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PROTRACK » GENERAL » To those of you complaining about handicapping

To those of you complaining about handicapping

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2 You talking to me? on Sun Feb 24, 2013 4:11 pm

Stokesy

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ProTrack A Grader
ProTrack A Grader
Hi Rusty, whoever you are -

You advocate that I contact Leon in private.

I choose to not do that, for a number of reasons, including

(a) my understanding of Leon's clear public instructions (to approach him only through coach's contact to the SAAL office).

(b) my belief in transparency and public discussion of issues (I see lack of transparency as a core problem with the current system, leading to inequitable results).

(c) my wish to seek the opinions of others on the issues concerned.

(d) my awareness of others who have left (or are considering leaving) the SAAL because of the issues which I am addressing.

If you want to be rude to me, why not come clean and say who you are?
If you want to be rude to me, why not follow your own advice and send me a private message?

Best wishes

3 calling Rusty a rogue and a coward on Sun Feb 24, 2013 7:22 pm

Stokesy

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ProTrack A Grader
"all you do is throw dust in his face afterward" WTF?

Hey Rusty, whoever you are -

I have considered these words and I have decided to call you a rogue for saying such rubbish, and further to call you a coward for saying such rubbish anonymously.

I have been very polite towards Leon.

I have taken great care to say that I am discussing issues to do with the system.

I have said often that I honour and respect Leon's good work.

I have said often that I am grateful to all the officials of the SAAL.

I say that your cowardice and dishonesty are destructive and not in the best interests of the SAAL.

Nevertheless your views are of interest - and I invite you to defend the current handicapping system by means other than cowardly lies and personal attacks.

Best wishes

Whispers


ProTrack Star
ProTrack Star
Honest handicapping mistake ,which was corrected.
Good to see that Rustys still reading the forum even though hes not having a gallop.

Guest

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Guest
Welcome back Rusty, I hope you hadn't considered my recent post as complaining about handicaps, certainly wasn't the intention on the points I was making.

timj


this whinging about handicaps is sounding more and more like sour grapes and is getting quite boring.....

less fingers, more legs gentlemen!!

Tippo

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Just to lighten things up a bit....

http://www.bom.gov.au/products/IDW60281.shtml

TC Rusty coming towards the WA coast to smash us all!

Dunc

Stokesy

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ProTrack A Grader
ProTrack A Grader
The use of anonymous abuse to "defend" the current handicapping system, the trivialisation of the issues, the denial of the negative impacts on the SAAL, the protection of the vested interests who benefit from the current system ... these things are not boring ... they are destructive and need to be addressed, in my opinion.

I earned the sashes that I won, despite the blatant biases in the handicapping system.
After three seasons of getting nowhere, I took two years off the SAAL and I trained hard and improved my times. After I won my sashes, I got hit hard and got no lifts for two years.

If everyone got the same treatment as I did, then that would seem fairer than what has been happening.

Call it sour grapes if you want. Call it obscene if you want.

I call it saying what needs to be said.

timj


Stokesy

1. fyi: Rusty goes by Rusty in the real world, just like Stokesy goes by stokesy, there is no alias.
2. his point is valid , don’t like your mark? a process is in place which is fair and transparent to ask the question …..as noted above Stoksey, you “choose” not to follow that process.
3. congrats on “earning” your sashes through hard training… oh that’s what the rest of us are missing in our programs Wink
4. win a sash, you go back, everyone is treated the same and you have to work harder for the next one…..welcome to the reality of professional running… ….

I’m sorry Stokesy, if you want examples of someone who gets treated the same as you , I’m not sure if I could real off the names of every athlete in the SAAl off the top of my head.

Guest

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Guest
Hey Tim, do you need a lend of a high pressure cleaner to clean the bugs of your car. What a mess they made of mine. My last trip to Loxton had frogs everywhere, but at least they didnt splat all over the car.
Wonder what Loxton will bring up next time round. Question

and Rusty back in more ways than one?

Stokesy

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ProTrack A Grader
ProTrack A Grader
Hey TimJ, sorry but I do not know who Rusty is.
Someone with the surname Rust maybe?

Also, there are facts which you are not noticing or you are in denial about.

In the Over35s, a number of athletes have won sashes and had soft hits and then within a few months they have had lifts.

Other athletes have won sashes and then, like me, been hit really hard and waited years for a lift.

As for newbies, some get competitive marks within a few runs, some (like me) wait years before they get competitive marks, some leave the SAAL without ever even making a final

You say "everyone is treated the same" - I say not so.

The records are public, the facts are there for all to see.

I have recently highlighted some cases.

I have also speculated as to the private lobbying processes which I see as being the big cause of these inequities, leading to a small number of big squads holding the cards in the SAAL.

Maybe you have not bothered to look at the facts, maybe you have just jumped to conclusions, maybe you do not want to rock the boat, maybe you joined one of the big squads because you knew that was the way to get "the system" to work for you.

Whatever.

Best wishes.

Admin

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Admin
Admin
I've read all of Stokesy's posts about his concerns on the handicapping and I can find very little that would be offensive to the handicapper. He has spent a lot of time researching the information before posting his findings.

I don't agree with some of his comments but I defend his right to post on Protrack about it in a constructive & informative way.

He's both passionate and harmless enough.

And I also see little difference between him publicly questioning the marks and someone who privately questions the marks in a private email or conversation. From what I know Stokesy is not the most regular 'complainant' to the handicappers.

Stokesy does not 'work' the handicappers like some others do;
(to quote Brian Hart) that's for sure.





http://protrack.easyforumlive.com

The author of this message was banned from the forum - See the message

Stokesy

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ProTrack A Grader
ProTrack A Grader
Hi Russell.

Thanks for the introduction.

Also thanks for the clarifications of your point of view.

Firstly, Leon has (so far) made no issue of my prompt publishing (here on ProTrack) of a true record of the email he sent me last Monday night.

I figured that was the best way of letting the world know that there had been a correction (and the reasons given as to why the correction had been made) - and I want no part of secret lobbying.

And I still want to strongly dispute your suggestion that I was disrespectful or attacking towards Leon, which is to me the clear intention of your inflammatory words "throwing dust in his face".

But, Rusty, I now agree that there is some validity in what you were trying to say - I confess (and I regret) that I wrongly jumped to the conclusion that there was no error - I was encouraged to learn from Leon that there had been an error and I very much appreciated the prompt corrective action and the explanation.

Secondly, the wider issues.

My statements have been meant to be complaints about the handicapping system, rather than any individual's handicaps.

I started out with theoretical statements like "Do we want a more transparent handicapping system?" with educational replies from within the VAL but little or no useful response from within the SAAL.

In order to highlight the issues with the SAAL handicapping system, I have been prepared to expose myself to ridicule (which has happened) by talking in some detail about my personal experience with the SAAL over the past 8 years or so.

Also I have gone close to naming names of the small number of individual SAAL athletes who have been given what looks like preferential treatment.

My personal knowledge is of the Over35s, but I am thinking that the same issues apply to all the SAAL categories.

In summary (again) the current system involves a lot of mysteries, with the handicapper making many more judgements (guesses if you like) than seems necessary, and with the prevalent practice of secret lobbying.

In my view, this has led to inequities in actual handicaps, plus a load of extra work and pressure for the hard working and well intentioned persons performing the difficult role of handicapper.

The ongoing effects of this situation are (in my opinion):
- handicapping errors.
- high turnover of handicappers.
- high dropout rate of athletes.
- a small number of (mostly large) squads with coaches who work the system of secret lobbying.
- harm to the good name of the SAAL.

Thirdly, in response to your comments about champions, I would like to say that one of my heroes is Julian Assange, a man who has challenged the mightiest of forces, a man who has given me hope that our society can rise above vested interests, hope that we can achieve a more transparent government and a more democratic Australia leading the world into a future where our children can thrive.

