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Collegiate Nationals Multiple Divisions



  • lazznlazzn Posts: 32 Baller
    edited October 2018
    As a skier for a team that is constantly flipping between D1 and D2 from year to year, I would much rather go D1 every time, because in my mind I'd rather lose to some of the best skiers in the world than win against teams that have no chance at coming close to us. Unfortunately this is not the mindset of everyone on teams like this. On the subject of funding, some school's club sports organizations reward teams based on the number of events they win or tournaments they place highly at blindly, we can tell them that we lost to the winningest team in all of college sports, but it doesn't mean anything to them, their guidelines reward successes. We would never EVER dream of sandbagging for this reason, we are all out there to ski our best; we went D1 last year and wanted to go D1 this year, but being unable to practice at our home site for the entire season because of flooding, that becomes much harder. Aspirations aside, what all of that means money wise is that us having a power year and finishing low in D1 can result in less funding or priority with our overseers than us having a less successful year and winning or finishing high in D2. Funds are crucial to a team like us that brings upwards of 50 skiers to the conference tournament, most of whom have never been to a tournament before, and have to pull between 50 and 75 skiers for practice weekly at the home site.

    addendum: I can't say for certain, but I'd be willing to bet the administrations of power schools care about whether their teams win nationals, and may adjust funding/support appropriately. It's no different for us, just with orders of magnitude less money/support. And that's what a 3 division nationals would do in my mind, more accurately separate competitive groups. I sort of envision it ending up as the power schools, the highly competitive club schools, and the beginning teams/building year teams.
    Wisconsin Waterski Team
  • mispmisp Posts: 2 Baller
    This sounds like an excellent opportunity to try and create more “Varsity Teams”. What about rewarding the D1 6th-8th places with an “NBA type lottery pick”. The college club gets to compete the next couple of years like the “Varsity Teams” - scholarship money to recruit with, team lessons, a promo boat and coaching/counseling on how to maintain this level recruitment & competition after they move up in status. More “Varsity Teams” = “higher profile” = “more interest/skiers” = “more boats sold” = “more money” = “more Varsity Teams”.
  • eleeskieleeski Posts: 3,846 Infinite Pandas
    @unksskis College skiing IS about the experience. No money so the pro college skiers don't care about winning. Sometimes, but not often, the D2 winners might make on the D1 podium but I'm not sure a D2 winner has ever beaten the D1 winner.

    But the cheering, the tents, meeting the other skiers who turn into life long friends - yes it's the experience. The choice between the frat or sorority party or the tournament? The tournament has plenty of advantages - unrelated to any medals.

  • eleeskieleeski Posts: 3,846 Infinite Pandas
    College teams getting money and support from the school? Not sure I've seen that on a meaningful level. It might be more a question if the school will allow the team to compete.

    Generous private donors, yes. But that doesn't seem to be a results based correlation.

    Maybe things are different out west.

    The biggest problem might be getting a skier admitted to a school - 60,000 applicants for 6000 freshmen is good odds?

  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 3,712 Mega Baller
    Providing resources to enhance the collegiate teams should really be an emphasis, gear, coaching, lake access, summer time practice for the skiers all of these I think would slow the post college drop out rate.
  • RazorRoss3RazorRoss3 Posts: 1,334 Mega Baller
    I can attest that I never had trouble convincing a bunch of college kids to go ski and party all weekend. That wins over anything they'd be doing on campus almost 100% of the time. I can also say that while "we place Xth in the region last year" isn't a bad selling point, it's more of a point of pride for last year's members, it can in some ways scare away new recruits who then don't think they're "good enough" to be a collegiate skier. I don't need to do much to convince the good skier to join, they want to ski and they want to compete, I'm offering them both. I need to work much harder to get people who have ridden a ski but don't know if they really need to be on a ski team to stick around. To get them, it's much more about advertising how fun tournaments are, how much fun the group of people is on and off the water, it's your social group, they're your best friends.
  • WiscoSkierWiscoSkier Posts: 14 Baller
    @eleeski I think university relations as whole could improve but I don't see that happening. With waterskiing being such a different sport compared to the traditional ball sports every bit of funding we received has helped.

    I graduated from the university of Wisconsin Madison which has 4.3 miles of shoreline on lake Mendota, We couldn't even get access to a dock or lift, even offering to purchase our own to use on campus. Thankfully we found a generous family that lets us store the team boat on lake Monona (1 mile from campus) which has a slalom course and a show ski jump.

    Anyway we can leverage money from the university for exampling claiming to be D2 national champions instead of 11th place D1 helps keep our cost down. My senior year we put 330 hours on the team Mastercraft (which is club owned with no help from the university) in 5 months. Without the little money from the university we receive practice would have been much more limited based on just the cost of fuel.
  • unksskisunksskis Posts: 349 Baller
    edited October 2018
    @eleeski I don't disagree, but there is a reality of costs, time, and priorities. An additional tournament with nothing to compete for, but for an experience, doesn't out-weigh all those all the time. If they're in the greek system, they're only allowed to miss so much (sometimes). They're also hearing all those great stories about tailgating and football games, and everything they've missed out on. Random examples, but at some point, to some, it's just another tournament.

    Money may not be in it for the Pro's, but there's more than just school pride, there's scholarships, records, sponsor placements, etc.

    I respect all the teams and skiers, but there is something special about an ASU, Purdue, Ohio State, and the like to be able to put teams together to even come close to competing with the Varsity schools, they are my Champions.
  • z_skierz_skier Posts: 35 Baller
    In my experience, our team has about 3-5 greek skiers every year, and they seem to REALLY enjoy the sport/experience, and usually make time to ski and go to tournaments. There is always that one or two that would rather go to something greek, but as a whole, they're usually at tournaments unless they have a mandatory something else to attend. Tournaments are REALLY fun, and once they figure that out, they are hooked.
  • ToddLToddL Posts: 2,819 Mega Baller
    My $0.02 - There is definitely a difference between a team and a club. I think D1 vs D2 should be based upon some definition like that.

    For example: (subject to extreme tweaking)
    D1 teams are any collegiate ski organization which met any of the following criteria since the prior nationals:
    a) Placed in the top 5 in last year's nationals
    b) Received more than 1/10 the median household income in funding directly from the school. (roughly $6k in 2018)
    c) Awarded 1 or more skier scholarships for more than $1000 (or whatever is the right amount)
    d) Has a dedicated adult coach who's primary role is team coach and who's salary is paid by the school

    I'm not sure what else should be on the list. Probably some more items not focused solely on funding. I'm sure those amounts are not the right ones either. See? Defining the exact line may be difficult. I'm not even sure that each team who is 1st place in their region should be forced to ski D1. Possibly it could be optional if they did not meet the above criteria.

    The idea is that there really are two levels of ski teams. One level of team is highly funded, established, and equipped for top echelon domination. The others are just clubs doing their best. Further, a given college may "qualify" as D1 one year and D2 the next. It depends upon if they meet the definition during that ski year.

    Even if you disagree with those example definitions, do you think the line between D1 and D2 should have something to do with separating the clubs from the legit teams?
    -- The future of skiing depends upon welcoming novice skiers regardless of age to our sport.
  • RazorRoss3RazorRoss3 Posts: 1,334 Mega Baller
    I have to lean towards leaving some room in D1, the ability to compete among the best isn’t an every day affair and the ability to earn your spot in D1 for teams that student run, managed, coached, etc is pretty cool.
  • unksskisunksskis Posts: 349 Baller
    The problem is we kind of act like the "Varsity" teams are incredibly funded and privileged, when as much as we may knock them, they're incredible for the sport, and need support and embraced just as much.
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 3,712 Mega Baller
    @unksskis its an interesting deal, there are clearly athletes on colleges teams who come up through junior skiing with loads of support, coach parents, gear, that carry that level of support through collegiate waterski. The open division as it were.

    Say you are an up and coming junior athlete whos parents pay for coaching lake time etc. But you earn prize money or sponsorships or are endorsing a ski company. If this were NCAA basketball that prize money or endorsement would disqualify you from div I and II eligibility.

