Researching race registration, paying to claim slots

redlinederby Wednesday, 2/28/2024
Site manager

As I continue to work on a new calendar and race management system for the site, I've noticed that there are a good number of clubs that require payment BEFORE a person's spot on the roster is claimed. In short, the "pay-at-the-door" with cash method is less favorable these days.

Given this trend, I'm considering how to define sign-up rules. It seems that the simplest rule is that anyone can join an event (aka, reserve a spot), but the official roster only fills up as people pay.

Say you have a race with 32 slots. 100 people could sign up but only the first 32 to pay get added to the official roster of racers. The remainder of people that didn't pay in time stay on that reserve list and could be added to the roster if someone drops out.

BTW...the RLD website won't be processing any payments so there's no way to automatically confirm a reservation upon pay. It would be up to the host to mark a person as "paid" when they receive the payment through Paypal or Venmo or whatever. So for the best customer experience, the host would have to stay on top of updating the roster as people pay.

Given the manual lag here, there is a slim chance that 2+ people could pay at the same time for the last open slot, which means the host may have to figure something or issue a refund.

I'm looking for thoughts and feedback on this from folks that regularly host races.

I want things to be aa fair as possible while also keeping it pretty simple. The solution won't be everything to everyone, but it needs to account for the most common situation.


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redlinederby 2/28/24
Site manager

Forgot to mention...all that above doesn't mean hosts can't still receive cash-on-delivery for entries. BUT, that means the host would have to be comfortable marking someone as "paid" and taking a slot before they've received the money (like it is today for many)

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redlinederby 2/28/24
Site manager

Hmmm...or maybe it should be the host can choose if they just want to auto-fill the roster as people sign-up and not requiring the pay-to-claim part?

When pay-to-claim is on, the first 32 people to pay get added to the roster.

When pay-to-claim is off, the first 32 people to sign-up fill the roster, regardless of payment.

This feels like it complicates things a bit but it might solve for the 2 big use cases here. 

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StarCorps 2/28/24

This seems like a complex issue that the Host requiring payment up front should worry about and not you. 

Let them administrate their own choice.   

  • Yes, I'm leaning to making it a choice too...the host says if they want pre-pay entry or instant entry. I just need to know how to tell the when it should show the roster as "full" — redlinederby
  • I second with Star Corps — LottaSpeedRacing
  • Let the race administrator have a checkbox - which they are again responsible for. — StarCorps

Thinking out loud......does paying up front create a situation where a racer has things set/full.....then racer has to pull out and expects a refund?    Maybe once paid it is non-refundable?   Yeah it seems like it starts to get complicated. 

  • Refunds are always a possibility. In this case that won't matter because no money transactions are handled on the website. Any drama like that will be between racer and host. — redlinederby
  • Plus all the rules/policies of payment and refunds should be outlined by the host in the event post. — redlinederby
  • over-thinkin' it — dr_dodge
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Crazy_Canuck 2/29/24

Has this been a big issue? Are there a lot of problems between hosts and builders that warrant this? IMO I don't think this needs to be addressed by stated above, this should be hashed out by the Host before an event is posted, and any conflicts that may arise should be resolved between the Host/builder without RLD having to get involved. A lot of races in the last few months have required an entry fee to race, and there is a general understanding that if you want your car returned that funds will need to be included. RLD doesn't need to be responsible for any of that.

  • that was my question as well, but since I dont host races, I didn't ask it. — Stoopid_Fish_Racing
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redlinederby 2/29/24
Site manager bad, the question was poorly asked. This isn't about who/what/how/when gets paid. I'm not interested in getting in the middle of any of it! Hands-off has been the policy and that's still the plan.

I'm trying to learn when is a roster considered filled by a host? Is it when enough people just say "I'm in, I wanna race"? Or is it when people actually pay? Fair to say, it's both.

Part of what this new sign-up system is going to try to help is to automatically set when an event is full. And then also build a waitlist for anyone that joins after its full.

And I think the solution I'm going to plan out is having the host choose either to make the race fill up as people sign-up, or only when the host marks them as part of the race. This lets the host choose how automated they want things to be.

  • I suppose that’s the idea of the “Alt Spot”…it gives Hosts the ability to ensure a full roster if someone drops out. Mind you…I would probably be in the camp where a roster ain’t full until all cars are at the track and able to race. — Crazy_Canuck
  • My thought is when enough people have signed up and I've received their cars. — StarCorps

RLD has been around for how many years? I think that people know the best way to handle this by now. In my opinion, we don't need more rules, nor many changes.

  • Fair. And that's why I'm getting feedback, so whatever changes come can be as easy as possible. The goal here is better tools for hosts and more structure & stats for racers. — redlinederby

I have no useful input, just wanted to let you know I'm looking forward to the changes you're making to race reporting on the site!

I'll just say, as a new host, I'm just thankful for a site like this one that brings the community together to make all of our channels even better. So thank you there. With only doing 1 mail in, my 2 cents for what its worth, I felt it was a pretty good setup. I was a bit nervous with not knowing how fast or if the roster would fill up past the limit I put in, as I couldn't be on here very often.Then I thought it would be hard trying to distinguish who should race and who should not. As in who was the last few that said I want in. Putting in a system where the host wouldn't have to watch the cut off would be nice, though in the current system I didn't have a problem with this one. Just a nice feature not a need. After that, I understand it's all on me. I appreciattte all you do. Hope that is some of the feedback you were looking for.

God bless, Christian

  • You hit the nail on the head with "just a nice feature not a need" - that's my goal. Adding things that can help but not something that will get in the way. Glad your foray into hosting has been positive so far. Have fun! — redlinederby
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