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PROTRACK » GENERAL » What should the VAL address over winter?

What should the VAL address over winter?

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1 What should the VAL address over winter? on Sat Apr 29, 2017 7:27 pm

Fast


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What should the VAL address over winter?


There has been much banter and discussion about the women's handicapping due to the young girls winning Stawell and especially the last two years where the winner has won from close to the limit and this year the limit.


I don't think it's a bad result for the future of the sport if a young runner wins...it does attract more young runners to the sport.

But the solution is very simple, all non-established women young or old should have their handicap capped at 2m below the limit...for example this year 9m.

That would force runners to complete on the circuit (a good outcome for the sport) so as to become established and hence they would be easier to handicap if established.

The VAL can no long advice, suggest and discourage runners to not compete, on the circuit, as is currently happening via the stewarding system.

There is one qualification and this is also the major risk and threat facing the future of the VAL .... the lack of quality meetings.

While registrations and entries may have risen slightly there is a lack of quality meetings on the circuit, that is meetings run on good surfaces and with reasonable prizemoney and with well-presented and properly marked tracks.
 
If you intend to grow the VAL, you must have quality meeting for athletes to compete in....you just can't expect registrations and the sport to grow if athletes don't have quality meeting to compete in.

The VAL must take the next step and run a couple of quality Melbourne based meetings, with good tracks and prize money, themselves, rather than rely on clubs, many of whom use their meeting as a fund raising event for other sports.

The VAL needs to also remove some of the poorly run smaller meetings and introduce minimum standards for meetings. Poorly run meetings on poor surfaces with less than sweep stakes prize money tie up valuable VAL resources and impact the credibility of professional running...less is more.

Some of the smaller meetings need to merge to form one reasonable meeting.

So the 6 issues the VAL should address over this winter are.

1. Address the quality of their running meetings and plan to hold their own in 2018.

2. Set a cap for non-established athletes in the women’s gift for classic and group one races.

3. Develop a consistent junior structured pathway program.

4. Introduce transparent handicapping by disclosing how athlete’s handicaps are calculated on the VAL website.

5. Change official times back to actual times and not use artificially wind adjusted times as official times.

6. Replace inconsistent running rules with unacceptable PB improvement (UPBI)

Those 6 strategic objective will help grow and add credibility to our sport.



Last edited by Fast on Tue May 02, 2017 4:28 pm; edited 1 time in total

2 Re: What should the VAL address over winter? on Sat Apr 29, 2017 9:30 pm

Bulldog


Pretty happy with these suggestions:

1. Good in theory but VAL are rather limited in resources, both financial and human so will be hard to impact change in short term.
2. Agree, good idea but prefer to keep it for U/18 runners as would be harsh on interstate runners.
3. Agree
4. Agree, should be easy fix, list all runners per event, show pb  RPM,  starting point /Ceiling Point .. all transparent.
5. Agree, can't believe they have been so stubborn on this.
6. Need more info, think I like it, so you are saying run as crap as you want and below PB RPM and you just don't get a lift (thus no point), to receive a lift you must be within % of your PB RPM. If you run % faster than PB then that's when stewards sanction ?



Last edited by Admin on Wed May 03, 2017 9:08 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Deleted personal attack on the handicapper)

3 Re: What should the VAL address over winter? on Sun Apr 30, 2017 6:32 pm

SANCHEZ


Not sure about point 6. You can't just let runners stroll down the track one week when it doesn't matter and then come out and smash the field the next. It is a poor look, and sponsors and spectators deserve more. The sport needs stewardship otherwise it just becomes a farce. One area where sponsorship can be gained is through sports betting agencies. How could they possibly tip money in if there is no governance over performance. What we have to remember is the Stawell Gift could not get a sponsor this year, so sponsors aren't exactly clambering to come on board. Looking back at the season there were a number of very prominent performers at Stawell who were called in by the stewards. Those that were bleating about the big bad stewards now have egg on their face because the stewards were right in calling those runners in, and questioning their performances.

