JUNIORS - future of slalom

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Gustavs Gailitis
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JUNIORS - future of slalom

Post by Gustavs Gailitis » Sat Jan 10, 2009 12:30 pm

I think that juniors are the future of any kind of sports and it is necessary to encourage them to compete.
I want to propose to make junior groups obligatory in all main and major races and make the entry free or with big discounts because they are just in the beginning of their careers as slalomers.
It is hard to admit but let's face it - majority of Pro's and Am's are born in 60's and if we want to develop our sport it is important to have an alternation of generations.
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Re: JUNIORS - future of slalom

Post by Wesley Tucker » Sat Jan 10, 2009 1:40 pm

Gustavs Gailitis wrote:make the entry free or with big discounts because they are just in the beggining of their careers as slalomers..
Absolutely not.

A race promoter provides the venue, the prizes, the party and the support. Just because a skater is 14 instead of 24 does not mean they are somehow exempt from paying for participating in the event. What's more if the registration is free for Juniors then a race could be overwhelmed with 14 years old who've never seen a slalom board but "want to try it." Qualifications turn into marathon waiting on all the kids to knock down every cone . . . twice.

Nope. Paying a reasonable registration fee not only supports the race but also acts as a buffer between people who want to race and kids who have nothing better to do on a Saturday morning.
Last edited by Wesley Tucker on Sat Jan 10, 2009 3:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Toby Warg » Sat Jan 10, 2009 2:57 pm

I think it's a great idea to make a junior class mandatory at larger events.

Regarding entry fee, I think that free might be a little too much, but it should be really cheap for juniors.

I arrange three races every year and I keep the fee very low ($5-$15) for everyone, since I don't do it for the money and I try to get as much free help as possible. All of the fees also goes back to the winner and runner up in every race.
I have never had a problem with 14-year olds overwhelming anything. I would be happy to see that group of skaters trying downhill, slalom or slide, but they tend to stick to their popsicles, doing tricks instead, even though I arranged a slalom workshop and a skate camp with 30 of them just two weeks before the races last summer.
I even made sure that there were free loaners at all events, but here it seems like these skateboards attracts mostly older people (25-40).

Embrace the youth.

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Re: JUNIORS - future of slalom

Post by Pat Chewning » Sat Jan 10, 2009 6:34 pm

Wesley Tucker wrote: a race could be overwhelmed with 14 years old who've never seen a slalom board but "want to try it."
But wouldn't every race organizer be pleasantly surprised to be overwhelmed with 14-year old entries?

I agree with Wesley that it should probably not be forced to be free, and probably not mandatory to include a juniors class --- but we probably do need to do more to encourage the junior class.

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Re: JUNIORS - future of slalom

Post by Wesley Tucker » Sat Jan 10, 2009 6:36 pm

Pat Chewning wrote:
Wesley Tucker wrote: a race could be overwhelmed with 14 years old who've never seen a slalom board but "want to try it."
But wouldn't every race organizer be pleasantly surprised to be overwhelmed with 14-year old entries?

I agree with Wesley that it should probably not be forced to be free, and probably not mandatory to include a juniors class --- but we probably do need to do more to encourage the junior class.
Did you see the part where he says this is for MAJORS and MAINS? Those are NOT events for groms to come play around and ollie the cones between heats.
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Post by Pat Chewning » Sat Jan 10, 2009 6:41 pm

I missed the part about it being for MAJOR and MAINS.

Seems you and I agree that the ISSA should not be FORCING organizers to have FREE Junior classes in races.....

But yet, if we can encourage the younger racers somehow on the local small contests ..... some will show up in the big races.

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Post by Jani Soderhall » Sat Jan 10, 2009 10:35 pm

So, if it can't be free, let's make it 50% of the AM fee. And girls free.


But for me a junior class should not be mandatory at th Main and Major races. There are other races where we'd be better off with many juniors entering. The World's should have only the best!

/Jani

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Post by Ramón Königshausen » Sun Jan 11, 2009 3:43 am

Wesley Tucker wrote:
Gustavs Gailitis wrote:make the entry free or with big discounts because they are just in the beggining of their careers as slalomers..
Absolutely not.
"Partially" not.

As a race organizer myself, I have been putting importance to low or no entry fee for Juniors.
Jani Soderhall wrote:So, if it can't be free, let's make it 50% of the AM fee. And girls free.
How come girls can be free but juniors can't? We're talking about growth, right? I've talked to a fair number of juniors who were afraid to spend 40 or 50 Euros to enter a race...


Make it at least half price and it'll be one step toward the future.

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Post by Wesley Tucker » Sun Jan 11, 2009 4:07 am

Just remember:

This is the ISSA RULES DISCUSSION forum.

Y'all are discussing making a rule DICTATING to race organizers what they will charge for a registration fee. In other words, either the organizer will charge a certain amount or not get sanctioned.

That is NOT the way to grow this sport.
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Post by Donald Campbell » Sun Jan 11, 2009 8:57 am

i have to agree with what wesley said,you can't force any organizer to do that,absolutely not.

besides that i made another intresting observation which is worth mentioning.

we will host a race this spring and we are looking at a larger number of newbies coming to that race,i'm talking about 10-20 new people.
all these folks come from a longboard-forum in germany.
i have been in that forum for a year now and i did a lot of groundwork to make people intrested in slalom,it seems to pay out.the ages involved range from teen to early 30's.


to come to the point: there are ways to get folks into that sport.
juniors is one way to grow it,but please also look into those other ways that might be there,maybe you just didn't know about that.

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Post by Ramón Königshausen » Sun Jan 11, 2009 6:22 pm

I don't consider it dictating but rather a way to have entry fee regulations or a kind of guideline. (Entry fee can be from $xx to $yy...)

Just the way we are giving away statuses we should have regulations for enty fees to enter a Major, Main, Prime or Basic event.

I understand that not every race of the same status has the same chances to get sponsors due to venue, country or other factors.

But if we have, let's say a P$75/A$50/J&W$25 entry fee at every Main event and the organizer makes profit...so since the races are all ISSA races why shouldn't it be reasonable to put that profit onto ISSA so it can be used for either a race with which the organizer lost money or in the best case we can use that money for common interest...isn't that how an Association is supposed to work?

Maybe it's just my opinion, but I still think that we should work together and not just everybody on their own.

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Post by Marcus Rietema » Sun Jan 11, 2009 8:16 pm

Ramon, I agree with almost everything you say!

I think having ISSA guidelines for entry fees is an excellent idea. We've had a lot of success with giving "Junior Discounts" of 50% for racers under the age of 18. It's critical that slalom starts attracting new, young competitors. At Maryhill everyone was required to pay the same entry fee but we added a Junior Class for those under 18 and a Women's Class. If you entered the "Open" Class (in IGSA Open doesn't mean AM) and were either a Junior or Women, you got to race in those classes for free. It worked out great and both classes had solid participation (27 Juniors, 11 Women). We have also set a limit for organizers that entry fees can not exceed 50 Euros per day. This seems to be a fair maximum price for both the promoters and competitors. Of course if it can be less, the competitors always appreciate it!

At the NorAm Championships we expanded further on the idea by splitting the Junior Class. Junior I (9-13) had four competitors and Junior II's (14-17) had fifteen skaters. We could do the same thing at ISSA events as interest in Junior classes rise. This worked out well since the event promoter still received the full and badly needed entry fees and the Juniors and Women had fun racing with people of similar abilities and a bargain as well.

I think charging sanctioning fees for ISSA events would be an important step in the right direction as long as the promoter was receiving good value for spending the money. Sanctioning fee money could be used for sending an "ISSA Technical Delegate" who would help organize the competition and make sure that the event was being run in accordance to ISSA Rules. They would not be allowed to compete to keep their focus on the job. In addition this person could write event reports for the ISSA website and other forms of media like silverfishlongboarding and Concrete Wave Magazine. They would upload race results to the website within hours of the events' completion so people wouldn't need to search message boards for spotty information. This would also drive more people to the ISSA website raising the ISSA's' value to events, competitors and sponsors.

I think someone like Dan Gesmer (sorry Dan) would make an excellent "TD". He is often flown to events to do timing already, knows the sport inside and out, knows how write, doesn't compete and is well respected.

Sanctioning fees could also be used to purchase ISSA timing equipment and other event management equipment like fencing, radios, cones, start ramps, etc that could be made available to promoters of ISSA sanctioned events raising the value of ISSA sanctioning even more. One additional use for the fees could be to purchase year end awards for each ISSA Champion. We have successfully implemented these policies with the IGSA and it has been the key reason for our growth over the last few years.

I do not agree that sanctioning fee money should be used to help promoters who lose money on events. I have seen many promoters come and go through the years and they fall into two distinct categories. Those who work really hard, take the job seriously and organize strong fiscally responsible events and those who over spend, don't set a realistic budget, don't deliver a well organized event, have too few participants and lose money. Those who do a good job should not be carrying those who do a poor one...
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Post by Pat Chewning » Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:53 am

I would be willing to be an ISSA "Technical Deligate" to go and do timing/rules at various events.

I'm pretty much only going to "race" at local events anyways.....

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juniors

Post by Gustavs Gailitis » Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:41 pm

What I wanted to say is more about junior groups being obligatory because I think that our sport need for example European and World junior champions to show that we are a type of sport which has got future and it is worth to invest and sponsor riders and and slalom in general!
About entry fee's - I think it more depends of the organizer.
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Re: juniors

Post by Marcus Rietema » Mon Jan 12, 2009 8:38 pm

Gustavs Gailitis wrote:What I wanted to say is more about junior groups being obligatory because I think that our sport need for example European and World junior champions to show that we are a type of sport which has got future and it is worth to invest and sponsor riders and and slalom in general!
About entry fee's - I think it more depends of the organizer.
I agree that it's important to have both Junior World Champions and Junior Continental Champions.
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Post by Marcus Rietema » Mon Jan 12, 2009 8:47 pm

Pat Chewning wrote:I would be willing to be an ISSA "Technical Deligate" to go and do timing/rules at various events.

I'm pretty much only going to "race" at local events anyways.....
So we are wandering a little off topic here but I think it we should come up with a list of Job Responsibilities that the "Technical Delegate (TD)" would perform. Then we can have a list of approved "TD's" that the event promoter can choose from. A TD could also be a top level racer who decides not to race for a particular weekend. Thanks for throwing your name in the hat Pat!

I think there are enough knowledgeable, competent slalom people in both Europe and North America who could act as TD's that we wouldn't need to be sending people overseas. That would keep the travel expenses down. For a Major event, I suggest an ISSA sanctioning fee of 800 EUR could be charged. That money would then be used to cover the travel expenses of the TD and they would receive either all or part of the remaining money as compensation for their work. The event promoter would provide the TD's lodging and meals for the duration of their stay. Sanctioning fees collected from smaller events such as Prime and Basic would be put toward paying the ISSA's operating expenses and purchasing ISSA equipment.
Last edited by Marcus Rietema on Mon Jan 12, 2009 9:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Joe Iacovelli » Mon Jan 12, 2009 8:54 pm

how about openning another thread for the TD?

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Post by Michel Dupont » Fri Jan 16, 2009 4:24 pm

Totally agree with Ramon concerning differences in entry fees when it comes to different categories. For example P75$/A50$/W&J25$ (or whatever amount but split with similar %). Fees should correspond to importance given during the competition to each category. If it rains which categories are the first ones to be cancelled? Ditto if there is no time for all races? Women and juniors should not have the same entry fee as amatures since their categories are most of the time not treated with equal importance as to amateurs.

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