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New slalom rule up for vote


jdarwin
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At the upcoming board meeting, there is a rule proposal that would allow the skier to miss the entrance gates on their opening pass, complete the pass, complete the subsequent pass and score. In other words, miss your 22-off gate, ski all 6 buoys, come back at 28-off, make the entrance gates and run all 6, you get a "pass" for missing the 22-off gates. But if you miss or fall at 28-off, you score zero. Thoughts?
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It's a great idea. Please pass it.

For kids, newcomers and one round tournaments this would really make a difference.

I have NEVER, EVER missed my gates but it WILL help those who might be at their first big tournament and are nervous at a new site.

No tournament is won from someones opening pass.

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Good idea, but it should be for every pass. Treat it like an opt up on a slow time re-ride. That is, you must complete the next pass (with gates) to get credit for everything previous.

 

The extreme would be you can miss the gates on 3 passes and if you make your 4th pass with good gates, you're good.

If it was easy, they would call it Wakeboarding

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I agree with Bruce's suggestion. But, if we are going to do this, shouldn't the resulting score fall into a different classification and/or be excluded from rankings? We would still get the benefit of including new skiers and allowing them to run complete passes, minus the entrance gates, for a "score" - if their last pass included a good gate. But, their score for this "opt-up" method is not the same as a class C, etc. score. They still get to run more passes and obtain some measurement of an achievement, just not the same level of score. They get a recorded score, a correlating ranking, and get to compete with others electing that same "opt-up" option. Take the pressure off, get more skiers participating, but recognize the difference in rules formally.

The worst slalom equipment I own is between my ears.

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More gate judging mistakes are made on a skiers opening pass than any other. Site quirks cause opening pass gate misses. And the top pass determines the winner - not the opening gates. You still need to be competent to run the opt up and get a score. The boat has to go down and back anyhow.

Excellent idea!

Eric

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This was exactly the discussion after the SkierPaloza at Performance. Bunch of pros and coaches talking out this exact idea. None disagreed with it. All were in favor and said it made the most sense. I think it makes sense.
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At golf scramble outings, you can buy mulligans....

 

If we change, and I'm not saying we should, it should be any pass, and you go forward with the blown gate pass at risk unless you run the entire next pass.

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That is what the group at SkierPaluza were suggesting. U miss the gate and make your next pass, full credit for both at any line length. I think it would help a great deal for us non ZO users to acclimate with that first or maybe second pass not being so critical on the gates.
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This whole thing is a reminder that @jdarwin lives in a state with drive-through-daiquiri stands. Clearly he was drunk and screwing with us with he started this thread.

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For what its worth, I couldn't be more disappointed with this proposal. First of all, slalom is confusing enough to explain/view as it is. This sliding gate rule only further complicates things (you must go through the first set of red balls…except on the first pass, as long as you make your gates and run the complete next pass.) Further, the entrance gates are no less important then three-ball for example. Why not miss three- ball on your opener (so long as you run the next pass.) I think the only real problem is what is and is not being asked of the judges. Lets eliminate lengthy gate reviews and give the boat judge a voice again. There are three judges, therefore no tie can exist. If it is so close that the gate judges split, give the call to the boat. I realize that his view is vastly different from the towers, but if it is close enough to split their decision, then it is obviously crazy close. They are judges, allow them to make a judgment call.

Lets save the mulligans for rec tournaments (which are super important, and receive too little attention.)

TF

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I think the word that best describes this proposal is "inelegant."

 

I get the idea behind it and generally support making things more friendly and more fun to watch.

 

But this creates a wacky special case in the rules, adding complexity while not truly addressing the problem anyhow.

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I totally was for the change until @TFIN spoke up. Now I'm with him. Cheers to you Trent for seeing our sport as difficult for Joe public to understand and how this would complicate things even further. I'll stand on my soap box breafly here and add to the uncomplicating things for Joe public....... STOP ANOUNCING IN LINE OFF AT BIG PRO STOPS!!! you cannot make it any less complicated then saying how much rope is left. Stepping down now. I had no idea the boat judge had no say. Always thought they did. That makes NO sence. Why were they pulled off of calling gates.?
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Joking aside, I talked to @jdarwin & he makes a good argument for this rule change. I happen to dislike the idea but I understand what he is saying.

 

ONE of my issues with this idea is it mostly benefits skiers who normally ski class C events. Outside of Florida most of us ski Class C tournaments. Unless you are honestly trying to break a record or are worried about world standings there is not a lot of reasons to ski in higher level tournaments.

 

In a class C event with typical judges tower placements, one shore judge can see if the skier missed the gates, the other shore judge can't see crap and the boat judge usually can't tell. My point is that for most skiers at most tournaments you can totally miss your gates all the time and will never get caught. As far as I am concerned this is fine. It happens from time to time and it not the end of the world. We all know that if we go to higher level event everything is tighter.

