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  • New Trials Unicycle Competition Format- IMPORTANT!!!

    Hi all,

    For all people who like uni-trials and may want to compete at some point,
    please read this!!

    This is a proposal to completely change the competition format for
    unicycle trials. It's a long email- if you prefer the same text is located
    at <http://www.geog.ubc.ca/~kholm/New%20trials%20rules%20proposal.htm>

    Last year I wrote an IUF uni-trials rulebook that basically follows the
    North American Bike Trials competition format, with a couple of minor
    modifications. For those of you that are unfamiliar with conventional
    uni/bike trials competitions, here is a very brief description:

    Three to six obstacle courses are laid out, called sections. Each rider
    must attempt to negotiate a section- if they fall or put a foot down (a
    "dab") they are given penalty points. Riders do all sections at least
    twice, and at the end of the day the person with the least number of
    penalty points is the winner.

    In my opinion, there are some significant problems with this format:

    1) It can be extremely boring!!! With such a low number of sections, you
    spend almost all your time waiting around, not riding, while one
    person at a time goes through a section.
    2) A system that penalizing failures (dabs) encourages an
    ultra-conservative, boring riding style. Generally you ride way slower
    and more cautiously than normal, because you are so afraid of screwing
    up. This is stressful and not that exciting either.
    3) The conventional format encourages "strategic dabs" over hard
    obstacles. This is where the rider intentionally puts their foot on an
    obstacle and lifts their unicycle over (or on to) the obstacle. The
    rationale is that it is better to accept one penalty point (one foot
    down) than to completely wipe out and get 3 penalty points (in bike
    trials, 5 penalty points). To me this is completely lame- it would be
    much better to encourage riders to "go for it" instead of
    intentionally not trying an obstacle.
    4) Putting long sections together can be difficult for the organizer, and
    requires lots of space and many obstacles that only get used when one
    rider is in a section (see point # 1).
    5) It's not natural. Most people don't ride for fun this way- you see
    something cool, and try it over and over until you get it- the reward
    is success and failure is just something that happens before success.

    Last night my roommate (who is a climber but not a unicyclist) had a
    brilliant suggestion: conduct unicycle trials competitions in a similar
    format to bouldering competitions in rock climbing. This is a proposed
    format, modelled after bouldering competitions:

    6) The organizer lays out numerous obstacles, generally much shorter
    and simpler than conventional sections. A good competition would
    contain lots of different obstacles, of varying difficulty, designed
    to test different trials skills. Each obstacle is independent of all
    the others.
    7) The organizer gives each obstacle a point value, with harder
    obstacles having a higher point value. This requires judgement. In
    climbing, this works well because there is a climbing rating system
    that allows other climbers to (more or less) agree on how difficult
    routes are. In uni-trials this consensus would need to evolve over
    time as the sport matures.
    8) To compete, riders complete as many problems as they can in a
    specified time period. They can go to any obstacle in any order, so
    there is much less waiting around (and it's much more fun to watch
    people try things).
    9) There would be bonus points for completing an obstacle first try,
    with no dabs. Otherwise you could try the obstacle as many times as
    you wanted with no penalty for failure. If there was a lineup for
    the obstacle, you'd just have to go to the back of the line after
    each attempt.
    10) At the end of the time period, the rider with the most points wins the
    competition.

    This format has the following major advantages over the current setup:

    11) It rewards success instead of penalizing failure, and promotes a
    "go-for-it" riding style that will ultimately increase technical
    standards in the sport.
    12) The format is much closer to how we ride for fun and maximizes riding
    time during a competition.
    13) It is MUCH simpler in terms of rules than conventional bike or
    unicycle trials, and course set-up is much easier for the organizer.
    14) It is not necessary to set different sections for beginner,
    intermediate or advanced categories. Everybody competes on the same
    course- the people in the beginner category would just be inclined to
    try easier problems than the people in more advanced categories
    15) It removes several ambiguities from the current format. For example,
    if a rider wipes out, the current unicycle trials rules stipulate that
    the rider remount "where the rider was last in control". This can be a
    very grey area.
    16) This format could easily be self-judged by other riders, since all
    that is required is to observe whether a rider successfully cleaned a
    short problem.
    17) It is way less stressful. Many riders (including myself) ride because
    we're self competitive, not because we particularly care whether we
    beat anyone. This format allows both casual and highly competitive
    people to have fun on the same course.

    The only potential problem with this format is that it requires
    experience and judgement to award points for problems according their
    difficulty. However, this is negated somewhat by riders choosing to do
    problems that most efficiently gain them points. If a problem seems to be
    overly hard for the number of points awarded, the rider can just choose
    not to do that problem.

    Corresponding to this competition format, I'd like to also propose that we
    create an open-ended "U system" for rating unicycle trials problems. This
    would be similar to the V-system used in bouldering. For example, a
    hopping up a set of stairs would be rated U1, whereas the hardest problems
    currently done might be around U7 or U8. This is NOT an objective system
    like levels in artistic unicycling and would not correspond to specific
    moves (since, like climbing, there is infinitely variable terrain that
    offers varying types of difficulty). It would just provide a mechanism to
    track how standards in uni-trials will evolve over time.

    In Toronto at NUC, I think it would be great to try this system out. Any
    thoughts, opinions, comments?

    Regards,

    Kris Holm.

    __________________________________________________
    Do You Yahoo!? Get personalized email addresses from Yahoo! Mail - only
    $35 a year! http://personal.mail.yahoo.com/

  • #2
    Kris,

    I think it sounds great. For Unicycle Trials to gain acceptance,
    competitions have to be able to fit into schedules, be reasonably easy to
    set up, and be interesting to watch. I think your improvements will enable
    Trials competitions to be held in more places and times.

    Not only did you eliminate a lot of complicated rules, there are maybe
    some other advantages you did not list:

    1. Courses will be much easier to set up, which means they will require
    less course-building knowledge to be good courses.

