Does anyone care about ranking?

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Steve Pederson
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Does anyone care about ranking?

Post by Steve Pederson » Mon Jun 06, 2011 3:58 am

Does anyone care about ranking? Is everyone happy with the way things are? Or are some changes needed?

Right now a number of Pros are fading away and attending less races. This is happening in North America more than in Europe. The ranking rules require that at least 8 PRO racers attend a race for that race to be given PRO level points. Less than 8 and no PRO points are given. What this means is that we are having more and more races with not enough PROs.

It makes it difficult for even a guy like Joe McLaren to be high up in the world rankings - where he belongs. If Joe hadn't traveled to the Czech World's last year he wouldn't have had enough points to be number one - even though he typically wins every race he attends. A number of races in North America just didn't have enough PROs attending to award PRO points. As more PROs fade away, less AM - Amateur racers are stepping up to replace them.

If this continues, we will see less and less North American PROs at the top of the world rankings. Europe will dominate the rankings. What fun is that? :-)

If anyone still cares, what are the solutions?

1. More AM racers can step up become PRO?
2. Do away with the PRO and AM divisions. Just rank everyone from the top on down. Open Class. No separation of PRO or AM. Then we really know how everyone ranks from #1 to the bottom?
3. Change the AM division name to NOVICE?
4. ??????? Suggestions?
5. ??????? Ideas?
6. ??????? Solutions?
7. Anyone still care?
8. Automatically advance the top AM racers to PRO?

I've learned that the AM division was originally created to be the beginner division. But we have AM racers who are beating PROS or racing very close to them, yet they stay in the AM division. Should we change the name of the AM class to NOVICE? Will this encourage people to step up to PRO? Will people still want to be the top ten ranked NOVICE rather than step up to PRO? I've heard some people want to have more C class at races. This is expanding in the opposite direction of expanding the PRO division. Originally the AM class WAS the beginner class. Now AM has become something more and some people want a C class because the AM (B class) class has become too competitive.

We just had a MAIN status race in St. Louis. after qualifying runs we had a top bracket of 8 which was called PRO. Then we had two brackets of 16 below the PROs. But actually, PRO points will not be awarded to anyone at that race if more AMs don't step up and declare PRO for this season. What happens is, there is less and less incentive for a PRO to travel to a race if they aren't going to be able to collect PRO points. That is, if anyone still cares about points and world rankings. If collectively, we don't care about world ranking, why do we have it? Why do we have PRO and AM divisions?

In 2010 - North America:
The MAJOR status race in Colorado didn't have enough PROS for PRO points to be awarded.
The MAIN status race in Antrim did not have enough PROS for PRO points to be awarded.
The MAIN status race The Dixie Cup did not have enough PROS for PRO points to be awarded.
The PRIME status race The Kentucky Cone fest did not have enough PROS for PRO points to be awarded.
The PRIME status race Krispy Hill Outlaw Slalom Race #1 did not have enough PROS for PRO points to be awarded.
The PRIME status race St. Louis Slalom did not have enough PROS for PRO points to be awarded.
The PRIME status race Oregon State Games is an AM only race.
The PRIME status race Dovercourt Open did not have enough PROS for PRO points to be awarded.

The PRIME status race Two days of Turri had 8 PROs for only one of the events.
The PRIME status race World Outlaw Championships Da Farm did have enough PROS for all events.
The MAIN status race Texas Cold Fusion Sizzler did have enough PROS for all events.


In the North American 2010 season there were 2 1/2 races that were able to award PRO level points.

What would you like to do about this? Not just North Americans - but all racers everywhere please respond. If we want something to change, speak up and let's make it happen. Things can change if we want it.

Thank you.

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Re: Does anyone care about ranking?

Post by Donald Campbell » Mon Jun 06, 2011 8:44 am

this is a very solid post with a lot of research and thinkering about the system and eventual flaws,i applaud my teammate steve for such expert insight!
first of all,before this discussion runs into a wrong direction lets make sure we all appreciate the ahrd work corky has done til now to get the ranking running
again-this was a very important move for sure and the ranking is like the solid base for referrence these days.

so,according to what steve said i would absolutely love to see a healthy discussion.
fact is that after the strong resurgence of slalom we are now facing a dwindling amount of high class pros and also more and more the "hobbyist" racers who have a few
years of live left to say so and they want to enjoy those acitvely-sort of-attending "races".

but...if we want to bring slalom to a solid and strong standing again there are a lot of things in need.

the situation right now is very critical and therefore i would applaud the words of the bod and a few other noteworthy persons regarding this topic.


please lets not forget that with all the longboard hype we have new people crossing over also to slalom and racing.
we really need to show those folks a solid and trustworthy structure if we want to attract them to racing.

if we fail to do so the sport will be dead sooner or later

we are at a crossroad right now-i hope you all see and understand that,lets make sure we don't make a wrong turn.

my opinion is that we should just have a ranking without pros and ams.
nobody gets paid and makes a living in this niche section of the sport,so the "pro" word is merely just for stroking egos.

we do have the problem that the ranking needs to focus on annual scores,rather than reflecting on a sum that derives from the past.
dead bodies have to be removed from the score-they take spots away from active racers.
then we need to finally clarify the situation of pro and am.

now is a good time to do this-corky will have enough time to adapt for the next season and we surely do not want to continue with the mistakes of current bods.

again i applaud steve#s efforts and i am calling out JBH and also FATBOY regarding their standing towards this topic-private messages will be sent out right after i finish this post.
also i think i would love to hear what LYNN KRAMER thinks about this,pm goes out to her too.

lets continue a healthy discussion please!

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Re: Does anyone care about ranking?

Post by Ron Barbagallo » Mon Jun 06, 2011 2:21 pm

Can't disagree with Steve and Donald's logic.

There just aren't enough "Pros" or people who wanna call themselves Pros anymore to warrant a seperate division. Perhaps the Pro division should have some requirements? But then again if the requirement was that if you win X number of Am races you become Pro, would racers "throw" their final race to remain Am? Currently the only requirement for being a pro is saying you're a Pro - correct? Theoretically I could claim I was a Pro tomorrow, yes? Look - I understand the higher Ams' thinking - I don't wanna race Richy or Hollien either. I got screwed at the Sizzler last year because I entered Masters class, which put me against 45 year old and up Pros. Left me with a short racing day, a bad tan, and a bad taste in my mouth.

They might be onto something with no divisions in standings. However at races there should absolutely be different classes and you all know I'm a huge proponent of the "C" class. I think "C" class is great for beginners as well as shitty racers such as myself. Don't make me race really good racers that are sandbagging, I'll get discouraged and wanna race bicycles or hit the skatepark instead.

