End course video

LeonLLeonL Posts: 2,619 Crazy Baller
edited October 2013 in Rules/Politics/Issues
As all you Senior drivers know, the AWSA Drivers Policy Manual states that you must submit an end course video to your respective Regional Driver rep each year. Now just how stupid is that? Is a driver going to submit a video that shows him weaving all over the place? No, he's going to keep recording tournament after tournament until he has one that looks good. That is if he's a poor driver and has to do that. But the point is, what gets submitted may not be an accurate representation of a drivers skill. The other point that doesn't get addressed is a lot of the other mistakes that some drivers make, ie, wrong start speeds, failure to increase speed, poor boat handling outside the course, all to the dismay of the skier, but not addressed in this scenario. This isn't in the rule book so how does one propose a change to policy manuals? When I mentioned posting on this subject, a friend said "you're probably gonna open a can of worms", but if so........
Leon Leonard Stillwater Lake KY - SR Driver SR Judge
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Comments

  • acmxacmx Posts: 258 Baller
    @LeonL, good point, but the solution from awsa would probably be more cumbersome than most would want to endure.
  • EdbrazilEdbrazil Posts: 1,396 Historical Baller
    Good points about noting all aspects of a driver's performance, not just centerline video.
    Back when the driver ratings were first established, the Chief Driver had to do a report on each driver in the tournament. Not now, and advancement tends to be based on quantity.

    However, for Record tournaments (Class E, L, R), all the centerline video is supposed to be submitted to the Drivers Committee Regional Representative. See p. 83 of the AWSA Rulebook.
    http://www.usawaterski.com/pages/divisions/3event/2013AWSARuleBook.pdf

    "The video tape recordings of non-record passes (on standard size VHS cassette) shall be
    submitted to the Regions Driver Committee Representative."


    Quite a monumental task to wade through the tapes, not all with a sound track and driver/pass identification. For every 16 seconds or so of the boat in the course, there will be maybe a minute between passes and likely more between skiers. Running the tape at fast-forward actually tends to accentuate boat path deviations, though.

    VHS is getting to be old technology, and there probably will be changes coming there. Such as automatic tracking by SplashEye, DVD recording, etc.
  • A_BA_B Posts: 4,345 Mega Baller
    What about using some survey service like Survey Monkey to tabulate information or ratings from Chief or even skiers?

    Not sure the video is worthwhile for reasons stated above. I am wondering if a driver should have one "training on the job" where chief reviews from boat or shore and documents area for improvement?

    I like the concept of customer surveys though.

    Its hard to tell a volunteer you don't want them to volunteer any more. Better to tell them how to get better.
  • ForrestGumpForrestGump Posts: 6,277
    It used to be that reports were created using the time data, when Perfect Pass was being used. As SplashEye drive becomes more readily available at tournament sites, I could see the reports from it being required to keep a senior driver rating.
    Shane "Crash" Hill

  • John BrooksJohn Brooks Posts: 366 Crazy Baller
    My opinion is that on some regular basis the drivers receive a written evaluation by the chief driver of an event. It seems like the only really effective evaluation of all points is by a trainer observer at the sight. This could be used as a ongoing approach in a constructive way to help everyone.
  • ForrestGumpForrestGump Posts: 6,277
    But then you put it upon an already volunteer driver to have to spend his time working even more. USAWS has already made it so that some drivers won't be around next year when the new motor vehicle record check is instituted. Let's make it even it more difficult on our volunteers. If I had to spend my time evaluating other drivers, I just wouldn't be a chief driver at any more events.
    Shane "Crash" Hill

  • sunperchsunperch Posts: 283 Crazy Baller
    When I am the boat judge, I usually keep an eye on the boat path and give feedback to the driver, could be a good source of information for the chief judge or driver.

    Erik4c
  • LeonLLeonL Posts: 2,619 Crazy Baller
    I'm certainly not advocating more evaluations, but less. I just see the submitting of an end course video of said driver's choosing is a bit useless.
    Leon Leonard Stillwater Lake KY - SR Driver SR Judge
  • John BrooksJohn Brooks Posts: 366 Crazy Baller
    If a driver cannot pass a DMV check, not sure I want them driving.
  • ForrestGumpForrestGump Posts: 6,277
    edited October 2013
    Don't buy in to USAWS's dmv check being about safety or about keeping better drivers. It's all about liability. Which has zero to do with safety or quality of driving in a boat.
    Shane "Crash" Hill

  • John BrooksJohn Brooks Posts: 366 Crazy Baller
    Leon, I agree that submitting all those videos does not provide much value in my opinion.

    Shane, I also agree with you about the limited value of a DMV check, although for the little bit of cost and effort, seems like not much to ask.

    My main point is that I feel one of the primary roles of the chief driver is to be watching the drivers for the event and providing constructive support and feedback where it is necessary. Too often the chief is just another one of the drivers who happens to coordinate the schedule when I feel for the benefit of all involved, should be helping the drivers to improve.

    The boat judges could help some in watching boat path and out of course activity, but often we would be better served by some sort of evaluation of the skilled and experienced eye of the chief driver.

    The drivers do alot, and I also feel all of the officials put in significant effort to make everything happen and we need the entire team of volunteers. The scorers are working before & after the tournament for set up and close out of the events. The TC's are amoung the hardest working group I have seen. The safety directors usually are on duty the entire tournament without relief not to mention regularly taking first aid and CPR classes on their time and at their expense (which is much more expense than a online DMV check). And the judges are constantly on duty because many events run short on providing enough help.
  • chris_loganchris_logan Posts: 360 Crazy Baller
    I'm kinda with @AB on this one, and I like the idea of incorporating skier feedback into the equation. If a short standard short survey were emailed out the all registered skiers of the tournament on the following day, it is likely that accurate and honest feedback could be collected. Personally, I rely more on skier feedback to make sure that I'm giving them the best pull possible.