    2. Holding the competition will take less time. Way less. MUni Weekends
    are short, so we can't spend all day on a Trials competition (though
    some wouldn't mind).

    3. This format should be more accessible to riders. They don't have to
    learn a lot of rules and remember them on the course. Instead, see who
    can clear the most obstacles!

    4. Sounds like it will be easier to judge as well, though it will still
    require people keeping track of all riders' progress.

    Judging the difficulty of the various course problems is just a different
    version of knowing how to set up a longer course. Without an expert, you
    end up with a course that's either way too easy or way too hard. The
    expertise to get it right will just move to the area of determining
    difficulty.

    [color={usenetquotecolor}]> 2) The organizer gives each obstacle a point value, with harder[/color]
    [color={usenetquotecolor}]> obstacles having a higher point value. This requires judgement.[/color]

    Though quantifying the difficulty of various problems should be very
    difficult, I don't think it should be too hard to figure out the order of
    difficulty of the problems you set up. With a group of four or five
    riders, it should become fairly clear what the sequence is, and the
    problems could perhaps be scored in that order.

    [color={usenetquotecolor}]> 4) There would be bonus points for completing an obstacle first try,[/color]
    [color={usenetquotecolor}]> with no dabs.[/color]

    Does this mean we are counting dabs? Or are we just counting dab-free
    completions? Surely the guy who gets through on the third try should score
    better than the guy who takes 30. How to score that?

    [color={usenetquotecolor}]> 4) It is not necessary to set different sections for beginner,[/color]
    [color={usenetquotecolor}]> intermediate or advanced categories. Everybody competes on the same[/color]
    [color={usenetquotecolor}]> course- the people in the beginner category would just be inclined to[/color]
    [color={usenetquotecolor}]> try easier problems than the people in more advanced categories[/color]

    I worry here that you are giving zealous kids a little too much credit.
    Surely we would like to see dangerous obstacles for expert riders, but I
    know there are people that will try those obstacles (in the "go for it"
    spirit) that have no business being on them. However I do not have a handy
    solution as far as how to limit riders to certain sections. I like the
    openness and freedom, but a guy in my position has to be aware of the
    safety factor.

    A simple solution would be to leave safety in the control of the riders
    and parents. And judges. Riders to stay off sections that are clearly
    beyond their abilities. Parents to help out, as many riders don't know
    their limits (I'm not worried about the ones that do). Judges to draw
    the line if they see a rider in a section that appears to be beyond
    their skills.

    [color={usenetquotecolor}]> 6) This format could easily be self-judged by other riders, since all[/color]
    [color={usenetquotecolor}]> that is required is to observe whether a rider successfully cleaned a[/color]
    [color={usenetquotecolor}]> short problem.[/color]

    We tried self-judging in Santa Cruz (old-style Trials). I don't believe it
    works. Somebody objective has to witness who has cleared sections and who
    has not. Otherwise you get into the cowboys and Indians problem of "I shot
    you!" "No, you missed!" There always needs to be some form of referee,
    especially if you are allowing any form of dabs, or giving credit for
    doing things on the first try.

    [color={usenetquotecolor}]> The only potential problem with this format is that it requires[/color]
    [color={usenetquotecolor}]> experience and judgement to award points for problems according their[/color]
    [color={usenetquotecolor}]> difficulty. However, this is negated somewhat by riders choosing to do[/color]
    [color={usenetquotecolor}]> problems that most efficiently gain them points. If a problem seems to[/color]
    [color={usenetquotecolor}]> be overly hard for the number of points awarded, the rider can just[/color]
    [color={usenetquotecolor}]> choose not to do that problem.[/color]

    It is self-policed in that way. Also, if the scoring is very simple, there
    is a clear maximum possible amount of points. If each successive obstacle
    is worth one point more than the others, it seems logical that the riders
    who can do the harder ones will also do the easier ones. So maybe all you
    need is that one point spread. This depends on how you deal with dabs,
    first-time success, or otherwise crediting people for taking less tries.

    [color={usenetquotecolor}]> In Toronto at NUC, I think it would be great to try this system out. Any[/color]
    [color={usenetquotecolor}]> thoughts, opinions, comments?[/color]

    There is a technical problem here, in that the convention has already been
    publicized to use the IUF rules for Trials. So if the hosts decide to try
    this new system, they should make every effort to publicize this change
    (which I'm sure Carl Hoyer will). As the precedent for Trials is fairly
    tiny (only a handful of competitions has ever been held?), I don't think
    it should matter much to riders either way.

    The convention hosts are under no obligation to hold Trials at all, and it
    is up to them how they would like to do it. I favor this new system, as I
    think it will allow more people to participate (especially if there's no
    lightning at the time), and will be easier to set up and run.

    But the details will have to be worked out first! Keep me involved, I'll
    offer help as I can.

    Stay on top, John Foss, the Uni-Cyclone jfoss@unicycling.com
    www.unicycling.com

    "Someone who thinks logically is a nice contrast to the real world."

    Comment


    • #3
      Having little personal experience with uni-trials, I cannot comment
      technically, but I believe your idea would be fruitful for the reasons you
      mentioned. The goal above all else should be to try (and hopefully
      succeed) at the challenging stuff.

      Taking the artistic unicycle performance, I expect people will fall at
      some point, but I would rather they try something impressive that they
      might get, rather than simply something they know for certain they can do
      every time.

      Of course, trials are not coreographed to music, and are not supposed to
      have a perfect flow in the same sense artistic performance does. As an
      observer, I would be much more forgiving of mistakes on trials, if it led
      to people accomplishing some challenging feats.

      I am glad to see this sport as it quickly evolves. I am seing some real
      potential develop, and am sure that will continue as such.

      Jeff Lutkus

      --- Kris Holm <danger_uni@yahoo.com>
      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> wrote:[/color]
      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> Hi all,[/color]
      [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
      [color={usenetquotecolor}]>For all people who like uni-trials and may want to compete at some point,[/color]
      [color={usenetquotecolor}]>please read this!![/color]
      [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
      [color={usenetquotecolor}]>This is a proposal to completely change the competition format for[/color]
      [color={usenetquotecolor}]>unicycle trials. It's a long email- if you prefer the same text is[/color]
      [color={usenetquotecolor}]>located at[/color]
      [color={usenetquotecolor}]><http://www.geog.ubc.ca/~kholm/New%20trials%20rules%20proposal.htm>[/color]

      _____________________________________________________________
      Free e-Mail and Webspace - http://Unicyclist.com

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi,

        John you have some good comments, some of which I want to respond to:

        [color={usenetquotecolor2}]> > 4) There would be bonus points for completing an obstacle first try,[/color]
        [color={usenetquotecolor2}]> > with no dabs.[/color]
        [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
        [color={usenetquotecolor}]> Does this mean we are counting dabs? Or are we just counting dab-free[/color]
        [color={usenetquotecolor}]> completions? Surely the guy who gets through on the third try should[/color]
        [color={usenetquotecolor}]> score better than the guy who takes 30. How to score that?[/color]

        My opinion is that it is most simple to just credit a rider with bonus
        points for "onsighting" the problem first try, to use the climbing term.
        Trying a problem over and over takes time. If a rider spends the whole
        competition trying one thing over and over, they will not get as many
        points as if they just gave up on the problem and did other problems that
        they succeeded at. Counting how many tries a rider takes would be too
        complicated, in my opinion.

        [color={usenetquotecolor2}]> > 6) This format could easily be self-judged by other riders, since all[/color]
        [color={usenetquotecolor2}]> > that is required is to observe whether a rider successfully cleaned[/color]
        [color={usenetquotecolor2}]> > a short problem.[/color]
        [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
        [color={usenetquotecolor}]> We tried self-judging in Santa Cruz (old-style Trials). I don't believe[/color]
        [color={usenetquotecolor}]> it works. Somebody objective has to witness who has cleared sections and[/color]
        [color={usenetquotecolor}]> who has not. Otherwise you get into the cowboys and Indians problem of[/color]
        [color={usenetquotecolor}]> "I shot you!" "No, you missed!" There always needs to be some form of[/color]
        [color={usenetquotecolor}]> referee, especially if you are allowing any form of dabs, or giving[/color]
        [color={usenetquotecolor}]> credit for doing things on the first try.[/color]

        Self-judging is used at many small-scale bike trials competitions. There
        is also a head judge that resolves any conflicts. Under this new format I
        forsee several riders watching one rider try a fairly short obstacle.
        Since you're only judging pass/fail, not adding up points (as in
        conventional bike trials), I think that this should be workable. If anyone
        prefers, they could ask the head judge to observe them.

        Cheers,

        Kris.

        __________________________________________________
        Do You Yahoo!? Get personalized email addresses from Yahoo! Mail - only
        $35 a year! http://personal.mail.yahoo.com/

        Comment


        • #5
          "It rewards success instead of penalizing failure, and promotes a
          "go-for-it" riding style that will ultimately increase technical standards
          in the sport."

          I especially agree on that one, Kris. Riding with the possible penalities
          in mind is not really constructive.

          For the rider remount point (ie after a wipeout), what would we suggest
          ? 'checkpoint' remount places scattered along a section, between
          technical passes ?

          Nice proposal, definitively worth trying at NUC01. O-

          -----Original Message----- From: Kris Holm [mailto:danger_uni@yahoo.com]
          Sent: Friday, June 01, 2001 12:57 PM To: unicycling@winternet.com
          Cc: John Foss; Robin Coope Subject: New Trials Unicycle Competition
          Format- IMPORTANT!!!

          Hi all,

          For all people who like uni-trials and may want to compete at some point,
          please read this!!

          *snip*

          In Toronto at NUC, I think it would be great to try this system out. Any
          thoughts, opinions, comments?

          Regards,

          Kris Holm.

          __________________________________________________
          Do You Yahoo!? Get personalized email addresses from Yahoo! Mail - only
          $35 a year! http://personal.mail.yahoo.com/

          Comment


          • #6
            I definitely agree. This is exactly how we ride when we're out practicing:
            You try something that looks doable until you either get it or decide to
            move on to something else. He that can do more stuff (or in less tries,
            which is where the time limit would play in) is the winner.

            As for details, it does sound like we would need a lot of judges and a
            lot of individual obstacles. As for how much time to allot, I think it
            should be enough that it doesn't become speed trials, but not so much
            that riders are exhausted at the end trying to fit in a couple last
            points that they really aren't capable of anyway. Or maybe instead of a
            set time, it could be something like 30 minutes, with extensions allowed
            by the head judge if it appears that people haven't had enough time to at
            least make the rounds once.

            Okay, in a somewhat formal competition, like what may be at NUC, do we
            still hand out cards at the beginning and just have everyone that's
            standing in line watching sign your card if you make it, and also mark
            whether it was first try or not?

            We could even do this in rounds, like run it once and then rearrange all
            the obstacles and assign new point values, etc, then go again. This seems
            applicable since there are many different combinations of say barrel, log,
            and ditch that can be attempted.

            I've been trying to start a grassroots trials club here in Moscow (mostly
            bikes, but anything shy of a motorcycle we'll probably let in) , and this
            sounds like a much better way of running informal comps for a club, too.
            That brings up another issue, should pre-riding still be disallowed?

            Chris

            Who says we have to follow the bike world, anyway? Who knows, maybe
            they'll follow us.

