The goal of the Great TB Race is earning points.  In 2009, a simplified point system was used, with a range of point values from one to five.  Even halfway through the race, there were aspects of the point system I was already thinking of changing if I did a second race.  With entries for 2010 already coming in, it was time to address the issue of points.Here is a breakdown of the points for 2009:

Options for points

Point Value

1. For every cache it’s placed in 1
2. For every 50 miles traveled 1
3. For posting a picture 2
4. For crossing state lines or country borders 2
5. For being exchanged for a trackable item 2
6. For attending an event cache 3
7. For being placed during a FTF 4
8. For visiting an official race checkpoint cache 5

With simple tasks, its easy to see how a geocacher can help a TB.  But there are already two things I feel should be changed.  First, the race checkpoint caches.  While grand in design, this ended up not making much of a difference.  The primary reason was not enough checkpoint caches.  I envisioned a wide network of checkpoint caches and after all of the submissions, we had about 12, with a few of those overseas.  Only two travel bugs ever visited one of the caches on the list.  So, we will be scrapping that goal in 2010.

Another thing to change is the point values themselves.  One of my goals was to not have another mileage race.  But with the small range of points, mileage ended up being a big factor in the points.  So in 2010, the range of points will widen beyond one to five points.  I’ll keep the first two goals, visiting a cache and points for mileage, at their present values of one point each.  It will be the remaining goals that will change.  The desired goal is to allow travel bugs that don’t travel as far to still have a chance at higher point values by meeting those other goals, and not to be easily outpaced because another travel bug took a huge trip (though mileage ALWAYS helps).

With that said, I’d still like to look at other ideas for goals.  For example, I’m toying with the idea of altering the event goal.  We’ll leave it in of course, but we’ll break it down into two separate goals with different point values.  The lower point value will be attending events.  But the higher point value will be attending MEGA & CITO events, due to their rarity with relation to normal events.

Another idea I’ve toyed with is picture goals.  Normally, we would just award points for taking a picture, one picture per cacher.  With this idea, additional points might be earned for getting a picture taken at, for example, the state capital or at a National Park.  Obviously, there is an issue with burden of proof for any picture related goal.  For example, a National Park picture would require a picture at some kind of park signage that includes the name of the park (maybe a park entrance sign).

There has to be other ideas out there for goals to include on the points table.  So anyone else have some ideas out there?  If you have an idea, post a comment.  Give an example and try to include any details that would require proof (like the picture goal example).  We have a bit of time to develop this list.

TripCyclone

<h3>Earning Points</h3>
<table border=”2″ cellspacing=”10″ cellpadding=”3″ bgcolor=”#67f0ff”>
<tbody>
<tr>
<td>
<h3>Options for points</h3>
</td>
<td>
<h3>Point Value</h3>
</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>1. For every cache it’s placed in</td>
<td>1</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>2. For every 50 miles traveled</td>
<td>1</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>3. For posting a picture</td>
<td>2</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>4. For crossing state lines or country borders</td>
<td>2</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>5. For being exchanged for a trackable item</td>
<td>2</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>6. For attending an event cache</td>
<td>3</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>7. For being placed during a FTF</td>
<td>4</td>
</tr>
<tr>
<td>8. For visiting an official race checkpoint cache</td>
<td>5</td>
</tr>
</tbody></table>
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