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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: dbeechum on April 26, 2010, 03:26:37 pm

Title: Electronic Competition Returns
Post by: dbeechum on April 26, 2010, 03:26:37 pm
Just got done with our annual Mayfaire Competition (in its 32nd-33rd year?) and we've expanded the little pilot program we've been doing for 3 years now.

All of our entry score sheets are online as pdf's, downloadable and printable by the entrant. This allowed us to get all 330ish sets back to the entrants within 24 hours. (The Doug King Competition in January saw all the scoresheets available about 6 hours after the competition closed)

What I'd like to know is what you think. Does the increased speed of return offset the tactile sensation of a piece of paper mailed to you? Is the score sheet as provided clear enough to read and glean the value from? Would it put you off to know your sheets were being returned electronically? Why?

Check out this sample sheet (http://www.maltosefalcons.com/system/files/private/SampleScoresheet.pdf) from this blog post (http://www.maltosefalcons.com/blogs/drew-beechum/mayfaire-results-new-world-returns)
Title: Re: Electronic Competition Returns
Post by: tom on April 26, 2010, 04:17:06 pm
Cool.
How do you scan all those sheets?
Or are you using the pdf judging sheets?
Title: Re: Electronic Competition Returns
Post by: Hokerer on April 26, 2010, 05:25:28 pm
What I'd like to know is what you think. Does the increased speed of return offset the tactile sensation of a piece of paper mailed to you? Is the score sheet as provided clear enough to read and glean the value from? Would it put you off to know your sheets were being returned electronically? Why?

Wasn't entered in that particular comp, but the Happy Holidays Homebrew Comp in St Louis last December also emailed the results in the form of pdf files.  In my opinion, getting the scoresheets in that timely a manner far far outweighs any "tactile sensations".  The ones they sent were perfectly legible and I was not put off at all.  I wish every comp did it that way (MCAB was similar except they were .jpg files).

Now just teach our local comp (Spirit of Free Beer by B.U.R.P.) how to do it.  Past couple years, they waited until their next monthly meeting and, for anyone who's not in the club and wasn't at the meeting, then and only then did they mail 'em out.
Title: Re: Electronic Competition Returns
Post by: dbeechum on April 26, 2010, 05:30:52 pm
Ahh, good, didn't know others out there were also on the same wavelength.

We started doing it 3 years ago or so and the initial play was to scan them onsite, but that turned out to be pathetically inadequate and the plan was changed mid battle on judging day. Instead, Fletch, out brewgyver has access to one of those wunderbar "document center" machines that takes a stake of papers and emails pdf's.

The process is entirely woefully manual at the moment, but I think we're at the point where we've learned enough to figure out how to automate it better.

We went with hosting the files on the web just to avoid the hassle that comes with emailing a chunk of pdfs to people. :)

And yes, my dream would be to somehow avoid the paper bit altogether, but that's a ways off for now.

ETA: The whole bring the sheets to a club meeting and then mail thing is completely classic. That's how we used to do it, but it was a really long delay and blah...
Title: Re: Electronic Competition Returns
Post by: Hokerer on April 26, 2010, 05:39:42 pm
We went with hosting the files on the web just to avoid the hassle that comes with emailing a chunk of pdfs to people. :)

Does everyone get an account of some sort when the enter?  How is access controlled to the scoresheets?  Or can anyone see any scoresheet?

Don't know that I would have a preference either way.  I guess there's never before been any reason to think about privacy implications regarding scoresheets.
Title: Re: Electronic Competition Returns
Post by: dbeechum on April 26, 2010, 05:52:59 pm
Account controlled scoresheets will probably happen next year.

For now, every entrant has their own directory in a non-indexed space on our auxillary server. If you can guess the naming conventions of the directories, then you could see the files. I do want to change that, but for files that remain in place for a month and don't contain any PII I didn't figure it to be a concern.
Title: Re: Electronic Competition Returns
Post by: wingnut on April 26, 2010, 07:52:51 pm
Anything that gets the sheets out the door faster is great in my book!

I may be able to lager my beers patiently for months, but once I ship them out to a comp, I cannot wait to get the feedback!  I especially like the E-format because it allows me to embed the score sheets with the recipe spread sheets I have developed. (no more hand entering feedback and scores!)

The PDFs are as good, if not better than "paper" since I can zoom in on the chicken scratch some judges have and better make out their feedback, and if I want a paper copy... there is always the print button!

Great job, and I hope other competitions follow suit.
Title: Re: Electronic Competition Returns
Post by: MDixon on April 27, 2010, 05:04:55 am
Our IT guy has setup our competition website to allow an entrants info to be retained and they can come back next year and login again. Dunno how that works, but I suppose then files could be saved for the entrant. Our problem would be we have no way to scan and PDF the files in a timely manner, my scanner at home is ~15 sec per page and is a page at a time meaning ~1min per entry and with 300-400 entries no one has the patience for that. My wife has a copier/scanner at work which would do the job, but as a homebrew club we couldn't afford it  ;)
Title: Re: Electronic Competition Returns
Post by: bonjour on April 27, 2010, 09:38:17 am
I like the idea of doing this electronically.

Fred
Title: Re: Electronic Competition Returns
Post by: babalu87 on April 29, 2010, 05:29:44 am
Drew, thats a TREMENDOUS idea

Well done
Title: Re: Electronic Competition Returns
Post by: bluesman on April 29, 2010, 10:46:55 am
Drew, thats a TREMENDOUS idea

Well done

+1

This would make the process more efficient and easier to track.

Go for it!
Title: Re: Electronic Competition Returns
Post by: spikedhelmet on April 29, 2010, 04:12:35 pm
Wow.  Seeing your comment sheets in six hours...who needs paper!  I'll have to pitch this idea to our competition committee.
Title: Re: Electronic Competition Returns
Post by: micsager on April 29, 2010, 06:35:05 pm
Just got done with our annual Mayfaire Competition (in its 32nd-33rd year?) and we've expanded the little pilot program we've been doing for 3 years now.

All of our entry score sheets are online as pdf's, downloadable and printable by the entrant. This allowed us to get all 330ish sets back to the entrants within 24 hours. (The Doug King Competition in January saw all the scoresheets available about 6 hours after the competition closed)

What I'd like to know is what you think. Does the increased speed of return offset the tactile sensation of a piece of paper mailed to you? Is the score sheet as provided clear enough to read and glean the value from? Would it put you off to know your sheets were being returned electronically? Why?

No experience with electronic, but I would have no problem with that.  I entered one comp a few months ago, and it took two weeks to get results.  (and that's what they promised)  At NHC, I had my sheet the Tuesday after the event. 
Check out this sample sheet (http://www.maltosefalcons.com/system/files/private/SampleScoresheet.pdf) from this blog post (http://www.maltosefalcons.com/blogs/drew-beechum/mayfaire-results-new-world-returns)