            ____________________________________________________________________

            http://www.reeder.unicyclist.com

            On Fri, 1 Jun 2001, Kris Holm wrote:

            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> Hi all,[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> For all people who like uni-trials and may want to compete at some[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> point, please read this!![/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> This is a proposal to completely change the competition format for[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> unicycle trials. It's a long email- if you prefer the same text is[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> located at[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> <http://www.geog.ubc.ca/~kholm/New%20trials%20rules%20proposal.htm>[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> Last year I wrote an IUF uni-trials rulebook that basically follows the[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> North American Bike Trials competition format, with a couple of minor[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> modifications. For those of you that are unfamiliar with conventional[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> uni/bike trials competitions, here is a very brief description:[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> Three to six obstacle courses are laid out, called sections. Each rider[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> must attempt to negotiate a section- if they fall or put a foot down (a[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> "dab") they are given penalty points. Riders do all sections at least[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> twice, and at the end of the day the person with the least number of[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> penalty points is the winner.[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> In my opinion, there are some significant problems with this format:[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> 1) It can be extremely boring!!! With such a low number of sections, you[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> spend almost all your time waiting around, not riding, while one[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> person at a time goes through a section.[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> 2) A system that penalizing failures (dabs) encourages an[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> ultra-conservative, boring riding style. Generally you ride way[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> slower and more cautiously than normal, because you are so afraid of[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> screwing up. This is stressful and not that exciting either.[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> 3) The conventional format encourages "strategic dabs" over hard[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> obstacles. This is where the rider intentionally puts their foot on[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> an obstacle and lifts their unicycle over (or on to) the obstacle.[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> The rationale is that it is better to accept one penalty point (one[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> foot down) than to completely wipe out and get 3 penalty points (in[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> bike trials, 5 penalty points). To me this is completely lame- it[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> would be much better to encourage riders to "go for it" instead of[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> intentionally not trying an obstacle.[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> 4) Putting long sections together can be difficult for the organizer,[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> and requires lots of space and many obstacles that only get used when[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> one rider is in a section (see point # 1).[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> 5) It's not natural. Most people don't ride for fun this way- you see[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> something cool, and try it over and over until you get it- the reward[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> is success and failure is just something that happens before success.[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> Last night my roommate (who is a climber but not a unicyclist) had a[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> brilliant suggestion: conduct unicycle trials competitions in a similar[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> format to bouldering competitions in rock climbing. This is a proposed[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> format, modelled after bouldering competitions:[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> 1) The organizer lays out numerous obstacles, generally much shorter and[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> simpler than conventional sections. A good competition would contain[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> lots of different obstacles, of varying difficulty, designed to test[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> different trials skills. Each obstacle is independent of all the[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> others.[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> 2) The organizer gives each obstacle a point value, with harder[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> obstacles having a higher point value. This requires judgement. In[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> climbing, this works well because there is a climbing rating system[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> that allows other climbers to (more or less) agree on how difficult[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> routes are. In uni-trials this consensus would need to evolve over[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> time as the sport matures.[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> 3) To compete, riders complete as many problems as they can in a[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> specified time period. They can go to any obstacle in any order, so[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> there is much less waiting around (and it's much more fun to watch[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> people try things).[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> 4) There would be bonus points for completing an obstacle first try,[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> with no dabs. Otherwise you could try the obstacle as many times as[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> you wanted with no penalty for failure. If there was a lineup for the[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> obstacle, you'd just have to go to the back of the line after each[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> attempt.[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> 5) At the end of the time period, the rider with the most points wins[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> the competition.[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> This format has the following major advantages over the current setup:[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> 1) It rewards success instead of penalizing failure, and promotes a[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> "go-for-it" riding style that will ultimately increase technical[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> standards in the sport.[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> 2) The format is much closer to how we ride for fun and maximizes riding[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> time during a competition.[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> 3) It is MUCH simpler in terms of rules than conventional bike or[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> unicycle trials, and course set-up is much easier for the organizer.[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> 4) It is not necessary to set different sections for beginner,[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> intermediate or advanced categories. Everybody competes on the same[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> course- the people in the beginner category would just be inclined to[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> try easier problems than the people in more advanced categories[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> 5) It removes several ambiguities from the current format. For example,[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> if a rider wipes out, the current unicycle trials rules stipulate[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> that the rider remount "where the rider was last in control". This[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> can be a very grey area.[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> 6) This format could easily be self-judged by other riders, since all[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> that is required is to observe whether a rider successfully cleaned a[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> short problem.[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> 7) It is way less stressful. Many riders (including myself) ride because[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> we're self competitive, not because we particularly care whether we[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> beat anyone. This format allows both casual and highly competitive[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> people to have fun on the same course.[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> The only potential problem with this format is that it requires[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> experience and judgement to award points for problems according their[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> difficulty. However, this is negated somewhat by riders choosing to do[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> problems that most efficiently gain them points. If a problem seems to[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> be overly hard for the number of points awarded, the rider can just[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> choose not to do that problem.[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> Corresponding to this competition format, I'd like to also propose that[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> we create an open-ended "U system" for rating unicycle trials problems.[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> This would be similar to the V-system used in bouldering. For example, a[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> hopping up a set of stairs would be rated U1, whereas the hardest[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> problems currently done might be around U7 or U8. This is NOT an[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> objective system like levels in artistic unicycling and would not[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> correspond to specific moves (since, like climbing, there is infinitely[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> variable terrain that offers varying types of difficulty). It would just[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> provide a mechanism to track how standards in uni-trials will evolve[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> over time.[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> In Toronto at NUC, I think it would be great to try this system out. Any[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> thoughts, opinions, comments?[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> Regards,[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> Kris Holm.[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> __________________________________________________[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> Do You Yahoo!? Get personalized email addresses from Yahoo! Mail - only[/color]
            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> $35 a year! http://personal.mail.yahoo.com/[/color]

            Comment


            • #7
              Chris,

              Some comments: --- Chris Reeder <reed8990@uidaho.edu> wrote:

              [color={usenetquotecolor}]> As for details, it does sound like we would need a lot of judges and a[/color]
              [color={usenetquotecolor}]> lot of individual obstacles. As for how much time to allot, I think it[/color]
              [color={usenetquotecolor}]> should be enough that it doesn't become speed trials, but not so much[/color]
              [color={usenetquotecolor}]> that riders are exhausted at the end trying to fit in a couple last[/color]
              [color={usenetquotecolor}]> points that they really aren't capable of anyway.[/color]

              Lots of judges are available if the competition is self judged, led by a
              head judge.

