Hey Steve and others,
I'll try to limit my comments to the duration of halftime.
First, I see that I'm a little late to the party and that there has been a lot of disucssion of this topic on the discussion board - http://pub44.bravenet.com/forum/static/show.php?usernum=3768885695&frmid=684&msgid=1095815&cp=1&cmd=show. I post these comments there as well.
As for comments:
1. The net result of this radical schedule departure and reprioritization is to marginalize the 3v, 4v, 2N, and 3N rowers of the region. I can't support that. It also removes a lot of choice from the 1V, 2V, and 1N rowers, like racing in more than one event. I can't support that either. The only outcome I see from this schedule is the same winners in the same events with a lot more people who had no chance to honestly compete against them in the first place.
2. I think we need to focus on best serving the kids in our region. Other regions have different ideas about how to do that with their kids, but that doesn't mean we should do what they do.
3. One of the reasons behind our current system of one entry in 1V-4V events is to allow maximum regional participation in Cinci. In 2002 the GLC boys went first in the 8+, first and second in the 4+, 4x, and 2x. Back then only the top two spots were invited to Cinci, which means that the NW had very light participation at nationals that year. Our current system has allowed a much broader participation at nationals and allowing multiple entries from a single club in YNI events might change that.
4. Another benefit of our current schedule: kids can row two events. Big boats and small boats, sweeping and sculling, kids from the NW can get a taste of it all, if that is their coach's choice. College rowing may all be all about the 8+'s or rowing one event, other regions may be all about that too, but we don't have to be and I'm glad we are not.
To be clear - I'm very proud that our region provides the variety of racing opportunities that we do. More would be better, not less.
5. "The value of a medal is severely diminshed when an event is undersubscribed"? Perhaps, but only when there is not speed pairity between the entrants. Speed parity provides true racing and valuable achievements. You don't have to believe me, just ask some of our local Olympic Champs from the women's 8+ in Beijing. Only 7 boats entered the event, but I'm pretty sure those gold medals don't feel dimished to Mary Whipple or Anna Cummins.
More to the point, I know my kids feel pretty accomplished when the earn a gold from regionals. They also feel good about a hard fought silver or bronze or fourth place when they take their best shot after a season of preparation against a crew they are close to speed pairity with.
I'm not interested in taking that away from them - not from any of them.
See you next weekend,
I've been following the discussion now for a couple of weeks, and thought I would speak on behalf of a smaller club in the region.
I 100% agree with Coby. Whether you are a small or large program, the racing has to be about the kids. We had a very positive experience at regionals last year. I appreciated the fact that I was able to race my kids in multiple events whether that was sweep, sculling, 1V or 2V- and feel that they were placed in events where the level of competition best fit them. Athletes in larger programs need to have that same opportunity.
Also, if the proposed schedule is adopted, I am not sure that the quality of racing would improve. Referencing Jason's message earlier, with heats, reps, semis and finals, most athletes would be racing 7 times in one weekend. That is a lot of racing! Would their level of fatigue effect the outcome? I'm not sure.
As for the diminished value of the medals...I don't know where that is coming from. We had athletes medal for the first time in a 5 year rowing career last year. It didn't matter to them if there were 4 entries or 12, all that mattered to them was the fact that their hardwork all season had payed off.
Bottom line, I strongly believe that this is a regional championship over a YNC qualifier and we are obligated to offer events at every level of competition.
See you all next weekend,