Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

12" White Stickers
BallOfSpray $5 Donation
BallOfSpray $10 Donation

Rankings vs Ratings, how has rankings killed the sport?

JeffSurdejJeffSurdej Posts: 539 USAWS Official
I often hear that rankings has been the downfall of AWSA? I came into the sport in 1993 when we had ratings. And to be quite frank I do not know how ratings was more competitive than rankings. I totally get it from a nationals qualifications standpoint and not knowing when you will be qualified, I get that and agree. But outside of that , couldn't one argue that rankings has allowed skiers to be competitive across the nation every weekend, couldn't one argue that it may be the only thing we have left to hand on to, the one thing that encourages skiers to ski each weekend and move up the rankings?
AWSA President


  • HortonHorton Posts: 27,773 Administrator
    @JeffSurdej I think the problem is that a rankings list culture diminishes competition at the day of the event. Personally I go to tournaments solely to post scores to the rankings list. Sadly that is also driven by the fact that there is so little competitive skiing in So Cal. I am 6 balls ahead or behind most of the guys locally. We are in sad shape out here.

    To me it is water under the bridge and now the world we live in. We live in the age of the internet so as much as I am not sure it is the best thing we are a rankings list sport.

    Support BallOfSpray by supporting the companies that support BallOfSpray

    Barts ★ Connelly ★  DBSkis ★ Goode ★ Hobe Lake ★ HO Syndicate 

    MasterCraft ★ Masterline ★ Performance Ski and Surf ★ Reflex ★ Radar ★ Stokes

  • aupatkingaupatking Posts: 1,279 Mega Baller
    Being a guy newly on the list, I like it. I want to see how far I can move up this year.
  • lpskierlpskier Posts: 2,562 Mega Baller
    If there are only a few folks in your division, it's the ranking list that makes tournament skiing interesting. Slalom is one story, maybe, but trick and jump is fifferent. M6 jump is an example.

    There are 24 M6 jumpers in the country, two in the East and only me in NY. I have really one shot all year to compete for placement other than for first or second, and that's Nationals. With the ranking list I have completion every time I go to a tournament.

    If we were grouped based on ability, we have a total of 34 men's jumpers in the East, M1-M7. If I was grouped with everyone that has a ranking list score within 15 feet one way or the other of me, the group region-wide would have 11 skiers, so at least Regionals would be interesting, but on the other hand six of the 11 would be aged 34 or less (Corey Vaughn being one) and they would really feel discouraged if they took an ass pounding from a guy that's 60. ;-)

    Other than States, Regionals and Nationals, there are no prizes for "winning." I've said this before that I always keep track of who skis about like I do at a tournament and keep mental track of how I'm doing against "the competition." Unless there are awards, what's the point of placement except at the "Big Three?"

    So bottom line for me: I like the ranking list.
    John Wilkins- Si non pro sanguine quem ludus ne. #iskiconnelly
  • Texas6Texas6 Posts: 2,197
    edited February 2017
    I think Horton nailed it. Rankings work great in lieu of a competitive local tournament. Optimally winning your age group against other age group competitors in a local tournament would be the goal. But today, that format is called regionals and nationals, as that's really the only tournament that brings enough age group competition. I don't think rankings have hurt anything, and I think they can co-exist with local format changes. But bringing real competition back to class c would improve the local format. Even if that means competing against other age group members around the country at different tournaments at different lakes on the same day. Now it's not only about rankings (and I do ski for a ranking), I'm still competing that day and there is a winner.
    Daryn Dean - Lakes of Katy, TX
    ***Robbed out of Hundreds of Panda Worthy Posts***
  • sunperchsunperch Posts: 237 Crazy Baller
    edited February 2017
    I like the rankings list. I compete against myself and trying to move up on the list, even if it is only 1-2 places. I love the rankings list for the kids. It allows them to see where they stand and is a great motivator for them . Even over the winter, my kids access the rankings list on their own to set goals for themselves for the upcoming season. Seeing someone else jump up the list also works as a little kick in the pants for them to try a little harder.
  • RazorRoss3RazorRoss3 Posts: 1,339 Mega Baller
    As I have said in other discussions, I didn't compete against another M1 skier all season last year except at my old college team's summer tournament but I beat all the M1 skiers there with my opener so it doesn't really count. The ranking list is nice because it lets me see how I stack up against other M1 skiers I know and who I am competitive with but we just don't end up at the same events very often. It was also fun this year since I was able to join the 100 buoy average club for the first time.
  • John BrooksJohn Brooks Posts: 366 Crazy Baller
    I like what @OB1 & @disland mention. For a Class C or D, whatever you call it, at least in slalom, just put someone in the boat, 16 or older, to count buoys and be an observer and let the skier submit their own scores online. Use that system to qualify for your regionals and nationals.

    As far as record tours, let those only apply toward world rankings. Record tours would count the same as class C toward nationals.
  • Jody_SealJody_Seal Posts: 2,749 Mega Baller
    edited February 2017
    Rankings is a good gauge for competition purposes and for skiers to understand and better their capabilities and performances. However where the rankings has been a problem and has actually caused a small number of skiers to withdraw from AWSA is the floating number needed for qualification to championship's, State , Regional and National. Make the cut off percentage the day after the national championships skiers will know what they need to do to make qualification rather then the floating number. Skiers will be able to better make plans to attend the Championship events with their respective family's in tow.

    I know there will be lots of disagreement on this side but there is a difference between a homologated class REL tournament and a class C. Did some research with Slalom skiers that skied both class C and record , in some age groups there was as much as 3.5 buoy difference between Class C and REL with the better scores in the class C Tournaments. One can even see where the better scores were established geographically speaking. I and many other's are of the firm belief that Class C Slalom scores are a bit inflated VS the Class ELR Scores, However this was not the case with Trick and Jump. Again make qualification score effective the day after nationals and nobody cares about the inflated scores then it is only down to seeding at the championship events..

    Inclusion rather then exclusion should at the for front of this sport!
    Hobby Boats can be expensive when the hobbyist is limited on their own skill and expertise.

    Bruce_ButterfieldDirtJohn Brooks
  • MattPMattP Posts: 6,001 Mega Baller
    I am in the boat of @RazorRoss3. I entered M2 after Nationals this past year. I will be the only M2 skier in my state and will more than likely not ski against anyone in my division unless I attend Regionals or Nationals. For me the Ranking list is what I am skiing against every weekend. I am usually one of the only guys skiing 36 too. So I cant even compare my self against another division at the same event. I would say the rankings list is keeping M1 & M2 skiing alive. Note: I never skied during the time of ratings.
    RazorRoss3ski6jonesBRYJohn Brooks
  • skiinxsskiinxs Posts: 555 Crazy Baller
    +1 on reducing the judging requirements for a class C. At my lake, I pretty much have to set up for an ELR to run a C, as there is no easy place for judges towers. It is easier to utilize telemetry boat video and video gates than to try to construct some temporary judges towers. Since that is already set up, I might as well add end course video and record all to a DVR to provide some good driving feedback. This is one of the reasons I went ahead and sanctioned as an ELR last year. All of this hassle and the work involved in securing officials for the CELR last year is the reason I haven't sanctioned a tournament this year (yet... still considering). Last year I set a pull limit, allowed entries considerably above my pull limit, and didn't quite get it all in due to 5 1/2 inches of rain that weekend. I even had a waiting list with over 40 pulls that I could not get to, so the demand was certainly there. If I could to it much simpler, I would be much more likely to do it again.
  • gt2003gt2003 Posts: 726 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    I agree with @OB1 on ability based Class D events. Sounds like when I used to shoot skeet. I was in my 20's and could very well be paired with others in their 30's, 40's, 50's and 60's (if not older). It provided good competition and the camaraderie was still there. I'd be much more likely to jump in to a tournament, even if I was only running 4-5 buoys at 15 off provided I knew I had the chance to be competitive and even win the division if I had a good day on the water.
    2014 HO TX
    1996 Malibu Echelon
  • brettmainerbrettmainer Posts: 257 Crazy Baller
    I like the rankings list for all of the above stated reasons. I don't like that I am currently looking up at @Horton on said list.
    I liked having the cut off for an Open, EP, Masters be a fixed score subject to annual readjustment. I don't like the percentile deal, although it does encourage getting new people involved in the sport. If I can get 1000 new people worse than me in the men's divisions, I can get a MM rating without actually having to improve myself.
  • ToddLToddL Posts: 2,822 Mega Baller
    edited February 2017
    Crazy thought... Why not do both?

    Establish a performance level for Nationals qualification.
    Continue the current rankings list math.
    HIDE the rankings of any skier who has qualified for nationals.
    Those trying to move up from the bottom still get the cool factor of seeing their efforts in context.
    Those who have qualified will have to attend and compete to see who wins bragging rights.
    -- The future of skiing depends upon welcoming novice skiers regardless of age to our sport.
  • DirtDirt Posts: 1,593 Open or 55K Rated Skier
    +1 for Jody and Brettmainer with the rating/cutoff set and not floating. I have heard this so many times and it is another example of an obvious problem that never gets solved. Probably due to bureaucracy.
    I learned everything I know not to do from Horton
  • bojansbojans Posts: 258 Solid Baller
    Slightly off topic on ratings, but the mention of the class d type tournament may get our club back in the tournament game. We used to host one 3 event tournament per year, always had a great turnout. We stopped having tournaments for a few reasons, getting enough officials was difficult, there was a lot of planning and work, other members with no interest in tournament skiing didn't want to give the lake up for a whole day. Lessen the officials requirement, make sanctioning easier and I could see our club hosting some slalom only tournaments. If it were easy enough I think having an afternoon tournament, maybe 40 pulls and end with drinks and some burgers would be a great way to grow the sport and get together with fellow skiers.
  • sunperchsunperch Posts: 237 Crazy Baller
    @ToddL So if I qualify for Nationals, then I don't get to see how high (or low) I am in the Level 8 rankings list?????? What does that accomplish? I think if you have worked hard enough to be Level 8, then you are probably a pretty competitive person and will continue to strive to improve and will still want to monitor the rankings list.
  • ToddLToddL Posts: 2,822 Mega Baller
    @sunperch - one of the arguments against the ranking list is that since it exists, the top skiers do not attend nationals to find out who really is the best. That's the reasoning behind killing it. But, others benefit from it.

    I get what you are saying. Whenever, I see an "either or" question, I always challenge the presumption that they can't coexist.
    -- The future of skiing depends upon welcoming novice skiers regardless of age to our sport.
  • eleeskieleeski Posts: 3,876 Infinite Pandas
    I was strongly opposed to the use of rankings for qualification. But the reality of how rankings were applied has quieted my fears. Not a perfect system but workable.

    In reference to the title of the thread, Rankings vs Ratings has had no effect on the health of the sport. TV poker, video games and public water restrictions are damaging the sport. Other sports are suffering more. Thanks Jeff and the others at AWSA for keeping us afloat.

  • unksskisunksskis Posts: 352 Baller
    Ranking list has done a great job at keeping it competitive among the top level skiers, although it does make it less intriguing to ski local/State competitions other than for needed rankings scores. Bottom line, as has been said, it moved the competition to be more online, outside of attending Nationals. Plus you know where you sit, so maybe less likely to take a shot at going to a bigger tournament. I still think it's much better than ratings, and is more reflective of what other sports utilize.

    One thing I would like to note, couldn't help but notice when the Rankings list leaders were published in the magazine the other month, Pro skiers, like Nate Smith, won our amateur divisions EOY Rankings. How is that promoting anything encouraging?
  • BRYBRY Posts: 585 Crazy Baller
    I am one who likes the ranking list. Actually I have friends all over the country and it allows us to compete with one another. I find it inspiring and humbling at the same time. I do not see it as a downside to AWSA at all, but a strength.
    Concur with those pro comments above.

  • klindyklindy Posts: 2,294 Mega Baller
    @BRY how do you "compete" with friends all over the country via the ranking list?
    Keith Lindemulder
    AWSA Vice President
    AWSA Southern Region EVP
  • unksskisunksskis Posts: 352 Baller
    @klindy when there is no competition at the local tournament, you go on and see how you did compared to your fellow skiers/friends, being a small sport, you're usually friends with most of your competitors. It also helps gauge how you may be progressing compared to others you are familiar with.
  • JackQJackQ Posts: 266 Crazy Baller
    Before, many were concerned that EP qualifications were ruining the sport, and ranking lists were designed to help improve competition. Everyone is different, but I am interested in my ranking and what I need to improve, but at a tournament I strive to beat everyone in my division and all the other 34mph divisions. Unfortunately I more often that not fail to meet that objective.
  • BRYBRY Posts: 585 Crazy Baller
    @klindy I believe class C and above are homogenized enough that scores at different tournaments are equivalent. So we compete on who has more buoy's on the ranking list. Easy, don't have to be in same physical location. Works across Divisions for us, all 55K.
  • KelvinKelvin Posts: 1,149 Mega Baller
    Its been said before, but I believe we could have the best of both worlds by moving the cut-off-date to the week before the previous year's nationals. That way, you know exactly what you have to do for the entire season without having the rug pulled out from under you late in the season.
    Kelvin Kelm, Lakes of Katy, Katy Texas
  • HortonHorton Posts: 27,773 Administrator
    @BRY well that is the rub. There always stories about stretching the rules at some sites. If we compete across the country then we all must absolutely must follow the rules the same way.

    Support BallOfSpray by supporting the companies that support BallOfSpray

    Barts ★ Connelly ★  DBSkis ★ Goode ★ Hobe Lake ★ HO Syndicate 

    MasterCraft ★ Masterline ★ Performance Ski and Surf ★ Reflex ★ Radar ★ Stokes

Sign In or Register to comment.