II. Review of Past Championships
III. Future Hosts
Projected hosts for 2014:
Class A White Mountain & Kents Hill
Class B Williston & New Hampton
Class C Ethel Walker & ???
From Rob VanTuyl (Pingree)
This idea pertains to class C mostly as I believe our class has the most coach turnover. Instead of bringing on two new schools to host each year, why not have a school come on for a two-year rotation. That way one school would have experience running the event and pass it on to other school as they learn to host and then pass it down the line. Both Pingree and Dublin had no experience hosting a it was quite a task to "reinvent the wheel" so to say. I don't know if its been discussed before and there are some reasons why it doesn't work, but I know that I could easily run it next year without nearly the time and effort I had into planning this year.
2014 Pingree and Ethel Walker
2015 Ethel Walker and Next up
From Greg Leeds (NMH)
I guess the reason we haven't done it that way is that there's a tremendous amount of work hosting the event, and doing it two years in a row would be challenging. But I agree that it would be a good way to pass along the knowledge and experience, and it would always be easier the second time around.
By the way, here's the proposed host rotation for the next few years. Formatting is a bit off, but first row = class A, second = B, third = C.
White Mountain & Kents Hill
Williston & New Hampton
Ethel Walker & Bridgton
Holderness & Nobles
Worcester & Wilbraham
Middlesex & KUA
Milton & Lawrence
Bancroft & Brewster
Vermont & Concord
Miss Halls & Cushing
NMH & Deerfield
Tilton & Salisbury
IV. Helmet Rule
hard vs. soft eared helmets
If we elect to ignore the mandatory hard ear helmet rule that is fine, but we shouldn't have the rule in place and then not follow or enforce it.
From Greg Leeds (NMH)
Given that USSA has adopted this and it is a safety-related rule, I think it would be wise to adopt and enforce, if for no other reason than to manage risk and liability.
It seemed to be a non-issue this year, at least at the Class A event. I don't recall seeing any racers without the hard-cover style helmets in the GS (or at all).
V. "Racer coming to a stop" rule
Should we enforce the USSA GS rule that "racer cannot continue through course after coming to a stop" ?
From Greg Leeds (NMH)
This was a controversial issue in the class A event this year, because the race TD and chief of race were not on the same page as the group of coaches, and they improperly disqualified at least one racer. The larger issue was that the TD and race jury need to be clear of NEPSAC rules, where they may differ from USSA or FIS rules, and that the event is not a USSA-sanctioned event. Therefore, not all USSA rules necessarily apply.
Back to the rule about no hiking in GS. There are circumstances where hiking presents a safety concern to racers, and this was USSA's rationale for creating this rule. But, there are also situations where a racer who comes to a stop could hike a short section quickly, and not interfere with the racer coming behind him/her. I personally witnessed one girl racer who came to a stop, and would have been back on course within a matter of a few seconds, at no risk of being overtaken, but the TD yelled at her and insisted that she pull out. In the boys' race, a similar situation occurred. Racers were unnecessarily prohibited from continuing.
In team racing (where our event differs from USSA events), the difference between finishing and not can often be significant - it can impact the team standings. As long as the race jury and coaches monitor and manage any potentially dangerous situations on the hill, I believe safety can be maintained even while allowing racers to hike for brief periods of time in GS. I certainly wouldn't advocate allowing long hikes, and if a racer fell just past a blind knoll and was hiking up at risk of collision, I would hope a race jury member or coach would instruct the racer to pull out before the oncoming race approached.
Having said that, a stopped racer must always yield to oncoming racers, and if a racer is passed, he/she must pull out of the course.
So, I am in favor of allowing hiking in GS in the NEPSAC championship races, but with restrictions (it must be brief, and not pose a danger to other competitors).
I'm interested to hear others' thoughts.
Fall Meeting Thursday, October 24, 2013
Spring Meeting Thursday, April 24, 2014