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Ideas for new Ski League, as part of AWSA, what would you want to see, would you support it?


sunvalleylaw
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@JeffSurdej said in the thread regarding another organization, ". . . instead of starting a new organization, if there is a good idea out there for a new league lets start it under AWSA and do our best to avoid all the rules, politics, that comes with AWSA or maybe thats not not possible b/c we would still need awsa insurance which means safety, drivers etc? But it's worth a try first.

 

Lets here some ideas for a new ski league, what would it have and not have, how would it work, run, where, etc."

 

This sounds like a reasonable idea to consider. I personally would be interested, and would love to see what others thought and what ideas they might have. And it seems like Jeff is interested too. How about we share some?

 

 

 

As for me, I would be interested in seeing more lower level comps with some sort of scoring, and possibly even something like alpine snow skiing has with "Wednesday "beer" league racing, and/or what alpine skiing has with NASTAR. @oldjeep ) knows something about that I think, and I have participated in both sorts of events. I just want to see more competition opportunities for the lesser skilled/advanced, and more ski opportunities in preparation, and would love to see investment of some kind toward that. We already have "grass roots" stuff, but I would like to see that expanded somehow. Not sure how. The fact is that for me, there is one event at the end of the season anywhere reasonably close. Now if I get over the WA, there are quite a few over the course of the summer. But very little intermountain. Would love to see that expanded. And also, some other sort of regular "comp" opportunity that might not even qualify to be grassroots, but would be a way to test one's self on a regular basis, NASTAR style, or Wed. Beer league style.

 

What else?

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Thinking further, as for the "NASTAR" idea, where you show up to the mountain, get access to the public ski site by paying for a ticket, and then gain access through filling out the paperwork and paying, to ski the course, we have a limiting factor in waterskiing that typically waterski sites are not open to the public to just show up and pay to ski for a day or a few runs. Particularly behind tournament quality drivers. In downhill, gravity is your towboat and driver. Gravity doesn't need to get paid or have insurance. So, wondering if this doesn't point out to me one of the fundamental problems. Wondering what ideas we could come up with to get around that and come up with a regular comp type tow experience for us lower level, beer league (or we can say city league, like it is called outside Portland and Seattle) skiers.
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This is a ridiculous idea. The problem isn't at the Grassroots level the problem is at the top level. An additional layer of grass roots at the bottom just makes everything more diluted.

 

Terrible terrible terrible idea.

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Wednesday beer-leagues, ability based scoring, handicapping, etc., ALL those things can be done within the existing rules and tournament structures. The fact is though that most tournaments choose to run the traditional 2- or 3-round format, probably because that is what the market (skiers) wants.
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The biggest barrier to something like a Nastar setup for waterskiing is that you have the ability to just show up with zero notice do some races and go ski when you are not in the race course rather than sitting around watching 100 people go through the course.

This isn't really a model that works with a tournament format, especially since most of the hard core folks won't ski on bumpy open water where the public could easily participate.

 

Ironically US Ski and Snowboard now operates Nastar, so I guess technically we are under an Olympic organization now too ;)

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@sunvalleylaw yeah my above response is a bit reactionary. In reaction to this other two threads this is a bit of a squirrel. On the other hand if you want to organize some new tournament format and people like it I can't imagine why not.

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@Horton I don't see this as adding or creating a new GR level, this can be a higher level thing but just a different and new way of competing. Something that attracts all those skiers out there who are trying to get more buoys everyday in practice but could care less about competing. Less rules, more fun, mulligans, whatever. Basically if there is a need to create a new organization, what would that new organization look like, how would it run and operate and take that model and see if we can spin it under AWSA to attract those who don't want to be a part of AWSA. That being said though we have to do a better job on the GR end, our class C events are even too intimidating for any beginner to want to walk down on the dock, and since we have divisions only by age, it makes 15 off compete against 35 off, now that's ridiculous. Would you enter a gold tourney and want to shoot against a scratch golfer just b/c you are both 40 years old?
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Wednesday nights ski league can be fun the biggest problem I have witnessed is that they will start with a cap of 25 skiers. And start at 5pm or there about. Next time if popular the organizers will take more skiers and start the event earlier. Soon what is ment to be a night ski tournament turns out to be a mid week all day tournament. Which causes issues with getting boats and officials because what was leaving an hour or so early is a full day off. These ski leagues are not designed to be a 2 round tournament. That is something else that the skiers dont understand

 

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@dave2ball - the officials part is where you lost me. The whole idea of beer league is that it is self regulating. There is nobody there on the hill watching to see if you went out. Now I guess when you have nonsense like 1/2 a ball maybe you need someone to be the decider, but for a beer league waterski you would really need to simplify rules. Either you made it around the ball or you didn't - like normal people count them
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Yeah, seems like a beer league thing would be more achievable than a NASTAR format.

 

Any other ideas for creating more opportunities, or improving the opportunities we currently have?

 

I am interested in the ideas @JeffSurdej mentioned about improving the Class C experience for the less advanced and/or "grass roots" skier, and thoughts on changes to the rankings system.

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@JeffSurdej age groups makes more sense that having a 16 y.o girl have to stand on the dock with 35-60 y.o men. Personally as a 49 y.o woman, I enjoy skiing with women in my generation at tournaments, especially since I don't get to ski with other girls my age any other time (me and the kids and guys on most days at the lake). Ability based skiing was tried by INT - it was not fun!
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@oldjeep I'm with you as far as that concept for a beer league. First I've heard of that concept a no offical self regulating. Good idea. As far as scores in a league

Ypu can still have a beer blow out at the end. We deffently need to bring the fun back to the torment scene after all it's not like our pay checks depend on it

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@sunperch I have heard the argument of 16 yo vs 65 yo a lot and I do think it has merit. Perhaps kids and over 55 would still ski by age, but in between that can be ability based. Barefoot is having a lot of success switching from age to ABD, and they are doing it from 18-55 only I think. What would be more fun than skiing against 20 people within 4 buoys of each other rather than skiing against oneself every weekend with no competition just b/c im the only 35-44 year old at the event, meanwhile there are guys in M4, M5 at the same level. I mean yes we do side bets but we should all in the same division, then another division of 28-32off guys, than 15-22. maybe I'm off, I have heard the ABD of INT didnt really work and I wonder why. The other area if anything I think we need is at least ABD for the lower levels, we should never ask someone just trying to run the course or just getting into 30 mph to ski against someone at 35 off, this is not competition and eventually means the 30 mph guy is not going to spend the day at a tournament.
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What I saw with ABD in the INT was very few people progressed out of one division in into the next. It could have been sandbagging or it could have been a sense of contentment in a given division. I know I increase my buoy count by skiing with skiers who are better than I am.

 

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I competed in some INT tournaments and there was a 16 year old who was very close on ability to me and we robbed each other on the dock and it was a fun event. My issue with INT wasn’t the skill based divisions it was the one round. I could see a place for both skill based and age based if they were all multi round events.

 

We did a handicapped event a number of years ago and my son who was Boys 2 at the time took out me a deep 32 off skier, a similar aged deep 38 off skier and a men’s 1 skier. There was a ton of fun and trash talking in the water and on the dock.

 

I like the idea of a beer league event without the need for three judges, safety, a tournament coordinator, a senior judge and senior driver. I ski all the time with a driver who is not a AWSA certified driver. That doesn’t mean I don’t get a good pull. Maybe there should be a different designation for the score than a Class C or higher event. In golf tournament scores count for twice a regular round. Maybe that would make sense for a weekenight league vs a regular weekend tournament.

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@JeffSurdej ‘Yes’ to your gold (golf) analogy. Why? Handicapping! levels the playing field.

 

Perfect analog, BTW: (tournament) golf v (tourney) skiing...the intimidation factor can be enormous in both, with striking contrasts too:

 

Starting dock vs 1st Tee

Public water v private lake

Muni course v country club

Does waterskiing have the equivalent of a ‘driving-range pro’?! A Tin Cup?

 

Except...golf allows goofy-ass clothing that would be banished elsewhere. Think ‘Hoo, Free bowl of soup with that?...’

 

Skiwear is universally cool. ?

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How about if you could have a tournament where you and your buddies show up on a public lake and all you have is your ski gear, your boat and your phone? Or maybe your buddies in your boat in Idaho want to compete against me and my buddies in NY in some sort of real time head to head format? Would this be interesting if it was feasible?

 

To be clear, no slalom course is needed, but if you have one you can use it.