              My opinion is that it shouldn't be a time-limited race- the time limit is
              just a cutoff point so that it wouldn't go on forever. A standard
              competition might run 3 hours or so. The competition would be difficulty
              limited: ideally, only a couple of people could complete all the obstacles
              (the person with the most onsights would win). Ideally most people
              wouldn't be able to do everything no matter how much time was allotted.

              [color={usenetquotecolor}]> Okay, in a somewhat formal competition, like what may be at NUC, do we[/color]
              [color={usenetquotecolor}]> still hand out cards at the beginning and just have everyone that's[/color]
              [color={usenetquotecolor}]> standing in line watching sign your card if you make it, and also mark[/color]
              [color={usenetquotecolor}]> whether it was first try or not?[/color]

              Yes that is correct.

              [color={usenetquotecolor}]> We could even do this in rounds, like run it once and then rearrange all[/color]
              [color={usenetquotecolor}]> the obstacles and assign new point values, etc, then go again. This[/color]
              [color={usenetquotecolor}]> seems applicable since there are many different combinations of say[/color]
              [color={usenetquotecolor}]> barrel, log, and ditch that can be attempted.[/color]

              Ideally I'd like to see enough obstacles that nothing would need to be
              arranged, since it takes a lot of time to set up cool structures, or
              flag-out natural obstacles.

              [color={usenetquotecolor}]> Who says we have to follow the bike world, anyway? Who knows, maybe[/color]
              [color={usenetquotecolor}]> they'll follow us.[/color]
              [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]

              Why not? Right now bike trials is hurting a bit as a sport in North
              America; in many ways our sport has a much more organized infrastructure
              than they do.

              -Kris.

              __________________________________________________
              Do You Yahoo!? Get personalized email addresses from Yahoo! Mail - only
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              Comment


              • #8
                In a self-judged competition, the judges are just riders that aren't
                riding at the time. In the new scheme, all the riders will be either
                riding or waiting in line. So do we use the line as the panel of judges?

                Chris

                Comment


                • #9
                  Kris, this is GREAT. Tell Sean I said he's a genius. Let's try it out at
                  NUC this year and I bet it will be a blast for competitors (casual and
                  intense alike) and spectators. I like the "U" rating idea. We'll just have
                  to play that by ear the first time or two, then (as in bouldering and
                  climbing) everyone's experience will give us consensus "U" ratings.
                  Imagine the future magazine articles! A no-dab, first-try success is a
                  "flash" - with the "flash bonus" as you proposed. Other climbing concepts
                  like "on-site" and "beta" etc would apply perfectly too. Can you imagine
                  crashpads from bouldering being used in Uni trials?

                  I'll volunteer to help out with setup, ratings or whatever's needed at
                  NUC. What do you Toronto organizers think?

                  Looking forward to it, Nathan

                  "Kris Holm" <danger_uni@yahoo.com> wrote in message
                  news:20010601165648.76985.qmail@web11605.mail.yahoo.com...
                  [color={usenetquotecolor}]> Hi all,[/color]
                  [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
                  [color={usenetquotecolor}]> For all people who like uni-trials and may want to compete at[/color]
                  [color={usenetquotecolor}]> some point,[/color]
                  please read this!! [long proposal snipped]

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    --- Chris Reeder <reed8990@uidaho.edu> wrote:
                    [color={usenetquotecolor}]> In a self-judged competition, the judges are just riders that aren't[/color]
                    [color={usenetquotecolor}]> riding at the time. In the new scheme, all the riders will be either[/color]
                    [color={usenetquotecolor}]> riding or waiting in line. So do we use the line as the panel of judges?[/color]

                    If it turns out anything like bouldering, there will usually be at least a
                    couple of riders gathered around waiting and generally hanging out being
                    entertained by the person trying the problem. They would be the judges,
                    and would be the people that verified that the person filled out their
                    card correctly.

                    -Kris.

                    __________________________________________________
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                    $35 a year! http://personal.mail.yahoo.com/

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Kris, I like this idea. It almost reminds me of a skateboard competition.
                      Like was said before, I like that this is straying from bicycling. In my
                      opinion, Unicycle Trials, though it have similar aspects, should not be
                      closely knit to bike trials. For example, when you fall off a unicycle,
                      you are easily racking up dabs, but on a bike it is a bit easier to "ride
                      it out" and just put down a foot. But this is a great solution to most if
                      not all of the problems associated. Overall I love the new idea!

