CrossMgr at 2014 Ontario Parasport Games (Performance Factors!)

Post date: Jun 3, 2014 7:10:00 PM

CrossMgr was used for results of hand cycling at the 2014 Ontario Parasport Games, and I was the timer.

See results here:

Look at these results carefully - notice the "Factor%" column?

Para sports have "performance factors". These factors, expressed as percent, are multiplied by the athlete's time to produce an adjusted time. The athletes are then ranked by their adjusted times. In this way, athletes with different abilities can be combined for an overall race result.

I added "Performance Factors" to CrossMgr and it will be released soon.

The feature is very easy to use - just enter the athlete's factor in the linked spreadsheet in a "Factor" column. The factors are defined in the UCI rules - see here. There are some subtleties for which factor to use, and it depends on both the athletes classification and the other classifications in the race.

As with all data in the linked spreadsheet, you can change the factors before, during or after the race.

CrossMgr automatically use the factor to rank combined categories. For individual categories where the athletes all have the same factor, it formats the results as usual. Look carefully at the result links above for specifics.

This event was an excellent illustration of "Start Wave", "Component" and "Custom" categories. For example, the "Start Wave" defined the overall combined category. Each classification was a "Component" category within the start wave.

And, because this was an Ontario event, we needed a special combined classification for Ontario athletes only. This was accomplished with a "Custom" category ("Ontario Combined").

It is harder to describe this than the 10 seconds it takes to set it up in the software!

"Performance Factors" created some interesting issues. Unlike a regular bike race, athletes that are lapped may still be in contention after applying their performance factor. Of course, they still need to complete the full race distance.

To facilitate this, it is important to set the "Lapped Riders Continue" option for each Category. This tells CrossMgr that lapped riders are not pulled and must complete the full distance.

And what about Time Trial time penalties? Do they get applied, then multiplied by the performance factor, or added afterwards? That's not even covered in the UCI rulebook. It seemed reasonable that time penalties should be added after then factor has been applied.

Consider the most common penalty - jumping the start. It doesn't make sense to me that if two athletes jump the start by 3 seconds, an H5 athlete gets the full 3 second penalty, but an H1 athlete would only get a 1.6992 second penalty (3 * 56.64%).

Things get a bit more murky when applying TT drafting penalties. If the purpose of drafting penalties is to compensate for the advantage gained from drafting, perhaps the factor should be applied to the penalty. My solution is to add the penalties as given.

"Performance Factors" require an accurate time for each rider - not just the finish order.

Hand cyclists are low to the ground, and their numbers can be hard to read.

Put together, chip timing for para events is a "must have" - not a "nice to have".

I used the chip system built for the Midweek club, however, I had to modify the tag mount method and construct some shorter antenna stands.

The original stands designed for bike racing were too tall and there would have been the possibility of a hand cyclist getting underneath the antenna on the far inside or outside.

I used a larger #8 plastic tag from ULine, trimmed it, used a hole punch to make two holes, and secured it with two pull-ties to the foot rest of the machines so that it hung down - away from the metal and athlete. The tag faces edge-wise in the direction of travel, and the athletes appreciated that the setup was aero.

The system worked perfectly. 100% reads. Admittedly, this was a small number of athletes, but I see no reason why this would not scale.

I needed to create some of the tags right at registration using TagReadWrite - very convenient and quick.

Full details will be disclosed in a detailed document, with pictures of the tag mounts, antenna stands and setup that I will publish as soon as I am finished it...