2023 brought the introduction of Richta GPS Checkpoints to NWRC rallies. Some questions were raised many times throughout the 2023 season. (If you don’t know about Richta, check out the links at the end of this post.)
“What are Supps?”
Supplemental Generals (AKA “supps”) are event specific modifications to the normal rules. Our established rules are the NWRC General Instructions (AKA “Generals”). The Generals were last revised in 2007 and only included support for staffed checkpoints. Every rally using the Richta system needed supps to add support for automated checkpoints and remove contradictions.
“Why are there different supps every month?”
Bylaws, rules, and precedent. NWRC is a group of clubs with a common interest in TSD rally. Having the umbrella organization allows us to gain efficiencies through larger numbers (e.g. liability insurance) or share resources (e.g. nwrally.org site). Our Friday Nighters are promoted collectively and use the same Generals. However, each event is the responsibility of the hosting club. The use of supps is a quagmire. There is nothing in the 2007 Generals or the 2002 NWRC Bylaws that allows, disallows, or even mentions the concept of temporarily changing an event rule. We understand the need to adapt and have established precedent that a club may use supps for a Friday Nighter provided that those supps are distributed at the prior month’s Friday Nighter (or 30 days before use when there is no prior month’s F/N). So in order to use Richta every month, each rally needed its own set of supps to allow it.
“Why not just change the Generals?”
We can. We should. We will. Every time someone asked how that change would take place, the answer was that we need to follow the NWRC bylaws to do so. There is a process of proposal, review, and approval. It has a defined timeline and approved changes go into effect the next season. Proposed changes to the Generals are submitted to the NWRC Secretary. The deadline for submissions is October 15th. These are compiled and distributed to the member club representatives. Clubs are given at least 30 days to consider all proposals. The proposals are then voted on at the NWRC Annual Meeting.
Overall, our first year with Richta went pretty well. Feedback from teams was generally positive. As with almost anything, there is a bit of a learning curve. Navigators reported liking it more than they anticipated. On the organizer’s side of things, it was a big change. Checkpoint locations no longer required double car-width shoulders with good sightlines, which opened up a lot of options. But poor weather and tree cover can play havoc with GPS accuracy so optimal locations have new criteria to meet. It certainly increases the rallymaster’s workload for building a rally. The benefits include needing fewer people to host the day-of event. Hopefully we’ll develop and share new ways to utilize the Richta tools.
What will 2024 bring?
All proposed changes submitted in 2023 were circulated among their authors to agree on wording and remove duplication. The consolidated lot went out to the club reps earlier this month. As there were no conflicting proposals and all contributors were heard, we hope for approval allowing revised General Instructions to be published shortly after the Annual Meeting.
More about Richta GPS Checkpoints and the Competitor app: