Updated Challenge Cache Rules

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TeamMina
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Updated Challenge Cache Rules

Postby TeamMina » Tue 2012-03-13, 08:18:13

Found out this morning yesterday groundspeak updated the rules & restrictions for placing challenge-based geocaches:

1.Challenge cache owners must demonstrate that there are sufficient available caches to meet the challenge at the time of publication.
-This appears related to the existing restriction on challenge caches that require logging disabled/archived caches, and to the new restriction on challenge caches that require past accomplishments.

2.The challenge criteria [...] must be verifiable through information on the Geocaching.com website. Challenge caches relying solely on third-party software for verification will not be published. Cache owners will need to ensure that geocachers can verify that they have completed the cache requirements without compromising their privacy.
-This appears to be a clarification of the original restriction that requirements be "logistically viable".

3.A challenge cache needs to appeal to, and be attainable by, a reasonable number of geocachers. A challenge cache may not specifically exclude any segment of geocachers. If a geocacher is required to alter their caching style or habits, such as avoiding a particular cache type to attain a specific percentage or average, the cache will not be published.
-Others have already pointed out that wheelchair users are a "segment of geocachers". Thus, the phrase "may not specifically exclude any segment of geocachers" could be interpreted as banning challenge caches that wheelchair users cannot complete (e.g., Fizzy Challenges that require high-terrain caches). However, I don't think that's the intent, based on the context of the following sentence.

4.The requirements for meeting the challenge should be succinct and easy to explain, follow, and document. A lengthy list of "rules" would be sufficient reason for a challenge cache to not be published.
-In other words, the challenge should be completing the requirements, not understanding the requirements.

5.A Challenge cache must avoid undue restrictions. Specifically: [...] Challenge caches cannot include restrictions based on 'date found'; caches found before the challenge cache publication date can count towards the achievement of the challenge.
-In other words, challenge caches cannot "level the playing field" by making current geocachers start over.

6.Challenge caches need to be attainable at any time while the cache is active. A cache that requires "100 multi-caches found in 2011" would not be publishable, as would not be attainable by someone new to the game.
-Just as you can't penalize experienced geocachers, you can't penalize new geocachers.

7.One should not have to 'give up' finding other caches to achieve a challenge cache's requirements. To state that "10% of your find count needs to be Attended Logs" would require the geocacher to stop finding other types of caches and could affect their overall enjoyment of the game.
-This appears to be a clarification of the original restriction on requirements based on "non-accomplishments".

8.If a challenge cache is submitted within an area where a similar challenge cache already exists, then it will need to have a unique list of qualifying criteria (geocaches, waymarks, etc.).
-In other words, just as you can't "stack" events, you can't "stack" challenge caches.
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Re: Updated Challenge Cache Rules

Postby cheechgang » Tue 2012-03-13, 08:21:24

Hooray

The official word

It appears previous ones will be grandfathered
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Re: Updated Challenge Cache Rules

Postby TeamMina » Tue 2012-03-13, 08:37:21

***5.A Challenge cache must avoid undue restrictions. Specifically: [...] Challenge caches cannot include restrictions based on 'date found'; caches found before the challenge cache publication date can count towards the achievement of the challenge.
-In other words, challenge caches cannot "level the playing field" by making current geocachers start over.

This is the one we're happiest about. We've had a couple of cachers use our Nascar Challenge as a template for their own version. But then decided to make it disallow any finds before the cache's publication date to "level the playing field". As we were honored that others liked the idea so much, we were similarly dismayed by this restriction.

When we created it, we tested it and made seemed to be around an average of 500-1000 finds for a cacher to qualify for it, without hopefully having to specifically search qualifiers out. And we wanted to create one that most people who stuck with caching after their first few dozen finds that would only require a little research to see if they could complete.

At LeAST this should keep this sort of thing from happening.
Don't think there are any around here with this type of restriction.
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Re: Updated Challenge Cache Rules

Postby Mighty_Mo » Tue 2012-03-13, 20:32:08

TeamMina wrote:***5.A Challenge cache must avoid undue restrictions. Specifically: [...] Challenge caches cannot include restrictions based on 'date found'; caches found before the challenge cache publication date can count towards the achievement of the challenge.
-In other words, challenge caches cannot "level the playing field" by making current geocachers start over.

<snip>


I fully agree with this. As someone with a fairly large number of finds and needs to travel a fairly large distance for caches the Level the playing field makes for an Uphill climb for me.
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Re: Updated Challenge Cache Rules

Postby GrizzFlyer » Tue 2012-03-13, 22:19:13

There are a few challenge caches in Ohio that prohibit prior finds, and it seems that not too many people bothered to complete those requirements. The new #5 rule takes care of that. Suits me fine. I say "good on the frog....".
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Re: Updated Challenge Cache Rules

Postby Handyman-N-Fam » Wed 2012-03-14, 20:00:42

To me, it doesn't look like much has changed. Really, the only one I noticed a big change in was #5. Around here, the "level the playing field" doesn't appear to be a widely used rule though. The only one that I know of is the Ohio Delorme challenge.
On a side note, I qualify for the Delorme Challenge but have no plans of ever finding it, because the CO didn't respond to two of my requests a check on my qualifying caches. I have a feeling that he/she is a little ticked off at me because of the whole "cache in the tree at the fairgrounds" fiasco. They were part of the posse that was attempting to lie to Keystone, and I played a significant role in them getting busted. :twisted:

I know with rule #1, I had to provide Keystone further information for my Geo-Birthday Challenge to get it published. He gave me a specific list of local early joining local cachers, and I had to determine if they qualified, or had the potential to qualify. I was able to qualify everyone he asked about except gizmoguy.

