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2019 SSA Contest Rules Pilot Opinion Poll Now Open



 
 
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  #31  
Old October 18th 19, 12:09 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
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Default 2019 SSA Contest Rules Pilot Opinion Poll Now Open

On Thursday, October 17, 2019 at 6:01:18 PM UTC-4, John Foster wrote:
On Tuesday, October 15, 2019 at 6:27:47 PM UTC-6, Ken Sorenson wrote:
On Wednesday, October 2, 2019 at 6:40:59 PM UTC-5, Andy Blackburn wrote:
US contest pilots.

The 2019 SSA Contest Rules Pilot Opinion Poll is now open and will remain open through October 20, 2019. You must be on the SSA Pilot Ranking List to participate. We look forward to your input.

You can access the poll online at: http://www.adamsfive.com/a5soaring/survey/surveys.php

Rich Owen is running unopposed for re-election to the Rules Committee.. Consequently, Rich will return to his RC seat for a four-year term. Congratulations Rich!

For the SSA Contest Rules Committee
Andy Blackburn, Chair
9B



A strict adoption of the IGC rules would result in some very significant changes in US racing:
No Sports Class
No FAI Combined Class
No handicapping in the Standard Class
IGC club class handicaps rather than US handicaps
Different handicap approach to weights
No task changes in the air
No Modified Assigned Task
Ground-up communications allowed
Team flying (air-air communication) allowed
Different start system (line allowed, different or no start height limitations)
Different Assigned (Racing) Task turnpoint scoring (nick and go)
No safety finish
No airport landing bonus
More Assigned (Racing ) Tasks (at least 1/3, which is more than typical in US racing)
More gaggling likely
Different penalties and penalty system (some US penalties and pilot disqualifications are missing)
Different scoring philosophy re landouts and lone-wolf flying
Different scoring program maybe/probably? (SeeYou-competition vs Winscore)

Some of these changes could be neutralized by Local Procedures. Of course if enough of the changes are neutralized, what’s the point in making the switch?

The push toward FAI rules appears to be driven most strongly by our top US racers. Their primary goal seems to be to make US racing a better training and US-team selection format for FAI racing. This is a reasonable goal and our change to FAI racing would probably help. However, our success at the WGCs will depend not just upon US pilots becoming more familiar with FAI rules and procedures, but more importantly getting better at tactical gaggling, flying Assigned Tasks, and flying more aggressive tasks. Personally, I think these three factors are far more important than FAI vs US rules. It’s worth noting that US Rules currently allow a CD to set more Assigned Tasks and to set more aggressive tasks. A change to FAI rules is not required to do this. This is a matter for the CDs, not for the rules-makers..

Many of the changes associated with the adoption of FAI rules may negatively impact participation in US racing. Allowing team flying and ground-up communications may reduce participation by requiring additional levels of preparation and sophistication in order to compete effectively (you must now have team mates and a ground support system in order to place well?). More Assigned Tasks and more aggressive tasking will result in more landouts, which is desirable for FAI race training, but may drive crewless pilots away from racing toward other alternatives (Regional contests or OLC camps). There are some (many?) current Nationals pilots who have little interest in flying contests with mostly Assigned Tasks, lots of gaggling, and significantly more aggressive tasking. Nationals won’t have the big gaggles needed for FAI training if participation shrinks.


This issue is certainly not a simple one. And it could have major implications for US racers for years to come. It will be important for US racers who are not intending to fly in FAI/WGC races to speak up and let the Rules Committee know your thoughts. It will also be important for those US racers who are interested in switching to FAI racing to take a careful look at all the (perhaps unintended) consequences of a change to FAI rules. It won’t do much good to switch to FAI rules if participation in our contests drops significantly and our contests shrink even further. It is also worth noting that the FAI rules are slowly moving closer to US rules.

It would indeed be better for our WGC oriented pilots to train with FAI rules and tasking. But will this be better for the overall US racing community?

Please take the time to complete the Rules Committee Poll

Ken Sorenson “KM”


As a newly minted soaring pilot, I've been following this thread with interest. I have never flown in a race before and I don't have a race ID on my glider, but would like to try it one day. As such, I haven't been allowed to respond to the survey.

My personal opinion in this matter though, would tend to reflect much of what you say the top pilots are pushing for--an adoption of FAI rules. I doubt I'll ever get to compete in an international competition and be competitive at that level, but from my perspective (from the bottom), it only makes sense to fly by the rules of the international community. If I ever get to fly in a contest, it will likely be the Club Class (my glider is a Phoebus). Having FAI rules that benefit "team flying" will not discourage me from contest flying. In fact, it may motivate me to find a fellow team member that I can strategize with. I would be able to learn a lot from that experience. I don't see FAI rules discouraging ME from contest flying. If I were able to vote, I'd vote for adopting FAI rules.


