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Kites! Kites! Kites! => Sport Kites => Topic started by: JimB on July 14, 2009, 08:51 PM



Title: MIX Competition Format
Post by: JimB on July 14, 2009, 08:51 PM
John Barresi brought up this format in his recent Kitelife editorial.

Apparently it was rejected by the AKA.

Seems like an interesting format.

Three compulsories for 45% of total score with the remaining 55% falling to the Ballet component.

The estimated average time savings of 30-40% would seem to make it very attractive to organizers and staff alike.

What is the beef with this format?

Does anyone have any experience with MIX?

How did it go?

Thanks.


Title: Re: MIX Competition Format
Post by: RonG on July 15, 2009, 12:18 AM
It throws the precision technical routine out.  I happen to think that's an important component of the precision discipline.

It forces everyone to fly both precision compulsories and a ballet routine.  There are now, and have always been people who want to fly only precision or only ballet.  I happen to think both are important, but time and time again it has been shown that we'd lose more than a few competitors in the US if we forced the issue.  I don't think we can afford to lose any more.

I don't think it's going to be any more enjoyable for competitors than having two separate disciplines.  It may save time on the schedule, but given the abysmally low numbers these days, time isn't really the issue.

That was my opinion when I cast my vote against it, and it still is.


Title: Re: MIX Competition Format
Post by: Bill Rogers on July 15, 2009, 09:05 AM
That was my opinion when I cast my vote against it, and it still is.

What Ron said. And I would like to add that I spoke to a current competitor a couple weeks ago that said he would quit flying individual if it went to Mix. Basically his feeling was if he blew a figure, he still had a chance to redeem himself and place in ballet (or vice versa), but with the Mix format, if you blow a figure, you blow the whole shebang.

I have had people tell me they would quit competing if it went to Mix. I have yet to have someone tell me they would start competing if it went to Mix.

See ya,
Bill



Title: Re: MIX Competition Format
Post by: Allen Carter on July 15, 2009, 12:48 PM
From a flyers perspective, why take away an event? It would be a drag to get to take the field half as much.

From a ballet-centric POV, a MIX routine has a lower probability of being esthetically pleasing to the flyer or spectators. It's like combining gymnastics and Swan Lake.



Title: Re: MIX Competition Format
Post by: kitelover on July 15, 2009, 12:58 PM
Sorry Jim & John, but I'd have to agree with everyone here so far.


Title: Re: MIX Competition Format
Post by: RonG on July 15, 2009, 01:07 PM
And I would like to add that I spoke to a current competitor a couple weeks ago that said he would quit flying individual if it went to Mix. Basically his feeling was if he blew a figure, he still had a chance to redeem himself and place in ballet (or vice versa), but with the Mix format, if you blow a figure, you blow the whole shebang.
Quite true.  I remember when some years ago there was discussion of determining placing based on a combination of both precision and ballet results, similar to the way many European events are run.  You don't have 3 places in Masters Indiv. Dual Line Ballet and another 3 in Masters Indiv. Dual Line Precision, just 3 Masters Indiv. Dual Line placings based on a combination of the precision and ballet results.  The level of resistance among US fliers was surprising, and it was dropped as an option for AKA competition.

To me, it seems like MIX is just a way to further marginalize sport kite competition.  If time savings are a concern, things like running combined disciplines (multiple classes, one judging panel) can go a long way if organizers put some forethought into it.  Mandatory pre-registration, like Marc Conklin has been pushing for in the EL, make a streamlined schedule even easier to accomplish.


Title: Re: MIX Competition Format
Post by: Bill Rogers on July 15, 2009, 02:08 PM
From a ballet-centric POV, a MIX routine has a lower probability of being esthetically pleasing to the flyer or spectators. It's like combining gymnastics and Swan Lake.

Exactly. That was part of my argument against Mix when it first came to the SKC, that we would now force people to watch precision. And as Ron pointed out, force people to fly both.

Another point is some people fly different kites for precision and ballet, and having time to get used to the kite before you have to compete is a good thing. Mix doesn't allow that time needed to get used to a kite. And personally I like a slow kite for precision and a faster one for ballet, so even if I use the same set of kites I would either be switching versions of the kite, or adding/subracting brakes and such. 90 seconds isn't much time to do that. Can be done, but you would need a savvy field crew.