 

If one the other hand you are at a Class L or R because you are a very high end skier you have the chops to get between the balls.

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I also totally agree with @TFIN that what needs to be changed is the way gate judging is done. I say the judges get 90 seconds to figure it out and if they are not sure the skier moves on. This is especially important at record events where judges can get lost in the tech of video review.

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If we are looking for incremental changes, then why not change the gate rule to ignore the left ball on entrance and the right ball on exit? A skier who is too late on entrance or too early on exit is only making it harder on him or herself. I've seen newbies make these mistakes and have their gates cut. Heck if you can miss the gates late and still run the buoys, you should get extra credit!

 

Regarding this proposal, I am for it to a degree. If a skier misses -22 opener gates, then comes back at -28 with good gates but fails to complete the pass - the score should not be zero. It should at least be the buoys at -28 as if that was the opener.

 

I submitted several proposals including this one. I also recommended limits on gate reviews. The basic idea was to make a questionable gate moot by letting the skier continue without delay. If the subsequent pass is skied with valid gates, then the prior pass' gate issue becomes moot. The delays due to technical reviews are a crowd killer. Time limits make sense.

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@ToddL

why not change the gate rule to ignore the left ball on entrance and the right ball on exit? That is not totally wacky but seems pointless. I doubt skiers miss in this way very often. I can't say that i have seen it happen many times if ever.

 

If a skier misses -22 opener gates, then comes back at -28 with good gates but fails to complete the pass - the score should not be zero. It should at least be the buoys at -28 as if that was the opener. That seems more pointless. A full pass at 28 off for Men 3-6 is a score of 84. If a skier goes out at 22 and missed the entry gets and then gets 5 at 28 the score would be 5. A skier who can run 22 and or 28 would not logically care about an official score of 5.

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@horton yeah, I would feel that way for sure...

 

I guess this is really a case of too many ideas for solutions without first truly identifying what the problem really is... What needs fixing and why? If we aren't really in agreement on the definition of the problem, then every solution will seem pointless to some people.

 

I can think of only two problems that came up this year which prompted the gates firestorm. One was Nate's gate misses at spectated events. The other was @ShaneH 's lengthy gate review. If these are the two problems that we want to address, then we need to define what the issue was for each. Also, these are two very different issues and should have two separate solutions.

 

I'm not sure that Nate's gate issue needs a rule change.

 

For Shane's lengthy review issue, I think a rule modification is in order. Time limits? Yeah something like that.

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I don't understand the criticism of this idea. You must make gates to get a score. You must make full passes to get a score. The boat is not driving extra. It just removes a potential unfair condition (bad judging or a bad site setup - yes I've seen both) at the cost of making only the ridiculously easy opening (warmup) pass less critical. Hopefully winners and ranking lists are not that sensitive to your opening pass gates.

This proposal does not do away with the gates. Just ends the all or nothing aspect of an artifact that barely relates to the skills needed at the top passes. This is a good and minor tweak of the rules.

Eric

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@eleeski Let me say it again:

 

In a class C event with typical judges tower placements, one shore judge can see if the skier missed the gates, the other shore judge can't see crap and the boat judge usually can't tell. My point is that for most skiers at most tournaments you can totally miss your gates all the time and will never get caught. As far as I am concerned this is fine. It happens from time to time and it not the end of the world. We all know that if we go to higher level event everything is tighter.

 

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Uh- (I have missed my gates on opener and other times too for that matter,) Not in favor of the rule change. I'll go with Horton on this one. Like he says, putting two judges in the towers at record capability tournaments sorts out the gate bashers pretty quickly... :-)
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I agree with Trent. IMHO more confusion is not the answer to the question. If there were droves of new comers to the sport telling us their major hurdle to entering tournaments is the entrance gates I would be for it. I understand the spirit and intent of it, but I don't think it will have any benefit for the stated purpose.

 

Why not just add a beginner or novice division (Class F) to your Class C tournaments and do with it as you wish??? Missed gates, mulligan, whatever.

 

I also agree about the boat judge being the tie breaker and for a time limit. Shane had a bad experience at SCR Regionals, but so did A LOT of others. One of my daughters had a long review as did I. We both passed, but it was annoying.

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If the gate judging is the issue, how many of you guys have used Splash Eye. Awesome program but expensive.

I say leave the gate rule as is, it' s confusing enough as is for the public.

Also, what about those close calls of did the skier actually go around the turn buoy. Are we going to just give the skier a couple moligans because of the uncertainty of the call. I believe the rule states when in doubt rule to the skiers favor. I've seen gates reviewed 4 to 5 times in super slow motion. Maybe the rule change needs to be that the judge only gets one look and it is in normal speed along with a clear understanding of when in doubt rule to the skiers advantage.

