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Recommendation to consider when scheduling dates for Nationals

unksskisunksskis Posts: 420 Solid Baller
With consideration to growing the sport, and tournament participation specifically, scheduling Nationals into August does not help. I understand this is how it's always been, however the world has evolved, and scheduling Nationals needs to as well. Schools are now starting as early as the first week of August. School sports start practice/tryouts the first week of August, and these cannot be missed. Colleges are starting earlier. If we are to grow the sport, having participants choose between Nationals and making the school sport team, or missing the first week of classes and impression that gives, is not helping. School starting the week following Nationals is enough to discourage someone from attending, it's just too much going on. It also hinders non-skiing family members, as the summer in society is winding down if not done by this time, and it's time to prepare for school. Most other summer sports conclude by the end of July, or very first of August. Moving Nationals to the final weekend of July is my recommendation, when many Regionals are usually held. I understand the history of the Nationals dates, and that it is actually earlier nowadays than it has been in the past, as well as the theory that it allows Northern skiers more time to prepare. School and sports start just as early in the North, and how many skiers are being lost, or will be in the future, because the dates of Nationals are not accommodating with the way school and society has shifted, and it is becoming unfeasible to many.

Thoughts? Just trying to provoke conversation and consideration moving forward.
keithh2oskierAdamCordBruce_ButterfieldJody_SealjimbrakeBG1
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Comments

  • Chef23Chef23 Posts: 5,989 Mega Baller
    A bit of the challenge in the Northeast is that schools get out in late June and many people aren't doing much skiing before then given it is just warming up also. Having Regionals in early July with Nationals in late July gives only a few weeks for skiing before needing to head to Nationals.
    Mark Shaffer
    unksskisThan_BoganBdeckerAndre
  • unksskisunksskis Posts: 420 Solid Baller
    Thank you for the input!
    When do those schools typically start back up? When do the fall school sports begin practice? Do other summer sports wait until late June to begin (baseball, softball, swimming, etc) in the area as well?
  • klindyklindy Posts: 2,380 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    FYI - Michigan (public) schools start back up the Tuesday after Labor Day by state law.
    Keith Lindemulder
    AWSA Vice President
    AWSA Southern Region EVP
  • MISkierMISkier Posts: 2,785 Mega Baller
    @klindy, our schools started today. There is apparently some waiver process that schools can use to start before that Tuesday after Labor Day.

    I’m wondering how long before we have school all year.
    The worst slalom equipment I own is between my ears.
  • HallpassHallpass Posts: 160 Solid Baller
    Can anyone beat July 30, or August 1? Start dates for the two school districts in our area of Contra Costa, CA.
  • Chef23Chef23 Posts: 5,989 Mega Baller
    There are some schools I know of in North Carolina that have 3 individual month long vacations spread out during the year.

    In Massachusetts most schools start around Labor Day give or take a few days and high school teams start about a week before that usually not earlier than the 20th of the month for start of practice.
    Mark Shaffer
    unksskis
  • Jody_SealJody_Seal Posts: 2,901 Mega Baller
    I posed the question about this very same subject.
    Here in the state florida we hold our state tournament a week or two before regional s. I asked why? why must the state event be that close to regional s why cant it be after nationals? or in May? We for the most part ski year round so early or later helps with getting athletes to attend. now add up the nationals are two weeks after regional s. Why cant regional s be at another date? earlier or later? I went through the issues of getting juniors to these events when my kids grew up. most all of us that were parents agreed that either earlier or labor day weekend would be a better solution. spreading out these events needs to happen. or a different system for national qualification and entry needs to come into the modern age of our sport.
    Hobby Boats can be expensive when the hobbyist is limited on their own skill and expertise.


