Who is open, who is pro?

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Chris Eggers
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Post by Chris Eggers » Fri Jan 10, 2003 10:57 pm

I just thought of a topic we should really discuss seriously and I think this is really important.

Who is open and who is pro and who is qualified to determine this if there is some sort of controversy?

I am refering to the FCR categorization here as we only had categories seperated by age in Europe up to now. During the vert series we had here in the 80´s and 90´s we had an A and a B group where you could label yourself ability wise which worked quite good most of the time. For a short time we had a Pro and Am class where the pros were definitely labeled pro when they had a model or a sponsor contract. I don´t think this is common in slalom to this date.
I really think this might become a major issue in the future as there is no clear regulation for that.
I for my part did not know about anything when I registered for the Morro Bay race, so I entered open as it was my first race ever on American ground and in the FCR Series.

Maybe Andy or Jack are the ones who can give clear answers, but I like to hear opinions on this from a lot of racers.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Chris Eggers on 2003-01-10 16:58 ]</font>

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Post by Andy Bittner » Fri Jan 10, 2003 11:35 pm

I have a personal opinion, but there's never been any "official" discussion of the subject by anyone at the USSSF, so this opinion is mine and mine alone.

The most commonly regarded difference between pro and amateur is the money, and a person should have the latitude to choose to accept or even pursue money (prize or other professional compensation), and not be forced into it because of their skill level. Amateur does not mean less-skilled!

Throughout the majority of the 20th Century, the Olympic Games were (at least in theory) purely amateur, and yet world records were routinely set at Olympic Games. So, obviously, these amateurs weren't less skilled athletes.

Some people in the slalom community believe that no slalom skateboarder will make any kind of sustaining income from slalom skateboarding, and if that's what you believe, the whole notion of being a "professional" is just a lark and an ego trip anyway.

However, if you believe there's any chance we could ever grow the sport to the point of actually having REAL professionals, then you must realize that the choice to be one or not is no lark and involves tax situations, professional commitments to the sport and operating yourself like a business.

My personal opinion is that, if the very best slalom skateboarder in the world wants to compete as an amateur, there's nobody who should be able to make him do otherwise.

As for FCR's use of the term "Open" to label the amateur class, I find it to be a real confusing use of the word. In most of the sports in which I've been involved that use the term "Open", it has always meant basically the same thing, and that is a class or tournament where competitors compete together without regard to their pro or amateur status. The existence of such a class, where pros and amateurs compete together is, of course, entirely appropriate in a world where the choice to "pursue the money" as a professional is made above and beyond considerations of skill level. Every year, great amateur golfers compete in the U.S. Open, and when it was someone like Tiger Woods as an amateur, he'd beat siginificant numbers of the world's professionals. By the time Tiger one his first U.S. Amateur, he could probably beat most of the best golfers in the world on a regular basis, and yet he competed as an amateur for at least two more years and wining two more U.S. Amateurs. In Open events, there may be a cash purse available, but it is only disbursed to pre-declared professionals in the order of their finish.

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Post by Chris Eggers » Fri Jan 10, 2003 11:44 pm

Thanks Andy very interesting, is the FCR and USSF thinking about going on with last seasons classes?

Then another question comes to my mind: is a categorization by age better? And what should be the stages 16 and younger and 16 and up or something else?

.... hm , I always have to edit....have to get better at my english...



<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Chris Eggers on 2003-01-10 17:57 ]</font>

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Post by Adam Trahan » Fri Jan 10, 2003 11:54 pm

Thanks for asking this question, I too have wondered a little about this.

Chris, when you "edit" you can DELETE the "...message edited" entry so you do not have multiple stamps, that is, if you feel like it. I think the most I have seen is about three on a post. Eventually, people will figure it out.

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Post by Andy Bittner » Fri Jan 10, 2003 11:58 pm

Chris, I have no knowledge of FCR's intentions for the coming year. FCR is run by a partnership, and Jack Smith, USSSF President, is just one voice in that partnership. At this time, FCR has not chosen to have their 2003 Series sanctioned by the USSSF, and are very difficult to reach to discuss the matter.

As for your question about age classifications, my personal opinion is that, once enough numbers are involved, this is the only way to go for the amateur level competitors.

Actually... it just occurred to me that there could be an amateur "open" class, where top-level amateur riders from all age groups could compete against each other. In that regard, FCR's use of the term 'open' suddenly makes sense, if that's what they intended. However, I'd still prefer they keep the word 'amateur' in the label, to avoid confusion with the pro/am "open" concept.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Andy Bittner on 2003-01-10 18:00 ]</font>

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Post by Chris Eggers » Sat Jan 11, 2003 12:00 am

Thanks Adam.

So, whats your opinion on this, I am sitting here with a glass of red wine and snow outside at 12 p.m. and think of warm slalomweather, so I want to read about it.

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Post by Chris Eggers » Sat Jan 11, 2003 12:03 am

Andy wrote: Actually... it just occurred to me that there could be an amateur "open" class, where top-level amateur riders from all age groups could compete against each other. In that regard, FCR's use of the term suddenly makes sense


- yes, but FCR had both, Open and Juniors.....so what...

difficult, isn´t it?



<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Chris Eggers on 2003-01-10 18:09 ]</font>

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Post by Andy Bittner » Sat Jan 11, 2003 12:04 am

okay... I tried to see a new sense in the system, but now I'm back to finding it confusing.

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Post by Chris Eggers » Sat Jan 11, 2003 12:08 am

What about this:

Having EVERYONE have two qualifying runs, best one counts. The first 32 are group A the next 32 are group B (if there are enough) and then group A goes head to head and groub B goes head to head and boom we have an A and a B group winner seperated by ability (fastness)

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Post by Wesley Tucker » Sat Jan 11, 2003 12:10 am

My only issue with all this is whether or not you can go back and forth. I said this last spring and I'll repeat it here: once you take money, no matter the denomination, you're a PRO. Sure, you might kick yourself later because you find yourself in contests later in life where the competition is blowing your doors off, but that's life in the big city.

If nothing else, maybe there should be a simple rule that says once you go pro, you stay pro UNLESS you are absent from ONE FULL YEAR OF COMPETITION. This would "revitalize" your Open status and you can once again race for pride as opposed to cash.

I know: who wants to miss a whole year of racing? Then again, though, it might make racers think long and hard before taking the plunge thinking they can pick up some easy money in the pro ranks.

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Post by Brian Morris » Sat Jan 11, 2003 12:41 am

On 2003-01-10 17:44, Chris Eggers wrote:
Then another question comes to my mind: is a categorization by age better? And what should be the stages 16 and younger and 16 and up or something else?
I think with Slalom sprouting back up in the US everybody is at different skating abilities. I have skated with somebody who is 40, and just started slalom skating in the past few months, but his age would put him into a "Master" or "Grand Master" catagory. Also there are many younger skaters who can skate rings around many older skaters, and really belong competing in a Masters Catagory but because of their age get put into a childrens group. A suggestion for the USSSF if i may, can there be a ranking system where depending on a skaters place from 1st to last earns a certain amount of points to allow a skater to compete in certain groups. Example, if Brian Morris places 5th at a USSSF race, he earns 10 points. Those 10 points are averaged with the rest of his points earned to allow him to race in a amature course, but if Brian Morris continutes to earn points and place higher, which will allow him to race in a higher Class. Not only will this allow racers to compete against people of their skill level, it will be a way to nationally rank skaters who compete.
Anybody get it??

"Brain"

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Post by Andy Bittner » Sat Jan 11, 2003 12:53 am

All good suggestions, guys. We're in no position to finalize them now though. I agree with Wesley completely on making the choice to go pro something more than an inconsequential whim.

Brian, suggestions like yours are the kind of things that the membership will hash out through committees and the Board of Directors. My own opinion is that we don't have the population to really separate things out that far yet, unless you want to be competing in national classes of ten guys or less. Once we do have the numbers, the other thing to consider about a program like the one you're suggesting is that the more complicated a program is designed, the more time, effort and money it'll take to maintain.

Nonetheless, the USSSF does not exist to do my personal bidding, hold your suggestions, build support for your ideas and bring them to the fore in their appropriate times and then the majority rules.

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Post by Wesley Tucker » Sat Jan 11, 2003 1:50 am

One other thing: there's a BIG difference between RUNNING for the money and WINNING money.

If a skater decides to try and qualify as a pro, that doesn't necessarily automatically make him a pro. It's the CASH that matters. So someone (like ME) makes the decision to attempt to qualify as a pro doesn't make me a pro. Obviously, I failed to qualify at Avila Beach against Atilla, therefore it's impossible to consider me a a pro.

By the same token, someone who does qualify for example in a round of 32 but not making it past the first round and out of the money still would not make you a pro. It means you'd really like to be a pro and are trying desperately to be a pro, but it just ain't necessarily so.

