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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,<br><br>
We're heading into the final week of VRAA #6 and the competition at the top has separated in a pack of two: <b>Teams J and S.</b><br><br>
Reminder: New to this round are awards to the top three teams. We will award <b>Gold</b>, <b>Silver</b>, and <b>Bronze</b> awards to the top three teams. The race for Bronze is a potential thriller.<br><br>
The purpose of this message is to form a semi-evaluation of this round and to summarize the week ahead as we crown a new <a href="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/showthread.php?t=8717&highlight=champions+roll" target="_blank">VRAA Champion.</a> I'm here to assess where we've missed the mark.<br><br>
The sudden growth of the game (doubling from 88 players in VRAA #5 to 176 now) instantaneously produced a contest with more rookies than veterans. In turn, I believe that we lost some of the nuance of past VRAA rounds.<br><br>
For sure, we could have done a better job picking teams. The teams are widely unbalanced.<br><br>
It started with registration and choosing your level of badassery. That's how we picked teams. You estimated your output, we grouped you by badass level, and randomly selected teams.<br><br>
This system worked in past rounds, as I've come to know many of you over time. With the influx of new players in this round, I relied on you to estimate your points. In that respect, many of you failed badly. Some of you are outputting 2 or 3 times the level you signed up as, and it's not fair to other teams.<br><br>
In the next round, we will consider it one of our most important functions to choose the most even teams possible. We know that there will always be winners and losers. That's a part of competition. We can hope, however, that the competition lasts longer throughout the length of the round. We will find a way to make it fun and more enjoyable for all teams. At a minimum, we now have historical data on the Top Badasses and we will know who you are. <img alt="wink.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/wink.gif"><br><br>
In the past, we've posted the individual leaderboards. It's a fun way to recognize the top badasses. I hope the individual recognition returns someday, but in this round I decided to keep the focus on the team. For the VRAA veterans, accept my sincere regret that I did not provide the Top individual leaderboard this go around. I know how fun it is to see your name up there. With the new scoring website system in place, it won't be difficult to include individual leaderboard in future score reporting.<br><br>
And oh, I heard you loud and clear. Mid-race bonus points were a bad idea. It favors the rabbit and not the steady pacing teams. I agree that there's no need to reward the sprinters. We will, however, award the bonus points as advertised. Expect the standings to reflect the "Race to Surf City" bonus in the next day or two.<br><br>
Regarding <a href="http://vraa.mootness.net/" target="_blank">VRAA Scoring Central,</a> I thank each one of you for your willingness to integrate. Some points about the scoring:<br><ul><li><span style="text-decoration:underline;">VRAA Scoring Central</span> is a data collection point only. The totals shown there are unofficial. The official game will continue to play within the daily reporting thread here in the VRAA forum at Kickrunners.com.<br></li>
<li><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Official standings:</span> I've posted the team standings at a rate of two days behind the current day. (I.e. Today is Day 25 and the current standings reflect through Day 23.)</li>
</ul><br>
This is but the first iteration with the new system. I expect nothing but improvements as the VRAA forges ahead.<br><br>
Would you like to see where you rate on the VRAA <a href="http://www.kickrunners.com/forum/showthread.php?t=17392" target="_blank">levels of badassery?</a> Through 24 days, compare your score with this scale:<br><br>
Titanium (280pts per week): 959+ pts<br>
Mega Super (200-279): 685-958 pts<br>
Super (120-200): 411-684 pts<br>
Badass (60-120): 205-410 pts<br>
Badass in training: 205 or less<br><br>
Let me remind of the stated goals of the VRAA: To provide motivating game for all, within a team environment, and to include as many players as possible. No one shall be excluded.<br><br>
I hope that you're enjoying your VRAA experience. It's not over. There's bound to be a flurry of points, capped off by a marathon by the ocean in Huntington Beach. I hear there's gonna be a rockin' KR meet-up at the Surf City Marathon this Sunday.<br><br>
When it's all said and done, I thank you all for playing along this round. The VRAA will only get better. We're looking to infuse new ideas, starting with a new commissioner for VRAA #7.<br><br>
I can't say enough about the volunteers volunteers this round. Without you, my job is impossible. Special kudos to star reporter <b>Moon.</b> Where are we, again?<br><br>
Have fun racing to the finish.<br>
~roots
 

