2008 US Nationals Proposed Racing Format

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2008 US Nationals Proposed Racing Format

Post by Jack Smith » Thu Jan 31, 2008 7:25 am

First of all I want to thank Wes Tucker for bringing this format to my attention, I would also like to thank both Wes and Gary Fluitt for their valuable input in refining this proposal.

As most of you know I have been an ardent advocate of the "differential timing" dual slalom format. I have also been just as strong in my support of the "equal 5th, 9th, 17th" placing method. After much thought and discussion with Wes, Gary and others I feel the time is right to step away from the current system and try something new and different.

Below you will find the proposed format along with a "mock race" bracket. We invite you to take a look.

2008 US National Slalom Skateboarding Championships Proposed Racing Format

Double Elimination Racing is a DIFFERENT kind of racing. Only experience and time will determine if it is better. The differences, though, are readily obvious:

• Less Clock
• Less Math
• Less Arbitrary Race-Day Rules
• Less time between runs
• Less Doubt About Victory
• More Opportunities For Every Racer
• More Emphasis on the Starting Line
• More Emphasis on the Finish Line
• More Emphasis on SPEED
• No more wondering if a cone is .1 or .2. Cones are cones
• Different courses, though, will allow different max cone allowances
• More fun for spectators
• Better for television
• Fewer Cone Heads
• Fewer cone counting errors

As with anything different the most important difference a racer can bring to a double-elimination event is an open mind. Consider qualifying as a first step. The Winner's Bracket is another step. The Do-or-Die bracket is an opportunity to race again with better odds. Cones should be thought of as course markers and not as course penalties. The "starting line" is just that: the start. It's no longer an arbitrary idea with a plus-or-minus at a racer's discretion.

And most importantly: the racer who stays in the course and crosses the finish line first wins.

Qualifying:
Each racer gets two runs. One per lane.
No per cone penalty.
There will be a maximum cone penalty.
Number of cones allowed will be determined after the course is set.

Seeding:
Number of racers advancing to the head to head racing will be based on number of entries in each class.
Seeding will be done in the usual 1-32, 2-31 method.

Head to head racing:
Fastest qualifier in each heat has LANE CHOICE.
No per cone penalty.
There will be a maximum cone penalty.
Number of cones allowed, same as qualifying.
False start is a DQ (loss).
Failing to make the course is a DQ (loss).

Two racers run the course. One run. No switching lanes.
First racer (without a False start or DQ) across the finish line wins.
Winner goes to winner’s bracket.
Loser goes to “Do or Die” bracket.

Winners Bracket – Double DQs:
IF there is a double DQ that means both racer have a LOSS.
NO ONE WITH A LOSS can stay in the Winner's bracket.
So, Double DQ in the winner's bracket. Do over.
Winner GOES TO THE LOSER'S BRACKET to fill out the heat.
Loser is DONE
In the next round of the Winner's bracket someone has a bye.

Do or Die Bracket – Double DQs:
In the event of a double DQ both racers now have two losses so they are both eliminated.
In the next round of the “Do or Die Bracket” someone has a bye.

EVERYONE does get a second run: in the “Do or Die”.
In a 32-man bracket 16 skaters will not advance. They move to the losers bracket.
Same rules: fastest qualifier gets lane choice.
You keep racing until you have TWO losses. (One in the "main" bracket and one in the "loser's" bracket.) Eventually, everybody will have two losses EXCEPT the skater who wins the winner bracket.

The way it works is that through the course of the race, EVERYBODY BUT ONE RACER will go to the “Do or Die” bracket and from there have to work their way back to have a chance to beat the one skater who's stayed undefeated all the way through the main bracket. And there will always be just one racer at the conclusion of the winner’s bracket that has no losses.

Again, no need to calculate time differentials or DQ penalties. A DQ just means you've lost. You either get to go to the Loser's Bracket or you've already had your two losses and you are done. There is an excellent chance a bunch of slower skaters are going to run in the "slow" lane twice. That's the breaks. Want to pick your lane? Qualify faster.

Advantages:
Less time between races for racers due to less counting of cones,
and no time penalty calculations.

Typically, in the first round of the current system a lower qualifying racer will be eliminated from the race after his first heat with the high qualifying racer. In the new system a lower qualifier who is defeated in the first round of the winner’s bracket will move to the “Do or Die” bracket and race someone closer to their qualifying position.

Another scenario: A “top racer” has a bad qualifying round and is seeded against another
“top racer” in the first round, in the current system, we lose a “marquee racer” in the first round. In the new system it is possible for the one-loss “marquee racer” to fight his way back to the winner’s bracket and end up competing for the championship with the racer who beat him in the first round.

No DQ worries. A DQ just means you lost. Thank you very much. Come again.
No calculating time differential
No spectator wondering if someone won this time or last time or the next time.
Everyone who wins is a winner and moves on.

Overall Placings:
Champion and 2nd Place determined by a head to head race ( two in the event that the winner of the “Do or Die “ bracket defeats the Winner’s bracket champion in their first championship heat).

3rd Place – Loser of Round 8 of “Do or Die” bracket.
4th Place – Loser of Round 7 of “Do or Die” bracket.

5th Place – Loser of Round 6 of “Do or Die” bracket with higher qualifying position.
6th Place – Loser of Round 6 of “Do or Die” bracket with lower qualifying position.

7th Place – Loser of Round 5 of “Do or Die” bracket with higher qualifying position.
8th Place – Loser of Round 5 of “Do or Die” bracket with lower qualifying position.


9th Place – Loser of Round 4 of “Do or Die” bracket with highest qualifying position.
10th Place – Loser of Round 4 of “Do or Die” bracket with next highest qualifying pos.
11th Place – Loser of Round 4 of “Do or Die” bracket with next highest qualifying pos.
12th Place – Loser of Round 4 of “Do or Die” bracket with next highest qualifying pos.

13th Place – Loser of Round 3 of “Do or Die” bracket with highest qualifying position.
14th Place – Loser of Round 3 of “Do or Die” bracket with next highest qualifying pos.
15th Place – Loser of Round 3 of “Do or Die” bracket with next highest qualifying pos.
16th Place – Loser of Round 3 of “Do or Die” bracket with next highest qualifying pos.

17th Place – Loser of Round 2 of “Do or Die” bracket with highest qualifying position.
18th Place – Loser of Round 2 of “Do or Die” bracket with next highest qualifying pos.
19th Place – Loser of Round 2 of “Do or Die” bracket with next highest qualifying pos.
20th Place – Loser of Round 2 of “Do or Die” bracket with next highest qualifying pos
21st Place – Loser of Round 2 of “Do or Die” bracket with next highest qualifying pos.
22nd Place – Loser of Round 2 of “Do or Die” bracket with next highest qualifying pos.
23rd Place – Loser of Round 2 of “Do or Die” bracket with next highest qualifying pos
24th Place – Loser of Round 2 of “Do or Die” bracket with next highest qualifying pos

25th Place – Loser of Round 1 of “Do or Die” bracket with highest qualifying position.
26th Place – Loser of Round 1 of “Do or Die” bracket with next highest qualifying pos.
27th Place – Loser of Round 1 of “Do or Die” bracket with next highest qualifying pos.
28th Place – Loser of Round 1 of “Do or Die” bracket with next highest qualifying pos
29th Place – Loser of Round 1 of “Do or Die” bracket with next highest qualifying pos.
30th Place – Loser of Round 1 of “Do or Die” bracket with next highest qualifying pos.
31st Place – Loser of Round 1 of “Do or Die” bracket with next highest qualifying pos
32nd Place – Loser of Round 1 of “Do or Die” bracket with next highest qualifying pos

Image

If you would like a larger view of the bracket, you can get it here:
http://i269.photobucket.com/albums/jj53 ... etTest.jpg

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Post by Karl Floitgraf » Thu Jan 31, 2008 9:14 am

Don't you have to follow all those rules the ISSA has voted on inorder to get sanctioning? I'm not sure.

I'm not a big fan of equal Nth placing, I think there is a difference between 5th place and 8th place. Qualifying should matter.
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Dbl-elim, no-cone-penalty, DQ is a DQ, single-run heat, etc

Post by Pat Chewning » Thu Jan 31, 2008 9:17 am

Very interesting.

My observations so far:

====================================

The Winner takes 7 runs in the double-elimination head-to-head (normal bracketing gives 10 runs to win). The winner potentially "defends" his title against 7 different people (as opposed to 5 different people in normal bracketing).

The 32nd place guy takes 2 runs against 2 different people before being eliminated (normal bracketing gives 2 runs against the same person).


===================================

The total number of runs is 62 (vs 64 runs for normal bracketing)

So any time-savings will have to come from less cone-counting, less math, less??

====================================

It looks slightly harder than normal bracketing to make sure you get the right pairing of people, and in the right lane. (Because there is no pre-determined lanes, and because there are not racer-pairs over two runs.)

====================================

I like the concept of a DQ really meaning DQ. Some of the convoluted rules we have are due to trying to artificially construct a time for a racer who did not finish the course. The original proposal for the ISSA rules was for a 999 second DQ penalty. Pretty much the same result.

====================================

The concept of a DQ penalty for going over a (small) amount of cones is a good concept. I like it. The original proposal for the ISSA rules was 10-cones equals a DQ. The racers voted for 20% ....

=====================================

The concept of no time penalty for hitting cones does not really eliminate the need for coneheads. Cones still need to be accurately counted (up to the DQ penalty amount). Cones still need to be checked for being in place. Displaced cones still need to be returned to the course.

======================================

The concept of a "random" or "surprise" start tone with a DQ penalty for going early is similar to swim meets and track meets. It works until people start jumping the gun and getting DQ'd -- or both racers are getting DQ'd .

======================================

The concept of "one run" dual-lane head-to-head is a good one. I'll bet if we did a statistical analysis of past races, we would find that the winner of the 2-run heats usually is the winner in BOTH of the 2 runs.... so why do 2 runs? A computer-random lane selector could work, as does the method of letting the higher qualifier choose the lane. (We have done this in some CSA races when we were running out of time to do 2-run heats).

-----------

I think that a MAJOR status race could handle maybe one of these deviations from the ISSA rules. But to take all of these deviations and bundle them together is a bit too much for a race of MAJOR status. This year would be good for a few PRIME and BASIC races to try these various formats out and then see if the ISSA rules need to be adjusted for 2009 -- at which point MAJOR races could use all of the accepted alterations.


So that's what I think.

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Another way of looking at this.

Post by Pat Chewning » Thu Jan 31, 2008 9:31 am

In "normal" racing: (Two-run heats, single-elimination)
You get 2 chances to lose the race. One in each lane. Both chances are against the same person. The "chances" are added together.

In "proposed" racing: (One-run heats, dual elimination)
You get 2 chances to lose the race. One chance against one racer, one against another racer. You are not guaranteed they will be in each of the lanes. The "chances" are taken individually.


"Normal" racing takes math to add run 1 and run 2

"Proposed" racing does not need the math.

All of the other stuff (like DQ really means DQ, no cone penalty, various start methods, differential timing, etc) can be applied to "normal" or "proposed" racing formats with the same benefits.... and with the same risks.
Last edited by Pat Chewning on Thu Jan 31, 2008 9:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Pat Chewning » Thu Jan 31, 2008 9:45 am

Karl Floitgraf wrote:Don't you have to follow all those rules the ISSA has voted on inorder to get sanctioning? I'm not sure.
Yes, Karl, you read the rules correctly. For MAJOR status races the ISSA rules only allow very few and very minor deviations from the racing rules.

I'm glad you understand that. I'm sure there will be plenty of people who won't understand. (e.g. If the "US NATIONALS" should only get a PRIME ISSA status).

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Post by Jack Smith » Thu Jan 31, 2008 4:04 pm

It looks slightly harder than normal bracketing to make sure you get the right pairing of people, and in the right lane. (Because there is no pre-determined lanes, and because there are not racer-pairs over two runs.)
There are pre-set brackets for fields from 8 to 32 racers

The concept of no time penalty for hitting cones does not really eliminate the need for coneheads.
The proposal states fewer coneheads.

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Re: Dbl-elim, no-cone-penalty, DQ is a DQ, single-run heat,

Post by Wesley Tucker » Thu Jan 31, 2008 4:28 pm

Pat Chewning wrote:I like the concept of a DQ really meaning DQ. Some of the convoluted rules we have are due to trying to artificially construct a time for a racer who did not finish the course. The original proposal for the ISSA rules was for a 999 second DQ penalty. Pretty much the same result.
So in essence the 999 second DQ means the only reason skaters race again is in hopes the other guy DQs? Otherwise it was just an exercise in futility.
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Post by Wesley Tucker » Thu Jan 31, 2008 4:41 pm

Let's not forget another element of double elimination racing and the changes in DQ and cones:
THE SPECTATORS.

With this format there is no doubt who won - the guy who crosses the finish line first.

Keep in mind this proposal I made and Jack took up in earnest in a combination of two different ideas:

1. Double Elimination racing
2. Max Cones and DQs.

The cones and DQ thing can apply to current combined-time/dual lane racing. I only added that as an incentive to make racing even more spectator friendly.

As I said in another thread with our current format there is a preponderance of doubt as to who won a race until all the counting, math, DQ penalties, false start penalties and clock results are added together and algebraically computed to determine who won. Nobody really knows anything until the timing table gets done with the voodoo they do so well.

And not only the spectators. How many times have racers run their heat, hit the run out, stopped, picked up their board and started back up the hill and still have no clue who won?

With this format the winner is the skater who crosses the finish line first without a DQ.

Isn't that what racing should be?
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Re: Dbl-elim, no-cone-penalty, DQ is a DQ, single-run heat,

Post by Pat Chewning » Thu Jan 31, 2008 6:29 pm

Wesley Tucker wrote:
Pat Chewning wrote:I like the concept of a DQ really meaning DQ. Some of the convoluted rules we have are due to trying to artificially construct a time for a racer who did not finish the course. The original proposal for the ISSA rules was for a 999 second DQ penalty. Pretty much the same result.
So in essence the 999 second DQ means the only reason skaters race again is in hopes the other guy DQs? Otherwise it was just an exercise in futility.
In my opinion, the 2nd run should be eliminated if a single racer DQ'd on the 1st run. However, the members voted to keep the 2nd run, so that's the way it is.

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Post by Wesley Tucker » Thu Jan 31, 2008 6:39 pm

I was talking to Karr today and another aspect of this format came to me.

In recent races the DHBs and other promoters have added a "remote computer terminal" so racers can see their results without pestering the timing table. Skaters get information about their first run, the timing differential needed to make up in the second run and compare times with others in the same bracket.

By happenstance this becomes MUCH LESS IMPORTANT. Skater will no longer have to wonder about their first time and what is needed in the second run in order to advance. With this format it doesn't matter. When a skater loses they move on to another completely new bracket against a different racer.

The remote timing table will still be a nice feature because skaters will still want to compare times and know what's going on with the competition. The recorded times will provide this insight. The recorded times, though, will not be the determining factor in winning and losing, though. The finish line is now what matters.

AND

Here's another biggie that will interest everyone: there will no longer be such a thing as RAW TIMES. Whatever time is on the clock is the time it took to run the race. A time is a time. A DQ is a DQ and a win is a win.
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Post by Kevin Dunne » Fri Feb 01, 2008 2:18 am

I like it. I think this system should be tested before using it for a race as important as one deciding our national champion. Looks like you'll have to put on 2 races this year Jack!

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Post by Wesley Tucker » Fri Feb 01, 2008 3:51 pm

Kevin Dunne wrote:I like it. I think this system should be tested before using it for a race as important as one deciding our national champion. Looks like you'll have to put on 2 races this year Jack!
Kevin,

I don't want to put words in anyone's mouth, but that's already been considered. The way I understand it there will be some races this Spring trying the new elimination process.

Also, Jack has already made a small but not inconsequential sacrifice to this by buying double-elimination bracket software.

You see, when the cone counting, DQ time penalties and false start aspects of an event are taken out of the equation then our races are just like any other double-elimination format. We can use the same software used for bowling leagues or fencing tournaments. It's all the variables we've added to the process that made specialized spreadsheet and race management software requirements necessary.

Now, the timing table looks at the clock. IF there are no DQs then the faster of the two times is the winner. Put a checkmark by the winner's name and the loser goes to the do-or-die. Next race.

We will of course have "photo finishes." I always go back to my own race with Joe I in Texas where the difference between winning and losing was .009. I doubt a spectator would know who won until it came from the timing table. But that even adds more to the fun of the racing. A clear close finish will remain a close finish. We won't see close finishes turn into blowouts because of various penalties added to each racer's time.
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Post by Chris Barker » Fri Feb 01, 2008 7:43 pm

In my opinion, the biggest issue with the proposal is not running both lanes and giving lane choice to one of the racers. Seldom is the racing surface without any crown. Seldom are the actual surfaces equal on both lanes. There are factors like grease, holes, surface/erosion inconsistencies, shading, plus inconsistencies in the actual cone placements.

In almost all events, one lane is simply a better lane to race on.

Slalom skateboard racing is seldom on a flat, consistent, surface like drag racing.

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Post by Tony Peters » Fri Feb 01, 2008 7:46 pm

from a noobs perspective this rocks....I would much race this way than cone penalties...I think it would also promote cleaner racing especially it the max cone numbers gradually fell down to less than 10%. I know there are all kinds of tactics and stragedy with criddling and such but every other form of slalom is simple you miss a gate you are OUT

edit: even in drag racing the faster guy gets lane choice....you can win from the slower lane all day and still not get the faster lane
turns are fun....

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Cone penalty

Post by Pat Chewning » Fri Feb 01, 2008 8:13 pm

Tony Peters wrote:from a noobs perspective this rocks....I would much race this way than cone penalties...I think it would also promote cleaner racing especially it the max cone numbers gradually fell down to less than 10%. I know there are all kinds of tactics and stragedy with criddling and such but every other form of slalom is simple you miss a gate you are OUT
Reducing the # of cones to hit before a DQ can be applied equally well to the "normal" way of racing (two runs per heat, single elimination, start penalty, use a clock, etc).

This proposed way of racing includes so many deviations from the norm, that it is hard to discuss it because we don't know if we are discussing:
Lack of timer -- first to the line wins
No cone penalty
No start penalty
Low # of cones before DQ
DQ really means DQ
Single-run per heat
Dual elimination
Start on a surprise "GO" tone

I agree that there are potential benefits to the overall proposal. I agree that it should be selectively applied to some lower-status races this year. I disagree that the highest-status race in N. America should use this format this year.

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Post by Wesley Tucker » Fri Feb 01, 2008 8:23 pm

Pat,

First of all, there has to be a timer. We still qualify with time.

Secondly, the timer is needed to say who won. Start-run-finish. The fastest time on the clock is the winner. Eyeballs can do the job but a clock is the real indicator. Just like in drag racing. People don't look for a view screen to see who nosed the line first: they look at the clock (unlike in horse racing.)

I don't know where anyone said anything about a "surprise" GO tone. Where did that come from? The four tone start is still imperative (just like the christmas tree.)

"DQ really means DQ" is the antithesis of "DQ means a penalty but not neceassarily if the skater goes 1.5+X faster in the next run."

"Single run per heat." If running in both lanes to get an accurate reflection of the skater's performance then why do we only consider the fast time from one lane when qualifying? To be consistent shouldn't qualifying be (Red Lane + White Lane)/2? Since we use fast lane time for qualifying then why not fast lane time for racing?

"No start penalty." I don't know if we ever had a start penalty. If you mean "no false start penalty" then I disagree. The penalty is a DQ.

Again, this format has a single purpose in mind: less clock, less math, less variables, more racing.
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Post by Jack Smith » Fri Feb 01, 2008 9:34 pm

This new format will be tested at Jonny Miller's race in April, Fluitt is also planning to test it this spring in Colorado. Late word has it that the NC crew may also test it sometime soon.

I want to make it perfectly clear that the organizers of the 2008 Nationals are hopeful that our race will be accorded major status. We are not interested in a lower level of sanctioning. Either way the race will happen. Racers will come, race, have fun and try something new, which is what I have always considered a hallmark of skateboarding.

Our cards are on the table, we'll leave it up to the ISSA Sanctioning Board.

Just a side note...how many races in 2007 ran their events in strict accordance with the ISSA sanction guidelines?

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Post by Doug Kadzban » Fri Feb 01, 2008 9:57 pm

call me a noob, but would this format be used at all ISSA races or just nationals?
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Post by Jack Smith » Fri Feb 01, 2008 10:10 pm

Doug...

The ISSA does not organize or conduct races, they are a sanctioning body.

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Post by Doug Kadzban » Fri Feb 01, 2008 10:18 pm

Jack Smith wrote:Doug...

The ISSA does not organize or conduct races, they are a sanctioning body.
ah, okay

my bad
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Post by Pat Chewning » Fri Feb 01, 2008 11:44 pm

Jack Smith wrote: Just a side note...how many races in 2007 ran their events in strict accordance with the ISSA sanction guidelines?
Answer: Somewhere close to 100% of the ISSA sanctioned races were sanctioned according the ISSA sanctioning guidelines....

Maybe you were trying to make some other point?

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Post by Jack Smith » Fri Feb 01, 2008 11:51 pm

Yes they were sanctioned "sanctioned according the ISSA sanctioning guidelines".

But how many used actual ISSA rules for the running of the event?

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Post by Kevin Dunne » Sat Feb 02, 2008 4:35 am

I really like this idea...for the most part. I have to agree with Cbark that it would seem unfair to make some people race one course and others race another, possibly slower, course...is there a way to work it so we race two runs (one on each course), or does that put us right back where we are now? I guess, with a double elimination format, it would take too much time?

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Proposed new racing format

Post by Art Pryde » Sat Feb 02, 2008 4:38 am

Chris Barker wrote:
"Slalom skateboard racing is seldom on a flat, consistent, surface like drag racing."

All due respects to those that are looking for ways to make our sport more user friendly, but after thinking about what Chris posted, I have to agree with him 100%. At this moment I forsee 2 additional concerns that could occur with 1 run, top qualifier choosing lane eliminations, !) course distance and 2) real-time information.

1) Distance- who is going to make sure that each course is exactly the same length? Not only linear, but also in relation to the path througth the cones?

Drag racers know that each lane is precisely 1/4 of a mile long.

Slalom course setters do their BEST, and I respect ALL their efforts, to make sure both lanes are somewhat equal, but I doubt that each lane is exactly the same length or has the exact degree of difficulty. We can't expect race organizers to have all their races on straight pieces of pavement, or spend more time setting up courses to ensure that each of their race courses are exactly the same

I don't think any rider would want to go into any elimination round knowing that their lane has been consistantly .3 to .8 seconds slower all day long, because it is either a longer course or more difficult.

2) Real-time information- In order for any racer to make at least a semi-intelligent decision as to which lane to choose we must have real-time information.

We must know, before the elimination rounds begin, which lane has been faster and had the least number of cones hit. This means there must be, as I'm sure there is in drag racing, computer printouts of detailed results for every racer throughout the qualifying rounds, and these results must be posted in an area where ALL racers can view/study them before the elimination rounds begin.

There are some positive attributes of this format, but I hope that race organizers are, and I'm sure they will be, flexible in deciding what works and what doesn't.

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Post by Wesley Tucker » Sat Feb 02, 2008 5:05 am

I ask this question:

Which lane is faster for whom?

Remember this: a regular skater hits some offsets toe side and a mongo skater comes along and hits the same offsets heel side.

What is the fast lane for one skater may be the slow lane for another. There are going to be heats where the high seed is going to say, "I want Red," and the low seed is going to breathe a sigh of relief. "Thank God he picked red. I've been kicking ass in White all day!"

Then comes the double psyche: does the high seed who's a much better skater take his fast lane or does he choose the other guy's preferred lane in hopes of forcing a DQ?

It can get real fun real fast :-)

As far as each lane being exactly the same distance all I can say is here on the East Coast many of us have invested $20 in little wheel roller measurers. Many of the dual courses we race are as exacting in distance as can be achieved down to the inch. I measured the two hybrid courses at the Worlds. The difference between the two was under two inches. (And, yes, I went around the cones and measured the total course length, not just the end-to-end distance.)

I'll concede those two inches to whomever qualifies faster than me and gets the advantage.

And you know, Art, when it gets down to portions of an inch in difference in the courses you've pretty much gotten into the margin of error for the clock anyway. I mean, c'mon, does anyone really believe a AAA battery-powered box hooked up to 400 feet of copper wire is really as exacting as to record two identical times to within 1000ths of a second? I think most everyone in grassroots skating has conceded that difference. We all accept what the clock says but we all know that when the difference between two skaters is .001 then we're just running on faith who really got there first.

And yes, it's completely doable to run both lanes. That's what we've been doing for six years. That. however, doesn't address Gib Lewis's concerns that started this in the first place:

http://www.slalomskateboarder.com/phpBB ... php?t=4635

I'll concede this, however, Art. As Jack said there are going to be at least three races this Spring (California, Colorado, North Carolina) using this elimination format. If the racing is really boring and there are no upsets, the high seed ALWAYS WINS and the lower seed NEVER advances then I'll agree the advantage is entirely too much for the high seed.
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Post by Joe Iacovelli » Sat Feb 02, 2008 5:22 am

I appluad the innovation and agree that this may help speed up our rounds, eliminate some of the tedium for spectators, and generally spice things up.

The only negative, and I hestitate to mention as I fully support trying this out, is the death of the clean run. I enjoy doing a clean run, I enjoy watching a clean run, and i think it's inpressive for spectators to watch two racers neck and neck, clean and clean. This new system incents me to hit some cones.

Doesn't it?

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Post by Wesley Tucker » Sat Feb 02, 2008 5:41 am

Joe,

Maybe. Personally, my fastest times are always on my cleanest runs. (Not necessarily clean but cleanEST.) I'm not much of a criddler. I can think of exactly TWO times I've purposefully criddled: that cone in the oil slick in Texas when I was racing Tiger and you and the top of the pyramid section at the "old" Dixie Cup hybrid course (the DHBs took that out of the course this year.)

Maybe some of the really fast guys can criddle effectively but for me whenever I start hitting cones it's usually because I've lost my line and the race is already over. Cone spray for me is an indication it's over, not that I'm gaining an advantage.

So, let's say a course is fifty cones and the max cone penalty is five with six being a DQ. Yes, someone could hit five and still beat someone who ran clean. My experience, though, is that someone runs clean because they are going really slow or because they have the course wired and can go really fast.

And by the way, I'll repeat what I said above: the max cone thing and the double-elimination format are not a set. It's two different concepts I propsed in order to eliminate some of the issues we've had with our racing format in the past. The max cone thing is certainly doable. What it does, though, is bring the MATH back into the racing. It also continues the appearance of the fast guy losing and the slow guy winning.

Jack, though, just took the who proposal and ran with it.

I'm just sayin' . . .
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Post by GARY GLASSER » Sat Feb 02, 2008 6:15 am

Doesn't this new system allow a person of greater skill to sandbag to the loser brackets? This person(s) could work their way past the lycra clothed, the beer belly enhanced and those who wear shirts to hide our man-boobs...eventually reaching the top.

Regardless if you can ever stop sandbagging..change is good and again it should be another awesome year..for the kids who kill on the slalom course.
I am the slowest COSS slalom racer..Lucky for you!

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course time differentials

Post by Art Pryde » Sat Feb 02, 2008 6:18 am

I just wanted to add one more thing. If one were to take a quick look at the pro's final 8 to finish PDF results from some of the top races in the US, and maybe Europe, over the past year or so you'll notice that generally one lane was faster than the other.

Many times, I'm sure that race organizers only have single day permits for roads and don't have the luxury of fine tuning each course to match each other.

That was a good one Gary!

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Post by Cat Young » Sat Feb 02, 2008 7:34 pm

GARY GLASSER wrote:This person(s) could work their way past the beer belly enhanced and those who wear shirts to hide our man-boobs...
Yea, Gary.... what's up with that??? :(
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Post by Marcus Rietema » Sat Feb 02, 2008 7:47 pm

Jack,

I think this is an outstanding proposal! I'm looking forward to trying it out at Johnny's race. The only thing I think should be added is that all ties in the final standings should be broken by qualifying times.

A top, consistent pro should run both courses before the race so they can be adjusted to produce similar elapsed times.

One more thing... Get an announcer who understands the sport, knows how to create excitement and place them at the finish line where all the action is taking place!

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Post by Chris Barker » Sat Feb 02, 2008 10:43 pm

Wesley Tucker wrote:I'll concede this, however, Art. As Jack said there are going to be at least three races this Spring (California, Colorado, North Carolina) using this elimination format.
What race in Colorado would that be???

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Post by Wesley Tucker » Sat Feb 02, 2008 11:20 pm

Chris Barker wrote:
Wesley Tucker wrote:I'll concede this, however, Art. As Jack said there are going to be at least three races this Spring (California, Colorado, North Carolina) using this elimination format.
What race in Colorado would that be???
Ask Fluitt. He's said he wants to try it. I don't know that it's going to be some gargantuan three-day event but possibly an outlaw or some other way to spend a Sunday afternoon.
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New proposed race format

Post by Art Pryde » Sun Feb 03, 2008 1:23 am

Hey Jack,
Overall, I do think that this system could help make our sport less math driven and more finish line spectator friendly. It may eliminate spectators asking, "Who won?" because they couldn't hear the announcer at the start line, because they were down by the finish line watching to see who won.

I was wondering, if you decide to have the top qualifiers choose lanes, what will be the time frame for them to make this decision? There may be some that like to play mind games and say they want the "white course", and then just before their run starts "change" their mind and choose the "red course" that they wanted all along.

As in any new system, I do think that there are a few areas that need to be looked at, but in the end hopefully I can make it to your race because I know it's going to be a blast!!

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Post by Jack Smith » Sun Feb 03, 2008 2:55 am

Response to questions/concerns posted above:

In my opinion, the biggest issue with the proposal is not running both lanes and giving lane choice to one of the racers. Seldom is the racing surface without any crown. Seldom are the actual surfaces equal on both lanes. There are factors like grease, holes, surface/erosion inconsistencies, shading, plus inconsistencies in the actual cone placements.