The other issue to address is SPONSORED PRO and OPEN riders. Sure, things are pretty rinky dink around our sport right now, but what about the future? What if, say, a manufacturer starts paying an East Coast racer $2,000 a weekend so he can come over to California and race in the OPEN division? Does that make the racer a pro?

Personally, I think it does. It's the MONEY that matters. As ridiculous as it sounds, there is a difference between giving someone CASH or making their plane and hotel reservations and telling them to be at the airport at a certain time. Covering all expense and ONLY expenses is different than handing an athlete a check and saying, "see you at the races." As we all know, that leads to athletes purposefully doing everything as efficiently as posible (meaning "cheap") in order to pocket the difference. Perfectly legal, you understand, but also a PROFESSIONAL attitude.

So, in answer to the question, who's pro and who's open? The pros take money. The open guys don't. Pretty simple.

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Post by Hans Koraeus » Sat Jan 11, 2003 5:43 am

Brian,

I was administrating the ISSA ranking a couple of years until the european slalom scene went dead end of 1995. That ranking was meant as a world ranking. It would be great to start up that work again. But there are some things we have to clarify before that. That's why I'm pushing for a place in this forum to chat about rules and definitions and such. The disciplines have to be sorted out for example if we want to have rankings on that level, wich I think we want. If ranking is wanted in different groups like amateur, pro, female, junior groups that have to be sorted out as well.

I have the current rules we used in ISSA 1995 but I would like to update them to the current world slalom scene we have today.

With a functioning world ranking you can use it in many ways in a competition. I know in the later competitions in europe (<=95) we used the ranking as startnumbers. This is great for the audience. We also used them as startorder for qualification runs. The highest numbers first and then things just got hotter and hotter. Also good for the audience.

Maybe I should start a thread in the ISSA forum about this. I'll see if I can't put together a document about the current "old" ranking rules and the ideas behind the ranking.

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Post by Glenn S » Sat Jan 11, 2003 6:10 am

Hans,
I think that is a great Idea especially for the definitions of disciplines. There is nothing more confusing than everyone not being on the same consensus concerning what the disciplines are. Maybe just start your own topic or have Adam start a separate folder for it. But maybe the way it should work is that after all the input and opinions are laid out on the table we could use one of those voting websites. I think Gary Fluitt used one a few days back on ncdsa.com asking about which FCR course were best. But that way we could have everyone participate across the globe. And maybe we'd all have something to go by. I don't think that at first we should make it ISSA specific or USSSA specific either. Just the definitions as agreed upon by everyone.
Glenn


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Glenn on 2003-01-11 13:06 ]</font>

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Post by Hans Koraeus » Sat Jan 11, 2003 6:43 am

Chris,

The ability level is a problem when doing competitions. I know it beacuse when I started to enter some slalom competitions with Jani in the 90's I had to compete with him and all these other extreamly good riders as there where not enough beginners to have us separated. That was really depressing. And that is certainly not a good way to try and encourage new slalom skaters.

Since I have been in this situation I have thought a lot about how to make competitions just as fun for all levels of skaters entering it. Unless you need a different cours for newbies I have this idea...

1. Qualifiction (best of 2 runs)
Or with a functioning world ranking you could save a lot of time and skip the qualification all together and use the current ranking standing as is.

2. With the order decided you start the "Corky bracket system". What I don't like with the current bracket system is the 1 rank against 32 rank type races. This is no fun. Not for either of the skaters nor the audience.

Instead I imagine a bracket system where you divide the skaters into groups of 8. 1-8, 9-16, 17-24 a.s.o. This way you can have as many skaters as you like and will not be so attached to the 16, 32, 64 limit thinking. Then first out is the last 8 against the next last 8. The 8 winners take on the next group of 8. This until you come down to the last group 1-8 where the normal bracket system takes over and reduces them as normal.

This way everyone will have some fun/challenging racing since you will meet persons with simular ability.

This way there is also no need for an A and B (or C) groups.

What about that for a change!

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Post by Eric Groff » Sat Jan 11, 2003 6:51 am

Because of time restraints its hard to run two different classes of racers in one day, I think in the future we might not see Pro and Open/Am races together.

To me its about the ability of the skater, but I wouldnt limit soembodys ability to the open/am div, If somebody wants to compete in the Pro ranks, I think it will only make him a better skater, heck look at Dylan.

To me its not really important, If there is only pro races in my area and I'm by no means pro in ability, I'm gonna race pro because I want to race, and same goes the other way, If I'm Pro but there is only Am/Open races that I'm able to attend I'm gonna race em. John Gilmour is a perfect example, There is no real Pro Series or races on the East coast, should he not be allowed to race because he's pro?