4 Re: What should the VAL address over winter? on Sun Apr 30, 2017 6:35 pm

SANCHEZ


Not sure about point 6. You can't just let runners stroll down the track one week when it doesn't matter and then come out and smash the field the next. It is a poor look, and sponsors and spectators deserve more. The sport needs stewardship otherwise it just becomes a farce. One area where sponsorship can be gained is through sports betting agencies. How could they possibly tip money in if there is no governance over performance. What we have to remember is the Stawell Gift could not get a sponsor this year, so sponsors aren't exactly clambering to come on board. Looking back at the season there were a number of very prominent performers at Stawell who were called in by the stewards. Those that were bleating about the big bad stewards now have egg on their face because the stewards were right in calling those runners in, and questioning their performances.
Can you just imagine the outcry if a Stawell Gift winner is stripped of his or her win because they improved more than the allowable margin of improvement. That would bring more bad publicity than a runner at a nondescript meeting being questioned.

5 Re: What should the VAL address over winter? on Mon May 01, 2017 9:31 am

Phantom

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It is time the VAL realised that it is administering a sport that pays out a significant amount of prizemoney and involves betting on races, so therefore needs to be transparent and accountable in how it operates.

The current handicapping is farcical in how it is administered and I know the EO will say that it is a lack of resources or people putting up their hand, but it really doesn't need to be that hard. A trained monkey with a calculator who can use a spreadsheet and follow guidelines could do the job!

6 Re: What should the VAL address over winter? on Mon May 01, 2017 1:50 pm

Fast


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ProTrack A Grader
SANCHEZ wrote:Not sure about point 6. You can't just let runners stroll down the track one week when it doesn't matter and then come out and smash the field the next. It is a poor look, and sponsors and spectators deserve more. The sport needs stewardship otherwise it just becomes a farce. One area where sponsorship can be gained is through sports betting agencies. How could they possibly tip money in if there is no governance over performance. What we have to remember is the Stawell Gift could not get a sponsor this year, so sponsors aren't exactly clambering to come on board. Looking back at the season  there were a number of very prominent performers at Stawell who were called in by the stewards. Those that were bleating about the big bad stewards now have egg on their face because the stewards were right in calling those runners in, and questioning their performances.
Can you just imagine the outcry if a Stawell Gift winner is stripped of his or her win because they improved more than the allowable margin of improvement. That would bring more bad publicity than a runner at a nondescript meeting being questioned.

Sanchez...thanks for your response, as most do not understand how ridiculous the current inconsistent running rules are and many of course don’t fully understand what is being recommended.

The current rules are not consistently applied and they are ridiculously subjective, and are very difficult, if not impossible, to consistently apply...that impacts credibility...and every athlete has been inconsistent and could be charged as inconsistent under the existing rules depending on the mood of the Stewards on duty. This is undisputed legal advice and will become apparent when you understand the existing rules. Almost every winner at Stawell this year could have been successfully charged under existing rules.

Athletes will have bad and good days. As long as there is nothing to be gained by a poor performance ...athletes will have no reason to run poorly they will actually have reason to perform well so as not to incur a penalty if they want to set and win a big one….and athletes will compete without fear week in week out and we need athletes competing on the circuit.... otherwise the league will be left with only one race...Stawell.

The number of quality meetings on the VAL circuit is falling away at a rapid rate and one necessary ingredient for improving that is to have many and quality athletes willing to compete on a regular basis. The stewarding solution at the moment is to imply, advise or recommend to runners to not compete. That impacts the credibility of the league.

The dumb down of the proposal is…. if one improves remarkably on what they have ever done before (their PB) to win a classic they will be automatically sanctioned. Rather than drawing any previous random performance to try and justify an inconsistent running charge and once made the athlete has no defence under existing rules….... That is what impacts the credibility of the sport.


The recommendations are not suggesting wiping the winner out but rather imposing an automatic significant fine of up to 50% of the prize money won, maybe more depending on the fortitude of the reigning leadership at any point in time. That is a significant deterrent...

Athletes will have many opportunities to reduce their PBs throughout the season...so if they intend to set and are capable of running far faster than they have before then get out and compete before hand and bring your PB down or face the consequences ...that will add credibility and make handicapping more accurate and assist with your betting arguement. Handicapping will of course have to be referenced to PB rpms.

The changes recommended will also be an objective assessment rather that a random subjective one often by inexperienced overzealous stewards. Who under the existing rules can never be challenged under legal argument.


The recommendations are detailed below.