In almost all events, one lane is simply a better lane to race on.

Slalom skateboard racing is seldom on a flat, consistent, surface like drag racing.

Seldom is heard a most discouraging word.
Thanks for pointing that out to me Chris, Even though I’ve organized over fifty dual slalom races, including five World Championships, I hadn’t given any thought to those factors. And evidently, the courses in drag racing are not all that consistent, if they were, perhaps they would just flip a coin for lane choice.

This new format will definitely put more pressure on the organizer to find venues where as identical as possible courses can be set.



Somewhere close to 100% of the ISSA sanctioned races were sanctioned according the ISSA sanctioning guidelines....
Maybe you were trying to make some other point?

Any update on this Pat?


I really like this idea...for the most part. I have to agree with Cbark that it would seem unfair to make some people race one course and others race another, possibly slower, course...is there a way to work it so we race two runs (one on each course), or does that put us right back where we are now? I guess, with a double elimination format, it would take too much time?

In a perfect world, where we had unlimited time on the hill, or very few racers, I would
love to use the “double elimination” and the one run in each lane system.



1) Distance- who is going to make sure that each course is exactly the same length? Not only linear, but also in relation to the path througth the cones?
A tape measure, GPS or measuring wheel can assure courses of the same length. As for path through the cones, very racer’s path is different.
Drag racers know that each lane is precisely 1/4 of a mile long.

Slalom course setters do their BEST, and I respect ALL their efforts, to make sure both lanes are somewhat equal, but I doubt that each lane is exactly the same length or has the exact degree of difficulty. We can't expect race organizers to have all their races on straight pieces of pavement, or spend more time setting up courses to ensure that each of their race courses are exactly the same

I don't think any rider would want to go into any elimination round knowing that their lane has been consistantly .3 to .8 seconds slower all day long, because it is either a longer course or more difficult.

Well Art, I agree with you here. Solution; qualify as fast you can.

2) Real-time information- In order for any racer to make at least a semi-intelligent decision as to which lane to choose we must have real-time information.

We must know, before the elimination rounds begin, which lane has been faster and had the least number of cones hit. This means there must be, as I'm sure there is in drag racing, computer printouts of detailed results for every racer throughout the qualifying rounds, and these results must be posted in an area where ALL racers can view/study them before the elimination rounds begin.

After the practice round and qualifying, I think most racers should have a good idea what course is faster. But I must say, that I’ve been to numerous races over the last seven years, where the biggest topic of discussion throughout the day is “which lane is faster”.
In my experience the verdict is usually split right down the middle.

As for Q-times being available to “study”, I think most race organizers doing a pretty good job in this area.



The only negative, and I hestitate to mention as I fully support trying this out, is the death of the clean run. I enjoy doing a clean run, I enjoy watching a clean run, and i think it's inpressive for spectators to watch two racers neck and neck, clean and clean. This new system incents me to hit some cones.

Now Joe, why would you want to hit a cone. How may times do you need to be told “cones are your friends”. Spectators will still love and applaud clean runs.


Doesn't this new system allow a person of greater skill to sandbag to the loser brackets? This person(s) could work their way past the lycra clothed, the beer belly enhanced and those who wear shirts to hide our man-boobs...eventually reaching the top.

Regardless if you can ever stop sandbagging..change is good and again it should be another awesome year..for the kids who kill on the slalom course.

Never understood the sandbagging deal. In the “double elimination” system, racers from the “winner’s bracket” will be joining the “do or die” bracket throughout the competition, so a racer would have no idea who he might meet in the latter rounds of the “do or die” bracket.

I just wanted to add one more thing. If one were to take a quick look at the pro's final 8 to finish PDF results from some of the top races in the US, and maybe Europe, over the past year or so you'll notice that generally one lane was faster than the other.

Same answer as above, qualify faster.

I was wondering, if you decide to have the top qualifiers choose lanes, what will be the time frame for them to make this decision? There may be some that like to play mind games and say they want the "white course", and then just before their run starts "change" their mind and choose the "red course" that they wanted all along.

Good question Art. How about, once the racer steps onto the start platform, he cannot change his mind.

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Post by Kevin Dunne » Sun Feb 03, 2008 4:14 am

Good answers Jack...you passed the test. LET'S DO IT!

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Post by Steve Collins » Sun Feb 03, 2008 6:44 am

I agree Kevin. I like the proposal. Let's try it out. Now I'm even more looking forward to Jonny's next race. I'll be trying this down here too. Thanks Jack.

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Post by Chris Iversen » Sun Feb 03, 2008 8:31 pm

I like it too! I'm relatively new to competitive slalom, and what I truly enjoy is the competition involved, the speed, and the camaraderie. However, I understand what is going on and I'm stoked on it because I'm involved, therefore I'm into it. For the many people that we want to enjoy it, from a spectator's point of view, they might not quite get it. Many will, but many will not.

I think with this proposed format, more people will enjoy watching it. As a middle of the road racer, at best, I know I will likely get my ass kicked using this format, but what the hell, winning isn't everything right???? It's all about the experience. If it will help bring our sport further in the limelight, I'm all for it!
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Barker is correct.

Post by John Gilmour » Mon Feb 04, 2008 3:31 am

Look not to get everyone pissed at me.... but I'm sure this will get everyone barbing me like crazy..But that won't stop my from saying what I think is important for the sport of skateboard slalom racing.

Unless you podiumed in a race with the top racers in attendance that was at a MAJOR contest... deep with high ranking pros.....

Well IMHO I don't think you should be deciding what goes on in a race format. (it strikes of the wrong choices by FIS "officials") I think the people that this sort of ruling affects the most are the racers in the top 8.

Ok- so what of it..

Lets look at a race in Paso Robles. I missed it.. so you would think I would not be qualified to speak about it. However my teammate TK was there and I certainly think he is about as impartial as anyone could be. anyone doubts that TK is impartial..speak up now.

He noticed that it was nearly impossible to win from one particular lane.


In this case.. Qualifiying AUTOMATICALLY determines the winner. (unless the higher qualifing racer is an imbecile picks the slower course to race in).


The fact is..there is ALWAYS a slower lane. (unless the race is on a cement hockey rink indoors and measured)

In a top field many racers are within .2 or closer.

IMHO many (I'd even bet ....most) dual courses have even nearly a .1 - .2 difference or a whole lot more.

In Dual racing..what you are actually doing is racing a SINGLE COURSE- just 1/2 a course "at a time" with two starts. We add the times to get the time for the "SINGLE discontinuous course". This makes it more fair. And allows us the "illusion of head to head" racing for the spectators,..... and ourselves.

I want to know who the fastest racer is on any given day. IMHO I don't want to see a result that gets placings skewed according to a differential in times in courses. why bother to travel to a race if you don't get placed accurately?

Basically what you are proposing is that two racers race each other using different courses. Correct me if I am wrong... but the courses are always different in a hill situation.


Look.... if you are a racer who places say.... 20th in the world.... the time differences between you and the next fastest racers are going to be larger most of the time than the time differences between say the 2th and 3rd racers. You might place 20th one day and 16th the next and 25th the next... if you are down there... you likely don't always place or race consistently. So you have no idea how something like this affects the top racers who typically- are more consistent and packed tighter together.

So to some of the people posting...you don't have first hand experience on how these types of rules really affect the ability to get to the podium. Sorry guys- hate me for saying it. It's true. I wish I didn't have to say this- but just can't sit by and watch a bad idea like this pass.