I could go on and on about this, but will stop for now  :)

See ya,
Bill


Title: Re: MIX Competition Format
Post by: Allen Carter on July 15, 2009, 02:26 PM
I don't know ANYONE who ever STOPPED competing because of event format issues.

I've also never spoken with anyone who cited the event format as a reason NOT to start competing.






Title: Re: MIX Competition Format
Post by: JimB on July 15, 2009, 02:55 PM
Hey, I don't even have a horse in this race.. I'm just curious as to why it got the heave ho.

I guess you guys are pretty vehement on the subject of MIX.  :o ;)

Still seems like an interesting format to me. A little more coherent for the public to watch, a little easier to run.

Not that I would know anything about it.


Title: Re: MIX Competition Format
Post by: Allen Carter on July 15, 2009, 03:50 PM
I'd say it would be better for spectators than watching Precision only, but not as good as straight Ballet.

But of course, I'm firmly in the camp of "forget about civilians, run comps for flyers". A LOT of the problems with AKA comps could be solved if people admitted that it's not a spectator sport.


Title: Re: MIX Competition Format
Post by: lummas on July 15, 2009, 03:55 PM
Like everything, I believe it is very much a personal preference.  Coming from Europe where we have always competed in Precision and Ballet and only have a title that combines both, I feel this is a good solution, as it develops more rounded flyers, rather than specialists in just one area.  Our format was always the old 3 figures, precision freestyle routine and then ballet routine.  The figures and precision routine were flown in one session (often in the morning) and the ballets in another.

I competed like this for 5+ years and also became the National Director of STACK UK, responsible for organizing the competition events and working with festival organizers to get them hosted.

The precision figures and routine are generally not intersting for the public.  No matter how good the fliers are, it does not take long for the public to get bored and walk on!  The ballets however, are public friendly and keep peoples interest for a lot longer.  So for me, from this experience, the MIX format is a good idea.  

It gets rid of an area of competition that is not conducive to encoraging people to watch (and hopefully develop and interest and get involved one day), reduces the workload for the judging/field staff and develops pilots skilled in both the art of accurate precision flying and choreographed ballet.

Obviously it also depends on how/where you are running events and therefore if you care about public or are just trying to suit flyers.  For comps run as part of a larger event/festival, then keeping the publics interest is more important and that is generally how they are done in Europe.

As I said, this is just my 2c and I totally agree that everyone has an opinion based upon sound reasoning.  I have to say that I am surprised by quite how vehemently people seem to be against this in the US, but hey, each to their own.  

Nowadays I do not compete anyway and simply focus on the ballet aspect and demo all over the world.  This was a concious decision as we felt that this was the most enjoyable part of flying and certainly the area that would help best expose kiting to the masses.

Good winds to all......

Mark
Team Too Much Fun
ex Team Sky Dance


Title: Re: MIX Competition Format
Post by: Bill Rogers on July 15, 2009, 07:30 PM
The figures and precision routine were flown in one session (often in the morning) and the ballets in another.

That is basically how we do it now, at least in the NW. Try and hold the precision stuff in the morning for the most part, and ballet in the afternoon when you have the better chance of an audience.

Quote
The precision figures and routine are generally not intersting for the public.  No matter how good the fliers are, it does not take long for the public to get bored and walk on!  The ballets however, are public friendly and keep peoples interest for a lot longer.  So for me, from this experience, the MIX format is a good idea.  

Actually this is one of the reasons I don't like Mix, it forces the audience to watch precision, at least the figures (I find the freestyle the best part to watch in precision, at least in pairs and team). There is ballet in there too, but you have to sit through the precision for every flyer. My wife, who is a professional spectator, says she would get bored and not want to watch for long. I can understand that feeling.

Ok, now I am done again  :)

Take care,
Bill



Title: Re: MIX Competition Format
Post by: Bill Rogers on July 15, 2009, 07:34 PM
I don't know ANYONE who ever STOPPED competing because of event format issues.

I've also never spoken with anyone who cited the event format as a reason NOT to start competing.

Agreed, I have yet to see anyone quit over a format either, but it is the first time I had heard a couple people *threaten* to quit over a format.

I am planning on going back to competing individual when we start competing team again, and would be less likely if it was Mix format. Not saying I wouldn't, but my desire to compete individual is low enough that it might be enough to keep me from doing it.

