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BigDawgs finals delay and protest - chronology

HortonHorton Posts: 30,602 Administrator
edited August 2014 in Rules/Politics/Issues
To say that the 2014 BigDawg finals did not happen as planned would be an understatement. Until the last paring of the final 4, it was perhaps the most enjoyable webcast I have ever seen. Kudos to the great guys at WebCast-TV.

After a morning on the phone with officials, skiers, and spectators, I understand the details of last night’s BigDawg final as follows:

It was pretty dark, and visibility was a factor.

Another factor is that the officials were asked to keep things moving for the WebCast and spectators on site.

The pairing was Miller vs. Rogers. They both ran opening passes.

When it was Miller’s turn to run 39, he ran it without issue.

As Rogers was getting ready to make his deep water start and head down the lake for his 39, a VW Jetta was driving along the berm between the lakes. On the bumpy road the car’s headlights were essentially creating a strobe effect. The bouncing headlights were reported by one source to be bad enough to distract the boat driver and impact the boat path. Others on site strongly disagree that the distraction was no more than the other skiers encountered.

Because of the light distraction (or not), Rogers did not run 39 and immediately requested a re-ride. While the judges were being polled, the boat with Miller brought him back to the dock. By this point, the clock was ticking, and time was an issue.

When the decision was made to grant Rogers a re-ride, Miller requested a warm up pass. The fact was, that after Miller ran 39, he had to wait for Rogers to request the re-ride, then for the re-ride to be granted, and finally for Rogers’ second attempt at 39. This means that Miller was waiting longer than he would have preferred between his 39 and 41 passes. Because it was believed by the officials that all of this happened within the 10 minutes allocated by the rulebook, Miller’s request for a warmup pass before his attempt at 41 was denied.

Rogers ran his re-ride attempt at 39.

Miller then ran 1 at 41.

Rogers then ran 1.5 @ 41.

At this point, a faction of the skiers on site felt that Rogers had been given an unfair advantage and protested in mass. They asserted that Rogers should not have been granted a re-ride to start with, and that because Miller had to wait so long between his 39 and 41, he had a potential disadvantage. The result of the mass protest was an hour delay in the event. Spectators on shore walked away, and I can only imagine what happened to the webcast viewership.

An hour later, Mapple and Rogers finally went out as the final pair, and Mapple won.

In my opinion, the victory was far overshadowed by the previous round. The skiers were divided and angry, and the show became a farce. The value to sponsors was tarnished. If skiers wish for BigDawg type events to continue, they need to understand the idea of “don't bite the hand that feeds you”. At some point, the skiers have to understand that the judge’s call is final even if they disagree with it

Sources strongly disagree about how distracting the light was and/or how different it was for Rogers compared to the other skiers.

There will be rumors of conspiracies. Don’t be silly.

Some skiers assert that there is an unwritten rule about not asking for a re-ride in a Head to Head. If there is such a rule, it is “unwritten”.

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  • gregygregy Posts: 2,590 Mega Baller
    In that situation could the driver have stopped the pass before it started?
  • MarcoMarco Posts: 1,430 Crazy Baller
    That seems like an accurate summary except for one small detail. If the vehicle in question was indeed on the berm between the lakes, it could not have been a VW Jetta. The only way on to the berm is a narrow bridge barely wide enough for a golf cart.
  • WishWish Posts: 8,269 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    Described to be bad enough to distract boat driver... Is the driver part of the deciding team in a situation like that? And did the driver have input? Miller should have had a warm up pass....IMHO.
    >>> 11.25..a different kettle of fish. <<<
  • gregygregy Posts: 2,590 Mega Baller
    @marco I wonder about that too. I didn't remember it being that wide.
  • lakeolakeo Posts: 84 Baller
    Thank you for your efforts on the Big Dawg. But in the end I love the Big Dawg. These people Chet, Jeff, Ben, Jeff Dano, et al are my heros regular guys. I'm sorry there was controversy but I will continue to follow and love the BigDawg Thank you Greg Davis!
  • ScarletArrowScarletArrow Posts: 822 Crazy Baller
    If we are relying on unwritten rules to govern our tournaments, controversies are inevitable.
    Anthony Warren
  • HortonHorton Posts: 30,602 Administrator
    as happens in life a sequence of unfortunate events can be interpenetrated differently by those present and can lead to unforeseen outcomes

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  • 6balls6balls Posts: 5,710 Mega Baller
    Nice summary.
    Dave Ross--die cancer die
  • ForrestGumpForrestGump Posts: 6,224
    edited August 2014
    Weren't they using the lake next to the jump lake for primary slalom, which has a street between the two on one side and the more narrow berm on the other.
    Shane "Crash" Hill

  • mwetskiermwetskier Posts: 1,337 Mega Baller
    it would seem fair for miller to have been given a warm up pass but you also have to consider that the amount of time he waited may not have been much more than the time rogers waited before having to run a semi cold 39 for a second time.

    also all the tourney rules that have been written so far govern how an event is conducted and if the judges followed those rules then its wrong to argue they should have violated them just to appease sponsors skiers or any one else. only the judges are qualified and empowered to decide if the distraction was unfair enough to qualify for a re ride and that should be that.

    @OB -i almost always favor any post you make but it surprises me that a former military man such as yourself would encourage the rank and file publicly questioning the controlling authority. isnt it supposed to be ' we follow orders or people die '?
  • Razorskier1Razorskier1 Posts: 3,425 Mega Baller
    Thanks @Horton. Too bad this had to blow up like this. All in favor of daytime finals say aye!
    Jim Ross
  • BG1BG1 Posts: 214 Baller
  • BG1BG1 Posts: 214 Baller
    I’ve never heard of this unwritten rule but I’m not in the loop. Evidently Jeff, who has been at it for 25 years, and the officials had not heard of it either. Dave should have been granted a warm-up pass.
  • ZmanZman Posts: 1,748 Mega Baller
  • RazorRoss3RazorRoss3 Posts: 1,383 Mega Baller
    I think Miller should have gotten a warm up, past that I can't argue unwritten rules, written rules, and I wasn't there so I can't comment on conditions.

    For changes I would be for anything that allowed skiers to ski at their best, if that means day skiing then Aye
  • kstateskierkstateskier Posts: 524 Solid Baller
    Who was the boat driver? he/she should have weighed in on the decision for a reride (and he/she most likely was).

    Spectators are in no position to weigh in on the distractive nature of anything for the boat driver or skier.

    If the delay was long enough that Dave was brought back to the starting dock then he should have been allowed a warmup pass. Seems like the right thing to do in honor of sportsmanship due to the lengthy delay.

    Which official (chief?) is in charge of timing the delay process with regards to a reride request and the 'other' head to head skier?

    Sounds like Dave and Jeff both handled themselves with the utmost respect (as expected). Lets learn from this and move on.
    Bradley Beach - Lone Rock Ski Club, Missouri
    2004 Malibu Response LXI, 2014 D3 Helix 66"
  • gregygregy Posts: 2,590 Mega Baller
    edited August 2014
    @ShaneH‌ BD finals were on lake 2. Lake one was the Jump lake. There is a road between them (2 and 3) and the parking area was on both sides of the road. The berm is between lakes 2 and 3. @mwetskier‌ Jeff got to run his then 39 2nd time which he got the re-ride on. Then Dave had to go straight into 41 after the wait, so I can definitely see his argument for a warm up pass.
  • oneskioneski Posts: 122 Baller
    I believe the skiers get to pick their own drivers. If this is true then the driver for Jeff couldn't be considered impartial.
  • HortonHorton Posts: 30,602 Administrator
    I believe those two drivers are beyond reproach

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  • skibugskibug Posts: 2,126
    @Horton, Are you sure it was the VW Jetta on the berm or was it the VW bug up on the grassy knoll?
    Bob Grizzi
  • skibugskibug Posts: 2,126
    Did Rodgers head go back and to the right when he saw the light?
    Bob Grizzi
  • liquid dliquid d Posts: 1,333 Mega Baller
    The drivers have no "Dawg" in the hunt...except all of us. They can be considered impartial.
  • klindyklindy Posts: 2,628 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    edited August 2014
    I have been told that the event was run class L so I anyone skied well the score meant something. If that's true, there are rules with govern rerides, protests, warm up passes etc. Go thru the process and move on.

    Alternatively, run the night portion as a class F, adjust any rule you want (including no reride requests if that's what you want) and put on a show.

    The end result was fine. Any other option would have been fine. What wasn't fine was the 1+ delay, zero information and relatively public controversy.

    Also there's no way anything bigger than a golf cart was on the berm between the lakes. I've just spent a week on and off that bridge and if you're knees hang outside the golf cart they'll be bloody on the other side. Golf carts have lights too.
    Keith Lindemulder
    AWSA Chairman of the Board
    AWSA Southern Region EVP
  • SkiKolbSkiKolb Posts: 121 Baller
    Skiers do not pick driver, the top seed gets to pick to go first or not. Car was not on berm but at the end of the lake flashing lights as he approached course at 39 is what I heard from more than one source. Whether it was intentional or not we may never know.
  • EricKelleyEricKelley Posts: 300 Crazy Baller
    Last year they had no problem denying my reride request. They told me a 32 start and gave me a 35 start. They said the show must go on and refunded my entry fee. Probably the right decision. Horton, it swings both ways, Nautique gets a tremendous amount of advertising and publicity with very little investment. I am thankful for the tour, but the Dawgs feed Nautique as well.
  • NandoNando Posts: 584 Crazy Baller
    Razorskier1- Aye! I don't know how these guys are able to ski in night events- it's really difficult and there are enough variables during a regular event. It seems like skiers should be given the best chance to do their very best, and that's tough to do at night events. They make a great show, but...
  • WishWish Posts: 8,269 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    edited August 2014
    @Nando‌ It is a show. Just like the pros that get tossed in front of crowds at public venues that have poor conditions at best. Ever ski at the Masters? Conditions ain't great. But everyone is there to compete to win, not set records. It's a public venue. Do we e want the sport to be in front of Jo public, or do we want these guys to stay home and ski tournys on their private lakes. No show, no advertising, no web cast, no prize money.... That simple. If Lights keep the Dawgs skiing then so be it. Rather that then chance it being just another tournament that few get to see.
    >>> 11.25..a different kettle of fish. <<<
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