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Contest Class Development for Future Success - The Case fordeveloping the Handicapped Classes



 
 
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  #1  
Old July 18th 14, 01:39 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
WaltWX[_2_]
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Default Contest Class Development for Future Success - The Case fordeveloping the Handicapped Classes

MY PREFERENCE ON COMBINING STANDARD CVLASS AFTER FURTHER
REFLECTION (July 17th)

After further reflection, I'm going to agree with Steve Northcraft and choose to group the STDs with the 15M (and OPENs if necessary). The 15M and OPENs are having trouble getting sufficient numbers as well.

My reasons:

1) Standard Class pilots who compete seriously at the Nats generally are flying top ships (Discus 2, LS-8's) which are similar in performance to the 15M last generation in weak or indecisive conditions.

2) Competing against top 15M National pilots gives the U.S. Team a "head-to-head" comparison of ability when it comes to selecting for the U.S. Team. If STDs were grouped with the Club Class, comparisons would be harder because of different location for the competition and weather.

3) I prefer to fly against the best competition pilots which are generally in the 15M class.

Comments:

1) As far as scoring is concerned, the 15M Nats could remain un-handicapped.. Select the National STD champion from the best placing STD pilots at the 15M Nats. In fact, a trophy could be given to the 2nd and 3rd placing (STD) pilots as well.

2) I'm not opposed to handicapping the 15M Nats for all ships, but this may not be popular with the 15M racers. After all, that's what the CLUB CLASS is for.

3) As long as the STD pilots are given due consideration and ranking with a new U.S. Team selection process, the lack of handicapping the combined STD 15M Nats would not be a problem for me. I understand that a more flexible U.S. Team process is being considered that would recognize performance across classes.

4) If the STD 15M Nats (possibly combined OPEN as well) were on one side of the country while the CLUB CLASS was on the other, that would give STD pilots two venues for being considered and qualifying on the U.S. Team for STD class. The only consideration is that the best placing STD pilot in the CLUB Nats could not hold the title, "STD Class National Champion". Wait a second... why not create two STD Class National champions per year... one from the CLUB CLASS and one from STD/15M (or West and East champion)? Just a thought... added enticement to fly in STD Class.

Walt Rogers WX

PS - After making up my mind where I fall in the combing STD Class issue, I saw Bruno Vassel's announcement about combining STD, 15M and OPENs at Nephi for 2016. That's fantastic! Now, it would make sense to place CLUB CLASS NATS in the Eastern U.S. for 2016. Where will the CLUB CLASS Nats be in 2015?

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  #2  
Old July 18th 14, 02:51 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
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Default Contest Class Development for Future Success - The Case fordeveloping the Handicapped Classes

Thanks Walt -

I have one clarifying question. Your proposal is essentially for co-located, but separate Standard and 15M nationals. If there are fewer than the requisite number of Standard Class pilots for a Nationals should the Standard Class be cancelled or combined with 15m and if combined would that be with or without a handicap?

I like the idea of offering standard class gliders the ability to fly Club on one coast or 15m combined on the other coast and agree that many Std pilots would likely elect to fly against 15m, but that could change over time if more top pilots get excited about Club or if team selection criteria change. The flexibility for Std pilots to fly one class or the other to suit their locale is a key to helping Club attract top pilots but it could also deplete the attendance at the Std/15m contest and make it hard to get 10 std class gliders to sign up, thereby threatening the viability of a separate class.

Just trying to think through the consequences, implications and potential options.

- Andy, 9B
  #3  
Old July 18th 14, 06:38 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
WaltWX[_2_]
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Default Contest Class Development for Future Success - The Case fordeveloping the Handicapped Classes

On Thursday, July 17, 2014 6:51:21 PM UTC-7, wrote:
Thanks Walt -



I have one clarifying question. Your proposal is essentially for co-located, but separate Standard and 15M nationals. If there are fewer than the requisite number of Standard Class pilots for a Nationals should the Standard Class be cancelled or combined with 15m and if combined would that be with or without a handicap?