Ok, now I am really done... at least for tonite  :)

See ya,
Bill


Title: Re: MIX Competition Format
Post by: johnfarl on July 19, 2009, 10:37 AM
I enjoy precision.  I would hate to see it go.  I like the challenge of designing a freestyle routine that shows the level of skill achieved.  I like what practicing precision does for me as a flyer.  I also enjoy judging precision.

If we want to become show people then lets just open it up and with no rules but time limits.  Kind of Americas Got Talent format of anything goes.  That is ok but misses the point of why we fly these expensive toys.

Please don't "MIX" me up.

John


Title: Re: MIX Competition Format
Post by: TeeCee on July 22, 2009, 08:17 AM
I'm also against MIX.  It doesn't give a Competitor the full opportunity to have his skills evaluated.  To me, it'd be the same as when figure skating dropped the compulsories in favor of the short and long program; better teevee, but not necessarily better showcasing of the inherent skills.

If MIX was to actually be adopted, I believe I would rather support "for Fliers only" Comps that offer the two disciplines. 


Title: Re: MIX Competition Format
Post by: zippy8 on July 22, 2009, 08:47 AM
If MIX was to actually be adopted, I believe I would rather support "for Fliers only" Comps that offer the two disciplines. 
If the oh-so-controversial MIX format competition also came with big prizes how strong would your resolve be then ?

Over on this side of "The Pond" I've never quite grasped the reason why AKA/USAians stick to such narrow competitions. It seems to take specialisation to the limits.

Mike.


Title: Re: MIX Competition Format
Post by: TeeCee on July 22, 2009, 08:56 AM
I doubt it'd change.   8)


Title: Re: MIX Competition Format
Post by: Allen Carter on July 22, 2009, 01:16 PM
Big prizes for a sport kite comp...


You funny!


Title: Re: MIX Competition Format
Post by: lummas on July 22, 2009, 04:43 PM
Hey, there used to be.  We had a comp in the UK with cash prizes and in 1996/7 there was a competition in Guadeloupe with decent cash prizes and all expenses paid for competitors to get and stay there.

Things have changed now and times are harder.!

Mark


Title: Re: MIX Competition Format
Post by: zippy8 on July 22, 2009, 11:40 PM
Big prizes for a sport kite comp... You funny!

Lemme see... I've got a custom kite, fancy spars, neat accessories, clothing, kitchenware and money (http://virtualfreestyle.googlepages.com/virtualfreestyle11222) to give away and a full inbox. I reckon a little good, old-fashioned bribery would peel away those reservations about MIX like tequila at Spring Break.

Mike.


Title: Re: MIX Competition Format
Post by: Allen Carter on July 23, 2009, 09:40 AM
Hey, there used to be.  We had a comp in the UK with cash prizes and in 1996/7 there was a competition in Guadeloupe with decent cash prizes and all expenses paid for competitors to get and stay there.

Things have changed now and times are harder.!

Mark

I believe I saw $10,000 in prizes listed for a big event in S.F. in the early '90s.

Back when sport kite comps drew spectators, but even more important, new flyers. These days most new flyers are NOT thrilled by comps. We're talking old fashioned AKA comps in this context.


Title: Re: MIX Competition Format
Post by: DWayne on July 23, 2009, 10:14 AM
More people might compete, regardless of format, if there was a non AKA option available. I was really hoping TP would come to the West Coast. But it seems they are no more.  :(

Denny


Title: Re: MIX Competition Format
Post by: RonG on July 23, 2009, 11:58 AM
I was really hoping TP would come to the West Coast. But it seems they are no more.  :(
We tried, in the Northwest.  It just didn't catch on.