Jack is well intentioned- and I like that he is introducing a new idea and hope he ill continue to do so...he has a lot of experience and is a good racer- but this idea.. is just not good for the sport. Fine perhaps for local races with huge ranges of ability... but not for Nationals or Worlds or even a Prime. best left to "Basic use only" if at all.

People that should be deciding on these matters should not be promoters- or time keepers or guys in b,c,d, brackets. Not at all. They can discuss it... but I don't think they should be making and voting on these rules. Why? Because frankly it won't make much a difference to where they place- so the same amount of experience and thought doesn't go into the decision as by skaters whose podium placings are at stake.

It should be the guys who are directly affected by these rules. And preferably- those guys who are 1/100ths apart from each other. (Ie lets just say that in the 90's you could have made just about any rule and Luca would still win).. we should care about the order of all the racers- not just the ones in first place- and of course special care for the racers at the top ten to make sure the order is as accurate and agreeable to all.

So in regards to the losers bracket type racing....

In a DC park and ride race- they used this format. IMHO a good race system consistently rewards the fastest racer with a win.

Well at the park and ride race, I qualified first by a wide margin. To test the merit of the system..... I intentionally lost my first round to Wes E. (Yes it was painful, humbling even if it was intentional - mind you he beat me fair and square at Urban Waves..lol).

I then struggled to come back through the losers bracket. If the system was sound I would win. I ended up racing nearly everyone that day. I think I took almost 22 runs.

I didn't win. By the time I made it back through the losers Bracket to face Mollica- I was exhausted.

For our sport the losers bracket system is for "losers" in that it could only accurately place people with larger skill discrepancies between them.

It could work if you had under say... 8 racers (possibly 16) ... but anything more than that..like 32..... forget it.

As for a organizer finding a venue that is more consistent.. Well lets just say if you adopt this Main street in Morro Bay is completely out of the running. (ok with me - I never liked that flat "hill" with crap pavement and manhole covers anyhow- I wouldn't even bother to set a practice course on that street)

So is La Costa (reflectors and manholes). A fantastic venue BTW.

A great one would be the one Jack used by the Ocean at Avila. What a near perfect venue- in a true Cali tradition of sea and asphalt. when i saw that race- I was like... Damn- Jack nailed it.

The Farm might be ok in Bristol Ct. only.

With the crown at Antrim... it would be out- an otherwise great venue with great town support and a good racing model... ...out.

Central park- if we ever get one there... would be out.. even the Tavern on the green slight downhill is crowned too much.


But realistically.... that means we are always looking for a straight hill.

BORING.

Like a NASCAR Oval...

To me slalom racing should be like Formula 1. You should look forward to different varied tracks with crowns, off cambered turns. dips and plateus etc..

Shady lane should not be like Trocadero, should not be like La Costa, should not be like WLAC, should not be like Dixie, should not be like Morro Bay, should not be like a great race I am missing today in England's Cadwell Park. I hate that I missed seeing that one.... I hate that I missed the Red Clay races... the Brands Hatch races, Oregons races....wy....???? Because they are all different and NEW to me. If we just raced on a straight hill everytime or some hockey rink.... why bother traveling? Same race...different place.. maybe a different airport or hotel room.

But trying to get promoters to look for identical venues.. won't be to our advantage. Last time we had identical venues was in Europe in the 80's when slalom went indoors in convention halls, and hockey rinks... it died almost within a season...

Why?

Because racers got bored and stopped attending.

Oh -and using TWO run two lane double elimination would make the losers bracket even more senseless as the loser would be even more exhausted when he came to meet the winners bracket leader.


As for all the math.... well... instead of qualifing faster... write a decent computer program and timer interface that automates it.

if you want this system.. you could use it for d bracket racers and lower. But you know what you will get? D-bracket racers complaining that they aren't getting enough racing.


Flame the crap out of me.. I'm just lucky someone emailed me this thread to bring it to my attention.
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Post by Jack Smith » Mon Feb 04, 2008 7:51 am

John,

Paso was a whole different deal. It was slalom-cross, a combination of DH and slalom, the course had multiple curves in it. And by the way, just about every racer enjoyed both the Paso races.

So Fluitt is now a chump-change racer? Can you say World Champion? He was instrumental in refining the double elimination bracket. And while Tucker may not be the fastest racer on the planet he is definitely one of the most thoughtful and analytical. Myself, I hardly race at all anymore, but I still love the sport of slalom racing and would do nothing to harm it. I'm still involved, John.

Most of the top racers have no interest in growing the sport or creating/experimenting with new formats. They want to show up and race and leave the work to someone else, which is fine, as long as there are promoters (suckers) who are willing to organize races. You make it sound at though we are racing for tens of thousands of dollars in prize money, the reality is that we're racing for bragging rights and points from an organization that offers nothing more than points (as far as I know) to the points leader at season's end.

John, I get the feeling that you skimmed over the proposal and my answers to the questions from interested racers.

As for your park and ride experience, you must have been using the "double elimination" and "one run in each lane system", to have raced 22 times. And so what if you were exhausted, this is a sport if I'm not mistaken. Shouldn't conditioning come into play.

Your comment about not setting a practice course on Main Street is silly, of course you wouldn't and couldn't.

And where did I mention that this format should be run everywhere? I proposed it for the Nationals. Other race organizers are of course free to use whatever system the wish to use, as long as it conforms to the ISSA sanction guidelines.

Build a decent timer and computer interface? It already exists, problem is most racers don't want to run dual slalom "differential timing". They want to know their times for every run, when all that matters is the "differential" between the racers cross the finish line. Comparing times from different races in the head to head portion is useless, as each heat is a world onto it's own.

I'll close with this. I was informed Sunday that the ISSA will not sanction the US Nationals as a MAJOR. They are willing to sanction the event as a PRIME. As of Sunday evening, the organizers of the 2008 Nationals have not yet decided whether or not to stage the event.

Someone else might have to pick up this ball and run with it.

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Post by John Gilmour » Tue Feb 05, 2008 10:01 am

replies in ***

Jack Smith wrote:John,

Paso was a whole different deal. It was slalom-cross, a combination of DH and slalom, the course had multiple curves in it. And by the way, just about every racer enjoyed both the Paso races.

***as a race with two lanes- it was the same as any other -a race . Enjoying a particular set course has nothing to do with whether it was perfectly fair.

So Fluitt is now a chump-change racer?

***You calling my teammate a chump change racer! I never said hat...lol.. Fluitt is awesome. He's not even on your team- just a life long friend.

Can you say World Champion? He was instrumental in refining the double elimination bracket.

*** we have lots of world champions to draw on- one thing for sure... these guys think more about what is going on. I don't think I would ever do as well as I do if I wasn't strategizing and paying attention to others.

And while Tucker may not be the fastest racer on the planet he is definitely one of the most thoughtful and analytical.

*** WT always looks at both sides of the issue. He may be the hardest working man in slalom. But again- he may not have had a World championship won or lost by hundredths.



Myself, I hardly race at all anymore, but I still love the sport of slalom racing and would do nothing to harm it. I'm still involved, John.

***I never said you would harm it. I just want to make sure the scoring is as fair as possible.

Most of the top racers have no interest in growing the sport or creating/experimenting with new formats.

***Hmmm. I doubt that. Even quiet ones like Chicken also a former World Champion support the sport through swag- Chaput too. Olson has assembled scaffolding late at night for La Costa, Hacket has run Death races (that's a new format) Jason Mitchell travels around the world showing how to blow minds, Fluitt had a truck company, I think just about every top racer has been involved in a worthwhile way. Even of he is just adding only a lifestyle element.


They want to show up and race and leave the work to someone else, which is fine, as long as there are promoters (suckers) who are willing to organize races.


***I think the top racers put in a lot of help at all races. When for instance have you ever seen Keith Hollien NOT cone MArshall for at Least two hours?.