  • oldjeepoldjeep Posts: 3,496 Mega Baller
    Most schools around here start tuesday after labor day. My kids colleges start mid to late august. High school sports never really end, cant schedule life around them.
    Chuck P
    Not a mechanic but I play one at home
    DragoThan_Bogan
  • lpskierlpskier Posts: 2,698 Mega Baller
    In NY, placement at States gets you into Regionals. Top five in Regionals qualify for Nationals. The first tournament of the year in NY is the last weekend in June, a month before Regionals. Kids up here get out of school the third week of June. Our lake hits 70 about the first of July. I can’t imagine that the half of the country that has a real Winter would profit by having a July Nationals.
    John Wilkins- Si non pro sanguine quem ludus ne. #iskiconnelly
    jcamp
  • HortonHorton Posts: 28,773 Administrator
    Labor Day weekend. Maybe it's a Thursday through Monday event. Minimal time away from work minimal time away from school.

    Perhaps you schedule all the older skiers at the beginning and all of your high school and school-age kids Friday Saturday or Saturday Sunday.

    I wish this was actually my idea but I heard somebody talking about it at Nationals
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  • fu_manfu_man Posts: 444 Crazy Baller
    "I’m wondering how long before we have school all year."

    Long after I retire; or never.
  • MISkierMISkier Posts: 2,785 Mega Baller
    @Horton, the only issue with Labor Day weekend is that the hurricane season is intensifying. Could be a problem running Nationals in the higher risk locations.

    Otherwise, I like that timing.
    The worst slalom equipment I own is between my ears.
  • HortonHorton Posts: 28,773 Administrator
    @ms we know
    Support BallOfSpray by supporting the companies that support BallOfSpray

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  • lpskierlpskier Posts: 2,698 Mega Baller
    No hurricanes in Kansas or Idaho.
    John Wilkins- Si non pro sanguine quem ludus ne. #iskiconnelly
    HortonBill22Bruce_Butterfield
  • WishWish Posts: 7,982 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    Hurricanes that hit the US on Labor Day weekend = 6 since 1935. Thinkn the risk is rather low.
    >>> 11.25..a different kettle of fish. <<<
    Than_BoganWBLskierWaterSkier12MISkier
  • mispmisp Posts: 4 Baller
    School start times are very random even within states. However, what is consistent & has an even bigger impact on the future athletes of our sport is- the start date of HS sports. A check of multiple state athletic associations did not turn up a state that allows their high schools to have mandatory practices until after the last full week of July. I’m sure there are some exceptions.
    As a coach - team always comes first - missing the first week of practice/cuts to go skiing - sorry! As a young athlete - give up a 3 months of a sport that all my friends play & I enjoy - for 1 week of skiing - sorry! As a reasonable parent - how do I justify/counter to my family one extremely expensive week of skiing vs. life & time management skills taught throughout a fall sport season - sorry! As a “disillusioned parent” - I can spend thousands on AAU coaching & games & "dream" about my kid maybe getting a $2000/year token scholarship or I can spend tens of thousands on skiing/qualify for Nationals and my kid is guaranteed to pay full tuition - sorry! (Boat & equipment companies take note - “delusional parent ego stroking” is the #1 way to grow this sport and your bottom line. Money & ROI is not an issue to a parent that can "dream" about saying, “my boy got a "college scholarship" to water ski”. Bonus, all those kids of the “dreamers” eventually get a degree, make money, move to lakes, have families and buy equipment and boats to train the next "super star"! The “college scholarship” is the pipe dream that funds every AAU team, training facility, and everything in between, etc. in this country - we need to figure out a way to let that “delusion” help grow this sport.)
    By moving the Nationals to the last full week of July could help by making it much easier for our future generation to stay in this great family sport. I agree the best skiing always seems to be after Nationals maybe that would be a good time for the state tournaments.
    Than_Bogan
  • klindyklindy Posts: 2,380 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    At some point if the school calendar runs later into the summer or starts earlier in the year, then the kids school schedule becomes less of a factor when planning the dates. Regardless of what date you pick there seems to be some kids in school and some kids out of school. It's likely consistent as to which kids are in or out each year but it cramps someone schedule regardless.

    The situation is similar for the location of the Nationals. If it's in the PNW, then the Florida folks have a harder, more time consuming and more expensive trip. If it's in FL, then the opposite is true. Same for CA folks headed to FL or wherever. Again, point is, it'll be much more convenient for some than it will for other. As long as we move the location around, that "problem" isn't going to change.

