Do We Still Need an Open Comp ?

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Do We Still Need an Open Comp ?

Post by Figger Arun »

Hey there

Thought I'd ask the question at least and open it up (no pun intended) for discussion - does it make sense to keep running an "open" comp ?

Maybe the last comp was an exception but looking just at the numbers it doesnt seem to make much sense to me. There were only 9 surfers at the open at Archi, and all of them got to surf at the pro except for Sally and Rom, although there was certainly space for them if they had wanted or been able to surf.

All told, only 21 surfers actually competed at the pro. Now I know Bobbi and Robbin would have loved to surf if they hadnt been judging, and I think Jayden was prevented from surfing because of RL issues, and I know he really wanted to surf as well. So ... that would have been 24 people. Math's not my strong point but at six surfers per heat and six heats I figure a single comp should be able to handle up to 36 participant surfers. Which means if we cut the open, we could still handle up to a 50 percent increase in competitors - with no open comp and no cuts. Anybody who wanted to surf would be able to surf.

Given the time and effort needed to hold a comp, is the open still really needed ??
Any thoughts ?


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Re: Do We Still Need an Open Comp ?

Post by Lissa Pinion »

Figger this has been something that has been batted back and forth for a while now. The SLSA started out with one comp but the two comp was started to allow more people to compete. Back then the Open and the Pro was packed with long wait lists. Now we rarely have an Open comp last more than 3 hrs. There are definite pros and cons to going back to a one comp format.

Pros:
Theoretically we would have more people available to staff comps
Less burn out (riders and staff)
more competition (no one is guaranteed a spot so log on early!)
more time to have fun comps now that we have an extra weekend to work with
gives other organizations a chance to have their own comps without competing with SLSA
there seems to be much less interest in Open heats

Cons:
Having to log early to get a spot
newbs mixed in with oldies
Sponsors have already paid for two comps this season so would have to wait til next season if it were to go into effect
Packed heats of 5-6 riders per heat = more lag
less riders may have the chance to compete in a comp

There may be others but these are just off the top of my head...great topic
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Re: Do We Still Need an Open Comp ?

Post by Melian Catronis »

While having only one comp would help prevent the issue we had facing the Pro comp this weekend--struggles to find judges and others to work the event, to the point where cancellation was threatened--the big issue I now see with having one comp is what happened this past Saturday. It was a fun competition, but we had close to 30 surfers. With each one taking 3 waves, sometimes having to wait because lag would sometimes not allow all the panels to move, plus the judges having to score by hand, the competition itself lasted 6 hours. Not everyone is capable of being in SL for 6 hours straight or longer on a Saturday or a Sunday--unfortunately, RL does invade. There might be some compromises that can be made and switch everyone to one day--limiting the number of entries (unfair either to newbies or those who can't see the notice immediately) or limiting the number of waves to one per contestant (unfair to slow starters)--to have the competition the way it is now and let it all come down to one day is just too exhausting and way too long.
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Re: Do We Still Need an Open Comp ?

Post by Sally LaSalle »

maybe we don't need an open comp .. but one thing is for certain:-

... not having an open comp will have NO effect on the staffing issue we just went through.

Open comps are easier to staff because surfers in the pro comp are available to staff them.

Pro comps are harder to staff because surfers in the pro comp are NOT available to staff them.

Combined Open/Pro comps are the same as (if not worse) Pro comps because surfers in these comps are NOT available to staff them.

So maybe we no longer need an open .. but don't think its going to make it easier to staff the event!! (said by the person that used to HJ single event comps and had to beg up until the very morning of the comp to find judges (let alone head judges))
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Re: Do We Still Need an Open Comp ?

Post by VW Sands »

Finally we get this discussion going again :-)

As I longtime advocate of the single weekend format of old I´ll chime in...........

One of the two main reasons we went to this format was to save time. The other of course to allow more folks a chance to surf.

When we look at the time factor we have saved nothing, just spread out the hours to 2 weekends.
We could just as easy split the one weekend into two sessions. An early sesh for pre-lims (qualifiers) and an afternoon sesh for semi´s and finals. Splitting a single saturday into 2 sessions would allow us to rotate staff if need be, prevent folks from having to be on-line for 6-8 hours straight and give us more time to prepare (and party). Time issues for BOTH sessions can be addressed by using the RL system of timed heats. Timed heats would also solve lag issues as only a couple riders and staff would be on-sim at any given time.

As Liss said as well, more weekends available = more weekends for other groups to run contests which means MORE surfing for MORE people.

When we look at the increase in entrants factor, well we have the same average number of entrants as ever. New names which is super but as far as sheer numbers go we have zero reason to run 2 weekends. The single weekend also facilitates the "mixture" of old crusties and new riders all hanging out and surfing TOGETHER.

As far as sponser issues are concerned, the SLSA home sim IS value for money for sponsers. A resource for sponsers that we have still to utilize. We could have Dan make us some killer loops running 24/7 with all those great radio spots, sponser banners, the whole enchilada. This would expose every single visitor to our sim to all of our great sponsor companies and products.

It should be said however that as far as staffing issues are concerned, eliminating the Open round won´t have much impact on getting folks to "work". Those issues can ONLY be solved by more people commiting themselves to getting trained and then actually using that training in the staff positions we so desparately need.


Glad to see this can of worms open again I am :-)

/V

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Re: Do We Still Need an Open Comp ?

Post by Sally LaSalle »

VW Sands wrote:Finally we get this discussion going again :-)

One of the two main reasons we went to this format was to save time. The other of course to allow more folks a chance to surf.

