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Standards for competition reporting



 
 
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  #1  
Old August 12th 17, 03:27 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
acehu11
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Posts: 1
Default Standards for competition reporting

As a low-time SEL private pilot with interest in soaring and obtaining a glider rating, I often follow the news of soaring competitions on the SSA website, Facebook, rec.aviation.soaring, the FAI site, and others. Some competitions have been very communicative with status updates multiple times per day, promoting the event, posting results shortly after completion, which really gives remote spectators like me an opportunity to experience the event virtually via the internet. Other events have included morning updates with pilot meetings, weather outlooks, expected plans for the day, launching news, and timely results. And then there are other events with very little to no news updates daily, and results potentially not updated for hours or days.

During the events with frequent status updates and heavy reporting, I very much feel connected to what is happening. I have the opportunity to dissect what the reporter has communicated, to try and understand what and why in the decision making process. These have been excellent opportunities for me to understand the logistics behind a competition and the decision making that goes on. Following the results, reporting, and pilot interviews pre and post each competition day also affords me the opportunity to hear what the plans were, decisions that were made, why they were made, how they created an advantage or disadvantage against the competition field, and the final outcome. For events with little to no communication or status updates online, there's very little opportunity for me to learn from the soaring community virtually, which really seems like a shame, given the immense talent that attends these events.

I recognize these competitions are ran voluntarily, and the time and dedication it takes to put on a successful and safe event should be commended. All the volunteers should be proud of themselves and thanked for the time they have given to help put on a successful event. Communications may not seem an integral part of the completion, but I'm hopeful, however, that the soaring community and SSA would consider adoption of a set of communication standards for future soaring competitions. Standards that define the frequency of online updates, types of communication (written, photo, video, etc), timeline for reporting of results, interviews of top competitors & notable pilots/events of the day, or other noteworthy happenings that help benefit the sport of soaring, and potentially help teach folks like me.

On a related note, congratulations to the competitors of the 18m nationals in Uvalde, TX. What I read of the event sounds like it really tested your experience and risk/reward decision making some days.

Thanks

-adrian
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  #2  
Old August 12th 17, 07:29 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Roy B.
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Posts: 60
Default Standards for competition reporting

Adrian
You make an excellent point. Part of the problem in the reporting of contests seems to be a reluctance for the "official" SSA contest page (which sometimes carries Contest Director reports and sometimes not) to reference or advise the reader of "unofficial" reports that may be also be available. For example I was frustrated by the absence of daily reports about the Uvalde 18m Nationals until somebody directed me to Sean Fidler's Facebook page - which had lots of good information, videos and write-ups. Similarly, some competitors (Tom Kelley, Dave Nadler) also post blogs that are interesting. But if you don't know that these exist or how to find them, it is frustrating. We need to do a better job in informing people as to what reports are out there and a starting point would be for contests to inform us about where alternative channels of information are.
ROY
  #3  
Old August 12th 17, 03:07 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
[email protected]
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Posts: 157
Default Standards for competition reporting

Excellent point Adrian. Contest reporting usually falls on the shoulders of the CD who gets worn down as the contest proceeds and reporting is the last item on his long "must do" list. A good way to go is to pick someone with knowledge of what's going on, but isn't directly involved with the contest to handle the contest reporting. I asked Matt Herron to do the reporting at this years Air Sailing Sports and he did some good timely reporting on what was happining. Leigh Zimmerman did the reporting at the 2014 nats held at Minden and made several reports every day, telling me exactly what was going on...........she answered the questions I had and made me feel like I was actually flying the contest.
JJ
  #5  
Old August 12th 17, 04:47 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Frank Whiteley
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Posts: 1,771
Default Standards for competition reporting

On Saturday, August 12, 2017 at 8:47:33 AM UTC-6, Dan Marotta wrote:
Perhaps there is or could be a page on the SSA website where the owners
of the various blogs, etc. could post links to their writings.

