Re: Prizes and Classes
It seems a good idea to have a certificate for every entrant. We
shoulds also attempt to award a prize for every entrant eg fastest
first time schools entrant, fastest first time individual entrant,
fastest under 16 entrant, most improved mouse etc. Ideally a little
inventiveness can be used on competition day to ensure no new
entrant goes home without a prize and a certificate. It seems
dangerous to risk losing the support of even just one or two of the
regulars as they form the core and a lot of people come to see the
fastest mice and ask questions of their builders. If their numbers
dwindle or the regulars attend less often before the competition
builds up to being popular then we are in trouble. If the cost of
extra brass cheeses is a problem how about mini cheeses, or
silver cheeses (aluminium to contrast with the gold [brass]
cheeses and bronze [steel perhaps] ) or mousetraps as per the
ROBOTIX events. I think the cheeses or trophies of some kind are
so highly coveted they are a significant psychological motivator to
Date sent: Sat, 14 Apr 2001 15:54:11 EDT
Subject: Prizes and Classes
> After the MMouse weekend I have been giving some thought to the
> question of who gets what prizes and why. Anarchy is fine but a
> newcomer might want some reassurance that the old guard are not going
> to divide up the prizes between them. In order to encourage people it
> is important to give the right prizes for the right reason, so:
> 1. Fastest Run. We all know this is the "Blue Riband" of the event
> so lets make it official. It is inconceivable that the owner of the
> mouse that made the fastest run could be sent home with nothing.
> 2. Cleverest Mouse. Having dealt with the fastest mouse we now need
> to take account of search times to reward a more intelligent mouse
> that is slower. We all know the current search time factor of 30 is
> too large. Lets make it much smaller. Something like 3 would be
> 3. Innovation. New ideas are precious and should be rewarded. I
> would not like to think that people gave up because they did not think
> they could build a good enough mouse to win a prize.
> 4. Best PIC(?) based mouse. I can understand the attraction of a
> prize for a low cost type mouse as discussed at the MMouse weekend.
> You do not need a separate competition, just a prize. As I do not
> know anything about PIC processors someone else can define this.
> 5. First Shortest Run. I think every mouse should be rewarded when
> it makes its first run to the middle by the shortest route. This is a
> tremendous achievement that should be recognised. I sometimes think
> the slowest mice get the biggest applause when they finally find the
> middle by a good route.
> 6. Fastest wall follower. I think these are fun and a good entry
> level competition. I might even build one of these myself in 2002.
> I don't think Dave Otten flies all the way to the UK to win an Easter
> Egg and Dave Woodfields mantelpiece must be in danger of subsidence
> from the weight of all his cheeses. So I think any mouse should be
> limited to winning one cheese in each category over the years.
> The norm for a prize should be a certificate. This way the number of
> prizes is not a major cost cosideration and the cheeses would
> encourage the development of new mice.
> What do other people think?
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