I skated Pro Slalom this past year and entered a Amatuer Street contest?

It would be nice to have some definition, but I dont want to see it limit somebodys chance of racing.

Arab

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Post by Michael Dong » Sat Jan 11, 2003 6:27 pm

This open and pro thing is pretty bizzare. As a first time slalomer this year I think I come with a relatively unbiased viewpoint. Just some of my thoughts:

* Why in the world would the prize determine the division you race in? I've heard the "racing for prizes" v.s. "racing for cash" suggestion before and it doesn't make sense. What possible reason is there for being concerned which prize you get? The days of being worried about getting prize money because you can't enter Olympic competition are long gone. If you get cash for a prize, go out and buy yourself something you want. What a ridiculous way to determine a racing division

* Divisions should be for the purpose of grouping racers of similar ability so they can duke it out and have close, hard fought races. Close competition is the essence of racing - this should be the goal.

* Call the highest division whatever you want - Pros, Gods, Elite, Expert, etc... but these should be the fastest racers, period. Letting qualifying times determine the division would take care of this. It should be an honor to qualify up in the highest division. Sandbaggers in qualifying would be flipped so much shit by their peers that there would be little incentive to do so.

* With the exception of juniors and ladies divisions, what reason is there for not qualifying everyone together? Top 32 end up in one group, bottom 32 in the other.

* The term pro seems to be used more as a descriptive term reflecting ability than anything else. Pro means you are one of the fast ones, not that you are making a living off of this.

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Post by Brady Mitchell » Sun Jan 12, 2003 1:36 am

Maybe the word pro should be eliminated altogether. I like the idea of skaters of like skills competing against each other. Especially for slowbies like me and newbies. Give `em all a chance to race.

I remember Jack Smith posting somewhere he preferred competitions of 16? If prizes (or money) were bigger for the fastest 16 qualifiers, that should eliminate sandbagging. And then classes of additional 16 racers can be held to whatever capacity the organizer can hold. If it`s only a single (Top Guns Only) 16 or 3 or 4 sets of 16, then so be it.

Just by saying you are paid by a sponsor makes you a pro cuts back on growth in the amatuer ranks. What if a board manu wants to sponsor a skater to generate interest in the skaters particular area, would that make them a pro.


In the end, we`d all know who the Pros are so it doesn`t necessary need be in the title.

Now there is the monkey wrench side to this when there is a points standings for a series. I have no ideas how to work with this...

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Brady Mitchell on 2003-01-11 19:39 ]</font>

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Post by Jack Smith » Sun Jan 12, 2003 7:53 am

Pro is when you take the dough.

A sponsored skater is not necessarily a pro. If you get free equipment, travel and meal money, you can still be an AM.

When you are paid for board model sales, paid a salary to endorse gear or accept prize money your a pro.

You can call yourself a Pro and enter pro events, but until you win some cash or are paid as stated above, you're just fooling yourself. But it sure does sound cool to tell the folks at your real job that you race skateboards professionally. Good night!

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Post by Eric Groff » Sun Jan 12, 2003 9:57 am

The 2 largest competitive Skateboard organizations in the world(California Amatuer Skateboard League/United Skateboard Federation and World Cup Skateboarding) have rules that define what a pro or am is, I couldnt find WCS rules on their website and I dont have any other info from them.
CASL/USF states:
I..Amatuer Atheletes shall not recieve any financial rewards or material benefits, except as permited in th following statements:
A. Amatuer athletes may accept assistance in preperation for competition, such as, foood&lodging, cost of transportation, pocket money to cover incedental expenses, insurance coverage, personel skateboard & related equipment, contest entry fees and any other assocciation fees required.
B. Amatuers may except trophies awarded for winning, placement or other merit achievments.
C. Amatuers may except prizes in competitions within the limits of the following:
1. Maximum value no greater then the retail value price of a trophy commensrable to his placement.
2. Maximum value no greater then the minimum prize money awarded to a proffesional skateboard athlete, if in a Pro/Am contest.
3. Maximum value of $500.00 in any case.

II. amatuer skateboard athletes shall not:
A. Falsify the truth for purpose of participating in amatuer skateboard competition.
B. Accept compensation for demonstrating their ability or the use of their name as the primary purpose of a skateboard advertisement profile, or article in any type of media.
C. Market or advertise a signature model while claiming amatuer status.

