Using the Computerized Scoring System
Rallyemasters can use Nick Stefanisko's computerized scoring system to score rallyes, to quickly rescore rallyes based on granted protests, and to generate final results and statistics. If given sufficient notice prior to the event, Nick and Teresa Stefanisko can provide a laptop computer for use with the scoring system.
Before using the computerized scoring system, rallyemasters must visit www.ipidooma.net/rallye/ and create a new rallye scoring profile and then precheck it carefully.
It is also possible to use the scoring system to generate results and statistics for a rallye that was scored by hand.
The results document lists each team's score and standing, as well as the names of the driver, navigator, and any passengers (if they were entered).
The statistics document lists the fraction of teams in each class that recorded each gimmick. These statistics can be helpful for rallyemasters trying to understand how difficult different types of gimmicks are, so they can better calibrate future rallyes.
Rallye Day Data Entry
Everything you need to know for night-of operation is in the README files on the two machines. Just boot them up and -- right in the middle of the display -- is the documentation.
Below is an overview of everything a RM and/or the computer keeper might need to know from start to finish.
There is a server at http://rallye.ipidooma.net that allows anyone to create a configuration and use it over the Internet.
Historically, our finish locations did not have any kind of internet access, so there needed to be a way to score without it, using the same program in local configuration. For this reason it is possible to export/import a configuration. So if one does not have custody of the scoring laptop, it is possible to configure using the internet version and then export a configuration file that is then imported into the laptop version.
The two laptop machines form their own adhoc (P2P) WiFi network, that theoretically anyone could join, except that there is no DHCP server, because at the time there were no such things that ran reliably and most hand held devices do not support adhoc mode WiFi.
The scoring machine runs a LAMP stack, the same as the internet server, and the display machine runs a browser that just points at pages on the scoring machine with the intent that it will be driving a large overhead display. It’s a bit overkill to dedicate a laptop driving a single display with just a web browser, but at the time we bought the laptops, there were no tablets or small-scale, self-contained devices that could connect to an HDMI display.
All source code for the scoring program is in clear text PHP. But any changes made on the laptop should be back ported to the internet server to ensure compatibility.
Creating a Rallye Scoring Profile
It’s fairly well guided. Connect to either the laptop version or the internet version at www.ipidooma.net/rallye/.
From here you can
- Recall an existing rallye. There are two “No Password” examples near the bottom of the pulldown list.
- Create a new rallye (scoring definition) by filling in the interesting bits and clicking “Create” then follow the steps.
Both the rallyemaster and one other person should precheck the scoring profile. Do this well in advance of the actual rallye.
Here you can add separate passwords for configuration and for scoring only. And you define the look of your virtual score sheet to appear similar to your physical one by defining grids to be used as header, body, sidebar, and footer. All sections are optional.
Here you name the elements of your grid. Default names are automatically loaded to try to match the “standard” score sheet. Within each grid element are +/- buttons that allow you increase/decrease the number of options within a single grid element. This can be useful for double/alternate record gimmicks or AB rallyes.
Here the native values of each element are defined. Note: only whole integer values are reported, but elements can have fractional values. This is useful for tie breakers. A tie breaker could be worth 0.1 points which would break the tie between to 990 scoring ME’s by making their scores 990.0 to 990.1 and sorting them properly, but the displayed value will still be 990. It works very well as long as the sum of the TB points is less than 1
This bit is a tad more complex. Here the native values of elements are overridden when a logical combination is triggered. This can be used to drive values to ZERO in cases where a combination is impossible, or can be used to create a bonus situation where having two elements should be worth more points than having each of them alone.
For example, the native values of CMs A and B are 10 points each, but having A and B together is impossible and therefore results in 0 points for both of them. Or perhaps there is a required combination A alone is 10 points, but A+B is 20, A+C is 30, and B and C alone or together are impossible. It is easy to define a set of rules to make that complex combination happen using a couple of Combo Rules. See “No Password Demo 1” for examples.
Try all cases and assure their net effect is correct. This is easy starting from an empty score sheet. If the user only has A, is the score correct? B? Both? Neither? Does a perfect score sheet earn 1000 points (or whatever you intend)?
1. On the scoring screen, your definitions become active. You must fill in a car number to differentiate one car from the other but Names and email addresses are optional and can be very time consuming on rallye day. It is also possible here to recall a car that has reported a discrepancy and potentially correct the entries. Sometimes errant clicks cause problems.
2. Select the competition class (FT thru ME)
3. Check off the elements that the rallyist has on the score sheet. It can be done very quickly if you think in terms of patters rather than values. That is, rather than thinking: Has A, Has B, Has C, does not have D, does not have E, has F… Just match the pattern: column 1 starting at the top: has 3, not 2, has 2… Don’t get tied up in the details of the CM, the computer will do that for you.
4. You will notice that some elements are framed in red, this means that the element is part of a combo.
5. Finally click “score” and a report will be given to you showing where points came from or went to in the case of impossible combos.
6. If at this point you realize you made a mistake, you can immediately recall the car, or if everything is good, continue and move on to the next car.
As you score cars, a scoreboard will start to appear at the bottom of the page, along with statistics regarding the number of cars by class that have marked various elements. If a score board is running, it will automatically pick up changes to scores every 30 seconds or so.
Protests (tab on scoring screen)
In classic paper scoring, complex protests were a nightmare; sometimes simple ones were, too. Not any more. Simply fill in a protest form so it reads like a sentence. That is, fill in the points to be granted, who this protest applies to, and, if necessary, select the conditions, then press Grant. “Grant 10 points to Car #1 for this reason: ‘…’” provided X is missing.
For example: If a 10-point protest is being granted to car 1 and no one else, simply fill in the points, the car number, and a short explanations like “Committee agrees with car” then click Grant.
If the protest is more complex, such as any car that HAS A and is MISSING B. Select those options from the protest score sheet, fill in the points, leave the car# blank, and write a short description like “combo is invalid”. This will apply those protest points to any car that meets the criteria without having to go through each score sheet one at a time.
Results (tab on scoring screen)
Publishing results is quick and easy too. Assuming you have added names and email addresses to the cars, clicking the Results tab will display a preformatted (text) results sheet for you that you can copy/paste into an email. The Addresses of participants is included at the top and should be used in the BCC line. A memory stick (also known as a USB drive, flash drive, or thumb drive) is useful in moving the results from one computer to another for emailing; alternately, if the club is so inclined, an email client could be installed onto the scoring machine.
The display machine, when it is connected to a TV, actually has two monitors that can either be carbon copies of each other or can be separated with a score board running on the big screen and second scoring station running on the built-in display.
Other laptops or tablets can join into the ad hoc network to act as scoring stations and score boards. It is perfectly fine for more than one scoring station to operate at a time, as long as those doing the scoring are not trying to work on the same car at the same time. It is best to have the paper score sheet in hand when working on a car just to be safe.