Neil Orta wrote:It is obvious that the main problem is the method in which the ISSA conveys its message and the obvious probability that many either missed the information being released or never went looking (PSST, read the main page….)
Agreed on your first point - the method of conveying info needs to change. The website need a full navigation menu. Tabs for "Rankings", "Results" and "News" would be a good start. Yes, there is info on the "main page" but it is now halfway down a very long web page. This business of using the forum to get things done has to end ASAP. I'd like to point out that in that info on the "main page", under the sub-heading "What are we going to do with the (membership dues) money?"...it says..."The ISSA will use the money to pay for things like...upgrading and revising slalomskateboarder.com."
Neil Orta wrote:Donald-Any idiot can criticize from the cheap seats but to be a non-paying member and come into the forums and blast others for any attempt at making the wrong situation right when you repeatedly decline shows the type of person you really can be. Quit hiding behind the keyboard, step up and accept the nomination to the BOD and SHOW US how good you can do.
As far as non-paying members making comments in the forum, I don't believe that membership is a condition of being able to comment here. I also don't believe that releasing an undocumented ranking, without a points table, and without race results showing who earned what where, at this late a date, is "making a wrong situation right". IMO it is making a wrong situation worse. Again, the info on the "main page" says "The ISSA will use the money to pay for things like...the world ranking system..." and "World rankings will be managed by the ISSA. Thanks to the excellent work of Hans "Corky" Koraeus and other volunteers, the 2010 rankings will be part of your membership and will be updated every month." and "The specific number of points awarded for each placement will be revised...". NONE of this was done. None. I'm not placing blame - just stating fact since reality seems to be getting revised as time goes by. I don't know Donald personally, and he's not alone in posting inflammatory comments in this forum - we've ALL done it - but I know his "gang of three" had a reasonably complete and well-written proposal of how to change things next year. Why hold on to a system that was well-intentioned but essentially not implemented as proposed, or in a timely fashion, and block someone with new ideas from giving it a shot. I understand the ISSA has rules and processes, but what is the point of enforcing them if we just finished a year where those rules led to the sport practically falling flat on its face? I suspect that petty personal grudges got in the way, along with an attempt by some who have been in power far too long to hold onto that power. Good things were done by most current and former ISSA members - and personally I appreciate it, but maybe it is time to step down. That's why we need term limits in government, right? Why is there so much harboring of resentments in this sport - it seems nobody can let go of the past, they just keep dragging it around. I've had almost nothing but fun the last four years...I don't see why people are so damn surly.
Neil Orta wrote:It seems pretty clear that maybe the Ranking should not have been released while incomplete BUT we cannot fault the BOD for organizers not doing their part and getting results in to be tabulated.
Why would organizers submit results to be tabulated when there was no tabulation going on during the season as promised? Again - "the 2010 rankings will be part of your membership and will be updated every month". You can see from the numbers of skaters showing up at the big events this year that everyone pretty much saw the writing on the wall - that if one wished to compete for rankings, there were going to be none, so why spend all the money to travel to events. The ISSA specifically promised (main page) "We will take results and get your event's points into the rankings for member racers." Texas submitted theirs presumably in April (but I am guessing on that one) - and nothing happened...no posted results or rankings, and none for any other race for that matter, submitted or not, until this current ranking got released last week.
Neil Orta wrote:We can however fault the BOD for:
Not making sure that the status' were awarded in a timely fashion.
Getting the Contest Calendar updated in a timely fashion.
Making sure the website is current.
Yup - that too. And again - IMO maybe the right thing to do is just say "we failed, sorry"...and graciously give someone else a shot at it. Nothing wrong with that, and I think everyone understands the good intentions were there, but it didn't work out. Nobody got PAID to do the work - and while I don't believe "I was a volunteer, gimme a break" is a valid excuse, the fact remains it isn't an easy job. We can move on and not hold grudges, but trying to defend the situation isn't helping that process.
Neil Orta wrote:In my opinion the BOD- whether paid OR volunteer- should not be responsible for chasing down any results, imagine if everyone here mouthing off and the rest of the members went after each of the organizers for not getting our results in on time? The organizer is the one who elected to have the event be sanctioned by the ISSA and we attended THEIR race believing we were to get ISSA points awarded as a result, when those points don't materialize and the ISSA says "we never received the results" we only have the organizer to look at. Either they show us a dated document to prove their case AND resend them or we should not support them by attending their races. I attended only FIVE races this year and all of them show up on the contest calendar in some way or another and of those only one shows up on the list of the ISSA having received results.
I take exception to the "mouthing off" characterization. I paid my membership, and was promised certain things. I spent a boatload of time/sweat/money on equipment, going to events, training, time off from work...and now I have no right to give my opinion?? The ISSA certainly shouldn't have to "chase down" race organizers, but they certainly could do a better job facilitating their submittal. A quick email or two after an event asking for results, how to format them and what the deadline for submission would be a good start. I had to "chase down" all the big USA results last year to help make the 2009 ranking a reality, and it wasn't a tenth as much work as formatting and submitting the results to Corky was - and I wasn't even on the BOD. I did it because I love the sport and I wanted to keep it vibrant and growing - something I feel should be a cornerstone of what it means to be an ISSA BOD member. Continually saying "I did my piece, it's everyone else who failed" is just coming off as excuses and sour grapes. When the racers - the life blood of the sport - say "we have a question" and the response they gat back is, in essence, "I already answered that question, get a life", instead of "sure, I'll help you out", it is no wonder people become disillusioned with racing.