III. Skateboard athletes who enter and participate in any phase of professional competition, forfeit amatuer rating. The winning of money is not a requirement to invoking this clause.

What and how FCR governs terms like Pro or Am/Open is upto them because at this point there is no sanctioning body that overseas rules and regulations of slalom skateboarding.

Should the USSSF come up with some type of rules and regulations it is still up to FCR and or any other promoter/organizer to adopt these rules, until then we all play by he who lays the golden egg.

Arab

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Post by Brady Mitchell » Sun Jan 12, 2003 1:42 pm

It seems as though Arab and Jack`s posts say pretty much the same thing with the exception of Arab`s quote where an AM winning dollar amount shall be no greater than the lowest awarded PRO amout or no greater the $500.

Now if there is an event that doesn`t qualify PROs or OPENs, and there is a cash prize, of lets say $500 or less for arguements sake, is that prize winner now qualfied as PRO? Specifically if it`s not an event either organized by FCR or sanctioned by a governing body such as USSSF...

By sticking with Jack`s post as letter of law for FCR, then said winner would have to race as PRO...

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Post by Brian Morris » Sun Jan 12, 2003 4:20 pm

I very much believe in seperating racers into catagories, to even out the racing field, and allow all racers to compete against others at their ability level. But i also believe in racers "graduating" through divisions until they reach pro.

Say I entered the Morro Bay FCR race as an AM in the Open catagory. I place in the top 5 or 3. Would I be able to compete in the Pro catagory as well?

Brian

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Post by Chris Eggers » Sun Jan 12, 2003 4:55 pm

I remember when I beat Floyd Reid in the Open quali at Avila he entered the Pro Quali afterwards....

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Post by Henry Hester » Sun Jan 12, 2003 8:18 pm

Remember how we split up the classes at the first La Costa race? Timed runs. Instead of the current Pro/Open structure, we presented A Pro and B Pro. That way, everybody got to call himself or herself Pro and we were able to have two man-on-man money events based on how the skaters were doing that day.

Sandbagging? Well, at the first event, I don’t think anyone figured it out. In the future… that could be a problem. That’s why I am such a proponent of events like Pro/Am combo teaming and handicapping. Mixing the Pros and Ams together. I’ll take Paul Price. Thank you.

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Post by John Gilmour » Mon Jan 13, 2003 5:30 am

If what I am hearing is that people want to deter sandbagging- and its distorting effects on the racing brackets. And that people want racers to be ordered appropriately for their respective times...

How about this unusual scenario?

Everyone qualifies 2 runs. Fastest run is your time.

Now you want to get to a bracket of 8 racers to run in standard format for the finals.

I'll assume that times for the final 8 are pretty closely matched. (one thing that has always bothered me about bracketing is that a racer can win- because his opponent DQ's or runs unusually slow...instead of winning under his own steam - or low time)

So take the two fastest qualifiers times.

Those two racers are numbers "1" and "2" in the final bracket of 8.

Now take the next racers times (racers 3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10)

Those racers race each other in this bracketing format.

3 vs 5
7 vs 9
4 vs 6
8 vs 10

You take the combined times of two runs. Fastest 4 combined times make up the next slots in the final bracket of 8.

so now slots 1,2,3,4,5,6 are filled.


2 slots left.

Now according to how many racers are left split the remaining racers into two groups if there are more than 16. If fewer than 16 run them in a single bracket.

If there are 24 you could do a top bracket of 8 and another lower bracket of 16.

If there were 32 racers you would do two brackets of 16.

if there were 48 racers left over you would do a top bracket of 16 and a lower bracket of 32

If there were 64 racers left over you (because of time constraints) would have all the racers do two more runs and the top 8 would run off as racers 3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 did as above with the top 2 fastest combined times taking slots 7 and 8 in the final bracket of 8.

This does several things.

It frees up the fastest 2 racers for a while to do interviews and provide commentary and do clinics for newbies sign autographs etc.

Then shortly after the next 4 racers are available for interviews. Racers 3,4,5,6,

The last two racers in the final bracket of 8
will try to make it back in. And BTW the 4racers that did not make it in the first run off of qualifiers ( 4 racers from the group of numbers 3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10) get tossed back in the pool to race again.

This does several things.

It encourages racers to put in fast qualifiers to get the coveted top 2 spots.

It reduces the chances for upsets.

If you did not post a fast qualifier the first time you'll have another chance to come back.

It allows head to head racing for lower qualifers (hence more race experience).

Sandbaggers are penalized by having to take more runs.