7 Re: What should the VAL address over winter? on Mon May 08, 2017 3:57 pm

DDog


Fast you have declared that the VAL need to get rid of sub standard meetings and tracks. I have been to every meeting over many years and I cannot work out which meetings you are referring to. Granted their are many different tracks and surrounds but that is the uniqueness that makes the sport so challenging.
Which meetings are you referring to?

8 Re: What should the VAL address over winter? on Mon May 08, 2017 4:39 pm

Fast


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I believe one of the biggest risks facing the future of the VAL is the quality of its meetings. What do you think are the biggest risks facing the VAL?

The answer to your question may be arrived at by answering the following questions, what meetings have poor track surfaces?, poorly marked tracks? and don’t even offer sweepstakes prize money? What meetings are close to each other both in distance and time of the year?

The main issue  is the quality of meetings and tracks, the VAL has to be able to offer quality meetings if it is to service existing registrations and grow.

One solution, I think, is merging meetings and combining resources to form bigger and better meetings. This would also reduce the admin, handicapping and officials load. Less but better quality. Concentration of resources will also lead to bigger numbers of entries.

The other is the necessity for the VAL to now run at least one significant meeting themselves or further develop an existing meeting to improve prizemoney, venue. etc. The SAAL run most of their meetings.

With the possibility of Stonington not going ahead next year this is becoming more important.

9 Re: What should the VAL address over winter? on Tue May 09, 2017 9:45 am

DDog


Fast maybe you should be in politics, simple question, simple answer. Which meetings, tracks are you suggesting?

10 Re: What should the VAL address over winter? on Tue May 09, 2017 3:49 pm

WhataboutmeMrHandicapper


DDog wrote:Fast maybe you should be in politics, simple question, simple answer. Which meetings, tracks are you suggesting?

Ballarat and Ararat should merge and become the
Barrarat Gift.
Maryborough and Maribyrnong could be
Maryboronong.
Bendigo and Euroa to merge and become
BendUroa
Sandringham and Ringwood to merge and become
Sandringwoodham.
Daylesford and Avondale Heights to merge and become
Avondaylesford Heights
That should do it.

11 Re: What should the VAL address over winter? on Wed May 10, 2017 9:25 am

Elmer Fudd


Fast wasn't it you or one of your other 638 pseudonyms who praised Geelong recently? That circular track is as safe as running through the gaza strip. Not to mention the farce of runners speeding up/slowing down for the straights/bends and the toilets being almost as bad as Ballarat.

12 Re: What should the VAL address over winter? on Wed May 10, 2017 9:46 pm

Mex

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Firstly I think it is good that someone has put themselves out there with some suggestions to improve our sport. I do not think that there is a need to take pot shots at the individual. I like some of the suggestions and not others. See what you think.

1. Address the quality of their running meetings and plan to hold their own in 2018.

I think that there is generally something for everyone in our sport. The smaller meets hold an opportunity for some of the less elite to have a win. I do agree that the prize money sometimes is light on but would never say that a club does not try hard to get sponsorship. The VAL made an adjustment to the minimum prize money last season and this would have caused some of the smaller clubs some angst. If we are talking about the gift, maybe there should be a minimum prize pool, not sure. The idea of the VAL holding a meet is something I would be interested in hearing more about. Perhaps you can explain a little more about your thoughts here Fast.

2. Set a cap for non-established athletes in the women’s gift for classic and group one races.

This idea is a good one and, coming from someone who has faced their fair share of scrutiny, holds some merit. But if we are looking at equality why would it be any different for women as opposed to an open event? Non established athletes are exactly that, non established. We have novice marks and an OGA system where a lift is not a given at the same rate as for established athletes. My take would be to enforce the OGA system and where a lift is given and it is not necessarily kept for the following year especially if the athlete is also relatively young as has been the case for some of the athletes both male and female. Earn your stripes, do your time. You name the cliche'.

3. Develop a consistent junior structured pathway program.

Agreed, continue to develop this. Lots of work has been done to provide additional opportunities for younger athletes by the likes of Shane McKenzie. This has been much improved. Maybe we could actually talk to another association? The SAAL have lots of junior races each week, could we follow the same model or improve on this model together? How would it go if you had to win a junior race or novice before being given a lift in an open race. Very difficult I agree but further building of the junior pathway is needed.

