- Do I need to register to use this site?
No - anyone may use this web site to calculate your scores, view current ladder tables, handicaps, rules, etc. Flight details from pilots who have submitted their own scores may also be freely examined.
You will only need to register and log on to the system if you intend to submit your own claims, or if you wish to maintain your own previously submitted flight details.
- How do I submit my scores online?
You must first log on to the system using your email address and password. If you have not yet registered with the BGA Ladder site, register now.
When logged on, go to the Calculator page and enter your cross-country or height gain claim. After calculating your score, you may submit it to the ladder after which your Ladder scores are recalculated and become available immediately to other site visitors.
- Do I need to delete low scoring flights?
- No - The system will automatically recalculate your total score using the best six scores from all the flights you have entered. The system will automatically update all Ladders for which the flight qualifies.
- I made a mistake while submitting a claim - how do I correct it?
You are able to change some of your own flight details after submission. Log on to the My Info page, select the flight you want to change and click the Edit icon. Make the appropriate changes and click the Update button. This facility is only available for claims made during the current season.
For changes that substantially alter the scoring, the flight must be deleted and re-entered using the Calculator/Submit facility. BUT - be aware that the normal 10% penalty will apply if you resubmit the flight more than 14 days after it took place!
- What do the phrases '28% Triangle' and '25/45 Triangle' mean?
In a 28% triangle, no leg of the triangle may be less than 28% of the total distance. This is of importance for pilots who are chasing records because FAI rules specify certain minimum criteria that apply to triangles. Similarly, in order for a triangle to meet the 25/45 rule, no side may be less than 25% of the total distance and no side may be greater than 45% of the total distance.
- What about clubs that use multiple start and finish points?
Some of the larger clubs have more than one start and finish point (for example, to avoid gaggling in a congested area, or for airspace reasons) - examples include Lasham and Gransden Lodge. For the purpose of categorising the shape of the task, any task with start and finish points less than 10km apart may be regarded as closed-circuit, while all others are open-circuit. This is the factor that determines whether a 3-leg task, for example, is a triangle or a zig-zag.
- The system keeps giving me a 10% penalty - what have I done wrong?
You have submitted your score online more than 14 days after the flight actually took place. In accordance with Rule 13, a 10% penalty is imposed in order to encourage timely input of ladder claims. This is intended to make the contest more fair for everyone else.
If you have a good reason for having been unable to enter your scores in time, please contact your own Club Ladder Steward, who has the facility to override penalty scores.
- I have entered a Height Claim but my score does not appear on the Ladder tables.
A logger file must be uploaded if you want to enter a height claim online, in accordance with Rule 5.4. If you have flown with a non-electronic barograph instead of a logger., you must submit your claim to your club ladder steward who will be happy to examine your trace and enter your score on your behalf.
- How does the site deal with incorrect or extravagant claims?
Any flight submitted by a pilot appears on the current tables as a clickable item. Any visitor to the BGA Ladder web site will be able to view the details of your flight, including dates, glider types and task details. If any irregularities are perceived, particularly by your club peers, it is highly likely that they will be referred to your Club Ladder Steward for further investigation.
- Why is my club not listed as a BGA National Ladder Club?
Your club may operate its own Ladder quite independently of the National Ladder and perhaps using different rules. Any club wishing to take part in the National Ladder should appoint a Club Ladder Steward (if one does not already exist) and get him/her to contact the National Ladder Steward for further information.
- Do undeclared or uncompleted tasks get speed points?
YES! Undeclared tasks, provided that they did not involve a landout, will score 60% of the points that would have been scored had the flight been declared. Uncompleted tasks will also score a percentage depending on what proportion of the declared task was achieved. Possibly not worth the effort for a small task, but something like an abandoned 750km may still score a couple of thousand points.
- I am a UK National - can I enter flights made abroad onto the National Ladder?
Afraid not. Rule 2 specifies that the flight must originate in the UK. However, there is nothing to stop the ambitious pilot from launching at, say Rufforth, and continuing across the channel and down towards the centre of France. Lots of points, although I suspect that any pilot attempting this sort of task would not have the National Ladder uppermost in mind.
- Must I provide flight evidence for every claim?
Some clubs insist locally that loggers or cameras are used before a claim may be made - this makes the job of the Club Ladder Steward less contentious. It is not a mandatory requirement as far as the National Ladder is concerned (but see the notes below) and most clubs operate the ladder by accepting the pilot's word for declarations and speeds. This is intended to encourage as many pilots to take part as possible. The local club ladder steward will usually be able to spot any irregular claims and challenge the suspect pilot accordingly.
Note, however, that a BGA prize will not be awarded to a pilot for flights lacking the appropriate evidence. The moral is, if you have a logger, use it for every flight and save the files. Note that photographic evidence is no longer acceptable in support of BGA Trophy claims.
The Ladder site has a facility that permits pilots to upload logger files for their flights. These files will be visible to, and may be downloaded by, all site visitors who view the flight details pop-up page.