Sounds reasonable, but let me point out a couple of things that would affect you(a beginner)if these rules were adopted for all US contests(not currently contemplated, but far from impossible).
You likely, sooner or later, would be assigned a "Racing Task", what we call an assigned task, that would challenge the pilots in your class but may well be beyond your ability as a newbie. You become destined to land out. Not a tragedy, maybe an adventure, but at the least, inconvenient and not so much fun. The option, not available under IGC/FAI rules, would be the US "modified assigned task. With this task, you could cut your flight somewhat shorter, come home safely, maybe a bit early, get a lower score, but get speed points. Your shorter flight would get you a suitable lower score, but you can be home for supper.
If we were to go whole hog and adopt all the IGC elements, your Club class Phoebus would be handicapped a bit more poorly than under the US system because the latest version of the IGC Club class list has had handicaps shifted to favor newer gliders like the ASW-20, rather than the "pure" adoption of relative glider performance.
In the regional, you could team fly, but you can do that now under US rules.. It is an opportunity not commonly taken advantage of.
When you get ready, jump in, no matter what the rules situation is. We have a lot of fun when were not hassling over rules stuff.
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  #32  
Old October 18th 19, 02:12 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Tango Eight
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Posts: 805
Default 2019 SSA Contest Rules Pilot Opinion Poll Now Open

On Thursday, October 17, 2019 at 6:01:18 PM UTC-4, John Foster wrote:
On Tuesday, October 15, 2019 at 6:27:47 PM UTC-6, Ken Sorenson wrote:
On Wednesday, October 2, 2019 at 6:40:59 PM UTC-5, Andy Blackburn wrote:
US contest pilots.

The 2019 SSA Contest Rules Pilot Opinion Poll is now open and will remain open through October 20, 2019. You must be on the SSA Pilot Ranking List to participate. We look forward to your input.

You can access the poll online at: http://www.adamsfive.com/a5soaring/survey/surveys.php

Rich Owen is running unopposed for re-election to the Rules Committee.. Consequently, Rich will return to his RC seat for a four-year term. Congratulations Rich!

For the SSA Contest Rules Committee
Andy Blackburn, Chair
9B



A strict adoption of the IGC rules would result in some very significant changes in US racing:
No Sports Class
No FAI Combined Class
No handicapping in the Standard Class
IGC club class handicaps rather than US handicaps
Different handicap approach to weights
No task changes in the air
No Modified Assigned Task
Ground-up communications allowed
Team flying (air-air communication) allowed
Different start system (line allowed, different or no start height limitations)
Different Assigned (Racing) Task turnpoint scoring (nick and go)
No safety finish
No airport landing bonus
More Assigned (Racing ) Tasks (at least 1/3, which is more than typical in US racing)
More gaggling likely
Different penalties and penalty system (some US penalties and pilot disqualifications are missing)
Different scoring philosophy re landouts and lone-wolf flying
Different scoring program maybe/probably? (SeeYou-competition vs Winscore)

Some of these changes could be neutralized by Local Procedures. Of course if enough of the changes are neutralized, what’s the point in making the switch?

The push toward FAI rules appears to be driven most strongly by our top US racers. Their primary goal seems to be to make US racing a better training and US-team selection format for FAI racing. This is a reasonable goal and our change to FAI racing would probably help. However, our success at the WGCs will depend not just upon US pilots becoming more familiar with FAI rules and procedures, but more importantly getting better at tactical gaggling, flying Assigned Tasks, and flying more aggressive tasks. Personally, I think these three factors are far more important than FAI vs US rules. It’s worth noting that US Rules currently allow a CD to set more Assigned Tasks and to set more aggressive tasks. A change to FAI rules is not required to do this. This is a matter for the CDs, not for the rules-makers..

Many of the changes associated with the adoption of FAI rules may negatively impact participation in US racing. Allowing team flying and ground-up communications may reduce participation by requiring additional levels of preparation and sophistication in order to compete effectively (you must now have team mates and a ground support system in order to place well?). More Assigned Tasks and more aggressive tasking will result in more landouts, which is desirable for FAI race training, but may drive crewless pilots away from racing toward other alternatives (Regional contests or OLC camps). There are some (many?) current Nationals pilots who have little interest in flying contests with mostly Assigned Tasks, lots of gaggling, and significantly more aggressive tasking. Nationals won’t have the big gaggles needed for FAI training if participation shrinks.


This issue is certainly not a simple one. And it could have major implications for US racers for years to come. It will be important for US racers who are not intending to fly in FAI/WGC races to speak up and let the Rules Committee know your thoughts. It will also be important for those US racers who are interested in switching to FAI racing to take a careful look at all the (perhaps unintended) consequences of a change to FAI rules. It won’t do much good to switch to FAI rules if participation in our contests drops significantly and our contests shrink even further. It is also worth noting that the FAI rules are slowly moving closer to US rules.