I know this is not perfect- but I think it would work well with some modifications.

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Post by George Gould » Mon Jan 13, 2003 4:09 pm

I liked the first La Costa race. it was cool to see as guys watched their times. to me Avila and Morro worked out with the pre quals. there weren't so many after that and Morro was pretty smooth.

some racers on Fri (Avila) pre quals paid an extra 50 bucks to try to run with the pros if they didn't make the open class.

while all this is good, I also liked WLAC were every body does three runs. it is an everybody race.

i think in another year things will be different. last year Cory raced boys. Siale race open. one age year separated them. Siale is still under 18. he is racing guys like Price (and doing pretty damn good).

I do like the rule that states, choose your class and stay there for the season unless you want to go up. If you claim pro you shouldn't change in mid season.

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Post by Mike Maysey » Mon Jan 13, 2003 8:58 pm

I like your idea John. Sounds like everyone would get a fair shake as well as get to race someone different than usual. I don't know if this only happened to me or if it happened to everyone, but I almost always got the same people in the lower rounds leading to the finals. Your system looks as though it would create some alternate pairings for the later rounds.

Perhaps the race format could be used at a test event to see how it works. There has to be alternate ways to bracket that are more effective.

I too liked the format at the first La Costa race that H put on. A-Pro and B-Pro based on your qualifier.

Again, I suggest the race organizers try some different ways to mix things up...maybe a more efficient system can be adopted?

I also suggest that any Open Racers that are in the Top 10 should move up to the Pro Class if the current system stays in place.

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Post by Wesley Tucker » Mon Jan 13, 2003 9:07 pm

Mike,

Would you also suggest the BOTTOM TEN in the Pro Ranks move to the Open Class?

Also, I don't want to get too pedantic, but I have to say I don't like the idea that going from Pro to Open is moving "Up" or "Down." Being an "Open" racer should not and does not qualify as being "lower" or "less." It just means you don't race for money.

Sorry. I had to have that little tirade before things get too carried away around here.

P.S. Did y'all like "Pedantic?" I thought that was a great word in this context. Sometimes I amaze myself!

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Post by Matthew Wilson » Mon Jan 13, 2003 9:14 pm

Not that anyone should listen to a nobody like me, but maybe this year's Gathering would be a place to try out new methods for bracketing riders. It seems that such an event is geared toward exploration.

It isn't my event, and I hope that the above suggestion does not get interpreted as intrusive.
The thought simply came to mind and I wrote it.
slalom is good

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Post by Hans Koraeus » Tue Jan 14, 2003 1:48 am

John, your idea is probably ok but I can't say so since I couldn't fully follow your turns. I'll just requote my previous idea in this thread and give you an even better one following it... "the hang man".
1. Qualifiction (best of 2 runs)
Or with a functioning world ranking you could save a lot of time and skip the qualification all together and use the current ranking standing as is.

2. With the order decided you start the "Corky bracket system". What I don't like with the current bracket system is the 1 rank against 32 rank type races. This is no fun. Not for either of the skaters nor the audience.

Instead I imagine a bracket system where you divide the skaters into groups of 8. 1-8, 9-16, 17-24 a.s.o. This way you can have as many skaters as you like and will not be so attached to the 16, 32, 64 limit thinking. Then first out is the last 8 against the next last 8. The 8 winners take on the next group of 8. This until you come down to the last group 1-8 where the normal bracket system takes over and reduces them as normal.

THE HANG MAN (the even better one)

The main idea: Get a fun and challenging race for every skater entering whatever ability or skill they may have.

The main rule: If your are in the last group 2 times in a row you're out.

Here's how it goes...
1.
Everybody runs one! first run to get the "Race order". A disqualify run puts you last in that order.

2.
The last x skaters are taken out from the "Race order". They will now have a second chance to get back into the "Race order" again. This is done by beating the last result/time in the "Race order". Those who fail are out. Those who manage will get into the "Race order" again according to the new time they got.

3.
Point 2 is redone until you have only 4 racers left. "x" above can vary depending on how many racers there are in the race.

There are two interesting aspects of this that I want to point out explicitly:
A.
Imagine having 50 racers and one of the better ones makes a terrible start and finish 45 after the first run. When the last 8 racers (43-50) tries to get back into the game again our very good skater gets on a super run, the 5:th best of today. He is suddenly on fifth place and will not have to skate for little while. Good for him.
B: Imagine having 50 racers. All last 8 racers (43-50) manages to beat the 42:nd time and they all stay in the race. Now the last 8 skaters (43-50) in the new "Race order" skate again. They may again all beat the 42:nd time and they all stay in the race. This can go on for a while but sooner or later racers will drop off. We all have our limit. But the fight is there and you fight yourself and people with simular ability.