All this being said, I do in fact care about ranking. Not neccessarily MY ranking, but in general. If you're a new racer, nothing is better than seeing your name in print - hopefully above someone else's :) If you know you're a better racer than a guy a couple of places above you, maybe that inspires you to attend more races to better your score.

As Donald has pointed out, there is a surge in skateboarding via longboards and DH. We can use this to our advantage to put asses in the seats in a two prong attack - adrenaline junkies that wanna go fast against other junkies, and beginners who like the idea of the speed but in practice can't really match up to Patrick Switzer (cheap plug, but he's a good kid!).
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Re: Does anyone care about ranking?

Post by Steve Pederson » Mon Jun 06, 2011 2:46 pm

Donald Campbell wrote: first of all, before this discussion runs into a wrong direction lets make sure we all appreciate the hard work corky has done til now to get the ranking running again-this was a very important move for sure and the ranking is like the solid base for referrence these days.
Yes, Jani and Corky have been doing a fantastic job this year getting things moving again. Thank you!!! It's the racers who need to do something now. If the racers don't participate in the PRO division, the whole system stops working. So, quite simply, we need more racers to step up to PRO or we need to eliminate PRO from the system. Or something else?

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Re: Does anyone care about ranking?

Post by Miguel Marco » Mon Jun 06, 2011 3:26 pm

As far as I know, which ain't much since I don't have a "backstage pass", all of this was solved by the previous BOD. Pro division was booted out last year in favor of Open division with qualifying into A-B-C brackets, which is only logical given the number of active racers. Sadly, that BOD did not implement a serious ranking system (again, as far as I know), and someone made the decision to go back to the old system because it was too complicated to adapt it to the new way and because of the loss of ranking "history". Seems we are back to square one with these questions. You know my opinion on this, if not, then dig up the old threads. This problem has already been discussed, solved, then unsolved, and now looking to be solved again... :D

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Re: Does anyone care about ranking?

Post by Jani Soderhall » Mon Jun 06, 2011 4:05 pm

Right Mig!

But note: the BOD decision for 2011 wasn't for all of the future. It was done for the 2011 season. Now is probably a good time to take a new breath and think about how we really want it for the future. Is a Pro/Am separation good for the sport or not? Not only this year with low US Pro attendance but for the future with hopefully more racers back into the racing circuit again. We need a system that is good for both types of periods. Because it's a four year ranking you don't steer this thing around so easily.

As for the 1 year ranking and the "phantom" points, I think it would be easy to implement a World Cup Series which only take into account the results of the year. The guy who wins the first race is number 1 right away. But let's not present him as "ranked number 1 in the world", he's just the 2012 World Cup Series leader.

Once again this whole discussion is just a question of definition/wording:
"Ranking" in ISSA's case is meant to show skill level. That means you can still be considered #1 even if you didn't attend the last event (which happened to be the first in the new year). I fully support the idea of a "Ranking" even though I also sometimes get surprised by it. The problem though is as Corky said, just in the beginning of the year, when there are more phantom points than real points. That gives a slightly scewed impression. Maybe we could lower those points a bit to make them less important.

/Jani

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Re: Does anyone care about ranking?

Post by Derek Yerke » Mon Jun 06, 2011 4:55 pm

We care! I've always enjoyed the ranking system and when we started out I wondered "exactly how many people do this?" When I found out there was enough people and effort to create a ranking system it made slalom seem more legit. It's cool to see where you stack up, even if theres no system that can be 100% accurate. I know the younger guys here in Michigan thought it was pretty cool too when they heard about it down in st. louis. I heard stuff like "Well my raw time was faster" countered by "Anyone can go fast if they plow all the cones. Let's see who's ranked higher next week then". Now obviously rankings don't always tell whos faster, but it gives people something to look at, and in tight circles, compete over. I know all three of the Cosmic groms (the new young crew in MI) are all hyped up about who can finish this year highest in the rankings. I also love trying to finish higher than my bro every year.

I agree with you guys on the need for more pros. Because of this, Jason and I would like to declare pro class for the 2011 season. It'd be cool to see some others join as well, such as Lou, or anyone else who consistently competes in the top class at events.

We we're nervous about declaring Pro Status, as we're still a little slower than most of the pros. We finally decided that if everybody waited until they were faster than the top 20 guys, then new pros would be too few and far between. I think a lot of the borderline ams are also nervous to call themselves pros. One thing that made me nervous was the 8 man bracket for the 'A' group. No one wants to call themselves pro and then be the 9th fastest and end up in the "AM" class at their first 'pro' race. We got lucky and qualified 6th and 7th in the dual lane, but we could have easily been 9th and 10th and raced for the "AM" title, which might make someone feel not so 'pro'. I think 16 man A brackets would make it more comfortable for people to declare pro without fear of ending up in the am class. I know the more experienced guys like to save energy and what not for the latter races, so I guess it's a tough call... but I know for us it was a big point of concern, as we did not want to declare pro and end up racing 'B'. If it was 16 man brackets we would have declared pro sooner because we would have known for sure we'd be racing in the top class.

What does it mean to be a 'pro'?
I don't think it necessarily means you're as fast as DK or Mclaren. I also don't think it means big sneaker companies and slalom deck makers are flying you around the world or paying you the big bucks. It just doesn't happen.. the slalom market isn't big enough for it yet. If you're an elite pro you might snag a few g's at a race, but no ones getting rich here.

I think being a professional slalomer means you attend and support ISSA events on a regular basis (3 or 4 events (6-8 races) a year), compete well in the top class, offer help to newer racers, represent yourself and the sport in a respectable fashion, and make at least an effort to promote the sport - whether its hosting your own local events and jams, or simply spreading the word about others.

I think a guideline thread for "What it means to be Pro?" might be good. Maybe layout a few guidelines (but not strict rules), to help people decide if they are pro or not..

just ideas to start...
- At least 10-15 past ISSA scores
- Ranked amongst the top 50-100 ams
- Compete in the top class at most events
- Promotes the sport and helps new racers
- Routinely fills score sheet or comes close to filling it


Also, I feel Pros should automatically receive Pro points for Main Status races, regardless of whether or not 8 of the racers consider themselves pro. It's an ISSA Main Event, Pro points should be available for those who took the time to travel.

I also think there should be a rule that if you are the fastest AM racer for your country, you are automatically ranked pro next year. This could guarantee new pros every season and would make for competitive "rookie of the year" standings every year. If the top AM for that country doesn't like it... they shouldn't have been so fast ;) .. maybe an 'opt out' option or something.

I like the 'opt in' system for anyone who thinks they're worthy, but I think there is also a need for an automatic pro inclusion rule like the one stated above. Declaring pro kind of feels like inviting yourself to someone else's party. Even if your welcome, an invite would make you feel a little less creepy about showing up.

One single ranking class wouldn't be bad either. Might be alot less of a headache.