4. Introduce transparent handicapping by disclosing how athlete’s handicaps are calculated on the VAL website.

The handicapping system is transparent, the issue surrounds how it is administered. We have different handicappers for different distances and open, women and masters. I feel that the handicappers generally do a good job. I question what the handicap review panel do. A mistake may be made from time to time by the handicappers and it is the job of the review panel to find them. It is also their job to make sure that no athlete has the incorrect starting mark. My suggestion is to get a new panel to review the marks each week with the evidence provided. I also think that the starting marks should be done during the off season and reviewed. This should not be hard at all.

5. Change official times back to actual times and not use artificially wind adjusted times as official times.

Maybe I am just showing my age a little but I liked when the wind gauge was introduced. It gives some form of comparison between the weeks let alone the heats of a sprint. If we do not handicap from the adjusted time how many athletes will run if there is a tail wind? For non adjusted times to be used perhaps it would have to be with a cap on the acceptable wind? Too many issues here and more research is probably needed before we change back. My suggestion is to formulate an idea of how we want to change it and to carry two sets of results for the early events next year and compare them. One with an adjustment and one without. A full report could be given to the running community, feedback sought and then suggestions made. My suggestion in the mean time would be to set up two wind gauges at least and take an average from each, this would provide us with a more accurate wind reading in that it would cover more of the track.

6. Replace inconsistent running rules with unacceptable PB improvement (UPBI)

Not a fan here. Again, this is something I would like to know more about. Perhaps use some athletes to compare a season and look at how they would have been treated. I would ask for a volunteer or two as if the results are published it would not be hard to work out who they were. Keep the research transparent.

One of the things I think should be addressed is the bonus system. I have spoken to many people and heard many ideas about how to improve this. If we are looking at equality should it be introduced for female athletes? Rizzo, Romanin and Riali benefitted from the bonus system. I would seek some feedback about this and make adjustments. My understanding is that it was introduced to ensure that quality athletes entered, competed and tried to win the smaller events. This has had the desired effect but what do we call a small event? Is a full metre too much to offer?

13 Re: What should the VAL address over winter? on Thu May 11, 2017 8:53 am

Sean The Sheep Spicer

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Mex wrote:6. Replace inconsistent running rules with unacceptable PB improvement (UPBI)

Not a fan here. Again, this is something I would like to know more about. Perhaps use some athletes to compare a season and look at how they would have been treated. I would ask for a volunteer or two as if the results are published it would not be hard to work out who they were. Keep the research transparent.

One of the things I think should be addressed is the bonus system. I have spoken to many people and heard many ideas about how to improve this. If we are looking at equality should it be introduced for female athletes? Rizzo, Romanin and Riali benefitted from the bonus system. I would seek some feedback about this and make adjustments. My understanding is that it was introduced to ensure that quality athletes entered, competed and tried to win the smaller events. This has had the desired effect but what do we call a small event? Is a full metre too much to offer?

Unacceptable PB improvement, UPBI.? Not enough letters for me. We need bigger acronyms, more to the point.

  • IBWWWE Improvement Beyond What We Were Expecting. Penalty- fine and work as a colour steward at the next meeting.


  • DHARHG Didn't Have a Red Hot Go. Penalty- fine, handicap review and counselling session with Tim Rosen.


  • LYGYDR Lift Your Game You Dirty Rascal. Penalty- fine and 500 word essay on track etiquette.


  • NYTTP Now Your Taking The Piss. Penalty- immediate suspension, loss of handicap and responsible for washing all the colours for the next four meets.


  • YEFUPCMU Your Excuse For Under Performing Cracks Me Up. Penalty- fine and round of drinks for the stewards.

14 Re: What should the VAL address over winter? on Thu May 11, 2017 9:51 am

Fast


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Mex,

The handicapping system is not really transparent at all, it is however more transparent to those that are closely connected to the VAL board and officials for obvious reasons. I agree fully the HRP’s purpose and performances is unclear and poor.

Should we all be independently requesting how an athletes starting and ceiling handicap is calculated?

The ceiling handicap and how it is calculated for of each athlete could easily be transparently disclosed on the VAL website this would add considerable credibility to professional handicap running and the VAL.

I have tried to calculate the starting and ceiling handicaps for runners in my squad and it is not being done transparently or consistently according to the guidelines, I assume I’m not the only one. Have others attempted to do this?