Note 1: Logger file uploads are mandatory for Height claims.
Note 2: Cross-country claims without logger files will be scored using distance points only until the logger file is posted. Once a logger file has been uploaded, speed points will be included in the total score.
- The handicapping system seems to be unfair to gliders with high handicaps. Why is this?
Glider handicaps are based on the flights made on an average British soaring day, which everyone knows is pretty mediocre. However, the ladder is almost always won with flights made on the strongest days, when the handicaps ought to be compressed for them to remain fair. In other words, the handicap for an ASH 25, for example, should be several points less on a strong day than it is on a standard day. However, if 'strong day' handicaps were used throughout the season, including on the weaker days, this would give an overwhelming advantage to high-handicap gliders, so the 'average day' handicaps have been retained to give as many glider types a chance as possible.
During the 2000/2001 season, a new set of handicaps were introduced by the Competitions Committee and the cross-country scoring formula modified to improve slightly the scores of higher-handicapped gliders on the stronger days.
- OK, if some days have stronger conditions than others - why not handicap the day according to the weather?
Not a bad idea, but there are practical difficulties with quantifying the soaring conditions of a particular day. In a competition, this is made easier by having a large group of people (usually of similar ability) flying the same task and seeing how many get back, and with what speed. This is not possible with club-based tasks in which pilots of widely varying ability fly tasks in different directions through many types of weather. Multiply this by the number of clubs across the country each with its own weather systems and you begin to get an idea of the difficulties involved.
- Can I use the same turnpoint more than once in a cross-country claim?
Yes! If you choose to fly GRL-DID-GRL-DID-GRL, there is nothing in the rules to stop you. Not very adventurous though and you may also find that such flights will not qualify for badges or records.
- Can a single flight qualify for more than one Ladder?
Yes - any flight may be included in all ladders for which it qualifies. By definition, every cross-country flight qualifies for the Open Ladder. It may also qualify for the Weekend and Junior Ladders as well as any Local Ladders, depending on their qualifying criteria. Height claims from the season 2003/2004 onwards will appear only in the Height Ladder.
- Why don't my submitted flights appear automatically in some of my club's Local Ladders?
Some clubs use a facility within the National Ladder website to publish details of their own Local Ladders. Such ladders are not obliged to follow National Ladder rules at all; they may be scored using different formulae, or have a range of qualifying criteria that cannot be accommodated by the National Ladder.
Your club Ladder Steward is able to specify whether or not a Local Ladder conforms National Ladder rules. If it does, then your main Ladder scores will automatically appear in the associated Local Ladder.
If the Local Ladder has not been linked to the National Ladder, then the Club Ladder Steward alone is responsible for maintaining that Local Ladder. Pilots who wish their National Ladder flights to be represented on their Local Ladder should send their flight details to their Club Ladder steward, who will then process the information accordingly.
- How does the Ladder deal with airspace infringements?
Unlike rated competitions in which penalties may be applied during the period of the competition, the Ladder must be able to accept all valid flights held throughout the year. Currently, any cross-country flight that penetrates restricted airspace is accepted PROVIDED that prior clearance had been sought and granted. The problem for club ladder stewards is in confirming that such clearance had been received and therefore it is difficult to devise a mechanism for penalising claims that include unapproved airspace penetration.
Pilots should be aware of and fully understand the guidance provided by the BGA in this respect. In particular, pilots who are in leading positions in the Ladder must post their logger files on the website in order to win a Trophy. Because these files are open to public scrutiny, pilots should ensure that their contents are beyond reproach. Note also that BGA Trophies will not be awarded for flights supported by logger files that include unapproved penetration of airspace.
- Some clubs are better sited with fewer airspace restrictions than others. Doesn't this make the National Ladder unfair?
The Ladder is primarily a club-based competition and the National element was introduced solely as an attempt to let others know what can be achieved during a given season. It is not claimed to be a fair competition at the National level, and not just for the reasons quoted in this question. Other factors include the availability of an effective launch mechanism, whether the club operates daily rather than weekend-only, whether the pilot has unrestricted access to a glider on a given day and a host of other factors
- What's the point of the Distance Ladder?
The Distance Ladder was introduced to encourage pilots to supply ladder claims even when their claimed flights may not score highly enough to beat their current best four. There is no limit to the number of flights that may be submitted for the Distance Ladder, so encouraging competition right to the end of the Ladder season.
- Bank Holidays
Not really a FAQ, as it has only been asked once during my tenure, but an interesting one, nonetheless. Scotland and the rest of the UK occasionally enjoy Bank Holidays on different days, so how does that day count in respect of the Weekend Ladder? In order to remove the need for carrying three generations of birth certificates, the rule should be assumed to refer to whether or not the day is a Bank Holiday at the site of launch.
- Who is the National Ladder Steward?
The National Ladder Steward is Chris Fox. You can contact him via the link at the bottom of this page.