I'd like to give a huge thanks to Jani, Corky, and everyone else involved in the rankings! I think they're great for the sport and I hope to see some others make the leap and join the pro division. Can't wait for the rest of 2011!

sidenote*** - Slalom is growing here in Michigan (10-15 guys at local jams now with even more interested... a few years ago Bara and Fadell were the only two in MI that did it). I think it has the potential to grow even more if people start working to establish a local scene. Also, as Donald mentioned - a lot of slalomers are longboard converts (including all of us from MI), and longboarding in general is EXPLODING right now, providing a much larger conversion market than ever before.
Last edited by Derek Yerke on Mon Jun 06, 2011 6:32 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Does anyone care about ranking?

Post by Guillaume Saint-Criq » Mon Jun 06, 2011 5:56 pm

Steve your post about 2010 US events talk for itself.
I will try to make some stats for EU

i can only once again support the Open category (note that i push for Euro Champ to be open this year... it will be!).

I can't see the point of promoting a pro class with so few people in it. it s ridiculous for the audience !
I m sure it's better for us to promote high level event and make sure we make all possible to help best racers to attend those events.
And Steve, about your point : it s the same here in Europe... many pros do not attend as many races as last years (Marcus Seyffarth and others swedish, Lucas, Maurus.... even Ramon do prefer downhill !)

For me, i see no problem with the current world ranking system : let's turm all racers in the Pro categ, and then rename this Pro categ to "open".

I only see problems for 4 year ranking history : how the newcomer in this ranking can be deal fairly against former pros...
I do not know if we can recalculate the database with everyone in the same category to affect also the past seasons.

A/B/C bracket, or top16/32 finals are just race organization stuffs... it's not a ranking matter.
Organizers can still make a "pro" race and a "beginner" race (it was like that this year in Lyon, Fr) , or whatever system they choose : let's just put everyone in the same ranking at the end of the event.

Season just start : it s still time to make some changes because it seems to be urgent!

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Re: Does anyone care about ranking?

Post by Guillaume Saint-Criq » Mon Jun 06, 2011 5:58 pm

and yes, we (also) care!
most of us in France start slalom skateboard few years ago, and ranking was a great motivation between us!
We have to make this ranking sexy again!

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Re: Does anyone care about ranking?

Post by Sam Gordon » Mon Jun 06, 2011 6:49 pm

I do care about the ranking. Corky's not inconsiderable effort is a fine historical document of our sport over the last decade. Think how we like to look back at the names and pictures in old skate magazines. This is a comparable reference.

Most of us know that we are not in the ranked position that we ought to be, however give or take a few places on the system we can see how we have fared and developed in comparison to our rivals. And be reminded of those who who are no longer competing. We can also see the number of races in which we have competed and the events where we have fared the best.

Does it change how we look at races? In one sense, yes. Higher ranked races seem to get a better attendance of both pro and am. Lower ranked races have a more localised turnout. So, whilst competitors may claim not to go point scoring as such, they do go in search of competition. Headhunting, if you will.

Not knowing how it would impact on the ranking infrastructure, it would be good to see a full grouping of all rankings, pro and am together. if the list appears long, then a visual break every ten riders could appear. You can then battle from a position in the sixties (for example) to the next field above, ranking in the fifties and forcing others into what visually seems like a different 'division' in the 'league.'

Coulour-coding could be applied to those who go up and down the ranking, and non-movers alike.

A full open ranking system gives a more 'true' representation of ranking.
Perhaps a Pro group could be re-established once there are a pool of racers that take part by invitation, national ranking or income; until then the A/ B/ C category route seems the more representational way to go.

Sam

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Re: Does anyone care about ranking?

Post by Boris Miladinovic » Mon Jun 06, 2011 7:32 pm

Not that I attend the races, yet I have an opinion...
Sport is too small to have divisions. No one is really a "pro" by the real meaning of the word. Keep it simple, one open class, one ranking, one year cumullative poins. You still can award the prizes for top 1/3, mid 1/3 and last 1/3, if need be...
The cone/time relation should be killed too. Much simpler to allow max number of cones to be knocked down. Hit one more and DSQ.

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Re: Does anyone care about ranking?

Post by Jani Soderhall » Mon Jun 06, 2011 7:59 pm

Guillaume Saint-Criq wrote:Organizers can still make a "pro" race and a "beginner" race (it was like that this year in Lyon, Fr) , or whatever system they choose : let's just put everyone in the same ranking at the end of the event.
So, how do you put the racers together to obtain one ranking when you have two classes like in Lyon. Well, they didn't do it. I also assume you didn't do it yourself when reporting the results to the national results system, did you?

IF (Guillaume and Sam), you think there is any reason to separate racers into two groups (now or later) you are in fact supporting the Pro/Am classification - you just use other words.

Actually I should shut up and listen. We need to seriously consider this issue for the 2012 season, so all arguments are welcome! Keep 'em coming!

/Jani

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Re: Does anyone care about ranking?

Post by Guillaume Saint-Criq » Mon Jun 06, 2011 8:51 pm

Jani, i actually did it : i just put the first "beginner" after the last "pro" and it gives me a full ranking!
I think that's the way US races deal with A/B/C classes, isn't it?

Making 2 separate class in a particular race, or any other system, must only depend of what organizer want to do.
It doesnt change that we need consistent and global ranking for everybody

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Re: Does anyone care about ranking?

Post by Hans Koraeus » Tue Jun 07, 2011 12:40 am

Having a perfect world ranking is not an easy topic. Since it is impossible it will always be a hot topic.

It’s easy to find the flaws but harder to understand that there is no cure. We must realize that having a 90% ok ranking is good. What ever we make better in one part will make it worse elsewhere. And we will always end up with a 90% ok ranking.

So understanding that we can’t have a perfect ranking the idea with the current ranking was that maybe we could at least have a balanced world ranking. I gave it a try in the early 2000 and what you see in the current world ranking is the result of this.

1. The reason the current ranking system started
There are some things I did not like with the existing skateboard world rankings and world cups. Either most of the events were in one part of the world making it extreamly hard for somebody not living in that part of the world to get a good placement. And the opposite very easy for those living in that part of the world to get a good placement.

Also the old slalom worldranking decided points on attendence. This meaning that those who lived in a regions with many slalomers could easily set up events with many racers and many points. Those who lived in regions with few slalomers would have a hard time having an event with many racers and many points.
This meant a lot of expensive travel for those in smaller slalom regions and no motivation to travel at all for others. Did not seem fair and did not really help to grow the smaller slalom regions either.

2. We can’t have a perfect ranking
It’s easy looking at any ranking and find flaws beacuse it is impossible having it being fair unless we all attend all races. In other sports that is big enough that is what is happening on the highest ”pro” level. But for the slalom skateboard world there is not enough money in the sport to be able to pay the best to come to all the big events around the world. Not enough money to live on price money and/or sponsorship. Having this understood we must agree on that we can’t have a perfect ranking.

3. We can have a balanced ranking
So understanding that we can’t have a perfect ranking the idea was to try and create at least a somewhat balanced world ranking.
The current system is built upon a regional balance with a limited number of statuses. This to force everybody who wants to fight for high world ranking points to travel to certain predefined events and thus making them have as good attendence as possible and thus making the results as fair as possible.
The statuses were fixed to some world regions to try and get some world balance. Since we are talking about a World Ranking after all.

4. The result of the current World Ranking
As said before the ranking we have is not perfect. But it is a try getting a balanced world ranking. We don’t want a ranking with just USA racers in the top. Neither a ranking with a just European racers in the top. I don’t know if anybody has noticed that this is achieved with the current ranking system. And even that smaller world regions can have skaters in top of ranking. In 2010 AM ranking we had a Brazilan on first place.
Have a look at the rankings again over the years and you will see. This is no luck. It’s a balanced system.

5. He is better than him! Why is he ranked lower?
We must understand that a ranking is not a perfect image of who is better than any other. There are many other things playing in. You can be the best racer in the world. But if you don’t compete or only race in one event per year you will not have a good result in any ranking or cup. This does not mean that you are bad. A racer can still be the best racer in the world and have a low ranking.

Also it is hard comparing racers from different regions because they race in different environments. The 10:th pro from europe is not necessarily the same level as 10:th pro in Noth america. The 20:th am from europe is not necessarily the same level as 20:th am in North america.

And still some expect that the combined results coming out of the ranking will be perfect. We must understand that the ranking is only trying to make sense of all these mixed results with all mixed levels of skill and mixed regions. And then try and make a somewhat fair conlusion of it all and show them accordingly to some predefined rules. And those who do best results and use the predefined rules best to their advantage will be on top.

6. Ranking tools for tweaking the ranking
There are some stearing wheels and switches in the ranking that can be used to tweak the ranking. These are meant to be tweaked and has evolved over the years. They are there to be used and to try and push up the quality of the ranking as high as possible. So maybe instead of a 90% perfect ranking we could maybe get it up to 91% if doing some tweaking.

The problem is that also here it is a balance. Just looking at one small piece we could make it really good. But this will always be on the cost of something else. And in the end it may be that making that ”good” change actually made the ranking overall go down in quality to 85%.

The tweaking tools:
- Statuses for events
- World Ranking regions
- Limit of statuses for regions
- Points table for statuses
- Attendence limits
- How many race results max to count per event
- How many race results max to count per season
- How many racers must attend a race to count
- World rank over one season or multiple seasons
- Pro/Am class (definition, limit of pro racers to get pro points)
- Many other calculation rules and other things...

7. PRO / AM history
Just talking about Pro and Am classes it was something introduced to help grow the sport. To get a special class for new racers to easier be able to step in and start competing.

PRO has never been aimed to mean that you live on your sport. It’s just an easy word that people understand that this class is for the high class riders. And the AM class is for the B-class.

Also making a special ranking for the AM’s was introduced to make it even more fun and get even the B-Class racers motivated to travel to more competitions.
It was easily handled in the beginning since the AM courses had its own easier courses and class to run. Later the high status events in US started to run as one OPEN class. To handle this we had to add a PRO/AM class on the racer. This way we would know who was the number one AM racer even if no AM class was done. And from that point the ranking could handle both PRO-AM and OPEN events.

When you could master the PRO courses you entered the PRO class. But when you only run OPEN class when do you know when you should move up to the PRO class? Well a clue is when you start to beat other PRO racers.

A general rule that has not been used strictly in the ranking is that you have to be at least 8 racers for a race to count into the ranking. And it is from this rule it was decided that you need 8 PRO racers to have a PRO class. If not having 8 PRO’s you should run one OPEN class together with the AM’s instead.

8. PRO / AM problem in US
In North America it has become a problem that there are too few PRO racers attending the events. The result is that North American Pro racers don’t get as high points as they could have.

It is tricky though because would it be fair that if you where the only PRO racer in a race to get first place PRO points? No. But what is the limit then to make it fair? Is 8 PRO racers too much to demand to get PRO points?

And if we skip the AM class. Then it means that suddenly a lot of current US AM’s will pass many of the European PRO racers in the ranking. Having a race with 20 PRO’s and having a race with 4 PRO’s does not have any impact on the AM racer points today. The first AM racer will get the same point in either case.

So having separate classes with PRO and AM racers is more fair in a way. It’s like two different worlds of racing. If we mix them do we really get a more accurate ranking?

What we are actually doing by skipping the PRO / AM classes we punish Europe for having so many PRO’s competing. And the reason is because North America does not have enough PRO’s competeing. Is this what we want to achieve?

9. PRO / AM problem in general
A problem with using PRO and AM classes for a racer has been that until now this is something you choose yourself. As you would choose if you want to enter a PRO class race or an AM class race. The problem is twofold. We have those who are in the PRO class that are not ready for it yet. And those who stays in the AM class too long.

It’s quite obvious for me why you want to stay in AM class because you might want to win a big AM title before going up to PRO class. Or be in the very top of the AM ranking. Right now we have had some gentlemans rule that if you win the AM Worlds you move up to PRO. But maybe that is not enough. We might need rules that force more racers from AM after each season. Maybe it’e enough with a AM win of any Main or Major event. And not let it be something you choose yourself.
And let the AM class be a class for what it was meant for. And maybe change the name to B-Class.

10. The C-class
There have been ideas of going the other way in creating yet another class, C-Class. But that would not make the problem go away. Instead we would have two classes to jump inbetween (C to B and B to PRO) instead of only the one we have today (AM/B-Class to PRO).

From an event perspective I kind of like the idea of running an OPEN qual and then divide people into A, B and C-finals. But that is also a problem. Place 16 would not be a fun qualifier placement while place 17 will give you the chance of some really good racing until the very final of the B-class that you have big chance of winning. The 16:th place qualifier will be out in the first final round. So no 17,18,19 will have a great time racing and get prizes and stuff. No 14,15,16 get little racing and no prizes or fame.

It would have been more fair running the top 4 AM against each other to battle it out. But then we are back to the PRO / AM class again.

11. PRO / AM solution
The solution to fix the American PRO attendence problem can be to lower the PRO riders requiered for PRO points from 8 to 6. And/or force some of the top AM’s up to PRO class. And/or for event organizers to work harder for getting the existing PRO’s to show up at the events.

A solution can also be to do absolutley nothing. The problem now is not as catastrophic as we have maybe tried to make it. It’s just that American PRO racers can’t always maximize their points. Maybe this can be seen as something normal if the PRO scene is not big enough. Same problem as other World ranking regions have such as South America and Australia. So if Europe has a bigger PRO scene maybe it is normal there are a bigger percentage of Euro PRO racers on top of the PRO world ranking.

And last year it did not stop Joe from being no 1 for the PRO 2010 ranking season.

We must not forget that having fewer PRO racers actually makes it easier to get PRO points also. Taking into account that you of course first have to get over the minimum of 8 PRO racers.

12. Easy... no
It can be very tempting to think that all this ranking business is easy. But then you probably have not been thinking hard enough about it. There will always be discussions like this that needs to be done. But believe me I rather write code for the ranking website than all these lines of discussion on the forum...

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Re: Does anyone care about ranking?

Post by Hans Koraeus » Tue Jun 07, 2011 1:08 am

Here are some comments above that I liked reading...
Ron Barbagallo wrote:All this being said, I do in fact care about ranking. Not neccessarily MY ranking, but in general. If you're a new racer, nothing is better than seeing your name in print - hopefully above someone else's :) If you know you're a better racer than a guy a couple of places above you, maybe that inspires you to attend more races to better your score.
Jani Soderhall wrote:As for the 1 year ranking and the "phantom" points, I think it would be easy to implement a World Cup Series which only take into account the results of the year. The guy who wins the first race is number 1 right away. But let's not present him as "ranked number 1 in the world", he's just the 2012 World Cup Series leader.
Derek Yerke wrote:We care! I've always enjoyed the ranking system and when we started out I wondered "exactly how many people do this?" When I found out there was enough people and effort to create a ranking system it made slalom seem more legit. It's cool to see where you stack up, even if theres no system that can be 100% accurate. I know the younger guys here in Michigan thought it was pretty cool too when they heard about it down in st. louis. I heard stuff like "Well my raw time was faster" countered by "Anyone can go fast if they plow all the cones. Let's see who's ranked higher next week then". Now obviously rankings don't always tell whos faster, but it gives people something to look at, and in tight circles, compete over. I know all three of the Cosmic groms (the new young crew in MI) are all hyped up about who can finish this year highest in the rankings. I also love trying to finish higher than my bro every year.
Derek Yerke wrote: Also, I feel Pros should automatically receive Pro points for Main Status races, regardless of whether or not 8 of the racers consider themselves pro. It's an ISSA Main Event, Pro points should be available for those who took the time to travel.
I do see the valid point in this for Main and Major races. They are so few and they are really there to gather the best. So if you pay up and travel there you should not be punished for that. That is actually one of the corner ideas with the system. Punish those who don't show up. Don't punish those who do show up.
But this is also a matter of World Balance. Maybe if a region missuse this and can't get enough PRO's to their top status events then maybe the region should be cut down on the number of high status events instead.
Derek Yerke wrote:I like the 'opt in' system for anyone who thinks they're worthy, but I think there is also a need for an automatic pro inclusion rule like the one stated above. Declaring pro kind of feels like inviting yourself to someone else's party. Even if your welcome, an invite would make you feel a little less creepy about showing up.
Yes, maybe we have come to the point that we can't just put the descision in the hands of racers themselves. An invite from BOD, Ranking marshals or National coordinators could be the trick. Racers have all different personalities. Some think they are never good enough to be PRO. Some think they are PRO before they maybe are. Better to have an invite from a neurtal part looking through results and invites people when needed.

Or maybe the invite should come from the exclusive "PRO slalom skateboarder club" itself...

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Re: Does anyone care about ranking?

Post by Steve Pederson » Tue Jun 07, 2011 4:03 am

Corky, thanks for all the explanations you made.

I think it is worth noting though, that the points worked out for Joe because he traveled to Europe for the world championships. Without that, he wouldn't have gathered enough points for the top ranking.

Same with Thiago and his number one AM ranking. He spent a couple months in Europe - attending a number of races.

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Re: Does anyone care about ranking?

Post by Miguel Marco » Tue Jun 07, 2011 7:29 am

I'm just curious, how many events worldwide have had actual "pro" courses set for the pro categorie in the last 3 years???

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Re: Does anyone care about ranking?

Post by Lynn Kramer » Wed Jun 08, 2011 4:25 am

Well.I'm just another opinion, but there certainly have been some great points made here (no pun intended). I think that the idea of the "pro" and am is a good idea, but maybe not the right terminology. What now makes up the A and B class in the states,all ride one course. What is now the C class are people who don't use the start ramp, or they start at the halfway,or just cannot qualify. There were 6 racers in St Louis who never got a time in the tight. So there definitely is a dichotomy.
Let's for now use the word "A" Just for terminology. If you are within 10 or 20% of the leader in any race, you should be A. If you cannot drop in or go over 20mph,you are a B racer. I think it should be an automatic ranking. If you want to ride A you may self-bump.
It wouldn't be proper for me to leave without saying that an A woman would still race the A course. We have seen that it can be done, although it wasn't the norm in Europe for many years.
The Open division cures alot of the sandbagging issues, but it is random if you get 8th you get to be beat down, and if you're 9th you get to race alot. This is where the double elimination comes in handy. If you do bad, you race somebody worse.
In short-establish an A skill level and throw people in. And don't punish the ones who show up.
Lynn

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Re: Does anyone care about ranking?

Post by Lisa Scott » Wed Jun 08, 2011 6:55 pm

I want to thank Corky, first- I am inspired to do better, and to travel to more races- Simply by being able to see where I stand via the points system.
I also think there should be no odd feeling for Pros to have pride that they are categorized as such, so it is a proper reward for hard work, and dedication....
Some sort of point system needs to survive the adjustments that seem to be coming. People should be rewarded for dedicating their resources to traveling
to races. On the other hand, if a declared Pro shows up at a race as finishes poorly, how can you grant Pro points to them without other Pros to compare
them against? Perhaps a race's Sanction level could be lowered as far as points awarded are concerned, post race, if Pro attendance is not at a qualified amount. My most humble opinion on that is lowering the number of Pro attendees required for Pro points to be awarded to more than a pair (3+) until there are a larger amount of Pros declared for the season.... This would not be necessary with an A, B, C, type system-
As I type, I see how complex this is, and Lynn has a seemingly simple idea- nothing has to be permanent, correct?

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Re: Does anyone care about ranking?

