Feedback please for 09 Titles

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Re: Feedback please for 09 Titles

Postby Bill_Guthrie » Mon Oct 20, 2008 9:40 am

With all due respect to those who bothered to comment on Tony's post.

NSW has used the Scouting movement as observers since November 2007, so this format for oberservers will have been in place for nearly 2 years come the Aussie titles at Pacific Park. With a lot of them (Scouts) having observed at a number of State rounds and Open meetings I would like to think the are more than just hole punchers.

A video has been produced to give new observers an overview of what is required from an observer prior to the event, so that they get more than a two minute run down a 9.00am prior to the event starting at 10.00. The video is hosted on the web coutesty of the hell team site.

So I bunch of people have put in a a big effort to try and do something about the observers especially the actors and producers of the video.

Is it perfect No its it better than what we had I beleive so.

Would we in our wildest dreams put first timers on an Aussie trial section, only as an act of extreme desperation which good planning and the efforts of people like Tony will avoid a situation like that occuring.

And I do agree with Tony the Aussie titles should be tailored to the majority.

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Re: Feedback please for 09 Titles

Postby Axel » Mon Oct 20, 2008 11:43 am

I've never been to a motorcross or enduro event so don't know much about these. I do know from those that do attend that the numbers are large and the events obviously very popular. I would be interested to know the average age of the majority of competitors at these events? It would be great to "steal" some of the riders, partners, friends, children, parents, etc. etc. but some knowledge of what would attract them to trials would help.

It always concerns me that discussions regarding improvements in trials is always slammed by the concern of having observers. Of course, one is needed for the other but if the emphasis is always placed on the observer issue, the other may be killed off!

I have always believed the way to solve this issue is enlisting outside, reliable help as in the scout movement in NSW. Let the riders pay another $5 or $10 on their entry if they don't bring a helper and add this to the pool to cover costs for observers.

I am involved in the running of a completely different sport to trials and workers is also an issue. I have several regulars that we offer "travel costs" reimbursement to and I know I can rely on them to attend, and I know I have a certain number of experienced workers. I don't need anywhere near the numbers of helpers as a trials event does, but it certainly relieves the stress of the small committee in running events. We have tried all types of incentives to get competitors to help but they are there to compete and that is at the top of their priorities, as am I when I compete elsewhere. I just charge them a little more on entries and give a discount voucher for their next event to anyone that does help or supplies a helper.

Suggestions for growth of a sport should be welcomed, not discouraged.

Oh well, one day I may get on a trials bike and then I'll know what I'm talking about! :lol:

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Re: Feedback please for 09 Titles

Postby yamfan » Mon Oct 20, 2008 3:55 pm

Having a select group of riders miss out on one trial a year so that our showcase trial can be run successfully i'm afraid is the only way to go. Having our premier event observed by perhaps pressganged volunteers who may have little interest in trials unfortunatly doesn't work and only leads to friction once the results come in.
Can we run a trial without observers? we do quite often and although not ideal it does keep the events ticking over. In WA we pay an observer $10 although most do it for the love of the sport or through injury.

What of the future of trials? I would say it is still pretty bright as long as the cost of competing remains viable. Paying C of C's, Stewards, Observers and other officials dollars to affiliate will eventually lead riders to compete in black events. I understand a number of enduro and MX groups have already sprung up with no affilation to MA with the only prerequisite to compete an insurance policy to present to the land owner.

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Re: Feedback please for 09 Titles

Postby Smiddy » Mon Oct 20, 2008 8:57 pm

Haven't you just made your argument redundant? You want the elite competitors to assist, yet you also believe that Novice through A-Grade should be directly catered for?
Can someone name any sport where National Championships have classes purely for skill level? We are talking about the pinnacle of the sport; all emphasis should be placed on the premier classes, from Junior Women & 7-12 (What fantastic ideas, by the way) through Open Solo to Veterans, as well as the bike-specific classes. These classes have specific criteria to meet and, as such, represent the best riders available; this is the one weekend in the year that these classes are emphasised.
We have used scout groups in the past in Victoria, but the increasing amount of work that these groups partake in these days has not seen them available; as such it has again rested on the officials to gain observers from elsewhere. If the scouts have some experience, they do a great job, but it would be best avoided to have them officiate at a national championship as their first event. We've all seen how heated things can get when Championships are at stake.
It is quite a simple theory; the titles deserves the best of everything possible, including observers. If you have a class to ride; fantastic, enjoy the trial. If not, please assist!
But to request Novice through A-Grade sections be set, thereby missing out on potential, first-class observers, is shooting yourself in the foot.