When we look at the time factor we have saved nothing, just spread out the hours to 2 weekends.
We could just as easy split the one weekend into two sessions. An early sesh for pre-lims (qualifiers) and an afternoon sesh for semi´s and finals. Splitting a single saturday into 2 sessions would allow us to rotate staff if need be, prevent folks from having to be on-line for 6-8 hours straight and give us more time to prepare (and party). Time issues for BOTH sessions can be addressed by using the RL system of timed heats. Timed heats would also solve lag issues as only a couple riders and staff would be on-sim at any given time.
Actually V you have it the wrong way around, the main reason we went to two events on subsequent weekends was to allow more surfers to surf. Prior to this format, we limited registrations to 40 surfers. Anyone who registered late (no matter their rank) was put on a waiting list. At the time, we had more than 40 surfers registering on a regular basis.
The secondary reason we went to this format was to limit the time of an event to no more than 6 hours. this was achieved by having a fixed "small" consistent number of people in the pro of 32 surfers. so that a pro event managed well could finish easily under 6 hours.

For those who weren't around at the time, timed heats was the original format for heats in the SLSA. Preliminary heats were scheduled for 15 minutes and semi finals and finals were set for 20 minutes. Cool right? 6 x15 preliminary heats, + 3 x 20 semis and a final = 2 hours 50 minutes right? well not quite !! .. Why? .. Because for starters it takes about 10 minutes for a heat change over (on a good day, when everyone is there, they all have their rashies on, a substitution isnt required, their is no lag crossing sims, their boards rez, the script check is performed, their rules are read and they all paddle out to the marshal point and the judges are all sitting in their chairs, they can all see all the colors of all the rashies and are ready and locked on) (15 at the start of the semis after doing semi final draws and reloading the surf computer) ok so now we have 6*25 + 3*35 +30 = 4 hours 30 !! give or take a bit of slippage at the start of the event and toilet breaks for staff .. roughly 5 hours with everything going smooth. Awesome !! and guess what ?? We actually used to pull that off !! Great I hear you say , so what's the catch? The catch is that back then we only had about 24 surfers registering in total. heats were mandated to be kept to 4 surfers each!! (5 at an absolute pinch) then what happened? Well what happened was ... red rashie and blue rashie typically got 3 waves .. green and orange were lucky to get 2 waves. red and blue rashies would often "game" their waves so that they accidentally missed a wave start making absolutely sure that green and orange didn't get another wave. This led to a freaking outcry of "not fair" and you know what .. it wasn't !!

I hope that puts a little historical light on matters, actually back then the heat changeovers took even longer than 10 minutes because the scores were made by hand. I can remember sitting through 9 to 10 hour comps with under 30 registrants.

The next point is, where the hell are all the surfers? the SLSA was growing and 50 registrations was common, what if by some happy chance we start to get up their again? Do we go to dual events again?

Running two rosters on the same day? Separate staff? wonderful (for the staff) what about the poor bugger that surfs and wins the first heat in roster one and gets put into heat 6 (or 8 ) for roster 2? she is goign to be sitting there for the full 9 hours. Oh and BTW there is the rub .. 9 hour comps :( .. split into two sessions or not, some poor bastard maybe over in Europe will be up until 4am waiting for their final.

my two cents
by all means go to one week, we dont have the numbers to justify two at the moment, but timed heats .. no thanks!!
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Re: Do We Still Need an Open Comp ?

Post by Melian Catronis »

To add on to what Sally said--

Comps lasting as long as 8-9 hours (two sessions over one day) would potentially lead to scoring errors by the judges in later rounds, and of course the 'not fair' cries would be legion. Judges are human too and after many hours of watching surfers doing one thing after another, their brains can get tired. Especially if the scoring computer isn't working and the scores have to be given by hand and added up.

I don't really know what the solution to these problems would be, except what Sally suggested in her earlier post: train up and work events. Perhaps a 'sweat equity' rule should be in place, where everyone who competes in a Pro event would be required to work at least one comp within two competition seasons, or perhaps everyone ranked in the top 20 would be required to work a comp within the same season they're ranked. Of course complete volunteerism would be best, but this is hardly indentured servitude as apparently everyone who works an event is paid for it.

btw, 'Sweat Equity' is a fair tradeoff used in other areas in RL. Not only is working off a debt considered a proper form of bartering (as long as both parties agree beforehand and a time limit or amount given for each work session), the charity Habitat for Humanity uses this agreement to allow those they help to pay it forward. Someone who receives a house built by Habitat for Humanity is required to work on the building of someone else's house for the charity, and then that recipient works on another house, and so on. Most of them apparently do so gladly.
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Re: Do We Still Need an Open Comp ?

Post by Cierra Theriac »

I vote no to timed heats. I was around way back when... And have been one of those in the back of the line-up that didn't get as many waves as those up front. I also marshaled events where riders who were up would let waves go by frustrating those behind them and the staff. (what you were waiting for a better wave? Sorry, that was probably needless sarcasm.) there was supposed to be a provision that if you missed your wave, you went to the end of the line-up, but it wasn't always enforced. We always tried to give the surfer the benefit of the doubt and be supportive.

Anyway, my two cents...

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Re: Do We Still Need an Open Comp ?

Post by Gia Melody »

It has been getting harder and harder to find staff to work these events. I like the idea of having one event series. I do however suggest that we all do our duty and we each have to take on one of the five events by either Event Cordinating, Marshalling, or Judging. Rankings are based off of 4 off the 5 events. The only current issue I see is we promised our sponsors 10 events that they paid to have sponsorship at. That is the one sticking point I really see.

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Re: Do We Still Need an Open Comp ?

Post by Figger Arun »

Good points all, just a couple thoughts to add to the mix:

I understand how holding a separate open comp makes sense if there are more surfers than can be accomodated in the pro without unduly lengthening the comp. This is simply not the case at present.

Holding an open comp does affect staffing issues, an EC, judges, marshall and all the behind the scenes people need to spend quite a bit of their time for the comp and if the open comp is not needed this is a waste of their time.

About having the 'prelim' and the 'pro' on the same day - would be possible but is certainly not needed with current level of competitors.

