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Opinion Piece - Arbitrary Award of Competition Points - Long
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Larry Rahl



Joined: 18 May 2008
Posts: 6
Score: 60
Location: Birmingham, GA

PostPosted: Tue Sep 30, 2008 9:13 pm    Post subject: Opinion Piece - Arbitrary Award of Competition Points - Long Reply with quote

I am writing this as an opinion piece regarding a policy that promotes what I view as an arbitrary award of competition points.

While this doesn't directly impact or involve me, I am involved with a team who has been impacted, and I think unfairly.

Race 10 was officially called off due to rain. We all can remember that this was rain bands from Hurricane Gustav, that inundated the Barnesville and Atlanta area all day.

I was with a team in a vehicle with Karts and Driver, ready for competition, and on the way to the track, when we were notified of the rain and conditions at the track, and that there would be no racing. We aborted the 1.5 hour trip, returned home, but continued to monitor the situation until our minumim "Leave By" time, and Official call of the race event.

The team had monitored weather radar, and contacted every GSKA official, and acquaintance at the track, as they could reach, to asses the actual situation. This was both before leaving for the track, and during the drive. If the race wasn't called, we were comming. Missing the race was very dissapointing to the Driver.
In my mind, all "reasonable" attempts were made to attend with the intent to compete.

As a result of the Official "Rain Out", GSKA applied a policy of awarding 25 competition points (1st place points) to all who were actually at the track the time of the "Rain Out" call.
Regardless of who was registered to race.

I understand that a rain out of a heat, or final race, results in the award of competition points based on scoring of the competition that has taken place prior to the time of the Rain Out call.
Seems reasonable.

However, in this situation No actual competition, of any kind, in any class, took place.

I do not understand the rationale of awarding competition points, if no competition actually takes place. That seems completely arbitrary to me. And, could be construed as actually "unsportsmanlike".
No organized timed event, No points. The entire event was scrubbed, and no points should be awarded.

I understand the rationale of trying to encourage racing, and to that end, the desire to reward (or not penalize) those who are committed enough to try to race, and who will incur the expenses of travel to the track, if there is some chance of competition.
If that is the case, and purpose of the policy, I think it more appropriate to reward a potential competitor by defraying some of that travel or "effort" expense, in similar "kind".
Such as a "Gratis" or discounted entry fee, or some other form of "extra credit", more appropriate to their expense or effort outlay.

I do not view the award of Competition Points, devoid of any actual competition, appropriate at all. This, in fact, degrades actual competition as no better than attendance, and can greatly affect the outcome of points totals toward championships.
It DID change championship ranking in one class, put another championship "out of reach", and put another safe one, back into contention.
All through no fault, success, failure,or control of the racers.

In this unique situation the application of policy suggests that if you drive to the track, you will get 25 points. If you live within 15 minutes, it's a cheap 25 points. If not, and with a 1.5 hour, or more, drive time one way, how much are you willing to spend to travel for 25 points ? This makes it a "Points for Money" decision, if you knew that mere attendance paid.

I am a newbie to GSKA, and have no actual say in this matter.
I have been a motor sports fan all my life, was involved in AMA Motorcycle Racing, and amature Auto Racing, and Rallyeing.
I am not aware of any similar Amature points impacting policies, other than point reductions as penalties.

This is not the FIA, and Ferrari is not competing, so the stakes of the game are not beyond pride, and a points Race.
However, Travel and Race expenses are real.

I urge the Officers of GSKA to revisit this policy. And at a minimum, it's application for Race #10's unique, no qualifying, no competition situation.
I wish everyone to take stock of what this sport is, and what behavior it is trying to promote. Fair Competition Play.
Please rethink how to apply the desire to reward effort outside of competition, and the impact of that policy. Please better define and refine when and how to apply it.

This is not intended to accuse or indite anyone, GSKA, or it's officials.
I recognise that putting on an organized event is very hard, and even harder to keep a group organized.

In my life, I have all too often seen policies rigidly applied, without remembering their purpose and goal. "The Spirit". I'm sure we all have stories of this. Is this one ?

Thanks for the Opportunity to comment.

PS
I propose a fund be raised to purchase a "Pay as You Go", or "Add On Line", Cell Phone, for use at the track on race day as the Official GSKA Event Contact Number.
Voice announcements could suffice for Official Conditions, and Race Date Status.
I'll even donate the phone and first minutes.
The Track should Not be without official contact during an event.

Again, In my opinion only.
Thanks,
Larry Rahl ~ maybeclone
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metzgerov



Joined: 03 May 2007
Posts: 162
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Location: Atlanta

PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2008 12:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting and good point. I had no idea this was the rule.

Just another reason why we should just race in the rain. I for one dont like to waste a full day sitting around knowing I wont race just to get points.

But I agree on all accounts with Mr. Rahl
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Chuck McCue
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Joined: 10 Sep 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2008 5:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dbl post

Last edited by Chuck McCue on Wed Oct 01, 2008 5:17 am; edited 1 time in total
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Chuck McCue
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2008 5:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Larry,
Well written and good points. I agree with you that points should only be earned on track. I too understand the reasoning for the current rule, which is to award all who make every effort to attend a race under bad weather. As you said another type of reward such as free entry next race, $25 concession stand tab or something along those lines.
Back many moons ago I lost a local championship due to one local racer who lived 5 min. from the track who traded maintenance for points. This local track had work days and actually gave out points for raking leaves, digging drainage ditches, etc.
Maybe the board of GSKA will read your post and consider a change or at least take you up on the phone offer.
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clarence



Joined: 22 Jun 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2008 6:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I personally will NOT participate in a rain race. A shifter breaks loose on dry as it is already. #2 Karts tend to rust badly, very quickly. I work my fingers to the bone just to have this hobby, and geting my equipment wet is just abuse in my book.
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metzgerov



Joined: 03 May 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2008 11:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

stevebushell wrote:
If it is raining or not, the track still has to be paid for ( I ask this question of a board member and this is what I was told) .
steve


Thats an even better reason to run in the rain...I would show up and pay $$.
as opposed to sitting home not paying the club a cent.

Clarence: I would be more than happy to drive your shifter in the rain..even more fun!



Surprised
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clarence



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2008 12:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I bet you would Laughing
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richie#89



Joined: 02 Nov 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2008 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i'm not a fan of the rule, as i think we should race in the rain, but i looked over the results and i didn't see where that race affected any standings, as all lead runners were there, except for a class my son runs in (cadet), but that point leader has to take 3 drops and hadn't taken any, so it didn't affect that one either. so what class did it affect the championship in? cause if it did, you're right, that's not a way to win a championship.
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Rick



Joined: 29 Nov 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2008 8:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Richie, how is the vacation going? Make sure to keep that head covered Laughing we don't need you to get a head cold.
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Larry Rahl



Joined: 18 May 2008
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Location: Birmingham, GA

PostPosted: Wed Oct 01, 2008 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

richie#89

I based my points chase assesment on the results page, and who received 25 extra points without competition.
Understand that when this happened there were 6 races to go.
But no matter how you calculate it, it has made an unfair impact.

In the Senior Rotax class, second and third places are swapped.
In The Tag Class, 25 points to leader only, is a Major advantage.
And, Yes, In the Cadet class, the Point Leader's, safe lead, was drastically reduced.
In Cadet, points were given to second place, your son, and fifth place.

Who drops what, is not the issue.

Racing shouldn't take place in unsafe rain conditions.
It should not have, and didn't that day.
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