There are also issue around using false adjusted times to calculate handicaps. The fairest way is to only use PB times in legal wind conditions (less than 2mps) as part of the sample for calculating the ceiling handicap. That resolves the problem of athletes not wanting to compete if strong tail winds are prevailing, or strong tail winds unfairly impacting an athletes handicap.

The current wind adjustment for tail winds is grossly inaccurate for all distances, this is widely accepted and has been explained many times but there will always be someone that does not understand or refuses to understand.

I in no way are suggesting that the wind gauge should be removed or not used, it is still a valuable tool and can determine if the wind is legal or greater than 2mps.

Mex …I have quite a bit on my plate over the coming weeks but I will progressive address your questions. Especially how inconsistent running rules can be significantly improved, at the moment there is no time frame around when a performance can be inconsistent and there is no link to an athletes PB or what a they have performed in the past. The current rules are being applied randomly with no consistency for example there were many inconsistent winning performances a Stawell this year that breached the VAL rules in the extreme range that were ignored and then there were some that were charged. There is no clarity around how they are being enforced.

What do others think should be addressed by the VAL over winter?

15 Re: What should the VAL address over winter? on Thu May 11, 2017 12:23 pm

Elmer Fudd


Fast wrote:

What do others think should be addressed by the VAL over winter?


The first thing that needs to be addressed is which meetings you were referring to in your earlier posts?

16 Re: What should the VAL address over winter? on Thu May 11, 2017 1:18 pm

Fast


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Elmer Fudd wrote:
Fast wrote:

What do others think should be addressed by the VAL over winter?


The first thing that needs to be addressed is which meetings you were referring to in your earlier posts?


Elmer ...send me a quick email and I will email you the spreadsheet analysis I have done on every meeting and you will see which meetings are not paying sweep stakes prize money, have unmarked and poor tracks etc. etc... and I’m sure if you attended every meeting you would know which meetings fit that .....I have difficulty in posting spreadsheets to this site.

17 Re: What should the VAL address over winter? on Fri May 12, 2017 1:02 pm

Elmer Fudd


It's quite simple. You put it out there so list the names of the meetings you consider inadequate. A lot of work goes into every meeting and a lot of people involved with clubs would be interested to know whether it's their meeting that is in your opinion not up to scratch.

18 Re: What should the VAL address over winter? on Sat May 13, 2017 4:42 pm

K.B


Elmer Fudd wrote:Fast wasn't it you or one of your other 638 pseudonyms who praised Geelong recently? That circular track is as safe as running through the gaza strip. Not to mention the farce of runners speeding up/slowing down for the straights/bends and the toilets being almost as bad as Ballarat.

Elmer Fudd,

Being a Geelong boy i may be bias but where would you suggest Geelong hold there 2018 Gift next year...... in an industrial bombsite, with no atmosphere with plenty of greenspace???. One of the drawcard's of holding the gift next to the beachfront water, and cafe's, restaurants is that from a visual perspective is one of the more attractive looking gifts on the circuit in Australia, comparable on a smaller scale to perhaps the Bay Sheffield.
I'm sure many runners who have competed in this meet in the past, would agree from a atmosphere perspective it is one of the more exciting meets to run at on the VAL calendar.
Unfortunately due to logistical issue's beyond the Gift commitee's control, the space for running races is quite small, and what comes with that is unfortunately tight bend running for multiple distances. I'm sure the people involved in organising it (of which i am not one myself), would in an ideal world be able to cater for safer bend running and increase the distance available for gift running. However sometimes we can't have everything!!
In terms of the toilets, there are many local cafe's and restaurants within walking distance (25 metre's from the finish line for example) that have hygienic bathrooms. Again due to the location, the gift commitee cannot just create a 5 star toilet facility and place it in the middle of the track.... Imagine trying to get that one approved through the council.

Elmer Fudd, given you taken the opportunity to take a pot shot at the meet, what would you suggest the gift commitee (again one i am not part of) could do to improve the event in 2018, and that is if it does go ahead.

Regards, Kev

19 Re: What should the VAL address over winter? on Mon May 15, 2017 9:30 am

Fast


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Anyone who bags out the Ballarat and Geelong Gift does not understand professional running, Ballarat one of the best gifts outside Stawell and the Bay in the country and Geelong taking Professional athletics to the people, with the potential to be like the Bay Shef.