Title: Re: MIX Competition Format
Post by: asburyparkjohn on July 23, 2009, 01:08 PM
There should be a TP added on to the end of the AKA format and this NEEDS to  be integrated into the AKA program - NOW. It failed in the NorthEAST because it was all by ITSELF.
You would need to eliminate certain AKA program events like OIOU or where you have one or two teams competing among themselves which I really have to question their CURRENT WORTH - although I had the idea of flying a 2-3 minute dual kite OIOU routine next year in Wildwood blind-folded - sort of how I flew at Liberty recently  :D.
Some flyers say AKA events are not for every flyer. I agree based on the current format. I had one veteran flyer tell me the AKA does not want anything to do with trick flying at all - after what I consider a half decent ballet program perfromance in Wildwood and an unfortunate (my opinion) poor performance at Liberty the ballet program unquestionably requires alot of skill and preperation particuarly when the wind is not in your favor. I do not take part in Precision because at my beach where I practice most weekedns now flying 100-125' lines most of the times is not an option between June-September. So why compete in a flying practice I generally do not get to practice. Actually - I do find it boring. I would prefer to learn NEW tricks and perfect current trick combinations. This is my real passion in  dual line kite flying - this of course is very time consuming.
The current AKA format in my opinion in some ways is not comensurate with the current dual line sport kite which in my opinion is primarily MADE JUST TO TRICK. The current AKA events do bring fellowship with one another, imparts discipline into your bag and you get to see a good array of new kite designs, etc.. Discipline to me now being defined as a Master flyer told me recently in sticking with one kite design and learning it inside/out. You can never really get good by kite jumping. Who can argue. I think these AKA events also solidify this lesson. Precision & ballet programs indirectly do make you a good flyer I do see a limitation with lack of trick flying in your programs not being a real negative on your SCORE -  I saw one Master Flyer recently fly nothing but straight lines in a recent ballet program and get a score of 60-something. He traveled around 500 miles just to do this ...
What's going on here? Where are we going? What is the current measuring scale between NOVICE/EXPERIENCED/MASTER? Since we are down to threshold numbers in participants is any decision too risky for AKA event modifications? Maybe - as we could lose certain veterans that show up to these events. Although only at my third AKA event at Liberty is seems alot of people are living in the PAST.
My only point - integrate TP into AKA - NOW! Actually - what little I know about quads - the current AKA format works fine for this kite design (precision & ballet) - but NOT for duals - NO WAY. DUALS - Ballet, Precision, TP. With TP as a flight option on the sign up form - who is really going to leave or get INTIMIDATED. Nobody.


Title: Re: MIX Competition Format
Post by: Beachbum on July 23, 2009, 01:24 PM
We tried, in the Northwest.  It just didn't catch on.

It was a great effort though, but I do have to agree with those who are reminiscing about the old days that the time has come and gone.  Look at the Lady in Red video and how it was on TV and then look up "Expert kite flyer" on youtube.

No offense to VF guys, whom I have major respect, but I think VF can potentially take away the desire to travel and what really got organized kiting started.

I think there should be a focus on recruiting and paving the way to create more festivals to get the fan base back and then reinvest the time into comps.


Title: Re: MIX Competition Format
Post by: RonG on July 23, 2009, 02:06 PM
There should be a TP added on to the end of the AKA format and this NEEDS to  be integrated into the AKA program - NOW. It failed in the NorthEAST because it was all by ITSELF.
IMO it didn't fail.  We had a crew of fliers and staff who were quite dedicated to it, and for that we are grateful.  We simply didn't have the energy or desire to market it further, and our interests were beginning to move away from kiting, so we chose to shut it down.  We started TP-USA, and we made the decision to terminate it.

From the noticeable improvements in skill level I saw, and the good times people seemed to have competing in it, I'd hardly call it a "failure".

BTW, the most successful and enjoyable Tricks Parties were the standalone ones, not the ones we tried to shoehorn into an existing AKA event.  Many of the things that make it enjoyable are the same things that make it incompatible with existing IRB style competition.


Title: Re: MIX Competition Format
Post by: Beachbum on July 23, 2009, 03:03 PM
How was the turnout like for a TP event stateside?

I regard TP USA not as failing, but not "Self sustaining".


Title: Re: MIX Competition Format
Post by: asburyparkjohn on July 23, 2009, 03:55 PM
The goal here is to bring in more flyers and move away of putting the burden on a very small core group of INDEPENDENT experienced TP flyers if the TP was to come back here in the States. This burden should now belong with the AKA. In terms of the TP's I went to - only three - I consider them all equal in enjoyment - the TP run by Dave Smith & yourself in CT. with the novice class was KEY - in which the novice could pick any three tricks and then fly his TP ballet. I just think there are a few wasted events in the current AKA line-up which could be filled with a TP (Novice/Experienced) competition. A third dual line competing area along with ballet and precision has in my opinion come knocking on the door. Maybe failure is too strong a word ... its just ENDED ... unfortunately. This is something I would SUPPORT ... both with my time and money.


Title: Re: MIX Competition Format
Post by: zippy8 on July 23, 2009, 09:02 PM
No offense to VF guys, whom I have major respect, but I think VF can potentially take away the desire to travel and what really got organized kiting started.
A minute and a half's flying every few months really isn't a replacement for a festival. Or it shouldn't be.

