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@Chad_Scott not sure, never had a reason to give a try until now. At first, probably less than what I can get at 36. With a few weeks of training, probably similar buoy count wise, within a buoy or two. I don't think after training at 34 I could get the same buoy count as I have at 36, its just a different animal.

 

@walleye what do you mean? I can choose to ski 34mph all next year if I want now. Hell, I could go to 32mph. We are getting sucked into thinking we can only choose faster, but the reality is we can choose to ski slower if it suits us better. The whole point of the rule is to ski where you want to and to your ability.

 

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There is no way 2mph=6 buoys across the board. I think on the slow down side of this rule it is perfectly fair in that I doubt 34mph skiers will gain more than a pass from skiing at 32 and could actually lose something in honesty and I doubt 36mph skiers will gain more than a pass from skiing 34. On the speed up side though I think there are a number of skiers at the top end of the spectrum who could be within 3 buoys of their 34mph score if they skied at 36 which means they add 6 buoys for upped speed, lose 3 from added difficulty, and come out 3 buoys ahead on the transaction. With that math, any skier who can ski within 6 buoys of themselves by speeding up gain create a significant gain that forces the rest of the field to follow them up to 36 to remain competitive. I'm all for allowing people to ski below speed at penalty if it makes the sport more inviting but hold max speed constant, we don't need to create incentives for taking on additional risk. This sport results in enough injuries and thumpings as it is.
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@walleye, You are correct that only M3 and up can choose to go faster. W5 and up could also choose to speed up. M2 and lower can choose to go slower. As tripplett said, I think you could see some M1 and M2 guys playing around at 34 to see if they can get a higher total buoy count. I will for sure play with this as a Men's 2 skier. Am I going to win nationals doing this? No way, but I'm not going to win nationals anyway and it might be fun to take a lot more shots at 35 off than I do today. I think the main point of this ZBS is that it gives everyone more options and more freedom for them personally. I see both sides of the speeding up argument. Maybe that doesn't completely make sense, but I still think it would be good to try it out for a year and see what people really think and what really happens. Being able to shorten at a slower speed is for sure a great thing for our sport. More options are better.
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This is going to get interesting. Brad Conger and Jim Kinney going 36 mph. Does anyone doubt that people will get hurt skiing 36mph in their 70s? These are two of the best and most competitive skiers in the world. They are both super tough. If one goes 36, the other will follow in order to win.

 

The top speed is 30mph. 36 mph will give them 18 extra buoys. If one of them runs 36/28 off, the other has to run 30 mph/38 off to tie? Which do you think is easier? Both of these guys will run at least 32 off. Other competitors will have to run into 41 off to beat them.

 

30 mph shortline is not easy. There is not much glide.

 

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@Chad_Scott I can understand the argument, and I know my support seems flawed when you put in terms of the 1% of skiers and the fact the faster case doesn't affect me. This rule may adversely affect the L9 guys completely differently than the L8 and below in the M3/W5 and up divisions. My concern with discussing the rule and how it relates to the top guys take away from the guys in the middle, who this may help. From what I have noticed in Michigan, 6 buoys is applicable for the guys moving divisions that change speed, either 36-34 or 34-32. I don't think we could ever get a perfect handicap for an increase in speed. With tons of data crunching and time we could and people still wouldn't like it.
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From ZBS cheat sheet:

 

"What are the new max speeds for divisions?

The maximum allowed boat speeds are as follows: 1. Boys 1/Girls

1 - 49 kph (30.4 mph). 2. Girls 2 - 52 kph (32.3 mph). 3. Boys 2 and all

females Girls 3 or older - 55 kph (34.2 mph). 4. All males, Boys 3 or older -

58 kph (36.0 mph)."

 

WHICH IS FOLLOWED BY THE CONTRADICTORY STATEMENT:

 

"Which divisions can use this?

All AWSA divisions can now use this

 

@Triplett YOU can choose to ski wherever you want but Juniors (and women) are not allowed to make the same choice. How is that fair to all?

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@triplett "My concern with discussing the rule and how it relates to the top guys take away from the guys in the middle, who this may help."

 

So how do you, or AWSA, justify changes that will "definitely" affect the top contenders and "may" help some of the guys in the middle?

 

I'm all for experiments, but this was very poorly thought out. As Chad and others have brought up, this will force anyone close to being a contender to ski 36 to have a chance at the top spots. Hell I'm 55yo and will likely be going 36 this year. Yeah I do it once every few years for fun, but i dont really want to go 36 all the time.

 

All this just so some mid level skiers can have more fun at shorter ropes? And "hopefully" bring more skiers into the sport?

 

If AWSA wants to push this, it should be experimental in class C only for a few years to see how it it shakes out and keep regionals, nationals and competive tournaments the same. Maybe it will be the greatest innovation since the big dawg, but more likely will not work as planned and there will be a bunch of even more disgruntled skiers

 

I also don't think it helps the kids as much as others have claimed. JMO and another discussion.

If it was easy, they would call it Wakeboarding

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@Triplett Yes it was in kids divisions last year and I thought it was wrong then, too. At least it was only for class C. Same problems as with adults speeding up, potential for a kid to cut line at 32 mph and possibly get a higher bouy count than a kid who skis at max speed of 34mph. Why not allow kids who are ready to speed up to 36mph do so if they (and their parents) choose? If it is ZBS for all, then allow everyone to choose where they want on the matrix. If they want to level the playing field so everyone has a chance at a trophy, keep it in Class C, NOT Regionals and Nationals.
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@GK

this Panda for is me. I was wrong. I thought this subject was done. I take back my Panda.

 

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@Triplett You are a young 36mph guy, a phenomenal skier, so 34 or 36 doesn't make much difference to you. In 30 years you are likely to have a different opinion. 36 just beats us old guys up a lot more, it does me. Just by doing it, falls aside. You yourself don't subscribe to your position, that you can get more buoys just by going 34. That's why most are focused on the speed up. I feel I can say most M4+ guys do not want 36 but most will gain buoys just by going 36. So going 36 is not really a choice if one wants to just hang with the guys one goes against now. Not just at the top, but throughout Level 7 and Level 8 for sure. Your situation supports that conclusion, I gain buoys just by going 36, Chad Scott believes skiers gain buoys just by going 36. It's go 36 or get dropped by those that do.

 

There is a danger to tournament skiing by this rule. If old guys, largest group of skiers, have to go 36 we will lose a fair number. Not at the top but in the middle, where the volume is. As the motion to repeal states "These complaints are being aired by skiers that have been passionate about the sport for years. They are not simply expendable pawns and many are not in the so called 5% top of the pyramid that seems to be a recurring thread in the discussion." Once gone, not getting them back, they will be riding bikes or something.

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AWSA MEMBERS! MAKE YOUR POSITION ON ZBS KNOWN TO THOSE MAKING THE DECISION!

 

Proposed Resolution #2017-2: Rescind ZBS Slalom Rule

The mandatory 10 day discussion period ends at 5 PM on Saturday, March 4.

 

Love it, hate it, think it needs modification let your Regional Director(s) know! Just send an e-mail. Can be just a yea or a nay or full dissertation. But let your Director know what you think (or feel for Westcoasties). The more everyone chimes in the more representative of what the membership wants will prevail.

 

CLICK HERE

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The actual motion in play below:

 

Motion: The Southern Region motion would be to change ZBS from MANDATORY for all Classes to “OPTIONAL at the discretion of the LOC for Class C only”.

 

Sent: Monday, February 20, 2017 9:54 PM

Subject: Southern Region Request to Rescind ZBS Slalom Rule

 

Jeff

 

After careful consideration, the Southern Region Directors (EVP and all three Directors) are requesting reconsideration of the ZBS slalom rule as presented at the recent AWSA Board of Directors meeting. There are others on the AWSA board that have expressed the same sentiment that we do, but we prefer to let each speak for themselves.

 

First, most of us were under the mistaken impression this rule was for Class C only. I personally thought it was OPTIONAL for Class C, not mandatory.

 

We are not sure who was on the prevailing side in regard to the vote since no written roll call was made, simply a vote by holding hands up and counting. However, because of the impression that this was to be for Class C only, some of our Directors voted in favor of the rule. Therefore, we are of the opinion the Southern Region Directors have standing to request reconsideration and bring this before the board.

 

We feel the application of ZBS as mandatory for all tournament classes is inappropriate. ZBS was instituted on a trial basis in 2016 for junior age divisions only. There were no tournaments in the Southern Region that used ZBS in 2016. I am not sure how many tournaments used ZBS last year in 2016, but my impression is that very few did use it. To now make this rule mandatory for all age divisions and all tournament classifications is premature. We do not have sufficient data to make this rule mandatory. We suggest that ZBS be made optional for 2017 in order to determine to what extent there are issues and how widely accepted ZBS may become.

 

Forcing the membership to accept such a broad fundamental change to our sport will not be looked upon favorably by the membership base.

