Equity Concerns in the States Of the Nation Game - [Closed]

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Luckyl10n
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Re: Equity Concerns in the States Of the Nation Game

Post by Luckyl10n » 12 January 18 10:18 pm

I think we also need to recognise that not all finds for those close to borders will be outside their home state and not all will be max point finds. Might be an issue in a close race, but could well be irrelevant by games end. The multiplier to level out the numbers between states could prove to be the difference in the end. After all, there's a pathtag at stake here :-"

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Re: Equity Concerns in the States Of the Nation Game

Post by CraigRat » 13 January 18 8:52 am

Luckyl10n wrote:After all, there's a pathtag at stake here :-"
Never underestimate what people would do for a shiny object :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Richary
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Re: Equity Concerns in the States Of the Nation Game

Post by Richary » 13 January 18 8:39 pm

Luckyl10n wrote:I think we also need to recognise that not all finds for those close to borders will be outside their home state and not all will be max point finds. Might be an issue in a close race, but could well be irrelevant by games end. The multiplier to level out the numbers between states could prove to be the difference in the end. After all, there's a pathtag at stake here :-"
I for one certainly aren't accusing any one of trying to "cheat" or "game the system". The way the rules are written for this game is that interstate hides and finds give a bonus. That's obviously easier for some than others. So be it. If I was near a border I would be doing the same. If I lived on the Gold Coast I would be looking over the border into NSW, and vice versa.

As the advantage seems to have upset some people, I made the suggestion that if we run a similar game in the future then maybe a bonus for distance from home might be fairer and put everyone on an equal footing.

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Re: Equity Concerns in the States Of the Nation Game

Post by petan » 14 January 18 11:08 am

Richary wrote:
Luckyl10n wrote:I think we also need to recognise that not all finds for those close to borders will be outside their home state and not all will be max point finds. Might be an issue in a close race, but could well be irrelevant by games end. The multiplier to level out the numbers between states could prove to be the difference in the end. After all, there's a pathtag at stake here :-"
The way the rules are written for this game is that interstate hides and finds give a bonus. That's obviously easier for some than others. So be it. If I was near a border I would be doing the same. If I lived on the Gold Coast I would be looking over the border into NSW, and vice versa.
But that's also only an advantage if you haven't found all the GCA caches on the 'other' side of the border or you live in the area with more than one GCA cacher. This is my dilemma.

I also have a problem with long distance hides, or 'holiday hides' as its referred to in the wiki - when there is no maintenance plan defined. How can we attract new players when there are no quality hides? Surely, a quality hide is one that is known to be there and is in good order. If an area is littered with caches which are not there (multiple DNFs or lack of reasonably regular maintenance checks in the case of areas which do not get reasonably regular finds - so the last find is xxx weeks ago) , or are in bad shape - wet logbooks, broken containers, areas where the environment has turned 'bad' etc , then its not an attractive proposition for new players. I note that there is a list of Voluntary Remote Maintainers in the wiki but in the case of Qld's only volunteer - The Garner Family have not logged in since 2014. I did not check on other maintainers for other states.

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Re: Equity Concerns in the States Of the Nation Game

Post by CraigRat » 14 January 18 11:17 am

petan wrote:I note that there is a list of Voluntary Remote Maintainers in the wiki but in the case of Qld's only volunteer - The Garner Family have not logged in since 2014. I did not check on other maintainers for other states.
That page probably needs to go, TGF haven't had anything to do with GCA since about 2006 when that page got made.

Discussion of 'quality' and 'holiday caches' and concerns of the like should be raised outside of this thread please in the Geocaching Australia section to keep the core of this topic on track.

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Re: Equity Concerns in the States Of the Nation Game

Post by MavEtJu » 14 January 18 11:19 am

Richary wrote:As the advantage seems to have upset some people, I made the suggestion that if we run a similar game in the future then maybe a bonus for distance from home might be fairer and put everyone on an equal footing.
Except that this time it didn't match being related to a "state". Sometimes you have an advantage, sometimes you don't.