Mike.


Title: Re: MIX Competition Format
Post by: DWayne on July 23, 2009, 09:14 PM
I'd be all for seeing TP back in action in the states as long as it was not associated with AKA in any way shape or form.


Denny


Title: Re: MIX Competition Format
Post by: Focus Kite Designs on July 25, 2009, 01:54 PM
Been reading this thread and have found it very interesting.  We wanted to throw out a idea we had for a new format that has not been mentioned here. 

How about we integrate the precision figures/compulsories into the ballet routine.  This way you showcase your precision flying skills without the perceived “boredom” that has been mentioned here already with watching a precision performance.  Let us state that we are in no way diminishing the value of learning precision flying or the amount of skill it takes to do precision well.  We are simply proposing to require that certain figures be flown in a ballet routine, thus keeping things more crowd pleasing.   

We do feel that ballet routines are crowd pleasing and there are potential benefits to being crowd pleasing.  A benefit to having more crowds at events is that there is a direct audible appreciation to the fliers which can be rewarding in itself.  One circle of benefits is that visible/attractive competitions can attract more people to participate in the sport, which can lead to new kite fliers and later, new competitors.  This would result in even more interesting competitions.  The other circle of benefits would be that more crowds at events can lead to sponsorship dollars for events. This can then lead to prize money for competitors.  We are not talking about $10,000 in prize money but something.  Even $50 to $100 is an incentive.  Combine prize money with the direct audible appreciation and you have more motivation for people to want to compete resulting in more interesting competitions.

The last idea we will throw out for now is Real Time Scoring.  We feel that announcing the scores very soon after a competitor competes will allow a crowd to get a better feel for what is good and what is bad.  This can build the drama of competition for the crowd and keep them interested.  Combine this with a good announcer, or better yet 2 announcers that can talk to each other explaining what is going on and really building the drama.  Look at successful sports such as figure skating, skateboarding, or motocross.  They normally announce scores right after the competitor is done and there are normally at least 2 commentators discussing the events.

We know there are challenges with all of these ideas.  But we do not see them as challenges that cannot be overcome.  What do you think of these ideas?

Thanks,

Paul de Bakker & Hunter Brown
Focus Kite Designs
www.focuskites.com (http://www.focuskites.com)


Title: Re: MIX Competition Format
Post by: Bill Rogers on July 25, 2009, 04:44 PM
How about we integrate the precision figures/compulsories into the ballet routine. 

Hey Hunter and Paul,

The issue I have with this is that ballet to me is all about interpreting the music. Flying a figure to music and saying you are flying to the music would be very difficult at best. IMO you would end up flying precision with music playing in the background.

In individual I had a set ballet routine to a piece of music. In pairs and team we have the same thing. In team we don't call any of our moves, it is all set to the music.

Making us fly precision figures in our ballet would totally mess this up. We practice our set routine over and over and over again to where we don't have to think about it anymore. Making us flying different things in our ballet routine every time would make life much more difficult. Even currently in precision we have our set freestyle routine and the only difference is the figures we fly outside off all this by itself.

So I said all that to say that flying figures in ballet would no longer be ballet, just precision with music playing.

See ya,
Bill


Title: Re: MIX Competition Format
Post by: Focus Kite Designs on July 25, 2009, 07:23 PM
Bill,

Thanks for your input on this concept.  Your concern is something we have thought about and it would need to be dealt with.  We DO NOT want it to be precision to music.  There would only be a few required figures and these probably would not change comp to comp.  It cannot be expected for a flier or team to change ether routine comp to comp. We did not mean that at all.  With our concept you just have to build your routine with the pre-selected figures in it.  It can be as it always has for you when it comes to learning a routine and getting them set.  You would just have to think a bit different when developing the routine to be sure and incorporate some figures.  We certainly understand that ballet is the interpretation of the music but believe incorporating some figures would not be too difficult. 

The intention is for it to be ballet to the music first.  Not precision to music.

Thanks for the input and please keep it coming!

Hunter & Paul
Focus Kite Designs
www.focuskites.com (http://www.focuskites.com)


Title: Re: MIX Competition Format
Post by: Beachbum on July 25, 2009, 08:11 PM
No offense to VF guys, whom I have major respect, but I think VF can potentially take away the desire to travel and what really got organized kiting started.
A minute and a half's flying every few months really isn't a replacement for a festival. Or it shouldn't be.