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This rule proposal got mixed votes at our meeting yesterday I believe our region passed it. Another view on this rule proposal is that it helps keep youngsters and family's from getting discouraged. I witnessed a number of juniors miss their first pass gates last year and have it be the end of the day, discouraged and not wanting to come back. My opinion I would have liked this rule to be applied to juniors and "F" Tournaments.

 

The Rule proposal that did not get much support is the "X" (Experimental) sanction (that we already have in F) That will allow for the weirdo gates or no gates at all. These People that are struggling to make their gates should go back and figure it out.

 

Another proposal rule is a true "tie" goes to the skier idealism and will be specified. two judges cant make a agreeing judgment then goes in favor of the skier.

 

Many other rule proposals and rules cleanup items were presented another stand out was a defined agreement of a gate miss description.

 

These proposals can be found on the USAWS web site in the board packet.

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I think the bigger issue is to change the definition of a "good gate". Even in slow motion, it is nearly impossible to tell if the front of the skiers front binding travels inside the center line of an 8" round buoy on a close call. At real speed from 200+ feet away, close calls are really just guesses from the shore judge.

 

I have no problem with pulling clearly "bad" gates, it is just not possible to tell on close calls the way the rule is written. It would be much easier to make accurate, consistent calls if the rule said that the ski could be over or inside any part of the gate ball. A ski that misses completely to the outside would be much easier to see than the way the rule is currently written.

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Don't get the wrong idea, I appreciate attempts at progress.

 

But, I 'm tired of talking about the gates. Lets keep it simple. Go through the gate or don't. I don't want my kids to have to have a captain crunch decoder ring to figure out if their round is over.

 

USA Waterski - grow a pair and pick a rule. It's not a sport if everyone is happy.

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It's the opening gates of the opening pass. It doesn't matter. The final score is so far removed by the skills the competition measures to realistically make the opening gates irrelevant. This rule change makes the skill measurement more accurate by removing occasional judging or site errors. Every other pass needs scoring gates. The integrity of the sport is not diminished.

Eric

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I found this at AWSA East's web site...

http://www.awsaeast.org/wp-content/uploads/2014EasternRegionWinterReportRulesCommittee.pdf

 

 

Proposed Rule Changes:

ADD: 1.15 Judging Standards When a judgment call is too close to call and cannot be decided by allowable reviews, then the benefit of the doubt shall go to the skier.

 

Rationale: We felt it is necessary to state our standard for judging. This ideal has been in our clinic manual and it needs to be included in the rules.

 

 

 

10.08D2c Each judge shall independently call the entrance gate by observing the monitor. If one or both judges did not observe the entrance gate, or the two judges should disagree, then the video would be replayed only once, either at normal speed or in slow motion to make the call. See 1.15. (If video replay is not available, the boat

judge shall call the gates.)

 

Rationale: There have been many frustrations and questions regarding judging gates. This follows along with our trick rule and makes it so that the judges are not totally focusing on the gates. Too many reviews can override the actual score. If it is really that close as in not seeing the ball because the skier was on top, then the score should go to the skier. This also goes along with the new rule proposal #1.15.

 

 

 

RULE 13.04 - NO GATE SLALOM FORMATSA. Sanctioning: Tournaments or individual rounds must be sanctioned as Class X.

1. Sanction fee is equal to that of a Class F format.

2. Class X may be used for additional rounds but there can be no more than six total rounds in a tournament.

B. Minimal rules:

1. ENTRY into official slalom course: Skier must initiate turn to buoy #1 from outside the crest of the left-hand (port side) boat wake AFTER passing the 55 meter boat guide alignment buoys. Additional buoys may or may not be used as references for skier starting points or to further restrict entry into the course.

2. EXIT from official slalom course: Skier must be in a skiing position and be inside (starboard side) of the left hand (port side) 55 meter boat guide alignment buoy to continue skiing. Additional buoys may or may not be used to further restrict area of exit.

C. Disposition of scorebooks from Class X

1. A copy with all scores from the tournament and a copy with just the Class X scores, both available through WSTIMS, must be sent to the LOC and to the President of AWSA.

2. Class X scores DO NOT go on the ranking list.

 

Rationale: From Bob Mayhew, Obviously, the gate issue is an important one to a number of people with strong slalom reputations. We need to recognize this. Putting a section in the rulebook that supports a no gate format will keep things alive for this concept and the use of Class X for scoring these rounds will help with good data collection for future action. There have been many rule proposals to change the gates. The committee would like to give organizers and skiers an opportunity to try different formats. We want to see it there is a real need to change and why? This will give us a way to collect data and make a better decision.

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Re; review periods- I vote no!- If it takes longer than the skier is allowed on the drop, they should get credit for them, and be able to continue. Sitting in the water getting cold or becoming gator bait, waiting for the gate dithering is B.S. and affects skier performance negatively and without reason. We call it waterskiing- not water-treading or water-logging, or water-waiting, but I guess we could change the name...! :-)
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