Post by Eddy Martinez » Thu Jun 09, 2011 5:05 am

Thank you to Corky and the rest of the awesome folks at this site for keeping a points system going. We definately need a points system. I consider myself EXTREMELY LUCKY that I spent a week training with Dom Kowalski this year. I try to attend at least 3 to 4 races a year. My health has sucked it seems every year I end up with an injury, not this year. As far as sandbagging, I am not at the level of racing to sit there and calculate what place I am going to end up in. Alot of us have carried, Promoted the sport for the last 8-9 yrs. Time passes. But this Texas Outlaw refuses to go away. Yes alot of the U S A Pros are fading, still very fast, but getting older. Is there a solution. I am sure there is. If I am an Amatuer who consistantly keeps beating Pros, then I do believe they belong in the Pros. Sandbagging is an issue. For sure. My mission in life at this point is to participate, promote and keep our sport alive. I truly dig watching myself come up from the 300s back into the Top 100 Ams again. Keep up the good work. I know I will. The system is not perfect. No system is, but it is we have. I for one am appreciative for having what we have. If we as skaters do not support the ISSA. Then we have nothing. Saying we have decided to boycott the ISSA and going back to GrassRoots IS NOT THE ANSWERS. My humble Opinion as well. Your Amigo Eddy Texas Outlaws.
Last edited by Eddy Martinez on Tue Jun 14, 2011 11:18 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Does anyone care about ranking?

Post by Paul Price » Tue Jun 14, 2011 8:09 pm

I am very glad we have a ranking system. It is a great place to refer to when talking to sponsors, local government, asking for funding or just showing that are sport
has many racers around the world.
The website is free from posts which may be seen as negative.
It is great you can see past race results and see how many races ones has competed in (190+ for me!)
It was also a huge help in getting me my visa for the USA, and is something I can show when I get quized by US immigration at US borders.
Another way of assigning points is by using the ranking of racers attending - this is done in snowsports by http://www.fis-ski.com/uk/disciplines/s ... oints.html
Keep up the great work Corky!

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Re: Does anyone care about ranking?

Post by John Gilmour » Fri Jul 15, 2011 7:12 pm

Without a ranking in a racing sport...we are just practicing not racing.

What Corky does validates our racing.

I think DC (I like that moniker for Donald Campbell... I just dig it- like he's got some shock potential.) meant to say is... we should help to support a ranking system.

I have my reasons for why I have stopped attending races..I do wonder why the other pros have.

It is sort of like when you go to a restaurant that you really like,, and there is fun new food, and then the cooks say the cuisine is too advanced for too many of the people and menu gets simplified. Still its fun for people who are new to going out, but for those who can cook well at home, they tend to eat in.
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Re: Does anyone care about ranking?

Post by Jeremy Coffman » Thu Jul 21, 2011 5:14 am

So this begs the question.....
Who's going "Pro"???

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Re: Does anyone care about ranking?

Post by John Gilmour » Thu Jul 21, 2011 6:27 am

Jeremy Coffman wrote:So this begs the question.....
Who's going "Pro"???

Actually, The question is... not "Who are we going to bring up with lesser talent to the pro class?.... it is what shall we do to renew interest from the Pro's and what can we do to prevent us from losing that interest again.

For if there is no interest at the top... what we will have is people reaching a skill level and losing interest instead of upping the ante and doing what skateboarding is all about...

Pro Skateboarding today is not about doing a handplant, it is not about tic-tacking, it is not about hitting 50mph......, or running a GS on a slight hill.... that has all been done before....

Pro Skateboarding is about doing what was previously impossible.

It is about pushing the limits. Pro Skateboarding today isn't about celebrating the days of Bruce Logan, Laura Thornhill, Desiree von Essen (she was hot in the 1970's). Pro Skateboarding isn't about grinding and doing a elevator drop (I just was able to do an elevator drop after a 35 year hiatus last week- and trust me...I did not feel at all like a pro skateboarder when I did it.) . Pro skateboarding is not doing 52 mph in a skatecar.

Pro skateboarding is about doing what was impossible JUST this morning, not what was impossible 40 years ago.

The gear is unbelievably good now. But the courses do not reflect this (some exceptions of course.. like I love the course in the Hell Fadell Video- awesome Greg! And I dig what the Germans are doing.) So things should be getting gutsier...at least to keep pace with the gear...and the skills, well we should be stepping it up....

We shouldn't just be looking for stuffing a longwheelbase through an easy course, or buying more expensive bearings, or looking for wheels with more roll. Or making bigger ramps so we can use them on hills that can take the additional speed of a ramp.

No my fellow slalomers..... it should be the opposite. Top Skaters should look at a course and say... hmmmm.... I better not try and stuff a long wheel base through this gnarly course..I might not make it.

They should be thinking...wow this hill and course is so fast, I don't even want to think about running ceramics....and I don't think I need a faster wheel...I think I need more grip instead- or....a wheel that I can do a controlled slide with ....to dump speed- before a tech section.

They shouldn't be thinking about making ramps bigger (weak IMHO)... they should be thinking... "This hill is so fricking gnarly fast.... thank the lord that that amateur promoter didn't put a ramp on it".

Ams shouldn't be thinking,,
"Wow , I placed top 5 for the past 3 races in a 17mph slalom hybrid...maybe I should turn Pro before I am called out as a sandbagger."

Ams should be thinking, "Wow , I placed top 5 for the past 3 races in a 17mph slalom hybrid, but I don't think I have the guts to run a 35+ mph slalom just yet...I had better work up to this...looks like the top guys are doing about 40mph ..and if they had a tail wind they might hit 45mph."

I am not saying we need 45mph courses tomorrow or next year.... or this Sunday at Oceanside for the La Costa Boys race.... BUT HELL YEAH>>>for the PROS ....WE SHOULD BE WORKING TOWARDS THE IMPOSSIBLE. The gear will improve to meet these needs. We should be going faster, running technical FASTER courses ...not stupid tight slow straight ones, angulation should be more extreme...etc.etc.etc.



Where is the progression???? Who/or what is putting limits on our sport right now??? That is the question we should all be asking ourselves. And more importantly...how do we remove these limitations?

So again...it isn't "Who is going Pro this year?" It's how to we bring guys back who love pushing the limits (which is why they define themselves as "Pros"...even when no money is involved). Money would help...no doubt about that. A series would help.

The last thing we want to do is lose the significance of our American Pros ranking by "diluting points" this side of the Atlantic. Look at California race promotion ever since Colorado has dominated for more than 3 years in a row...I moved here to California... and where are the races??? In Europe?? Hmmm it seems all over the globe except in California. At least we have JPL races and La Costa. Yet as I look out my windows onto the Venice Beach path.... nearly every skater has a board suitable for GS and Super G... so it is not a question of the gear not being there.. it is a question of making contests compelling and interesting - these all day drag out affairs with stupid deep bracketing just suck the interest out of the sport. 2 runs and done! I say..and perhaps a small head to head format for special slalom. I don't want to be racing all day long anymore than a spectator or wife wants to stand for 8 hours...(I don't even want to invite anyone I know to come watch because I know its just too long a day).


I look at the 8:30 start and 5pm (perhaps optimistic) end at Oceanside and say "Why?" ...In the end if you made the brackets shallow you could run more events and perhaps the even worst racers would get 2 more runs than now because we would get another 2 qualifiers in.

