|Survey 2019 Results
There are 988 competitors on the TTR database. 659 competitors with e-mail addresses were invited to take the survey. Only 119 responded.
Not a significant percentage, but my hope is that those who took the trouble to respond feel passionate (negatively or positively) about helping to guide the future of Internet Table-Top Rallying.
Profile of respondees:
Of the 119:
20 hadn't registered on the website so hadn't competed since 2012 or earlier.
Of the registered competitors:
14 hadn't competed since 2012 or earlier
42 had competed on the 2017/2018 Championship or 2018 Crowless events
4 registered for the 2018/2019 Championship but didn't pay to compete
8 registered for the 2018/2019 Championship, paid, but didn't compete
31 registered for the 2018/2019 Championship, paid and competed.
Beginners 12, Novice 44, Expert 30, Master 17 - a good cross-section.
Run each event with classes? Yes = 84, No = 15.
Classes will be back next time. I'll probably re-define the classes and automatically assign them based on your TTR performances.
Prizes are an incentive? Yes = 7, No = 95.
Status Quo here. I divert all the entry fees to charity, so modest prizes are made available by sponsorship (Basic Roamer have helped over the years) or from my own pocket.
However, back in 2007 when I resurrected the Cloverleaf Rally as an historic regularity event, I bought a huge trophy called the "CrowKup" which was only ever awarded twice for the best regularity timing performance. Since then it's been gathering dust in the cupboard under the stairs. I will make this THE prestious trophy for Table-Top Rallyists and award it to the winner of the annual Championship.
I would like to present this at a post-Championship annual gathering of competitors. So I am looking for someone to donate a venue where we could meet, possibly in March 2020.
An annual championship should be run in Winter (78), Autumn (10), Summer (3), Spring (1).
That's pretty definitive. Winter it will remain then.
The Championship should comprise (how many?) rounds.
The votes were mostly cast for 3 or 4 rounds.
Each round should have (how many?) legs?
Some only wanted 2!? The majority were happy with 12, but a large swell of opinion chose 10. I will keep 12, but this will now be split as 6+6 (see below).
Each round should last for (how many?) days?
The average was 22 days, but the majority wanted 25/30. Actually 23 fits into my thinking. Start a round on a Friday and run through to a Sunday just over three weeks later. That way work-constrainted competitors will have three full weekends to submit their answers.
The gap between each round should be (how many?) days?
Varied from 5 to 30. The average was 15. A 19-day gap works in conjunction with above giving a (leisurely) 6-week (42-day) interval between each round.
For any Real-Time legs, the average duration to complete it (currently 30 minutes) should be no longer than?
Ranged from 10-60 minutes, but a focused concentration for an average of 30 minutes was the outcome.
What should the balance be between plotting and real-time legs on each round?
It was clear from your responses that there needs to be a separation between plotting and real-time legs (see below).
Thinking about real-time rallies only, for a set of six rallies you leaned towards a split of 3 Regularities, 2 Road and 1 Stage. Driving Tests weren't at all popular except maybe a mini version to add realism to a typical regularity event.
If there were separate Championships for Real-Time Rallies and Plotting Rallies you would enter?
Both Championships (33), Real-Time Championship (6), Plotting Championship (45). This was a bit of a surprise. I knew I had some a strong body of real-time dissenters/plotting purists, so I wasn't expecting such a good percentage of twin Championship votes.
I think the only way to satisfy most competitors most of the time will be to run two separate Championships in parallel with the overall Champion coming from those who enter both.
Each Championship round would have 6 legs, with the best 5 scores counting towards the results. That way, volunteers who organise one of the legs (and I will need volunteers to reduce my workload) will not be totally disadvantaged - they will have count the 5 remaining legs.
I would be willing to donate £? for any one-off event.
The full range from £5 to £20 with an average of £12.
I would be willing to donate £? for a Championship Series.
The full range from £5 (mean!) to many with £50 (generous). An average of £25.
For the 2019-2020 Championships I intend setting the required donations to £25 for a single Championship and £40 for the dual Championship.
An amazing response: 31 of the survey respondees have offered to help in some way!! Did you click the button my mistake? Do you realise the commitment?
