What's wrong with competitive skiing?



  • jimbrakejimbrake Posts: 1,463 Mega Baller
    @Than_Bogan - I do get that. We have a pretty good tournament crowd at my club, but we have some that rarely ski tournaments and one of the clubs I used to be in, which was huge, now has 0 competitive skiers. Maybe there is a tournament format that would attract @rodltg2, but then a lot of people won't compete no matter what because serious competition is just not their thing. What was it about "how it all works" that you didn't like, Rod? When I started, I was way down the list, climbed up, now have fallen way back, but I still love it. I'm just wired (weird) that way. Helps that my kids got into it, too.

    When I started, tournaments were so big that many people showed up, skied, hung for a little while, then took off. Not everyone worked. They didn't need that many workers. I remember back in the '80s sometime the backlash against this started and understandably because the same people were doing the work and the same people weren't. You started seeing "workers tournaments". It became almost heavy handed. I started working tournaments a long, long time ago and I like hanging out all day, but maybe we ought to let some skiers just show up, ski, and leave at their leisure just to get them going. If they like the people and the skiing, they'll start to pitch in.

    I don't know the format answer. I tend to think it's more of a "who's into it" vs. "who isn't". Just a human nature thing. If it was easy we'd be overrun with skiers. It isn't.

    "...all of the basic fun banter"

  • cpcp Posts: 11 Baller
    I could not agree more with Shane, I used to ski every sanction tournament in my area which was alot, got many judges ratings, went to Regionals put on a Regionals now I am done with all that. I have been pushing for some sort of skill based/handicap system for years. I sent letters to my EVP, Regional counsel person, preached to anybody who would listen. It obviously did no good. I will ski tournaments on my own lake and thats about it.
  • klindyklindy Posts: 2,928 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    @BK as has been mentioned on this thread there's nothing that prevents "ability based" groupings or handicaps in a Class C (or E or even L/R that I'm aware of actually) tournament. It's purely a function of how you set the groups up. Likewise, a tournament sponsor can give away awards or whatever else based on the groupings and ignore the age divisions.

    That said, all the scores (run under Class C and above and scores below level 5 for Class F/X) will be posted on the ranking list by age groups.

    So to me the question is why dont more tournament sponsors run an ability based or handicap format today? Seems that every one that told a story about how "I've run one on my lake" or "we pull the xxxxx tourament that way" has a blast and it attracts people!? My only guess is that, under the current system, "winning" or preforming well doesn't get you anywhere. In other words, it "counts" at the local tournament but nowhere else. Perhaps there's an opportunity....

    Many (most?/all?) of these 'systems' - rankings, handicaps, ability based formats - can co-exist. The trick is to add enough value to those which may be the 'most fun' or attact the most skiers or whatever so that the formats are relevant.
    Keith Lindemulder
    AWSA Chairman of the Board

  • cpcp Posts: 11 Baller
    We have tried all the different formats at our tournaments and it adds some fun but everyone knows that the real format is how regional and nationals are scored. Its seems odd that skill based format is so hard for AWSA to accept yet thats pretty much what MM is.
  • BRYBRY Posts: 593 Crazy Baller
    @bkreis showed the current format can be fun, not boring. Everyone there wants to do it again. He had an idea for a what he felt was a good tournament and the went out and made it happen.
  • 6balls6balls Posts: 6,179 Mega Baller
    Is life different today? I need a very compelling reason(s) in a short season to dedicate precious weekends to more than a few tourneys. When I have kids in activities who won't live here forever, a job, elderly parents who won't be here forever, siblings I don't see enough, friends I don't see enough it's hard to justify the time when I can easily ski just as much locally in the wee morning hours over a weekend and do a whole bunch of other stuff with my weekend as well.

    Surgery last year a wash...but even to do 3 tourneys to get rid of score penalty is a challenge for me given competing priorities. If there were no ranking issues, I would ski two 3 round tourneys per year on a single weekend in Florida. It's a great get away with my brother free from all other responsibility with great folks on-site...a vacation of sorts...a relaxing weekend for sure.

    Doesn't make sense to do that with frequency, however, at the expense of the outside interests of my wife/kids, at the expense of my bank account, or at the expense of me just being able to kick back at home decompressing from work on a weekend skiing in the a.m. with good buddies and enjoying whatever comes the rest of the day.

    There are lots of technical issues re: tourneys outlined in this thread. The competition for tourneys for me, though, is the competition with other valid aspects of my life that I also enjoy that don't sacrifice skiing buoys...just tourney buoys.