On 8/12/2017 8:07 AM, johnsinclair wrote:
Excellent point Adrian. Contest reporting usually falls on the shoulders of the CD who gets worn down as the contest proceeds and reporting is the last item on his long "must do" list. A good way to go is to pick someone with knowledge of what's going on, but isn't directly involved with the contest to handle the contest reporting. I asked Matt Herron to do the reporting at this years Air Sailing Sports and he did some good timely reporting on what was happining. Leigh Zimmerman did the reporting at the 2014 nats held at Minden and made several reports every day, telling me exactly what was going on...........she answered the questions I had and made me feel like I was actually flying the contest.
JJ


--
Dan, 5J


Adrian makes a good point. There is a place where the CD can post links to other reporting links, a report during the practice days would suffice. Although three SSA FB editors had liked the recent 18m FB page, no one shared a post to the SSA FB page until the contest was over. The 18m FB page has 148 likes and 161 following, which is a couple more than last night. Had I known, there would have been additional SSA FB shares and probably 3X those numbers. Certain contest sites have poor infrastructure. Some regular posters were noticeably quiet during the Uvalde contest. IIRC, additional efforts were made during the world's in 2012, but those were temporary enhancements. Other contest hosts provide WIFI, but it is often soon overloaded by PC's and phones and bandwidth becomes a struggle. I know, because our social media editors tell me this is the case and sometimes have to give up during peak hours. Those who sync their devices and have IMAP e-mail accounts suck an incredible amount of bandwidth. Those running a contest can't spend the time if they are working against this. Still the framework for reporting probably needs a fresh look. The BGA recently was looking for help with similar issues. SSA is also looking at this, but the contest committee needs to address contest reporting going forward.

Frank Whiteley
  #6  
Old August 12th 17, 05:43 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Ron Gleason
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Posts: 380
Default Standards for competition reporting

On Friday, 11 August 2017 20:27:31 UTC-6, acehu11 wrote:
As a low-time SEL private pilot with interest in soaring and obtaining a glider rating, I often follow the news of soaring competitions on the SSA website, Facebook, rec.aviation.soaring, the FAI site, and others. Some competitions have been very communicative with status updates multiple times per day, promoting the event, posting results shortly after completion, which really gives remote spectators like me an opportunity to experience the event virtually via the internet. Other events have included morning updates with pilot meetings, weather outlooks, expected plans for the day, launching news, and timely results. And then there are other events with very little to no news updates daily, and results potentially not updated for hours or days.

During the events with frequent status updates and heavy reporting, I very much feel connected to what is happening. I have the opportunity to dissect what the reporter has communicated, to try and understand what and why in the decision making process. These have been excellent opportunities for me to understand the logistics behind a competition and the decision making that goes on. Following the results, reporting, and pilot interviews pre and post each competition day also affords me the opportunity to hear what the plans were, decisions that were made, why they were made, how they created an advantage or disadvantage against the competition field, and the final outcome. For events with little to no communication or status updates online, there's very little opportunity for me to learn from the soaring community virtually, which really seems like a shame, given the immense talent that attends these events.

I recognize these competitions are ran voluntarily, and the time and dedication it takes to put on a successful and safe event should be commended. All the volunteers should be proud of themselves and thanked for the time they have given to help put on a successful event. Communications may not seem an integral part of the completion, but I'm hopeful, however, that the soaring community and SSA would consider adoption of a set of communication standards for future soaring competitions. Standards that define the frequency of online updates, types of communication (written, photo, video, etc), timeline for reporting of results, interviews of top competitors & notable pilots/events of the day, or other noteworthy happenings that help benefit the sport of soaring, and potentially help teach folks like me.

On a related note, congratulations to the competitors of the 18m nationals in Uvalde, TX. What I read of the event sounds like it really tested your experience and risk/reward decision making some days.

