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In order to keep the ability to shorten at slower speeds (which doesn't seem to be contentious) but maintain the current traditional competition structure (which the higher end skiers appear to desire) how about changing the rule by adding the language in brackets.

 

E. After each completed pass, the skier may advance to a higher speed [up to age division maximum], and/or a shorter line – i.e. pass-to-pass movements in the matrix may only go down [to age division maximum], and/or to the Right.

 

To accommodate the folks that want to go faster than age division maximum how about using the international "and older" language for the age groupings.

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I think if you want to ski faster, go for it, but get scored in your divisions max speed.. I.e. M4 55k..we should be scored on line length at division speed...does it really seem fair someone in M5 could ski 4@38 55k, and lose to someone that scored 5@35 58k?

 

Whoever came up with this really did not think about it, so it would seem...

 

The only way for this to work is to make the. Bouy counts the same at all max speeds...

 

Like this..at division max speed!!!!!

 

Long line 6 bouys

18m 12 bouys

16m 18

14m 24

13 m 30

12m 36

11m 42

10.75 48

10.25 54

9.75 60

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I think more 36 mph skiing outside of the current age divisions by using a 6 buoy carrot is a good thing. Rather than thinking how ZBS will affect me personally I wonder more about it's long term effects on Jr skiers coming up if few people aren't skiing 36 anymore. In the words of the great Dr. Hannibal Lecter, "We begin by coveting what we see every day."
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I like skiing 36 mph but not all the time. When I am injured or not skiing well it can be very unforgiving. I am 50. When I was 35 I didn't want to slow down. Now I am used to 34 after many painful years figuring it out.

 

If a skier skis Regionals and Nationals at 36 and their division max is 34, they lose two opportunities to qualify for Worlds.

 

Why ski MM if you are going to be middle to low end of the pack? You can skip Regionals and be the worst skier in Open. Both will be skiing at 36.

 

I think ZBS may end up being great except for the max speed increase. Why not allow skiers to drop down a division to ski faster? I think Canada does this.

 

I am not complaining or threatening to quit. I love to ski and will continue to do so no matter how the rules change.

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@MattP the rule changes make NO differentiation for class. There are implications however with "L" and "R" due to IWWF rules that you must complete a pass at your division max to get on the ranking list. See the rules changes posted on USAWATERSKI website. Edited to add NO above.
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@MattP All AWSA tournaments are now ZBS. FCEL&R, everything.

 

Question: What are the new max speeds for divisions?

Answer: 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).

 

Questions: Which divisions can use this?

Answer: All AWSA divisions can now use this, in 2016 it was only for juniors at Class C tournaments.

 

Question: Can I do this at Regionals and Nationals?

Answer: Yes ZBS is how all skiers will be scored in all classes of events.

 

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However, to get on the world ranking list, you must be scored at the IWSF age division speed. Faster will give no advantage and slower no score. Decide on your goals before messing with your speed. Note that this will be helpful if AWSA and IWSF ages don't align (I think there are some possible age conflicts).

 

Eric

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@Bruce_Butterfield Answered the best I can, I realize I do not have all the answers to some good questions.

 

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?

 

I will see if dave clark or dave allen can run a query through the database of scores in 2016 and see how many used it, its not easy to tell by rankings b/c its all buoys count. All I can use comment on is the human feedback and written feedback we received which was all positive, I think more would use it this year now that they know more about it but I know if its class C only you wont see it get used enough b/c the kids that I saw using it and loving it said it wasnt worth it if they had to go to regionals and they could not use it. Before Andy passed he said if he would have us change one rule it would be to not force kids to go from 30-36 in 4 years, and I saw ZBS KEEP kids in the sport b/c they could transition better

 

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

 

We wont know until we try right... but I dont see how it would hurt anything to at least let people shorten before max speed.

 

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?

 

5p8lvccx9g6c.png

 

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?

 

they care, see previous data in previous post

 

 

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

 

Yes and that will be improved but as we can see with ZBS, we wont find many changes that every level of skiers from every region will agree on.