Mike.

Well it is, so there!

Crazy kids and your fancy shmancy internet.  Back in the days we didn't need cell phones either, we just yelled really loud.


Title: Re: MIX Competition Format
Post by: Bill Rogers on July 25, 2009, 08:19 PM
Thanks for your input on this concept.  Your concern is something we have thought about and it would need to be dealt with.  We DO NOT want it to be precision to music.  There would only be a few required figures and these probably would not change comp to comp.  It cannot be expected for a flier or team to change ether routine comp to comp. We did not mean that at all.  With our concept you just have to build your routine with the pre-selected figures in it. 

Hey Hunter and Paul,

It would definitely have to stay the same "figures" from comp to comp.

I still have issues with it though. It is already very difficult to find a song to build a routine around (we are in that process now). I would not only have to find something with all the criteria I have now, but add another step of finding music that would fit these precision figures. And if I did find something where they would fit, I would never want to change my music again  :)  And if the figures changed from season to season (variety you know), that would make life even more complicated.

Also the precision figures now are a certain size/dimension (and I assume they would be if put into a ballet, else how would you judge them?), and without music it is fairly easy to keep the figures the correct size/shape. But as the wind picks up or drops we change kites to fit it the best we can, but you can only do so much. So the things we do can be bigger, longer or smaller, etc. depending on the wind, because we have to turn when the music calls for it. This would make the prescribed figures different sizes than what may be called for, depending on the wind.

Personally, although I think precision is important, I would rather do away with precision altogether than try and incorporate it into my ballet routine.

Thanks,
Bill


Title: Re: MIX Competition Format
Post by: Allen Carter on July 25, 2009, 09:14 PM
I really think IRB Precision should morph, incorporating some elements of Tricks Party type comps.

A Figure is really just an old school trick. It's a show me what you can do kind of thing. The descriptions and judging criteria for figures and slack line tricks are well established. Call it Technical rather then Precision. Old skool flyers like me would have to kick ass on the old skool components to make up for the lack of top tier slack line tricks, but I think judging could encompass enough elements to accommodate a variety of flying styles.

For a lot of flyers things wouldn't change much. They already incorporate clean slackline tricks into their technical routine.

It comes down to changing comps for the benefit of flyers or the benefit of spectators. Both are important but everytime we've had this discussion over the years it's the spectator oriented stuff that is more drastic and/or more costly. Things like real time scoring.

I think comps should focus on change to be more relevant and challenging for new flyers. Otherwise, pretty soon there won't be anything for spectators to see anyway.


Title: Re: MIX Competition Format
Post by: RonG on July 26, 2009, 04:35 AM
A Figure is really just an old school trick. It's a show me what you can do kind of thing. The descriptions and judging criteria for figures and slack line tricks are well established. Call it Technical rather then Precision. Old skool flyers like me would have to kick ass on the old skool components to make up for the lack of top tier slack line tricks, but I think judging could encompass enough elements to accommodate a variety of flying styles.

Suggestions like this are great.  They also frustrate the living hell out of me (not you personally, Allen).

You see we've had this circular argument for a long time, and it was central to the appeal....and resistance....we met with Tricks Party.

Do you know that on more than one occasion, I've had friends tell me that, when my name came up in conversation with unnamed 3rd parties, those people said I had "helped kill competitive sport kiting in the Eastern US"?  You know why?  Because 9 years ago I made judges start dealing with "advanced" tricks in my ballet and technical routines (something beyond axels, stalls, and slides), and this raised the bar, discouraging people from entering competition and forcing older competitors out.  As ridiculous as this sounds, it does indicate a resistance to evolution that we have in the sport kite community.

The stuff I did then (and now) is child's play compared to what the better European competitors were doing, but here it was a sea change.

You see, there are more than a few competitors out there that think we've gone too far already.  That think asking people to land or stall the kite in a precision figure is unreasonable.  That think Masters competitors who successfully incorporate tricks into their routines are making it too hard for everyone else, and that Experienced and Novice competitors shouldn't even be allowed to experiment with it.  I'd laugh at that attitude, but unfortunately these people form a substantial (and vocal) part of the existing sport kite competition base.

