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Thread: Pace the hill not the pacesetter?

  1. #21
    Senior Member Racer X's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Da Kine View Post
    ........Non-engineers learn to love faulty stuff.?
    And of course, there's no such thing as over-engineering something, right?

    Quote Originally Posted by Da Kine View Post
    ........ Does anyone really believe that with 21st century information technology there isn't a way to compare amateur ski racers at least as well as amateur golfers are compared?
    You think golf handicaps work well? I have a twenty handicapper friend of mine that I'd like you to play - wanna play for money? I'll put my money on him.

    I too agree that the system isn't broken - it's been vetted pretty well over the past 30 years, and only needs tweaking here or there, and is easy for most recreational skiers to accept as it is.

    Better racers as pacesetters certainly help make handicaps more accurate, and those resorts that have them are fortunate -as others such as Jamie have pointed out. And averaging a number of years of pacesetter handicaps will help even out one year anomolies, as Great Bananna has suggested.

    JMHO
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  2. #22
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    The biggest problem this year was the weather at the trials not the pacesetters.
    If fall skiing weather becomes too erratic for reliable trials (as it has been for the last two winters in the midwest) there is going to be a need for a trial-less system.
    NASTAR could also save a bundle if a credible system could be developed that eliminates trials.

    The system I have proposed would need a lot of work before it could be made to work. Meanwhile, lets hope NASTAR and the whole skiing industry doesn't go broke because of climate shift. No place is more sensitive to climate change than areas close to the freeze/thaw line where a minor shift means rain instead of snow.

  3. #23
    Senior Member oldgold76's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by villaski View Post
    On a serious note, though, a couple weeks ago in one post I started typing a list of variables affecting nastar race pace, and after about 30 I stopped, deleted what I'd written, because there will always be so many, more than nastar can control even with strict governing.
    First let me say I have the upmost respect for everyone weighing in on this topic, from whatever perspective. We have some great pacesetters, great racers and dedicated parents here and all of them make a huge contribution to Nastar and the Nastar community.

    Nonetheless, humankind has always sought ways to improve things. It is our nature. If it weren't, we wouldn't have jumbo jets, microwave ovens, cell phones, GPS and on and on. I agree with those who are concerned about making the system too complicated, but also think there are some very simple, common sense adjustments that would make the thing work better with almost no changes to the current system. Those adjustments should be investigated and tested. It is unlikely that Nastar, or any other sporting event, will go through the next century without changes. We need to work together to ensure they will be good ones. OG

  4. #24
    Senior Member jclose8's Avatar
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    What if we held pacesetter trials in the middle of winter? Say early February? Everything is way more dialed in by then. Snow conditions are good, it's cold, pacesetters have been in gates and their technique should be dialed in, you should be comfortable with any equipment changes, coursesetting should be dialed in (I set better and better courses as the season progresses), etc.

    AJ receives his handicap at the end of March, and carries it through the next season. Why not have something similar? There might be growing pains at first, but it should even out after a year or two....

    Thoughts?
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  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by jclose8 View Post
    What if we held pacesetter trials in the middle of winter? Say early February? Everything is way more dialed in by then. Snow conditions are good, it's cold, pacesetters have been in gates and their technique should be dialed in, you should be comfortable with any equipment changes, coursesetting should be dialed in (I set better and better courses as the season progresses), etc.

    AJ receives his handicap at the end of March, and carries it through the next season. Why not have something similar? There might be growing pains at first, but it should even out after a year or two....

    Thoughts?
    That sounds like a good idea to me.


    Then maybe at pacesetter trials they could have multiple courses:

    1. "steep" with a lot of offset

    2. "medium" with a lot of offset

    3. "medium" with little offset.

    Pacesetters could choose which course to run, or run all three. They could either be averaged (to equalize things nationally), or the pacesetters could choose which handicap to use based on their hill and courseset.

  6. #26
    Senior Member Racer X's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jclose8 View Post
    What if we held pacesetter trials in the middle of winter? Say early February? Everything is way more dialed in by then. Snow conditions are good, it's cold, pacesetters have been in gates and their technique should be dialed in, you should be comfortable with any equipment changes, coursesetting should be dialed in (I set better and better courses as the season progresses), etc.

    AJ receives his handicap at the end of March, and carries it through the next season. Why not have something similar? There might be growing pains at first, but it should even out after a year or two....

    Thoughts?
    Makes sense - one of the other issues with pacesetter trials when they are is that many if not most of the pacesetters have had no time on skis- and this makes a big difference - Jamie's suggestion would solve this too.

    Good idea.
    If you win, but in so doing, lose the respect of your competitors, you've not won anything at all - Paul Elvestrom - 4 time Danish Olympic gold medalist in Sailing

  7. #27
    Senior Member jclose8's Avatar
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    Maybe even a rolling average. In other words, I'm a 6.73 from this year's trials, so at the beginning of next season, all the races BEFORE trials, I use that. At next year's trials I get a 5.55 (I plan on getting better!) Maybe instead of changing my handicap to a 5.55, it becomes a 6.14..... an average of the two. It seems like the number would continue to get more and more accurate each year.
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  8. #28
    Administrator patmoore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Racer X View Post
    You think golf handicaps work well? I have a twenty handicapper friend of mine that I'd like you to play - wanna play for money? I'll put my money on him.
    The USGA course rating/slope system has been in effect for quite a while but I find more variation in golf handicaps than I do ski handicaps. Maybe it's just that I'm more inconsistent in golf.

    My ski handicaps this season have ranged from 10 to 20. I'm ignoring the aberrant 25 just after I got launched into the trees at pacesetter trials. My golf "diffs" (the equivalent of one day HC) ranged from 4 to 18.



    Although an imperfect system, NASTAR's HC program works pretty well.


    Quote Originally Posted by jclose8 View Post
    Maybe even a rolling average. In other words, I'm a 6.73 from this year's trials, so at the beginning of next season, all the races BEFORE trials, I use that. At next year's trials I get a 5.55 (I plan on getting better!) Maybe instead of changing my handicap to a 5.55, it becomes a 6.14..... an average of the two. It seems like the number would continue to get more and more accurate each year.
    I think that has a lot of merit.
    Last edited by patmoore; 03-13-2012 at 04:02 PM.
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  9. #29
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    A USGA Handicap Index grossly underestimates how many shots over par you will actually shoot, especially if you are playing more difficult courses from the Men's tees. For instance, my handicap index was as low as 2.1 at one point, I believe, and I never averaged a 74, I averaged more like 77, but had a range of 72-80. It is possible to carry a single digit Handicap Index, and average mid-eighties (again, if you are playing good courses from a back tee).

    But it's the same with NASTAR's "National Average"; both of these numbers represent your potential ability, rather than you average/actual ability.

    However, in general, I agree with Pat that there is going to be more actual variability in golf scores than skiing. There are way more variables in 18 holes of golf that will throw off a score than making turns through a 20-second race course.

    Then again, I can take 10 runs each day I ski NASTAR. If I could take 10 mulligans every shot, me and Pat would be in a playoff at the Master's next month. Of course, more akin to the NASTAR thing would be playing 10 rounds of golf and taking the best. But then actually in theory, that is much more lenient than even the USGA's current system.

    So who knows. We debate this thing to death. Let's just remember what JTBear says, that at the end of the day this is a recreational activity in which we slide down a hill on two planks.

  10. #30
    Senior Member TeamHub390's Avatar
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    Jclose8 your idea is a great one. And oldgold76 if there was a facebook 'like" button I would have clicked on it. You have a very good attitude, it is refreshing after so many complainers.

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