    I ski with 3 primary partners. One used to chase the big score hitting lots of tourneys but no longer does, the others get into 35 and 38 but never ski tourneys...too many competing priorities to dedicate full days or weekends for their singular interest.

    My post solves nothing...just shows what the competitive aspect of the sport is up against. Of our primary group of 4 skiers, we have a guy that is in his 50's and still runs 32, a guy in his 50's that occasionally runs a 35, a guy in his 40's that mid-season runs consistent into 38, and a guy n his 40's (me) that seldom misses 35 and gets out of 38 twenty or so times/season. Among us I'm the only one who skis any tourneys...and it's one to three per season.

    Given competing priorities in life, format change wouldn't matter for these four skiers. I know one former college ski team mate that has skied a tourney post college.

    Slim pickins.

    Dave Ross--die cancer die
  • aupatkingaupatking Posts: 1,824 Mega Baller
    I tell you what. I want to host a tournament on a public river, thus semi-public course. I want it to be fun and open to everyone. That said, we'd likely be running PP boats that are closing in on 20 years old.
    I know I need a driver of some rating (what rating?), and a safety officer. If all I'm running is slalom, what else is needed? Does this qualify for any class, or X only, or even that?
    If I want to run tricks too, how many judges. Because it's a river, we won't have fixed camera/judging towers, are they needed at all?
    What if I format it as: 34mph, 2 passes, next skier? Speeds up the action, no one is sitting around long. Next round is the guys who made both passes first round.

    Those are examples of questions that I think the guys on this forum are great at handling. I've looked at the rules & regs, with some of these questions in mind and get nowhere but annoyed.

    To be clear, I'm only being half serious. Some of these are things I'd like to try out, some are just an example of the questions that must be answered to get mass participation. If you're of the "we don't want mass participation", or "it's not a spectator sport, it's a participatory sport", you've missed the point on both. You can't have 1 without the other.
    Public tournaments (like biking), and inventive (I'm not sitting around 3 hours) formatting.
    This horse ain't dead, I guess.
  • walleyewalleye Posts: 197 Baller
    edited May 2015
    @boarditup said it best about both leagues.

    The AWSA has too many rules for clubs to host class C tournament. AWSA criteria for judge or driver ratings for an amateur event.......LOL GET REAL AWSA THERE IS YOUR BALL AND CHAIN. Save your rules for big events National, Regionals, State etc.

    The INT is nothing more than insurance cooler for that guy in Washington, but it does have the right stuff for growth, fun and promotion.
  • LeonLLeonL Posts: 2,835 Crazy Baller
    edited May 2015
    @aupatking based on what you described, you would sanction a class "F". (If you feel the need to sanction at all) You would need an assistant driver, a safety person with level of "state" or higher, and at least one judge with Assistant rating. I'm pretty sure of these, but I will verify and post again. Just have your tournament and don't worry about sanction.

    Leon Leonard Stillwater Lake KY - SR Driver SR Judge

  • Rpc29Rpc29 Posts: 224 Crazy Baller
    @OB has hit the nail on the head here. We need to keep it simple, affordable, accessible, and fun.
  • 94009400 Posts: 646 Crazy Baller
    The only problem with keeping it simple is that unfortunately there are cheaters out there and cheaters will cheat. Heck, even with all the rules in place, who ever thought we'd have a guy with moveable turn buoys holding age division records and even trying to make a pro event splash.

    I'm good with making it simple, but we're going to have to accept what comes with that.
  • MattPMattP Posts: 6,359 Mega Baller
    @9400 the truth will always come out when those skiers attend States, Regionals or Nationals. There could always be a filter in the ranking list to show skiers who attended those events along with those with E,L,R scores and their average without the C scores. Would be interesting to see.
  • 94009400 Posts: 646 Crazy Baller
    I agree with you @MattP . My point being we didn't have all the rules and requirements years ago. They were put in place for specific acts or specific cases. It's part of the nature of highly competitive people who keep score and play to win. Some people have no problem playing by the rules and accepting what happens, some like to push the grey areas and some can't accept anything other than winning at any cost. That's where most of our rules in anything come from.
  • skihardskihard Posts: 566 Crazy Baller
    Cheating on ones scores in golf or in skiing will eventually come out and the only person one is really cheating is themselves!
    It will come out in the end when they have to prove it.
    Life's about working hard and then having fun on the water!
    I am - are you?
  • MISkierMISkier Posts: 3,526 Mega Baller
    There is nobody that I have ever skied with that has asked for or provided any weaving, even in practice. In fact, great emphasis is placed on a straight path and as close to perfect as possible. Furthermore, I'd say the available ski partners will diminish as the driving skills do.

    I wouldn't want anything but a good path and minimal noticeable recovery/adjustment to maintain said path.

    The worst slalom equipment I own is between my ears.

  • BRYBRY Posts: 593 Crazy Baller
    I don't find a C complicated or difficult. I do score and judge and have organized them. A C only needs three Regulars and the rest can be Assistants. It is helpful and preferred to have more Regulars but three will do. While it's running two shore judges (towers preferable but not required), a boat judge, a driver and a scorer. No cameras or video recording devices to hold hours of video that someone would need to look at to be useful. Can all be written on a clipboard and entered at night but much easier to put into WSTIM's real time (almost any laptop will do).

    If you want just a boat judge, cool, run a Class F. Want to run a real wacky, unusual format, cool, run a Class F. Want your scores to count on a national level, to be directly comparable to any other score in the country, then a standardized format with at minimum of controls should be used, aka Class C.

    Too hard to be a judge some say. Let's see:
    Assistant Judge
    Once Serve as a dock starter
    Once Explain (usually to the Chief Judge) how to verify the course
    Twice Sit with scorer and watch them do scoring
    Three times Sit with a Regular (or higher) judge and judge 6 or more consecutive skiers
    Send in form and your a judge. No one can convince me that is hard or complicated. Just enough to make sure the judge has a clue. Level 8 skier or higher? Just put your info on the form, send it in and your a judge. Becoming a Regular not that hard either.
  • boarditupboarditup Posts: 585 Crazy Baller
    The Prato Principle states that 80% of your results come from 20% of your efforts. Applied to cheaters and rules: The vast majority of people will follow simple rules and expectations without any issue. A further minority will require an increasing level of specifics as they will argue the finer points to their own advantage - call them the Sea Lawyers. The rules for the final .3% is what we have now - the overboard rules and officiating for the very few that "ruin it" for everyone else. It is always interesting that everyone in the sport for even a few years has a few common names and events. From an organizational perspective - if you have to write down your ethics rules you already have lost the culture. Our people will police themselves. Those that are "over competitive" or cheating will find themselves isolated from the rest of the sport - people will vote with their feet and move on or away from them. Simply allow the LOCs to say "no" to entrants that create hostile environments and cheaters. That personality type will move on to something else - hopefully MMA fighting. They have a creative and great way of policing the cheats.
    Karl DeLooff - Powered by the wind
  • ForrestGumpForrestGump Posts: 6,397
    Self scoring works very well for Golf. You rarely if ever hear about a cheater at golf. So why can't OB's idea work for waterskiing? Except for the fact that it's not the status quo, which the florida leadership fears losing.

    @BRY it's not that getting to be a judge is hard. It's that with the diminished numbers of participants, it's harder and harder to find judges to put on even C events in some areas. We're lucky in the SCR that it's not really an issue, but that's an issue in some areas.
    Shane "Crash" Hill

    [Deleted User]MattPBroussard
  • BRYBRY Posts: 593 Crazy Baller
    edited May 2015
    @ShaneH "Self scoring works very well for Golf. You rarely if ever hear about a cheater at golf. So why can't OB's idea work for waterskiing?" Excellent question, maybe it can. Maybe I am jaded and disillusioned with people. I think the majority are great but the cheaters are still a significant number and even "good" people can be tempted. Study after study shows people conform to rules at a much higher rate if they think they are being watched than if not. My friends who golf joke about people with "dyslexic" score cards or who "improve their lie". At golf tournaments above the local level they don't have officials watching for that? When I used to play tournament tennis (most lower tournaments self officiated) there were those who were known "hooks" and those that would hook only on close calls on crucial points. But it happened a lot.

    "Except for the fact that it's not the status quo, which the florida leadership fears losing." I disagree with this statement entirely. All the leadership I have ever had the chance to speak with all are open to change if it is better than what we have now.. Change for change's sake is a road to oblivion.