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as it was previously, you could ski 58k IN ANY DIVISION, but get scored 55k in m3,4,5,6 or 52k in m7, 50k inm8...that's a fair scenario..this is the dumbest, soon to be time consuming mess we have seen in our sport! just getting judges on board with gates, full bouys vs 1/2, 1/4's has been hard...now more actual data...GREAT!!! NOT
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@bkreis, if the score for running 32 off at 36 mph is 96 in B3, M1, and M2, it should be the exact same score in any age division. That is the value that was placed on achieving a full pass at that rope length and speed combination. Why would you want to change the value of any completed pass just because the person skiing it got older?

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For all the high end skiers who do not want the stress of competing against people who might be going 36 mph, then just cap the MM division at 34 mph. That was the point of that division, to give the best 34 mph skiers in the country a place to compete. Also, we are still capping juniors divisions, so I don't think it's unreasonable to lower the caps for M7/W7 and up.
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This is a response from one of the board members with regards to the data provided. This data was provided to the board who has requested this be rescinded as well.

 

The statistics he provided are not empirical data from controlled tests. They represent scores from different skiers at different sites under different conditions.

 

True empirical data would be the same skiers, same site, same driver, same boat, same conditions, etc skiing at different speeds and line lengths (and who aren't intentionally providing for biased data). Otherwise, the 6 sigma answer to whether the scores at speeds and line lengths are equivalent will always be - it depends.

 

It's disappointing to have further data presented as facts when they are in fact, not. The "study" by Dave also doesn't address the new guy coming in to a division who is used to skiing at the higher speed versus the guys who have been there for several years who have adjusted to the slower speed. It also doesn't address the great potential for injury by allowing older skier to ski at Open level speed.

 

The rules have always been geared to the so called level playing field. If the ZBS rule was only to allow skiers to shorten the rope at slower speeds, so what. There is no competitive advantage there. For the rules to enable even the potential for a competitive advantage is in fact, not fair. Statistics can be twisted to whatever the audience is willing to believe. I'm not a believer.

 

This rule has a higher probability of alienating the core base that is now in the sport with zero proof that it will bring in new skiers. Again, there has been zero empirical data to prove that it will achieve adding new skiers to the sport. Just a case of "trust me."

 

We graduated from a one year test for the juniors to shorten the rope below max division speed to this? This is all a lead in to "ability based skiing" where a M7 could be competing against a G1.

 

 

My opinion is that if it is such a good thing. Make it available for Class C events for a year. See how many people use it and how many people come rushing to join AWSA. Most of the opinions on here in support are not the guys competing at the top of the tier which is effected by this mandatory rule change. Different speeds and different line lengths should not be used to determine a regional or national championship.

 

Record tournaments will not recognize the zbs scoring above your max speed You will be scored in OM if you ski 36 in a class L or R rated tournament. So why force it to be used in record events. Take it out if records and regional and national championships and I think the opposition would be solved.

 

There are arguments for and against. The level 10 was created to FORCE people into MM so all of the best 34 mph skiers would have to ski out of their age division. Because it was not fair the best skiers in their own age division were winning. Needed to make it easier for those not as good to win national titles. AWSA forced the level 10. So why' now force guys who possibly have a 25 yr age difference to ski 36.

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@JeffSurdej - Is this correct?

 

The new "max" speeds only impact upper age divisions where the old max speeds dropped compared to prior division. Meaning:

B1-3, M1-2 = no change in max speed

G1-3, W1-4 = no change in max speed

but

M3+ now retain their prior max speed of 36

W5+ now retain their prior max speed of 34

(yet, the skiers may choose to start shortening the rope at their old max speed.)

 

 

Since we were already counting buoys from a base speed of 15.5 MPH for all divisions, the total buoy count scores do not change for a skier who still skis straight up the speeds to last year's max for them and then straight up the line to their average.

 

Total buoy count when comparing original scoring to ZBS will be different only for:

a) skiers who start out with a shortened rope (i.e. -15) and complete an opening pass but not complete a pass max speed (gets credit for skipping LL up front rather than upon completing max speed).

b) skiers who elect to further shorten the rope before reaching max speed but not complete a pass max speed

c) M3+/W5+ who elect to continue up to their new max speed

 

In all other cases, the Total Buoy Count will be the same as before.

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Just another thought - with ZBS, the boat judge can no longer assume what the next pass will be until the skier reaches the new max speed.

 

The boat judge should ask the skier what they want after every pass. It could be either a rope shortening or a speed increase or even an opt up. Then, that answer will need to be confirmed to the scorer as well.

 

Not sure if this change will result in more mistakes or fewer. I think it will be fewer since the judge will need to ask each time.

 

FWIW - I was trained to always confirm the speed/line to both the driver and skier after every pass. Now, it will be phrased in the form of a question until the skier reaches new max speed, then back to a confirming statement.

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@Chad_Scott I agree that the data used is not "the best" data. But everyone's opinion that 6 buoys is to much of a difference has zero data backing it up. The one good thing is that after this year there should be plenty of "empirical data" available if guys choose to take advantage of this rule change.

 

Once again, I do not think there will be a lot of guys M4 and M5 age skiing 36 MPH, sure it sounds like a good plan now until they actually start skiing 36 and then the realization will set in that it is not as easy as everyone says it is on the internet.

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@ToddL, when the new rules allowing junior divisions to shorten before max speed were implemented, the scoring program prompted you to request line and/or speed changes. Scorers communicated to the boat judge to inform them of the option at each completed pass. At least, that is how it was when I was driving the boat in our tournaments. I assume something similar will be added to the scoring program for ZBS.

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@JeffSurdej - you said "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."

 

If the docks at Okeeheelee Park are any indication, this is simply not true. This weekend, 1 (one) skier who is an open skier was in favor of the new rule, all other skiers were against. I don't see the half and half argument as being valid where I'm watching from.

 

I'm a 63 year old Men 6 skier. My ranking last year was 93.75. Perhaps with some practice, I could run 32 off at 36mph. However, I will not risk skiing that speed and would certainly be disappointed if beaten by a Men 6 skiing at 36. Seems to me the primary reason for divisional max speeds is safety. Are we throwing that out now? Certainly, some skiers will elect to ski at 36. If I am consistently beaten by a few of these skiers (who maybe weren't beating me at 34) and my ranking falls below level 8, I will probably stop skiing tournaments.

 

In addition to the above, nearly all of the skiers I know found out about this either on this forum or on social media. That is simply unacceptable.

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@Roger what you state above is what makes change so hard and always will, what the group on the dock at okeeheelee like and want differs SO much from what a group on the dock in Kansas might like. This is one thing NCWSA has always been able to avoid and thus survive as an SD during this waterski recession. The dane mechler's, regina jaquess, ryan dodd's the list of pros goes on, sit on the dock with the 1 ball guy and they have no problem following the same rules. Regarding the ZBS feedback, Like Yelp, you tend to hear much more from those that do not like it. But there is a group just as big that do like it. I hope in the end we will come to a ZBS version that satisfies everyone.
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@JeffSurdej so exactly how many M3-M6 skiers on the dock in Kansas and the rest of the country are expressing positive opinions on now sking 36? Where is this group of level 8 and 9 skiers who want the current implementation of zbs? Given that this caught virtually everyone by surprise, I find it hard to believe there is a large group in favor.

 

I think you are misinterpreting this swirl as resistance to change - it's not. It's resistance to poorly thought out ideas being forced on us with little or no input.

 

Many on this forum have been clamoring for change for a long time and I don't think the current implementation of zbs is what anyone had in mind.

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@Than_Bogan - if they implement ZBS but keep existing max speeds for M3+/W5+, then ZBS only impacts skier scores where the skier did not complete a pass at max speed.

 

As noted above, if we keep the prior Max speeds for M3+ and W5+ then all scores where the skier completed a pass at max speed or above would be exactly the same buoy count this year as last year.

 

Those skiers who ski 1+ pass but do not complete their max speed pass will have a different total buoy count under ZBS if they are skiing at something other than LL.

 

Example:

Skier A: Max speed = 34MPH, runs 28 MPH -15, 30 MPH -15, 32 MPH -15, 32 MPH -22, then 3 @ 32MPH -28

Old Total Buoy Count: 60. Never attempted 34 MPH, so scorebook shows 6 @ 32 MPH (as if at LL) total buoy count

New ZBS Total Buoy Count: 75 Got credit for skipping LL upon 1st completed pass (+6), then got credit for -22 at 32 (+6), and gets credit for the 3 buoys at -28.

 

Skier B: Max speed = 34MPH, runs 28 MPH -15, 30 MPH -15, 32 MPH -15, 34 MPH -15, then 3 @ -22 34 MPH

Old Total Buoy Count: 75. (got credit for skipping LL upon running max speed)

New ZBS Total Buoy Count: 75 (same result)

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@ToddL how many times have we seen the boat judge forget to shorten the rope in major record tournament's? You really think there will be less human error in class C with this rule?

 

I find the people stating injury as a reason for this rule to be funny. In one breath you tell me that skiing a slower speed is easier on your body but in the next you claim that shortening is equal difficulty and should be scored the same as speeding up.

 

Maybe I am just having trouble checking my own ego. When someone asks my score I say I can run into -38. I don't say I have a tournament average of 104.5 or I can run into -38 at 36 mph. With this rule can I drop to 34 once in awhile and then puff my chest and say I am a 39.5 skier? You know everyone can run 38 in Awsa... I mean on the internet. This sport is about increasing difficulty until failure. Getting to shorten the rope is something many skiers work very hard to accomplish. IMO we shouldn't take the prestige out of it.

 

I have tried explaining this rule to my non tournament skiing friends and my casual tournament skiing friends. I get glassed over eyes and blank stares when we start talking tournament scenarios. How can that be good for the sport?

 

I will say I do like it for juniors. If a youngster isn't physically developed enough for the higher speed I am OK with them skiing slower for safety.

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@skier2788 - to answer your question, no I don't think it will prevent human error. I do think it would require more conversation between the boat judge and skier.

 

Those errors you mentioned probably happened because no one (skier, driver, judge) made any comment about the rope length of the upcoming pass before the boat took off. Everyone just assumed it happened since there is no other option but to shorten the rope at that point. Since there was no other option, there was no reason to ask. Thus, no question, no mention, no validation. Oops. Sh!t happens.

 

With ZBS, there will be a lot more discussion on speed/line in mixed-skill tournaments. Maybe boat judges will get into a better habit of always confirming the speed/line before every deep water start regardless of skier/crew skill level. That was my thought.

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Why not make the top speed 40 mph? That would make it really interesting. Why discriminate against women (as @sunperch has pointed out)? Why can't they ski 40 too? Maybe we would see some skis designed for high speed longer line lengths that would make it an advantage to ski 40 mph/28 off and win.
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@Dirt 40? Are you scared? Real men go 45!

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@Than_Bogan the developers are slowly but surely becoming deaf to my suggestions

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@Horton exactly my point. I will go whatever speed my competition goes. I am just pointing out how ridiculous this can become.

 

I was talking to a skier yesterday who pointed out that some of this rule comes from some M8 skiers who don't want to go 30. They wanted to ski at 32. Simple fix. Let them stay in M7. Ski one tournament in M7 during the year and you stay there for the whole year.

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@dirt in the 30 years i have known you that might be the first "Smart" thing i have heard you say.

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The speed vs injury is real. My hip would not allow me to ski 34. Too much energy (energy goes up with the square of the speed). It really hurt and did damage. Skiing slow allowed me to at least enjoy practice. Tournament results were discouraging at best. The M7 + skiers going 36 is scary - and these are valuable people for the sport. Some incentive to stay at the age division speed should be in place.

 

However, some incentive to ski IWSF speeds and Open speeds should also be available. MM should be capped at 34 to differentiate it from Open. But it is nice to have the option everywhere else.

 

Good for @JeffSurdej for trying something. Be willing to adjust as necessary.

 

Eric

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A couple of M7 skiers here have weighed in with their thoughts on ZBS. Both have been involved for years as skiers, officials, and governing body officers at the State level. I believe one has been a AWSA board member and/or a Rules Committee member, and may still be.

 

I have edited the emails slightly for typos and formatting.

 

Email 1:

 

With all the comments about ZBS, I thought you would like to hear what Michigan's "senior statesman" has to say about the new rule. Personally, I like what he has to say and I agree with him.

 

Email 2:

 

Here are my thoughts ....from a skier in the middle of the pack!

 

EVERYONE has the same opportunity!!!

It's fair to everyone...the skier that has the most points wins, regardless of how they got there.

Since everyone has the same opportunity, it does not "allow one skier to elect an advantage over another".

People suggest we need simplicity. This rule provides it

Men max speed= 58kph and Women max speed= 55kph

The faster you ski and the shorter the rope, the more points you get!

I like the fact there is now a strategy component

If windy, I can slow down and still shorten the rope

If I think I can get more points at a slower speed at an event (including Reg & Nat) then I go for it.

If I think I can get more points at a higher speed at an event (including Reg & Nat) then I go for it.

Younger skiers going UP in speed can transition easier to the max speed. Its more fun to shorten the rope and keep skiing than go faster and miss (when they can't handle the higher speed). I think this will keep some younger skiers involved in competition that would otherwise drop out.

Senior skiers can ski at speeds that match IWWF speeds for ratings and International Team qualification

Senior skiers that don't want to "slow down" don't have to.

NEW skiers of all ages can transition into competition easier....they can shorten rope at slower speeds and feel like they have accomplished something rather than miss 3 ball @max speed all the time.

National Records are not affected. They must be performed at the previous age division max speed..

My understanding is the scoring system asks "FASTER or SHORTER" at the end of every pass. This alleviates the concern for scorebook errors.

My biggest concern is that at the shorter rope lengths the 6 buoy difference is too great (e.g., is 5@39-55k really the same as 5@38-58k?). I personally think the 5@39 is more difficult BUT that is part of the strategy/decision process for each skier for each event!!!

 

Bottom line, I see this as a refreshing and positive change for our sport. While I believe most skiers (including myself) will ski at the previous age division max speeds, it will be interesting to be on the starting dock and have the opportunity to use ZBS to my advantage that day.

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@JeffSurdej @Bruce_Butterfield I am a Kansas skier. My family and I are all against ZBS scoring and have sent emails to our directors and EVP for the Midwest region. I have done a straw poll of fellow Kansas skiers and only know one who thinks it's a great idea. I have talked with B2, G3, W4, M3, M4, and multiple M5 skiers.

 

For the last 16 yrs, I have skied at a lake that hosts a collegiate ski team. I think the changes that have been made for NCWSA are great! I think your Alumni Regionals are a fabulous idea. The funny thing is, the other rule change for Level 10 will ensure that a lower level skier will never sit on the dock in the same division with Nate or Dane, Regina or Whitney, Ryan or Zach at a non-collegiate tournament. We have seen collegiate skiers come, some stay and some go. What works at the collegiate level does not correlate to continuing with the sport after graduating (or running out of eligibility). From what I see, the collegiate skiers are given most of what they need to compete by the university or extremely generous parents. The ones that have the drive and dedication allocate their own resources towards skiing and continue on with the sport. Those who don't drop out.

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Just my thoughts - beyond the concerns around safety and fairness, allowing speeds above the established max, could lend itself to creating a spectical show, like 'let's see who crazy enough to risk injuries by going faster'. Ok for pro's and exhibitions. Not sure it makes sense for amateur competition.
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@JeffSurdej

Please provide us a list or examples of the level 10 guys that are mandated to ski MM instead of their respective age division who have expressed their support for change of rules.

 

Most of those guys ski record events and will only be effected at regional and national events where competition should be a level playing field with no variance in speed

 

@MISkier i agree that most of the middle of the pack skiers are in favor of the changes. Most of those guys ski in a majority of class c events. I am all for zbs scoring in those events So why should the middle of the pack skiers put in mandates that will effect those striving for regional and national titles.