Actually, it was not made clear in my reply whether the STD and 15M Nats were scored as separate Nationals while being co-located. I suppose one could do that, but it doesn't seem necessary. If the STDs and 15M were scored separately, differences in ranking outcome for STD pilots would probably be negligible and it's not clear to me if would make difference. On weak survival days, I don't see completion ratios being much different between STD and 15M ships. In fact, I implicitly intended that there would be one Nationals scoring pool for both STD and 15M ships for simplicity. My recommendation was that I was "ok" with not handicapping STDs, because there will still be a 1st place, 2nd and third trophy for the highest placing STDs. Perhaps one could handicap all ships in the STD/15M scoring pool, but as I noted, this is probably not popular right now. The final cumulative points for the STD class could be modified later in the U.S. Team Selection process to normalize performance difference.




I like the idea of offering standard class gliders the ability to fly Club on one coast or 15m combined on the other coast and agree that many Std pilots would likely elect to fly against 15m, but that could change over time if more top pilots get excited about Club or if team selection criteria change. The flexibility for Std pilots to fly one class or the other to suit their locale is a key to helping Club attract top pilots but it could also deplete the attendance at the Std/15m contest and make it hard to get 10 std class gliders to sign up, thereby threatening the viability of a separate class.


At some point (perhaps in the not too distant future), one may not get 10 STD class gliders to sign up with the 15M Nats. But, does it really matter? If we declare that the STD champion is the BEST STD performance in the co-located 15M Nats, so be it. When the number of signed up STDs drops too low (see 2014 rules 5.2.1.1 regarding minimal entries for a valid National Championship), say five entries, then that's the end of the STD Class National Championship era. Even if we decided to not award a STD Class National Champion, the new U.S. Team Selection rules could be flexible enough to accept one or two stellar performing pilots for future World Gliding Contests.

Further on down the road, the Club Class may build in popularity, and you're right, that may pull down entries in the co-located STD/15M Nats. But still, one can select STD Class entries from the Club Class pool in future World Championships.





Just trying to think through the consequences, implications and potential options.



- Andy, 9B


  #4  
Old July 18th 14, 07:45 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
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Default Contest Class Development for Future Success - The Case fordeveloping the Handicapped Classes

On Thursday, July 17, 2014 10:38:17 PM UTC-7, WaltWX wrote:

Actually, it was not made clear in my reply whether the STD and 15M Nats were scored as separate Nationals while being co-located. I suppose one could do that, but it doesn't seem necessary. If the STDs and 15M were scored separately, differences in ranking outcome for STD pilots would probably be negligible and it's not clear to me if would make difference. On weak survival days, I don't see completion ratios being much different between STD and 15M ships. In fact, I implicitly intended that there would be one Nationals scoring pool for both STD and 15M ships for simplicity. My recommendation was that I was "ok" with not handicapping STDs, because there will still be a 1st place, 2nd and third trophy for the highest placing STDs. Perhaps one could handicap all ships in the STD/15M scoring pool, but as I noted, this is probably not popular right now. The final cumulative points for the STD class could be modified later in the U.S. Team Selection process to normalize performance difference.




I think it all only matters if you care about having a Standard Class National Champion or US representation at the WGC for the Standard Class. If either of those matter then you'd need to have a minimum number of contestants IN THE CLASS to make the contest count for the class. Today that is 10 competitors. Without 10 Standard Class gliders you could't have a 1st, 2nd, 3rd for Standard as a sub-ranking. You couldn't have a separate Standard Class champion (from a Nationals or WGC perspective) unless there were at least 10 Standard Class gliders flying. If, for example, there were only 1 or 2 Standard Class Competitors in a 15M Nationals there could be no Standard Class Champion (not enough competition) - under that scenario the Standard Class gliders would have to beat the 15M gliders outright for placing in the contest and PRL points would be calculated against the winner across all gliders, not just Standard.

In other words, it would be just like Montague this year - you could fly, but you get no separate accounting as Standard Class unless there are at least 10 of you flying in Standard. Is that what you were advocating for?

9B
  #5  
Old July 18th 14, 03:06 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Steve Koerner
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Default Contest Class Development for Future Success - The Case fordeveloping the Handicapped Classes

Speaking for myself as a 15m pilot, I really do not want the definition of 15m ruined with handicapping. And the idea posed here about having a handicap adjust to the weather is extra extra icky. 15m numbers have not been fantastic but it's still the strongest class and the numbers are good enough for sure. It doesn't need to be messed with please.

Yes, collocate with Standard is fine. That creates a good situation for Standard guys that they can know for sure that they will have a contest to fly. If they get 10, they have a Standard Nationals; if not, they can fly in 15m. No handicap.
  #6  
Old July 18th 14, 03:42 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
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Default Contest Class Development for Future Success - The Case fordeveloping the Handicapped Classes

I expect a lot of people share Steve's misgivings about handicaps - including me. On the other hand, it isn't clear to me how satisfying it is to fly a nationals in a glider where you have to make up as much as 60 points per day. WX and SN did it this year. As more people buy 18+M gliders 15M could face a similar reality.

Some here have said the vision for the future needs to be more bold and radical and others have said even the current state of affairs (allowing the latest generation Standard class gliders to fly in Club) is too radical.

One thing is for sure - the trajectory is down so status quo will likely mean more instances of cancelled nationals, particularly for Standard. Is the answer to tell them to fly OLC since 15m doesn't want them and Club doesn't either?

That makes it relatively easy for the RC and other governing bodies - do as little as possible and let it happen.

That's icky feeling too.
  #7  
Old July 18th 14, 04:51 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
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Default Contest Class Development for Future Success - The Case fordeveloping the Handicapped Classes

On Friday, July 18, 2014 7:06:43 AM UTC-7, Steve Koerner wrote:

Yes, collocate with Standard is fine. That creates a good situation for Standard guys that they can know for sure that they will have a contest to fly. If they get 10, they have a Standard Nationals; if not, they can fly in 15m. No handicap.


A little thought experiment.

Four Standard Class gliders flew at the 15M Nationals this year - three D2s and an LS-8 - along with a dozen 15M gliders. Not a giant turnout - particularly without the Standards.

Without handicaps they finished 5, 9, 10 and 12 out of 15 that flew the whole contest. With a 2-6% handicap they would have finished 3, 9, 10 and 12. The size of the handicap within that range didn't make any difference in the placement, but overall it would have meant a podium for WX whose raw score was 6.7% off of the winner's. Nice flying Walt.

The issue is one of some consequence at the top of the scoresheet. How you feel about that may depend on where you sit.

9B
  #8  
Old July 18th 14, 05:52 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Sean Fidler
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Default Contest Class Development for Future Success - The Case fordeveloping the Handicapped Classes

9B I just wanted to commend you all for doing a really great job of moderating this very complex discussion. It is a tremendously difficult job.

After some time to think about it, I now believe that we are all going to have to accept some handicap influence (in all of our classes) if we want to increased attendance and improve financials for our precious contest organizers.

The health and community of the sport trumps pure classes. That appears to be the key point of this discussion and the reality today. The points that have been made on this are compelling.

I am certainly willing to accept that reality in general. I look forward to helping and participating in the future.

For whatever it's worth,

Sean
  #9  
Old July 18th 14, 09:12 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
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Default Contest Class Development for Future Success - The Case fordeveloping the Handicapped Classes

On Friday, 18 July 2014 07:06:43 UTC-7, Steve Koerner wrote:
Speaking for myself as a 15m pilot, I really do not want the definition of 15m ruined with handicapping. And the idea posed here about having a handicap adjust to the weather is extra extra icky. 15m numbers have not been fantastic but it's still the strongest class and the numbers are good enough for sure. It doesn't need to be messed with please.



Yes, collocate with Standard is fine. That creates a good situation for Standard guys that they can know for sure that they will have a contest to fly. If they get 10, they have a Standard Nationals; if not, they can fly in 15m. No handicap.


Steve - your suggestion requires that if classes are combined then Std cannot possibly be competitive except in the weakest average weather. Its a not in anyway aligned with pilot skill comparison (the point of handicaps)with gliders that are clearly not the same - even if they are 'close'. Please refer to my post on Hobbs 2013 experience.

I'm still not sure why handicapping necessarily needs to *ruin* anything. We went limited range handicapping in Standard and it didnt change the racing experience at all - it was just too little too late to quickly bring in folks that had already self selected out of competition.

Handicapping model hasnt changed in decades and we now have data analysis tools not dreamed of when Carl Herold first started putting handicaps together - handicapping has evolved into a dirty word in some classes but no-one has actually thought about improving the handicapping to the point where it is no longer the Satan, the AntiChrist and the root of all Uncertainty in final pilot comparison. Thats why I'll be working on the therma-capping idea and running trials on past results to check it makes sense or not.

Yet another option for the Std situation may be to allow 15m to fly Std with negative flap locked out and a 9lb wingload limit for all. I cant see it happening myself until 15m also falls apart and no one wants to think about that it seems.

2T
  #10  
Old July 19th 14, 09:00 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
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Default Contest Class Development for Future Success - The Case fordeveloping the Handicapped Classes

On Friday, July 18, 2014 1:12:13 PM UTC-7, wrote:
On Friday, 18 July 2014 07:06:43 UTC-7, Steve Koerner wrote:

Speaking for myself as a 15m pilot, I really do not want the definition of 15m ruined with handicapping. And the idea posed here about having a handicap adjust to the weather is extra extra icky. 15m numbers have not been fantastic but it's still the strongest class and the numbers are good enough for sure. It doesn't need to be messed with please.








Yes, collocate with Standard is fine. That creates a good situation for Standard guys that they can know for sure that they will have a contest to fly. If they get 10, they have a Standard Nationals; if not, they can fly in 15m. No handicap.




Steve - your suggestion requires that if classes are combined then Std cannot possibly be competitive except in the weakest average weather. Its a not in anyway aligned with pilot skill comparison (the point of handicaps)with gliders that are clearly not the same - even if they are 'close'. Please refer to my post on Hobbs 2013 experience.



I'm still not sure why handicapping necessarily needs to *ruin* anything. We went limited range handicapping in Standard and it didnt change the racing experience at all - it was just too little too late to quickly bring in folks that had already self selected out of competition.



Handicapping model hasnt changed in decades and we now have data analysis tools not dreamed of when Carl Herold first started putting handicaps together - handicapping has evolved into a dirty word in some classes but no-one has actually thought about improving the handicapping to the point where it is no longer the Satan, the AntiChrist and the root of all Uncertainty in final pilot comparison. Thats why I'll be working on the therma-capping idea and running trials on past results to check it makes sense or not.



Yet another option for the Std situation may be to allow 15m to fly Std with negative flap locked out and a 9lb wingload limit for all. I cant see it happening myself until 15m also falls apart and no one wants to think about that it seems.



2T


Well if I had any dreams about being competitive in 18m class, I'm sure I would need to actually go buy a glider with 18m span since 18m is a solid class and nobody in 18m class will have one bit of a care that my little 15m glider isn't quite competitive. They'll still let me fly, of course, but certainly not with any handicap factor.

It's that same relationship between 15m and standard. I don't much care that your glider is not quite competitive (if you say it's not). 15m is still a solid class so we don't need you bad enough to mess with the good thing we have going, I'm sorry to say. Handicapping is absolutely not what I want in my class.

I hope standard class can survive for awhile. I also hope that 15m class can stay strong. It's predictable, though, that both will fade eventually. When our classes fade, there's a great place for our gliders in sports/modern/club. That's where handicapping must stay.
 




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