2009: Am turning pro

general rules, special-tight-giant rules

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Stefano Bellingeri
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2009: Am turning pro

Post by Stefano Bellingeri » Tue Sep 16, 2008 5:05 pm

Another suggestion would be to oblige faster am to turn pro the next season.
In fact I do not think that an Am likes to be beaten by a colleague who is faster than pro. This is not fear because he has the rights to compete with a chance of victory. We only need a rule that will manage the transition. For example, three podium in a season means that you will have to turn pro. In the same way, people who are not inside the sport do not understand why there are ams faster than pros. So fastest am must pass pro after their nice results. Moreover they deserve it.

Please do not put any alibe on money considerations: everybody cares about spending money (even a 40 year pro as I'm!). May be we can give for the first year pro ("pro-rookies") a discount. I can understand that for youngers it could be a real effort, but we can find the way to promote their pro turning.
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Post by Toby Warg » Tue Sep 16, 2008 5:19 pm

If you force ams to go pro after three podiums, there will soon not be any ams left, but a very large pro class.
A rule striving to make ams turn pro must be very carefully thought through.

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Post by Stefano Bellingeri » Tue Sep 16, 2008 10:54 pm

Yes, you are right. We have to find out the right way, but something has to be done. May be you can replace am by sending pro to am if they are not able to reach a point threshold.
Just another idea. Please we have to work al together to improve the sport.
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Post by Michel Dupont » Wed Sep 17, 2008 9:14 am

Do you mean 3 1st places on the podium, or just 3 podiums ?
If it would be 3 podiums then atleast 6 european riders should go pro (maybe more):
Viking Hadestrand
Robert Thiele
Antonio Saluena
Gustavs Gailitis
Me (no 1st place)
Frank Beste (1st place only in a smaller competition)

I think most of these riders were thinking about going pro anyway next year. I have been thinking about it also even if winning atleast on race before doing so would have been fun.

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Post by Stefano Bellingeri » Wed Sep 17, 2008 9:49 am

The rule has still to be find out. Anyway, the key point is to have two distinct cathegories with really different level. Of course people you mentioned in the list deserve to be pro...NO they MUST turn pro...
;-)
You would be welcome!
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Post by Jani Soderhall » Wed Sep 17, 2008 11:37 am

I think you can only force someone to go Pro at the end of the season. I think every good Am should have the possibility to attempt the Am World Championship title, and this event is typically at the end of the season.

3 events in a row is not enough. But having won the Am World Champs, yes that in itself could be enough.

/Jani

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Post by Stefano Bellingeri » Wed Sep 17, 2008 1:11 pm

Dear Jani,
I agree, of course, but I already meant ate the end of the season. We only have to find out the rule. Another idea could be to switch to pro at the end of the season people who won at least three races as am in a season.
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Post by Jani Soderhall » Wed Sep 17, 2008 2:52 pm

Sorry, Stefano. I was too busy to read it all. Instead I was keyboard racing too fast.

/Jani

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Post by Stefano Bellingeri » Wed Sep 17, 2008 8:24 pm

Dear Jani, nothing to be sorry about!
take care,
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Post by Neil Orta » Mon Nov 10, 2008 4:16 am

Possibly consider something like: Four podiums in Major or Main status events warrants turning Pro in the following season....

Just a thought.

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Post by Ramón Königshausen » Mon Nov 10, 2008 4:47 am

I'd like to sign up Karl Floitgraf being pro now.

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Post by Lenny Poage » Mon Nov 10, 2008 4:18 pm

Neil Orta wrote:Possibly consider something like: Four podiums in Major or Main status events warrants turning Pro in the following season....

Just a thought.
I agree with Neil- maybe with the addition of "A-Class" and/or overall 1st Place victories at Main/Major races in a season.
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Post by Wesley Tucker » Mon Nov 10, 2008 5:31 pm

PRO or AM is and always should be a PERSONAL decision. There should be NO rule DEMADING in some way a slalom skater "move up".