 

The Southern Region Directors have heard many complaints about the mandatory imposition of ZBS and you have been privy to many of those complaints. These complaints are being aired by skiers that have been passionate about the sport for years. They are not simply expendable pawns and many are not in the so called 5% top of the pyramid that seems to be a recurring thread in the discussion.

 

We think ZBS has its benefits if made optional, especially in the junior ranks for Class C events. ZBS does not belong at IWWF tournaments. It is for sure we do not need two scorebooks (IWWF and AWSA) nor do we need different people on the podium dependent on which score book used (IWWF or AWSA).

 

The idea that many new skiers will flock to the sport because of this rule change is a bit of a stretch. Maybe a few more juniors, which is a good thing……but ZBS is not the panacea to membership growth that a few claim. Show me the numbers instead of making claims based on opinion and not fact.

 

The Southern Region is not resistant to change in the sport, but this is not the time to be making wholesale changes to our sport in the “hope” of getting a few more members without one iota of validation for that claim.

 

Please forward this request to the AWSA Board for consideration. Time is certainly of the essence in this regard.

 

Many thanks for all you do. AWSA President is not an easy task, as you have found out by now.

 

Best regards,

 

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@ALPJr my thoughts? This is a tough one, I have heard so many good arguments on both sides its going to be a shame whichever way this goes, half will be happy, the other half will be upset. Overall I'd rather try it then not try it. Some stuff in life you just do not know until you try it. ZBS has good intentions, but its based on 6 buoys being correct, if its not than ZBS is not serving its purpose. the problem is that for some skiers such as chad scott, mike morgan, who are talented enough to run 38/36 than ZBS gives them an advantage they did not have before. For most going 2mph faster or slower wont result in any advantage. Now I could argue the other side, perhaps prior AWSa rules have already put skiers at a disadvantage, maybe making skiers drop to 30mph before was a disadvantage to some but we never looked at it that way, maybe mandating zero off is a handicap to some, so developing ZBS allows skiers to attain the most buoys regardless of the method. The board is discussing all day every day so send your thoughts to your state council or regional reps if you feel strong one way or the other. A survey will also be going to AWSA members on this as well. Below is a study done of all skiers who graduating from one division to the next.

 

 

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@BRY If ZBS makes a sizable amount of skiers leave AWSA there is something more going on than just ZBS . I disagree with the statement in the letter saying this a fundamental change. A fundamental change would be going to ability based, which is what we really need and ZBS is a part of that.

 

 

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Why would it need to be "Optional" for Class C Tournaments? If you're going to give it a try and if the new ZBS rule ends up being modified, why not make it mandatory for all Class C tournaments and let the skiers decide if they want it as opposed to the LOC?

 

@Horton, thank you for rescinding your Panda. This is the conversation I was surprised I hadn't seen on here and I must say it's been a great, respectful debate by all.

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A option for juniors and those who want to ski at slower than max speeds, Yes.

 

Making my patched together 62 year old body ski 36 mph, No

 

I wont have a choice if I want to be competitive, as running 35@36 is easier to be consistently run than 38@34. 6 buoys may be an appropriate delta in performance for those at 15 or 22, but not at 38 and beyond.

 

If we are interested in increasing participation, refuce the cost and complication of the support. The rules and unneeded requirements for the Nationals has made where no one even wants to host it. It is not the Olympics!

 

Five judges, boat video, end course video, oh my. But i stll see more bad calls at the Nationals then I have experiencef at 100+ local tournaments I have competed in the South, Western and Eastern regions.

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@Chad_Scott and others skeptical of the 6 buoy difference,

 

I just checked my ranking average for the last 12 months in M4 and OM. The difference is 0.33, nearly equal. And, it is my M4 average at 34 mph that is higher.

The worst slalom equipment I own is between my ears.

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For everyone that says running 35@36 is easier than running 38@34 please post your videos to show me, my only experience @ 34 is winter month skiing. i will definitely attempt more practice sets @ 34 to see how deep I can get this spring and whatever speed I can run more buoys is the speed I will ski in tournaments
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Comparing my ability over those 2 speeds shows the difference in the associated scoring to accurately reflect the difference in my performance when selecting either speed.

 

Based on average, if my 36 mph self skied against my 34 mph self, the 34 mph self would win and the 36 mph self would not prevail at a longer rope just by virtue of some perceived bonus buoys. My average tells me that I am a full pass shorter rope at 34 mph than 36 mph and my 34 mph self does not necessarily lose to my 36 mph self.

 

Average at 36 is 2@28 off = 86. Average at 34 is 2.33@32 off = 86.33. They are essentially 6 buoys apart.

 

I don't have an Open Rating. I ski as IM today in some tournaments, but those scores (without the ZBS rule) don't go to my M4 rating. My 36 mph scores as IM post in the OM rankings. I don't know why, but they do. It is cool to be in the same ranking list as Nate, even at the bottom.

 

I have to say that all this public score revealing is a bit unnerving. But, if it helps explain the perspective of a non-elite skier, OK.

The worst slalom equipment I own is between my ears.

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Which makes my point perfectly this rule has no effect on you either way You can still ski 36 in IM. However the rule will effect podiums at what are supposed to be competitive events which are supposed to be about competition.

 

Others will eventually make the decision so in the end it doesn't matter. just think it takes away from the spirit of competition which is maybe what people want An easier way to win

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I can ski IM, but I have to choose an entire tournament to do that. I can't select, round by round, my desired max speed to shorten the rope. And, my IM scores don't currently apply to rankings, so selecting an IM tournament means one less tournament opportunity for my age division ranking. In fact, because of this, I only spend one month a season after Nationals at 36 mph (both practice and tournaments). I'd like to distribute it all throughout the season. I resist because, before ZBS, I needed to stay adjusted to 34 for more tournaments and ranking applicable scores. The new rule will let me do more 36 mph without having to compromise ranking pursuit.

 

I am fairly sure I am not going to podium at 36 mph, or 34 mph, or 32 mph.... It is the pursuit of my own official achievements that are my reward.

 

But, my point was that the 6 buoy scoring difference between speed increments is, at least in my case, accurate and fair.

The worst slalom equipment I own is between my ears.

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I don't think a 6 buoy difference is appropriate at shorter line lengths. I am fine with ZBS for skiers who want to play with speed and line lengths up to say -32. Anything shorter than that needs a standard max speed that levels the playing field for everyone going for a title. This could get really crazy if this rule stands. Chad is correct in that everyone will be forced to ski at 36 to be competitive. I am planning on going to Regionals and Nationals this year and am planning on competing in MM, however if this rule stands I will most likely lose interest. After 2 back surgeries, lots of cross training and the reliance of every gadget ever introduce and approved for tournament use to stay on the water, I just don't think skiing at 36 is in my best interest.

 

Why not just approve ZBS for anyone who wants to play with speed and line length up to -32 and then standardize on 34 MPH for M3, M4, M5, M6 and MM for anything shorter? This would provide some leeway for those skiers that would like to play with different options, but would not affect Regional or National titles with a guess at what the conversion should be.

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The crazy thing is there hasn't even been a tournament yet to see how this rule is going to play out and already people are taking about not participating because the rule "isn't fair". How is it not fair? Everyone gets the opportunity to ski 36, if you choose not to ski 36 and ski 34 that is YOUR choice. A level playing field means everyone plays by the same rules, @milford how is this not a level playing field with this rule?
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@JeffSurdej, thanks for chiming in and I’m sincerely glad you are looking at the big picture. However, I do have to call bullshit on your comments on ZBS. This was a well-intentioned, but questionable idea applied to the juniors last year. So there are several questions related to this experiment and the rationale used to extrapolate to the rest of AWSA population:

 

1) Can you point to definitive positive results from last year’s experiment? What was the result from the juniors? Was there a quantifiable benefit for this group? How many new juniors joined tournaments and AWSA as a result of this new rule?

 

2) How do those results from juniors translate to all other divisions and ability levels?

 

3) ZBS assumes a 6 buoy difference for a 2mph speed change. What data was used for this conclusion? There is a general rule of thumb of 6 buoys per 2mph that holds for the 36 drop to 34 mph in the 32 to 35 off range, but that rule of thumb breaks down at both the high and low end of the rope lengths. When you look at averages, you are missing the huge impact at the ends of the spectrum where the real variance is - i.e. a 39 off skier picks up 2 buoys, but a 22 off skier picks up 10 buoys, so the average is 6 and applies to all?

 

4) There is a huge difference of opinion and lack of data when going from 36 to 34 to 32 to 30mph on the real change in buoy count and level of difficulty. (God Bless the women and old codgers!) Do the Rules committee or board care about this? Or are they more concerned with “change” to placate the membership?

 

And yes this gets back to the fundamental disconnect between the AWSA board and the skiers. Better communication may have eliminated this swirl.

