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Author Topic: MIX Competition Format  (Read 6858 times)
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JimB
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« 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.
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RonG
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« Reply #1 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.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2009, 09:17 AM by RonG » Logged
Bill Rogers
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« Reply #2 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

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Allen Carter
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« Reply #3 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.

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Allen, AKA kitehead
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« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2009, 12:58 PM »

Sorry Jim & John, but I'd have to agree with everyone here so far.
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RonG
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« Reply #5 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.
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Bill Rogers
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« Reply #6 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  Smiley

See ya,
Bill
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Allen Carter
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« Reply #7 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.




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Allen, AKA kitehead
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« Reply #8 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.  Shocked Wink

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.
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Allen Carter
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« Reply #9 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.
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Allen, AKA kitehead
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« Reply #10 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
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Bill Rogers
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« Reply #11 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  Smiley

Take care,
Bill

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Bill Rogers
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« Reply #12 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  Smiley

See ya,
Bill
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johnfarl
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« Reply #13 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
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« Reply #14 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. 
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