ASRA - Australian Skateboard Racing Association

Discussion group to form the sub-committee of ASRA, who are charged with the responsibility of ensuring that the sport of slalom skateboard racing is properly governed, and has a clear set of rules so that that it can grow strongly for the next generation.

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In 2011 Slalom, for a number of reasons was dead, in this country. 
Many skaters wanted events but few could be bothered to make any happen, and it was unreasonable to expect Haggy and Bugs to traipse around the country running events, when so few appeared to be offering anything in the way of leadership, so it was allowed to be dropped off the calendar.

However, a few of us kept it alive, with the biggest and best effort being made in Canberra.

The point system, such as it is, was carried over from the downhill racing, and is a formula that inspires well attended races, more often, and interstate competitors, in order to grow the sport.  As the sport develops and participation becomes the norm, not the hope, the points system will need to evolve to account for talent more than participation.

So what is that for slalom. We still have a situation where attendance is the hope, not the norm.  In Victoria we are struggling to get much interest at all, and without interstate vistitors dropping in to boost participation (and pick up some easy points) the Moss events would simply not have happened. 

It could be because "attendance points" are not valued, or skaters are returning to form, and seeking the individual pursuit, over the organised competition, who knows. 

What I do know is that having a high ranking from 2012 (as a crap skater) kept me interested in putting events on,  (it also helps me with cred in dealing with national and state sporting associations.)

In relation to the 2012 result, you cannot reopen the books.

In relation to the 2013 results, it is still on the previously sanctioned 2012 basis, and as there is one month left, but only a few races, it will be hard to revisit the rules established at the start of the year, but we can all be reasonable and agree on any outcome.
In relation to 2014 and beyond, agree, develop a new system.

One system is as Dave suggests, credit headline CHC events only, which for 2013 only allows for counting one or two sets of results, being Cross, and Naccos events.

Another suggestion is base results on your best 5 races in a year, or just have an annual grand final.

Finally, we should be able to consider members of this discussion group to form the sub-committee of ASRA, who are charged with the responsibility of ensuring that the sport of slalom skateboard racing is properly governed, and has a clear set of rules so that that it can grow strongly for the next generation.

I have set up this new discussion in the members lounge, because it should not be discussed in the rankings area.

We now have just over 60 days to agree on a new system, which can be submitted to ASRA for adoption for the 2014 racing season.

And keep the discussion off facebook, because apart from loosing the ASRA discussion archive, Likes are lame!

What ever we come up with, there will be a compromise between growing the sport, and valuing the results.

In Victoria, we have the VSA Street Skate League series with similar issues.  Some Skaters are being perceived as wining on attendance points more than skill.  But we now have 35 events across the state, that give competitors the competition experience and toughness that they need, to take on bigger things, and a training opportunity for the pool of event volunteers and judges.

Rag on the current point system all you like, but the funny thing is that after the 10th comp, those kids that did show up to every event can really skate well enough to smoke the person that thinks he or she did enough on day one!

The Alternate is the national model, where the AM qualifier circus comes to town once per year. 
The winner is crowned the state champion, and goes on to the National championship to win a ticket to Tampa and cash.

You can only do that stuff with lots of government handouts and sugar daddy sponsors, and it says "nobody cares" to the kids and their parents that traveled and put in and skated hard all year.

I would like to see every Group (CROSS, NACCOS, MOSS, etc) put up dates early and run a proper series like it was done in the past.

I think that the attendance for big events will increase as the year can be planned out early.

 

I am also all for the lower key events being put on and guys rewarded in some way for attending.

Is there any reason it cant stay as it with a perpetual ranking system. There is no need to drop it as it is a good thing and giving guys credit where it is due.

We should pick a select number of race meetings picked out at the start of the year that are going to count as points races for some sort of trophy (one weekend per group).

If one group is hosting numerous weekend events it makes it hard to pick which too attend as most cant make all and then numbers drop for both events (make one great event, not two alright events).

CROSS Weekend (Stromlo, Ainlie)

NACCOS Weekend (Kinkumber, Slalom, SGS??)