Back to topic, I'd still prefer to see tightly controlled section setting used; always promised but difficult to perfect it seems.
Have a moderate percentage of the sections (Not obstacles, the full sections) set at an easy/intermediate level for the class. Most veterans, juniors etc. should get through 40% of the sections with loss of a maximum of 2 points, and should not exceed the usual danger levels. The best move would be to set these sections long to eradicate queues at the difficult sections. This will sort out the lower end of the group into their respective positions, as well as bringing the element of "clean concentration" into the event, similar to what these good riders deal with at most events where they have single-figure scores at the end of the day.
Another 30% should be set at taking points off the top riders in the class, yet allowing the strugglers to get through. Doesn't smash any egos, sorts the middle riders and sets the benchmark for the top guys; an inch gained here can add up to a mile if things are close at the end of the day.
The remaining 30% are directed squarely at the top riders. If a small element of danger is required here, as usually happens, then so be it, but this is where the best riders can take their advantage. The struggler simply skip if they'd prefer (30% of the course is okay for a National event), while the difficulty on these [u]must[/u] be set to divide the cream of the crop.
The implementation? Have people that have observed before set sections independently. If you know a particular person sets hard sections, set them loose, but reign in the others. As long as it's prepared beforehand, and the mix of difficulties is good (and split over the loop), everyone will have a good ride. Strugglers will have a great sense of achievement, while the top riders will certainly still have their time in the spotlight!

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Re: Feedback please for 09 Titles

Postby Steve Holzhauser » Mon Oct 20, 2008 10:17 pm

Great thread and some interesting replys.
Everyone who competes has different levels of purpose and motivation. Some enjoy just being there and riding the event with their mates, all trying to beat the challenge of the course that has been laid out.
Others hang out for the next chance to kick my ar*+.
The riders who put in the practice and maintain their riding skills should not be penalized to allow their competitors an easy ride on low standard sections.

The large number of Veterans competing, shows there is no shortage of riders that support and enjoy the current format.

To suggest laying back on sections so newcomers can enjoy a pleasant weekend ride is not what this national trial is about, as so well pointed out in some responses already posted.

If it is planned on setting 10 clubman sections out of a total of 15 sections for a National Title for entrants that participate on C graded and in some states C+ graded lines all year, you are not meeting the requirements of fairly.

In comparision, if it was even suggested to put 10 out 15 C grade sections for the Masters class, it would be seen as defeating the very purpose of their participation and cause an outcry.

I feel your recommendation should not be an option for Veterans grade.

In Junior Women, and in the 7 to12 years juniors, clubman line splitters could be used successfully, but not expect the more experienced riders to ride substandard sections.

To think the criterior is not acceptable of having 10 Clubman sections and suggest riding Masters, is not recognising the jump in abilities and stamina required to safely do that. Especially taking into consideration these riders compete all year in Veteran class riding their skill level.

There are undoubtably, a few of the better veterans who could negotiate many of the masters line (for a lap or two) but danger of serious injury to the older and now less nimble, prohibits them entering that class with sections that are not watered down because of the large percentage of current A grade Masters.

.ALL sections should be of a challenging nature in varying forms, not a boring parade. Smiddy has summed it up very well with break up of section content.

The main reason the New Zealand field of 13 Veterans who made the trip to SA in 2007 for the Nationals failed to return this year was their disappointment of the ease of sections. It held very little challenge in comparison to what they ride in their home Open events, let alone a National Titles.

There are many ways to make sections challenging without a danger element, and I am sure with the terrain available and your long experience, you can set a course to a standard befitting the event.

At the rider briefing it is clearly pointed out that if a rider is unsure of his ability he can request a 5 and move on - should this not be a guide to the nature of the course to set.

It is a competition to test riders abilities of the grade in which they have entered and maybe a little more to ensure the better rider is the winner, not a count back on cleans or even worse the benefit of the ven factor.

Victoria set an excellent trial with the terrain they had, and remembering what Pacific Park had back in 2004, I'm sure they will be able to achieve a great event as well - i.e. the majority of the sections have to be rideable with an element of challenge, and a few, more difficult sections, to separate the top placegetters

Just my thoughts Tony, I certainly do respect your views and acknowledge your valuable involvement in the NSW Trials scene, but feel this format not be used to attract more riders.

Talking with many of the riders after this years event reinforces my view that all really do enjoy a challenge and cannot wait for the next National to improve on their performance.


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Re: Feedback please for 09 Titles

Postby ianrogers » Thu Jan 29, 2009 4:40 pm

I have read with interest all this talk regarding observers or at least lack of them. Logan River introduced a "Rider Rotation System" last year specifically to address this issue and it is working a treat. As the retiring President I can say with great confidence that by mid year every member/rider had accepted it and now all Logans events are fully observed whether they are Opens, Interclubs or Clubdays.
In a nut shell, if there are 10 sections then 20 riders are asked to volunteer, generally at the entrance to scrutineering where you have a captive audience, with two riders appointed to one section. One rider then does his lap while the other observes and once finished he then relieves the other guy and this leap frogging goes on all day. Some of the older anal rock kickers struggled with the concept to start with but with a little bit of time management there is always plenty of time left to finish as long as you don't observe for more than two laps at a time.
So no more missing out on rides to do you bit and it certainly eliminates the "mark your own card" creative scoring that has always been a much talked about issue. =D>
PS if you still want to ride with a mate then you both observe with two other riders wanting to do the same at adjacent sections and head off when they both arrive back to relieve you. It's oh so simple

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Re: Feedback please for 09 Titles

Postby outfit65 » Sun Jun 14, 2009 9:49 am

Once again, an interesting topic which surfaces every year.