Best wishes and thanks again
from
Brett Stokes

Whispers


ProTrack Star
ProTrack Star
Whispers totally agrees with Stoksey !!
How can Amy get penalised for her 2m , $95 win over 400m at Brighton which I suggest may have cost her Camden and Lucy escapes penalty free for her $150 Brighton 120m win.
If no one can come up with a satisfactory explantation ,I suggest we all stop bagging Stoksey.
Sure Ive named names and events etc but this is only what Stoksey has refrained from doing and as got himself in hot water as a personal whinger.
No offence to any names named but the stats are there
Can some one out there please explain .
Both girls have had great success over the years so its not as if one handicaps been held back to promote more opportunity.

timj


Whispers & Stokesy

I think the point here has been missed.
You both seek answers to your questions.
Your questions themselves are valid and you have every right to ask the question.
The point is though you're not going to get your answer here on the forum.
Where and who do you think your answers are going to come from?
If you were really keen to find out more you would follow due process which from the league is:


1. Email the League office when the marks are declared. Most issues get sorted at this stage. If there has been an error, it’s an easy fix.

2. If you don’t like the response, appeal.

3. If you want to have a chat to the handicapper, ask the chief steward for permission. It will almost always be given .

This is the only way to get the answer you're after.
Except you choose to continue ask the question here and we go round and round in circles.
At the end of the day no one gets the answer they are after and are left only with sore fingers………..
I just dont understand it....

Ps Stokesy , please don’t defect to the Ecuadorian embassy , we’d miss you too much!

Stokesy

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ProTrack A Grader
ProTrack A Grader
TimJ says "I just dont understand it...."

You got that right.

ToM

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ProTrack Star
ProTrack Star
timj wrote:
1. Email the League office when the marks are declared. Most issues get sorted at this stage. If there has been an error, it’s an easy fix.

2. If you don’t like the response, appeal.


^^ That advice might suffice if they were only after information on their own handicaps, but they're after more. They, and many other people, both active and spectating in this thread, want to know how the decisions and determinations are made.

At the heart of it all is transparency - knowing what decisions are made about handicaps and why. They're not asking for all discretionary abilities to be removed, but they and many others do want a handicap system that is predictable and quantifiable. Their questions are directed towards knowing more about the process, and "Seek a private meeting with the handicapper so he can explain his reasoning" represents the very opposite of either concept of transparency or predictability.

Guest

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Guest
I assume the main issue you have Stokesy is the transparency of the handicap system? Meeting in private with Leon to discuss handicaps might give you the answers you seek. I guess then unless you post the discussion on a forum for some to see, you still wont have achieved what you seek, transparency.
My only suggestion for you might be to stand for a position with the SAAL, you might be able to lobby your point of view and change the system to how you feel it could work better.
Not sure how you provide transparency when there are endless possibilities and scenarios that may justify changes in handicaps other than for the league to publish a basic guideline of the most likely situations.
In the mean time hang in there, things will turn around, your next win is only 1 race away.
Also for anyone that likes to get into Stokesy might think again if they got to know him a little better, he's a good bloke and a character, every sport needs its characters, look a tennis....ok bad example.

Stokesy

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ProTrack A Grader
ProTrack A Grader
Hey ToM and Over35er

Yes, indeed, transparency is what is missing - along with consistency and fairness.

I believe that a more transparent system would have many benefits, including being fairer and more consistent (as well as less work for the handicapper and fewer errors).

====================================================
What do I mean by transparency?

There would be well understood procedures - with known lifts and hits.

There would be discretionary decisions by the handicapper and these would be subject to a quick public appeal process.

The VAL system is a working attempt to make this happen, but to my thinking it is too complex. Do any VAL people have anything to say on that?

====================================================
What do I mean by "consistency and fairness"?

I mean there would not be situations as occur now in the SAAL over35s.

For example, where:
1- some athletes win a sash then get hit hard and wait for years for a lift.
2- some athletes win a sash then get hit softly and get a lift two runs later (and another lift next run).

For example, where:
3- some newbie athletes wait for years for enough lifts to be competitive.
4- some newbie athletes get lifts more quickly and run in finals within a few runs.

I am unwilling to name names here, other than to say that I have personally experienced case 1 (in the 200m and 300m) and case 3 (in the 120m, 200m, 300m and 400m).

====================================================

timj


Stokesy, Whispers, ToM and co

I look forward to you redirecting your keyboard skills and following due process , to bring this issue, that you are so passionate about to the attention of the committee either through the runners/coaches rep or AGM etc

I await to hear your progress…………..

One last question I want to leave you all with:

How did/do you feel when you win a sash?? Elated , excited, a rush of confidence, a huge sense of achievement from all your hard work??

Now how would you feel if the next week one of your peers, someone that congratulated you, someone that you run with, jumped on a forum and either questioned your mark, questioned that of others in the race or questioned their own , basically saying they should be up there in your place……………
Wouldn’t be too nice would it……

Unfortunately this is what we’ve seen over the last few weeks…..

Even by not mentioning names, presenting the “facts” in m per sec of people after the race etc or having the pretty poor disclaimer “not taking anything away from so and so’s win BUT………….. ”, in front of your post, you are still undermining someones hard earned win and putting a dampner on their experience
Put yourself in their shoes……….

Very disappointing

22 Let's get a positive vision happening on Wed Feb 27, 2013 9:43 am

Stokesy

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ProTrack A Grader
ProTrack A Grader
Hey TimJ

Thanks for making the effort to type so many words.

I wish you would re direct your effort to coming to grips with the facts.

I say that there is little glory in a sash which is won through unfair handicaps.

There is no benefit for the SAAL in maintaining denial of the facts.

We have a totally inadequate information system.

We have 19th century attitude and practices when we could (and should) have 21st century standard systems.

As I learned when working in the steel works at Whyalla, information systems and documented procedures are crucial to good performance.

Courses on TQC (Total Quality Control, as used in the Japanese manufacturing revolution that made Sanyo and Toyota and Panasonic and Datsun and Mazda into household names) emphasise that problems are 80% system problems and only 20% people problems (not the other way around as we tend to assume).

So TimJ, please get off the personal attacks and get on the program.

How would you like to feel assured that the online records were complete and free of errors?

How would you like to be able to check the history of all SAAL athletes performances (and changes in handicaps) online with ease and confidence?

How would you like to be able to check next weekend's entry lists (and all changes in handicaps and the reasons for the changes) online with ease and confidence?

Such information systems are the key to fairness and also the foundation for genuine glory when a sash is won on the track.

Such information systems would pave the way for transparency and a great future for the SAAL.

timj


Interesting you’ve taken the last post as a personal attack where I’ve simply said take the points and ideas that you have made to the people that can change it., that being the Athletic League and its committee……

By telling us, Joe Public, whats wrong with the system isn’t going to change it.
You mentioned workplace quality in your last post (and thankyou for bringing up TQM in Japan, you’re right it was very successful for them), I’m sure if you had an idea for a quality improvement you would bring that up with your boss, management etc. Telling your mates at the local watering hole wouldn’t do any good as they wouldn’t be able to change it.

One of the key learnings I’ve learnt through my business dealings are the three L’s of change, which I apply to my dealings of issues:

1. Lobby – if you have an idea, Lobby, in a professional manner the people that can make the change. Bring to the table your ideas and present them in a positive and pro-active manner. Almost 100% of the time they will be receptive to new ideas.
2. Live with it – if you are unsuccessful in the above, we need to learn to live with the decision, you don’t have to like it but you do need to change the way you think about it. It doesn’t mean you can’t go back to lobby again in the future.
3. Leave- if the above 2 don’t work and you feel so strongly about an issue and you just can’t see the light you may have to move on, hopefully it does no get to that stage.