You make it sound at though we are racing for tens of thousands of dollars in prize money,

***The fact that we are not racing for money means we even have to work harder to make it as fair as possible so it actually means something and has intrinisic value to us.

the reality is that we're racing for bragging rights and points from an organization that offers nothing more than points (as far as I know) to the points leader at season's end.

John, I get the feeling that you skimmed over the proposal and my answers to the questions from interested racers.

*** I didn't skim I just needed to emphasize the important points .

As for your park and ride experience, you must have been using the "double elimination" and "one run in each lane system", to have raced 22 times. And so what if you were exhausted, this is a sport if I'm not mistaken. Shouldn't conditioning come into play.

*** We have been through this - slalom racing is a sprint...not a marathon endurance test. Not even the teenagers could do 22 hard head to head runs consistently in hot sun without sugar crashing...or just crashing... so safety is important too- too many runs can lead to accidents that could have been avoided.

Your comment about not setting a practice course on Main Street is silly, of course you wouldn't and couldn't.

***Main Street isn't even a challenge for Latvian slalomers who race on flat. I've raced with them- their hills are much bigger than Main Street. The surface was bad- the manholes and paint make for a stilted course... it just isn't up to par for anything beyond a Novice slalom session- or a course for young kids. Don't bother to defend a hill that isn't there.... it makes you less believeable.

And where did I mention that this format should be run everywhere? I proposed it for the Nationals. Other race organizers are of course free to use whatever system the wish to use, as long as it conforms to the ISSA sanction guidelines.

*** So why should Nationals not stick to the format? ISSA doesn't stop new formats at all. It just wants to make sure that the races that count for points are similar so the weighting is similar for the world ranking. you can hold any race you want... but it can't get points unless you follow the format. You can hold your own special Football Superbowl with your own completely different rules... but don't expect anything from that game to go towards players stats o rushing yardage etc..

Build a decent timer and computer interface? It already exists, problem is most racers don't want to run dual slalom "differential timing". They want to know their times for every run, when all that matters is the "differential" between the racers cross the finish line. Comparing times from different races in the head to head portion is useless, as each heat is a world onto it's own.

*** Actually no racer I have ever met other than you thinks differential timing is better than what we curently use. Please list the racers here that feel differential timing is better. I ALWAYS ask for my differential... but I also want to know my raw and corrected times so I can make decisions on gear and strategy and line. I also might look at other racers raw times and if I saw a typically slow racer suddenly posted a fast time.. I'd want to know if he ran a particularly big wheel or special truck or had a different strategy. A differntial tells me nothing. And if we learn nothing..we don;t get faster quickly and slalom does not progress as fast.

I'll close with this. I was informed Sunday that the ISSA will not sanction the US Nationals as a MAJOR. They are willing to sanction the event as a PRIME. As of Sunday evening, the organizers of the 2008 Nationals have not yet decided whether or not to stage the event.

*** With totally different rules I think it was generous that ISSA made it a prime and only did it because you are runing it and are a respected promoter. If anyone else did it... it would receive no points status.

***ISSA was formed in part so racers would not travel great distances at great expense to find a weird rule set or odd course that did not fit with the description of the course. Mainly so racers can bring the right gear to compete fairly against one another.

***Also it used to be that the course was set on race day by skaters from 3 different nations to ensure a new course was laid down that was not run by others in advance.
For instance at the Cambria Double header the course should have been set on the day of the race and not in advance because it gave others a advantage to run it earlier. Dylan Gordon had a photo of the course up on his wall in his room that we recognized as the same course...lol....I do rmember we had to move over the bottom of the course because of wet sand- and Ed Economy overheard when Paul came for his practice he asked you "Why was the course different?" There were even chalk times on the pavement that Dylan mentioned were from running the course earlier..

Cambria wasn't an ISSA race which is fine the way it was run... it just shouldn't count towards anything unless it is consistent. I even won one of the Cambria events but still I wouldn't want it to count towards any ranking or status.

The rules exist to make the racing pure.

These rules are there to make it a fair competition. They are not set in stone.. they can be changed by a vote. but most importantly they are agreed upon as fair by the people voting. I'd like to see a review of the rules voted on by some of the top pros - say every other year. It could be done by region as a "pro review'. That way everyone can have their say and there is a little "balance" between the masses and the pros who are most affected... which would help.


***California has fallen by the way side as what was once the epicenter of slalom. If it wasn't for Carasco, Maysey, and Chicken... where would California slalom be? There is faster talent in Colorado than California and probably faster talent in Europe than in California. I think your efforts would be best spent for your state to throw a small series of easy basic status contests in California (get some new blood in there) than to struggle to just throw one large one according to unusual rules. I know you want to see slalom your way... (hell I would love faster slalom with unlimited push or super tall ramps- and hills that have your shoes smoking when you footbrake at the end....... but hey... it isn't what people want so I don't try and mandate it on anyone.)

Someone else might have to pick up this ball and run with it.
One good turn deserves another
john gilmour

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Post by Wesley Tucker » Tue Feb 05, 2008 4:20 pm

The Double Elimination format is NOT UNUSUAL.

The format is DIFFERENT.

Just because it has not been used much in slalom skateboarding in the past six years doesn't mean it's never been used and doesn't mean it's unknown in other sports.

I didn't dream this up on a whim. It's been tried and tested. It's so prevalent Jack was able to buy off-the-shelf software for managing the races. Try finding something ready to go to handle DQs, time differentials, cone and false start penalties.

And yes, I have lost World Championships by 100ths of a second.
I'm just not motivated right now to calculate how many hundreds of 100ths were involved.
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Post by Wesley Tucker » Tue Feb 05, 2008 4:30 pm

And John,

You ask where California slalom would be without Richie, Mike and Chicken?

It would probably be in the capable hands of Lynn, Tiger, Kevin Dunne, Chris Yandall, Denis Shufeldt, Isabelle Caudle, Steve Collins, Cat Young, Judi Oyama, Johnny Miller and many others in the south, central and northern coastal regions.
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Post by Jack Smith » Tue Feb 05, 2008 4:51 pm

Have you ever seen footage of Paso? It was an experimental race format (at least the first one was) where during the middle part of the course the racers were in a common lane. Was one lane faster, possibly.

You are correct, Fluitt is a lifelong friend. I could go on and on about our history, but Fluitt would kick my ass.

How many World Champions or top level racers or former top level racers, besides yourself, do you see adding to this discussion. How many have I heard from by phone or email? Zero. Update - Richy Carrasco just called me.

Do you really think I would purposely create an event that was unfair to racers?

Chicken donates swag.
Chaput donates swag and usuually chimes in on race formats.
Olson always helps at events I put on.
Hacket has run Death races, also helps at my events
Jason Mitchell is great ambassador.
Fluitt does it all.
My point should have been that very few have shown an in interest in experimenting with new formats. I do believe that all of them are interested in growing the sport.

Over the last few years Keith has spent many hours course-side being a conehead. At most contests, where there are no official coneheads, the event announcer usually has to beg for both ams and pros to help conehead.

I didn't skim I just needed to emphasize the important points - Fair enough.

Your park and ride experience...whatever the system that was used, I'll agree 22 runs was too many. But I still say that fitness should be a part of racing.

Main Street - John, you and I have been over this many times (LOL). All, I will say is that it was what I had available to me during those years, a time when no one else was stepping up to organize the Worlds. If the Nationals are held this year, I doubt seriously that the race would be held on Main.

Did I say "differential timing" is better?

John, my being a so-called "respected promoter" had zero impact on the decision to award the Nationals a PRIME status.