On the Aussie Titles - cater for the best, the classes we have are fine, although I agree with pushing the junior girls more.

Not every rider who rides trials is going to aim for an Aussie Titles, they may ride the event once to say they have ridden it, but that may be it. I would suggest more than a few of the huge field that rode Glenmaggie this year won't front up for the Nationals.

It is the same in other facets as well. If 100+ riders ride an enduro in SA, maybe 10-15 would ride the A4DE, and even less would ride all the rounds of the Aussie Champs. Money would be one factor, but the reality of not being at that standard would be the overriding factor.


Certainly the other facets realise this and don't cater for the riders at the 'clubmen' end of the field - they run a meeting aimed at attracting the best riders in the country, and in some facets you have to be at a certain level to gain a berth to ride (speedway is top 20, 16 starters & 4 reserves, and, road race, which is A & B grade for the major classes)

With the classes moto trials has, it probably caters for a broader spectrum of riders than any other facet as it is - so be happy and go for a ride, even if you have to paddle for a three through most sections, like I would very definately have to do!

Think about this - the Moto Trials Titles cater for EVERY rider in some way.
Junior - up to 16
Youth - 17 - 21
Open Solo - 16+
Not up to Open if you are aged 21 - 35 - ride a twinshock or a classic!
Masters - 35 - 45
Veterans - 45+
No other facets caters like this!

On the observers side of things - this sounds very much like a problem that is affecting all 'trials only' clubs around the country. Even in SA the major trials club, AJS, would struggle to run a SA Title, not because they don't have the ability, but because the majority of their members ride, so they would struggle to find the observers.

I know a lot of clubs around the country are facet specific but sometimes I think that this can be a problem when running events. When the Keyneton, and a few other multi facet clubs in SA run major events they know they can rely on their members for the help needed.

When running an enduro the moto trials and reliability trials members will help out and vice versa, so when the KMCC ran the 2007 Aussie Titles the enduro & reliability trials members all put their hands up to help, and with more than just observing.

Those who observed were given a school the week beforehand, plus on each morning of the event and all worked well, and whether some thought the sections were too easy or not, we still had a winner in each grade, with it being as much of a mental challenge as a physical one to find our Aussie Champs.

Just my 2 cents
Cheers all.

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Re: Feedback please for 09 Titles

Postby Samy » Tue Jun 23, 2009 10:58 am

Just thought i'd give you my experiences...

Back in 1997/98 i was a member of Logan River MTC and there were a few issues getting observers back then. I was in my late teens just out of junior class and getting into C grade. I provided an observer every trial but they decided to start having an 'observer raffle' at the start of the day during the riders briefing where they would pull names out of a hat and you'd have to park your bike for the day and observe. There were quite a few tensions at these trials and if their name was pulled many, many riders simply said "i'm not going to observe, i'd rather pack up my bike & gear and go home". There were almost a few fist fights, but usually only from those self riteous buggers which every club has, and usually the ones who never provide an observer. I remember one guy, who still rides today, who made a huge spat at a riders briefing (he shook my hand at a recent aussie titles and thanked me for observing :shock: ) gee how people change. Maybe almost a decade of not having observers has changed him...

I left trials that year because it left a bad taste in my mouth. I was only a young fella but i didn't want to go to trials anymore and see other riders bitch and moan and fight all the time and it gave me the excuse to do what other young fellas do and pursue other hobbies... cars/girls etc. I havn't competed on a trials bike since, and that's almost 11 years. I've thought about competing again many times but i just don't want the politics.

I think the biggest issue back then was the fact that you spent weeks getting gear and mind ready to ride and then told "nup, sorry you have to park your bike". The new system that the LRMTC has is probably fair and i wouldn't mind having to observe 1-2 times per year if i was told/informed in advance. Once a rotational rider system where riders have to observe is ingrained or institutionalized into the club then it'll just become another part of being a part of the club.


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Re: Feedback please for 09 Titles

Postby The Hell Team » Tue Jun 23, 2009 12:47 pm

How come Golfers go round without "Observers"...... from Club level up to the biggest multi million dollar Championships around the world making the "buddy" system work. You mark someone else's card, they mark yours. Millions of Golfers world wide make this system work, even when there is huge $$$$$$ involved.

We can crate and freight bikes Australia wide for very reasonable rates. Ring or email with your location for freight quote.
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Re: Feedback please for 09 Titles

Postby gmandas » Tue Jun 23, 2009 3:16 pm

To the Hellteam's take on this topic - hear, bloody hear! Why is it that we have a sport where very little money is involved, apparently carries a low profile and has a high participant to spectator/official ratio we can not get together and score each other? That way we can all particpate and who's sheep station is on the line?

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