When the Crowless Rallies ran last summer with some vounteer Route Card setters, it didn't lessen my effort a great deal. My fault. The software to design the route and navigation was a bit "techy" and still required me to set parameters, format text, and make sure everything was in the right place. The design interface is being worked on at the moment with the objective that a setter will have all the tools and on-screen help to completely craft the leg of a round.
I will be contacting volunteers directly in the near future.
Dates for 2019/2020?
Taking all topics into consideration from above the dates could be:
1) October 11-November 3;
2) November 22-December 15;
a Christmas and New Year break;
3) January 3-January 26;
4) February 14 - March 1.
This really depends on implementing the considerable changes to satisfy the survey results.
I've reproduced many of the pointed and amusing comments below, and have addressed the common themes here.
The difficulty in getting started on plotting or real-time events.
I agree the Rally Procedures are rather daunting when you first see them. But just like starting real rallying and opening the MSUK "Blue Book" or reading an event's Supplementary Regulations there needs to be clear rules about what you can and can't do. I think the best way to tackle this will be to create some tutorials which can give step-by-step guidance alongside a series of practice events and to provide comprehensive pop-up help for all the elements on the answer map.
I think the Forum needs to change too. Currently it's a generic third-party product which is a bt OTT in terms of features and (lack of) ease of usage for TTR. I am hoping to code some new software which will make the Forum a more useful tool for beginners.
The navigation is too difficult/cryptic.
It's the old problem of trying to keep a balance between encouraging Beginners and taxing the Masters. The solution, I believe, lies in the Hint system. Let the initial Route Card be Master-tough, but design Hint 1 to get the solving task down to Expert level; Hint 2 reducing it to Novice level; and Hint 3 allowing Beginners to breeze through the satisfaction of plotting albeit with appropriate penalties.
I don't have enough time to compete.
I can't magic extra leisure time from your family and work commitments, but the reduction in legs, and the proposed, more relaxed schedule (more than twice as long for each leg in a single Championship) should help.
Some of the more illuminating positive and negative comments follows:
"As someone who, after years of experience with the St. Valentine's Day Massacre but no real-life rallying experience, attempted the Table-Top Rallying event once, I was frustrated by the complete lack of guidance as to how to proceed. I found myself docked points for supposed deviations I couldn't understand, and there was no place to turn for an explanation. I eventually gave up out of frustration and lack of time. But now that I'm retired, I'd like to try again. I would, however, appreciate some guidance as to what's expected of participants."
"Concern that a number of paid entrants don't actually do the events, some of the clues are just too hard for the novice/beginner level so can be off putting/disheartening for completing all legs."
"I quite like the current format but being a student means that the Jan-Apr season coincides with a lot of exams and deadlines, hence limited participation. It good fun when I get the chance to do an event."
"I found the previous one really hard (mainly because I couldn't get my computer to go the way I wanted - I'm just rubbish on computers) Anyway my point is the lack of navigators out there would it be possible to use some of your table tops to first find then train up a new generation of navigators."
"I would prefer events with fewer legs so as to be less time demanding. Personally I enjoy the Plotting sections more but appreciate Real-Time rallies provide a bit of variety and a different type of challenge. That said, I always feel the Plotting sections are more in line with my idea of traditional Table Top Rallying. As regards encouragement to enter future events I think the existing competitors won't need much encouragement. Although I am curious why the number of competitors dropped so markedly for the last Championship. I suspect many people just haven't got the spare time these days to commit to such a long Championship. Also perhaps the move away from the more traditional style of Table Top Rallying hasn't appealed to some and the increasing complexity may have intimidated potential new compettitors. Rather than just a practice event before the next championship I wonder if a few free to enter, short introductory events for potential new competitors with support via the forum for any questions might encourage more people to enter. Perhaps a special award for first time competitors. Maybe allow first time competitors free access to hints on more difficult legs. Ask existing competitors to cajole friends to give the next Championship a go. Do the charities you support ever get involved in publicising the upcoming Championships?"
"Would be tempted again I just didn't have the time this time. At first glance i couldn't get my head round what we needed to do but would be tempted to look again. A practice round maybe worthwhile."
