, but then again, because we alter and re-use courses from Sat to Sun, I cannot imagine trying to get it erased enough to not be an issue. There's already enough work and that's obvious enough as you wander around Sunday looking for course maps.
I would like to see a change to the rule. I didn't mind the paint that UROC used, it seemed to define the line better than any banner, but I see your point on the paint being left over for future events. The thing is that during an event, there is usually only one or two spots that require pushing the banner, so just use the perimeter cones or short lines on the ground to mark it.

I hope we don't allow competitors to jump into the banner with half of the vehicle, it creates a huge safety concern. I have done it, but would have Josh to move the crowd back. Maybe we do something like break the plane of the banner, 10 points, do it again, DQ'd for the obstacle.

I agree with Doug, in Neuroc, we didn't dare get into the banner. All except for Charlie, who did it every event I think. I don't see how Kyle and Charlie remained friends thru all that!
The thing is that during an event, there is usually only one or two spots that require pushing the banner, so just use the perimeter cones or short lines on the ground to mark it.
I think this is a simple and effective solution.
I started thinking about still using the stinger, but adding another "Rope" that is pinned to the ground that would mark the real line. The rope could be a bright color that would stand out and lay directly below the stringer. It could be made of a thinker and stronger material so it doesn't break so easily. We could then tie it to the pins or delineators so that if slack needed to be taken out the fix a break it could be done easily, then cut the remander peices off so you have your straight line again.

Just an idea...
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