This theory can be applied to this larger issue that’s being discussed.

I’m not disputing your opinion, I’m disputing that the wrong people are hearing it.

I stay true to the bottom of my post though……let’s celebrate the wins…….

GT


The Runners and Trainers in the SAAL are looking for assurance that Fairness and most importantly Trust with our Handicappers and Management prevails, most people i know are confident that this will happen over time with the current people in office!The Trainers need to know that this important factor in the development of their runners is going to happen sooner or later. Both Handicappers are very approachable,so dont be shy in having a quiet chat in the right way!

Stokesy

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ProTrack A Grader
ProTrack A Grader
With the current poor SAAL information systems, how can athletes make timely informed decisions about "appeals regarding handicaps" ?

Last week, the Loxton marks were published late on Monday ahead of the Loxton Carnival on the following Saturday, less than 5 days later.

I sat down and went through the ProTrack Forum posts which are the only online record of this season's SAAL handicaps and results (except for the Bay Sheff which is on the SAAL site).

I also checked some marks in the printed programs from events not fully covered on ProTrack.

I also looked at last season's results on the SAAL site (which are all there, even if some results are hiding - Camden 2012 results are not listed on the index page, but I am enough of a nerd to find them).

After a couple of hours of hard work, I posted a Preview of the Loxton over35s 300m race, which included the observation that compared to one year ago I was getting a 2m lift and almost all other athletes were getting double digit lifts.

The unusual happened, and Leon noticed my Preview on ProTrack and sent me an email saying that I would get an "extra" 10m lift for Loxton.

What if I had not done the hours of work to prepare the Preview?
What if I had not posted the Preview on ProTrack?
What if Leon had not read the Preview on ProTrack?

Would I have just accepted that I had been dudded, discriminated against, treated unfairly?

Given the history of my handicaps and other athletes' handicaps, that is most likely - as I have said in a comment earlier on this thread, I did not even think that there had been an error, I thought that it was just business as usual.

TimJ and others say to follow the procedures and get my coach to contact the SAAL office about any issues with my handicaps.

If I had thought there was any point to it, if I had some means of contacting my coach (he is not on email and I do not have his phone number) then maybe I could have promptly told him of the situation and maybe he could have found the time to contact the SAAL office during the limited opening hours, but probably not. My coach does not do that sort of thing. All too hard. His job is to train athletes. That is how he sees it.

So to summarise the situation:

1- current SAAL information systems are not good
1a- results on SAAL web site are not up to date
1b- results on SAAL web site are not accessible in useful ways
1c- results on SAAL web site are not accurate, with obvious errors and other errors
1d- next event marks on SAAL web site are published only a few days before events
1e- next event marks on SAAL web site contain obvious errors and other errors

2- there is a lack of confidence in the handicapping system (I speak for myself Brett Stokes and also for other athletes) so that errors are not challenged, just accepted as "business as usual" and eventually athletes just drop out of the SAAL

3- there are problems with the current procedures for challenges to next event marks (too hard and too slow)

4- there is a better way:

How would you like to feel assured that the online records were complete and free of errors?

How would you like to be able to check the history of all SAAL athletes performances (and changes in handicaps) online with ease and confidence?

How would you like to be able to check next event's entry lists (and all changes in handicaps and the reasons for the changes) online with ease and confidence?

Such information systems are the key to fairness and also the foundation for genuine glory when a sash is won on the track.

Such 21st century information systems would pave the way for transparency and a great future for the SAAL.

