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Thread: Got my first platinum - and then NASTAR HQ took it away

  1. #1
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    Got my first platinum - and then NASTAR HQ took it away

    Well I raced at Breck on Jan 3rd and got my first platinum medal. I'm a disabled skier and I've been working hard to get there. (getting older helped ;) )

    Told all my friends. Happy me, they were all getting interested in trying to get NASTAR in Australia NZ etc.

    Now NASTAR HQ have reset the par time from that race to the par time of the next race same day. (Course got faster) because they did not like it that a couple of the faster guys(Who have a history of 0-1 and sub 5 handicaps) got good results!

    Par time was never broken as the pace setter reran and they opened a new race - but they reset the old race with the new par times.

    BAH HUMBUG!

    Now to tell everyone on 3 forums that NASTAR has stripped my medal from me!

  2. #2
    Senior Member putterman's Avatar
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    liltiger, normally, I would say welcome to the forum with outstretched arms. But, slighting the program and spreading bad rap isn't the way to get sympathy here. Maybe that wasn't your intention. Maybe you don't really care.

    I don't know the whole story, so I can't judge who is right and who is wrong, but are you certain that HQ is to blame? Maybe the resort did this on their own. They may have had to get HQ involved, but that doesn't mean that NASTAR HQ pulled one over on you. Maybe you should take this up with the resort. Or maybe the race staff. Or maybe with the individual in charge of making the decision there.

    I will say that the system is far from perfect. It is difficult for the staff to figure out when to pull the plug and declare a new race. Usually, it is too late. They see a person has gotten a single digit handicap when they shouldn't, their ears perk up, and they watch.

    I understand that it is your first Platinum. That it is an accomplishment. That you are OVERJOYED with it. Believe me, I screamed so loud when I got my first Gold (before there were Platinums) that the whole resort probably looked at me. So, for that, yes, I do empathize with you. But please understand that Platinums are reserved for the top 5% of racers. Honestly, too many people get them. Me included. I am not a Platinum racer, but it seems that I have gotten my share.

    If you want a real Platinum, race against AJ (or one of the other National Pacesetters) at an event like one of the Opens or Nationals. Earn a Platinum there, and you can consider it a true Platinum. On flat hills, with a pacesetter that may or may not be "on", well, it is what it is.

    Remember, this is for fun, and after all, it is just a pin that is established through an arbitrary handicap system. Not perfect, but the best we have. In the future, offer suggestions that can help the system. Slams seem to bring a sour taste.

    Take care and I hope you keep racing Nastar.
    I drink, therefore I am!
    CRU145

  3. #3
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    No I spoke to the resort - and they fixed it. Then yesterday it went weird again. So I wrote to NASTAR HQ. They wrote back saying they changed the result because someone got too low a handicap. The par time was NOT beaten.
    One of the top 2 racers in that race was my +1 who has a history of sub 5 (and zero) handicaps over a period of many years. (He also has some dodgy ones such as his first in that race because he is showing me or others something)

    If I just wanted the medal I'd race as the disabled athlete I am. I choose not to as my disability is very unusual and it would be hard to realistically match me to others. I earned that medal - I know when I ski better or worse I'm disabled not totally dysfunctional! They did not even announce the race times or handicaps for that run. I told +1 that was my best run ever. I knew it was. The results as published just confirmed what we knew.

    There was no-one who got a single digit when they shouldn't. The two better racers both got single digit handicaps but they are both single digit level racers. Is it so bad for a racer to have a good day that HQ have to "change the rules" to overcome it? Surely it is enough for the results to stand?
    Those guys raced the pacesetter on the course as it was. The pacesetter reran - and the second race shows that and the times in that course at the faster par time. The pace setter got faster - and the results show that and those guys raced him on the faster course. They also raced him on the slower course and got handicapped against his time in the faster course. WRONG!

    Should he have maybe got out earlier - perhaps we don't know because he did not. Should HQ run around the country resetting results because MAYBE the course changed time and the pacesetter did not rerun? We don't know - pacesetters are not out running the courses all day which is what would be required to know that. I've seen the course slow down plenty in a few runs in spring and the pacesetter does not rerun. Will HQ 'adjust' all these times too?

    This is just stupid arbitrary adjustment that is not within the published rules. It reflects badly on NASTAR.

  4. #4
    Senior Member bigrig's Avatar
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    Nicely said Putterman. I can only assume someone else in liltiger's race actually placed negative handicaps or the pace time was not representative of the actual pacesetter given the particular course, which by Nastar design should never happen. This actually means that this negative handicapped person is better than the members of the US Ski Team. It is also true that in most cases the track/course will get faster and will require rerunning a new pace time to establish a new par. Actually the same thing happen to a good friend of mine at the National Pace Setting Trials in my area. He ran a solid platinum, but the National Pace Setter re-established a new Par once the course was skied in.

    So liltiger all I can say is that this type of thing is unfortunate, but should also motivate you more. Please don't stop racing and racing Nastar. Not only is it fun, but it also improves you as a skier. I think you are a very valuable asset to the Nastar family given that you have a disability and you success against adversity is such a motivator to me and others.

  5. #5
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    Read what I wrote please.

    Par time was never broken. The best handicap was a 1.x from a solid 5 racer.

