I have read the Start Anywhere guidance. For a Score event, am I right in thinking that when a control other than the designated start/finish is used by a participant as their start/finish, there are no points for that control but points are awarded for visiting the designated start/finish which has been reassigned to become a normal control?
If the controls have different points value, does the designated start/finish assume the same points score as allocated to the control used by the participant as the start/finish (therefore not penalising the participant if they choose a high value points score for their start/finish)?
If not, what points get allocated to the designated Start/Finish or does a V event format have to be used to avoid penalising someone starting at a control with a high points value?
Towards the bottom of that page it says: "The original S1 is renumbered to a new control number, being the highest control number on the course plus one."
It then depends up which Scoring scheme is being used as to the points value of that control. To make it absolutely clear, some clubs are saying: "This is a Start Anywhere course, and if you start at a normal control, the original S1 will now be worth XX points".
Where Clubs are using Start Anywhere regularly, their runners understand that there is strategy in where they choose to start. This includes consideration of the lost value of the control they start at, and the value of the new control, as well as the clustering of controls on the map (if they aren't going to go to all controls).
The general feedback seems to be that runners are enjoying this extra factor in deciding on their proposed route in a Score event. Of course, Start Anywhere only really makes sense when the course is available in advance of the run (ie DIY courses during Covid-19 lockdown or Permanent Courses).
On a more technical level, one of the reasons for not reusing the existing control number of the control that the runner started at, is that if runners want to compare splits (particularly for a Start Anywhere Line Course), then effectively moving an existing control will result in mis-leading interpretation of splits.
Thanks Peter for coming back so promptly. The explanation is clear.
It does of course mean that Start Anywhere does not really work with any Scoring System other than V. If, for example, there are controls on N numbered 1 to 30, then the Start Anywhere control becomes 31 so attracts 40 points. It is therefore best to start at a control 1-10 and lose the chance for those points rather than at a higher scoring control. Interestingly, the worst place to start is the Start/Finish as you lose the chance to get the 40 points.
Fairness would be achieved (and ease of explanation would be improved) if the renumbered Start/Finish was the highest control number (as currently) but the points allocation was the same as the points attributed to the control used as the start/finish under Start Anywhere i.e. the system overrode the Scoring System in these circumstances. I appreciate however that this would likely require software changes. One for possible future consideration under your System Developments thread? Meanwhile, the alternative approach seems to be to only use V courses (where all controls have the same points value) when Start Anywhere is to be invoked.
There are certainly different options that could be taken and people have suggested all sorts of scoring schemes.
Start Anywhere has been widely adopted during Covid-19 restrictions (Have a browse around the Event folders) - I think ScoreQ is the most common scoring scheme, but you can use it with ScoreV (or any other).