"I would like to see a revamp of the website with the index of all information on the Home page. At the moment there are pages not referenced until you get to the Login page (e.g. Regulations, Rally Procedures). This could put some people off. You may, of course, already considered this course of action! Further, I feel that Driving Tests should not be part of any event; it is, after all, a navigation excercise."
"I didn't enjoy the stage rally or regularity type of events as the really dragged out in real time format. I much preferred the road rally format which was the main reason for entering the table top championship."
"Enjoy the challenge of reading maps accurately, but don't enjoy time pressures. So I'd like to see more map-reading challenge and less do-it-quickly pressure."
"I like the format and idea, though it takes AGES to understand the rules and get up to speed with what's going on - I guess this might put off new entrants. It's still regarded as the mensa test of events which I think probably isn't true for most of it...I certainly don't consider myself as a mensa member! Only this week I was talking to club members and they cited the rules and specifically the bit about ignoring NTR's as its a unique rule this. It has however greatly improved my plotting abilities over the past couple of years for 'normal' car based events and enabled my entry into daytime classic regularities so there is a place for internet table tops in the wider scheme of things. My interpretation of why less people entered the last one was simply timing - As with any other current rally, people have lots of different draws on their time. I wasn't working for a couple of championships so had lots of time but still struggled to find that golden 30 mins when I wouldnt be disturbed! I think LeJog and Christmas put people off and with only 20 days the event was over quite quickly once you miss the first week. I've gone from solving the mensa test in front of the TV on a boring cold evening to setting myself up on the kitchen table about 4pm. Appreciate its a difficult balance as everyone will be different! I'd keep doing what you're doing (with a gap in between events to ensure we're all hungry!) and encourage newcomers in by making the events easier and quicker to get them hooked."
"I paid my money and expected to do the events, but circumstances got in the way: I just didn't have the time available. Having said that I think there was less time commitment necessary this time. I think I might have tried harder if rallying generally wasn't on the ebb at the moment. I think maybe the change was at the wrong time. A reversion may be required, but don't abandon all that excellent work you've done."
"I will be entering future events whatever the format, but as a "real " navigator I do prefer the Real Time Format as practice for actual events and find some of the"Cryptic" Plotting sections very challenging. I also find the unplotted Stage events a challenge, as I'm used to tulips defining direction changes at junctions rather than a simple L R or St On arrow."
"The previous style of table top rally suited me much better than the new style. The addition of timing and other new features were not something that I found enjoyable to try and solve."
"Against initial expectations I have grown to like the real time sections - particularly the regularity ones as they can get results without too much resort to random and artificial hazards. However, I remain totally unconvinced about the driving tests: I can't see that they rely on any rally navigation skills. In answering the questions below, my feeling is that we should have a small preference to plotting rather than real time sections, but if the real time ones do have big supporters elsewhere, I'm happy with a 50:50 balance. On the plotting sections, increasing the difficulty as you move from 1 - 12 is important. For the more expert, a reasonably easy section or two helps get the brain back into gear: for newcomers it prevents losing the will to live after looking at a first, deviously cryptic section. I like the idea of reinstating classes, but I think all classes should be scored on all sections rather than novices only counting the 'easy' sections: it provides a greater incentive to improve. Or maybe only count the easier sections for the (e.g.) novice results but include all those attempted in the overall standings? Also what about promotion within a championship? That could mean that someone entering a championship as a novice could still be classified in the overall championship as a novice, but would not compete for the 'novice award' on individual events once promoted. Keep up the excellent work, Crow!"
"Prefer the untimed traditional Table Top style. The solutions were becoming mind-bendingly hard, but the Hints with Penalties largely overcame this. Also to complete all sections requires a huge investment in time (although nothing in comparison to the time it must take to prepare them!) which many do not have, hence the number successfully completing some sections, but running out of time to complete the whole thing. The software was brilliantly honed and I missed this challenge during the Winter. I practiced the new format a couple of times and I'm afraid it didn't appeal to me."
"I really enjoyed the cut & thrust of the real time rallies. Stage rallies particularly (OK I am a bit of a speed freak). I don't mind the plotting either but once I get so far as the hints I need them to be relevant because by then I've spent way too long & just want to plot. (I also appreciate the effort you have put in - please don't forget that - you have worked hard this last year. The stage rallies in particular are brilliant)."
