As the speed/rope special options for Juniors in 2016 are about to expire, I was wondering if a similar option on the opening pass for all divisions might improve tournament participation for intermediate level skiers. The main change would be scoring the buoys on that opener for the selected line length. For example, a skier whose divisional max speed is 34 mph currently receives only the long line buoy score for a pass achieved at 32 mph, regardless of rope length. The change would be to allow the score to also represent the rope length achieved in the opening pass and to provide a score equivalent to the next speed increment and rope length combination in the scoring chart. Then, the skier must move up in speed at the same rope length. The example would be:
1. Skier in division with max speed of 34 mph starts at 32 mph and 28 off
2. Skier completes the 32 mph opening pass and is awarded 78 buoys for their score
3. Skier advances to 34 mph and 28 off
4. Skier's score accumulates in the 34 mph pass as though they completed the equivalent 34 mph 22 off pass (e.g., [email protected]
off at 34 mph would then be an 81, instead of a 63)
The theory is that the 34 mph/22 off and 32 mph/28 off passes are equivalent scores in the scoring chart and the skier would receive the equivalent 34 mph score that was completed at 32 mph in their opener.
The rule would only apply to the opening pass.
The starting speed must only be one increment lower than the skier's max speed for their division in order to receive credit for buoys at the shortened rope length.
If the starting speed is more than one increment lower than the skier's max speed for their division, then long line scoring (current rule) is applied.
The skier must advance the speed on the second pass to their max speed and cannot continue skiing the slower speed (i.e., no option to shorten rope and retain slower speed).
The skier cannot opt up rope length on the second pass (i.e., second pass must be max speed and original starting rope length), unless their opening pass was at max speed for their division.
The rule only applies to a starting rope of 15 off or shorter.
A missed opening pass is scoring as it is today - at long line and 15 mph.
If the 2016 rule option for Juniors is retained/renewed for 2017, they would ski under that rule with more expansive speed and rope scoring options.
This is intended to address skiers who are foregoing tournaments because their opening pass at a lesser speed is scored as long line. It is an incentive to attempt shorter rope lengths and receive commensurate buoys for doing so. While it does benefit the 15 off skier, it's really targeted at those who are 22 off or 28 off starters at slower speeds. These are the skiers that are building some skills and may have the most ambition for tournament skiing.
The worst slalom equipment I own is between my ears.