                      Jeff

                      On Fri, 1 Jun 2001 09:56:48 -0700 (PDT) Kris Holm
                      <danger_uni@yahoo.com> writes:
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> Hi all,[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> For all people who like uni-trials and may want to compete at some[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> point, please read this!![/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> This is a proposal to completely change the competition format for[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> unicycle trials. It's a long email- if you prefer the same text is[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> located at[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> <http://www.geog.ubc.ca/~kholm/New%20trials%20rules%20proposal.htm>[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> Last year I wrote an IUF uni-trials rulebook that basically follows the[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> North American Bike Trials competition format, with a couple of minor[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> modifications. For those of you that are unfamiliar with conventional[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> uni/bike trials competitions, here is a very brief description:[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> Three to six obstacle courses are laid out, called sections. Each rider[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> must attempt to negotiate a section- if they fall or put a foot down (a[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> "dab") they are given penalty points. Riders do all sections at least[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> twice, and at the end of the day the person with the least number of[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> penalty points is the winner.[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> In my opinion, there are some significant problems with this format:[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> 1) It can be extremely boring!!! With such a low number of sections, you[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> spend almost all your time waiting around, not riding, while one[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> person at a time goes through a section.[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> 2) A system that penalizing failures (dabs) encourages an[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> ultra-conservative, boring riding style. Generally you ride way[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> slower and more cautiously than normal, because you are so afraid of[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> screwing up. This is stressful and not that exciting either.[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> 3) The conventional format encourages "strategic dabs" over hard[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> obstacles. This is where the rider intentionally puts their foot on[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> an obstacle and lifts their unicycle over (or on to) the obstacle.[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> The rationale is that it is better to accept one penalty point (one[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> foot down) than to completely wipe out and get 3 penalty points (in[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> bike trials, 5 penalty points). To me this is completely lame- it[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> would be much better to encourage riders to "go for it" instead of[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> intentionally not trying an obstacle.[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> 4) Putting long sections together can be difficult for the organizer,[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> and requires lots of space and many obstacles that only get used when[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> one rider is in a section (see point # 1).[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> 5) It's not natural. Most people don't ride for fun this way- you see[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> something cool, and try it over and over until you get it- the reward[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> is success and failure is just something that happens before success.[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> Last night my roommate (who is a climber but not a unicyclist) had a[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> brilliant suggestion: conduct unicycle trials competitions in a similar[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> format to bouldering competitions in rock climbing. This is a proposed[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> format, modelled after bouldering competitions:[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> 1) The organizer lays out numerous obstacles, generally much shorter and[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> simpler than conventional sections. A good competition would contain[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> lots of different obstacles, of varying difficulty, designed to test[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> different trials skills. Each obstacle is independent of all the[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> others.[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> 2) The organizer gives each obstacle a point value, with harder[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> obstacles having a higher point value. This requires judgement. In[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> climbing, this works well because there is a climbing rating system[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> that allows other climbers to (more or less) agree on how difficult[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> routes are. In uni-trials this consensus would need to evolve over[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> time as the sport matures.[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> 3) To compete, riders complete as many problems as they can in a[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> specified time period. They can go to any obstacle in any order, so[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> there is much less waiting around (and it's much more fun to watch[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> people try things).[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> 4) There would be bonus points for completing an obstacle first try,[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> with no dabs. Otherwise you could try the obstacle as many times as[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> you wanted with no penalty for failure. If there was a lineup for the[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> obstacle, you'd just have to go to the back of the line after each[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> attempt.[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> 5) At the end of the time period, the rider with the most points wins[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> the competition.[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> This format has the following major advantages over the current setup:[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> 1) It rewards success instead of penalizing failure, and promotes a[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> "go-for-it" riding style that will ultimately increase technical[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> standards in the sport.[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> 2) The format is much closer to how we ride for fun and maximizes riding[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> time during a competition.[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> 3) It is MUCH simpler in terms of rules than conventional bike or[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> unicycle trials, and course set-up is much easier for the organizer.[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> 4) It is not necessary to set different sections for beginner,[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> intermediate or advanced categories. Everybody competes on the same[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> course- the people in the beginner category would just be inclined to[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> try easier problems than the people in more advanced categories[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> 5) It removes several ambiguities from the current format. For example,[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> if a rider wipes out, the current unicycle trials rules stipulate[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> that the rider remount "where the rider was last in control". This[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> can be a very grey area.[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> 6) This format could easily be self-judged by other riders, since all[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> that is required is to observe whether a rider successfully cleaned a[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> short problem.[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> 7) It is way less stressful. Many riders (including myself) ride because[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> we're self competitive, not because we particularly care whether we[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> beat anyone. This format allows both casual and highly competitive[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> people to have fun on the same course.[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> The only potential problem with this format is that it requires[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> experience and judgement to award points for problems according their[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> difficulty. However, this is negated somewhat by riders choosing to do[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> problems that most efficiently gain them points. If a problem seems to[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> be overly hard for the number of points awarded, the rider can just[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> choose not to do that problem.[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> Corresponding to this competition format, I'd like to also propose that[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> we create an open-ended "U system" for rating unicycle trials problems.[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> This would be similar to the V-system used in bouldering. For example, a[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> hopping up a set of stairs would be rated U1, whereas the hardest[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> problems currently done might be around U7 or U8. This is NOT an[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> objective system like levels in artistic unicycling and would not[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> correspond to specific moves (since, like climbing, there is infinitely[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> variable terrain that offers varying types of difficulty). It would just[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> provide a mechanism to track how standards in uni-trials will evolve[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> over time.[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> In Toronto at NUC, I think it would be great to try this system out. Any[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> thoughts, opinions, comments?[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> Regards,[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> Kris Holm.[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> __________________________________________________[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> Do You Yahoo!? Get personalized email addresses from Yahoo! Mail - only[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]> $35 a year! http://personal.mail.yahoo.com/[/color]
                      [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
                      ________________________________________________________________
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                      Comment


                      • #12
                        [color={usenetquotecolor}]> Like was said before, I like that this is straying from bicycling. In my[/color]
                        [color={usenetquotecolor}]> opinion, Unicycle Trials, though it have similar aspects, should not be[/color]
                        [color={usenetquotecolor}]> closely knit to bike trials.[/color]

                        I agree. It's nice to be consistent if the sports are similar, but
                        unicycling usually isn't. Our track competitions are based on track and
                        field, not bike racing. Our Freestyle competitions are based loosely on
                        ice skating, definitely not BMX Freestyle. Even the new event, Open-X, is
                        not trying to copy bike rules, because they may not apply.

                        Standard Skill was designed to closely follow the rules for Artistic
                        Bicycling, but many changes had to be made to accommodate the slower speed
                        and lack of convenient coasting on a unicycle. Most things have changed
                        except the floor markings and judging method.

                        Unicycle Trials should be what it needs to be for best results. For
                        competitor fun, spectator interest, and ease of setup and execution for
                        event hosts. This new version is definitely a winner!