I think if someone wanted to, they could find challenge caches that break each rule in Michigan... :?
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Re: Updated Challenge Cache Rules

Postby cheechgang » Wed 2012-03-14, 20:23:34

IMHO, some challenges were getting crazier and crazier and were taking up too much valuable reviewer time, reminiscent of the downfall of the virtual cache. This is an attempt to rein them in.
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Re: Updated Challenge Cache Rules

Postby TeamMina » Wed 2012-03-14, 20:34:32

We do like the research simplification in number two.

So if you are putting out a cache requiring creating a set of statistics that require more complicated software like GSAK to derive, it won't be approved unless you can prove the requirements can be met and found on the regular geocaching site.
We've only begun to delve in what GSAK can do, but can bet hardly 10% of geocachers ever or use it or even know of it.
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Re: Updated Challenge Cache Rules

Postby allenite » Wed 2012-03-14, 22:39:01

Handyman-N-Fam wrote:I think if someone wanted to, they could find challenge caches that break each rule in Michigan... :?


I wish that many of the cache owners up here would qualify themselves or show significant progress on them before publishing them. Number 3 has been largely ignored in my opinion with a lot of caches up here. It has made me want to publish a few challenges up here that I can qualify for that would frustrate them for a long time.


I will probably just come up with a few evil puzzles instead one of which is currently in the works to be placed very near a certain A2 cacher's home (within .15 miles).
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Re: Updated Challenge Cache Rules

Postby TeamMina » Wed 2012-03-14, 23:03:26

allenite wrote:
Handyman-N-Fam wrote:I think if someone wanted to, they could find challenge caches that break each rule in Michigan... :?


I wish that many of the cache owners up here would qualify themselves or show significant progress on them before publishing them. Number 3 has been largely ignored in my opinion with a lot of caches up here. It has made me want to publish a few challenges up here that I can qualify for that would frustrate them for a long time.


I will probably just come up with a few evil puzzles instead one of which is currently in the works to be placed very near a certain A2 cacher's home (within .15 miles).


We'd love to see a couple of examples, if you have any at the ready.

p.s. If you hide puzzles near A2Q's home, please feel free to remark to your ability to aid Team Befuddlement in solution to said caches...pretty please!
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Re: Updated Challenge Cache Rules

Postby Mighty_Mo » Wed 2012-03-14, 23:06:04

I suspect some reviewers are more lenient than others.
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Re: Updated Challenge Cache Rules

Postby allenite » Thu 2012-03-15, 10:29:08

TeamMina wrote:
allenite wrote:
Handyman-N-Fam wrote:I think if someone wanted to, they could find challenge caches that break each rule in Michigan... :?


I wish that many of the cache owners up here would qualify themselves or show significant progress on them before publishing them. Number 3 has been largely ignored in my opinion with a lot of caches up here. It has made me want to publish a few challenges up here that I can qualify for that would frustrate them for a long time.


We'd love to see a couple of examples, if you have any at the ready.


A couple I can recall quickly.

GC2FKR8 - The 10-10-10 Challenge - At least 10 caches a day for 10 days a month for 10 months in a years time. This requires 1000 finds yet a year and time after it published, the owner has less than 700.
GC2E14D - Team FMA's Devil of a Challenge - At least 6 caches a day for 6 straight days with a combined D/T rating of 6 or higher with at least 1 puzzle on the second day working your way to 5 puzzles on the final day. At this time the CO only has 6 puzzles that they have found that have a D/T of 6 or more, 5 of which have been since it published.

Michigan University / College Challenge - Requires finding caches on a list of college campuses throughout the state. Cacher has not found caches north of Big Rapids nor east of Lansing
Michigan University / College Challenge #2 - Same as above and at least one of the listed colleges (Sienna Heights in Adrian) has no caches on it (unless a puzzle is hiding there I haven't solved).
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Re: Updated Challenge Cache Rules

Postby GrizzFlyer » Thu 2012-03-15, 10:43:34

I'd like to see 2 more guidelines..... 1) the owner of a challenge cache must have personally completed the requirements of said cache, and 2) the physical cache itself should be somewhat commensurate with the difficulty of the challenge.

While number 2 will never happen, and would be difficult to quantify, it just seems odd that anyone would craft a really nice challenge, then the log is in a park-n-grab Hillman.

I agree with Cheech, virtuals were getting a little crazy and that was their downfall. Same with locationless caches, which is too bad because there were some very good ones in both categories. Both could have been saved with some type of pre-screening, and I suspect this is what is happening with challenge caches.
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Re: Updated Challenge Cache Rules

Postby TeamMina » Thu 2012-03-15, 13:35:46

Ann Arbor has a section of earthcache accomplishment challenge caches that are hidden in lampposts.
That is, as far as we have found.
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Re: Updated Challenge Cache Rules

Postby Mighty_Mo » Thu 2012-03-15, 13:43:33

And thus the reason the requirements were updated. I just hope ALL of the reviewers pay attention to them
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