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Thread: Event Organisers (BC online entry system)

  1. #1
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    Default Event Organisers (BC online entry system)

    This has been my first time using British Cycling's online entry system and overall I can recommend it. The system has a few pitfalls where the organiser has to be careful.

    1. Supported browsers
    2. Rider points
    3. Reserves
    4. Rider selection
    5. E-mails

    RE. 1: Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and Windows Internet Explorer.


    RE. 2: I can highly recommend creating two custom fields on the entry form that riders have to complete when entering online. When logged on and viewing your event there are a three buttons on the top right immediately above the list of entrants. One is called [Custom Fields]. Click that and make the two fields mandatory so riders cannot enter without having to complete them. Call them e.g. [Points 2012] and [Points 2013]. In this way, the riders themselves provide their points in the way they would using paper entry forms. If anyone scores points after having applied, their records on the entrant list can be updated with the higher number of points. It is simpler than having BC to generate a separate list with points gained.

    In order to view the riders points on the entrant list, click the [Display Option] button and select/deselect the fields that should be viewed.

    In order to get the points when downloading all the entrants for sorting using Excel, click the [Raw entrant data] on the top right of the browser window. Any other way of downloading data seems to omit data from custom fields.


    RE: 3: An issue is the selection of reserves. When entering online, riders default to not accepting becoming reserves unless they complete an optional field saying that they do accept. On the standard BC paper entry form it is the other way round: One accepts being a reserve by default unless ticking a box to the opposite effect. This appears to cause people to overlook the [Reserve] field.

    Of the 117 entrants for the Chelmer Road Race 2013, only three (3) had ticked the [Reserve] box. Last year when I used paper entry, most riders had agreed become reserves. We do need reserves for the race as not all 60 selected riders can reasonably be expected to show up on the day. Statistically, personal circumstances may keep up to 10% from showing up. BC allows up to 25% of the main field.

    The rub is that the [reserve] option only works for riders who have said yes to that option. It is not possible to edit riders' details to show them as accepting being reserves, which is fair, and therefore the system would not allow me to pick more than one (1) as reserve. The other two potential reserves were not ERRL affiliated. The organiser of the Ken Wright Memorial RR on 21 April 2013 has run into that problem. He only had two (2) potential reserves. He has chosen to advocate entries on the line for all ERRL riders.

    I chose another workaround. I had picked the reserves using the [accept] button as if they were in the main field. That is not a problem from a payment perspective. However, the reserve riders receive an automatic e-mail from BC informing them that they have been selected in the main field. That is incorrect and I had an e-mail message ready to fire out to them to say that they are only reserves. Properly selected reserves get a BC message to that effect.


    RE. 4: One has to take great care when selecting riders on the entrants list. Having downloaded all applicant details onto an Excel spreadsheet and used that for sorting entries according to club and points, I found that the online system can only rearrange entries according to one field at a time. Thus it is not possible to order the online system in the order of the actually selected riders. Rejected, reserves and non-ERRL riders all appear on the online list interspersed with the riders who have been selected.

    Do not [Reject] riders until you are absolutely certain they are not to have a ride. The [Reject] option cannot be undone and the system will warn you about that. Basically, the online payment option disappears so leave [Reject] for last. Having clicked [Accept] for a rider can be undone.

    Once I had my selection, I could not filter according to accepted versus rejected status to clear the list. I discovered that once I logged off and then logged back on, the system will do that on its own. The entrant list can still be reordered.

    A useful selection aid is on the top left of your screen, where the system keeps track of the number of accepted/rejected/reserve riders.

    It is worth bearing in mind that automated messages go out the moment you click [accept], [reject] or [reserve]. The system does not give you the opportunity to add anything to that message such as additional text or an attachment with the race program. They will have to be sent separately.


    RE. 5: E-mail messaging is a doddle using the online system. Just tick the box next to each rider, click send and a message box appears for you to write in and attach files to. To me, that may be the biggest improvement over the paper form method.

    I recommend copying yourself in on messages to riders. The online system keeps all the messages but I ended up being unable to view them once I had sent a message to a lot of riders in one go. The system seemed to collapse under its own weight. BC is aware of the bug.

    I hope this may prove helpful to other organisers.

    Regards

    Michael

  2. #2
    3rd Cat
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    Default

    BC has updated their online entry system concerning reserves. I entered a race the other day where the [reserve] field now has a drop down menu for the applicant to select [yes] or [no].The selection is mandatory for the rider to complete the application. Problem solved.

    Edited on 6 May 2013.
    Last edited by RostRider; 06-05-2013 at 11:01 PM.

  3. #3
    3rd Cat
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    Exclamation Reserves, again

    Last year, BC changed the way their online entry system (OES) records riders' wish to be a reserve. It defaults to 'Yes' as with the paper forms if the riders ignore the field so all should be well when organisers have to select reserve riders.

    When I downloaded the raw data (.csv) file for the Chelmer RR on 6 April 2014, I found that one (1) rider had accepted to be a reserve out of 155 entries which is highly improbable considering how we are all gagging for races in early spring each year. I spoke to Dan Zagni from Ipswich CC and Andy Defrates from Braintree Velo who had experienced the same problems this year. Dan said that it appears that when riders block book races in one online session, OES appears to get lost and defaults to a 'no' for all the entered races. May be it only records the last choice. I have told BC and they are looking into it.

    In short, the situation regarding reserves has not improved from last year. Nor has OES's ability to provide rider points from last season: It can't. The current season's point are not given as a total of road race points but simply shown as all the races the rider has participated in to date and the points gained in each one - including cylcocross and MTB points. It can take a while to unravel that for 155 individual entries.

    I had no points or reserves from the OES raw data file. I therefore e-mailed every entrant asking each to provide me the missing data which most did within a few days. That was very good. E-mailing everyone was very easy using OES.

    Conclusion is that those organisers who still have some time before their event's closing date is up, would be better off creating the three custom fields as described in the first post of this thread and make riders fill those in. Custom fields do work. It will save you a lot of trouble. Trust me.
    Last edited by RostRider; 29-03-2014 at 11:37 PM.

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