Thanks

-adrian


Valid points but IMHO the best way to address this is immerse yourself and attend a competition as a volunteer. There are always the need for more volunteers, you can rub shoulders with the greats of the sport, learn tons, get showered with praise and gratitude's, get dirty and sweaty with the best and then write up your thoughts, observations and experiences.
  #7  
Old August 12th 17, 10:50 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Jonathan St. Cloud
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Posts: 730
Default Standards for competition reporting

Or contact a local college and see if they want to give credit for an internship reporting on a contest. The might also interest another young person to get involved in our sport.

On Saturday, August 12, 2017 at 8:47:33 AM UTC-7, Frank Whiteley wrote:
On Saturday, August 12, 2017 at 8:47:33 AM UTC-6, Dan Marotta wrote:
Perhaps there is or could be a page on the SSA website where the owners
of the various blogs, etc. could post links to their writings.

On 8/12/2017 8:07 AM, johnsinclair wrote:
Excellent point Adrian. Contest reporting usually falls on the shoulders of the CD who gets worn down as the contest proceeds and reporting is the last item on his long "must do" list. A good way to go is to pick someone with knowledge of what's going on, but isn't directly involved with the contest to handle the contest reporting. I asked Matt Herron to do the reporting at this years Air Sailing Sports and he did some good timely reporting on what was happining. Leigh Zimmerman did the reporting at the 2014 nats held at Minden and made several reports every day, telling me exactly what was going on...........she answered the questions I had and made me feel like I was actually flying the contest.
JJ


--
Dan, 5J


Adrian makes a good point. There is a place where the CD can post links to other reporting links, a report during the practice days would suffice. Although three SSA FB editors had liked the recent 18m FB page, no one shared a post to the SSA FB page until the contest was over. The 18m FB page has 148 likes and 161 following, which is a couple more than last night. Had I known, there would have been additional SSA FB shares and probably 3X those numbers. Certain contest sites have poor infrastructure. Some regular posters were noticeably quiet during the Uvalde contest. IIRC, additional efforts were made during the world's in 2012, but those were temporary enhancements. Other contest hosts provide WIFI, but it is often soon overloaded by PC's and phones and bandwidth becomes a struggle. I know, because our social media editors tell me this is the case and sometimes have to give up during peak hours. Those who sync their devices and have IMAP e-mail accounts suck an incredible amount of bandwidth. Those running a contest can't spend the time if they are working against this. Still the framework for reporting probably needs a fresh look. The BGA recently was looking for help with similar issues. SSA is also looking at this, but the contest committee needs to address contest reporting going forward.

Frank Whiteley


  #8  
Old August 12th 17, 11:00 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Juanman[_2_]
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Posts: 19
Default Standards for competition reporting

On Friday, August 11, 2017 at 10:27:31 PM UTC-4, acehu11 wrote:
As a low-time SEL private pilot with interest in soaring and obtaining a glider rating, I often follow the news of soaring competitions on the SSA website, Facebook, rec.aviation.soaring, the FAI site, and others. Some competitions have been very communicative with status updates multiple times per day, promoting the event, posting results shortly after completion, which really gives remote spectators like me an opportunity to experience the event virtually via the internet. Other events have included morning updates with pilot meetings, weather outlooks, expected plans for the day, launching news, and timely results. And then there are other events with very little to no news updates daily, and results potentially not updated for hours or days.

During the events with frequent status updates and heavy reporting, I very much feel connected to what is happening. I have the opportunity to dissect what the reporter has communicated, to try and understand what and why in the decision making process. These have been excellent opportunities for me to understand the logistics behind a competition and the decision making that goes on. Following the results, reporting, and pilot interviews pre and post each competition day also affords me the opportunity to hear what the plans were, decisions that were made, why they were made, how they created an advantage or disadvantage against the competition field, and the final outcome. For events with little to no communication or status updates online, there's very little opportunity for me to learn from the soaring community virtually, which really seems like a shame, given the immense talent that attends these events.