Lpskier

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@lpskier doesnt golf have this, where you can upload your scores online from a practice round? We have talked about this, but its doable for sure and would be a good feature to offer for the $19.95 membership or maybe charge $5 per practice score turned in, but what would that score count for or against? rankings? a separate all practice league? I thought we could do this for, maybe even have someone who has to approve the scores based on video, IDK. But seeing that committing to 12 hour days at a tourney is a major hinderance or ours some sort of practice round score is enticing to figure out how to accommodate it.
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BTW I love handicap, and it can work better than ABD mainly b/c one of the biggest issues in our sport is having # for competition, even with ABD you might have 3 or 4 skiers in your group at a local event which is not all that fun, but handicapp means everyone in a tourney can be in the same division.

We host this event in the summer called green lightening team event, each team is 4 slalom trick and jumpers, its all handicapped head to head like march madness, I could be up against someone in the mini course or someone of any age or gender, we talk trash, its nerve wrecking, its the most fun of any event I go to all year, including Nationals. That event last year had 115 skiers, 400 pulls, including 60 trickers and jumpers at a local weekend event. So those formats do help bring competition and a fun atmosphere.

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My inclination is the beer league type format but maybe less formal. I'm thinking along the lines of those who would like to participate, wherever they are skiing, CA, FL, NY, ect, they log in and submit 2 scores per week, from practice, no officials, honor based. Very limited rules, submitting their "off the dock score" After some number of scores, a HDCP is established. For those interested, there might be some type Regional, State or various other area events, these events will offer both HDCP and straight up scoring and placements. Maybe everyone finishes the Summer up at the BOS World Championships. The area events would be run as Class C or higher.
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One issue I see (unless you are skiing open/pro events) is that you are primarily skiing for a score, it really doesn't matter what you do relative to others in that tournament. Not that that is necessarily a bad thing, but it can be if I look at the weather forecast and see a super windy day coming up for this weekends tournament. I know I won't be able to put up scores that will help my overall ranking score, so why spend the money to go (especially if its a couple hours away and involves a hotel room.) If there was more incentive to that particular event within itself (such as handicapped competition across divisions) along with the overall rankings. OR, as is in the case of golf, some way of handicapping the scores that go into the rankings to account for the conditions.
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@Drago What part don’t you like?

 

What I am referring to is Jen LaPoint’s Virtual Slalom Skiing app. Since the new ski season is (or is just about) here, you should check it out, especially if you are an open water skier but would like to a) see whether your skiing is improving in a measurable way through the season, and/or b) compete against other skiers anywhere in the world. The app has lots of new features coming for 2019 such as a coaching feature. If you haven’t already checked it out, you should.

And FYI, USAWS&WS/ @JeffSurdej fully behind this idea and product.

Lpskier

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@JeffSurdej In golf you submit all your scores as long as you aren't playing alone. Official tournament scores stay in your handicap longer and I believe are weighted more heavily. it is somewhat of an honors system.

 

For water skiing I don't understand why you couldn't do the same thing. Having a higher average than is realistic all shakes out when you get to a tournament. There is no gambling in golf so having an artificially low average doesn't really impact anything either. There could be a designation in the ranking list of P for practice. If peple are putting in a lot more scores maybe you increase the number of scores in the average.

 

For USA WaterSki members this should be free. Charging $5 per posted score would be excessive. I could see offering it for some type reduce membership if you want to have an average.

 

I pay $50 a year for a USGA handicap. I can post scores myself on the website or an app. It should be that simple for ski scores. Have a driver and an observer and you can post a score. I understand not every course might be perfect or some drivers might not be perfect but scores would shake out at tournaments.

 

I don’t see a big downside to it.

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@JeffSudej your qualification for regional events like a State Amateur and national events like the US Am as well as regional events are based on your handicap. However if you get into an event and perform very poorly they can reserve the right to admit you to an event. At the local level if your handicap is too low and you play a handicapped event you will get beat. There are issues with sandbagging so someone's handicap is too high and there are local handicap committees that keep an eye on that.

 

Regarding having too many people show up at events that require scores for qualification it doesn't seem like having too many attendees at Regionals or Nationals is a problem. Right now the more the merrier is what is needed. If someone shows up with a practice average that seems way off you could have a review after the event and say for example to qualify again they need to have 3 scores at class C or higher or qualify through Regionals.

 

Frankly I don't see the downside to allowing practice scores into the average. Someone might move down a spot or two on the rankings list but it isn't going to impact the top of the lists. For me I don't care if I am 50th or 70th on the list I am not a threat to the top 20.

