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Horton Horton

2015 Nationals - WPB


Kelvin
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@klindy I'd love to have it at our place that you sighted in, but we have no jump, there are only 5 of us on 2 lakes. the lakes run end to end. hard to get around without golf carts or bike. wind "usually" isnt an issue in july but.... we'll put on some class c's in '15 and I'd love to do a record at some point. @TFIN said he would help.
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it is near Corsicana. it's a great place. the site is 10 or so years old. we've just had 1 class c there last year. hope to do a few more next year. We've had Trent and Seth and KLP out. the wind is an issue if it's over 20mph. which in north texas is the norm till mid to late june. after that it's flat till winter. we have become good cross wind skiers.
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@bigtex2011‌ you're right it's a great site. Pretty remote so hotels and "family things" are a challenge but it would certainly ski very well. Getting a jump in there isn't really an issue. Both lakes should have plenty of room. The rest of the logistics - cameras, etc - are all doable but need to be put in either on a temp basis or something more permanent.
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I think I've made enough noise about my disinterest in Nationals that maybe I should shut up but ....

 

As the rules are currently I would have to go to Washington for Regionals and then to West Palm for Nationals. In other words regionals and nationals are literally at the far corners of the country. I guess I should be grateful there are no three lake sites in Hawaii or Alaska.

 

I'm a contractor so every day I'm not at work is literally money from my bottom line. For me to attend both tournaments so I can get one ski ride at each is so completely impractical.

 

I will concede that I don't necessarily have the solution and I am just complaining. I just wish one or both events were more compelling.

 

The irony is my inlaws are in South Florida so maybe I will do it in 2015.

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@Horton I'm in the same boat as you. Nationals was in my home state this year, but I broke my ankle and i hurt my hip the year before. If the AWSA would drop the regional requirement it would fix so many things. I'd be willing to send them my entry fee so the regional site doesnt get short changed. But for many folks it's one or the other. We're a family of 5. My wife and I always qualify, my boys 1 qualified and my boys 2 is level 7. My 2 year old wants a horsie. It's the time to go to both events, then the money. We all go to regionals, then usually send my wife and the boys to natl's. She has podiumed many times and carries the torch for us. I wish they, who ever they are, would build a site in the south central, or kansas or in some middle state to make it easier than the ends of world. I would donate some cash to that. Why would AWSA build one scrawny lake at the headquarters. For boat testing.... lame ass for reelz
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Change it to state championships and make them 2 rounders plus rankings gets you to the big show. Seems like when I do go to states here in FL, there realy are not that many skies considering. I think the state championships could use the boost. Less travel and I'm sure many other advantages. If a Reagion wants to hold a regionals for bragging rights or an automatic ticket to Nats...great!! But don't make it a must do to go.
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Not sure what the official rule compromise but a major impacting adjustment could be:

 

Top 5 skiers per division at the cutoff date in the region do NOT have to ski regionals while still being eligible for nationals.

 

Nationals participation could go up due to Regionals participation increasing and travel money being saved.

 

Regionals: the guys who are on the previous 6th-9th now have a very high probability at placing 1-5 at regionals depending on their performance. They now have a shot at the big show whereas previously, statistically, they had little chance.

 

You could also have an increase in the Regionals participation as the the previous 6-9 guys have a greater shot as now the 10-15 guys have a greater shot at the 5th place etc.

 

Then your top 5 skiers are now more inclined to attend nationals as it's only 1 big tournament of cash they have to outlay. They can keep their $500+ in their pocket and put that towards the big tournament.

 

My humble opinion, it's a no brainer.

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@scoke the problem is the more populated divisions (M3/M4/M5) have WAY more than the "Top 5" who would likely want to sit out of the Regionals. In fact, there are 14 level 9 Mens 3 slalom skiers, 69 thru level 8 (which is required to qualify for Nationals). For M4 that goes to 23 at level 9 and 109 thru level 8. For M5 - 14 level 9 and 122 thru level 8.

 

So only 'solving must ski the regionals problem' for the top 5 is barely a drop in the bucket.

 

For smaller divisions (and for tricks and jump), you have the opposite problem. In some cases, you only have a half dozen or so skier who qualify and/or show up. So telling the top 5 there that they can stay home for regionals means you potentially eliminate entire divisions/events.

 

Then there's the argument of B/G1-B/G3 who may find regionals and nationals the only truly "competitive" tournaments they ski all year. The unintended consequences of telling a top rated skier they don't have to ski regionals and can ski nationals doesn't really set them up to succeed if they experience is only local tournaments (even if they are E/L/R tournament).

 

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for finding a way to make the whole regionals/nationals experience more 'friendly' and eliminate cost where possible but I don't think an arbitrary "top 5 can stay home" solution is a no brainer.

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@klindy I value your opinion. What do you think of making state championships the go to for a ticket to Nats as stated above. Feel free to fill it full of bullet holes. You always make me think and become an informed skier.
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To me, and I guess I have a vote in the process potentially at some point, it's very difficult to put a solution in place that fits all scenarios.

 

For example, every region sets its own criteria for qualifying for regionals (which they should). Likewise, some regionals allow placement at a state tournament to be a qualifying path others don't. Some states don't even have a state tournament or, like Texas, only part of the state even participates.

 

Also, what works for populated slalom divisions doesn't work at all for smaller age groups or other events - trick/jump. So a "one-size-fits-all" solution becomes a challenge to say the least.

