Rallye Tips

This page will be devoted to helping our contestants improve their skills and their scores. We'll cover everything from the General Instructions, various instruction formats to often used route following traps. We'll try to add two per month.
If you have one to share with your fellow Rallyists, please drop me an e-mail at JohnGroot@aol.com

The OD correction Leg or OD Leg is used to adjust for the fact that car odometers are not 100% accurate. Tires, wheels and gearing cause variations in measured miles by as much as 5% or more. Because of that, one (or more) Legs on a Rallye are compared to the Rallymaster's mileage over that same distance. The ratio is called the Odometer Correction Factor, or more simply the OD Factor.

For example, if the Official Rallyemaster's mileage for the OD Leg is 10 miles and my car registered 9.5 for the same real distance, then my OD Factor would be 9.5/10 or .95. All the rest of my Leg mileages would be divided by my OD Factor to adjust them so that they could be compared to the official (Rallyemaster) mileages. Let's look at another Leg to see how it works. I get lost and travel 38 miles in a Leg where the Rallyemaster's mileage is 35 miles. If the factor wasn't used, I would be penalized 3 miles or 300 points. If the OD Factor is applied then my mileage over the route is calculated by 38/.95 or 40 miles. My penalty then is the correct 5 miles or 500 points. For me to have gotten a perfect score I would have traveled 35/.95 or 36.84 That's a big difference.

COURSE: The rallye course is on THROUGH, PAVED, PUBLIC roads.
Roads other than these do not exist, unless the factor that makes them nonexistent is specifically overridden in the route instructions.

......When a numbered instruction directs you onto a road by name or number, by way of the use of the word 'onto' or the glossary term PU (Pick Up), follow that road by name or number until the execution of the first action of the next numbered instruction regardless of road surface.

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Please consider this intersection:
You've been put on an unpaved road (from the bottom of the diagram) and your next instruction calls for "L at T". You arrive at what appears to be a crossroad but the road on the opposite side is unpaved. That road does not exist according to the General Instructions and hence the intersection is a T. Correct execution would be a left.
Dirt Roads
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Please consider this intersection:
You've been put on an unpaved road (from the bottom of the diagram) and your next instruction calls for "R at T". You arrive at a paved road on your left but the unpaved road continues. Because the Generals calls for paved road, you make an automatic left turn onto paved a continue looking for your next instruction.

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Please consider this situation:
Your previous instruction puts you onto Jones Rd. Becuse of the word onto, you must make the left to stay on Jones Rd., even though it's unpaved until you can execute the next numbered instruction. The street sign showing that Jones Rd. goes left may be on the right, SOL or MBCSOL, but there must be a street sign.


R, L, AR, AL, BR, BL, and S can only be executed at valid intersections, Consider the instruction R to avoid dead end.

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The instruction can only be executed at an intersection. Therefore the first dead end elicits a forced turn since Rallyes are run on through paved public roads. A forced turn is the only route that meets that requirement. At the second dead end, two legitimate alternatives exist, either R or L. Since the instruction calls for R, that is the correct execution


The third Route Following Priority is S as possible. Simply put, at each intersection, if the next Instruction does not apply and you are not 'ONTO' a road by name or number, you are to proceed by making the least possible turn. Consider the Instruction L FOPP after SOL Gas Station.

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Approaching the instruction from the bottom, there is a gas station but since the S as Possible causes you to keep the gas station on the right. Two points - the S is not the left since you haven't come to a SOL gas station. The correct SOL gas station is at the T. If one keeps the first gas station SOL, you go off-course and execute the L later. In this case the trap self-corrects.


It's an easy thing to miss but many people do it. Some non-digital (old fashioned) odometers roll up and some roll down. If the miles or tenths are in between whole numbers, it is easy to misread them. That may not be too serious for tenths but can cost 100 points for whole miles and can cause an error in two legs. If you are ever under in one leg and over an almost equal amount in an adjacent leg and you don't think you made an error, you may have done it. It cost one of our experienced teams 200 points in September.

Consider the instruction. R onto Blue Street, then CHECKPOINT at "RIP "SPEED LIMIT", then R FOPP.

Most experienced Rallyists, underline or otherwise highlight that word along with PU on the Route Instructions. The important thing to remember is that it is only cancelled by the first action of the next numbered instruction. Another turn or CHECKPOINT that is part of the ONTO instruction does not cancel the onto.

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Let's consider the situation where you are traveling on a road by name and you come on a straight as possible situation. I've used the example of Decker Road running off Split Rock Road.
Important Points:
  • The only street sign at the intersection is a single Decker Road sign indicating that is the name of the Straight as Possible road.
  • Decker Road is straighter than continuing on the alternate.
  • There is no Split Rock Road sign.

Do you apply Priority 2 or Priority 3?

The correct direction of travel is to go S onto Decker because although you were onto Split Rock Rd., there is no Split Rock Road sign at the intersection. All you know is that Decker is straighter than the alternate road.
Priority 3 takes over when Priority 2 cannot be determined.