 

If it was easy, they would call it Wakeboarding

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@MillerTime38 - I appreciate your feedback. I don't think I said that it was not fair, I simply said that to be competitive this rule would force everyone to ski at 36 MPH. If you were going for a regional or national podium, you would be crazy to ski at 34 MPH. If I did ski at 34 MPH and posted 2.5@39 (which won M4 this year) the next guy would have to ski 2.5@38 36MPH for the tie and 3 for the win. Yes, I agree that everyone has the opportunity to ski at 36 and post a score, however, for me I know what that means on my body, which is why I would lose interest. I ski with a couple of M5 and M6 skiers who would also be forced to ski 36 to be competitive. Talking with them, they also agree they would lose interest. This is not a threat, just a reality. Of course this is all just talk on a forum. I am fairly competitive, so if the rule stands, you will probably see me skiing at 36 this year and then you probably won't see me for a few years as I will most likely be recovering from my third back surgery.
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@MillerTime38 @JeffSurdej @Triplett @Klinger Bottom line you want growth. Here are my 5 suggestions.

 

1. Wide ride division 30 mph max 12 inch wide ski for all divisions. Sell a lot skis and create a fun short line experience. I would think a ski sponsor would like to pick this division up for Nationals. Your talking a lot skis being sold and new designs. This opens a whole new market.

 

2. Insurance caused a big drop in AWSA membership. Many clubs chose other Ins. which did not require AWSA membership. AWSA Ins. has to many loop holes such as safety on site, sanctioned practice and not competitive rates.

 

3. Make it so my club can put on a C slalom tournament. We do not have enough appointed judges. We have a regular driver, regular slalom judge, several assistant judges,zo boat, surveyed course. Under present rules we don't have enough.WHY?

 

4. Flexible sanction rules No penalty rule. Calm on Saturday windy on Sunday oh but we sanctioned for Sunday. Partly the fault of sanctioner, but get my jist I should be able to say hey wind was calm last weekend we had a Class C tourney here is scores and money.

 

5. Turn and Burn you do not have to return to the original starting point. The starting point floats to where you failed. This eliminates all that time having to return to the original starting point.

 

 

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We seem to be focusing on the skiers that will choose to ski above their divisional max speed. I personally don't know too many that will. I might be the only one in a group of about 25-40 skiers. Several of those are deep 38 skiers and some get into 39. A lot of them qualify for Nationals. So, I am not sure how much of an issue it will become.

 

However, I do know several skiers that welcome the option to ski below their divisional max. Examples:

 

An M6 skier who does not care for 34 mph and would prefer to shorten at 32 mph and get credit for doing so.

An M8 skier who, when he was M6, could not wait to slow from 34 mph to 32 mph. He would have taken advantage of this rule.

An M5 skier who would prefer to shorten at 32 mph and has no desire to ski 22 off at 34 mph, which complicates his starting pass strategy and likely the number of passes he will run.

I've heard some skiers concerned about the fact that their preferred starting speed is one increment before their max divisional speed (which they struggle with) and any tournament they attend after graduating novice is a 2 pass per round experience. They would like to shorten and ski more rather than fail quickly.

 

There are other examples. Of these, at least 2 skiers avoid tournaments today and may only dutifully attend one or two as a club event when they would probably try more with the rule in place.

The worst slalom equipment I own is between my ears.

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58 KPH = 16.1111 Meters per Second. (@ 36MPH)

16.1111 MPS x 0.87 second = 14 Meters traveled

14 meters / 6 buoys = 2.34 Meters per Buoy (or just over 7 feet) traveled.

 

So, yeah... if the boat is advancing approximately 7 feet further (faster) per buoy, it matters.

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My letter to my EVP

 

Gordon,

 

I guess we are being told to chime in on our views of ZBS.

 

One good thing, folks are at least learning how to submit input to our leadership on issues.

 

My input. I like it. It adds some interesting options for the majority of skiers. I am selfishly in this camp.

 

However I think it does mess up the folks at the top end.

 

I don't think the 6 buoy theory holds up at 39 and 41 off. Chad Scott's examples do make sense. You are essentially forcing these guys to ski 36.

 

So my suggestion is maybe we restrict it in some way. I like some of the ideas I have heard being thrown around. One might be to allow ZBS up to 35 off. Once you shorten to 35 off you have to ski at your divisions max speed. I like this idea but that may be too complicated to implement.

 

The other idea is to restrict it to class C like we do today for turn and burn. It would give you a years worth of data to see how it effects the ranking list and so on.

 

Dave

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Lengthy thread and maybe missed it, but how does the ZBS rule as currently cited affect current Records?

 

E.g. if an M3 skis 1.5@41/36mph (115.5 buoys) does this exceed the current record of 1.25@43/34mph (115.25 buoys)?...and so on...

 

To reiterate, compromise; retain the current division speed limits, implement ZBS up to those limits, and maybe even just class C (mandatory) for 2017 and re-evaluate at the end of the 2017 season.

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