Staff - Wil and I swapped out or spelled each other at marshall the last open and pro comps, I think Colleen stepped in for a few heats as well. Finding a marshall for any given heat should never really be a problem. It could be possible to do the same thing with other positions. No reason why someone couldnt sub in as EC at some point during the comp as far as I can see.
Substituting judges during a comp might be a little stickier. Now I wasnt really paying attention but didnt something like this happen just this last comp?? Isnt there at least some chance of looking at this ?

Pay - Mel, look at the rates, pay is not the reason people volunteer believe me.

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Re: Do We Still Need an Open Comp ?

Post by Gia Melody »

Judges should not be surfing during a comp. There would be accusations of favortisim involved. There has been in the past judges who had to leave and someone stepped in, but usually they forfeit their chances to compete. It really seems to be the same faces over and over doing the comps. If we look at the total head count needed each comp its 5. if we go with the one event series, then for a season we would need 25 people over the course of a season. If we plan ahead and get 25 people signed up (we all need to do our share in this) out of the possible 50 people or so we get in a season, then we wouldnt be scrambling about at the very last minutes at each series and events. This is good we are discussing the situation, but lets not look to put a band aid ober a gunshot wound. The issue of staffing and not the same bodies week in and week out really needs to be focused on.

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Re: Do We Still Need an Open Comp ?

Post by Melian Catronis »

Figger Arun wrote: Pay - Mel, look at the rates, pay is not the reason people volunteer believe me.

The Figgster

It's not the reason people volunteer, but as others pointed out last week, it is an incentive. It is also used to compensate the time and effort of those who do so, as they are agreeing to literally give up their entire day to work the event, not just surf in one heat and be done with it.

Another potential problem with eliminating Open events that I see is in the training of staff to work the events. When the concerns were raised about judges (and especially a Head Judge), it was pointed out that HJ's in particular were required to have a certain list of qualifications (I assume not only training but experience in judging events), which is why not just anyone could volunteer to be the HJ this past Saturday. While a Marshal or Event Coordinator may not need the same stringent requirements as an HJ, the Open events would allow those who are volunteering for the first time or newly out of judge training to get the experience needed. If Open events were eliminated and there was only one event, wouldn't it eventually fall down to the same group of people who are already working the events relentlessly, as the SLSA would want those with proven track records to work/judge/HJ? Where would those who want to volunteer get the opportunity? Seriously, if a season championship were on the line, either for individuals or teams, would the SLSA want it all to come down to the vote of one rookie judge on the panel in the finals, on the final wave?
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Re: Do We Still Need an Open Comp ?

Post by VW Sands »

Thanks for the history lesson Sal but remember: History has a way of repeating itself ;-)

As everyone seems to have missed the whole timed heats thing I´ll repeat / clarify:

ONE surfer, 5 minutes, get as many damn waves as you can! NOT five riders in "the line-up" for 10 minutes as we used to do.

ONE surfer and staff=WAY less sim lag AND every single surfer gets the number of waves they paddle their ass off to get. Not "fair"??

Of all the quotes you choose to paste Sal ya missed the most important one........so I´ll repeat that as well:

"It should be said however that as far as staffing issues are concerned, eliminating the Open round won´t have much impact on getting folks to "work". Those issues can ONLY be solved by more people commiting themselves to getting trained and then actually using that training in the staff positions we so desparately need."

2 weekends or only 1?
Gia Melody wrote:The only current issue I see is we promised our sponsors 10 events that they paid to have sponsorship at. That is the one sticking point I really see.
Yes but we did´nt promise them 24/7 radio advertisements, 24/7 banner placements nor 24/7 LM/info-givers on Archi ;-) Which is WAY more value for money.

"what about the poor bugger that surfs and wins the first heat in roster one and gets put into heat 6 (or 8 ) for roster 2? she is goign to be sitting there for the full 9 hours.

If I was that poor bugger I would go on with my saturday and come back in 4 hours for my heat and not sit and wait all day but that´s just me.

/V
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Re: Do We Still Need an Open Comp ?

Post by Cierra Theriac »

Thanks for the clarification on the timed heat issue VW. Somewhere I missed the every surfer gets 5 minutes as opposed to the whole field getting 15. That would definitely be more fair as long as the waves are running consistently (I don't know how much of an issue that is). An idea for me to think on.

I am not opposed to a single comp day as long as the total time is reasonable. I am always up for what works best for everybody and makes the comps fun!

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Re: Do We Still Need an Open Comp ?

Post by Gia Melody »

OK VW.....do love the idea of the radio loop at Archi. We could also as a possibility have an advertisement board sort of like we do with the stands. One that will rotate the Gold silver and bronze sponsors and give the lm, notecards and sporsor gifts. So that may not be a huge issue. But I am with you about more participation. This one of the biggest sticking points. Even if we do away with the format now and switch over, I still have a feeling it will be the same bodies being relied on. Which isnt fair. We still need to have more people step forward in the Spirit of helping and competing.

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Re: Do We Still Need an Open Comp ?

Post by Sally LaSalle »

I still don't buy the timed "heats" V.

You will still have change over delays between surfers and in fact you will magnify that by the number of surfers competing.

And are there still heats? Do you still have 5 surfers each having 5 minutes (plus changeover time)? And do you select a winner and runner up, those two surfers to progress to semi finals? .. or .. does everyone get 5 minutes and you go by score to select "semi finalists"?

If you are goign for 5 minutes each you can expect at least 2 or 3 minute change over delay so lets be conservative and say 8 minutes per surfer .. with a 30 surfer field 3 semis and a final you end up with 6 hours and 10 minutes. Last Saturdays Pro was 5 hours 45 minutes. even with problems with one of the judges not connecting. SO in conclusion im not seeing any benefit to timed heats whatsoever.

The ABSSL used that system and their events typically run for 8 to 9 hours with fields of 32.
In addition .. the ABSSL comps are *boring*, because you sit their by yourself.. There is no banter, no camaraderie of the other surfers in yoor heat, there is no party wave.
It just turns into a time trial.

And here is a question ... what if their is sim side lag issues? say the wave rezzes and gets stuck, or a panel doesn't move, or the sim side lag spikes so bad that that surfer cant even move? Do they get "time added on"? if so how much? Remember that it is the SLSA's responsibility to deal with sim-side lag issues.

And to your point V, timed heats has nothing to do with helping the staffing issue. I just see it as a red herring, that doesn't address the issue of staffing. And has no impact on time of the event, nor on the fun of the event.
VW Sands wrote:Thanks for the history lesson Sal but remember: History has a way of repeating itself ;-)
to which i say ... “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”

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Re: Do We Still Need an Open Comp ?

Post by Gia Melody »

Since we are kicking ideas around, I would like to throw this out there and see what sticks. What if we did a "A" and "B" circuit. We divide the surfers into 2 groups. And as new surfers come in. we rotate them into these groups. The with the 5 event season we go something like this. A group surfs event 1 and 3. B surfs events 2 and 4. With 5 being sort of a championship event consisting of maybe the top 15 from each group. This will reduce the day of the event. Allow for more staffing. And build excitement for the end of the season. The last event may run longer, but that is usually what happens when you have a championship series. Just an Idea!

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Re: Do We Still Need an Open Comp ?

Post by Figger Arun »

" it is the SLSA's responsibility to deal with sim-side lag issues."

WOOT coaxes worms back out of can LOL

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Re: Do We Still Need an Open Comp ?

Post by VW Sands »

Just when you thought you would get the last word in (close the lid).........

So anything new (or old revised/improved) is "doomed to failure" OK, noted.

We run 2 weekends (regardless of the fact that all 8-10 riders go through to the Pro), we have an Open (3 hours) and a Pro (6 hours), we pretend that it´s not 9 hours but just 3+6, we continue to do the best we can getting staff for the Pro round, we keep relying on the 5 people we have until they burn out completely and either we crash and burn (likely) or not.

Any further ideas, suggestions, input or systems can now be disregarded as we have tried everything and the only thing that works or will ever work is the current system. Roger that.

So glad this topic was brought up again and so glad we can once again "put the lid" back on it.

Oh wait, I have to defend and debate my ideas! Nah.........fark it.

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Re: Do We Still Need an Open Comp ?

Post by Sally LaSalle »

VW Sands wrote:
So anything new (or old revised/improved) is "doomed to failure" OK, noted.

Oh wait, I have to defend and debate my ideas! Nah.........fark it.

/V
Hey dont misquote me !! you are the one that said history repeats!! I'm just saying learn from it !! and don't repeat it's mistakes. (don't focus on the doomed, focus on the learn from it)

Got new ideas? awesome ... do some rough calcs on how it will help and I'm all for it.
Don't walk away, do the math and show us!!
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Re: Do We Still Need an Open Comp ?

Post by VW Sands »

Want math?

Ok............."with a 30 surfer field 3 semis and a final you end up with 6 hours and 10 minutes.." Which is less than 9 hours (or 3+6 if you prefer) ;-)

More math maybe? How bout 24 riders in a timed heat SJ in 3 hours 20 minutes?

Not that timed heats had anything at all to do with time (pardon the pun) but was suggested as a way to REMOVE bodies from the sim in an effort to REDUCE lag.

Regardless, timed heats will still not solve the underlying problem at hand which is the lack of HJ´s. 10 new HJ´s and none of this would even need to be discussed prolly.

/V
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Re: Do We Still Need an Open Comp ?

Post by Sally LaSalle »

Yeah but but ... we held a 30 surfer event last weekend in under 6 hours?
And we had heats with party waves n stuff, which is fun and I personally like.

Yes we had the open the previous weekend which took another 2 and a half. And I completely agree that that was totally redundant given 30 registrations. as all surfers in the open effectively surfed the next weekend unless (like myself) RL intervened.

So we could have just dropped the open and gone strait to the pro.
We could have used the old format which is faster imo than a timed format. (there is a reason for this btw, on many breaks, you can catch 3 waves in less than 5 minutes)
And finsihed the whole event in about 5 hours, without the connection problem and staff changeover.

As for staff, I am ready willing and able to train 10 more head judges!!
Anytime, anywhere !! That should solve the staffing problem.

So the question really comes down to ... when do we change from one event to two .. what is the dividing line in terms of number of registrants? ... Im guessing about 36. under 36 we combine the comp into a single day ... over 36 we use the 2 day format.
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Re: Do We Still Need an Open Comp ?

Post by VW Sands »

Seems to me that IF we can satisfy the sponsers with some added value, a "dynamic" system would work I spose.

I seem to remember that 40 was the "magic number" that forced us to consider the 2 round format to begin with but we were pretty stretched.

36 would be a realstic number I reckon. Dunno, never even considered the possibility of both a 1 and 2 round system depending on sign-ups. Again, interesting if we can get (keep) the support of the sponsers.

That AND a boatload of new judges and Marshalls may be the things to persue?

/V
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Re: Do We Still Need an Open Comp ?

Post by Sally LaSalle »

Just speaking with sponsors hat on ... I have 2 gold and title, I would not have any problems with one event per month. Running the DJ Dan Audio ads on Archi i dont know maybe once every hour or 2 would be a nice bonus. I'd still like to see the ad boards on Archi tho , or, a portion of my sponsor payment going toward paying tier.
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Re: Do We Still Need an Open Comp ?

Post by Melian Catronis »

It would be great to train Head Judges, but there are so many new members who haven't even received training as judges, much less get in the four competitions necessary to receive training to become a Head Judge. While there are those who are offering to train Head Judges every single weekend, there's a gap between judge training and Head Judge training. And shouldn't there be some training made available for those who wish to Marshal an event, or on how to become an Event Coordinator?

This past week there were a number of new members who stepped forward and even offered to drop out of Saturday's event to help out, but they've never done it before. Striking while the iron is hot would be an ideal situation--if you give some of us a couple of weeks to think it over and then offer some training class somewhere down the road, we might lose interest or get too busy, and then we're back in the same situation a couple of competitions from now.

There are some who are saying under the current format, it's only going to lead to burnout. I partially agree. A solution would be for the SLSA to take this week and next week and have training sessions on all the different areas that need to be handled for events. If SL can provide regular weekly sessions on how to deal with griefers and building groups can provide regular weekly sessions on how to make a flower pot or a table, surely the SLSA can operate either weekly or bi-weekly sessions on how to Marshal an event, or how to coordinate one, or how to become a judge. Or, we can all sit with our collective thumbs up our kazoos and blow bubbles until the next event on 9/20 (which, btw, apparently doesn't have a HJ set up) and then scramble to fill positions with only a couple of days to go again.
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Re: Do We Still Need an Open Comp ?

Post by Lissa Pinion »

The issue has always been staff. We have training sessions. We get folks trained then when it comes time to work, no one wants to so it stays on the same folks. I did a training not too long ago for judges. I announced it, posted it, sent out group notices, had one person sign up. After some group chat talking had 4 or 5 show up. After the training, 2 stated they just wanted to see how we judge, one was afk the majority of the class, and one worked a comp. Not the best odds when I could have been doing something else. (Not that I'm not totally thankful for the one who did work) The group for trained judges has many members in it that can do the HJ training. Sally and I have both offered to do them and we can do them at odd hours. We have folks more than willing to train ppl IF ppl will show up and then use what we taught them.

A couple of years ago there was a huge training on all the various positions that had a lot of success. Unfortunately, many who went thru are no longer active so maybe a day like that will help. And the one off rule for missing a comp needs to go back to what we proposed it to be for...those who work the comps..not those who miss a comp for other reasons. Life happens and lord knows it happens for us all but if you give up your Saturday to work a comp, you get a pass. You miss a comp for other reasons...well, it happens.

Right now we have for HJ's, Sally, myself and Bobbi that are active. 3 to work 20 comps....2 of the 3 are looking forward to surfing too.

My thought is a one comp format may not help with staffing issues but at least we have one less weekend to get burned out on each month... with the 2 comps format we have 5 comps * 2 seasons =20 saturdays a yr one comp per month we have 5 comps * 2 seasons= 10 saturdays a yr...the work is cut in half then we can do more trainings, have more fun, etc To me, it's kinda clear that the group really doesn't want the two comp format. There is the staff issue and the opens last season were a wash b/c everyone went on to the Pro w/ 10 or less folks signing up. What is a better use of our time and resources?
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Re: Do We Still Need an Open Comp ?

Post by Xander Datura »

Ok I was totally gonna stay out of this one because everyone makes valid points, but as anyone that's hung out with me for longer than 30 seconds knows, I'm terrible at keeping my mouth shut ^_^

While I see what led to the current train of thought, it seems to have actually veered off course from the original point, "do we need an open comp?".
This is my rookie season, but I'm not as blonde as I let on, and can see that with the current number of registrants, an open is redundant as hell.. BUT, where my train of thought first took me, as opposed to canceling the opens, was to get more members involved, and more surfers competing!
We all have this community sure, but we have our families and friends and other communities that some of us hang out in, that we could be trying to get involved. I mean since I've started I think I've got maybe 3 more members signed up, and am working with some as I can getting them comfortable enough on the waves to join comps. I mean if everyone that surfed the pro just tried to get one person to sign up for the open competition that doesn't usually, that would drastically change the scene. Not saying that's going to happen, but seems like it's at least worth mentioning in a discussion about if an open is needed or not..

Still leaves the big problem of staffing though.. I think a few people have shown interest in new training, myself included. Will they get trained up then not want to work? Maybe.. Hard to say.. I was talking with Mick, and saw someone else mention in the forums, possibly making working a slot mandatory to be ranked of qualify for end of season championships.. I LOVE that idea. I realize it causes complications with training, and people might just not volunteer if they aren't ranked very high, etc. But something along those lines would be a great idea.

Another thing that might help, some different type of SLSA community events, to boost morale and comradary (sp). That way some of the current members that might either be burned out, or teetering on the egde, can come back in and everyone enjoy themselves. Not like a competition, just get togeters, that don't last 6 hours, where people can hang with their fellow SLSA members, get to know each other, dance, and a ton of party waves. I know everyone has their home breaks and stuff, and their 'clicks' of people they usually run with, but if we can't come together as an organization, learn to work through our differences, things aren't ever gonna improve.

Anyhoots, those are just some thoughts/ramblings :P
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Re: Do We Still Need an Open Comp ?

Post by Gia Melody »

Xander Datura wrote:Another thing that might help, some different type of SLSA community events, to boost morale and comradary (sp). That way some of the current members that might either be burned out, or teetering on the egde, can come back in and everyone enjoy themselves. Not like a competition, just get togeters, that don't last 6 hours, where people can hang with their fellow SLSA members, get to know each other, dance, and a ton of party waves. I know everyone has their home breaks and stuff, and their 'clicks' of people they usually run with, but if we can't come together as an organization, learn to work through our differences, things aren't ever gonna improve.
I agree with you on this. We as a community need to do this more often, like in the past. Not sure if you knew this Xander, but a great surfer when I started, Mojo, would have pre comp parties the night before. VW has hosted a few himself at his old sim (oh how I miss it) Mori. We have done a movie night in the past. You could even host something if you choose too. DJ Dan has even sent out invites to some of his own gigs. Maybe get with a Sim owner and ask permission, I know Colleen is always game for fun! We even have Archi if you suggest ideas to Kat. We even have the end of the season bash. But yes...we need to have more focus around community than just the surf comps.

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Re: Do We Still Need an Open Comp ?

Post by Robbin Ember »

Ok, so as far as the reason that we went to the two event comp format, it was primarily because we didn't want to exclude any riders. I was on the board at the time, as well as Sally and VW, and was one of the riders initially excluded because forty riders had registered before midnight of the first day of registration. In that regard, the next comp, the first two event comp, I believe, Braata Beach, had over sixty riders entered and was great because of the number of surfers, but at the same time was an absolute nightmare to manage. Again, I know because I was the event coodinator.

In any event, since that time we have not had anything near that number of registrants, and I believe that it is time to go back to a one event format, or at least a one day format. VW had a good idea about, if needed, we have an early qualifier and then the main event, and thereby we avoid any exclusions. I also think that timed heats is something to at least try, but I also agree with Sally that the numbers do not necessarily compute to saved time. There are too many variables. But we can try it.

However, as everyone has said, that does not solve the real issue that burdens the organization and events, we need more volunteers and trained staff. That was what made Braata a nightmare and the move for more volunteers has been there since that time.

I have to say, I for one, really like judging or marshalling. In fact I try my best so that maybe I can qualify to be a head judge (look out). Even ec can be a hoot, but it is a lot of work. At the same time, I have to admit that I am sort of bummed because I fell out of the top twenty this week and there is a logjam of some pretty good surfers who will be surfing to qualify for the next pro event, and ego aside, I think that my team was hurt by my not surfing. Giggle, imagine that. Point is no matter how much it is rewarding and enjoyed, it has a toll.

Also in respone to the idea of a two tiered or grouped system, (and G, you know that I have so much respect for you) it has been discussed, and I am completely against it. The base reason is that no matter how you term or phrase the groupings, it has an inherent, if not express, appearance of one good group and one not good group. That is not right in my estimation. We are all the same family and we want to encourage everyone to participate. I remember when I first started, sitting in the stands shaking, and I remember how I fell in love with this organization because everyone made me feel welcome and wanted. Besides there are some new surfers out there, that at any give time, sure as heck could and have kicked my sorry butt.

So first lets go back to, or at least try, a one day format.

Second, we need more volunteers and this has been a mantra for a while now.

Third, lets try timed heats and see what happens, we did it in the offseason at the festival.

Finally, have we thought about eliminating the semifinal round. It seems unnecessary to me. Just go straight to a final, with twelve, or two from each heat, in the finals. Both as a surfer and as a judge, I know that would save time.

In any case, love, peace and hmmmmmm, I know that I am forgetting something, oh yeah...when is the next event...
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Re: Do We Still Need an Open Comp ?

Post by Robbin Ember »

Oh yeah, also we do owe a commitment to the sponsors and we need a definite alternative to their satisfaction. So maybe we are stuck until next season. But we could inquire of them. It is not like there are so many. Lets inquire as to their position(s).

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Re: Do We Still Need an Open Comp ?

Post by Melian Catronis »

Robbin--I'll see your semifinal elimination and raise you the top scorers of each heat, plus ONE wildcard in the finals, the surfer with the second highest score out of the heats. If there are ties in that area, of course the others would compete. :D
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Re: Do We Still Need an Open Comp ?

Post by Sally LaSalle »

12 in one final? how would that work?
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Re: Do We Still Need an Open Comp ?

Post by Xander Datura »

I think she means ONLY the very top scorer from each heat would advance to the finals, so (6 heats, 6 finalists) which works in theory.
To me it seems like taking a lot of the competition out of competing though. The semis give competitors the chance to advance based on skill, regardless of the luck of the heat draw. For example if last weeks winners, wil and sunny got in the same heat, only one could advance to the final, even though they might have much more skill than winners of OTHER heats, that will now place, just because they won another heat with a couple rookies and some no shows.. Doesn't seem fair to me. And blows the ranking system right out the door. Single elimination rounds don't really work with so many varying styles, and skill levels competing together.
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Re: Do We Still Need an Open Comp ?

Post by Melian Catronis »

Well that's why you have a Wild Card. Anyone who's been following baseball in the US this summer knows that the real contests are going on not with the division leaders, but who's going to get the wild card from each league. So it's not going to be only the top 6 in the playoffs, but the top 8.

Can I say how much I'm loving this debate? We're all throwing ideas out there to see what sticks, and sooner or later we'll come up with some idea that'll work.
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Re: Do We Still Need an Open Comp ?

Post by Lissa Pinion »

Timed heats could work altho like Sal said, it kills the joking around b/c there is only one rider on the water at the time and I reckon the other judges are sick of hearing my sorry excuses for jokes (or me talking to and losing arguments w/ myself as well). Regardless of which route we take, the comps are gonna be time intensive. Always have been with some way longer than others. Whatever we do we need to keep the fun in and get more ppl involved. Rank is such a big deal as it is in any competitive sport but that is one of the big excuses we hear as to why someone wont work. Hence the one off clause. I'm still for removing the one off score unless you work the comp...and I'm not talking about the positions where you can work it and surf...aka marshal, security, ec.

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Re: Do We Still Need an Open Comp ?

Post by Bobbi Laval »

In retrospect, last weekend should have been a one day comp. This was actually brought up to me. It is written down somewhere that if we have less than 32 surfers registered for an event that the Open is cancelled and we just do a Pro event. When the two event format was concieved and discussed, this possibility was already worked out. As the HJ doing the heat draws at the last minute, I didn't think it was up to me to cancel the Open event in what should be a Director decision, and of course late on a Friday isn't the best time to to get Directors together to make such a decision and get the word out to all the surfers.

I know lately we have been keeping registration open till the last possible moment to encourage more registrations, but I would suggest in the future we have a closing time and date for registration known up fronnt. Wednesday or maybe Thursday before would be enough time for Directors to make decisions and HJ to get heat draws done and EC to get comp packs out sometime before the morning of the comp.

I would propose that we use 32 as the break if we hold an open or not. As it is, this has shortened the length of our Pro comps already. Granted, 9 or 10 hour comps are a grind for everyone. but back in the "old" days that was one of the things that was cool about it. I remember Seano first telling me about it, all stoked describing the comp as an all day long party, with an after party afterwards. Thats right, comps used to commonly be 8 and 9 hours long, and then we had a party afterwards. I know 6 hours is still a long time, but it's thirty percent less than 9 hours.
But just as much as number of surfers, skill level of the staff, especially Marshal, and length of break, timing of wave intervals matters just as much. Breaks like Chi always go quick and provide for short comps, the longer Epics breaks have always taken longer. To some extent this is something that the directors can control. As far as skill of the staff, that is only something that practice and apptitude can solve. I think it is safe to say that when Cloudy Marshaled, comps were 30 minutes or more shorter.

In general I think Open comps are still a good idea if we have more than 32 surfers. They are an idea training ground for new staff. Training new Marshals and Judges durning Pro comps will only lengthen the time of those comps. Also they are a less competitive event for new and lower ranked surfers. I think that is a great benefit for them. More surfing and more awards is a good thing.

The idea of timed heats as VW suggest is interesting, and if done right could shorten the length of competitions. WOI has run all their fun comps that way, and we have been able to get through twenty riders in less than two and a half hours. Of course we didn't have heats, no semis and no finals. For what WOI did, the format works great for those kind of competitions. For a bigger field with semis and finals then what we are talking about is exactly what the HP comps that Leo does are like. Cetainly it's different and changes the nature of the competion. As far as saving time, I don't know, HP comps are marathons always. Wether we could do better I don't know. But from having experience surfing competitively in both leagues, I like the SLSA way better, but thats just my personal preference.

When it comes down to it, I think SLSA is facing some of the same issues as the rest of SL. Economics isn't so good, it influences online time and behavior. We are losing active members as fast as we are getting new ones, and we are not retaining the members that could be helping out to solve our problems. We continue to rely on active surfers to judge, no problem during Open comps, and we know is a huge problem for Pro comps. I hate to see us relying on surfers to judge who would rather be surfing. I don't have easy solutions on how to resolve this, but we have lost those that could bail us out of this situation. We need the Abels, Desis, Ashs, Povas, etc etc. We need those within the surf community that are not so active in SLSA, the Syxs, Sebs, etc etc. I know it may not be possible to get past personal feelings, old gripes, etc, but I certainly think it is worth a try. When SLSA started we had judges that judged and didn't compete, maybe we are outreaching to the wrong group to recuit and train new judges.

I'm glad we are discussing this and tossing around ideas, there are some good ideas being tossed around, some are certainly worth keeping the dicussion going. Others are definately, why haven't we done that already type ideas. VW's idea about fully utilizing Archi is great. And hopfully we can keep it all positive and not let it get personnal (Sally and VW, be nice to each other).
So there is my two cents.

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Re: Do We Still Need an Open Comp ?

Post by Melian Catronis »

Lissa Pinion wrote:I made red chile enchiladas w/ colby jack cheese...anyone hungry?
How hot are those enchiladas there? If you've noticed my ruddy cheeks, you'll note that rosacea can be triggered by extremely spicy foods. Then again I happen to LOVE enchiladas so it might be worth the risk. Would you please pass the sour cream?

Not to bribe you or anything, but if you let me have an enchilada, I'll make you some huevos rancheros one morning.

ETA: No guacamole, please. Avacados upset my stomach.
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Re: Do We Still Need an Open Comp ?

Post by Figger Arun »

I cant see anything in the rules that says we (or directors, more accurately) can cancel an open if there are less than a certain number of surfers, but there should be something there. Not sure why 32 would be the cutoff, 6 surfers per heat with 6 heats still equals 36, maybe 5 surfers per heat 6 heats i.e. 30 would be better.

I really like semis, and I agree that being out on the water with other surfers is more fun than being out there by yourself - lag issues aside. I cant speak to if or how Cloudy cut comps by 30 minutes, but I been doin my best Bobbi, honest.

I totally agree that there has to be a point before the comp where everyone knows if there's going to be a prelim/open or not, but maybe this would be best handled by running the "prelim/open" in advance of the comp on the same day, thus saving a weekend and letting the registrations stay open until much closer to the actual day than if the prelim/open were held a week sooner.

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Re: Do We Still Need an Open Comp ?

Post by Sally LaSalle »

32 .. because 32 is the constant number of surfers designed to surf in a Pro comp (top 20 + 2 from each Open heat) .. so if there are 32 or less registrations ... they might as well all go in to the pro.

The best argument Ive heard for keeping an open is to provide an environment for new surfers to compete without being intimidated by the better ones.
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Re: Do We Still Need an Open Comp ?

Post by Sally LaSalle »

The event rules can be altered by the board of directors with a 4 from 5 or better vote at anytime. Only changes to the constitution requires a vote by the members.
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Re: Do We Still Need an Open Comp ?

Post by Xander Datura »

I agree with that argument about us rookies :P
Not so much for myself, I like the idea of going against the best I can. It pushes me to work harder and want it more. I'm also pretty comfortable in any given situation pretty fast. I know for some just coming into the community though, having the option of only surfing against the pros wouldn't lead to a whole lot of return trips. I also agree with fig and the others that have said that having a heat on the water together is the way to go. I like being out there giving, and getting support from fellow surfers, and having the chance to surf next to some of you legends. Whatever is decided, I also hope it will be a smooth transition from one to the other.. Some of us are just learning the ropes now, changing it up means learning a whole new procedure. I'm cool with that, the more I know the more of a well rounded person I become, but be aware that the whole 'time saving', argument, will no doubt take a rocky start as some of us newbs learn. Doesn't mean it wouldn't save time in the long run though..

PS: any word on training for judges/marshal/etc?
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Re: Do We Still Need an Open Comp ?

Post by Lissa Pinion »

My red is spicer than my green but not hot. Hot doesn't mean good flavor :-) And I'll eat your guac...love that stuff!

Figger, as an HJ, I'd really appreciate not coming home the night before the comp happens and doing heats after I've just worked a 12hr shift add to that I am back in school full time so last minute probably won't get done or done well I'm afraid. If we have a few days before the comp to do heats that also gives the staff time to get packs out and for folks to prepare. Keeping the registration open as long as we have been lately can really put a kink in an HJ and EC's schedule and it doesn't allow any time if there is a mistake or if someone needs to get a heat exception for RL. Heats aren't hard to do but can be time consuming and are easy to mess up if rushed. The night before and day of the comp are stressful enough with all the last minute things so that prep time is a good thing

I'm loving all this back and forth. Great ideas and involvement.

PS...Sally and V...love ya both but I will put you in separate time out corners if I have to :lol:
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Re: Do We Still Need an Open Comp ?

Post by Figger Arun »

I guess I was tryin to say what you said Lissa, about people knowing in advance whats gonna happen at the comp far enough in advance to there arent those last minute OMG moments. Not tryin to make things tougher for anyone, really.
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Re: Do We Still Need an Open Comp ?

Post by Lissa Pinion »

Hey! Take it easy on the guac! I don't like to share the guac...got any more chips? :P

I must have mis-read your statement...time for bed for me I think
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Re: Do We Still Need an Open Comp ?

Post by Xander Datura »

So just so I can understand everything, it's sounding like a majority support the 32 or more registrants, hold an open.. 31 or less, just a pro right? I mean depending on what the sponsors think, but I think there's been some great alternatives brought up.

If that's the way things were, it doesn't directly help with staffing issues, but would free up an extra weekend for training for those that are interested.
Maybe could even make a party of it? Like hold a clinic, some people could surf some dummy heats for the judge training, so we could get some hands on training? That could b koo :)
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Re: Do We Still Need an Open Comp ?

Post by Melian Catronis »

Lissa Pinion wrote:Hey! Take it easy on the guac! I don't like to share the guac...got any more chips? :P

I must have mis-read your statement...time for bed for me I think

Oh no, you can have the guac. I do like guac, btw. And I do like avacado slices by themselves. But it doesn't like me.
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Re: Do We Still Need an Open Comp ?

Post by Cierra Theriac »

(pokes head back in, waiting for it to be chopped off)

The discussion of suggestions and ideas is a wonderful thing. It is what keeps this organization alive and moving forward. And I am all for that. All suggestions for change need to be thought out purposefully and carefully with the idea of what is best for the organization and the surfers. It is always about the surfers.

In this thread we have brought up 4 different things.
1. Morale
2. Support/Volunteerism
3. One day vs. Two day comps
4. Timed heats

1 & 2 are obvious and we are working on improving those.

3 & 4 are changes to the current system. Everyone has brought up ideas and thoughts with pro and cons to all. This is great. We need to look at all sides to the issue. We also need to know, what do the surfers want? We might want to consider a poll just to get feedback.

My thoughts:
I see no problem with going back to one day comps, if, the trend of fewer surfers continues. If there are less than 32 participants registered (and are all the pros registering, or is it just automatically assumed they will surf?) then cancel the Open and all move to the Pro. If more than 32 register than the weekend before (need to establish a consistent deadline) the pro comp, then we hold the Open/Qualifiying competition. This is assuming that we are able to satisfy the advertisers or is something to consider for next season.

On the topic of timed heats. I think that if we went to timed heat (one person at a time) we lose the comradery and support of the other surfers in our heat that make it all so much fun. With multi-person timed heats there will always be the issue of fairness. But I do not have a problem with trying out the suggestion on one person timed heats in the finals. That way you get the best of both, the group fun and support in the qualifying heats and the all the waves you can catch in the finals. If it doesn't work out and/or the surfers don't like it, go back to the current format.

Anyway, those are my thoughts and obviously since they apply to event rules are up to the directors to decide. Keep the ideas and suggestions coming and if someone's ideas are different than your own try not to take it personally. It's all good, and if we aren't having fun, what's the point?

(ducks back out)

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KantbeThursday
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Re: Do We Still Need an Open Comp ?

Post by KantbeThursday »

All this discussion has been great!

Mel... Why is it you didn't throw your hat in the ring to run for a director slot again? :lol:

An important part of the 2 comps unless we have 1 due to not reaching a registration threshold is helping people know what to expect and how to plan their SL and RL. Right now, a Top 20 rider knows who they are a few weeks before the designated date for the scheduled Pro. I'm not sure how people who register for the Open who might make it to a Pro plan.

I like the idea of implementing a threshold, and I think the implementation should be that if under the magic 32, the date for Open be canceled and every plan on the date for the Pro.

I also like the suggestion that since some people have already made plans to surf on the date of the Open, that we hold whatever training we can and a party in the stands. We'll already be set with access to an audio stream, have a full sim available, have donation bins out, and have all of the sponsor ads out in view. L;)
- Kantbe

Sometimes it's hard to find, but usually there really is a silver lining back there. Maybe that lining's frayed a little, but most of the time it's there.

Robbin Ember
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Re: Do We Still Need an Open Comp ?

Post by Robbin Ember »

hmmmm, my brain is running, hmmmmm, that is scary, but really I would set the number at forty, as that was the threshold before the two event format was initiated...and I would still focus on one weekend or day, with a qualifer, if needed...again I suggest that semis are unnecessary...or maybe the finals are, in any case, I suggest limiting comps to two rounds...Love ya, all...Take care...and oh, hey Lissa and Mel, I love guack, giggle the thicker the better...and avocados rock...In any case, this discussion is great...great ideas and wow so much input, that is so great...

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Lissa Pinion
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Re: Do We Still Need an Open Comp ?

Post by Lissa Pinion »

geez, everyone is taking my guac! gonna have to get my elbows out and do some defense I think lol
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Lissa

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