    "it's not that getting to be a judge is hard. It's that with the diminished numbers of participants, it's harder and harder to find judges to put on even C events in some areas. We're lucky in the SCR that it's not really an issue, but that's an issue in some areas."
    Some on this thread have specifically said becoming a judge is too hard and overboard. I just disagree and showed why for those many lurkers who may not know.
    Great point on finding enough judges in some area's is hard. I am not sure watering down standards for C's will help. If we can get 15 60% of OB's 25 competitors to be assistants, and 5 of those to step and be regulars there would be not problem and that's an easy tournament to run (15 gives you 3+ full crews).
    It would be interesting to know what percentage of the AWSA members that have skied 4 tournaments (or more) in the last 2 yearsare judges of any level. A program to get those that aren't to become judges, without driving them away, might be a better approach?
  • klindyklindy Posts: 2,928 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    @BRY good question about folks who have skied tournaments and are officials. I'll see if I can find out.
    Keith Lindemulder
    AWSA Chairman of the Board

  • RichardDoaneRichardDoane Posts: 4,880 Mega Baller
    I was irritated with @shane yesterday because he thought my comment was "brilliant" but after thinking about it and reading today's comments, I now appreciate the fact that he still cares enough to "stir the pot", I agree with @ob that a C could be judged well enough by the boat crew, and that C's should be easier to host if possible, and I would prefer an easier scoring procedure, @klindy please do run some numbers about judge ratings vs. tournament's skied, the comments about Regionals/Nationals showing the true scores just needs to take the "choke under pressure" variable into account
    BallOfSpray Pacific Northwest Vice President of Event Management, aka "Zappy"
  • ForrestGumpForrestGump Posts: 6,397
    edited May 2015
    The thing is @richarddoane I care about this sport a lot. The point of my original post was to get people talking. It wasn't to compare one sport to another. But to say, hey they do things differently in a lot of sports. And it works there. And it's fun. What's the reason we do it the way we do? And is there a better way?

    The interesting thing is it turned 90 degrees with @OB's post. Which is good!

    One of the things that I have always hated about the ranking system is that it does force us to have a system like we do for C because if there was bending the rules at a tournament it could effect regional/national qualifications. We didn't have that issue with the old way of Masters getting you to Reginoals and EP getting you to Nationals. Sure if you cheated you might get to go, but it didn't effect those you might bump out. Unintended consequences, I guess.

    Shane "Crash" Hill

    [Deleted User]RichardDoane
  • MrJonesMrJones Posts: 1,845 Mega Baller
    I've post this before but...

    20+ years ago we had some class C age group tourneys with a "prize". I forget how they got around the AWSA cash prize issue. Seems we won a gift certificate for $50 or something. Ability based in 15/22, 28/32, 35/38, and 39+ groups based on your 2 best scores from the past year. Men/women/kids/34/36 whatever in the group. Lots of fun. Should be easy to do.
  • The_MSThe_MS Posts: 6,843 Member of the BallOfSpray Hall Of Fame
    The true cost of a ski set always comes up on BOS but yet when a club charges 20-30 per set/round for a tourney, everyone thinks its expensive. Getting Promo boats is getting harder every year. There are only 4 left in Minn. 1 CP, 1 CC and 2 TXI. Looks like we lost 3 MC members in the past 2 years. Sanction fees, gas and free entry for boat owners eats away at any profit for the host club site.
    Shut up and ski
  • elrelr Posts: 355 Mega Baller
    Take away the incentive to cheat in class C - starting with running an open (no qualifying) Regionals/Nationals - that anyone with the entry fee can compete in (bigger Regionals/Nationals are desired by LOCs and sponsors). Run class self scoring class Cs or just have a boat judge as @OB suggests. Enter the Class C score in the Rankings database but Rankings List champion determined by ELR scores. Seeding for States/Regionals/Nationals has three flights - no scores ski first (draw names for order), those with class C only scores skis second (by ranking list scores), those with ELR scores ski last (by ranking list). If numbers need to be limited then prioritize e.g Top X in Regionals then ELR ranking scores then C ranking scores then have a draw.

    Ed Rink - LSF Texas

  • MattPMattP Posts: 6,359 Mega Baller
    edited May 2015
    @webbdawg99 put on 5 Tuesday night 3 round slalom tournaments last season with a 20 entry cap. $40 entry, and usually included dinner. Officials paid their own entry and if I remember correctly they came out very much ahead over the series. Having more than enough officials made it possible to pull off the tournament without feeling over worked.
    Hopefully he will chime in and comment, but making money while providing a quality, low stress tournament is possible. I believe almost everyone we had on site skied and was an official, it worked and it was fun. We talked about at one point doing a team/points/championship something another this year. It would be cool to do an ability based on the side over the series as well like @MrJones did.

    Though I'm all for @OB's class C idea.
    9400[Deleted User]
  • MISkierMISkier Posts: 3,526 Mega Baller
    @MattP, we do the same weeknight tournaments here in Michigan with similar entry cap and cost. There are about 10 of them. About half are Wednesday evenings on the East side of the state and the others are Thursday evenings on the West side of the state. I've skied both and really enjoy it. I do all of the West side and can only get into the East side occasionally.

    The worst slalom equipment I own is between my ears.

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