There were 4 toilet bocks or options at Ballarat, the ground hosts international cricket matches and regularly caters for crowds in excessive of 5000 people, so not an issue or priority for the club…. let’s focus on the issues that matter....

The solution maybe that the VAL provide additional resources, and put a club assistance “Tool Box” together to assist clubs- including Sponsorship request templates and track marking instruction and measurements etc., etc.

Some of these clubs could benefit, and it would improve their meeting if the VAL helped with sponsorship assistance, track marking expertise, event management and venue sourcing advice etc.

All I wanted to put on the VAL’s agenda was that the quality of the VAL meetings needs addressing, there are a few board members that don’t get to a lot of meetings so may not even know it’s an issue and a significant risk facing the VAL.

....and to further clarify what should be on the agenda and the risks facing the VAL.


I would rather see 15 to 20 good quality meetings per season than 25 to 30 meetings which include some pretty average ones.

If you have less but better quality meetings you get greater concentration of entries, equals better meetings, equals better atmosphere…. attracts more to the sport…. equals better sport.

VAL resources are limited so concentrate them where they can get the best strategic value for the VAL.
I don’t expect everyone to agree but I think it is a strategic decision the VAL needs to address.
What is the strategic alternative…more of the same? ...continue to see quality meeting drop from the circuit?

You need good entry support to sustain and grow meetings. If you have better offering you grow, if the quality of your offerings drop you shrink…. not rocket science.


As previously stated this is my opinion ……

1. Address the quality of their running meetings and plan to hold their own in 2018.

While registrations and entries may have risen slightly (actually not sure they have) there is a lack of quality meetings on the circuit, that is meetings run on good surfaces and with reasonable prizemoney and with well-presented and properly marked tracks. One meeting this year did not even mark the circular track!

If you intend to grow the VAL, you must have quality meetings for athletes to compete in....you just can't expect registrations and the sport to grow if athletes don't have quality meeting to compete in.

The VAL must take the next step and run a couple of quality Melbourne based meetings, with good tracks and prize money, themselves, rather than rely on clubs, many of whom use their meeting as a fund raising event for other sports.

The SAAL runs the Bay Sheff and several other meetings…. Why can’t the VAL run the Melbourne Gift? The model is already there to copy! The hardest part is getting a good quality venue and grass surface.

The VAL need to address and assist some of the poorly run smaller meetings and introduce minimum standards for meetings. Poorly run meetings on poor surfaces with less than sweep stakes prize money tie up valuable VAL resources and impact the credibility of professional running...less is more.

Some of the smaller meetings need to merge to form one reasonable meeting. Combining sponsorship and resources.

If the meeting meets the following criteria
• Pays greater than sweep stakes prize money.
• Has properly marked its track.
• Organizes its meet on a reasonable surface.
• Presents its meeting well.
Then they would not be on the list.
Anyone who attended most meetings this year would know which meetings do not meet those basic conditions?

20 Re: What should the VAL address over winter? on Mon May 15, 2017 9:46 am

Elmer Fudd


It was a pot shop at Fast for suggesting some tracks which remain a mystery were poor after praising Geelong earlier. The massive holes at the start of the back straight are what I was referring to in regards to the safety. Is the idea of a gift meeting to have good atmosphere and a visual element or to be practical and similar to the other tracks from which the handicaps are formed? It defeats the purpose visually when the circular events are run in such a farcical manner and the track favours certain runners in a one off event. My suggestion would be to hold it on a football or cricket ground like other clubs manage to get hold of even if there is only one or two in a town. I think there are quite a few in Geelong.

21 Re: What should the VAL address over winter? on Tue May 16, 2017 8:57 pm

Mex

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Firstly, welcome to Kevin.

Lets look at what makes a good meet then. Quality surface, accessibility, options for athletes, facilities, prize money, history or prestige, number of competitors, viewing for the public, the list could go on. I would think that if a club is addressing most of these kind of things then they are in favour with the athletes. Preparing the track can be difficult when we use cricket ovals and the like. Not sure if we can cut the grass as fine as we would like.