The 2002 Cambria race was more than anything a fun event, it wasn't an ISSA points event, because the ISSA was in hibernation in 2002. Yes, the course was similar to courses we had set there before, there are about 15-20 painted on that hill, which sadly is no longer usable.
Paul asking me why the course was different...was a bad thing?

You wrote:
The rules exist to make the racing pure.
These rules are there to make it a fair competition. They are not set in stone.. they can be changed by a vote. but most importantly they are agreed upon as fair by the people voting. I'd like to see a review of the rules voted on by some of the top pros - say every other year. It could be done by region as a "pro review'. That way everyone can have their say and there is a little "balance" between the masses and the pros who are most affected... which would help.

I agree.

John, I am still involved in putting on events for the "new blood" both in traditional and park slalom. The central coast is blessed to have Jonny Miller living here, he has taken the lead in putting on races and events, bringing more new people to the sport all the time. Steve Collins in So Cal has been putting on some great events as has the La Costa crew. The Carrasco group are also great racers and ambassadors to the sport. Chicken has been mentioned above. And I have just one question for Maysey...when you coming home, son? In NorCal Judi Oyama has done some wonderful clinics. Cat, Ravitch, Drew and a few others are very active.

On a side note...the first time I took Maysey out to try running some cones, when I handed him a Turner cutaway to use, he asked me "which end is the front"? Mike is an incredibly talented racer, surfer and mountain bike rider.

John, you and I have always debated about formats, hills and other facets of slalom. However, the one thing we both agree on is that slalom skateboarding is a great sport, that we both love and are passionate about. We'll probably still be debating over one issue or another when we're 90 years old, and if we are I'll be stoked.

If I do decide to hold the event...and if you're not able to race, would you want to serve as MC?
Last edited by Jack Smith on Tue Feb 05, 2008 9:24 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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DO IT

Post by Steve Collins » Tue Feb 05, 2008 8:07 pm

Jack, I'm hopeful that you'll still hold the event at the given status level. I doubt any of the pros' big sponsorship contracts will suffer too badly from it. We need to try out the 'new' format. If you hold it, they will come. The upper level racers I've spoken to are interested to try it.

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Post by Hans Koraeus » Wed Feb 06, 2008 2:54 am

Brian Parsons wrote:I don’t usually participate in these types of discussions. However, it is my observation that the ISSA is currently hurting slalom racing by limiting new ideas and innovation. The reality is that modern skateboard racing is still emerging any attempt to limit the scope of a skater/racers imagination is unhealthy.

If the ISSA is to be relevant, expanding the realm of skateboard racing should be the primary focus. From the outside looking in I have only seen roadblocks.
This is sooo wrong. ISSA does what the members of ISSA wants it to do. We can change the rules to whatever we all want. We just have to stick with them for one year at a time. Seems fair to me.

And people can invent whatever crazy event they like even during the year. ISSA will not stop them. It will just not be counted into the world rankings.

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OK

Post by John Gilmour » Wed Feb 06, 2008 3:32 am

Wesley Tucker wrote:And John,

You ask where California slalom would be without Richie, Mike and Chicken?

It would probably be in the capable hands of Lynn, Tiger, Kevin Dunne, Chris Yandall, Denis Shufeldt, Isabelle Caudle, Steve Collins, Cat Young, Judi Oyama, Johnny Miller and many others in the south, central and northern coastal regions.
WT I'm talking abut California pros that can regularly make it to the round of 8 in a Major ranked contest.

California's Attrition rate for slalom...should be looked at. California once boasted the highest copncentration of highly competitive racers..and now.... it has very few elite racers. The North East is doing well- so is hte south, Colorado is doing well.. Europe is doing well, Brazil is booming. Why is California dying on the vine?

I can't answer that question. I know some pros have been lost to injury- others retired. I'm thankful we still have Olson and Hackett both still very very very fast- and racing in California.

So I think California needs more races.. but it also needs a really cool venue... one that becomes legendary and a draw for years to come... something to replace La Costa's draw.

I still think Beinevenida off of PCH is the best thing I have ever seen for slalom.

Jack- I do want to try new formats..I think slalom has a lot of kinks to work out of it.. (even the cones), but just let's not try to work them out at a High level race. I even think it would be very cool to have a slalom series with each race using a different format.. then we can select from the best one.

Maysey also was a former teammate of mine.. I do remember Paul watching him get fast and saying..no more tips for Maysey..lol.. Seeing Maysey pump on of hte first new turners off the godzilla vacuum press that night in front of BT was so cool.

As for MC'ing.. I never turn that down.

As for debating about formats.. that is EXACTLY what this site is for... so keep it going.

I actually sort of like this format personally- because clean runs aren't a big deal so criddling pretty much has no penalty- and knowing which lane is faster is paramount to experience- and if you rattle the next guy... you might not have to face him ever again in the same event....lol. But I am still hesitant to endorse something that I can see is to my advantage- because if it is to my advantage..then it is to someone else's disadvantage- and in this case I think it makes it harder for a newbie to win against an established racer.
One good turn deserves another
john gilmour

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Post by Jack Smith » Wed Feb 06, 2008 8:05 am

And people can invent whatever crazy event they like even during the year. ISSA will not stop them. It will just not be counted into the world rankings.
Corky, the "double elimination" format is not crazy, it's just different. And it wasn't just invented, it's been around for years, not only in slalom skateboarding, but many other sports.

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Double Elimination!

Post by Claude Regnier » Wed Feb 06, 2008 2:12 pm

There is nothing wrong with the Double Elimination. It works well. It had been used and is being used in several sports.

Bottom line is, it can be used in Slalom racing just not in higher status races. I don'teven understand how they came about deciding they would allow it to be used in an ISSA sanctioned event during the 2008 calendar year to count for points.

We just finished revising the rules and as there is always disagreements some people don't like the results. Run the race with that type of bracketing as much as racers want it. Let it prove itself.

Too much time has been spent getting our timming systems and spread sheets to do what we the racers felt was important to simply through it out the door because Wesley decided to announce the double elimination format now.

Well I'll tell you that I have a complete double elimination set-up. I've had it for years. If I didn't have a timming system it would be a great format. Hell, why even bother with using a timer at all?

Just line them up 2 at a time and go. Tha will save time, math and all the other crap we have worked on improving over the last 5 or 6 years (even prior) to make our races better and smoother and more attractive.

People don't know about Slalom skateboarding. Let's focus on getting it out there. We keep hearing all kinds of crap. Well there are ways to make certain races "made for TV" "made for a show or and event".

Unfortunately they will likely not fall under the 'rules guidelines" that's fine. If they are brief and top riders only they and are seen by many people then at least we are growing the sport.

Everyone has noticed the new blood coming into the sport over the last several years. Sure not as mucu as we'd like but we are growing in numbers and the fields are getting faster and more competitive.

The Double Elimination is an excellent, low cost, quick race format that does not even require a timer. Just some start & finnish line judges and a few people in the middle to pick up & count cones. Do it! Run more races.
Many Happy Pumps!

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Post by Jani Soderhall » Wed Feb 06, 2008 4:04 pm

Jack Smith wrote:Corky, the "double elimination" format is not crazy, it's just different. And it wasn't just invented, it's been around for years, not only in slalom skateboarding, but many other sports.
The double elimination system was used a lot in Sweden back in the days when Corky was a judge at many events, so he was certainly just giving an example when saying "crazy format". I like the double elimination system, but you need time to do it, and I'm not sure the audience understands much of it. Thus I personally have some doubt for the larger events. Wasn't there a long discussion on other similar race proposals a couple of years ago. Some of which were made to create more equal races and remove the need for 1-16, or even worse 1-32 to meet. These runs normally have little, or no, value.

/Jani

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