A race should go from 9-10 am until 2-3 pm. and be done. Ideally two or more events should go off in that amount of time. It has been done. WLAC 2000 was like that. The 1991 Hombrecktikon races in Switzerland were like that with over 60 racers and huge 25 kid + junior class..and we even had time for a 20 minute trick bike side show between races!

Thanks for the ranking Corky..personally I'd like to be back in the ranking again someday.


ps.

(somewhere there is a limit... but we have not even approached it... a few years ago in Winter X halfpipe I think the 22' pipe height limit has been reached (too many competitors were hurt...same thing going for some of the stupid boarder X courses (too much air and speed- not enough technical turns) - and also for Womens Skiing 2 years ago with overly injected rock hard race courses (destroys knees)...but believe me ..we are no where near the limits of slalom skateboarding)
One good turn deserves another
john gilmour

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Re: Does anyone care about ranking?

Post by Steve Collins » Thu Jul 21, 2011 8:49 pm

I agree the ranking is important. I agree that the standards need to be high and the aspirations higher.

- but -

It's always someone else who isn't doing what's necessary. In case you were wondering, it's OK for you to put on a race here. As a Santa Monica Bay native who has spent most of his life skating this area, I give you permission. Show us how it's supposed to be done. That is, unless you just want to join the ranks of self-important easterners who came, looked around disapprovingly, made important pronouncements, accomplished nothing, and left.

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Re: Does anyone care about ranking?

Post by John Gilmour » Thu Jul 21, 2011 9:16 pm

Hey Steve,

I've thrown races before- July 4th races ... people know what to expect. I've set courses for the First two Farm races, and the Latvian National Championships in Latvia.I also mirrored the course with Henry Hester in The First Morro bay World Championships in 2001. It used to be a pic on SS.com

I tell you what... why don't you join me in helping. Want to skate today? Or tonight? Or After La Costa?

La Costa will be good and fast. I'm going. If it is way over my head..I will enjoy watching.

As for East Coasters doing what you said...Unless you are a Mexican...you descended from the East Coast before you came here...just like me. Only the Brown Bomber can lay claim to having true West Coast roots.

So let's practice a bit... and see what we can put together..

I have a Beach front place near the surf pier that is awesome for an after party- I threw a race for my birthday 3 weeks ago to ensure my friends came.

So I threw a race... already..where were you?

I announced the first Glow Slalom event...expecting at least a bunch of people to come- food drinks- catering for 30 people with choices of 6 entrees and 6 deserts- open bar with unlimited Veve Cliquot Champagne (it was my birthday after all) ... and only 1 Californian showed up to skate- my non skating friends came.....The Skater?? a newbie.... a squadron leader for predator Drones.


We all had a great time...neighbors came out and watched- and kids skating by ran through it. I said I was going to do this and I did. It's in my facebook.

Was it a contest??? I guess so... I won.

You should try this... it might make a real difference for the future of slalom for a number of reasons.

GILMOUR GLOW SLALOM™

1. The courses are set when there is no rush hour traffic- when traffic is at it's lowest.
2. The cones attract attention from motorists- making it safer.
3. The neighborhood comes out to watch much more than during the day.
4. For California's scorching hot Inland Empire...you can avoid the heat and exercise and socialize- same for other States with hot days.
5. For Working parents who want to slalom this is possible to fit in their schedule.
6. The courses are invisible during the day as "glow in the dark paint is used" which is clear during daylight- you can also use glow in the dark chalk (which is worse because you do see the marks from it during the day- using the paint is the most stealth you can be -especially if you use the short lasting glow- which si gone within minutes of you leaving. "Find the course again" buy using a sweep of a flashlight.) Two types of paint are available... both are bright initially- one lasting 30-40 minutes of glow and another with 8 hours of glow once exposed to light.
7. It is impossible to lose a cone in the bushes or under a car as they light up.
8. 12 LED flashlights are under a buck each- and can be run with (3) rechargeable AAA's -they fit tightly in each cone.
9. You can justifiably charge for this to pay for replacement batteries.
10. It looks like an airport landing strip at night...this shot was done with an iphone without a flash ...you know how crappy those photos come out... they look 10 times brighter in real life. It looks cool.

Image

So when do you want to skate? show up... or shut up as you would say in California.

Maybe Corky can add a glow slalom ranking??? So far I am the points leader.
Last edited by John Gilmour on Mon Jul 25, 2011 8:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Does anyone care about ranking?

Post by Steve Collins » Fri Jul 22, 2011 7:12 pm

Hey John, great talking to you yesterday. I'm inspired and really looking forward to getting a scene going in our area. Who knows, maybe some day we can get somebody into the rankings to give Richy some SoCal company.

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Re: Does anyone care about ranking?

Post by John Gilmour » Sun Jul 24, 2011 9:09 am

Steve Collins wrote:Hey John, great talking to you yesterday. I'm inspired and really looking forward to getting a scene going in our area. Who knows, maybe some day we can get somebody into the rankings to give Richy some SoCal company.
You wish came true. I just snagged some mains points at the La Costa boys race in Oceanside- 7th Mens pro Hybrid and 4th mens Pro TS. Who knows maybe I can get back up there. I was glad to get back on the points board.
One good turn deserves another
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Re: Does anyone care about ranking?

Post by Hans Koraeus » Mon Jul 25, 2011 5:04 pm

I tend to agree that events are too long and can be made shorter. And so also the courses. ;-) Max 40-50 cones. You want the audience to be able to easily follow the whole run. And it takes too much time with long courses and more complex cone admin.
But I don't see the problem for the audience because they should only be invited for the finishing main spectable anyway. And the main spectable should be max 2 hours long including price cermoney.

Example counting 3 min/race including dead time...

Top 4 Am head to head (8 races=24 min) (Semi, 3:rd place, Final)
Final Jun (2 races=6 min)
Final Wom (2 races=6 min)
Top 8 Pro head to head (16 races=48 min) (Quarter, Semi, 3:rd place, Final)
Top 3 Price cermony Jun, Am, Wom, Pro (4x6=24 min)
_________________________
Total 108 min + 12 min extra dead time included

A two hour spectable. One could push in the Am, Jun and Wom finals inbetween the Pro final races. All the "booring" qualifications done in the morning. Am show up early 9:00. Then Jun and women 12:00. Pro show up for qual at 13:00.
Then 15:00-17:00 the main spectable for the audience with all the finals (as above). Neatly put inbetween lunch and dinner. ;-)

Would this ever be possible? With an efficiant event organisation maybe it could one day... and if this is what poeple want. I think an audience sure would like it like that. But maybe racers want more racing for the buck and time spent to come to an event. But looking at other sports this is how it works. Most just would get 2 runs per day and they are done. And happy. I would be. But maybe that is because I'm old and 4 practice runs and 2 event runs is just what a doctor would order for a racer of my age. :-D

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Re: Does anyone care about ranking?