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If practice scores were allowed, which im not sure i agree with, tournamnet scores should certainly be more heavily weighted. We want to encourage people to go to tournaments. I like that only 3 scores average in also. You can pull your score up faster as you improve.
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@JeffSurdej - here is where I finally got to in my "Tournaments on Demand" discussion from a couple years ago.

 

As I thought most of the resistance centers around equivalency which is driven by how we currently qualify for Regionals and Nationals.

 

So here is what I'm thinking --

 

- Two separate lists, a Handicap List, and a Ranking [Traditional Tournament] List. Scores from the Ranking List feed the Handicap List. Tournament on Demand [e.g. 17H0213 for February 13, 2017] scores only feed the Handicap list.

- Qualifying for Regionals and Nationals via the Ranking List remain unchanged.

- Qualifying for Regionals [only] via the Handicap List requires X number of scores - it doesn't matter what the scores are to dis-incentivize cheating.

- Using the Golf vernacular raw scores on the Handicap List can be sloped [or not] for the conditions the score was achieved under e.g. Class R Tournament highest to ToD with Trained Driver, Assistant Judge, un-surveyed course, non-current boat lowest.

 

I'm thinking this helps facilitate "beer leagues" and provides an alternative path to Regionals without doing violence to the traditional structure.

 

Also, to help grow membership send ski school students or your buddies home with a score.

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@lpskier I used to be a better golfer than I ever was a skier. I played between a 0-2 handicap for close to 10 years. I am not sure what that equates to in skiing but I think it is someone that can run 38 regularly and maybe 39. I am certainly not that good a skier.

While there may be flaws in the handicap system for golf I always wanted the lowest handicap I could get just like I always want the highest average skiing I can have. For skiing nobody has been able to explain to me the downside of enabling practice scores into your average. Nobody is going to win Regionals or Nationals because their average was artificially high. If it brings more people to Regionals or Nationals that is a good thing. if it gets another person to join the AWSA that is a good thing. Where is the harm except it is different than what we do today.

 

I keep reading about the sport dying but there is great resistance to change. Maybe a change like this would be good.

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@ELR YOUR IDEA would get me back into tournament skiing. And I know you've pulled that out of the past and had posted it before. I liked it then.

 

Add in some contests based on the handicap and we've got a winner. I think this is also where bringing back the ratings works. Let the handicap dictate the rating achieved. LIke a badge. Most of us that were around for the last 2 decades loved the ratings and missed it when it got tossed in favor of this whole idea we have now. Moving to the next rating was an achievement. I remember a tournament back in the late 90s where it got announced as I was taking the water that a score of X got me to Master. It created suspense. And I missed my opener. LOL Why did we let that stuff go away????

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Completely off topic. But speaking of skiing in the 90s. There was a Pro tournament at Emma Long Park on Lake Austin in the 95-98 time frame. One of those years(don't remember which), as a warmup up for the announcers, tech controllers, judges and drivers, they ran an invitational C tournament the day before the pro tournament started. I knew a girl on the park commission and she managed to get me in. Any of our other Texas members ski in that? It was THE coolest thing ever. A river course, with rollers from the bulkhead across the river. Water was moving at about 4mph. It felt like you were doing 132mph downriver. I can't remember if it was Rocky Pasqua or Tommy Harrington driving. Or both that day. But they were hand driving on that river. With the announcer calling it the entire way like you were Andy Mapple. I'll never forget dropping and we're moving farther and farther away and Tommy or Rocky circling and saying "Man, that was awsome. Let's run this on the way back!" like he was my wednesday afternoon ski partner. And since it was in the middle of the summer at a park on the river, there were people watching you. Coolest. Thing. Ever.
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I am not a golfer, and don't understand golf handicaps. But I like ideas like that and/or @ELR 's variation to support "tournament on demand" sort of thing. Along with something that supports more social bragging rights "beer league" nights, which maybe could also fit into the handicap or scoring some way. I don't really care that much about my ranking as, I am just a schmo who wants to improve, and not worried about qualifying for nationals or anything. So if some "protections" need to happen to make the people that care much more about that happy, that seems fine.

 

With regard to the "beer league" social tournaments, seems to me the biggest thing is access to water and courses where they could be held.

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My son in law was in Thailand on vacation during the crossfit open. So to get a score he goes to a kickboxing DoJo, they dont do crossfit and barely speak english, he does a video where he is weighing and measuring all the equipment then his workout. He sends it in and it counted. Thats encouraging participation. Skiing needs something similar
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