"I was not impressed with the latest format, I would much rather have more of the straight forward plotting problems to ascertain the correct route. I don't think that competitors should need to have any greater skills than the required standard navigation solving . I soon lose interest when faced with an applied mathematics, or statistical or even computer programming based question. Give me the 'Panglossian' or 'Schoolfrenz' format any day, that's when it was down to map based navigation skills, rather than mensa test and advanced mathematics."
"Couldn't get logged into the practice event at the outset despite a couple of attempts, so lazily I didn't pursue it. Had some doubts about how much of a PC buff I needed to be to do it, so got on with other things over the winter months."
"Personally, I would probably enter any event regardless of format. I enjoy the challenge of something new. While I don't like some of the changes initially, I consider these a further challenge and just like to be taking part in the event. Not sure of the value of the driving tests, but still fun to play though."
"Just didn't have the spare time required this season to justify an entry (And the other half complains when I sit at the table for hours muttering like an imbecile!)."
"I prefer the traditional plotting rallies without the realtime legs which require more nimble keyboard fingers than mine. They were very cleverly devised but not my favorite. I think at least half the legs should be straightforward navigation to encourage newcomers and give us some easy results."
"I really enjoyed this new format, especially regularity and stages it makes it easier for those of us with limited time and skill set to do the complex brain storm plotting which I don't enjoy that much when it's so difficult you have no idea where to start."
"Sadly I'm not sure you can influence how busy I am at work, as that was what precluded me entering this time (and last)"
"I could never get my head around regularity events. Whenever night navigation events changed from pre plotting to regularity in Northern Ireland I hung up my potti. I loved your old style events as they incorporated navigation skills and mind taxing clues, although some proved too taxing and perhaps put some people off. I appreciate the amount of work you must have put into the new format but would ask that you could consider alternating regularity and traditional table top throughout the year. "
"I will enter anyway, but here are a couple of suggestions and comments: 1. Indicate the difficulty of each RC in advance e.g. could be by novice, expert, etc. or cryptic, maths, etc. 2. Introducing hints was a great idea. Maybe high penalties on early hints puts people off taking them (me anyway!). And when I think I'm almost there, I don't want to take the first 2 hints out of 3 since I don't think they'll help. But, not sure how you can deal with that. 3. Although I don't particularly like the real-time legs, I would still enter and try them even though I expect to do badly! The big advantage is that they don't take too much time. 4. I don't think many people are bothered about the prizes - just the glory!!"
"It was the online map that dissuaded me. I'm sure that it's simple to comprehend but I just didn't have the time to master it's complexities. I much preferred it in the old days when you worked on a paper map."
"It's practically perfect as it is. Keep up the mix of real time and plotting, and incorporate the driving tests into the real time regularities."
"I would like a longer period for the championship with more time for recovery. If it went from October through March there would be more time between events. Of course if I didn't wait too late on the first event it wouldn't snowball throughout the championship. "
"Just didn't have the time to learn the basics and take part. No other suggestions other than please keep up the good work!"
"Very short of time during this TTR Championship to learn the new format and compete with any confidence in doing well. Glad to support it, and I always will, but I need to take time out to study the new method. Thanks very much for taking the time and effort to organise it."
"I think it is well known I am not a fan of Real Time rallies. I find the hazards particularly annoying and in some cases unrealistic. I think the format used in 2017/2018 championship was very good and would much prefer this again. I think going back to a class orientated championship is also needed. If novices/experts have a chance to compete in their own championship I think they would be more inclined to come back next time and try and improve. I like your suggestion in the "increasing participation" thread on the forum re 4 novice, 4 expert and 4 master sections where all sections are completed by all but only relevant sections to count towards championship positions. Good idea. Cant think of anything else but if I do I will PM you. Thanks for all your efforts over the years."
"I'm still interested in the TTR but haven't got a chance to try it out due to my schedule. It looks like I will have more time in the future, however, to try this out and it sounds like an activity I would enjoy. Since I have no familiarity with the details, I haven't completed most of the event format section. "
"I was intending to compete but simply have not had the free time to do so. My own fault, I need to manage my spare time better. I do need to have a go at one of the events to find out how the new formats and real time rallies work. My initial thoughts was that maybe it has made them too complicated, I am probably completely wrong!"
