Having a club is all well and good, but what have we done?
The BAA Website
You’re here, so no need to spend much time describing the website, but we’re pretty proud of it and hope you like it. It is central to our mission(s): that current buggy folks, alumni, and fans can gather to follow, discuss, and support the sport online.
The website itself is cool, but the content it has allowed us to gather is a bigger part of what this group has been able to accomplish. Our history section is the most complete record of race results and participants that exists, and has been a labor of love for our history committee.
Buggy Endowed Fund
Coincident with our Buggy100 event, we completed the creation of the Buggy Endowed Fund to help support Sweepstakes in perpetuity. This fund is administered jointly by the BAA and CMU, and funded by lifetime memberships in the BAA. Yields are awarded by a board of BAA officers, CMU staff, and current Sweepstakes officers each year to support the continued success and growth of Sweepstakes.
A small sample of projects that have been approved for funding in the past:
- New GPS tracking system for buggies (to be used for data collection, research, and integration with broadcast)
- Harness testing equipment for Safety & Capability testing to quantify the safety of buggies in a crash
- Materials to facilitate smoother freerolls (signage, cones, brooms, etc)
Buggy Photo Gallery
Our gallery of photos related to Buggy goes all the way back to the beginning of the sport and includes over 30,000 photos, with recent years including extensive coverage of freerolls, not just races.
Both the history section of the web site and the photo gallery have involved countless contributions from our membership.
Starting in 2011 the BAA unveiled an archive of buggy videos with an initial collection of over 200 videos from the 1950’s up to complete coverage of 2003-2010 racedays. Previously the fine coverage produced by cmuTV was unavailable online. This project was costless, but many hours went into transcoding, sorting, and uploading videos to youtube. Since then, this has continued to include each year’s livestream and a breakdown by heat, as well as the large scale streaming productions that took place during COVID.
Also coincident with our Buggy100 event, we launched Chute The Sh!t, a podcast all about buggy. It has returned for multiple consecutive seasons in the leadup to raceday each year. Over its run, it has covered teams, support organizations, safety issues, and other events in the history of buggy. Find it on your favorite podcast service, or on Spotify.
New Team Support
Increasing participation in Buggy is one of the BAA’s passions. We believe Buggy is at its best when a large number of students across a diverse set of organizations are participating.
To that end, we’ve worked to create a Buggy Build Book to help new teams get started on their first build — including not just a set of instructions for a build, but a variety of tradoffs that they might consider. We also offer a grant program to reimburse organizations that have not raced in at least 3 years for any startup costs they may have incurred.
Outreach, Publications, and Presentations
Our schedule of publications has changed a bit year to year, but each has been a pretty awesome summary of the current state of buggy for our members near and far.
Our most popular publications are our Raceday Previews and Spotting Guides. Want to get a preview direct to your mailbox before raceday? It is one of our most popular membership perks.
Our members also regularly give presentations on the history and technology of buggy. Look for events to be published around Homecoming and Carnival each year.
Raceday timing system upgrades
In 2009, the company that had been hired to run buggy timing for years showed up short-staffed so BAA members filled in in critical roles. What we saw gave us enough information to confirm that buggy was due for an upgrade in the sophistication of its timing system. We worked with sweepstakes in the 2009-2010 season and made it happen.
The BAA contributed $1,200 to sweepstakes for raceday 2010 to enable a month-long rental of a FinishLynx digital photo-finish and timing system to fully test and vet the system before raceday. Ongoing rental prices are within Sweepstakes’ normal budget.
For the 2010 and 2011 races, the system was operated by BAA members.
More info on the timing system project as it developed here in the news section:
- Raceday timing system upgrade (Feb 18, 2010)
- Timing System in hand and working (March 17, 2010)
- Timing System test at rolls a success (March 27, 2010)
One of the original pie-in-the-sky project ideas for the BAA was to get a jumbotron for raceday. The geography of the course makes it tough to follow everything that’s going on and besides it would just be awesome.
In 2009, a CMU spin-off provided a jumbotron at no cost to Sweepstakes and proved it was a valuable addition to raceday. In 2010 and 2011, the BAA contributed $1000 to subsidize the cost of not one, but two jumbotrons. Money was raised by running the now-annual Lead Truck auction in which bidders compete to ride in the lead truck during the races.
More info on the jumbotron and lead truck auction projects: