Groups & Subgroups
What is the difference between Groups and Subgroups?
A "Group" is a set of racers that will race amongst each other. If you do not want some racers going head-to-head against other racers, due to age, grade, club, skill level, etc., then they should be placed in different race groups.
A "Subgroup" is a set of racers within a race group. You can have one or more subgroups within each group. Subgroups have absolutely no affect on who races who, they only allow you to view standings for racers within each subgroup. In some cases, you may not need to use subgroups, in which case you can disable the use of them in the Software Options screen.
Examples of Using Subgroups:
- Open Division - You have an Open Division made up of parents, leaders and siblings. The Open Division is the Group. The Subgroups are Parents, Leaders and Siblings. Since they all belong in the same Group, they will all race each other. However, come awards time, you can give awards to the top racers in each Group and then view the standings by the different Subgroups to give awards to the top parents, top leaders and top siblings.
- Combining Smaller Groups - You want to combine two small groups say, 3rd Graders and 4th Graders into a larger race Group 3rd-4th Grade. Define the 3rd-4th Grade Group, then Subgroups of 3rd Grade and 4th Grade. Racers in the 3rd-4th Grade Group will race amongst each other, since they are in the same race group. Come awards time, you can view the standings for each group to give out the group awards and for each subgroup and give out 3rd Grade awards and 4th Grade awards.
- Combine Small Groups into a Larger Group - If you have just a small handful of racers in some of your groups, you can combine them into a larger group. This will give them more competition and is generally more exciting than a small group race.
- Less Schedules to Manage - Instead of juggling one schedule for each race group, you can reduce the number of schedules by having a larger group and then defining subgroups for your actual competition groups. This makes life easier on your race crew and reduces the potential for some type of mistakes.
- Less Time to Run Race - This goes along with having fewer schedules to manage. With fewer schedules, you can actually conduct the race in less time, since you are not jumping from one schedule to another and the confusion that it may cause.
- Racers More Involved - Instead of racers waiting until it is their group's "turn" to race (in the mean time they are getting bored and possibly running amok), a combined group will keep racers more involved in the race since they are mixed in.
- Racers are Mixed Together - Some may not like racers going head-to-head with other racers, due to age or skill level.
- Possible Competitive Disadvantage - If using points scoring, finish order does matter. If some racers face more opponents from some of the other subgroups (e.g. faces more older or skillful competitors), then that racer may be at a competitive disadvantage than his other peers. If using times scoring, this is not an issue, since finish order really does not matter.
- Harder to Observe who is Winning - Racers will go against other racers in that group, even though they may not be directly competing for the same awards (when awards are based on the subgroup standings). Casual observation of the race may not show who is in the running for the awards. Though, some would think of this as an advantage, since there is more "mystery" to keep racers more involved.
Do I have to use Subgroups?
Subgroups are optional, so you can disable having to use them if desired. Where subgroups come in handy is if you want to combine racers so they run in a larger group, but you still want to separate out the standings.
Group "Tigers" has only a few racers
Group "Bears" has only a few racers
Combine both of these into a larger group "Tigers-Bears" and create subgroups of "Tigers" and "Bears"
Tigers and Bears racers will compete together in the "Tigers-Bears" group, but once racing is done you can look at the subgroup standings for "Tigers" and the subgroup standings for "Bears".
Note: This only works when scoring by Times. If scoring by Points, finish order matters, so you do NOT want to use subgroups. With times scoring, racers are really racing the clock, not the racers in the next lane.