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All pro tournaments should be head to head


kmenard
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Swimming you don't have one person put up a time and then see if someone else can do it, Gymnastics, one person does a single routine, then the next person, they don't do 6 passes on the vault. Nascar, everyone is on the track at the same time, cycling time trials I believe are the same, a person goes once, then the next person goes. 

So as I am typing this I realize the most important difference is that in our sport a person goes x # of times, then then next person y# of times...which is more like cornhole...we don't want to be water cornhole. 

More action, more tension, better viewing...head to head.

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Jon Franklin (responsible for the Café de Columbia x International Pro Water Ski Tour and Rolex x Masters partnerships) is now running the World Pro Ski Tour which utilizes head-to-head dual action snow ski racing.

To understand what a good run is in alpine racing you have to be able to understand the technique and the "line" the skier is running as well as the time that the skier ran the course in. With a head-to-head format, joe blow can see that the guy in the red bib just beat the guy in the blue bib. With shorter and shorter attention spans this format also gives more immediate results with short "matches" with the winner advancing which increases the spectator appeal IMO.

https://worldproskitour.com/

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Wouldn't the real question be:  how does one make slalom more exciting for a spectator that does not participate in the sport?  That is, if you actually want to make it more exciting to watch.  The reason I add the participation part is golf which seems to have a large audience and lots of people that play recreationally (I don't golf and don't watch it either).  Slalom for the uninitiated is not very exciting to watch and similar to other sports only becomes interesting when you start to know something about the game.

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I personally don't like the head-to-head format which often leads to the second skier just skiing to 1/2 buoy beyond the first skier then stopping. What I would like to see is the leaders pass superimposed and synced on the current skiers pass so you can see directly see how the two compare.

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I personally don’t like head to head. It might be cooler if it was a random draw for the bracket. The way it is now… lots of just skiing “enough” & bracket positioning. 
 

I’m not a fan of Nate but at least he went for ball 2 @43 rather than just running a 1 on the weekend. Lately I have just been zipping forward on my YouTube and watching peoples 39 & 41. Pro men should start at 35, women at 32. maybe then there would be time for a cool 1 spot lcq to add excitement. Throw a wrench into the usual twbc broadcast. 
 

Loved seeing not just tony in the booth this weekend. Much needed. 

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I don't really care for head to heads either, pass by pass, or set by set, for the same reasons as those stated above.  But like I said, head to head and side by side would be fun. With a go pro heli following above, the video could be awesome.  I hadn't thought about Okaheelee. I thought one of the European sites might be capable, but can't remember which if any.

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I completely disagree with this sentiment.

In a sport that doesn't require an opponent, head-to-head is just superimposed in an illogical way.  Just like all of the field events in Track & Field, it's just you against the event.  Whoever does the most/highest/furthest is the winner.

Head-to-head in slalom produces results that make no sense, like someone getting into the next round with a far worse score than somebody who was eliminated.  In tennis, there is no choice but to play head-to-head, because the sport requires an opponent.  We are forced to live with the possibility that somebody gets a weirdly easy path through the tournament.  In sports that don't require an opponent, we don't have to let that happen!

And, thanks to other rules of slalom, there is a HUGE incentive for the second person in a head-to-head bracket to do "just enough" to move on, and I never never never want to watch one of the best in the world simply stop doing their sport.  Heck, the worst part of even non-head-to-head format is when the last skier does just enough to win and then skis home.  I'll say it again: I tuned in to watch people ski, not stop skiing.

In fact, the head-to-head format actually encourages the first skier to stop skiing.  Unless you're up against Nate, do you really want to risk turning the 3 ball at -41, knowing that 3 is gonna be really hard to beat, but 2.5 may allow the second guy to just "take the win."

If there are folks who love watching head-to-head, then have some events for them.  But PLEASE do not make all pro events head-to-head!

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I pulled Jamie Beauchesne in a head to head with Rossi. Rossi went first, and we followed. When Jamie dropped at the end, Rossi started chirping at him. After listening to an earful, Jamie says: “I think I’ll save my energy for the skiing part.” 

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Side by side for the Joe public is the only way to get their interest. He who falls or misses first loses..no simpler way. Would be crappy conditions most likely on bigger lakes. But the “tour” has to decide. Ski in sub par conditions like the days of Hot Summer Nights and breing in crowds, skiers and sponsors that understand it’s a show. Or keep it elite and all about world records. 
Personally I don’t care anymore. With TWBC I get front row seats to the best show on town. 

3F7B223B-B9E1-43A9-A8E4-78B5DB20CD39.jpeg

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1 hour ago, Horton said:

I know some of the elite skiers don't prefer H2H.

 

1 hour ago, Than_Bogan said:

I completely disagree with this sentiment.

In a sport that doesn't require an opponent, head-to-head is just superimposed in an illogical way.  Just like all of the field events in Track & Field, it's just you against the event.  Whoever does the most/highest/furthest is the winner.

Head-to-head in slalom produces results that make no sense, like someone getting into the next round with a far worse score than somebody who was eliminated.  In tennis, there is no choice but to play head-to-head, because the sport requires an opponent.  We are forced to live with the possibility that somebody gets a weirdly easy path through the tournament.  In sports that don't require an opponent, we don't have to let that happen!

And, thanks to other rules of slalom, there is a HUGE incentive for the second person in a head-to-head bracket to do "just enough" to move on, and I never never never want to watch one of the best in the world simply stop doing their sport.  Heck, the worst part of even non-head-to-head format is when the last skier does just enough to win and then skis home.  I'll say it again: I tuned in to watch people ski, not stop skiing.

In fact, the head-to-head format actually encourages the first skier to stop skiing.  Unless you're up against Nate, do you really want to risk turning the 3 ball at -41, knowing that 3 is gonna be really hard to beat, but 2.5 may allow the second guy to just "take the win."

If there are folks who love watching head-to-head, then have some events for them.  But PLEASE do not make all pro events head-to-head!

How does pole vault work?

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@Wish I feel like those were a novelty. You can watch 2 runners at a time because they are so close together...2 skiers at a time required the aerial view which is cool for about 3 second, but you can't see a person get broken over from 30 feet. I am with APB in that it would be good to see less warm up passes. It's impressive they can run 38 in their sleep, but watching 10 skiers in a row run it gets tedious...again thinking pitch clock...keep it moving, keep it exciting.  

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15 hours ago, lpskier said:

If slalom isn’t a spectator sport, explain the crowds at the pro events in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s?

@lpskier I think it was a spectator sport back then and Hot Summer Nights was great.  Back in those dark ages, your boat was used to pull skiers so people could kind of relate.  Today, what I see is pontoons pulling tubers and the kids simply having no interest in trying/learning something remotely challenging, hence spectators at a ski event are friends / family.  A figure 8 tubing competition where points were scored by best ragdoll launch would probably draw big crowds & you could follow that up with a cornhole contest.  Sad to say, when I tuned in to the TWBC MC pro event the little icon showed 480 viewers (I can only hope that was wrong). 

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5 minutes ago, DW said:

@lpskier Sad to say, when I tuned in to the TWBC MC pro event the little icon showed 480 viewers (I can only hope that was wrong). 

Its probably inflated, I had up to 3 devices streaming it upstairs TV, workshop TV, and then I use an old cell phone to stream stuff on WIFI onto my Bluetooth when I do yardwork.  I also watched some from my cell phone while at the store so 4 different MAC addresses over the event. But I'm not going to sit in my living room for 8 hours watching skiing.  I did have it up and running and listened to a bunch of it and then if something happened you hit rewind and watch it. But that means at times you should divide that number by 2 or 3 because I would imagine most of us did something similar.

But then again some people might have been at a ski lake and had one TV streaming and 20 people watching. So its hard to get the total number.  TWBC probably has an idea how many unique viewers 

Waterski needs a captive audience it needs to host events at sites that hold people the old Malibu open Veteran's park is a great example -  been to their beer fest in that same park.  They regularly sell it out at 5000 tickets. That's 5000 people milling about in the same park get the event back and then coordinate to have the event through the beer fest and do social media to reach those people.

Ski lakes are often also large fields with lots of parking things you could host there music festivals or events, car shows, motorcycle shows.  What could the venues be used for to get people there.  Imagine a large food truck event our local park district has those on thursday nights with usually 8-10 foot trucks and about 1000 people attend over the course of a few hours.  If your lake is near enough to a population center can you use those food trucks and their media to draw people in If you're ski lake is in an area with great gravel roads or trails can you host a tough mudder event and have people start/finish at the lake with a ski event going on. 

Venn diagram skiers, mountain bike enthusiasts, 5K runners, IPA drinkers, foot truck frequenters, classic car enthusiasts.

 

If you were doing social media and wanted to explode the exposure in terms of people who atleast watch a summary reel or check into it you have to not just be looking at the people who are already willing to go or watching TWBC you have to make reasons for people who normally wouldn't to check in on it.

 

 

 

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@DW You hit the mail on the head. When water skiing was in its heyday, there were few activities more rad than water ski jumping. Now people can do a double back flip on a dirt bike or snowmobile. There are a lot more activities to capture people’s attention. On the other hand, there are more people, so shouldn’t we have our share?  
 

 

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The sites used for the ProTour 2-3 decades ago were able to accomodate huge crowds and the party atmosphere provided by the main stream sponsors.   The water conditions those Pro's competed in would be totally bashed by todays' skiers and everyone on this forum.   Robin lake would look like a Shangri-la compared to most of those sites.

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Bang on. You have the majority of the sites on private property/ someone’s front yard. The liability becomes too great. 
 

