Keeping Pilot Scores Up to Date

Page Last Updated: 05-07-2022

The level of competition in F5J USA Tour events has increased to the point where there is an amplified need for pilots to make key decisions on how aggressively to fly. This is even more important toward the end of contests where a flight decision based on bad standings information may cost you the contest or making the fly-offs.

The Pros and Cons of Smartphone Scoring

There is little question that smartphone scoring and contest automation as used in GliderScore and f3xVault contests has transformed the running of F5J events. No longer is a separate scorekeeper needed to handle scorecard entries after every flight. In fact at most Tour events the CD is also an active pilot since most of the time properly set up contests pretty much "run themselves" until exceptions like re-flights come up.

However there is a downside to smartphone scoring: not all pilots enter their scores in a timely manner. This means that even though pilots are able to view contest standings on their phones the standings are often not accurate. So standings accuracy can come down to how much or how little "nagging" a CD does to get pilots to enter their scores quicker.

Tour Rule: Keeping Scores Current

The Tour's Pilot Advisory Group discussed this challenge and came up with an approach that offers some help: Tour rule 3C on the Contest Rules page has been established.

Tour Rule 3C. Keeping Scores Current During a Contest

While it is always helpful to have online scores accurately reflecting all flights after each round, the Tour requires that CDs pause the contest and update the online (or posted printout) scores with all pilot flights at these times:

(a) Before the last qualifying round, and

(b) Before the last fly-off round (if the contest has fly-offs).

In addition, it is strongly recommended that CDs pause the contest and update the online (or posted printout) scores with all pilot flights at these additional times:

(a) Before the second-to-last qualifying round, and

(b) Before the second-to-last fly-off round (if the contest has fly-offs).

Tools for CDs

To get pilots to reliably enter their scores on time there are several approaches that CDs can use.

The manual approach - This is as easy as the CD announcing to pilots after a full round is complete to enter their scores. When using GliderScore it's then a matter of clicking the "View Missing Scores" button to see who still has not entered their scores.

GliderScore: Nagger add-on - This is an elegant add-on for GliderScore that implements a totally automated announcement of pilots who have not yet entered their scores. It also provides a few other cool features including an opt-in for text messages that announces a pilot's next flight group. Jim Monaco created this powerful tool and provides a web page with all the info you need to install and configure it: Thanks for implementing it, Jim!

GliderScore timer scripts: Add "Catchup time" for score entries - GliderScore has a timer script editor that allows you to customize how your contest audio track runs. Normally you announce the prep time countdown the same for each flight group. For example, you may have a 6 minute prep time that announces the remaining prep time at every minute, then more often during the final countdown to the start horn.

Depending on how few flight groups you have there can be cases where a pilot who is timing for others has little time to enter his scores. So GliderScore's timer scripts have a cool "On New Round" function that allows you to add time and announcements only at the top of every new round. For example, the following shows how to add an additional 3 minutes to the normal 6 minute prep time before a new round's first group:

The 1st timer step adds 3 minutes and an announcement to the 6 minute prep time.

In this case the audio file "newround-3min-catchup-time.wav" says: "Okay gents, now is the start of a new round and 3 extra minutes to enter your scores. Thanks much!" This extra 3 minutes and the audio prompt will only play before group 1 in each new round. Very easy to add and it should eliminate the need for CDs to manually nag (most) pilots.