It would indeed be better for our WGC oriented pilots to train with FAI rules and tasking. But will this be better for the overall US racing community?

Please take the time to complete the Rules Committee Poll

Ken Sorenson “KM”


As a newly minted soaring pilot, I've been following this thread with interest. I have never flown in a race before and I don't have a race ID on my glider, but would like to try it one day. As such, I haven't been allowed to respond to the survey.

My personal opinion in this matter though, would tend to reflect much of what you say the top pilots are pushing for--an adoption of FAI rules. I doubt I'll ever get to compete in an international competition and be competitive at that level, but from my perspective (from the bottom), it only makes sense to fly by the rules of the international community. If I ever get to fly in a contest, it will likely be the Club Class (my glider is a Phoebus). Having FAI rules that benefit "team flying" will not discourage me from contest flying. In fact, it may motivate me to find a fellow team member that I can strategize with. I would be able to learn a lot from that experience. I don't see FAI rules discouraging ME from contest flying. If I were able to vote, I'd vote for adopting FAI rules.


The fact that your Phoebus doesn't have a competition "home" under FAI rules might be slightly discouraging (it's not a club class glider)... but don't fret, Sports Class isn't going away anytime soon and you and your Phoebus will be welcome to join the fun. One small example where the US rules are better (participation matters, every new pilot counts).

The annual rules "Oktoberfest" on r.a.s. is as predictable as frost in NH.

Keep in mind that 95% of the noise comes from 5% of the participants.

The Europeans do indeed play this game differently. The rules have some influence on the tactical environment, of course. However, the primary determinants of the competition environment are the venue (latitude, time of year, terrain), weather, task setter and who shows up.

I try to be less fussed about rules (one does need to read and understand them though!), keep my focus on flying.

best,
Evan Ludeman "T8"
  #33  
Old October 18th 19, 05:59 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Andy Blackburn[_3_]
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Posts: 567
Default 2019 SSA Contest Rules Pilot Opinion Poll Now Open

It came to my attention that I should clarify that my earlier comments apply only to what happens after the 2020 season. For those of you who don’t read the minutes from the Rules Committee meetings or missed the announcements, here is the plan laid out last November.

2019
Make adjustments to US Rules to add FAI-like AT turn cylinders and finish configuration.
Develop and begin execution of plans for 2020 contest trials and longer-term transition – rules, local procedures, training and change management, handicaps (esp Sports Class), PRL and UST implications, systems integration with SSA.org, SoaringSpot, FAI ranking, financial implications.

2020
Run 3-4 trial contests (including 2 Nationals) under a US rule system based on FAI – contests should be of sufficient size to reach a significant proportion of the pilot community, particularly the most active pilots
Collect detailed pilot feedback and input from trials

2021
Roll-out of “final” rules and systems, infrastructure, training, fees, etc. based on trial system plus adjustments based on learnings/pilot feedback/refinement.

We have made some tweaks to the plan as we have progressed and discovered constraints or important considerations but it’s still basically the direction we are headed.

I’ll also apologize for some ill-chosen adjectives in my prior post.. I meant no disrespect. Changes this substantial can be wrenching and require careful planning and vetting which require open dialog and communication, but without personal invective. I crossed my own line and I’m sorry about that.

Andy Blackburn
9B
  #34  
Old October 18th 19, 06:40 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Andrzej Kobus
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Posts: 528
Default 2019 SSA Contest Rules Pilot Opinion Poll Now Open

On Friday, October 18, 2019 at 12:59:46 PM UTC-4, Andy Blackburn wrote:
It came to my attention that I should clarify that my earlier comments apply only to what happens after the 2020 season. For those of you who don’t read the minutes from the Rules Committee meetings or missed the announcements, here is the plan laid out last November.

2019
Make adjustments to US Rules to add FAI-like AT turn cylinders and finish configuration.
Develop and begin execution of plans for 2020 contest trials and longer-term transition – rules, local procedures, training and change management, handicaps (esp Sports Class), PRL and UST implications, systems integration with SSA.org, SoaringSpot, FAI ranking, financial implications.

2020
Run 3-4 trial contests (including 2 Nationals) under a US rule system based on FAI – contests should be of sufficient size to reach a significant proportion of the pilot community, particularly the most active pilots
Collect detailed pilot feedback and input from trials

2021
Roll-out of “final” rules and systems, infrastructure, training, fees, etc. based on trial system plus adjustments based on learnings/pilot feedback/refinement.

We have made some tweaks to the plan as we have progressed and discovered constraints or important considerations but it’s still basically the direction we are headed.

I’ll also apologize for some ill-chosen adjectives in my prior post. I meant no disrespect. Changes this substantial can be wrenching and require careful planning and vetting which require open dialog and communication, but without personal invective. I crossed my own line and I’m sorry about that.