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Thanks Roots!!! This round has been great!!!!<br><br>
Let me be the first to thank Team K for all their hard work, I know many on this Team have gone above and beyond to increase their workouts!!! And we're having a blast as well!!!<br><br><br>
Let me also be the first to apologize, I sandbagged my points, I just didn't realize the extent to which I did it. I signed up as a Super and should have signed up as a Mega and ended up in the Titanium range (so far). I really didn't think I would end up with so many points but it kind of snowballed along with my marathon training, my bad. <img alt="biggrin.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/biggrin.gif"><br><br>
Anyway, I'll throw my suggestions out there and see what people think, I'm used to getting blasted, I can take it, I promise.<br><br>
Suggestions:<br><br>
1. Point cap at level you sign up for, at the maximum per week, you sign up for as a Superbadass, you're capped at 200 points per week or maybe a total points cap for the round, to allow play within the weeks, i.e. one week maybe you score a 100 points and the next week 300 points.<br><br>
2. Team point penalties, for members not performing. Maybe like a 20 point deduction, per team member per week for not meeting your minimum Badassery level. Again, this may be an entire game thing, to allow more play between weeks. Or maybe something like a 200 point standard deduction for an entire Team, if one member does not meet performance standards.<br><br>
3. Increase the point cap on the alternative workout, maybe to 20 or 30 points or something in there.<br><br>
4. Cap the general cardio category and this one hurts me a lot, I do a ton of general cardio, maybe a 20 point daily cap??<br><br>
5. Increase the point totals for actual running, running should be rewarded more than all the other stuff, maybe 2 points per quarter mile??<br><br>
Just some brain storming, nothing more, nothing less.
 

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I was actually going to suggest this also. Maybe not daily cap because thats not fair to the injured but decrease points earned. The way it stands people can earn more points for riding a recumbanant bike at the gym than I earn for riding my bike outside for an hour (yes I know I am slow).<br><br><br>
The game is never going to be completely fair. Thats just the way it is.
 

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I too apologize for not signing up for a titanium. Being new to the game I was a little confused. I saw the example of needing to run 75 miles or more to be a titanium. I also didn't know that walking my dog counted as well. I now know understand how the game works and won't make the same mistake again. SORRY!
 

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Regarding #1 and #2, I think you have to take into account that people do get sick and injured through no fault of the VRAA (hopefully) but it can affect their play. When that happens, since this is a team game, other team members typically try to pick up additional points to keep their team in the hunt. I don't see anything wrong with that. Capping points would make it difficult to put forth the effort to support the team IMO. I'm way above what I signed up for, which is something I didn't do last year. On the other hand, we've got a player who is the same level Badass as me but he's been sick almost the entire round. If you averaged our points, we're both right where we should be for what we signed up for.<br><br>
And then you have to look at overall motivation. You've got some pretty good smack talking going on as well as team captains and others who encourage each other to go that extra mile every single day. If you take people up on the challenges they throw out then it is likely you will exceed the level of play you signed up for. And then you've got things that you don't know about that can motivate people, whether it is something going on in their lives or other things said here that might be unintentional or taken the wrong way. That's always a disadvantage of the written word--no face to face interaction.<br><br>
Here's an example. I may be the only person that noticed that on our team J profile written by Nettie, I was the only Badass who was not included in depth as far as what my strategy was, my weaknesses, strengths, etc.. I'm sure it was unintentional but the day I read it, it kind of offended me, made me feel like I was less important that the other badasses on my team, which is really kind of silly--after all, it is a game and that's it. But it also made me think that I was under the radar as far as what my potential was for scoring points for my team and it motivated me to do more and prove that I could be just as big a contributor to our team as anyone. That's just an example but you just never know what motivates people. I'm not mad now and I still like Nettie--but it did get me fired up at the time.<br><br>
I like #3 through #5 Anty--but I'm not crazy enough to do more than an hour's worth of cardio in a day if it's not running <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif"> . Some people who do things like trail riding and other activities where it may not be easy to count miles and end up using it as cardio may not be big fans of this type of change. And I definitely like the idea of giving more value to running since it is most people's main focus on a running forum.<br><br>
Lisa
 

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I disagree with Anty's #4. When I'm injured I put in a lot of time on general cardio, the same amount of time I would if I were running and I get fewer points for it. I wouldn't be interested in the VRAA if a cap were placed on what I feel is a relevant method of getting points.
 