    I'm not sure if I get the entire point @misp is making above, but sometimes it's a choice between organized school team sports and competitive waterskiing. Remember there are dozens of major universities which have waterski teams and many are offering partial or full scholarships. To compete for those scholarships, you need to apply the same discipline and effort as you would for any collegiate team sport.

    So as far as the original question, there are lots of factors that weigh in on Nationals scheduling and all the factors mean more to some than they do to other. It's a balance that's necessary. Unfortunately it'll be impossible to make everyone happy all the time.
    Keith Lindemulder
    AWSA Vice President
    AWSA Southern Region EVP
    Drago
  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 6,586 Mega Baller
    @misp Apropos of nothing, I'd just like to mention that everyone's kid will probably get a pole vault scholarship if they jump for me... ;)
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
    Mateo_Vargas
  • lazznlazzn Posts: 42 Baller
    I feel like if Nationals was not a tournament that had entry qualification requirements, the scheduling of it and its potential to grow the sport would be a lot different. Realistically if you/your kid is good enough to ski nationals then they probably are already in it for the long run, or at least that's how I hope it would be (coming from a skier that's not nationals qualified but definitely in it for the long run). On the scholarships/high school sports note, I've always thought HS coaches need to be more lax about things, its ridiculous enough that fall sports start a month before school does. And I've watched far too many of my peers throw away all kinds of money on AAU and clubs to then choose some DIII college that offered them a minuscule scholarship over a school that might suit their career goals better. And chances are if your kid is approaching college and they are competing at nationals, they are probably good enough to get a scholarship at one of the token college teams that get enough money to offer them. So circling back around, to me a labor day nationals would make sense(the current dates don't seem too bad either).
    Wisconsin Waterski Team
    Wish
  • WishWish Posts: 7,982 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    edited August 2018
    Plus one for State Championships getting you to Nats. And for those states that do not have enough participants for a state tournament, combine states by registered AWSA skiers close by until there is enough to form a NW States Championship for example. Regionals may morph into something else if there is a strong enough following in any particular region (south east is big) and they can continue to have them. But forcing a huge chunk of participants to encore further travel and time off expenses to get to Nats is silly at best.
    >>> 11.25..a different kettle of fish. <<<
    ALPJr
  • klindyklindy Posts: 2,380 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    @Wish if you combine a handful of smaller states to create a tournament large enough to be a "state qualifier" don't you have the same as a Regional tournament?

    Perhaps a solution is an "either/or" situation. States which are large enough or which currently have a formal 3 event state tournament is one possibility. OR several neighboring states can have a mini-regional tournament which is the functional equivalent to a state tournament. To be used as a qualifier for Nationals there would have to only be one group of podium finishers and not one from each state at the combined tournaments.

    It would seem likely that finding a site willing to host a Regional tournament which would be used as a last chance qualifier might be tough. Attendance might be a huge unknown.
    Keith Lindemulder
    AWSA Vice President
    AWSA Southern Region EVP
    ALPJrWish
  • BRYBRY Posts: 585 Crazy Baller
    edited August 2018
    State tournaments as a requirement for anything is totally inequitable. NH, WY, SD and ND state tournaments vs CA, TX and FL state tournaments, no comparison. Many states don't even have enough people, much less officials, to hold one. In most classes in many states it would be show up and win, only one in the class. Of course you could combine some of these small states together or let them ski in a larger states tournament but then that's a regionals.

    Change for change's sake is the road to oblivion. Sometimes things are done the way they are due to years and generations of refinement, it's the best way. And sometimes the best way sucks but it is what it is. Looking to find a better way is great, but it needs to be better not just different and certainly not worse.

    Due to the spread of start and end dates of schools moving Nationals date will benefit some and hinder others.
    A 4-day Labor Day tournament? At 4 days you can't run as many skiers, particularly on 2 or 3 lake sites. Right there fewer entries so a loss. Some schools and therefore sports started then so those aren't coming. A major trip the weekend before school starts, non-starter for a lot of families, more loss.