Neil Orta wrote:The website shows Steve Collins is responsible for the North American sanctions- is this accurate? I see Peter Pletanek's name and that he posts calendar change history showing what he is doing but only Wes's name giving information on the North American side- Where is Steve? If he is no longer interested the BOD should have appointed someone else to keep this current. Why does the heading "North American Sanctions" show:
(4) World Cups
For a total of (8) races
When the calendar shows:
(3) World Cups
For a total of (14) races?
Of those on the calendar these races I attended have not had results sent in :
The Farm- Joe Iacovelli
Dixie Cup-Marion Karr (assumed by email address shown instead of name)
Cone Fest-Lenny Poage (Overall result shown on Main Page of Website…)
WOTT- Lenny Poage (Event was three days ago…)
Agreed - problem. This was confusing all year, and for much of the year the status' read "Major/Main/Prime etc." Should have been an exceedingly simple task to get this right. So it wasn't done. It's over. What would lead anyone to think that it will be done right next year?
Neil Orta wrote:Everyone was made aware of how the ISSA intended to operate and how the Rankings would be calculated as per the post on the Main page dated March 4th, 2010 yet there are still so many questions on the forum as to how instead of reading what the BOD spent time to write to explain- go back and read the main page - Obviously there are different points tables for each of the sanctions WC, Con, Nat and Reg and each PAID member of the ISSA who raced in a sanctioned race that has been completed (race was run and the organizer did their job by following through with results) received points according to their finish.
Partly true. "How the Rankings would be calculated" is not explained on the main page, and there are no points tables anywhere to be found on the site - at least not easily. Again, a "Rankings" tab in site navigation with all that info is needed. I know of no other sport where the points system is announced (or in this case not announced) AFTER the season is over - that is ludicrous, not to mention of no use to the racers during the season, and is rife for tampering "after the fact". I absolutely doubt there IS any tampering, but that possibility should never even be allowed to be part of the equation. If the ISSA cannot be pro-active about getting results (not so hard as I point out above) then they should not publish an incomplete ranking - its not fair to the RACERS who spent their money and time to attend the races. This is a separate issue from organizers not submitting the results - that is unfair to the racers who attended their events too. Is the ISSA really going to give out awards to people based on partial results just because they didn't receive them, and apparently didn't even pursue receiving them? There should have been a clear process for how to submit, who to submit to, what the deadline is - and if the results weren't being received, then the racers who raced should have been notified and I'm sure the necessary pressure would have been put on the organizers to get with the program. I know that if I was made aware of the situation I would have gone after some results - but it appeared to me the ranking was not going to happen at all - because it wasn't. Period.
Neil Orta wrote:The results are showing the four highest finishes of each of these racers so Glenn and Jeremy do not have to beat a Louis Ricard or Adam Schwippert just place as high or higher in an event the others were not racing in…..this will all be reconciled when in year two of this "new" system the Louis' and Adams of the world continue to show their excellent abilities while the rest of us mediocre racers bounce around below, hell if my correct points were shown to date I would right there under Richy, doesn't mean I could even come close to competing with him at his level, but looking at this same time next year I will be 150 or so places down right where I belong.
I am friends with both Glenn and Jeremy, and privately we have already joked about this situation among ourselves - but show me where they raced in an event and finished higher than Louis or Adam, that had a high enough status to make them acquire more points. As far as "reconciled in a year or two"...are you kidding me? We have to wait three years to sse that Louis or someone similar actually deserved an overall award in 2010? Neil, I know you well enough to know that you don't really think that is the way to run things. "If your correct points were shown" you'd be right there under Richy (above Joe Mac?) - I know you don't mean that either...unless points for regionals are equal to points for World Cups, which I sincerely hope is not the case. Been a stressfull week, huh bro?
Neil Orta wrote:I for one also find it offensive that someone who has been nominated AND accepted is publicly promising an alternative to the ISSA ranking on the ISSA site- If he were truly interested in seeing the ISSA work shouldn't he be working to assist in making what has been decided right? It is stated he is against what the ISSA has decided for the 2010 year and is putting in time to undermine the work these volunteers are doing, one of which he is looking to become.
We're gonna disagree here. I don't find it offensive at all. Corky's system may not be perfect, but it is the best we've got, and it will at least keep the current 4-year ranking intact. Remember, the info on the "main page" says "World rankings will be managed by the ISSA. Thanks to the excellent work of Hans "Corky" Koraeus and other volunteers, the 2010 rankings will be part of your membership and will be updated every month." I am going to vote for Jani - like I would have voted for Donald, precisely because "he is against what the ISSA has decided for the 2010 year" - CHANGE IS NEEDED. If that isn't obvious to all involved then I don't know what else to say. I don't feel he is undermining anyone. How can you call it "undermining" when what was stated and promised was not not given - the ISSA undermined themselves IMO.