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totally there with you, beginning to end. Last VRAA I had probably 80% with no running. Most of my points came from swimming and cardio.<br><br>
Lisa made a very good point about the cap too, in terms of picking up teamates occasional sidelining.<br><br>
And my turn to do the <i><b>mea culpa</b></i> in the sandbagging. I was between super mega and titanium, but I wasn't sure if I could <i><b>commit</b></i> the Titanium. I have several injuries asleep and when my body yells at me, I fight but have to drop my workouts cuz it gets really ugly. When I drop my runs, I hit whatever I can do, but then I depend on baby-sitting, work, DH's evil eye, etc...so it's very uncertain.<br>
So far, I've been lucky enough but still had a <b>full week</b> of non-running and it took me a giant effort to keep up with my points and my commitment with my team. My very understanding DH (who also knows how miserable I get when I am hurting and not exercising) bit the bullet and let me do it again.<br>
Titanium is no more important than bait, but if a titanium drops a day, it's really hard to pick up. I didn't want to fail on my commitment, so yes, I did choose the bottom option and I blew it. Sorry.
 

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I could perhaps understand an upper cap to help prevent sandbagging, though how to do it will be problematic. But to propose a penalty for members who do not make the minimum is not a good idea at all. Injuries and illnesses do happen. No one should be penalized for these unknowns.<br><br>
Personally, I think the cross-training points have increased the possibility of someone unintentionally sandbagging. I don't do much cross-training so my weekly running mileage equates to my level of badassery pretty well.<br><br>
But if someone runs and cross trains, but didn't factor in or know that cross training would count, they could easily have underestimated their point potential. Increasing the cross-training max will make this problem even worse.<br><br>
Just my 2 cents. The VRAA has been a blast. I just wish I hadn't gotten very sick right in the middle of it.<br><br>
Bill
 

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I disagree with capping the total number of points a person can get. Just doesn't seem to be in keeping with the spirit of the game to push everyone to do a little extra.<br><br>
One thing we might do next time to combat the sandbagging a little is to have somewhere on the VRAAmootness site that shows who's scoring the most points (percentage-wise) above their entered level and then everyone can give them a really hard time about it?<br><br>
Another thing is that we could try to give actual numbers estimates instead of just levels? I say this mainly for the highest level because even 70 miles per week isn't enough to capture the work of certain beasts we've got on here. (Not calling anyone out...Flounder...)<br><br>
I guess since everyone else is admitting their guilt, I'll also have to say that I probably signed up 2 points too low, but I'm not getting the impression that anyone signed up purposefully low just to try to win. It seems like people are just pushing themselves to do a little bit more, which is kind of the point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Outstanding feedback so far. Thanks.<br><br>
Before we head down the road of problem/solution with the VRAA, let me state up front that I think we have a good scoring system in place. It has shown over time that it works.<br><br>
Because of the influx of new players, I think we simply needed some training/education on how it works. Now that most players have a round under their belts, I think going forward that the VRAA will return to more evenly selected teams. I think everyone gets it.<br><br>
Regarding "General Cardio" points, I don't support the idea of a point cap. It's 1 point for every 3 minutes, or 20 points per hour of cardio. I do support, however, more judicious claiming of points. Remember that the guideline for this category is activity that produces a "sustained, elevated heart rate." It is the responsibility of each player to claim their points.<br><br>
Regarding "Alternate workouts," we have a cap in this category of one hour, or 12 points per day. I have been liberal in accepting points here. I want people to be able to claim whatever points they feel like they deserve. Many activities fall into this category.<br><br>
But I have to ask, who the heck can do 60 minutes of core in one day??? I am whooped after 15 minutes of it. Those who can do 60 minutes amaze me.<br><br>
In the big picture, I don't see the need for much change to the scoring system. If we collectively do a better job estimating our levels of badassery, and not over-claiming points, I think our current system will do fine in the next round.<br><br>
We will do a better job with educating, training, and communicating to each of you on how to use the current system. It is my intent that doing so will result in a much improved VRAA experience for all.
 