Stokesy

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ProTrack A Grader
ProTrack A Grader
As I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted by another anonymous abuser:

So to summarise the situation:

1- current SAAL information systems are not good
1a- results on SAAL web site are not up to date
1b- results on SAAL web site are not accessible in useful ways
1c- results on SAAL web site are not accurate, with obvious errors and other errors
1d- next event marks on SAAL web site are published only a few days before events
1e- next event marks on SAAL web site contain obvious errors and other errors

2- there is a lack of confidence in the handicapping system (I speak for myself Brett Stokes and also for other athletes) so that errors are not challenged, just accepted as "business as usual" and eventually athletes just drop out of the SAAL

3- there are problems with the current procedures for challenges to next event marks (too hard and too slow)

4- there is a better way:

How would you like to feel assured that the online records were complete and free of errors?

How would you like to be able to check the history of all SAAL athletes performances (and changes in handicaps) online with ease and confidence?

How would you like to be able to check next event's entry lists (and all changes in handicaps and the reasons for the changes) online with ease and confidence?

Such information systems are the key to fairness and also the foundation for genuine glory when a sash is won on the track.

Such 21st century information systems would pave the way for transparency and a great future for the SAAL.

timj


stokesy

Again be proactive and bring up your ideas with the league mate. We all know your issues, but we cant fix them for you.
There may be a lot of reasons ie resources available, for info systems not being up to date as you say....wont know until you ask.
they may need help doing it, you could be that help...i dont know??

I'm going to use this quote generally (ie not pointed at anyone at all, so dont take offence!) but its a good one to reflect on, that i often use at work:

"if you're not telling the people who can make the difference , then you're just bitching"

Stokesy

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ProTrack A Grader
As I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted by another time waster:

So to summarise the situation:

1- current SAAL information systems are not good
1a- results on SAAL web site are not up to date
1b- results on SAAL web site are not accessible in useful ways
1c- results on SAAL web site are not accurate, with obvious errors and other errors
1d- next event marks on SAAL web site are published only a few days before events
1e- next event marks on SAAL web site contain obvious errors and other errors

2- there is a lack of confidence in the handicapping system (I speak for myself Brett Stokes and also for other athletes) so that errors are not challenged, just accepted as "business as usual" and eventually athletes just drop out of the SAAL

3- there are problems with the current procedures for challenges to next event marks (too hard and too slow)

4- there is a better way:

How would you like to feel assured that the online records were complete and free of errors?

How would you like to be able to check the history of all SAAL athletes performances (and changes in handicaps) online with ease and confidence?

How would you like to be able to check next event's entry lists (and all changes in handicaps and the reasons for the changes) online with ease and confidence?

Such information systems are the key to fairness and also the foundation for genuine glory when a sash is won on the track.

Such 21st century information systems would pave the way for transparency and a great future for the SAAL.

timj


Stokesy:

email : saal@internode.on.net

Ph 8443 6177

Mail: SAAL, Po Box 2006 , Hilton SA 5033

cant do much more for you mate

Stokesy

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ProTrack A Grader
ProTrack A Grader
As I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted again:

So to summarise the situation:

1- current SAAL information systems are not good
1a- results on SAAL web site are not up to date
1b- results on SAAL web site are not accessible in useful ways
1c- results on SAAL web site are not accurate, with obvious errors and other errors
1d- next event marks on SAAL web site are published only a few days before events
1e- next event marks on SAAL web site contain obvious errors and other errors

2- there is a lack of confidence in the handicapping system (I speak for myself Brett Stokes and also for other athletes) so that errors are not challenged, just accepted as "business as usual" and eventually athletes just drop out of the SAAL

3- there are problems with the current procedures for challenges to next event marks (too hard and too slow)

4- there is a better way:

How would you like to feel assured that the online records were complete and free of errors?

How would you like to be able to check the history of all SAAL athletes performances (and changes in handicaps) online with ease and confidence?

How would you like to be able to check next event's entry lists (and all changes in handicaps and the reasons for the changes) online with ease and confidence?

Such information systems are the key to fairness and also the foundation for genuine glory when a sash is won on the track.

Such 21st century information systems would pave the way for transparency and a great future for the SAAL.

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