What is the format of your goldsprints events?

I have read a few posts around the web about how different groups run their goldsprint events. I am looking for some feedback on how you run your goldsprint events or how events you attend run.

One option seems to be to have a qualifying round that is for a length of time and not distance. In one case I saw 20 second qualifying heats. Then from the top 20 you start the tournament. So everyone get one race and you need to get in the top 20 to be in the tournament. That seems like a good way to run a event if you have a lot of racers.

Another option is just single elimination. People are pared up and if you lose you are out. That could have some issue if two of the best riders match up right away. I see some people getting upset in this case.

What are some other options? Do you use a winners and losers bracket maybe? Or one qualifing round then that makes up the seeding of how to pair your racers?

Please let me know what you prefer for a goldsprints event. Does your group do it another way? Please share and this will help me map out the race management part that has yet to be developed for Goldsprints FX.

Your feedback is much appreciated!

UPDATE: I have turned comments off on this post due to the amount of spam it is generating.

15 thoughts on “What is the format of your goldsprints events?”

  1. we do open qualifiers and take the top X number of ETs (based on the size of the field and how much time we have) for a fixed distance and then seed a single-elimination bracket. So far with this approach, the two fastest racers end up racing at the end for maximum awesomeness. The opensprints software handles this fairly well, but the seeding isn’t automatic. that would be a fantastic option.

  2. We’ve done open qualifiers at a set distance and end up taking the 10 best times seeding into a single-elimination bracket.
    It is necessary to have flexibility when selecting riders for races though, sometimes people have to leave or are not present, or redo’s…

  3. KcSprints races started with single elimination brackets only but in order to shorten the time frame and move the event along so that grudge matches can happen we’ve been having everyone put in a 500m time and then take either the top 16 or 8 depending on the time frame and mood of the crowd. the interest in grudge matches seems to vary from event to event. the one problem with this format is that you must be very clear about the time trial aspect, if you’re out of town you may put two top eight riders on stage together during the time trial and have both make the top eight only to have one leave thinking he was eliminated. flexibility from crowd to crowd seems to be key

  4. Good point on people leaving not knowing they were made the top riders. You guys looked like you had a great crowd in NE last weekend. Great job making the paper as well!

  5. I think the ultimate software will have to handle two types of events:

    1) Best Overall Time (Grudge Matches Only)

    Salt City Sprints LLC gets hired to do put on sprints for random events, which means the participants aren’t as serious and walk away after a race. When this happens you can’t have brackets due to the high number of no-shows.

    The solution is just doing racing for top time. Which means the software needs to be able to do the following quickly:

    * Enter racer names.
    * Filter/Search for racers.
    * Setup matches.
    * Keep sortable stats.
    * Swap Racers

    OpenSprits LLC wrote some software for 42BELOW that did this function pretty well, but that is all it did.

    2) Bracket

    This is for events that are for the cycling community, and people are going to stick around. If we can model the way we bracket GoldSprints events to the way professional cycling does, then it will only strength GoldSprints on the whole.

    * Pre-Registration. It would be great if the software could pull down pre-registration (maybe even integrated with PayPal or authorize.net) as well as push up results to a custom Joomla! / WordPress / Drupal / etc.,… component.

    I have always loved this bracket example,


    “The first round of this track cycling event consisted of head-to-head races over a 3000 m distance, but with the results being treated as time trial results rather than elimination rounds. The top eight times from the first round qualified the cyclists for the elimination round, and either or both of the cyclists in each first round race could move on. In the match round, the eight cyclists were paired off according to the seeding from the first round. The winner of each match round match advanced to the final, while the four losers were given final rankings (5th through 8th) based on their times in the match round. The four finalists were placed into the gold medal match and bronze medal match based on their times in the match round.[1]”

  6. I can’t say how much it helps to get this level of detail so thanks jonfen! My head has been stuck on the bracketing part of creating a race management system. After reading your comment I am going to take a step back and develop this in two parts. The first part will be to model it off your option one above, “Best Overall Time (Grudge Matches Only)”. I think I can do this with a pretty quick turn around time. I will incorporate a online or pre-registration option as well. This will be pretty easy I think. I can import XML and CSV into the system so no matter how you gather the pre-rece details just get it into a particular set format I setup. Then the system can import that as the race roster. Plus, anyone that registers at the event will be added to the event.

    When that is done then I can try to figure out the bracketing in part two where x number of racers advance until there is a winner.

    Thanks again. This has helped me a lot to think about the race management part of Goldsprints FX.

    1. No problem.

      Another thing I would heavily consider is a 2 screen interface. This keeps the behind the scenes work separate from what the audience sees.

      Screen 1: Laptop screen for compute operator, resolution should be made with a netbook in mind. Displays: event, match, and racer management; pre-race bike swaps (drunk dude gets on wrong color); event time estimator; toggling Screen 2 displays.

      Screen 2: Projector image for audience, resolution could potentially handle HD. Displays: race screen, on-deck notifications, winner screen, stats screen, and sponsor logo screens.


      Another thing I would consider implementing after bracketing would be an event time estimator. This would help event organizers with 2 big questions:

      1) Are we falling behind schedule?
      2) How many bikes should we setup?

