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Locals, Weak local rider/moto count at tracks across the country
Required local racing.
Should USABMX require a minimum number of locals to earn a NAG plate?
YES [ 87 ] ** [73.73%]
NO [ 25 ] ** [21.19%]
UNSURE [ 6 ] ** [5.08%]
If USABMX required a minimum number of locals to qualify for a NAG plate, what should that number be?
5 [ 35 ] ** [29.66%]
10 [ 46 ] ** [38.98%]
15 [ 22 ] ** [18.64%]
20 [ 15 ] ** [12.71%]
Total Votes: 118
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thebondtrader55
post Jun 2 2012, 07:37 AM
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Thanks for all the great input.

I think what we may have now is a mix that is not achieving exactly the thing we want which is more riders. BMX racing kinda reminds me of a three legged stool - SX/O racing, National racing, and the local racing/series.

The SX/O is taken care of by international and Pro sanctioning bodies who seem to be doing fine. However, it requires an insane skill set that not many can or will aspire too. The injury issue too is problematic but it is PRO racing with a capital P!

The Nationals are doing fine and represent the cash cow for the ABA. If there is anyway to do a better job here than the ABA does I can't imagine it. IMO they are as professional at this as anything that exists in sport. I can't remember the last time that my family left a National with anything but a smile on our faces. The travel and cost are out there but if you can afford the cost and wear and tear it's a pretty good bang for your buck.

The local scenes seem to be the weak leg of the stool. I've been harsh on the ABA in the past saying that "they have had their chance" but in all honesty it's hard to imagine very much they haven't tried. But through no fault of anyone's the sport seems to have blurred the lines between the three legs of the stool when they in fact have very little in common. In football the field is flat, in baseball the field is flat, in basketball the court is flat - the facilities themselves are not obstacles for the participants. In our sport the facility is as much an obstacle to the rider as the other guys/gals in the motos are. If the tracks were moderated the injuries would go down to such a level that they wouldn't even warrant talking about.

It seems to me that Bikemonkeys has a great idea - another line on the track that is, by design, less difficult. This would tie in with Mike's idea about BMX lite on less difficult tracks. This is not meant to disparage the participants who want to "go big or go home" in anyway. Our sport will always be extreme and that suits me fine. But we need to make sure that everyone who wants to be part of our sport can do so.

I think Mike's term of BMX lite is a good way to describe a "back to the future" way to get more riders. We've been racing since the 70's and I know what it looked like when the sport had it's dynamic growth periods - the local tracks were absolutely clogged with novices and intermediates! It can happen again but we have to give them a place to race where they aren't scared off when they see it and aren't hurt when they try it. And who knows? Some of these kids may move up and be our next Olympic champ!

There is no reason for friction between the SX, Nationals, or the local scenes - all three can be supportive of the sport as a whole. Pretty darn exciting times for BMX racing right now, all we need are a few adjustments here and there to maximize our potential!

Thanks All!
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JAF2
post Jun 2 2012, 07:55 AM
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QUOTE (thebondtrader55 @ Jun 2 2012, 08:37 AM) *
Thanks for all the great input.

I think what we may have now is a mix that is not achieving exactly the thing we want which is more riders. BMX racing kinda reminds me of a three legged stool - SX/O racing, National racing, and the local racing/series.

The SX/O is taken care of by international and Pro sanctioning bodies who seem to be doing fine. However, it requires an insane skill set that not many can or will aspire too. The injury issue too is problematic but it is PRO racing with a capital P!

The Nationals are doing fine and represent the cash cow for the ABA. If there is anyway to do a better job here than the ABA does I can't imagine it. IMO they are as professional at this as anything that exists in sport. I can't remember the last time that my family left a National with anything but a smile on our faces. The travel and cost are out there but if you can afford the cost and wear and tear it's a pretty good bang for your buck.

The local scenes seem to be the weak leg of the stool. I've been harsh on the ABA in the past saying that "they have had their chance" but in all honesty it's hard to imagine very much they haven't tried. But through no fault of anyone's the sport seems to have blurred the lines between the three legs of the stool when they in fact have very little in common. In football the field is flat, in baseball the field is flat, in basketball the court is flat - the facilities themselves are not obstacles for the participants. In our sport the facility is as much an obstacle to the rider as the other guys/gals in the motos are. If the tracks were moderated the injuries would go down to such a level that they wouldn't even warrant talking about.

It seems to me that Bikemonkeys has a great idea - another line on the track that is, by design, less difficult. This would tie in with Mike's idea about BMX lite on less difficult tracks. This is not meant to disparage the participants who want to "go big or go home" in anyway. Our sport will always be extreme and that suits me fine. But we need to make sure that everyone who wants to be part of our sport can do so.

I think Mike's term of BMX lite is a good way to describe a "back to the future" way to get more riders. We've been racing since the 70's and I know what it looked like when the sport had it's dynamic growth periods - the local tracks were absolutely clogged with novices and intermediates! It can happen again but we have to give them a place to race where they aren't scared off when they see it and aren't hurt when they try it. And who knows? Some of these kids may move up and be our next Olympic champ!