If there's a need to alter the racer classifications, then maybe this sport should consider DROPPING the completely ridiculous "pro" designation? Right now there are NO "pro" slalom skaters. There's just a few fast guys who race for a piddling amount of cash instead of a new board. BFD.

In the meantime, though, "pro" and "am" or "open," are very specific terms and telling a skater HE MUST BE A PRO is just plain wrong.
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Post by Miguel Marco » Mon Nov 10, 2008 6:27 pm

Wesley Tucker wrote:If there's a need to alter the racer classifications, then maybe this sport should consider DROPPING the completely ridiculous "pro" designation? Right now there are NO "pro" slalom skaters. There's just a few fast guys who race for a piddling amount of cash instead of a new board.
Look at that! I actually agree with Wes for once!

All races should have Open qualifiers, then split the pack into A B C D Classes (+ Women and Junior Classes when possible). So on a given day/hill/course, everyone races with skaters that are in the same speed range. Makes it more fun, fair, and challenging for everybody. Makes for better racing in all the classes. Makes it more exciting to watch for the spectators.

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Post by Wesley Tucker » Mon Nov 10, 2008 6:47 pm

Miguel Marco wrote:
Wesley Tucker wrote:If there's a need to alter the racer classifications, then maybe this sport should consider DROPPING the completely ridiculous "pro" designation? Right now there are NO "pro" slalom skaters. There's just a few fast guys who race for a piddling amount of cash instead of a new board.
Look at that! I actually agree with Wes for once!
Mig,

I had this thread last winter:

http://www.slalomskateboarder.com/phpBB ... php?t=5737

I believed it then and believe it now.
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Post by Joe Iacovelli » Mon Nov 10, 2008 7:35 pm

When I announced Antrim would be open i got NO feedback. Months later i got flak from some AM's about having an AM category for them to win. I held fast and i think it worked out with fast guys racing fast guys.

My question is; do we NEED to have pro and am classes? What happens to an AM's points if he qualifys in the upper bracket?

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And now for something completly different....

Post by Marty Schaub » Tue Nov 11, 2008 3:30 pm

Personally I would like to see any race that is a Main or Major contain a Masters class.

It makes the airfare a bit less painful when you get past the first round once and awhile.
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Post by Mike Cividino » Tue Nov 11, 2008 4:03 pm

its no different for "pros" like me, how deep in the race am I getting? Not very anymore.

Practice more Marty!...none of this "Im old" garbage.

but for the record, I support A-B-C bracketing. The only issue is, in the Euro races, they race pro and am courses.
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Re: And now for something completly different....

Post by Stephen Lavin » Tue Nov 11, 2008 5:57 pm

Marty Schaub wrote:Personally I would like to see any race that is a Main or Major contain a Masters class.

It makes the airfare a bit less painful when you get past the first round once and awhile.

Civi, gotta throw some injuries in on the old man too you know. Practice ain't everything.

Marty; I think the Masters Class is open to Pro's and retired Pros too right? For me I'm still finishing 9th anyway...

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Post by Rick Floyd » Tue Nov 11, 2008 6:27 pm

I think most of you know my take on this - but here it is again since we have another thread about it. I feel that if a race is ISSA sanctioned and awards points as a MAJOR, PRIME or MAIN status race, it should use the ISSA classes - Pro, Open, Masters, Juniors, Womens.

This way, you are always competing against the people you are battling in the points. and always working towards a ranking against those people. If you don't care about points, and many do not, then just ignore them. I've heard it said that a "class" racer who does not prefer the A/B/C divided method because they may not get to race their main ISSA points competitors is on an ego trip - but who is on the bigger ego trip - the Open racer who wants to have a chance to win his ISSA class against racers in that class, or a racer who wants a "C" class trophy for finishing 33rd (for example) overall?