      The information would be based on the following data:

      1) Average Time Between Races. This could be a static value or one that is calculated as the race goes on.
      2) Number of Participants
      3) Elimination Style
      4) Estimated Break Times.

      1. I have not thought about it until now but having two different windows might be easier for me to build the race management system into GFX. The back end will be SQLite for the race management. SQLite is pretty much platform independent and very,well, lite. It integrates with Flex/Flash/Air really easy as well. I have not written anything in Flex yet that talks between windows but I see no reason why it can’t. You have given me some great ideas today Jon. I can’t wait to get started on the race management app now!

  7. Let’s see now… we’ve been playing fast and loose with our setups in our smaller town. Initially started with multiple category and brackets culled down by the winners of said brackets. This ended up taking way too long. We also get walk-aways… which creates issues as well.

    Currently we do a “qualifier” style round with a floating limit of people that would go on. This means that the top X times (usually even numbers) go on to win style elimination rounds.

    Reading Jon’s post of the Women’s individual pursuit, it sounds fairly similar.

    We also allow for the drunks to chime in when they want for grudge matches. Most of the time they do not make the top X time, so they do not progress… rather only cluttering up, I mean adding to the breadth of the stats… 😉

    The only issue we’ve been having so far, is if there was any problem with the software/hardware in a race, sometimes opensprints counted that person as having already raced, which created odd issues in re-doing a race. Sometimes having to re-create the user under a different name, etc. It would be nice to override a user’s ability to take part in a round again… but that would be an opensprints issue, not a UI issue.

    1. Fast and loose Ray. I like it. I can think of a few ideas for event fliers. :) Ray, on a good night how many races do you have and what about total event time not including event setup or breakdown? Jon, feel free to chime in. I really like Jon’s idea of a event time estimator built into the system. If you don’t count setup and break down time, is it safe to assume that you give racers 3 minutes to adjust seat and warm up. Then 30 seconds or less for a race. So two minutes 30 seconds per race about right?

  8. Well I have to agree with Jonfen. The sprints that Salt City Sprints puts on for the most part are distance races with the best overall time as our winner. We stick with one distance for all races, usually 400-500 meters and then change it to 1000 for the finale. I think your software looks pretty amazing, and I love the clock. Also, I really like your distance feature, and the ability to change it almost effortlessly. Something I know we have struggled just a little bit with the OpenSprintsLLC software. When we have worked for Specialized in the past, we’ve ended up having to create brackets with pen and paper. I think it would be really great if there was a way to have the bracket come up quickly, so that people could see who’s where, and also a way to let the upcoming racers to get ready for their turns. I was reading a little bit of your blog, and I love the idea of editability of the background area. In the past when we’ve done events for corporations, we’ve created custom backgrounds for them, but having something that would be easily editable is the goal I think, something where you could quickly upload an image, and either change its dimensions prior or in your software so that it will work with the projector and computer screen would be a really nice feature.

  9. Thanks for commenting Todd. The backgrounds can be changed just by replacing an image. Very easy to do.

    One other customization feature I am thinking of supporting is an external style sheet. If anyone know just a little web development then they will not have any problem really getting detailed in editing the look and feel. Flex using regular CSS styles to change all of the colors. So I will probably make it an external file that loads at run time. This way people and really get detailed in making GFX their own. If this happens I member can upload their style sheet to share with other. Same for the backgrounds. No reason we can’t all create ones to share with other.

  10. We have done several events in Nashville using the Opensprints software. Tomorrow will be the first time we use GoldsprintsFx in an event, but i have seen an event in Atlanta using it and we have tested the process fully this week. At tomorrows event we expect to have up to 40+ racers. Once sign-ups begin we will allow each racer to do a head-to-head (non-elimination) qualifying race. Once we have gotten all of the entries and qualifying times, we will download a seeded bracket from printyourbrackets.com which has a ridiculous amount of tournament scenarios. If we have more than 36 racers we will have cinderella matches so no one can be eliminated in qualifying (our sprint events are held at Nashville Bicycle Lounge and the the sprints are the headline event so everyone is there to race). Also, in between final rounds we will run grudge matches for people who aren’t finalists but have a score to settle with a buddy. I can’t tell you how much GoldsprintsFx (we are running v2.3) has streamlined this process already, with the roster list sortable by time, the next race button, the on-deck window. Not to mention that the entire visual interface is incredibly user friendly. If i was to make a suggestion it would be to integrate seeded and random tournament brackets with a reasonable amount of scenarios & an option for qualifying rounds, multiple events so the main tournament can be left for grudge matches and then returned to for the finals, a view of the bracket in between races, and possibly a print option for the bracket (this is kind of mediocre but actually comes in handy for racers). These are just suggestions though, this software is incredible. Also, beer for this event is complimentary and provided by Yazoo Brewing Co. (Nashville’s Local Brewery), entry is free, and prizes will be given to top finishers by the Nashville Bicycle Lounge and Greenfleet Bicycle Messengers. We are planning on doing this event monthly throughout the winter. Thanks again for all of your help. Is there somewhere I should send you info for all upcoming events, and any videos of past events?

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