    Most High School, some JR High and most Select teams now demand the athletes life, year round. My High School basketball coach (multiple state championships) told me, at "open gym" summer before frosh year (he had me scouted) that if I wanted to play for him I had to give up skiing, snow and water, period. So I went skiing. I'm men's 5, that was a long time ago. Jeremy Bloom was All-American at Colorado, Football, and an Olympic skier. NCAA made him choose, he chose skiing and lost 2 years eligibility. Sometimes you gotta choose.
    jcamp
  • Jody_SealJody_Seal Posts: 2,901 Mega Baller
    edited August 2018
    I can only take the southern region as a "proposed" example:

    Florida Has A state tournament Class E,L&R every year around the middle to end of June.
    Alabama and Georgia have a Combined E,L &R around the same time as do Kentucky and Tenn, North Carolina and South Carolina. Or any mixture or stand alone does not matter as each of those state federations hold numerous E,L&R tournaments anyway and are capable of holding that level of event.

    Now that these State championship/National qualifier events are held and done a southern region LCQ record is held in Duncanville (or wherever) two weeks in front of Nationals where there is a 40 entry cap, that tournament will fill up. should not be a problem.
    It is almost guaranteed that those that want to participate at the nationals would rather support their state event over a regional event one would think that under a system such as described, A higher turn out at the nationals would be expected entry number wise.
    Again just a alternative template idea. I know if I can put 6 weeks between the qualification criteria event and the national finals then it will be easier on the pocket book and time off to participate will also be easier to obtain.

    @BRY
    If your region wants to hold a traditional regional qualification event then so be it. But the Idea is to make the sport more accesable and start thinking about reducing the cost to participate.
    Hobby Boats can be expensive when the hobbyist is limited on their own skill and expertise.


  • BRYBRY Posts: 585 Crazy Baller
    edited August 2018
    @Jody_Seal
    My region is your region, Southern. Been out injured this season. Used to be West. Duncanville, is that TX so SC Region? Or a Duncanville in the South I am missing, could be.

    You blow up your argument for State's yourself by combining KY and TN, combining TN, NC and SC. You don't believe State tournaments work in those relatively strong skiing states. Extrapolate that nationally to NE, Midwest, West and the State situation gets worse.

    What it sounds like you are proposing is not State tournaments but re-working the map for Regionals. Completely different proposal. So big States like FL, TX, CA hold their own "Regionals" (currently State tourney) as they have enough skiers. Smaller states combine into "mini Regionals" that are closer. Perhaps even not by state but by cluster of skier population, driven by where the skiers are not State lines. This has been discussed a lot in the West where distances in that region are huge. Concerns over official numbers and boats and sites have been sufficient to remain with status quo. Not a new idea by any means. It needs to make sense Nationally, not just in skier strong Southern Region.

    You state two goals:
    1- Make the sport more accessible.
    2- Reduce cost to participate.

    It is a different argument that has had may threads but I do not believe mucking with Regionals and Nationals does anything to make the sport more accessible. Not one bit. Perhaps makes going to Regionals and Nationals more accessible to those already in the sport. More low cost local C tournaments and combating being pushed off public water, keeping and expanding public courses will.
    Also, how many more rides could Kansas have handled this year? Sounded like they were running sun up to sun down. Could they have handled another 100 or 300 or 500 skiers?

    Reducing cost to participate in Regionals by reducing travel distance/time is an unstated goal of the smaller Regionals/State's proposal. Seems good on it's face. Perhaps a task force to look into it but hasn't that been done in the past? What did they find?
  • BRYBRY Posts: 585 Crazy Baller
    @MISkier Exactly
  • The_MSThe_MS Posts: 5,528 Member of the BallOfSpray Hall Of Fame
    @MISkier I agree. It also aligns climates. April in Mo/Kansas is much warmer then up here in the tundra
    Shut up and ski
    MISkier
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