In USASA snowboard racing, you must declare (and fit the parameters for) your chosen class at the beginning of the competition season. You can move UP at any time during any given year - but once you do, you may not move back down during that year/season. In addition, if I want to race in a USSA/FIS level race, I may, but there is no prize (aside from FIS points) for anyone but the top three. I raced in a field of 46 USSA racers in a NorAm event last year and got 36th - and I was the oldest by ten years. I got two qualifying runs to establish my position, and then sat and watched the top 16 go head to head, as did everyone else who finished lower than 16th in qualis. It was maybe the most fun I've ever had racing snowboards, and probably the most I have ever learned about racing over the course of one weekend event. Granted we do not have the competitor numbers or mulit-level sanctioning bodies like this in skateboard racing, but I think it illustrates my point fairly well.

I am not, and never will be, a "trophies for everyone" or "participation trophies" kind of guy. However, this does not mean I will not show up at a race that decides not to apply for and receive ISSA sanctioning, and will use A/B/C divisions. They are just as fun as any other skateboard race. I also like what the DHB did for this year's Dixie - PRO, then A/B/C Open, plus Juniors and Women's. That way, the ABC brackets were guaranteed to be all OPEN class racers, but there was still exciting head to head racing in the lower brackets.

I also agree that PRO may not be the best word to describe that division - but it does SOUND good to spectators who may not know any better. I am thinking about racing pro next year, not because I think I can beat any of those guys/girls, but because of the added challenge, and the fact that racing the best will always make you a better racer - which is what I think we are almost all trying to do.

Finally, having said this, skateboard racing has a totally different vibe to it than the three other sports I have competed in on national and international levels. We a are more friendly and cohesive group; we cheer on the last place racer just as hard as we do the best pro; and I'd hate to lose that. The ABC bracketing definitely contributes to this, as pro and A racers, for example, can sit on the sidelines and cheer on the B/C head to head racers (and vice versa) after our heats are over. As Marty points out, it is also nice to hang a prize on your wall once in a while, for all the money and time spent training and traveling.

Maybe the best solution is the Pro/ABC Open/Juniors/Masters/Womens divisions - but this is a timing, record-keeping and awards nightmare for a sport that often has grass-roots race organizers who usually also race. In snowboarding we have staffed (albeit largely volunteer) race organizations who are there to make the races run and do all the timing/record-keeping/awards for 100 divisions - our 2008 USASA Nationals had 1500 competitors in 11 divisions over six days...so it is very different.

I guess that means I have no set conclusion as to how we should do this - but that's my two cents!

I guess the bottom line is that it is all FUN AS HELL no matter what, and fellow skaters are the best people on the planet to hang out with. Nobody knows who we are anyway. :-)

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Post by Joe Iacovelli » Tue Nov 11, 2008 7:35 pm

You make a lot of good points Rick, but I don't fully agree. The Farm has always been one "open" class, as has Antrim. I think there is room for both. There are "opens" in golf, tennis, why not slalom?

and

What do we do when there is only one or two Women, Masters, Juniors, etc?

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Post by HUYNH BACH SAC Frédéric » Tue Nov 11, 2008 7:41 pm

like many others, as a euro I would prefer the A,B,C bracket thing...

- no sandbagging,
- everybody can compare to the top racers,
- more easy organization,
- more runs for everybody,
- you can leave the money for the A bracket ( and maybe give a chance to win money for an AM ? )

BUT, I know that the races can't be as technical as they are actually for the pro...
Podium or pavement... but PAVEL !

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Post by Joe Iacovelli » Tue Nov 11, 2008 7:56 pm

Fred,

Organization! Great point! For those of you who do not participate in the organization, each "special class" adds to the complexity of running the event. Please keep that in mind.

Something I had not considered is the EU standard of having seperate courses for Pro and Am. That needs considering.

I have also not raised the point, but open class offers one challenge that I have not figured out how to resolve. Brackets work in duel, but not single lane GS. We can have 60 racers and only 3 podium spots. What to do?

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Post by Karl Floitgraf » Tue Nov 11, 2008 8:08 pm

I worked my way up through the amateur class the long and difficult way- from last place qualifier to trying to break the top ten to racing for podium spots to be a top am.

My belief is that the Amateur class is a learning area, where you can learn to skate and learn to race. I've raced in all sorts of different formats and my personal favorite was the Buckeye Open in 2007:

Declared Pro/Am for GS same course.
Hybrid Pro/AM (top 32) (bottom 16) B group same course
TS Pro Course and AM course


I liked it because all the top ams could really race each other which is what the AM class is about. You don't learn as much qualifying in the bottom of a mixed A group and getting knocked out. Although it's still fun.


Just my 2 cents from a FORMER amateur.
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OK Civ....

Post by Marty Schaub » Wed Nov 12, 2008 2:49 am

Mike,

I would love for you to print your post and pull it out and read it again on your 48th birthday. You'll laugh as much as I did.
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Post by Carsten Pingel » Wed Nov 12, 2008 11:30 am

I like the Idea of having A,B, and C class!
We did it at the GOG big Ramp race and everybody liked it!

More EU races should use this system!

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Post by Donald Campbell » Wed Nov 12, 2008 12:16 pm

a very easy and feasable solution for the race format would be:
all quals for abc done on the same course
a group gets a more difficult course for sure,that would pretty much cover the european system with tougher courses for pros.
so much for that
on a second note:
when you get older you have to live with what you can get,aslo in slalom.it would be so sad to see anything around any race adjusted to the older guys.
after all this is supposed to be a competitive sport.so the older guys have to live with getting kicked out after the first round.

on a third note:
the system in itself has to be more spectator and racer friendly.
even though i was not all for what jack smith tried at morro this year i see the general idea and bottom line is that he just copied something that works excellent in all pro surfing circuits.
its good for both parties.

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Post by Jack Smith » Wed Nov 12, 2008 4:46 pm

The A,B,C deal is great for allowing racers to have more runs and also for letting racers earn an award. I have competed in numerous A,B,C events and thoroughly enjoyed them. They are fun to race in, not quite as much fun to administer.

I have never understood people who say that the ABC system prevents sandbagging, I actually think it promotes sandbagging. It's not that hard to adjust your qualifying run in an effort to position yourself in the desired bracket. Luckily, thanks to the nature of our sport/racers I don't think this is a huge problem.

Would having racers declare themselves A,B or C at the start of the season be feasible?

I like the idea of tougher courses for the pros.

The dual elimination bracketing that we ran at Morro Bay was not modeled after surfing. Wes, planted the idea in my head, he picked it up from drag racing. With help from him and Fluitt we modified the format to fit skateboard slalom racing. As I have said before, it's not for every race, though I wouldn't hesitate to use it again.

As for the master's class, if a race promoter has time to run it, I think it definitely adds to the event. It may be different in Europe, but in the US, spectators seem to like watching the old guys battle it out. And if an old guy wants to test his mettle with the big boys and girls he can always skip the master's division and run with the pros or open class.

On a completely different note, paving of Morro Bay Boulevard is set to begin in the next two weeks. For those of you familiar with Morro Bay, it's the street one block to the North of Pacific and runs right through the heart of the business district. I've been wanting to hold a race on it for 30 years, maybe I'll get my chance this year.

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Post by HUYNH BACH SAC Frédéric » Wed Nov 12, 2008 5:24 pm

Jack Smith wrote: Would having racers declare themselves A,B or C at the start of the season be feasible?
I think it would be one more class than pro/Am...
Podium or pavement... but PAVEL !

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Post by Rick Floyd » Wed Nov 12, 2008 5:46 pm

Jack Smith wrote:On a completely different note, paving of Morro Bay Boulevard is set to begin in the next two weeks. For those of you familiar with Morro Bay, it's the street one block to the North of Pacific and runs right through the heart of the business district. I've been wanting to hold a race on it for 30 years, maybe I'll get my chance this year.
Sweeeeet! I'm in...any plans you know of to re-pave Turri?
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