4.
The Semifinal. When only 4 racers are left in the "Race order" we do the semifinal. All 4 have 2 runs. The best 2 times in the "Race order" goes to the final.

5.
The final. The 2 finalists get 2 more runs. The best result in the "Race order" after that is the winner.


The fun thing with this is...
- There's no "safe runs" here. It's always in your own interest to give your max.
- It's just as fun if you are 8 or 100 people. For 100 you start with "last groups" of 8 or 10. For 8 you may want the "last groups" to be only 2.
- There's always a good fight against your "skill mates" but even more interesting, a fight against yourself to try and push your own limit.

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Post by Henry Hester » Tue Jan 14, 2003 5:53 am

Now that sounds like a fun event. Mixed up, a little confusing but plenty of runs. I think we put too much weight on qualifying. Dual action is fun but you're right. Seed 1 vs. seed 32 is just boring. Maysey, how many times did I race Chicken. I know how you feel.

Don't forget, someday we may be able to stager the start gates by the time difference between the two skaters. My staggered run with Dylan at SF was one of my favorite moments last year and HE WON! What about running four TS lanes. All of this is very possible.

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Post by Jack Smith » Tue Jan 14, 2003 7:46 am

I am also not a big fan of a 32 racer bracket. I think 16 would be better.
Henry, not to rain on you parade, but would racing Chicken be fun?

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Post by Henry Hester » Mon Jan 20, 2003 6:21 am

Is racing Chicken fun? My theroy on racing him one on one is to already have your bag packed up first. That way, when he takes you out, your gear is already cleaned up, you can kick back and enjoy the rest of the day as a spectator.

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Post by Dan Hughes » Wed Jan 29, 2003 3:26 pm

The Pro or Open question. I like the idea that Henry used at La Costa.
I was curious what the seeding would look like if the Worlds Race was seeded using that system with the best times for each racer. So I put that together.
http://www.toysrbob.com/worldsbesttimeseeding.html

Use a 8 based bracket, or a 64 based bracket, don't matter to me. Just don't use a point system to seed people, which is based on how much money a racer has (abilty to travel) or location of racers (ie a bias toward Cali.), because neither of those has a lick to do with racing. Seeding should always be done with race day qualifications, in my opinion.

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Post by Chris Eggers » Wed Jan 29, 2003 4:15 pm

Dan that is cool!
Thank you!

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Post by Eric Groff » Wed Jan 29, 2003 7:20 pm

Dan-That is an interesting chart, but to be more accurate I would use only the fastest times from the first round of racing, this would more accurately resemble a qualifying round which is done first thing, some of the times you have are from later rounds after weather has changed and after the riders had more time on the hill.

I agree that points should not be used for seeding, regardless the California guys most likely are going to be the top qualifiers/finishers, this is just fact, not bias.

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Post by Dan Hughes » Wed Jan 29, 2003 8:49 pm

You are right, I think I'll rearrange that chart. Just for fun. I was using the fastest time of the day, to try and be fair to those who had multiple runs. But, I agree, it's probably more accurate to use just the first round times. Thanks.

I also agree with you about the Californian strength in slalom. Not a problem. I just think that it's racing, and qualifying times should decide seeding period. As I'm sure you know what happened is a few mismatches occurred, that wouldn't have occurred using qualifying times. Such that two faster guys get matched up in the first round, and one of them is eliminated. Which I think is unfortunate.

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Post by Michael Dong » Thu Jan 30, 2003 4:10 am

First round stuff is always kind of skewed since sometimes you are racing a guy who is over a second slower so the faster guy just does a coasting run, not risking a dq and saving strength for the later rounds. Max speed is reserved for qualifying and an opponent who is as fast or faster than you.

The best way to size everyone up is to have actual qualifying at the race. What a novel idea :smile:. At most of the FCR races the fastest of the Open guys rarely ever broke into the top half of the Pro times or even past the 30th fastest Pro.

I do like the idea of a mass qualifying with the top 32 in one group and the bottom 32 in another.

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Post by Terry Kirby » Thu Jan 30, 2003 4:35 am

I agree with Michael. Qualify everyone then split the group. The reason I want to race pro next year is not because I think I can compete but because I think it will force me to be faster.