 

The zbs scoring WILL NOT BE RECOGNIZED by IWSF in class L and R events anyway by age divisions. 36 scores will be scored in Open men

 

So why is the middle of the pack so unwilling to compromise. I have spoken to a majority of the skiers that will likely be in the level 10 from Jeff Rodgers to Chet Raley, none of which are in favor of zbs at a national championship. A true competitor and legend like Jeff Rodgers who can still run mid 41@36 does not agree that skiers in MM should be competing at different speeds. Btw Jeff could probably still be a handful in OM.

 

So those in favor will not really be effected if it is approved only for use in class C tournaments.

 

A compromise would probably solve the entire issue.

 

 

 

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I agree with @Chad_Scott in the fact that there needs to be a compromise. But I think the level 10 rule change presents some problems, the obvious compromise would be to leave MM @ 55k max and allow for age groups to use ZBS at nationals and regionals, but what happens if a M4 skier decides to ski 36 at class c tournaments and his scores rank him in level 10 then he will be required to ski 34 at nationals because level 10 rule change. I guess it could be required to declare before the season begins if you plan to ski age division or MM if you are qualified?

 

 

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Survey done. My comments below

 

think ZBS is a good rule, especially for juniors.

 

I do see a place for it to attract more lower level skiers to attend tournaments in all age groups.

 

However I DO NOT think that changing the max speeds is in the best interest of the sport or athletes. It does not create a level playing field and increases the chances of injury. In addition increasing max speeds would only apply to a select few which even makes it more discriminatory.

 

If we have select skiers that want to stay at higher speeds, you could allow older skiers to ski in a younger division that still has the higher maximum speed they want to ski at vs. making the older skiers have a disadvantage.

 

I am also surprised that this only applies to the Men's divisions. IE if a 70yo man can go 36, why can't an open woman/W1 etc go 36 to gain a 6 buoy advantage.

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If this happens, I will run 36 mph and will soon be 45 y.o.

 

Sometimes I get thru 38 at 34...in my best season ever I ran it on 5 lakes, all 3 speed control systems, once in a tourney...but a total of just over 20 successful passes on the season total.

 

Last year I ran 38 off at 34 twice in practice following 2 consecutive years of spine surgery...so a comeback year of sorts. I bumped to 36 mph for fun and it took two tries to run 35 off.

 

Bottom line I'm pretty convinced at the margin the physics of short-line is dominant to speed for many of us. My odds of 36 mph 35 off are better than my odds of 34 mph 38 off. I'd like my odds to be better at both and will work at it but I'm throwing the 36 haymaker here...especially if I actually train at 36 for a bit.

 

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Many people feel that the implementation of ZBS was rushed. Please do not make the same mistake in rescinding it.

 

As a collegiate skier, I believe ZBS could make a HUGE difference in pulling people into the sport. It might be easy for super-shortline skiers to forget, but the grind from 26 -> 36 mph is brutal for newcomers. Over the last 4 years, I have watched at least 6 skiers struggle for 2+ seasons trying to master 34 and 36 mph -- consistency is hard to come by when you are just figuring out these speeds. It is immensely discouraging. Allowing those skiers to shorten the rope at 32-34 mph gives them a way out, and allows them to make progress even with limited water time.

 

@GK has pulled an incredible amount of people into the sport, including myself. I would argue that his creative efforts and experience make him more qualified than most to comment on the effectiveness of ZBS. I do think the divisional speed maximums should remain in place (i.e. 34 mph skiers should not get an extra 6 buoys for skiing at 36 mph), but to rescind the entire thing is to miss an opportunity to grow the sport.

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  • Baller
I'm looking forward to it. Not an elite skier and have never strived to be. I've skiers 2-3 tournaments a year for the last 4-5 years. All for fun knowing I cannot be competitive. I actually like 32mph better than 34. I'm light and short therefore feels better. In practice I have been skiing 32 and have only skied 34 at the few tournaments I participated in. With this new rule I will likely ski more. However I will not bump up to 36 !
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