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I'm guilty of signing up as a Super Badass and performing at Mega Super Badass level. But, knowing we have an injured participant (who I believe was signed up as a Super Badass) I felt the need to step up and do more because I could. I have not taken a rest day since this started because I want to help our team since others have been unable to do what they signed up for (no fault of theirs, injuries happen!).<br><br>
I have wondered too about "60 minutes of core" reports. I have a yoga tape that's 45 minutes and then a bunch of Pilates tapes that I'll do 15 more minutes of to get a full hour of alternate in, but I could NOT do core (crunches) for 60 minutes. That's nuts!
 

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One other suggestion that I've had on my mind is a graduated bonus points scale for races. Right now all races are the same...5 bonus points. But, we all know, that all races are not the same. How about this:<br><br>
Anything shorter than HM - 5 points<br>
Half marathon - 7 points<br>
Full Marathon - 10 points<br><br>
Just an idea, but let's reward those who are going for the long distances. Those races are tough.
 

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I too underestimated my level of participation, but I've had several injuries in the past and wanted to be mindful of that. I was lucky -- nothing really sidelined me during VRAA6 -- but it did cause me to bump into the next category of badassness. I will say that participating in this helped motivate me to exercise a bit more than I probably would have done otherwise, so perhaps that's part of the reason why I contributed more points than I had anticipated. Mind you, we're talking moving from "bait" to "badass" so it's not like I put in 10X the amount I had estimated.....<br><br>
Thank you again to Roots and the others who put all this together. It's been a lot of fun for me and helped me get through the January doldrums, and also helped me get through the big decade birthday adjustment.<br><br>
Susan
 

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I have posted longer core workouts..but I have a core workout dvd that if I do all 4 workouts on the dvd plus the warmup could equal 68 min. It is not just crunches but also works the upper body, legs, and buns. It uses weights along with my swiss ball. I did wonder if I should be labeling it a "core workout" but it is considered a alternate workout (core and weights) so it is the same pts regardless. COre work can be a lot more then just crunches..bridges, planks, etc are also considered core work.
 

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I think you & I are on the same page here ... I was rushing to a meeting when I posted and meant to say more that I thought when people were saying "60 minutes of core" at first I thought it was all crunches, but then I realized they were probably doing a lot of other stuff too.<br><br>
I know we aren't supposed to count "rest" but I don't consider the 2 seconds between one yoga pose & the next as rest! If done properly, yoga is a lot of work!
 

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And if there are to be 'bonus' points, I would like to see them added as an incentive for Team's whose members put up points everyday. Like maybe a 5 point bonus for every day that every member point up some points.
 

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Roots - a big thanks for all your hard work. My comments are as follows:<br><br>
1) Nothing wrong with some extra effort as the competition heats up, but perhaps there can be some sort of anti-sand bagging rule. Maybe you could go up one level, but not two (can't sign up as an "in training" and get points as a mega super or ??).<br><br>
2) There are few too many points being rewarded for biking and swimming. I don't do either, so I'm bad at knowing what the points should be. A couple VRAAs ago when Tithers did her IM, I remember the mod made a comment (in a good way) that the points she earned were the equivalent of running ~ 90 miles during the 14+ hour race. I don't think a world class ultra runner could earn that many points running for 14 hours. Accordingly, I don't think you should be able to earn more by swimming or biking.
 

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I think in the future that people should know where they stand individually points wise to help them choose BAL for the next round. With the AWESOME new scoring site I think that they will. The teams will never be equal but maybe next time things will be a lot closer. Maybe it would be necessary to know who have big point races during the season as well to help even out. I think the biggest hit for most of the teams happened around Disney.<br><br>
It's hard to monitor players that disappear. We had one on our team that still checks into KR but hasn't posted any more workouts. Regardless of BAL it effects the team. I am so grateful that my team has pushed forward thinking as a team. <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif"><br><br>
Also, I think it would be cool that instead of just random teams maybe for the next round we can be divided up by KR "homes"- ie 30s groups, Running Moms and Dads, PRT folks. How much fun would it be to harass teams like that?! <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif">
 

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I hope I did not come off as sounding crabby <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif"> I too wondered if I should be technically labeling it as strictly corework (wondering if people were thinking that too) and sometimes I did put down core and weights....corework in itself for 60 in would be painful! <img alt="smile.gif" src="http://files.kickrunners.com/smilies/smile.gif">
 
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