I think the #s on the webcast are accurate. Slalom skiing is a small niche sport…. The commitment to watch a twbc event is huge.  The highlight shows are great 

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Never been to a live event, but I think seeing the skiing in person would be very cool/impressive. Also really enjoy the TWBC broadcasts, but I have to be honest, I fast forward through every skier. I start watching the women at -38, and the men at -39.5. Watching any of them do their first two passes (or more) gets old. I will stop and watch the dockside chats or Wade's world, but the skiing gets skipped. I don't know what the solution is for TV. I imagine even -32 in person is fun to watch though. Someday I'll get to an event. 

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@Broussard that was directed at @tjs1295 to see someone running 39 from shore is cool but to see someone from the boat is a real event.  First big jump I ever saw from the boat was one of your coaching staff down there.  I get it's not realistic but he's a fan of the sport it is definately something people should get chase down and you're right the only way is going to be to go somewhere like bennetts or JT or swiss and take sets and see if you can ride along.

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Myself and some others were talking about this issue in the officials shack during the MC pro. Not head to head but how to make the sport more appealing for slalom. One thought was you get 4 passes. That would force skiers to start shorter or opt up making the event more exciting. We all agreed in the shack that it is boring watching the top skiers run 32,  35 and even 38. And as of now with out minimum rope length starts the boat makes 6 passes. 
this thought should be taken into a new topic I believe if it gains traction.  

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@dave2ballWhat if instead of capping the round you cap the event?  Its not 4 passes a round its 2 rounds of qualifiers and then the finals and you have 13/14/15 passes allowed.  So if you're going into the finals you have to at some point conserve your efforts.  You're allowed that 32 but you might need to use an opt up but its on your to decide how to conserve the passes to have whatever you want in the finals.

 

 

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Anyone follow along with Herbs Cup? You basically have a set amount of time to put up the biggest score. I don't know all the exact format details, but it's fun and different. 

I'm about as waterski-obsessed as one can get, but admittedly don't watch many tournaments throughout the season. Usually Swiss Pro, Travers GP, and some of Worlds, then just finals and highlights of others. Too hard to stay engaged all day and watching Nate run -35 is about as exciting as watching paint dry. Yes, it's a beautiful pass, but we've seen it 1000 times. 

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25 minutes ago, dave2ball said:

@BraceMaker I get what you are saying. I believe that would be a scoring nightmare to try to keep tract of.  

Could be.  But then again you really only have to hold the skiers accountable during the finals.  I don't think anyone things the lowest seeded skiers are going to show up and go well if I have 14 passes I'm going to ski 15-39 in 2 rounds to get the most skiing they're still going to ski a 32 opener and get to 38/39 and its no different than it is now but for the top guys the people with a chance at being in the finals who are expecting a score at 41 every round those people need to start budgeting and to that point anyone who's holding back for a crack at a 43 off score in the finals is really needing to hold onto a pass in reserve for it.

Because if coming into the finals you haven't held onto that pass you'd have the risk of a 6/41 no continuation if you didn't have it in the bank (Edit - Maybe you could still for the purposes of Class R allow people to run that 43 pass for world records but not for score in the event because I do still give Nate a thumbs up for coming back at 43 behind not his sponsor's boat bravo)

 

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13 hours ago, dave2ball said:

Myself and some others were talking about this issue in the officials shack during the MC pro. Not head to head but how to make the sport more appealing for slalom. One thought was you get 4 passes. That would force skiers to start shorter or opt up making the event more exciting. We all agreed in the shack that it is boring watching the top skiers run 32,  35 and even 38. And as of now with out minimum rope length starts the boat makes 6 passes. 
this thought should be taken into a new topic I believe if it gains traction.  

While eating my cardboard cereal this morning and reading this it struck me that big tournaments used to be for the spectators, and then it became really for the skiers, but now with TWBC really putting out a great product...who are they for now? Are they still for the top level skiers? Are they for the spectators? Or are they for the viewers? 

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On 9/12/2023 at 2:48 AM, kc said:

@ETskierand @dave2ball There was a “one off” dual course head to head event just last year, (or maybe year before?), in England. They didn’t have the deepest of fields, in terms of all the Pro Tour regulars, but a fair representation. I recall it was pretty windy. 

The Duel wasn’t planned as a one off….economics, sponsorship, site politics etc etc all played a part in why we didn’t run it this year….

Apart from the wind direction - which was not prevailing, the event was a big success. We learnt a huge amount..

The Duel will be held again!!

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On 9/11/2023 at 2:56 PM, lpskier said:

If slalom isn’t a spectator sport, explain the crowds at the pro events in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s?

Waterskiing is watched by waterskiers. Back in the 70s 80s and 90s everybody on the lake were waterskiers. Now they’re all wake surfers. The average person doesn’t relate to a private lake with waterskiing.

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