Neil Orta wrote:Ramon as you stated "never criticize work in progress", you are absolutely right in your thinking of a multi-year ranking but go back and read the main page, so was the BOD- they stated back in March that a multi-year World Ranking may also be maintained- but seeing how this is a new system it all must begin here - this is the first year.
This is not a "work in progress". There was never any work. There was never any progress. Nothing happened all year. I will reiterate my comment in the post above - "Who cares who paid the $25 at this point? I for one don't want to be included in a ranking that doesn't include some of the best racers in the world, just because they had the foresight not to pay $25 for a ranking system that was never implemented during the season, and a "new" sanctioning system that was not even listed correctly on the contest calendar (at least for the US) until the middle of the summer. IMO this is NOT the way to "save the season" if that is the intent.
Neil Orta wrote:Again- Go back and read the main page it answers most questions being asked EXCEPT why is the BOD NOT MAKING SURE THINGS ARE KEPT UPDATED???? (By the way the main page message is ALSO the "announcement" on top of this section of the forum!)
The MAIN PAGE also says (points already noted above removed):
• Recognition: Beginning with the Spring 2010 issue, the ISSA will have two pages in every issue of Concrete Wave magazine. Thanks to Michael Brooke, we'll be showing off the hottest racers in 2010.
• Racer discounts: Manufacturers are signing up to give ISSA members discounts on product. Details later on this racer benefit.
• Media coverage as part of the Concrete Wave ISSA coverage.
• Timing system: ISSA race organizers can use an ISSA timing system (dual-lane wired TrackMate 3) and timing spreadsheets.
• Mailing list: Market your race to the ISSA membership
• ISSA Rep assistance at race. We aim to have an ISSA board member or rep at every Main and Major ISSA race to help with logistics.
• Organizer assistance: From permits to road closure plans, to race-running tips, we're here for the race organizer. Let us help.
• Sponsor dollars: As part of an international package of races, sponsor dollars that flow into the ISSA will be used to help run your events.
• Marketing assistance: This includes website development, graphic design, T-shirt design and advertising. We have resources that can help race organizers.
• Points management: We will take results and get your event's points into the rankings for member racers.
In recent years the ISSA was focused on providing structure: rules, rankings and sanctions. A necessary foundation for sure, but now we want to focus on benefits – benefits for the racer and the race organizer. The ISSA has gone as far as it can go as just a loosely organized website/social network with a rule book and endless discussions. It's time for the ISSA to do something more.
Some, but not much of that ever happened. Just a fact. For me, it doesn't answer many questions - it makes MORE questions.
I was told repeatedly by a board member last Jan./Feb. that 2010 would be the only year where racers could join the ISSA "after the fact" and as late as the last race in the year - a point I completely disagree with as it is unfair to paying racers - and now I'm being told the same situation will exist again next year. Quote - "In 2011 we will have a full membership accustomed to paying annual dues and we can set earlier and specific deadlines." Oh well. I also want to point out that early in 2010 I volunteered to be the "North American Rankings Admin", but as the season progressed and I saw there was no ranking system, I made it clear to a current BOD member on 6/12/2010 that I would resign that position, because nobody from the BOD ever contact me in over 6 months about the rankings, I was not interested in working within an undefined system at that late a date, or possibly spending 80 hours at the end of the year again gathering results and formatting rankings like I did last year. I was told at that time that the rankings database was "almost done".
Last year an email was sent out by the ISSA early in December saying "Congratulations go out to Donald Campbell. His spirited and engaging campaign the past three weeks energized and invigorated everyone associated with the International Slalom Skateboard Association." So why is he being hung out to dry this year for doing basically the same thing?
I provided a story and photos to the ISSA for one of our NESRA races back in May (within 4 days after our event), purportedly for inclusion in Concrete Wave, but I don't think anything ever happened with it. So before anyone else hangs me out to dry for speaking my mind, know this - I tried to help with what was outlined as trying to be accomplished - offering help with rankings if they indeed would be maintained all year, running a three race outlaw series in New England, and submitting a story and photos on one of our events. As time went by and I saw that nothing was happening, I gave up. Even one of my own NESRA series race organizers took 5 weeks to get me results and a race story. It was pretty depressing. I decide to just skate and have fun, ignore the points and pass on putting any more of my energy into races nobody else seemed to care about. I've been roundly criticized for caring too much about skateboard racing the last four years, but I didn't let it deter me or dampen my enthusiasm until this year, and for that I apologize. I can do better, but I think we all need to consider moving on and not trying to "save" something this year that never existed in the first place. Let's use Corky's rankings. Let's dispense with the failed idea of who paid $25 and who didn't - there wasn't much of the promised value delivered for the money, and as I said, I don't care to be included in a ranking that excludes many of the best racers in the world.
Thanks to all this year's BOD for making a go of it, and having a good plan to start out - maybe we can make it work next year.
And to anyone who managed to read all this...congratulations, you've passed the audition.