There is no reason for friction between the SX, Nationals, or the local scenes - all three can be supportive of the sport as a whole. Pretty darn exciting times for BMX racing right now, all we need are a few adjustments here and there to maximize our potential!

Thanks All!



Agreed on all points. My only repetitive comment would be that the local scene feeds the State, Redline Cup, National scene, and eventually the SX/O. To your point, maybe the new kid that races for the first time this weekend, becomes the the next Olympic champ.
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thebondtrader55
post Jun 2 2012, 08:01 AM
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QUOTE (JAF2 @ Jun 2 2012, 07:55 AM) *
Agreed on all points. My only repetitive comment would be that the local scene feeds the State, Redline Cup, National scene, and eventually the SX/O. To your point, maybe the new kid that races for the first time this weekend, becomes the the next Olympic champ.

Right J.

Everything starts at the local level and the riders should be able to progress naturally to whatever their desire and skill level is. The local level should always be the huge base for everything above it.

Thanks
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JAF2
post Jun 3 2012, 04:17 PM
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QUOTE (JAF2 @ Jun 1 2012, 04:27 PM) *
I travel weekly on business and usually ship my bike to get some track time in the cities I visit. BMX people are a different breed and I enjoy meeting them and making new friends. What I have found at most of the tracks I visit is dwindling moto counts - usually around 10 motos. I feel the local scene is the key to introducing new riders to the sport and finding ways to pump it up should be a priority.

Should USABMX require a minimum number of locals to qualify for a NAG plate?



Voting so far - 70% in favor of a required minimum number of locals to qualify for a NAG plate.
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bmxundergrounddo...
post Jun 3 2012, 04:39 PM
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The easiest answer I've found to getting those kids to race is to throw 25 bucks in to start a money open.

Top 3 get 50, 30, 20 percent.

All of a sudden, Joe Expert doesn't mind staying if he can make even 20 or 30 bucks.
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thebondtrader55
post Jun 3 2012, 07:09 PM
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QUOTE (bmxundergrounddotcom @ Jun 3 2012, 04:39 PM) *
The easiest answer I've found to getting those kids to race is to throw 25 bucks in to start a money open.

Top 3 get 50, 30, 20 percent.

All of a sudden, Joe Expert doesn't mind staying if he can make even 20 or 30 bucks.

B, I hate to even write this because I know it's not the answer long term.

But some of the strongest racing I've ever seen is a Pro/Am where the kids get to do a rideout and there's 100 bucks or so in the kitty.

We had 4 full racks of 16 year olds to A Pros before the last Grands and it was some of the most exciting, in your face BMX racing I ever saw!

Thanks
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Elvis
post Jun 3 2012, 07:58 PM
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'Round here we're having one of our best seasons ever. Add to that it's not by chance, as the track operators have been paying attention to sanction advice.

Which is to say I'm not seeing the problem you point out.

Adding further that making the rule book thicker for number plate/ points hasn't worked out yet. You're essentially asserting that taking an incredibly minor percent of BMXers and putting an increased load on them will somehow (*airquote*) "fix" (/quotes) the situation at hand. In my experience it won't.

/broke record

Recruiting riders ups local counts. Period.

/record
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thebondtrader55
post Jun 3 2012, 08:24 PM
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Yea, I just don't see that the SX, Nationals, locals have that much if anything in common.

I don't know what can be done at this point to get NAG's to race local again. As bad as I hate it, that horse left the barn long ago.

IMO the problem is with novies, intermediates, and average experts. I firmly believe that these are the people that will fill out the moto counts one day.

All the Best

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SirMarco
post Jun 4 2012, 08:37 AM
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I understand that local racing is the heart of this sport. I do not feel that you need a minimum number of local races to hold your NAG number. Many of the top NAG riders spend a majority of their time going from national to national and are not around for many local races. I know this doesn't apply to all of them though.
If they did require it then they should not pull them out of the district points system when they earn the top 10 NAG place.
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Army125r
post Jun 4 2012, 09:22 AM
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I think it would be a good idea to have locals be the first qualifying step to Nationals.

We can put our recruiting techniques out there but in some areas you just won't see the return on your investment. In the last few years, our track has seen moto counts anywhere from 8-27 per race. The average is around 16-17. The majority of these riders are at the novice and inter levels. Our experts are no longer. Just like our cruiser classes.

The newbies are learning from some of us older riders and from the only two experts left at our track. It's pretty exciting to watch the experts during practice / warm up. The new riders sometimes watch in amazement with the skill these riders have. Right there is your advertising.

We can throw money at the situation as Nick mentioned earlier, but sometimes that just isn't enough. Making track changes helps keep the "stale feeling" out of the picture. But even that isn't enough.

If the locals were to become part of the stepping stone for the national series qualifying, you would have to see a decrease in the amount of nationals for this to work. But we all know that isn't reality. That's the cash cow for the sanctioning body.

So, where do you go to improve rider counts or bring the experts back to your track?

Jeff
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