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Man is not a rational animal, he is a rationalizing animal.

Robert A. Heinlein

Section B: Description of the Game

B-1 Object

The object of this game is to accumulate as many points as possible by visiting selected locations and arriving at the end point before a certain time.

On a typical race, they could start at 8 a.m; finish at 3 p.m. and attempt to find 20 out of 30 controls, following a plan generated over the previous week. Different teams select different routes depending on their interpretation of the clues and what they know of the terrain as to where travel is the fastest.

B-2 Controls

At each location there will be a “control,” a readily visible marker, labelled with the control identifier and a code word or phrase

Example: Control ID AQ, code phrase “Yellowjacket”.

Controls are usually made of tenplast plastic, blue, yellow, or red. Originally they were made of two pieces about 8” square cut so that they assemble into a cross-shaped marker. This form is still used where high visibility markers are wanted. Currently markers are mostly 4” squares, nailed flat to a surface, usually the north side to reduce UV exposure.

Readily visible doesn’t mean that it has to be in an obvious location.

B-3 Clues

Prior to the race, clues for each control will be posted so that captains can plan their route.

Clues can be of various forms. Most are at least partially resolvable before the race with the use of map, ruler and protractor; others may require the use of compass and observation skills in the field. Examples:

Location descriptions: 30m SW of the top of the first large slump downstream from the second island downstream from the power line crossing.

Location coordinates: 741 112 by hairpin bend in creek.

Magnetic bearings: From the control Keephills stack is 310 magnetic and the Genesee stack is 102 magnetic.

True bearings: On west shore of slough that is 220 degrees true to Keephills School, and 310 degrees true to Keephills stack.

Riddles: Bearing 305 magnetic from the Genesee stack. Remember the story about the “Three Billy Goats Gruff.”

B-4 Control Scoring

The point value of each control will vary according to the difficulty in reaching it, and possibly the order in getting to it, and the number of teams finding it. The control list posted before the race will give the points allocated for each control.

Getting there first is usually worth more – fewer tracks to follow. It also puts a premium on being ahead of the competition and decreases the incentive to follow another team. This encourages teams to deliberately try to make different routes, so that there are at least some controls that they are either the first, or the only team to reach them.

B-5 Declarations

As part of his route plan captains may ‘declare’ any number of controls. A team reaching a declared control receives a 30% bonus on their score. A team that fails to reach a declared control is penalized 20% of the max score of the control.

This rule is an attempt to encourage better planning for the day. Captains should be almost certain of reaching some controls -- where the clue is understood, and it plots in an obvious way. Other controls will be iffy: The clue has multiple meanings; it's in a known rats nest tangle of trees; the captain only will try for it if running ahead of schedule. Declaring for the certain ones will raise their score.

The bonus score is based on that team’s score on the control. E.g. If they are 2nd to a control with points 60:40:30, they get a bonus of 30% of 40. Penalties are based on the first number of a score.

B-6 Checkpoints

In addition to controls there will be checkpoints about 3 hours apart. Each checkpoint will be open for a certain time slot during the day. Teams have to predict what time they will pass through the checkpoint. There are bonuses for being close to the prediction, and penalties for being outside the time slot.

Checkpoints, unlike controls, are manned. And are on roads. They are out means of monitoring the teams, and giving parents something to observe and allow a chance to support their son’s efforts.

Example: Checkpoint 2 is open from 12:00 to 1:30. Team Smith says they’ll be there at 12:50. If they arrive within 15 minutes of 12:50 they get a 15 point bonus. If they arrive at 1:10, they miss the bonus but are in the open time slot. If they arrive at 1:42 they receive a 12 point penalty – 1 point per minute.

B-7 Penalties

This section subject to frequent revision.

The late penalty for check points came about from a race that the third team hadn’t reached checkpoint 1 while the first team was at checkpoint 2. By enforcing these timeslots with penalties, we create a race where 1 support team can run the entire race.

Gate close has a stiffer penalty when one team discovered that they were getting more than a point per minute. The current quadratic rule makes it almost painless to be a few mintues late, but a really bad idea to be a half hour late. Since this is a school, we have other events after the race. Such as cleaning the school before sending them home.

In traditional rogaine, there is a single point for the entire race where you can get food, water, blister repair called a hash house. You can use a hash house instead of checkpoints. I found that the energy costs of travel in winter snow are high enough that using a single hash house resulted in teams being un-adventurous, only going for the controls near the hash house. By having 3-4 checkpoints, there is a minimum route for the day.