phi (totient) wrote,

rally lessons learned

  • Running a two event weekend is more than twice as much work for the event chair as running a single event.
  • Rallies have minds of their own; it's hard to have a concept in mind and make the roads fit it. Because of this, the rally course should really be finished and ready to precheck six months ahead of time, so that the sanction application, flyer, and description in promotional materials can accurately reflect the nature of the rally.
  • Putting the rally together is the easy part. Doing good PR for the rally is the hard part. Three hard parts: flyer and press-release distribution, Internet-based promotion, and personal glad-handing and cajoling. I did about half as much of the first and a tenth as much of the other two as I should have.
  • Have lots of things going on at the awards ceremony. I had a (very neat) map of the course and displays of the trophies and prizes set up by the time the first car got there. Photos of the course, controls, and (if applicable) traps would also have been good. Having visually interesting prizes is also a good idea. This gives people something to talk about while waiting for scoring, so they won't get antsy.
  • Along those same lines, certain kinds of side prizes can be given out before scoring is complete. For instance, a prize for the earliest arrival at a quickie control can be awarded based on the control log, so giving it out can be done while the scorecards are still being worked on by the scorers. And one car had a negative leg time, so I really wish I'd given a prize for that.
  • Consider the safety of oncoming civilian traffic when locating controls. I had two controls that should have been located elsewhere based on this criterion.
  • Use of online aerial photography archives can in fact replace fieldwork. 8m images (which are easy to find, even if Mapquest did take them off their site) will give you a feel for how scenic a road is. 1m images are available for free from USGS and are, just barely, good enough to tell if a road is passable or not. 10cm would allow checkpoint placement; if such a product were available for $50/year flat, I would probably buy it.
  • Novice schools should introduce one new concept with which the novices are not already familiar, and which they can apply over the course of the day. TA generation from logs was a good example. Speed factors would also have been a good example.
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