 

As a skier, I do like a multi-round tournament (which again is a difference among the state tournaments - Michigan was always a single round (class C) where Texas was a multi-round (class E/L/R). I have always struggled with Nationals being 2 weeks (or 3) after Nationals which makes it an expensive month with SEVERAL vacation days and travel days. To make it worse for me, I've always been "on the bubble" in one or two events which compells me to chase a better score which only adds to the cost and time commitments.

 

So I do like the sound of a simplier idea. If there was some continuity across all the states, I'd say making the state championships ANOTHER path to nationals may be feasible. I'm not sure however, that eliminating Regionals is the right thing to do either. (That said, I also don't see a lot of sites jumping at the chance to host regionals either!).

 

One risk of reducing the number of potential skiers at the Regionals is making it difficult or impossible to make a profit (or breakeven) so there may be even less interest in hosting.

 

At the risk of sounding self-serving, the only consistent, nationwide "tool" (even with it's flaws - real or perceived) we have is the ranking list. It can be sorted any number of ways, it includes ALL the posted tournament scores, etc., etc. Perhaps it's not the "top 5" (or even top 25 if you take the top 5 from each region) that works but a percentile (95th percentile?) which may be one or 20 or more skiers depending on division or event. Perhaps there's a solution in there somewhere?

 

Adding to the challenge, and has been identified already, is the Nationals is one of two revenue sources for AWSA (I didn't say USAWS!) - membership is the other. Likewise, the Regional tournament (and things like a head tax or similar) are the only revenue sources for the region. (Yes, I know that junior programs and other things like that are also revenue generating but they are also pretty much self-sustaining too.) So any solution needs to carefully anticipate what financial burdens or consequences it may cause.

 

Finally, looking for ways to "not ski" at a tournament seems completely counter-intuitive to grow the sport and encourage participation. Again, I completely understand the financial and time burdens but we need to find ways to make it fun, encourage participation and increase competition.

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@evolski‌ last year I was qualified in slalom only for nationals (in fact I qualified at regionals). I was not qualified for trick or jump at nationals. For me the Regionals was the top three event tournament I participated in. I skied states too but the regionals was another notch above.
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Why not keep the same criteria to qualify for nationals BUT allow people who are above the level 8 cutoff or placed top 5 at the previous years nationals to pay as if they were going to regionals but they don't have to ski. I am ok with paying but bummed I have to fly from Denver to Vancouver to post a score above zero to go to nationals. The regionals host site still gets my money but doesn't have to pull me should help them be more profitable.
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Sort of puts a lot of pressure on the old deep water start, eh?

 

I can only speak to what I have seen in the East, but it appears that very few sites are willing to host the event. It is a tremendous amount of work, the economic model stinks, it is really hard to break even, much less make money, and it is an awful lot of work. Our last several regionals have been in NY, which is the central point in the Region, and it is still a nine hour drive for the folks from Maine and Virginia.. If we go to Virginia in 15, that's an 18 hour drive from Maine; not as bad as the Western Region, but still bad. For one event skiers, that's a long drive for one round of slalom, or tricks in the case of our most prominent Mainiac skier.

 

Thinking outside the box a little, how about ten regions (or 15) instead of five? Regionals would be smaller and thus shorter, and a lot closer to home. You might be able to run a whole Regionals in a day, or certainly in a weekend. The East could easily be divided into New England; NY, NJ and Pa.; and Md., Va. Del., and WV. Plenty of skiers for each group and no one would have to drive over maybe eight hours (my house to Dave's Pond in Pa.). Looking south, some argue Florida should be its own region.

Lpskier

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Also, if someone was fired up, they could organize a "Super Regionals" for people who were not qualified for or just not attending Nationals. For example, if the East were broken into three parts, skiers from what is now the Eastern Region could compete in the "Zone 1 Super Regionals" or "Zone Championship," thus giving those skiers another tournament opportunity short of going to Nationals.

Lpskier

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The only reason I like regionals is because I can drive there. I guess the eastern region is different from others. I did qualify this year to go to Nats but it would've been very expense. If regionals isn't a requirement then a lot of the competitors would drop out. The whole reason I like regionals is because it is a championship tournament. If some skiers better then me dropped out I would see no reason in going myself, because your placement has little meaning if not everyone from the region participated.
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@JWebSki‌ that is exactly what we get here in the west. We had 5 guys in M2 slalom for regionals this year. 1 person from the west coast. Nobody wanted to travel to Colorado for 1 ride. I am faced with that decision this year. It's 22 hours driving from Denver to Vancouver. I guess my point is we don't get a true championship tournament here anyway.
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@skier2788 the skier lists get short in M2. People get distracted with other things and start to come back when kids enter the picture in M3. My guess is that the skier lists are short in M1 and M2 in a lot of regions. I don't think the east had more than a handful of M2 skiers. You still get some college kids to fill the M1 entry lists.
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We'll never get to a "true" championship, but regionals, for most people, is the best and most realistic shot they have at skiing in a tournament where people actually care about the placements and there is a little something (medal and a podium spot) on the line. I don't see how you improve the sport by taking away the most accessible opportunity for someone to ski in a tournament that actually matters.
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@jcamp‌ I guess I see it as improving to sport by increasing the competition at nationals. I am number 8 on that list and took 2nd at regionals this year. I won't ski regionals or nationals this year becuase of the cost of attending both. I feel that if we lessened the requirements to go to nationals you would have higher attendance at the biggest tournament of the year. Making it the true championship tournament.
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@skier2788‌ we have about the same number of M2 skiers in the region but got 7 of them to ski at Regionals and 1 skied out of region. The East is smaller geographically but it can still be a big commitment.

 

I get @jcamp's position as I am not a level 8 skier and trying to get there but it is kind of cool to have one event where you get one shot to see where you place.

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