Tuesday, March 27, 2007


Well, we've been up and running for less than 24 hours and there have already been more than three dozen votes cast. Assuming this momentum can keep up through the next week, I'm very encouraged by the rate of participation.

I know there are some folks who are not qualified to participate in any of the match-ups. Sorry about that, but if you've not ridden many wood coasters, no poll of this nature will likely be fun for you. Indeed, when too many inexperienced riders participate in a "standard" poll (i.e. Amusement Today Golden Ticket Awards, where it's 10 points for first, 9 points for second, etc.), it can skew results unfairly. For instance, if all you've ridden is GhostRider and the two Magic Mountain woodies (well, one former and one current, that is) then that's all you have to rank, which in a "standard" points poll means that two relatively "lame" rides are going to get points simply because they're the only things you've ridden. But, once you've ridden just 10 or 20 more coasters, one, two, or perhaps even all three of those rides will likely drop out of your top ten, making the results a little better rounded. Mitch's poll and this "tournament" eliminate the bias of inexperience by forcing/allowing (respectively) people to pass on match-ups they're not qualified to participate in.

That said, even if you're only qualified to vote in one match-up in the entire first round, you should still do so. Vote on the one you know and pass on the other 15. As of when I started to write this posting, there are two match-ups that are tied, and two more where just half a dozen votes would swing things the other way. If you happen to be qualified to vote in one of those match-ups, your vote could well be the deciding vote!

Another issue that has come up is with the International bracket. It seems that the seeding happens to present a geographically diverse field, making it difficult to find voters who have ridden both rides featured in any given match-up. I could rearrange the International bracket and throw out the seeding, but I suspect that sooner or later, there will be no way of getting around the fact that, by definition, this bracket will be a geographical challenge for many. So the question is should I just leave it alone and hope that the voting makes for better match-ups down the road or should I juggle it around knowing full well that it'll get complicated again as we get towards the final rounds of voting in this bracket? If you have feedback on the issue, leave a comment for this posting.

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