    As far as submitting in course video, I believe it should be similar to when drivers are tested. Drivers could sign an agreement to submit video from a specified tournament that they plan on attending, prior to the tournament (say, at least a month prior). That way it is a one time shot, and the results are what they are.
    Always looking for a pull... Will you be my boatdriver?
  • A_BA_B Posts: 4,345 Mega Baller
    Speed being taken out of question these days, the only thing that they need is an attest of path straightness, and I don't see why that can't be signed off on by the boat judge on forms or electronic signature. Very simple, less overhead cost than someone sitting in front of a monitor and reviewing path on video.

    What's more important to me is they are not crusty grumps that want to mow through their group so they can ski again.
  • ForrestGumpForrestGump Posts: 6,277
    That wouldn't work because the boat judge really can't tell if the boat path is straight and to what extent. Plus, the wake folds differently for different boats. A malibu has a different center of wake than a nautique and neither correspond to the boat centerline. That's why it's absolutely not possible to center the boat unless someone is looking from end course.
    Shane "Crash" Hill

  • A_BA_B Posts: 4,345 Mega Baller
    You can't tell from the prop wash if the boat is running straight or weaving?
  • ForrestGumpForrestGump Posts: 6,277
    No, not accurately. The wash will move as the driver counters. Plus even running straight, the prop wash is not necessarily centered. If you got in a malibu and told the driver when he was center, end course video would show him off.
    Shane "Crash" Hill

  • A_BA_B Posts: 4,345 Mega Baller
    edited October 2013
    I guess i look at the gates when the boat goes past and the wash to see the straightness of path.
    Sounds like i have been doing it wrong for a long time.

    What should i be looking at when sitting in observers seat? SN's only.
  • John BrooksJohn Brooks Posts: 366 Crazy Baller
    Looking at the pylon.
  • ForrestGumpForrestGump Posts: 6,277
    From the end of the course you can see a 2 inch deviation. From in the boat looking past the pylon at the boat guides and shore, you can't even see double that deviation.
    Shane "Crash" Hill

  • LeonLLeonL Posts: 2,619 Crazy Baller
    As a judge, when I'm not driving, I find it impossible to determine if the boat is centered. Plus if I watch the boat path I can't be doing a very good job of judging buoys and vice versa. My job is to count buoys, and do it accurately.
    Leon Leonard Stillwater Lake KY - SR Driver SR Judge
  • RogerRoger Posts: 1,608 Mega Baller
    @LeonL - perhaps you better review the rules on what a Boat Judge is responsible for. Among other things:
    3. One event judge shall ride in the towboat, hereafter referred to as the
    boat judge.
    a. The boat judge and scorer shall check the boat time for each pass
    and identify reride situations in accordance with Rules 10.09 & 10.10.
    b. The boat judge shall observe the boat path (see Rule 10.07). If any
    46
    part of the boat deviates outside the bounds of the boat gates, the
    boat judge shall award an optional reride if the path of deviation was
    a disadvantage to the skier. If it was to the skier’s advantage, a
    reride is mandatory
    Roger B. Clark - Okeeheelee skier. Senior driver, Senior Judge
    A_B
  • LeonLLeonL Posts: 2,619 Crazy Baller
    edited October 2013
    @Roger, perhaps I should have said my "primary" job is to count buoys. I know what the rule book says. I challenge anyone to accurately observe the boat path and simultaneously determine if a skier is rounding buoys at 39.5. Maybe I need to turn my judges rating because I just can't do that. Oh, I can do pretty good if the skier is running long lines at slow speeds. This thread may have taken a different turn and that's OK. Will some others comment on how good they think they can observe boat path and also do a good job of judging buoys? Am I incompetent or are there super judges among us?
    Leon Leonard Stillwater Lake KY - SR Driver SR Judge
  • DragoDrago Posts: 1,673 Mega Baller
    Between a score of a full buoy and 1/4, I watch the boat path.gates, too. I watch the ski through the gate, then keep watching the gate, the way I heard umpires in baseball make strike/ball calls. I try to communicate with the driver every pass. ("You 're right on. Move your way 2 inches, etc)
    Hope I never have to pull @ ob, though. ;)
    SR SL Judge & Driver (“a driver who is super late on the wheel and is out of sync”)
  • MattPMattP Posts: 6,311 Mega Baller
    @ob as long as it's not about my driving!
  • MattPMattP Posts: 6,311 Mega Baller
    edited October 2013
    @OB I would like to see it. Only way to get better is to be aware of your faults
    SkiJay
  • ForrestGumpForrestGump Posts: 6,277
    We've seriously considered buying @Splasheye Drive for training purposes. Only problem is Drive itself, which is $1000, isn't auto starting. You have to purchase the complete slalom package for $4k to get the auto start ability.
    Shane "Crash" Hill

  • SplasheyeSplasheye Posts: 62 Baller
    @ShaneH working on AutoStart in SplashEyeDrive literally as we speak. Not easy but confident it can be done for next season
  • SplasheyeSplasheye Posts: 62 Baller
    @OB In fairness to @horton I don't like to actively plug it here until I can afford to pay him some advertising fees!
    [email protected] will get you information
  • HortonHorton Posts: 31,404 Administrator
    meh. @splasheye let's hear your spiel

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  • ktm300ktm300 Posts: 441 Solid Baller
    This could be the greatest advance since speed control. Driving skills measured by objective fact. I love it.
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