I think Geelong is a very good event on our calendar. Boutique. Yes. Surface may have been an issue this year but considering that there was a triathlon held on the surface the week prior it held up pretty well. My athletes were not upset by the conditions. If you look at my list above I have already mentioned the surface, it was accessible to athletes although a long way from the north east, there were different races available for athletes to compete in with the lure of the tight track for the dizzy runners creating a great spectacle for the crowd, facilities is an interesting one here as there is no grandstand and toilets were either in a plastic box or in the back of the restaurant (not an issue for me) although many had tents set up, prize money was down and I would like to see it raised across all events to really set this meet apart from some of the others, history and prestige is built over time and if Geelong stays where it is then this will definitely come, number of competitors is good with the events on offer, viewing for the public is the best we have on the calendar. This event has the potential to challenge as one of the best on our calendar.

Probably leave Geelong out of the equation now Fudd. I don't agree with everything that Fast is talking about as I have said earlier however naming a club would be a poor move. The idea of less meets is interesting, how you determine which ones do not run is extremely difficult. How you determine when they all run is also extremely difficult as I would like to see a few more before Christmas. Imagine having a meet like Keilor slotting in the calendar in early December before or after Northcote. Two races with history and/or prestige, two events that would get the people to enter. What I think we should be mindful of is that there are a number of people who work extremely hard to keep our sport going and that some of our comments could cause them to walk away. Lets keep our comments in this thread constructive so that some may be able to use an idea to build their event.

22 Re: What should the VAL address over winter? on Thu May 18, 2017 8:30 pm

Fast


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As an additional issue …..over the last couple of weeks since my initial post about what the VAL should address over winter I have had a couple of emails expressing concern over the workload bestowed on the Women’s handicapper.

The current Women’s handicapper handicaps the following-

All women’s events.

70m Women’s
70m Juniors
100m & 120m Women’s Gifts
300m women’s
300m open
300m Juniors
400m men’s
400m women’s
400 sport biz

And all junior events from 70m to 400m.

I think I'm right with the above ....if not please correct me.


Having considered this I agree the work load is immense and far too much and unfair for one person, especially as the Juniors grow.

What do others think?

23 Re: What should the VAL address over winter? on Sat May 20, 2017 2:31 pm

outtopasture


last question first.
Handicapper :  that is way too much work for the handicapper. As 'funded' volunteers (even with a small remuneration ) I am sure the hundreds hours that would be spent over one season is a toll on the handicapper. Its not an easy task and certainly the person who said a monkey could do it, well that makes you are monkey's ass! No offence intended but have some respect for the people who do this because they are passionate about the sport being fair. ( I have no links to handicapper )  If they give up - who does it next?  I would be happy to back up the handicapper and counter check everything.

Meets :
Combine a few more meets on weekends ( frid - sunday) Like Castlemaine /  Daylesford.  That way you will bring in more interstaters too as travel costs are vastly reduced.
Don't can any meets. The historical nature of those meets is too valuable to pro league to lose and the country towns need people to come in a visit! Maybe Downsize a meet for a while. Or each meet gets its own special one race event or a bonus lift etc to encourage attendance.
Each meet is dependant on the energy of the committee of the town or whoever to make it work. Is there a 'handbook' to running a meet that is online and easily available. ?
Do what Tassie does, combine with the wood chopping, the local dog show, food and wine festival, agricultural fair,  the local tractor display - what ever. Tie in with tourism Victoria and get them to help each town.
I think we are a bit precious worrying about loos in the country, '' shit ' just squat over a hole in the bush next door. Or pop up the road to the local pub, café, spend some money and use their loo! Or just take a dump before you leave home!  

Handicaps and women : some good ideas have been put forward. I think the only mistake that is being made for women is  that their is nothing being done to take into account  how much a 14 - 17yr old can improve in one season during puberty.  With  some stats/analysis  on previous/historical years results, you could work out a fair mark until they plateau. It would need to be quite a big drop over one season though.  Women also start to struggle when they are about 19 - 22 as their bones change as well. So you can over handicap them during this time thinking they will be as fast as they were at 16.

Its not easy for the handicapper. Was just having a look at womens past results of Stawell from 2013-14 And then had a compare with some other results. Just picked 2 aths and traced them through. Both are young adults of comparable age. Both Stawells marks have progressively dropped by about 7m in that time.
This year is interesting. Looking at their track pb's. It would appear one was harshly marked, the other fairly. However, if you look at results at a few other meets, something don't stack up this year for the harshly marked ath, so well done handicapper on the mark you dished up and don't let off based on this years results either! Not including names as this is not about the athletes, but about the difficulty the handicapper faces.