"Do not wish to be on computer except for submitting answer - so the previous method of being able to plot offline is the only way that works for me."
"Plotting sections were getting too abstract towards the end of the last championship. I like to sit down and get on it hopefully finishing a route card within an hour or two, not spending days trying to figure out how to even get started. I really enjoyed the real time rallies, particularly the regularities but please keep the navigation relatively simple. I don't think allowing route solutions to be viewed before the end of the event is wise as i suspect some illegal recceing may have occured. Overall, Brilliant. Thanks Crow."
"I just didn't have enough quality time to do it this year. I will have time if things go to plan for the coming years...Ill be retired!"
"As it was my first attempts at Table Top Rallying it was an all new experience for me. I think the mix of Real Time and Plotting was a good move from round 2, but personally found some of the more cryptic plotting events beyond my simple brain capacity, but overall felt the mix was right (though not convinced by the driving test inclusion)."
"Format became too complicated for me to understand and complete within an average lunchtime. Enjoyed the challenge of the previous season but even then could not complete every route due to either difficulty or timing. Tried to complete one of the regularity sections of this season but didn't enjoy it so didn't continue."
"The fact that each leg had to be completed in a single attempt stopped me from entering. While this does represent a true rally, being able to set aside the time without interruption, is just not possible. It was for this reason, I did not even attempt the practice legs. If the rules or method changed during the event, I did not keep up-to-date with them. I knew from the initial news of the format that I would not be able to enter."
"I am not really into IT stuff and preferred the old fashioned way i.e. study/solve clues on a hard copy map but ok to submit answers online. I enjoy taking time solving the navigational side of things and not interested in time taken. "
"I am not very computer literate but the main reason I have stopped is a lack of time with too many other events on. Thanks for your work and events in the past."
"Reason for not participating this year was the investment of time. Amount of free time post working day is quite small, so difficult to complete the full 'rally' within the time allocated Some stages were obviously difficult to work out the clues quickly! Some stages were quite time consuming to plot, even when the clues were understood. Appreciate that the format was quite different last Winter. Maybe I should retire to do it again."
"I would enter future events even without improvements or new features, though these would of course be welcome. I've already left lots of thoughts and suggestions via the forums and feedback boxes, which I won't repeat here. But I will add one more here regarding entry fees -- it would be good to offer competitors the option to send copies of donation receipts in lieu of the fees themselves. By donating directly to a charity, it would be possible for competitors who are eligible to claim employer matching, tax relief, etc. which would be good for the charities and possibly for entrants too. Also a few notes on my responses to the rest of the survey: I would prefer the annual championship to run Nov-Feb (so half autumn and half winter), as it was in 2017-18. I would be willing to donate up to £75 for a four-event series, though I would probably donate only the published entry fee amount if less. I think it would be appropriate for me to compete in the top class if we are doing classes, but I don't regard myself as a true master yet -- my standards are high and I still made quite a few mistakes and failed to solve a handful of route cards during the 2018-9 championship. My willingness to help organise an event depends very much on how many other things I have on my plate at the time. I would also potentially be willing to help contribute to the software (I am a software engineer by profession, though not a web developer), again depending on my other commitments."
"More time to do the rallies - seemed like only a few weeks between the start & end times. An email reminder of when they start & perhaps finish would be helpful."
"If real time rallies are included in the events, I don't want to have to 'drive' as well. I'm not into computer gaming so don't want to have anything to do with driving the car such as gear changes, or adapting to road conditions. I'm just about coping with give ways! It's probably due to my age (65) but I found that as the real time series developed and more things were added I panicked, and it became less enjoyable, and more of a trial. I felt that the driving tests were more of a test of computer gaming ability. Incidentally I found this survey by accident in my spam box. This all sounds very negative, and I'm sorry about that, considering the huge volume of work that you put into it. The original plotting only series I thoroughly enjoyed and even though some solutions were completely beyond my maths capabilities I wouldn't change a thing. I have filled in the event format to cover 3 months of plotting only. That's my ideal. But in truth I wouldn't mind 4 events as we have at the moment, and I could cope with one of each of the 3 real time legs in an event if I had to. I am very happy with being able to open multiple route cards. I don't want to go back to having to do them in strict order and abandon a leg when stuck because of perceived time constraints. The solution doesn't always click immediately! Unlike some competitors, who are computer literate and extremely competitive, I do these events purely for fun and I quietly objected to some of the suggestions being put forward that I felt were just to give the competitive edge. I don't mind if they win! I just don't want them making my enjoyment more difficult. "
"I didn't take part on the recent one as I was slightly disillusioned with the previous event, as I couldn't spend as much time as other people on it. Having the event timed is a good idea and I am disappointed I didn't have a go. Sorry."