I recognize these competitions are ran voluntarily, and the time and dedication it takes to put on a successful and safe event should be commended. All the volunteers should be proud of themselves and thanked for the time they have given to help put on a successful event. Communications may not seem an integral part of the completion, but I'm hopeful, however, that the soaring community and SSA would consider adoption of a set of communication standards for future soaring competitions. Standards that define the frequency of online updates, types of communication (written, photo, video, etc), timeline for reporting of results, interviews of top competitors & notable pilots/events of the day, or other noteworthy happenings that help benefit the sport of soaring, and potentially help teach folks like me.

On a related note, congratulations to the competitors of the 18m nationals in Uvalde, TX. What I read of the event sounds like it really tested your experience and risk/reward decision making some days.

Thanks

-adrian


The problem is that reporter extraordinaire John Good is at the Junior Worlds His reports are always great reads. And would have undoubtedly reflected some of the challenging flying at Uvalde this year.
Sean Fidler's posts were great but focused mostly (logically) on his flights. And Sean Franke offered the pilots briefings, but you needed plenty of time to go through those.
  #9  
Old August 13th 17, 01:12 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
JS[_5_]
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Posts: 100
Default Standards for competition reporting

Just got home from Uvalde.
Mark Huffstutler attempted to type a report on the SSA website, and when he hit "enter" it all went away. No he didn't build the report in a text editor, copy and past so it was gone. With all the other things on the to do list, that was the end of attempts to report.
The weather was a challenge. There was a lot to do in a day on the ground at the contest. I was only crewing for two pilots and my days were full enough. Both Mark and Kerry looked pretty worn out by the end.

OK, here's a SCUM report:
The 50' finish line is fantastic! Complete with "Good finish" calls...
That cylinder crap is boring to watch.
Jim
  #10  
Old August 13th 17, 02:33 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
[email protected]
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Posts: 125
Default Standards for competition reporting

"Some competitions have been very communicative with status updates multiple times per day, promoting the event, posting results shortly after completion, which really gives remote spectators like me an opportunity to experience the event virtually via the internet."

Very true Adrian, but way too few. Wake up SSA, a "dark" contest is hurting our soaring movement.

Same for tracking, the number of pilots operating trackers is shrinking. One day at the recent Uvalde Nationals there were only 7 out of 30 plus sailplanes "tracking". Few trackers and infrequent updates provide little, if any, entertainment.

R.A.S. hashed this before, the reality is "reporting" does not work well if it requires a computer and an internet connection to "assemble" the report.. Reasons ... reliable internet is difficult to find on many contest sites, too much work load for one person and one person cannot report as well as "many", too much work to include pictures, and by the time it gets published, its "old news". Right now, like it or not, what works best is a Facebook group because it is focused to only those interested. Yes, a Facebook group requires effort because the group owner has to approve requesting membership. But, it is so, so feature rich. It allows any group member to report or share a picture almost in real-time and usually with just a smart phone. The time difference can be measured in minutes instead of days.

Just look at Uvalde's outstanding Facebook reporting. Sean Franke broadcasted daily pilot's meetings from his Wings & Wheels page https://www.facebook..com/wingsandwheels.aviation/ . Bruce Taylor's Taylor Gliding Page https://www.facebook.com/Taylors-Gli...-298561465980/ or Sean Fidler's Sean Fidler Soaring https://www.facebook.com/SeanTiff7T/ provided daily grid, in-flight, land-out, and post blow-by-blow updates. Thank you guys, you really made a difference. Even Charlie Spratt's magical reports could not begin to compete with the power of Facebook.

For you "I'll never do Facebookers", this darkness would improve if the SSA would "handshake" with these excellent reporters and find a way to immediately "mirror" Facebook reports on the SSA website.

The bottom line: currently, if you want to stay informed, open a Facebook account and follow these outstanding reporters. If you want the SSA to report, "court" your SSA director and ask for their support to provide better contest reporting.







 




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