                        Stay on top, John Foss President, Unicycling Society of America President,
                        International Unicycling Federation jfoss@unicycling.com
                        www.unicycling.com

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Kris et al,

                          Your proposal looks very interesting. For those who don't know, I'm the
                          author of the North American rules for Bike Trials. We are to some extent
                          battling the same issue of trying to make contests more interesting. One
                          thing that we have done is run dual speed trials, with two parallel sets
                          of relatively easy obstacles that riders race on. Generally you don't need
                          to add dab penalties since dabs cost time anyway. Anyway, this format is
                          fun for pro/experts, but it doesn't work so well for beginners. Kris's
                          proposed format looks interesting, for both bikes and unicycles. It
                          reflects recent developments in BMX freestyle comps which have moved to a
                          "jam format" which better reflects what people actually do out there on
                          the street. Here are some thoughts:

                          1. The rating system is going to be hard to do because uni and bike trials
                          are about 25 years behind climbing. For the math people out there, I'd
                          say the parameter space has been insufficiently mapped in uni or bike
                          trials. I wonder if you could have a large committee of riders go round
                          the course and vote on the sections before the contest. You could have
                          them rank the sections in order of difficulty, which would probably be
                          more accurate than trying for absolute ratings. There are also
                          non-climbing factors like whether or not it's raining. If it's drying
                          out, a U65 diffculty at 2:00pm might become a U15 at 4:00 pm after the
                          sun came out. That would make ranking a good choice since the relative
                          difficulty wouldn't change as much as the absolute difficulty.

                          2. You might want to limit the number of attempts so as not to waste
                          inordinate amounts of time. It could be set at five or ten or
                          something. In biketrials in BC, we used to use the same format as now,
                          but only count your best run out of two attempts. The idea was that it
                          encouraged big attempts, but the downside was that it didn't do a good
                          job of ranking riders, since everyone would score mutiples of zero or
                          five. I think the solution to that is in #3.

                          3. In Biketrials, better technique generally = more speed. I'd be tempted
                          to time people through sections and have a formula which emphasizes
                          section difficulty ranking, speed and then how many attempts you took.

                          I'm sure there are some other problems, but this type of format does bear
                          very serious thought. I look forward to hearing about whatever attempts
                          are made to hold such a comp with unicycles. I will put my mind to trying
                          to do the same thing with bikes and seeing what happens. Remember that
                          whatever we do, the rules have to be reasonably simple, or you run into
                          problems of the riders and spectators being severely confused.

                          Robin Coope www.biketrials.com

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Awesome! I LOVE IT!!

                            I'm all for switching over to this new format for this years NUC. I think
                            it will definitely create a much better experience for everyone and really
                            help to foster the sport.

                            I've got more to say on this subject and I'm definitely interested in
                            helping to contribute ideas for formalizing and documenting the rules, but
                            I've had very little sleep in the past few days and must get rest.

                            More from me soon. Great idea Kris!

                            Carl

                            ----- Original Message ----- From: "Kris Holm" <danger_uni@yahoo.com> To:
                            <unicycling@winternet.com>
                            Cc: "John Foss" <john_foss@asinet.com>; "Robin Coope"
                            <rcoope@physics.ubc.ca> Sent: Friday, June 01, 2001 12:56 PM Subject:
                            New Trials Unicycle Competition Format- IMPORTANT!!!