MOSS Weekend (Spingy Ditch, Slalom)

BMB Weekend (giant slalom Pump Station)

Sydney Crew (slalom. GS)

Any other crew committed to putting on a serious race weekend.

 

That is just an example and looks very similar to what has worked well in the past. It does include a lot of races and no doubt most will not attend all. Count your best 6,7,8,??? results to your tally.

 

I think part of the reason attendance dropped off was that the series was not planed out at the start of the year and when the events were finally put up many already had plans.

 

I'm not for changing or amending any scoring system that is already in place for this year. I just think it needs some tweaking for the future. I'm also for keeping race related discussions to ASRA as not all have Facebook and some are only there because its now the only way to keep up on information that used to be here.

You may need to Consider where you have this Bernie or how to involve all that are interested.

In the past when ASRA had heavy involvement in all races, most competitors were fully paid up ASRA members and had access to contribute to any discussion here. It may not be the case now.

Do only Financial members have an input? What sort of input should non financial members have. Probably half the competitors this year would be un-financial.

Slalom has been left behind and I think its a bit more than just the rankings that need to be sorted out.

 

 

Non-financial people can post comments in the slalom group,and you can set up a mirror discussion there if you like.

However, if we are to engage in a vote which could set a new policy direction for the sport, I think that we should probably be paid-up, and have final discussions here.

The only reason that slalom got left behind is us, we let it get left behind.

I think our major events are plenty for a competition. Anything else should be fun, training, social days with trophies prizes whatever for the point that you just enjoy slalom. 

Our major events should be as they are, weekend events to give more reason to travel. Slalom must be head to head not single lane except SGS (imagine dual sgs though). NACCOS, CROSS, MOSS and BMB weekends is plenty for an annual competition, year finishes, start again. Most people would have enough trouble getting permission to go to all of these events let alone a sunday arvo comp 2000 kms away if you know what i mean. Dates are key like Dave said.

Ive been keen for a few years now to get to a moss weekend but it is tough and i love these events. I love the ditch i love the skateparks in between and i love the slalom racing and i love the people. Keep this competition simple and more people will come. skateboarding is changing so much each year and when the younger ones realise how much skating goes on in these events they will come.

So i guess a big question is if the event is insured or not. I know Cross has it covered with stromlo and makes things alot better, for naccos it is a bit harder but i think there has been efforts to go this way but costs are way high,(maybe this can be looked into some more).But at the end of the day PC and a few have pulled off great events for years.

Okay so I haven't been doing Slalom very long but I'm going to add my two cents. I pretty much agree with what Ryan and Dave have said but here goes. 


I think the ranking should deffinitly be a top 6-7-8 or so results for the yearly period, that is a simple concept that rewards both attendance and skill. You must attend at least the that amount of event in the year and be skilled enough to gain the higher point scores.

The only issue I really see with the current system is the way races are categorized, and from what I gather many others share a similar view.
I think two day events should fetch higher points with a minimum of two types of races included (disciplines eligible for slalom ranking points that is.....SGS/Dual slalom or Ditch/Dual Slalom etc). This allows people to plan a trip that is worth their while, another suggestion would be to maybe extend the time an event needs to be posted to be eligible for points (it currently stands at 1 month), maybe make it two to allow people better preparation for travel?

Events such as the two day slalom race held and the top of MT panorama alongside Newtons Nation generate little interest for newcomers. Something like the NACCOS and CROSS weekend attract more riders because of the ditch and of SGS element which has a flow on effect into the Slalom racing in turn increasing the level of competition and growing theses disciplines.

Also like Dave was saying, each group pt on one big event worth big points giving everyone the opportunity to travel and consecutive events by the same groups should possible be dropped down a category in the points system.


This might be a bad idea but is it at all possible Bernie to edit the description of this tread and list some general dot points that people have made and agreed on to give the discussion a general direction re-cap? Before we are lost in pages and pages of points and arguments.

Apologies for my lack of involvement in this. The current rankings are very out of date - I have been slack about updating them. They are held in a spreadsheet here, and it has outgrown its technological limitations and needs some major work.