    Quite a few skiers who would currently have that issue, come into college with a nautiques or d3 or MC Skis or reflex etc.etc. endorsement, if we were a ncaa sport that would be a DQ. Checks at events??? Id dad paid to send you thats not equal to or less than your expense to participate, thats straight prize money.

    Point being there is a real solid arguement that you could have noneligable athletes if we were an NCAA sport.

    Is that D1? Are these ineligible atheletes?

    If D3 wants to advertise their junior champ is that restrictive of their collegiate participation?

    All sorts of questions if we want to be a real sport.
  • HallpassHallpass Posts: 148 Solid Baller
    edited October 2018
    Hmm. A Team should know what division it is in for purposes of the National Championships, before the year begins. If there are only 5 D1 schools, then so be it.
    If the regions want to do it differently, that should not be a problem.

    For some misplaced analogies:
    If UC Davis beats USC in football, they are still D2 and they still compete against D2 in the championships. If Appalachian state moves up to D1, then they are D1. They cannot be pitted against D2 at the end of year championships because they are not competitive in D1. If North Dakota State can recruit a Carson Wentz, they are still D2, doesn't matter if they are a lot better than all the other D2 Schools.

    Maybe it should not be as difficult for a school to move divisions, as it is in football. But, qualify, or not, succeed, or not, live with your division for at least a year. Deciding what division you are in after the results are in is arbitrary and capricious.
  • unksskisunksskis Posts: 349 Baller
    edited October 2018
    You can't apply other sports to NCWSA, those are still academic("varsity") programs at each school, D2 or not. Divisions in skiing are determined how a school is performing. Losing a few skiers can kill a program, whether they were "D1" the previous year or not.

    @BraceMaker I don't desire it to, it's better left as it is regarding NCAA. That wasn't my intent if that impression was given. I'm merely saying it's fantastic that there are schools and programs that have such strong ski teams, we have these concerns for the others.
  • HallpassHallpass Posts: 148 Solid Baller
    @unsksskis. There is no reason one cannot, or should not compare Skiing to other college sports. To your point - losing a few players in basketball can kill a program. Signing just two top recruits can make you a national contender. You still know in what division you will compete - before you start the season. College Snow skiing is not so different than water skiing. Only 41 colleges have programs. But, you don't compete an entire season before you learn what division you will be in. That's an absurd policy.
  • eleeskieleeski Posts: 3,846 Infinite Pandas
    In college basketball, you qualify for the tournament by success during the year - like waterskiing. If you aren't quite good enough you qualify for the NIT - like waterskiing. Basketball is quite popular. College waterskiing is arguably the most vibrant aspect of waterskiing. Maybe the current format works well enough.

  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 3,712 Mega Baller
    @eleeski but those are Div I tournaments. There is also a DII ncaa tournament bracket.

    More like if you have D1 nationals as well as an invitational D1 tournament for top 6.
  • RazorRoss3RazorRoss3 Posts: 1,334 Mega Baller
    I agree with @eleeski, a panda worthy offense I know, but qualifying based on what you've proven you can do makes more sense. our D1/D2 really doesn't operate in the same way as it does in most of college athletics. The ability for a team that isn't one of the ULMs of the world to qualify for D1 is serious bragging rights in their own region, shows that they are the elite team(s) in town. I don't think it makes sense to tell 75 of the 80 teams that they can't qualify for D1. Part of what makes collegiate skiing so good is that it's been able to keep the best part of the sport front and center, and the best part of the sport isn't scoring at a tournament, it's being on the lake with a bunch of friends. Adding a bunch of rules telling talented skiers that because they aren't pros they can't play would be a step backwards. Not to say our D1/D2 system is perfect... but I don't think it's broken either.
  • HallpassHallpass Posts: 148 Solid Baller
    @eleeski, @Bracemaker, @RazorRoss3. Great points all, particularly the badge of honor of earning your way into the D1 level.

  • unksskisunksskis Posts: 349 Baller
    That doesn't sound too bad.
  • ToddLToddL Posts: 2,819 Mega Baller
    Lots of good points here. Thanks to all for contributing their perspectives and insights.
    -- The future of skiing depends upon welcoming novice skiers regardless of age to our sport.
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