                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> Hi all,[/color]
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> For all people who like uni-trials and may want to compete at[/color]
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> some point,[/color]
                            please read this!!
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> This is a proposal to completely change the competition format for[/color]
                            unicycle trials. It's a long
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> email- if you prefer the same text is located at[/color]
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> <http://www.geog.ubc.ca/~kholm/New%20trials%20rules%20proposal.htm>[/color]
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> Last year I wrote an IUF uni-trials rulebook that basically follows the[/color]
                            North American Bike Trials
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> competition format, with a couple of minor modifications. For those of[/color]
                            you that are unfamiliar
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> with conventional uni/bike trials competitions, here is a very brief[/color]
                            description:
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> Three to six obstacle courses are laid out, called sections. Each rider[/color]
                            must attempt to negotiate
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> a section- if they fall or put a foot down (a "dab") they are given[/color]
                            penalty points. Riders do all
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> sections at least twice, and at the end of the day the person with the[/color]
                            least number of penalty
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> points is the winner.[/color]
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> In my opinion, there are some significant problems with this format:[/color]
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> 1) It can be extremely boring!!! With such a low number of sections, you[/color]
                            spend almost all your
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> time waiting around, not riding, while one person at a time goes[/color]
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> through a[/color]
                            section.
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> 2) A system that penalizing failures (dabs) encourages an[/color]
                            ultra-conservative, boring riding style.
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> Generally you ride way slower and more cautiously than normal, because[/color]
                            you are so afraid of
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> screwing up. This is stressful and not that exciting either.[/color]
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> 3) The conventional format encourages "strategic dabs" over hard[/color]
                            obstacles. This is where the
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> rider intentionally puts their foot on an obstacle and lifts their[/color]
                            unicycle over (or on to) the
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> obstacle. The rationale is that it is better to accept one penalty point[/color]
                            (one foot down) than to
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> completely wipe out and get 3 penalty points (in bike trials, 5 penalty[/color]
                            points). To me this is
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> completely lame- it would be much better to encourage riders to "go for[/color]
                            it" instead of
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> intentionally not trying an obstacle.[/color]
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> 4) Putting long sections together can be difficult for the[/color]
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> organizer, and[/color]
                            requires lots of space
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> and many obstacles that only get used when one rider is in a[/color]
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> section (see[/color]
                            point # 1).
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> 5) It's not natural. Most people don't ride for fun this way- you see[/color]
                            something cool, and try it
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> over and over until you get it- the reward is success and failure is[/color]
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> just[/color]
                            something that happens
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> before success.[/color]
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> Last night my roommate (who is a climber but not a unicyclist) had a[/color]
                            brilliant suggestion:
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> conduct unicycle trials competitions in a similar format to bouldering[/color]
                            competitions in rock
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> climbing. This is a proposed format, modelled after bouldering[/color]
                            competitions:
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> 1) The organizer lays out numerous obstacles, generally much shorter and[/color]
                            simpler than conventional
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> sections. A good competition would contain lots of different obstacles,[/color]
                            of varying difficulty,
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> designed to test different trials skills. Each obstacle is[/color]
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> independent of[/color]
                            all the others.
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> 2) The organizer gives each obstacle a point value, with harder[/color]
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> obstacles[/color]
                            having a higher point
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> value. This requires judgement. In climbing, this works well because[/color]
                            there is a climbing rating
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> system that allows other climbers to (more or less) agree on how[/color]
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> difficult[/color]
                            routes are. In
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> uni-trials this consensus would need to evolve over time as the sport[/color]
                            matures.
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> 3) To compete, riders complete as many problems as they can in a[/color]
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> specified[/color]
                            time period. They can
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> go to any obstacle in any order, so there is much less waiting[/color]
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> around (and[/color]
                            it's much more fun to
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> watch people try things).[/color]
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> 4) There would be bonus points for completing an obstacle first[/color]
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> try, with[/color]
                            no dabs. Otherwise you
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> could try the obstacle as many times as you wanted with no penalty for[/color]
                            failure. If there was a
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> lineup for the obstacle, you'd just have to go to the back of the line[/color]
                            after each attempt.
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> 5) At the end of the time period, the rider with the most points[/color]
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> wins the[/color]
                            competition.
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> This format has the following major advantages over the current setup:[/color]
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> 1) It rewards success instead of penalizing failure, and promotes a[/color]
                            "go-for-it" riding style that
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> will ultimately increase technical standards in the sport.[/color]
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> 2) The format is much closer to how we ride for fun and maximizes riding[/color]
                            time during a
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> competition.[/color]
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> 3) It is MUCH simpler in terms of rules than conventional bike or[/color]
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> unicycle[/color]
                            trials, and course
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> set-up is much easier for the organizer.[/color]
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> 4) It is not necessary to set different sections for beginner,[/color]
                            intermediate or advanced
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> categories. Everybody competes on the same course- the people in the[/color]
                            beginner category would just
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> be inclined to try easier problems than the people in more advanced[/color]
                            categories
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> 5) It removes several ambiguities from the current format. For example,[/color]
                            if a rider wipes out, the
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> current unicycle trials rules stipulate that the rider remount[/color]
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> "where the[/color]
                            rider was last in
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> control". This can be a very grey area.[/color]
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> 6) This format could easily be self-judged by other riders, since[/color]
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> all that[/color]
                            is required is to
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> observe whether a rider successfully cleaned a short problem.[/color]
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> 7) It is way less stressful. Many riders (including myself) ride because[/color]
                            we're self competitive,
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> not because we particularly care whether we beat anyone. This format[/color]
                            allows both casual and
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> highly competitive people to have fun on the same course.[/color]
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> The only potential problem with this format is that it requires[/color]
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> experience[/color]
                            and judgement to award
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> points for problems according their difficulty. However, this is negated[/color]
                            somewhat by riders
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> choosing to do problems that most efficiently gain them points. If a[/color]
                            problem seems to be overly
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> hard for the number of points awarded, the rider can just choose[/color]
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> not to do[/color]
                            that problem.
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> Corresponding to this competition format, I'd like to also[/color]
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> propose that we[/color]
                            create an open-ended "U
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> system" for rating unicycle trials problems. This would be[/color]
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> similar to the[/color]
                            V-system used in
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> bouldering. For example, a hopping up a set of stairs would be rated U1,[/color]
                            whereas the hardest
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> problems currently done might be around U7 or U8. This is NOT an[/color]
                            objective system like levels
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> in artistic unicycling and would not correspond to specific moves[/color]
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> (since,[/color]
                            like climbing, there is
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> infinitely variable terrain that offers varying types of difficulty). It[/color]
                            would just provide a
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> mechanism to track how standards in uni-trials will evolve over time.[/color]
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> In Toronto at NUC, I think it would be great to try this system out.[/color]
                            Any thoughts, opinions,
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> comments?[/color]
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> Regards,[/color]
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> Kris Holm.[/color]
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]>[/color]
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> __________________________________________________[/color]
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> Do You Yahoo!? Get personalized email addresses from Yahoo! Mail - only[/color]
                            [color={usenetquotecolor}]> $35 a year! http://personal.mail.yahoo.com/[/color]

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Kris Holm <danger_uni@yahoo.com> wrote:
                              [color={usenetquotecolor}]> My opinion is that it is most simple to just credit a rider with bonus[/color]
                              [color={usenetquotecolor}]> points for "onsighting" the problem first try, to use the climbing term.[/color]
                              [color={usenetquotecolor}]> Trying a problem over and over takes time. If a rider spends the whole[/color]
                              [color={usenetquotecolor}]> competition trying one thing over and over, they will not get as many[/color]
                              [color={usenetquotecolor}]> points as if they just gave up on the problem and did other problems[/color]
                              [color={usenetquotecolor}]> that they succeeded at. Counting how many tries a rider takes would be[/color]
                              [color={usenetquotecolor}]> too complicated, in my opinion.[/color]

                              This is similar to the danish Uni obstacle race that was run at eurocycle
                              two years ago. There were a seris of obstacles or sections in a circuit.
                              If you failed an obstacle you could try it again to get the points or skip
                              it to keep your time fast. There were choices on some sections ( easy,
                              mid, hard) with more points for the harder option. It was quite fun to
                              ride and tacticaly interersting as the medal winners were not always the
                              ones you expected , I a managed to win my age group with a fast time and
                              only a moderate number of sections cleaned.

                              sarah
                              --
                              Euro-cycle 2001 20 - 22 July Plymouth UK A european unicycle convention
                              http://www.eurocycle.org

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