Last edited by outtopasture on Sat May 20, 2017 3:45 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : did some research)

24 Re: What should the VAL address over winter? on Mon May 22, 2017 9:00 pm

Graeme Lebroy


Firstly well done to the VAL on the YouTube videos. I think that was this seasons stand out administrative improvement and really important that it is kept up for all meets going forward.

The biggest issue the VAL needs to address is also an opportunity. Coincidently its my first time on here for a while and read with interest JH announcing he is moving on which is a good segway. For the VAL to grow it needs to work out how to better attract more trainers (coaches). Specifically ones that are already training squads (small or large) that are mainly or solely focused on amateur competition. If the VAL could work out a way to attract more amateurs more regularly through educating their coaches as to the positives of the pros I think many will stick around. But I think most wont turn up unless their coaches encourage them and to do that we need to work out how to encourage them.

Unfortunately this needs a very proactive approach and a physical presence probably at AV shield competitions and perhaps the major training locations....so it would have to be a bit scattergun and could be quite laborious. So not saying I have the answer but a formal targeted program focused on this could be really important.

25 Re: What should the VAL address over winter? on Mon May 29, 2017 9:27 pm

Fast


ProTrack A Grader
ProTrack A Grader
Yes, the VAL has done a lot of positive things in recent years...this subject was put up to look at areas that it can improve on while it has time to plan over the winter months.

Spot on Graham ...Coaches are the pathway to growth and sustainably as they attract and recommend to athletes where they should complete...hence why there is nothing to be gained by putting them off side and stewarding regulations need to move into the 21st century to reflect this.

The coach and their athletes experience must be one that they can recommend and promote. There are far better ways than the current confrontational stewarding methods, the VAL has moved a little in recent years with the NAP system but there is still considerable work to be done and leadership to be shown.

The current inconsistent running rules are capture all rules and hence give the stewards total discretion on implementation, any runner can be charged at any time as all runner’s performances over time will be inconsistent. The inconsistent running rules must be changed to reference an athletes PB as most athletes should be capable of reproducing their PB, or close to, up to masters age.

Stewards and the stewarding system must encourage athletes to run, not advise them not to….so the rules and regulations must change to accommodate this.

We cannot have our stewards and official advising athletes not to compete. It is a clear conflict with any reasonable strategic purpose of the VAL.

Full handicapping transparency and disclosure on the website is another improvement that would add credibility and encourage coaches and runners to compete.

The other is a structured junior pathway...with sufficient and consistent junior events ...so coaches have events to recommend. They should be the same events and age groups so as to establish handicapping consistency.

But the most important issue- is to develop clubs and meetings ...they are the offerings that will attract coaches and athletes to pro-running. Many clubs are reliant on just a couple of people and could fall at any time. The VAL must take an active role in running their own meetings as the SAAL does. The VAL Melbourne Gift would be a good start. The VAL must also work closely with AV so that its major offerings / meetings do not clash with significant AV meetings.

The meetings and the experience is what attracts coachers to the sport. Coaches must be advocates of professional running…. all this not rocket science.


The VAL must also develop and help take part in the annual VRTA/VAL awards night and turn it into a special event and celebration of the VAL with the support of the VAL board. Such award nights are a gala event for most other sports and are well attended from the top down in most sports. These award night should be a show piece of the sport and need to be supported from the top down. The VAL should also pay for and expect its board members and leaders to attend.


26 Re: What should the VAL address over winter? on Fri Jun 16, 2017 4:56 pm

untouchables

avatar
What I would change over winter for the Stawell women's 120m
1) To enter any athlete must be turning 18 years old in that year of the race
2) A limit for women’s 120 at Stawell to be reduce 10 metres
3) Athletes must participate in 3 of 5 major gifts example Maryborough, Rye, Ballarat, Bendigo or Wangaratta
4) Athletes who run under the ceiling time at Stawell in women’s 120m of the heats, semi by three tenths to be re-handicapped by 1.5 metres and a 0.5m for every tenth of a second thereafter
5) I think adjusted time is too technical, just go on raw time for handicaps and progressions

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