Some points

  1. Currently only a rider's best six results from the previous 12 months are included.
  2. It is a perpetual rankings, rather than your points going to zero at the beginning of each year.
  3. At events where there have been multiple races we have always included each of those races individually. This makes sense when the races are different styles: ditch, SGS and tight/hybrid (like at NACCOS), but I don't think it makes sense when the races are virtually identical (Newtons 2013).
  4. Non-outlaw races get a lot more points than outlaw races. This was designed to encourage people to organise non-outlaw races, and to encourage people to attend them. Apart from a couple of points-chasers it hasn't really worked in the slalom world. Perhaps the non-outlaw races could receive points on a sliding scale according to the number of riders (as outlaws do), but with a slightly higher sliding scale.

One more thing

I propose to make being an ASRA member a requirement for inclusion in the rankings. There are a few reasons for this:

  1. Maintaining the rankings is a time-consuming job, and ASRA should get something back for the effort.
  2. If every ASRA membership has a unique membership number this can be used as the "database key" to prevent duplicates and ease the workload of maintaining them.

I'll get the rankings up-to-date, and we'll start 2014 with a new system. Should we move to a yearly based system where you start with zero points each year at January 1, or stick with perpetual?

Thanks Bugs.

Point 1 : answers the 6-7-8 question by Dave and Duber, and I am OK with that also.

Point 2 : My vote is for the perpetual system.

Point 3 : Agree
Point4  : That looks like a sensible proposal.

Membership to earn points:  agree, on 2 conditions. 

Non-members should be able make up the numbers to get a race past the minimum number of competitors. 
That way we can introduce new members to the sport with hitting them up for $30, and have reasonable numbers racing.


Membership means "Financial Membership". 

Of course non-financial members could be considered if their points were only worth 50% of the Financial member points.

Some might be unhappy about the "Financial" bit, but if enough pay, ASRA could get another trackmate timer. 


Also don't forget that there is a bigger picture here as far as members financially supporting their National Sporting Organisation, because the alternate, officially recognised National Sporting Organisation simply does not understand racing, or what our sport needs, and currently has no plans to change what it is doing, or support our disciplines.

 As I have said I don't like the perpetual ranking at all. It rewards participation before skill in my opinion and does not give the recognition to the riders who deserve it. So I am against it. (in its current form anyway) 

Numbers at the big events dropped significantly once it was introduced, most events only went up just in time to be included in the ranking system.

It provides no incentive to get a proper series of quality races happening.

The biggest issue I see that has slalom falling behind over the last few years has been a lack of forward planning with regard to events dates. If they went up early we could all plan to attend most, or more than we did.

 

Membership -

All for it if we are getting a well planned out series of races and the supporting body ASRA continue to support slalom

If its  just outlaws and park sessions put on with one month notice and dodgy timing why should you pay.

I understand that the usual ASRA guys who have stepped up in the past to run slalom have bigger, more popular, and more time consuming jobs on the go. Slalom only riders are getting little for their membership dollars. What can be done to share the load and make people feel they are getting something out of it if they are only competing in slalom?

Just to get our terminology straight: 

  • Perpetual: Best 6 results in the previous 12 months.
  • Calendar-based: Best 6 results since January 1.

I don't think these differ in terms of rewarding participation before skill. For that the relevant thing is the number of races to be included - is six too many? Or not enough?

Perpetual rankings allow you to know who is the best Right Now, while calendar-based can only tell you who won last year, and who is winning this year's race.

I'm leaning to calendar-based cos it creates a yearly "race to be No. 1".


Dave M said:

 As I have said I don't like the perpetual ranking at all. It rewards participation before skill in my opinion and does not give the recognition to the riders who deserve it.

Could Slalom only members have their $30 per year set aside for slalom timing systems and cones?
Ultimately we could aim to have an ASRA timing kit for each of the main slalom states, and that could inspire more racing.

It would be good to see WA racing come "on line" also.


Dave M said:

 

Membership -

 Slalom only riders are getting little for their membership dollars. What can be done to share the load and make people feel they are getting something out of it if they are only competing in slalom?

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