So, yeah...I'd love to to make precision (and ballet) look more like Tricks Party, to make it evolve and incorporate the things kite and fliers have become capable of in the last 15 years, but you have to recognize that we lose a significant number of the existing base by doing so.  That base is very, very small to begin with, and I see no evidence to suggest that the floodgates of new competitors would open by changing a few things in the format.

/rant


Title: Re: MIX Competition Format
Post by: Allen Carter on July 26, 2009, 07:29 AM
you have to recognize that we lose a significant number of the existing base by doing so.  That base is very, very small to begin with,

/rant

Yup. I hate to say it, but those folks (or their attitude) are what's killing (has killed?) IRB comps in the U.S.

I think it's possible to accommodate old school and new alike, but the judging has to be a lot more sophisticated than it is. A major burden on the judges. Is a Steps Down easier to do than a Jacobs Ladder? Both "tricks" take a bit of learning to even get all the way through at first, then the range of performance between acceptable and perfect is huge.


Title: Re: MIX Competition Format
Post by: zippy8 on July 26, 2009, 09:51 AM
Yup. I hate to say it, but those folks (or their attitude) are what's killing (has killed?) IRB comps in the U.S.
Hmmm.... do they perhaps have the inklings of a point though ?

Without the disruptive influence of such ne'er-do-wells as Ron and his ilk perhaps the ranks of competition would be full to overflowing with people flying the same way that they've always done. Perhaps it would be a larger competition, albeit one fossilised in about 1992. It is... a viewpoint. ;)

I've "done" STACK/IRB, I've done some freestyle comps. too and now I've dipped my toe (or possibly oar) into VF. In my experience rule changes do precisely, exactly and completely NOTHING. If people wish to compete, then they will. If they don't, then no amount of fiddling will make it happen. If MIX is being introduced to "bring new blood into the sport" then it won't work. You might as well just ask the few people that do turn up how they wish to spend their weekend and just do that. Amuse yourselves and hope that if it looks fun enough then maybe someone else might join in. But don't worry about that.

Put up a bunch of prizes and tell people what they have to do to win them - that does work.

Mike.


Title: Re: MIX Competition Format
Post by: mikenchico on July 27, 2009, 12:05 AM
I don't compete, have only done so one time, that first time I ONLY entered the precision event. Why? First off I had NO IDEA what a ballet routine would look like, but I had ordered the AKA's compulsory figures booklet and knew I could fly those figures.

Make somebody who has never even seen a sport kite competition before develop a competitive ballet routine before they can come to play and, at least in my case, I won't come play.

You've got to keep in mind that I had to travel 1200 miles round trip to enter that first competition, I had no idea what it would be like or what would be expected of me. Now consider that was 1989 when the sport was at its peak, we had over 80 competitors at that event. Today at the West Coast Championships there were maybe 7 (?) competitors including each member of a team and one team was formed about 5 minutes before the comp just to get somebody on the field. How many opportunities will a new flier have today to witness a comp when there are only 7 competitive fliers on the whole West Coast today and all the comps are held within what 80 miles of their homes? I live relatively close and I still had to drive 7 hours today to watch those 7 fliers.

Ballet first requires some idea of what a kite ballet routine looks like. Three minute postage stamp sized clips on You Tube do not give one a clue as to what a competition is like. Then it requires much more work, choreography, music selection & practice-practice-practice. In my case No Thanks. If your trying to attract new competitors KISS*


* Keep it simple stupid or better yet keep it stupid simple


Title: Re: MIX Competition Format
Post by: asburyparkjohn on July 27, 2009, 09:31 AM
To me now flying these competitions in ballet has to do with the word "conservative". I am thinking of moving up to Masters next year in the Eastern league but I also need to put some time into the routines unlike this year which I obviously just winged it at Wildwood & Liberty. I am looking at three routines: 1- A routine in low wind. 2- A routine in high wind. 3- A routine in choppy/dirty wind (just in case - hard to believe at Wildwood - more for Liberty). So I am looking at three pieces of music that can fit this bill. Along with this bring three kites with me to the staging area instead of two - and fly conservative. Use slack line tricks as punches in the program so fly straight line - PUNCH - straight line - PUNCH - a precision type move - PUNCH, etc. - in some ways this is a skill with alot of experience needed. The mind set here to me is also huge when I am just tricking on the beach as compared to flying a so-called solid ballet. Still it does bother me - whether I punch with a difficult double Yo-Yo or a Sleeping Beauty - the overall score is not going to change much with the current scoring system - I think?