"No improvements, just less of the "cryptic clue" plotting events for beginners and novices! Although I do appreciate you have to have these more difficult plotting events for the more experienced competitors. Many, many thanks for all your efforts Ray."
"I didn't have much time but thought the format was quite good. The old system was easier to fit in to my day."
"Sorry but I am a competitor from way back. I liked the original plotting on a map where I could pick up a map where ever I was when I had a spare moment at any time of the day when I had a spare moment without being near a computer. I find it difficult to spend my time in the evenings sat beside a computer to sort everything out when I could be sat with my lovely wife with occasionally a map on my lap sorting out the routes. I use a computer but I do not have a lot interest in it other than sorting out work issues. Because everything has swung around to computer tasking I did not enter because I find it boring and takes to much solitary time stuck in my study. I do realise that it is easier for the organisers especially when it comes to marking. I have really enjoyed past table top rallies using paper maps, have organised a couple myself at club level many years ago but the way that everything has gone lately I don't think I will gain interest. Many thanks for the past years which I have enjoyed with the pencil, rubber, romer, magnifying glass and brain intrigue."
"More free time, less extension building, head gasket fixing, and other assorted time stealers. Not anything to do with your side of things. I don't have any major preferences on the number and type of legs. Thanks for doing this by the way, it is appreciated."
"I'm really interested in table top rallies to improve my real life navigational rallying, but the website is quite old fashioned and so isn't that encouraging to carry on through to actually do the rallies. The structure of how it works also isn't that clear so again makes it off-putting. I assumed (perhaps wrongly) that once you start you need to be ready to do the rally straight away. Again perhaps it's clarity for newcomers as to how it works. Overall the biggest thing for me would be a clear, concise and easy to use website. (This is perhaps an occupational hazard for me as this is my area of work - so if I can help you improve it, I'd be happy to)"
"For me joining was out of curiosity and to learn how to do it, so I might do it for real. This was enjoyable and helpful thank you. It taught me, since I had a lot of questions, I needed to engage with others to learn more. This I have done and am still very much a novice. Now I don't see myself competing in a real car, my wife doesn't want to navigate as reading in a moving car is a problem. So I marshal. Still a positive result. All the best."
"Rather than complete the table below (I'm not familiar enough with the formats to make a sensible contribution), my own preference would be for an alternstvie shorter "novice" or "quick" version to be available. I got through 5 or 6 of the previous legs and simply ran out of time and knowledge to continue. £20 an entry seems entirely reasonable."
"As a beginner, I looked at the website and couldn't make head nor tail of it."
"No, I will probably continue until I manage to win one, with all the years of competing I should be getting better results than I do. I found the last round to be a perfect balance of old and new, luckily I started with the plotting sections first, spending days trying to get a route, which made me appreciate more the short real time sections to finish with a day to spare."
"Dear Crow The only thing that would help is for me to retire!! I would have loved to take part in the last event, but unfortunately my mother-in-law, then my father and then my aunt, who are all in their 90s, were taken ill and I didn't get round to entering. They are all still alive but needing more attention than in the past. I have indicated that I would be happy to help, but not just yet. Hopefully in a couple of years I will be retired and then...."
"Hello Ray, I was hoping the real-time Regularity rallies would have much simpler navigation so they would be useful for the novice HRCR Clubmans Championship competitors to improve their timing skills. I thought the navigation was too focused on regular table-toppers and I for one found it too demanding to be realistic as a "proper Regularity Rally". I would be willing to organise some real-time Regularitiy events but they would be more like a Blackpalfrey Sunday morning 12 car if that is of interest. I will need alot of IT help though as I'm a real Ludite when it comes to IT."
