Barney Townsend (GBR)
09 Sec. 10 Annex 4: Navigation scoring formulae
S10 A4 3.A1
PILOT SCORE = 1000 x (NBp / NBmax)
Where, according to briefing;
NBp = The number of ground markers and/or turn points a pilot collects in the task
NBmax = The maximum number of markers and/or turn points collected in the task
NBp = the distance flown by the pilot in the task. NBMax = the maximum distance flown in the task.
And similar in S10 A4 3.A2, S10 A4 3.A3, S10 A4 3.A4, S10 A4 3.A5, S10 A4 3.A6
IMPORTANT NOTE: This proposal is presented as an alternative option to our prior proposal, ‘09 Slalom Scoring’. It should be considered only if the plenary votes against the ‘Slalom Scoring’ proposal. If that proposal is approved then this proposal is to be withdrawn.
- Encouragement of pilots to take risks in order to gain additional turnpoints or distance in navigation takes with a view to encouraging ‘hot shot’ performances.
- It is the fundamental nature of the classic paramotor competition that it should be composed of many tasks. And that these tasks be diverse in nature and that a parity of scoring be applied across all that diversity. The current formula for scoring slalom is unique in the way it deliberately distorts the points distribution. The proposal remedies this distortion of the slalom task scores by applying the same scoring system to navigational scoring
In the interests of encouraging ‘hot shot’ performances at navigation tasks.
In 2009, a log based formula was introduced for slalom scoring with a view to reducing the incentive for pilots to fly tasks conservatively. This proposal applies the same logic and argument to the scoring of navigation tasks.
The following text is adapted to the current proposal from the original supporting argument for the introduction of the log based formula in slaloms:
In slaloms, the difference between a ‘hot- shot’ performance and a ‘mediocre’ one can be easily seen by spectators. Although not so easily visible from the ground, such differences are also present in navigation tasks. For the same reasons as were argued in 2009 for slalom scoring, it is clear that the difference in ‘risk’ between flying a turnpoint hunt to gather, say, 30 turnpoints instead of 29 turnpoints is not reflected in the current scoring system for navigation. People (especially team leaders) are looking at their global score and deciding that there is nearly no loss, and much to gain, by flying these tasks relatively conservatively. Such gains include reducing the risk of engine failure through prolonged high revs, running out of fuel (both of which can result in a 0 score for the task) and the imposition of penalties for arriving late at the finish gate. Although navigation tasks are not as interesting to spectators as slaloms, they are equally as important to the pilots as any other task, particularly in classic competitions that have a mandate for equal balance of point scoring between task types. Where ‘hot-shot’ performances in slaloms bring advantages for the sport in general through spectator engagement, ‘hot-shot’ performances in distance navigation encourage manufacturers to develop better and safer ‘all-rounder’ wings, also for the (albeit less direct and immediate) benefit of the sport in general. If such a scoring system is in place for slalom, it is important therefore to have a comparable scoring system which encourages ‘hot-shot’ performances in navigation.
And that comes down to somehow measuring, or simulating that ‘risk’ already mentioned, and inserting it in the scoring so it can be advantageous for pilots to attempt ‘hot-shot’ performances, and various complicated ways of doing this have been tried.
This argument is not whether a particular mathematical formula is fair or not. It simply proposes to accept the same formula that has been used in slalom scoring for the last six years (with appropriate adaptations) and to apply it to navigation scoring.
It is the fundamental nature of the classic competition that it should be composed of “many tasks”. And that these tasks be diverse in nature and that a parity of scoring be applied across all that diversity; this proposal furthers that objective.
The current scoring formula was introduced in 2010 for slaloms, brought as a proposal by ESP. This merely changed the arbitrary constant +1 to a new arbitrary constant +3. The current formula was deliberately constructed to encourage risk-taking by pilots in order to achieve higher scores.
Another argument that was given when introducing the current formula to slaloms was:
“Encourages pilots to fly for the fastest time rather than be conservative; not excessive risk to miss a stick.”
This proposal again applies the same argument to navigation:
“Encourages pilots to fly for the highest number of turnpoints (or distance) rather than be conservative; not excessive risk to miss a turnpoint
As described above, going for one extra turnpoint at the end of a navigation task incurs a high risk with (currently) little gain in the scoring. This proposal intends to increase the pilot incentive to take that risk.
In the interests of parity of point distribution across all three elements of the competition.
Section 10, 4.29.3 states that
"Tasks shall, as far as practicable, conform to the following guidelines in standard championships: For Paramotor aircraft classes PF and PL:
A) Navigation: 33% of the total value of the tasks flown.
B) Economy: 33% of the total value of the tasks flown.
C) Precision: 33% of the total value of the tasks flown."
This rule is correctly in place to ensure complete fairness to all pilots across the range of equipment choice and skill level and to encourage the development of good “all-round” wing and motor designs. A balance of skill in differing flying situations and a balance of capabilities of wings and motors, speed range, agility, weight, fuel efficiency etc. A range of conflicting requirements balanced to produce the best general purpose flying machine.
The current scoring formula for slalom tasks is punitive to all but the top few pilots, giving them a massive advantage in the overall competition rankings. We contend this is in direct contravention of the spirit of rule 4.29.3. In order to be consistent in the method of spread of points we are proposing that the scoring system for navigation tasks is brought into line with all other tasks which are scored using the log-based principle of slalom. Slalom scoring should not contain special advantages in the overall competition to pilots who are better at slalom flying than other Precision tasks, Navigation tasks or Economy tasks.
A number of different formulae have been tried, but none have attracted universal support; this proposal does not dispute the validity or fairness of the current slalom formula in itself. What is directly unfair is that a different scoring system is used for different task types.
By way of example, the score profiles between slalom and navigation tasks can be compared graphically. The best or simplest way to compare the scores distribution between two different types of task, e.g. navigation and slalom, is graphically, by plotting the scores against pilot ranking in the task.
The graph in Figure 1 below below shows a comparison between the score profiles received for PF1 class in the World Paramotor Championship 2014, task 3 (Turnpoint Hunt) and Task 5 (Japanese Slalom). The difference in reward between slalom and navigation for the risk taken by the top pilots can be clearly seen. Also plotted on this graph is how the scores for Task 3 (Navigation) would look under this proposal. This proposed score profile is much closer to that of the slalom scoring, making the whole system more fair and true to S10, 4.29.3.