Title: Re: MIX Competition Format
Post by: RonG on July 27, 2009, 09:39 AM
To me now flying these competitions in ballet has to do with the word "conservative".
Flying ballet has everything to do with interpreting your music in a way that the judges can understand.  You get no extra points for "conservative" or "extreme".  If a double yo-yo fits the part of the music you're interpreting, use it.  If something else fits better, use that instead.  You get no extra points for attempting lots of difficult stuff (particularly if you fail to hit most of it) if the ballet is an incoherent mess.

As hard as it may be to believe, this was true of Tricks Party as well as IRB ballet.  The feedback from the TP judges was pretty consistent - the people who most often won were those that could not only execute well, but also had obvious choreography.


Title: Re: MIX Competition Format
Post by: asburyparkjohn on July 27, 2009, 11:07 AM
You are always right ... conservative being don't hit the trick unless you can do it 100% of the time as your buddy from NH has told me already ... OK ... 80% if you like to live dangerously ... and avoid TREES ... now I am aware of the Liberty south field SW wind VORTEX  :'( - additionally - its making sure every note mimics the movement of the kite. My problem now is I am spoiled with these beach winds ... even from the West ... I found a spot with no bumps or dirty winds ... at Asbury ... I found myself easily thrown off if I am anywhere else INLAND or away from the Beach...  I have been enjoying the OVERALL events particularly at Wildwood ... my first time there this year and I was in HEAVEN with all the kites ... in terms of the comp and a TP add-on ... if you can't beat them ... join them ... although it feels like I am flying in another era ... HOWEVER all the little extras I picked up from these events has made flying duals so much more enjoyable ... just have to FORCE MYSELF for a couple of weekends in setting up these three types of ballet. Well this is my plan anyway to at least have a respectable score in this class - at this point I know I have the skill but for lack of a better word I am lacking ... the DISCIPLINE. One thing is for sure Ron ... I could never fly an entire routine of straight line flying - etc. ... just can't do it ... 2009 is a new year ... sooner or later AKA will come around with TP ... in the meantine upward & onward.


Title: Re: MIX Competition Format
Post by: Beachbum on July 27, 2009, 11:16 AM
We could always do a trick out style comp for pinks.  It would be on the totally other end from figures and there is a prize at the end.

Problem solved


Title: Re: MIX Competition Format
Post by: DWayne on July 27, 2009, 12:33 PM
Mike pretty well summed up why IRB comps are dieing and VF isn't. People just aren't willing to put in the time and effort needed to become competitive in IRB type comps. VF is thriving because it doesn't require much time or effort. Stand in front of the camera and aimlessly flail about for a minute and you're good to go. No practice or forethought needed. In fact some of the VF contestants scorn the idea of planning a routine. So unless there's some radical change in our lifestyles (more leisure time and disposable income) it appears IRB type comps are going the way of the dinosaur and VF type comps are the wave of the future. The good news for advertisers is, online comps will probably draw a bigger audience than would show up at the local park.


Denny


Title: Re: MIX Competition Format
Post by: KiteLife on July 28, 2009, 09:14 AM
We could always do a trick out style comp for pinks.  It would be on the totally other end from figures and there is a prize at the end.

Problem solved
Sweet, I'm in... That'd be wicked fun!

I always wanted to do $5 per person pools in the AKAGN masters individual events as well. :)

Sure, it'd only tally up to $50 or so, but it'd pay part of my registration or buy me a nice dinner!


Title: Re: MIX Competition Format
Post by: Beachbum on July 28, 2009, 10:22 AM
No no, I mean fly for pinks as in "I get yo kite sucka!".  No pool, just a bunch of trash talk and 3 rounds of head to head with the loser going home literally empty handed!
 :P


Title: Re: MIX Competition Format
Post by: KiteLife on July 28, 2009, 11:04 AM
Ya, I do like the idea of pink slips now and then, was just having fun with another idea as well. :)


Title: Re: MIX Competition Format
Post by: RonG on July 28, 2009, 11:29 AM
Sure, it'd only tally up to $50 or so, but it'd pay part of my registration or buy me a nice dinner!

Or someone else's.

Just sayin'  :)


Title: Re: MIX Competition Format
Post by: KiteLife on July 28, 2009, 07:30 PM
True 'nuff.  :)