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Post by Eric Groff » Thu Jan 30, 2003 4:40 am

M.Dong-I dont really see from the results and times anybody laying up or taking a coasting run at Avila, for instance look at Ransoms times from 1st round to the final, of the 10 runs he took his 3rd and 4th fastest times were in the 1st round. he had a 1.2 second advantage over Jani and came back and ran faster then the first run.

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Post by Dan Hughes » Thu Jan 30, 2003 5:43 am

I changed the chart to use just the first round times.
http://www.toysrbob.com/worldsbesttimeseeding.html

I know from personal experience, if I'm racing against someone whose slower, I don't "Go all out", because I know I'll need my energy later. Now Charlie may be an exceptional case. Maybe he doesn't need to conserve his energy. But, myself, if I raced like that, I'd probably blow out the course or worse, fall or something, just because I was going for all I was worth.
Being new to racing, here's another idea, when you are relaxed, ie racing someone whose slower, you actually go faster. I dunno. Just an idea.
dan

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Post by Eric Groff » Thu Jan 30, 2003 6:07 am

The thing about splitting the groups is, If you are keeping [points for Pro and Am, what happens when somebody that is Pro like Atilla doesnt even qualify with the pros?
So now he has to race in the Ams, how do you award him points for the series?

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Post by Henry Hester » Thu Jan 30, 2003 7:33 am

Really good question. BTW, I knew Atilla was that slow all along. Yeah right.

I agree with TK, run one big fat qualifying round and then split the boys and girls into two groups of 32 or 16 (if the field is light). Just like LC1. A-Pro Points could be twice B-Pro points. Qualify for the B group and earn 1/2 points? Pay money to BOTH classes!!! Sounds fair to me.

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Post by Dan Hughes » Thu Jan 30, 2003 7:56 am

If this were the system (all qualify, two groups made), then would that discourage those who purposely go slower in qualifying to garner an easier seed?
It seems like it might. Simply because there's more variables, and less control given to the individual racer. A guy purposely going slower could end up in the 2nd group, and gain only half the points for a win and no money? Quite a risk, I would think.

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Post by Ricky Byrd » Thu Jan 30, 2003 4:05 pm

Simply put, an "A" racer could hold back in the Quals to assure a place in the "B" group, then turn it on during elim rounds to be in the money of the "B" group. That could take the middle to bottom of the "A" group out of the "A" group and put them in the top of the "B" group. Could shake things up if several secretly decided to do this. The "B" group would be the most exciting racing of the day. :smile:

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Post by William Tway » Thu Jan 30, 2003 7:52 pm

Kinda like Hutson and Skoldberg did at LC '01.

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Post by Andy Bittner » Thu Jan 30, 2003 8:00 pm

Fun? Yeah. Interesting? Yeah. Exciting to watch? Yeah. Good Sport? Nope. Good Sportsmanship? Nope. Outcome fixing? Yup. The kind of thinking that has people concerned about Pete Rose being in the Baseball Hall of Fame (I ain't sayin' he did it, I'm just saying that it's the concern of this kind of thinking that would make it bad if he did)? Yup. The kind of thing that gets people killed, when involving truly big-time sport? Yes.

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Post by Glenn S » Thu Jan 30, 2003 8:29 pm

"Who is open, who is pro?"

My thought on the above comment is to have completely different courses for the two; open and pro.

This would definitely separate the two and put the Pros in a higher class which they should be. And you could still have the easier open course which newcomers or less advanced skaters could ride. Which I think is important for growth and attracting new skaters.

Let's face it, there are courses that newcomers just can't ride like the pros can. But we need newcomers and growth to see the sport flourish. And the Pros can then have the challenging courses that they do want, as seen by the postings about this over and over.


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Glenn on 2003-01-30 14:30 ]</font>

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Post by Claude Regnier » Thu Jan 30, 2003 9:37 pm

Sorry Glen I kind of disagree. I think an AM "A" class should ride the same course as the Pro's.

These are the up and comers and they should be able to measure their talents accordingly. I think if the purses were to grow substancially, you might see more guys move up quicker. I'm mean in terms of paying down to the 16, 20 or even to 32 (entry fee's) This would attract more entry and encourage everyone to goe against the best.

The biggest discrepensy we seen this year throwing actual (times out of wack)on the same courses was the wind factor.

Grip, Traction and so on had something to do with it as well but when the wind kicks up and smack you in the face it slows you down quite a bit as far as time measurement goes.

Another big factor to consider is the affordability of a complete quiver. Not everyone can compete in all or most of the races as well as have the right gear for the job.

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