Post by Jeremy Coffman » Tue Jul 26, 2011 12:32 am

As a racer I actually like the longer courses. I look forward to a few of the races just because I know the course is going to be longer than what I am usually able to skate on my own. Just my personal take on it. I do get what you guys are saying though.

I think some better organizing in odrer to keep things moving would help. Some races there can be confusion on the racing order. It gets anounced but I often miss the name of who gets anounced before me. I tend to have to watch for the guys that I know are after me. I see them moving towards the start ramp I figure I need to head that way too. When I do know my slot I often notify the people I know are riding after me so they have time to get ready. A lot of races kind of stutter along because racers don't know who's on deck.

Reliable timing systems seem to be an issue on keeping things moving. I can't think of many races where there wasn't a timing issue that stopped the racing or delayed the start. There is one race we spent more time sitting around waiting for the timer to get fixed than time we spent racing.

A well organized race with dependable timing systems tend to move along pretty quick. When the courses are set ahead of time and the events of the day are planned out it helps. Knowing ahead of time where the ramps and cones are going to go or where they are going to be moved to and how you are going to do it makes the difference.

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Re: Does anyone care about ranking?

Post by Teresa Waters » Tue Apr 03, 2012 5:50 pm

Derek Yerke wrote:
Also, I feel Pros should automatically receive Pro points for Main Status races, regardless of whether or not 8 of the racers consider themselves pro. It's an ISSA Main Event, Pro points should be available for those who took the time to travel.

yes, A Class level racers should all be grouped together in a Race - Pro should be a label of special recognition given to top A Class level racers! Just count how many A Class level racers attended to give the contest a Main Event status. I don't know of any IOC recognized sports federation that DOES NOT rank their top competitors in this way! The Elite of the highest Class levels are recognized with a special status. Pro should just be a special status given to A Class racers.


IMHO:


Am should be called Recreational and be clearly divided into Class Levels, A B C
Class C should be beginner recreational AM racers
Class B intermediate recreational AM racers
Class A advanced - with Pro and recreational AM skaters numbered and competing together. Pro division within an A Class level event can be created should the event organizer wish. Divide A Class into AM and Pro division rankings.

Pros should have their own separate rankings apart from the rest of the A AM racers as their own division in A Class
AM should have their own separate rankings apart from the Pros as their own division in the A Class.

Classes should have a compulsory course that in a given year they all - at EVERY EVENT WORLD WIDE - must compete. That compulsory course will change every year. I.E. 2012 make the compulsory course Giant Slalom, in 2013 make the compulsory course Tight.... And and the cone separation for the lower Classes are wider than the upper Classes. That compulsory course will make rankings world wide a bit more even.

C and B Class riders may choose to "level up" to a higher Class level or choose to remain in their current Class level as long as they wish with no pressure at all to having to move up in Class level, since they are recreational racers.

C class should always remain a fun, no pressure, recreational class. Divisions in C class according to gender and age should be at the event level only. All C Class racers should be ranked with no divisions.

All B Class racers should be ranked with no divisions. Divisions of gender and age should be determined at the event level only.

Once a racer "levels up" to the B or the A class, they CAN NOT level down ever again in that Year! All races must be competed in that Class level. I.E. an A Class level racer can not compete in GS and then have a ranking of B Class level in the Tight. It's A Class level all across the event or nothing!

Leveling up in Class can only be performed can only occur at the end of the year, once the racer chooses to level up and has met the requirements in order to do so. The racer recognizes that by declaring that they are going up in Class level status at the start of the year, they may not go down in Class status until the year is out.

Leveling up requires attending at least two races in one year, being a registered ISSA racer for at least two years in their Class level, and being in the top 15% (or so) racers in their Region at the end of the year. A year = Calendar year. A region may be as big as a Country, State, or City depending on how many racers in that Class level there are. We could use a Regional map, and divide our ISSA into Regions, headed by a Regional Director.

As for Pro recognition, I think A class Am. racerss should automatically go up to Pro according to the no. of Pro slots each Country wishes to award. Pro recognition should rely heavily on the racer's peers in his or her Country as well as their A Class ranking in their races and overall.



Also:


Class events should have mandatory restrictions on cone spacing or hill grade. C Class cone spacing should automatically be further apart then B or A Class courses. The current ISSA guidelines do not have mandatory restrictions - they are suggestions.

We can also have Testing requirements:

C class racers who wish to become a B class racer must attend at least two B class events and sucessfully run a B class course as a novice. (novice = not a racer, just a test race with no awards or prizes given) in order to prove to their peers that they can handle the more challenging Class level. Testing - not racing - could be an additional requirement should a racer want to move up into a higher level of Class.

or

Requiring that a novice can handle a more advanced Class course in Peer recognized test runs of Compulsory Courses at events may be all we really need to determine Classes.
If you can't love something when it's ugly you will never truly love it when it is beautiful!

Hans Koraeus
Corky - World Ranking Master Mind
Corky - World Ranking Master Mind
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Re: Does anyone care about ranking?

Post by Hans Koraeus » Thu Apr 05, 2012 12:42 pm

Wow Teresa! That was a big bite to chew. :-)

I understand your points but the slalom scene is not on that a high level yet.

The A,B,C,D,... classes has nothing to do with skill apart from that special event discipline qualification race. I.e. it's just a grouping of people by 16 so that they can run head to head in a more interesting way.

The question Derek has is that for PRO's to get PRO points they need to be 8 or more racers at the race. If not they will only get OPEN points that are lower. It's a problem I agree for those PRO that goes to an event for the higher PRO points to not get them. But it is also a problem to give away high PRO points without enough level of competition for it. In any other sport if there were less than 8 PRO's showing up I think the normal thing is to cancel the event. Especially an event on the high level as MAIN status. With current system at least they don't get home without any points at all. If there are not enough PRO riders at a MAIN event one could start to ask if the event is worth MAIN status in the first place. But that depends of the slalom scene in the region. And that scene can be very different in different parts of the world.

It's mainly US that has got this problem were more PRO's has stopped competing as before compared to how many has moved up from AM to PRO. The AM and PRO groups have also nothing to do with AM and PRO as in other sports. It's just a group with racers with higher skill and another with the rest. That skill can change depending on regions. In US more PRO's are needed. So some of the best AM could move up. The problem is that it's not always in their interest doing so. It's more expensive and suddenly you may compete against other racers that are much better. Especially if there are special PRO class at events.

About the regions we have they are quite big continental regions. The only thing that have changed from the start is that some regions was made bigger. For example in North America from the original regions West USA, East USA and Canada some years ago there was a demand to make into a North American region. And Europe and Russia was made into one European region.

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