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Author Topic: MIX Competition Format  (Read 6159 times)
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Focus Kite Designs
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« Reply #30 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
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Bill Rogers
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« Reply #31 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
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« Reply #32 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
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Beachbum
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« Reply #33 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.
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Bill Rogers
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« Reply #34 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  Smiley  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
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Allen Carter
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« Reply #35 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.
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« Reply #36 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
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Allen Carter
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« Reply #37 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.
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« Reply #38 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. Wink

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.
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« Reply #39 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
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« Reply #40 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?
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« Reply #41 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.
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« Reply #42 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  Cry - 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.
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« Reply #43 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
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« Reply #44 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.


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