    He had a good day. My other half regularly has managed 0.x and 1.x points over the last several years - that day he managed a 4(no suit or waxing). This was within normal spread for these racers. The guy that got a 1.x had a GOOD race!. I assume he races to improve. Is he not allowed to improve? Yes the course speeding up may have helped him - but there are plenty of days when it will slow to his detriment. As the pacesetter reran the faster course was accounted for in a new race with the new time. Why was it retrospectively applied to the runs on the slower course? The pacesetter ran that course.

    The point at which we retrospectively handicap runs against a different par time will now be blurry. We have decided to do it to earlier runs in the day. Should we now do it to different race days also? Where does it stop?

  6. #6
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    and to save you hunting this is what was said when this has come up before


    Quote Originally Posted by Racer X View Post
    This exact question came up at pacesetter trials earlier this year (two weeks ago, in fact), and according to Bill Madsen, if the course gets faster (or slower) to the point where the pacesetter feels like he needs to re-paceset, then a new race should be started, and the old (existing) race closed out, and those results be recorded and stand as is.

    It should read in the results section as follows:

    NASTAR Daily Race #1
    NASTAR Daily Race #2

    This is pretty standard, how to handle it is in the rules, but has been an ongoing problem at different resorts over the years. Unfortunately, this problem seems to come up every year.

    From my take on things, it takes a little bit of effort to close out a race and start a new race, and my guess is that it is easier for the staff to just simply insert the newer pacesetter time, hoping (and mostly being correct) that no one will notice (or care).

    I'd shoot off an email to the resort and ask for an explanation, and if that does not satisfy you, then contact Bill Madsen at HQ and explain to him the particulars, and ask if he can straighten it out for you.

  7. #7
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    Oh and yeah I get it... I'm not one of the 'elite few' that is "allowed" to have an opinion. That is reserved for "true platinum" racers.

    There is a problem though - because if I work at improving and get my handicap down to single digits someone at HQ can decide that I "am not a single digit racer" and reset the results!

  8. #8
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    Get used to NASTAR doing strange things.
    The quality control is sometimes not there.

    Congratulations on your Platinum.
    I think you earned it by NASTAR rules.

    Expect Putterman to defend everything NASTAR does.
    He does that and rudely too.

    Forums are for stirring the pot.
    Mix it up and welcome!

  9. #9
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    Thanks Da Kine

    In fact I think I was a member here ages ago - but never posted - and lost my log in. I was reading here years ago for sure.

    I don't mind the lack of medal so much - as I said if I wanted it badly I'd just race as disabled - I do object to randomly adjust the 'actual rules' from the 'written rules' because some random person decides that the racers involved do not 'deserve' the handicaps they have earned within the written rules.

    The handicaps will never be perfect - but the rules as written should be what are applied if they are to be worth anything.

  10. #10
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    So, you guys seem to think it's hunky dory to reset results from an entire first race, to a par time the pacesetter couldn't establish at the start of the race? Well that's cool, but how about some consistency?

    If that's what you want, do it this way then. Change the rules. Let the pacesetter run the courses twice. Once at the beginning of the race, then again at the end. Use his fastest times to establish a par time for the entire day. That way, he'll have a pretty good chance of catching the course at it's fastest, and sticking it to those racers who had their best runs, or skied on the course, at the slower end of the day.

    That's exactly what happened here. If that's the way you guys think the game should be played, no problem here, just do it across the board. Not only on occasion HQ thinks a racer was 2 or 3 handicap points under where he should of been, so they arbitrarily stick it to the rest of the entire field.

    I seriously doubt there is anything in the rules to allow them to do what they did on this day. And there wasn't even a "greater good" reason to justify swaying from established MO the way they did. No one broke par time. Two low handicap racers simply put up low handicap scores. Over the past 5 years I've been a 1 handicap or lower racer 3 separate seasons. I scored a 4 that day.

    Look, I don't care for me here. I always ski single digit platinum when I actually race, and I will do better than I did that day in the future. I'm more interested in seeing this great racing program stay consistent in how they do things. When they don't, it shines poorly on them. They can't just Willy Nilly decide to change how they do things, mid steam. If leaves a bad taste.

    I've been a huge ambassador for NASTAR over the years. I've directed 100's of people to its doors. I've run prep camps at Steamboat for Nationals, when they were being held there. I've currently organized a NASTAR camp for the end of this month, and have 30 people coming in to Breckenridge from all over the world. Some are coming to give racing a try for the first time. Others are current NASTAR racers, coming to learn how they can improve their results. As a major promoter of the organization, stuff being done as it was on this day embarrasses me.

    Racing is a great sport, because it has a clock. There are no judges influenced by politics in ski racing. Is it perfect? No. The tracks change through the course of a run, and we do what we can to level things. I come from FIS racing and coachinng, and we have things we do to help: draws, reverse 30, track hardening techniques. NASTAR has it's way of keeping things consistent and fair also; running a second race mid day, establishing a new par time to be used from that point forward, or measures that should be taken if the par time is broken.

    What they don't do in FIS racing is move the finish line one gate higher towards the end of a race if the TD thinks the ruts are getting a little large. They only act with their established rules. NASTAR should not take arbitrary actions outside the established rules either.
    Last edited by FastMan; 01-14-2011 at 10:47 PM.
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