"Thank you for contacting me. I am a sudoku type person and not a cryptic crossword type. I appreciate the way that you have produced the rallies in the past but the format that I prefer is the one where the plotting information does not need to be decoded. I am getting on a bit now, the eyesight is not so good and I know that these rallies would be more of a trial than an enjoyment. I wish you the very best for the future but with regret will decline to take part in future rallies."
"Please come & look after my 3 & 5 year old boys!"
"I really like the concept, but I haven't yet found the time to actually learn enough about the events to actually enter. I am trying to encourage some of my fellow Australians to have a go - if we can get a few people here to compete and compare scores with each other it will be worthwhile. As I am not experienced with the style of event, I don't know enough to offer useful comment on Event Format or Annual Championship. While I have said I am willing to help organise an event, at this stage I don't know enough to be much help."
"Hi Crow. Two reasons I didn't enter this year are 'lack of time' (more than ever to do on the Hughes this year!) and, I'm afraid, as the years march on the ol' eyes are not quite as good as they used to be....I would probably be more likely to have a go again if it was not so time consuming (BUT, I guess I'm in the minority here). Hope this helps - a bit (I admire the amount of work you must put in to this event). See you on The Hughes Historic. "
"Unfortunately I don't have a very good interweb speed at home so would have to do thus either at work or after work so was unable to this year. I only did a small amount last year and lost track of what was going on. Most of the rallies had finished before I had the chance to start them. I didn't really understand the format and didn't have the time to learn it."
"I don't feel able to answer any of the questions that you pose below because my involvements in the events have been so minimal that I have insufficient experience to formulate any particular preferences but I can't help feeling that you are, perhaps, concentrating on preferences and minutiae whilst ignoring some fundamentals. When I started organising Rhadamanthus rallies I was mildly surprised that a section of the rallying fraternity was not prepared to entertain the concept of navigational events in any way whatsoever and I came to realise that there is very wide spectrum of motor rallying interest out there ranging from hard core high speed world and national stage events to primarily navigational events such as regularities. The vast majority of enthusiasts and competitors fit somewhere within that spectrum but NOT throughout it. The type of competitor that typically has entered the Table Top Chapmpionships would be very much at the navigational end of the spectrum and (fairly obviously due to the success of previous championships) enjoy the process of SOLVING the navigation. Your events have fairly intense and sometimes cryptic navigation which has shown itself to be popular with people at that end of the enthusiast spectrum - but thought provoking and time consuming navigation does not lend itself very well to Real Time events. I suspect that, in combining Real Time constraints with your style of Table Top navigation, you have created an event which does not appeal so much to the 'solving' end of the spectrum but also fails to appeal to those for whom the Real Time attribute might be an enjoyable challenge but who cannot handle the intense navigation. In a sense you have, perhaps, tried to combine chalk with cheese. I won Roding Car Club's Moonraker Rally in 1975 (with Dan Wright) and again in 1976 (with Ray Benge) and those were events that combined fairly basic PlotnBash navigation with Real Time requirements. They were a good balance of one with the other. Your Real Time software with route plotting on screen is an extraordinary development and I rather wonder whether there is a market out there for both cryptic navigation Table Tops and Real Time Table Tops with simpler navigation. Your target competitors would be different for each style of event. "
"No longer willing to spend so much time on competing in an event that has gradually developed into a technical nightmare for me. Too much now relies on knowledge of computer issues of which I have little knowledge. "
"Sorry Crow, I found the RealTime idea (a) quite intimidating, and (b) not easy to fit into a busy life, in which I spend all day staring at a computer screen for work, and hence try to avoid doing so in the evenings and weekends. I feel guilty for not at least giving the new style a go, since it takes my awe for the platform you have designed to an even higher level."
"As a beginner at table top rallying, I found the lack of a tutorial or instructions was a hurdle to me taking part. Once I had asked advice from friends who have done it before, it was still rather bewlidering to know what to do. It might be that I was over complicating it, but it seemed that you needed to be experienced at doing this before, in order to know what to do. Consequently, I ended up not being able to take part as much as I'd hoped."
July 11, 2019