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Re: Equity Concerns in the States Of the Nation Game

Post by andrewbt » 15 January 18 10:19 pm

phlphotos wrote: Another cache at Hall "An ode to Geocaching Australia" GA9880 has recently been changed from ACT to NSW as on the 20/12 it was listed as ACT but it now shows as ACT & listed and solved coords are in ACT. Don't know how it relates to Nessel's earlier post, but possibly keying errors
Phlphotos - Absolutely untrue that I changed it in December 2017, I'm somewhat annoyed at the assertion. I placed it in the 2016/2017 games. Heck, we even spoke around the same time of this post and at that point I clarified it. From memory, LuckyL10n even let me know that was the case back in early 2017, and I changed it.. or so I thought.

I didn't go "gee whizz I think this location thing might work to my advantage one day" and deliberately set it - it defaulted to NSW. You noted in our correspondence that others weren't - that's true, I found some trigs along the border that lay on the ACT side, and they were corrected around the same time I thought I fixed the original problem.

It's been fixed again. But hey, that's one cache of 15 mystery/larges I have in Canberra - I had 13 others down the road that could be collected in the span of 90 minutes...in the ACT and would have netted some large points (and just need a cursory glance of wikipedia to solve!)

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Re: Equity Concerns in the States Of the Nation Game

Post by 2y'stassies » 26 January 18 6:41 am

Now that the States Of the Nation Game is over it is time to make a final response to the equity issue we raised.

Firstly, we thank all those who made a considered response. We value the fact that you have taken your time to make some comments. Most have recognised that the bonus points scheme was introduced in good faith to add another dimension to the game but there were unintended consequences which created inequity for the geographically isolated.

There are a few issues raised on which we would like to comment.
LuckL10n mentioned that bonus points would be a small factor in the final result compared to the numbers balancer. Our calculations suggest that the difference in numbers balancer between ACT and Tasmania accounted for about 5200 points and the bonus points approximately 4500 points. (To make this post readable, the calculations are given at the end of the post.) LuckL10n’s statement appears to be valid but the extent of the difference is much smaller than suggested in his post.

Let it be clear. We support the numbers balancer as it was introduced to address an inequity between small and large teams. There may be a better method but until that is identified and tested, the current numbers balancer should remain and we support it.

However an unintended outcome of the bonus points has introduced a inequity against those who cannot cross borders to cache which needs to be addressed. With implementation of the current game, a cacher in the ACT who travelled across into NSW, a short distance in a short time, got a 50% bonus whereas a cacher travelled a long distance taking many hours but were restricted to their state (because of geography, distance, cost etc) could not get bonus points.

One very good suggestion from some contributors is to have bonus points based on the distance from home to finds (not hides). It means that someone who travels, for example, 300km would get the same bonus points irrespective of where they live. This would be much more equitable and would have our in-principle support. Progressive bonuses up to a realistic maximum distance would seem appropriate.

Regarding motivation for participation, the introduction to the States Of The Nation game stated, in part, “You are not competing just for yourself; you are competing as a state”. Competing implies that some are going to score more than others. The aim of each participant was, we hope, to maximise the points for their state by making as big a personal contribution as possible given their individual circumstances. To state that the motivation of raising the equity issue was directly related to winning or receiving a pathtag was insulting and demeaning. From our perspective they seem to be reactive rather than considered comments and have missed the whole point – equity for the geographically isolated in the same way that equity was addressed to compensate for the differences between large and small teams.

Despite the risk of sounding like a broken record, we stress that the introduction of bonus point was to add another dimension to the game but it had some unintended adverse consequences. We thank GCA and the game administrators for making the game available in the silly season and no criticism of them collectively should be inferred. However their task is now to address the inequity issue that has emerged.

This is the last public post that we will make on the matter. Feel free to add further posts to the forum if you want to share with others. If anyone would like a response from us on any comment or raise an issue with us, please use the private communication channels in the forum.
Numbers Multiplier:
ACT final points: 39046, multiplier 2.54. If Tasmania’s multiplier of 2.20 had been applied, the ACT final points would have been approximately 33819, a difference of 5227 points. Stress: this is not an argument against the numbers balancer, just a statement of the justified equity adjustment.
Bonus Points:
These calculations are not accurate as we do not have access to detailed information about the specific claims made by each participant (nor do we want to). We offer the following as an indication on the impact of the bonus points scheme.

As cachers in the ACT had the easiest path to get a cross a border, we looked at the contributions of those ACT cachers who scored more than 1000 points. Because we don’t have the time (nor the inclination) to go back to the start of the game on 16 December, we have restricted our analysis to January up to the end of the game.

In January the top 9 ACT cachers found about 940 GCA caches of which about 620 were in NSW (66%). There is no data publicly available which shows which of the 620 NSW posted caches were claimed out of the total of 770 but, for the purpose of illustration, it would be reasonable to assume that about 66% of the 770 claims were in NSW and hence attracted bonus points. That means that a little over 500 claims would have attracted bonus points and if the average bonus points per claim was 8, the bonus points added to the ACT were about 4000. If the average bonus points per claim was 10, the would be 5000 bonus points. Hence we have used the average figure of 4500. The weakness in this analysis is that we have had to make an assumption about the percentage of NSW posted caches that were claimed and guess at the average bonus points per claim. A more rigorous analysis by CGA would be interesting and definitive.
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Re: Equity Concerns in the States Of the Nation Game

Post by Goldenwattle » 26 January 18 1:56 pm

For myself personally, I made two trips to Sydney during that time - a car drive on one occasion and a four hour plus train ride on the other and stayed several nights each time, so it was not just a border hop. Many others from other states could have done the same thing, including Tasmanians. Longer from Tasmania, but possible, and then have cached in Melbourne. No need to take the car; walk and use public transport like I did in inner Sydney. Yes I did do some border hoping near where I lived into 'normal' caching territory. The border is only a few kms from where I live and I normally cross to cache, so this is nothing new. But this was not all, because as I said I made the effort to journey over 300kms to cache; about twice the distance of Brisbane to NSW, about the same as Adelaide to Victoria, and Melbourne to Albury, and I was surprised to find people in Perth have less distance to travel to the SA border than I did to Sydney, so there was opportunity there for leaving caches for extra scores. I will grant that although it is possible to board the ferry as a walk on passenger and then stay in Melbourne a few days, it is a bit harder for Tasmanians, but every other state could have done what I did when I journeyed to Sydney. They could have travelled too, if they were keen enough, so why single out the ACT.

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Re: Equity Concerns in the States Of the Nation Game

Post by Geocaching Australia » 26 January 18 2:11 pm

This topic was raised by 2y'stassies. They had something they wanted to say about the game as they felt strongly about it. It was said.....and then at the end of the game, they posted why they did this. Nothing unpleasant was said, nothing mentioned that wasn't black and white.

I think the topic can now be closed to stop anything going any further.

Thanks.

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Richary
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Re: Equity Concerns in the States Of the Nation Game

Post by Richary » 26 January 18 8:46 pm

Agreed - and for the Senators and games administrators it is all valuable feedback in planning future games to be enjoyed by all. If we don't get feedback then we never know what people liked or didn't. I for one appreciate the positive spirit shown by all in commenting.

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Re: Equity Concerns in the States Of the Nation Game

Post by Chwiliwr » 26 January 18 9:26 pm

Goldenwattle wrote:I was surprised to find people in Perth have less distance to travel to the SA border than I did to Sydney
Bit surprised by this when I read it or wasn't your trip direct to Sydney.

15 h 2 min or 1,440 km by road Perth to WA border
16 h 42 min or 1,604 km by road Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney

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