Andy Blackburn
9B


Andy, could you give us a status in regards to meeting the 2019 goals?
  #35  
Old October 18th 19, 09:06 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
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Default 2019 SSA Contest Rules Pilot Opinion Poll Now Open

I'm all for going to FAI rules to help the top guys, provided we keep a 'run what ya brung' class with appropriate tasking for everyone that flies old junk. I imagine the 1-26 Nationals will keep doing what they do regardless. Possible/reasonable to go FAI for Nationals and the usual for Regionals?
  #36  
Old October 18th 19, 10:35 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Andy Blackburn[_3_]
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Posts: 567
Default 2019 SSA Contest Rules Pilot Opinion Poll Now Open

Great question.

We made the change on finish penalty for 2019 but backed off the smaller AT cylinder because of concerns that it might have created conflict or confusion to make it a different size from MAT 1-mile cylinders (also concern that not all flight computers could accept 0.5 miles). In addition, we weren’t comfortable making MAT cylinders that small because, unlike ATs where everyone is approaching all the turns from the same direction, pilots can approach MATs from any direction once you get to the pilot option portion of the task. we have no reports of problems with the finish penalty but we are still collecting data.

For 2020 we are on track to meet the commitment to have multiple contests run with FAI task types and scoring. We need to decide which contests and what scoring formula. It is my understanding that use of legacy FAI scoring would require adjustments in calculating PRL scores because the points spread for speed is different so a straight average would make the 2020 contests count twice as much asvprior years - roughly. If we use the US alternate scoring that is now in the FAI rulebook this would not be necessary as the speed point spread (if I read the rule correctly) is the same as US rules. It would also be helpful to the FAI who is encouraging use of the new scoring formula, plus the formula is designed to reduce the incentive to gaggle. It’s sort of a “money where our mouth is” approach to use it since we proposed it. We aren’t polling on it this year so if you have a view please let us know. The downside of using it is we’d might have to change formula at some point in the future if the FAI doesn’t adopt it as the default. I don’t see this as a big deal as it’s not a giant change from what US pilots are used to already, but others may have different views. The link to the rule was posted in a separate thread. No final decision has been made.

Thanks to the efforts of Guy Byars, Rick Sheppe and John Godfrey (among others) FAI tasks and scoring are available in WinScore so we can run and score the contest trials described in the plan. This has been tested by re-scoring multiple WGC contest days and at the 2019 Uvalde Invitational contest. On that front we are good to go.

We have not decided yet how to collect feedback. Needless to say the annual poll is available but it has been suggested and we may elect to do something more real-time and discussion-oriented. I think it would also be useful to have discussion groups at as many contests as possible next year regardless of which rules they are flying under to get input as the poll captures less than half of eligible pilots even in a high response year. We particularly lack input from occasional Regional pilots. We don’t want to surprise people So it’s as much a communication exercise as a feedback one.

We are open to suggestions how to make sure this is done in the most controlled and constructive way with minimum potential for mistakes or misunderstandings. That applies to pilots as well as organizers.

All the best,

Andy Blackburn
Chair, SSA Contest Rules Committee
9B
  #37  
Old October 18th 19, 10:38 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Tango Eight
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Default 2019 SSA Contest Rules Pilot Opinion Poll Now Open

On Friday, October 18, 2019 at 4:06:42 PM UTC-4, wrote:
I'm all for going to FAI rules to help the top guys, provided we keep a 'run what ya brung' class with appropriate tasking for everyone that flies old junk. I imagine the 1-26 Nationals will keep doing what they do regardless. Possible/reasonable to go FAI for Nationals and the usual for Regionals?


It ain't that simple. "FAI rules" are quite broad.

For instance, we could run contests with the US scoring proposal, a start ring, a finish ring, no ground control, no team flying, it would be "all FAI, all the time", yet it would be completely different from wgc. Of course, my basic point is *any* us contest is going to be fundamentally different from wgc in ways much more significant than rules.

I -think- I support Andy's basic approach of adopting the FAI rules, adding in e.g. the safety finish and other bits that have super majority US support, *provided* we use the US scoring proposal instead of the idiotic (sorry....) existing FAI scoring formulae. Devil's in the details I suppose...

Evan Ludeman "T8"
  #38  
Old October 18th 19, 10:57 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Andy Blackburn[_3_]
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Default 2019 SSA Contest Rules Pilot Opinion Poll Now Open

Minor correction. When I say adjustment in calculating PRL score I’m referring to the multi-year score calculation that is part of the UST process. Looking in to how scoring changes might affect UST calculations is part of the fall agenda so we can minimize creating problems for UST Committee.

Andy
  #39  
Old October 18th 19, 11:11 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
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Default 2019 SSA Contest Rules Pilot Opinion Poll Now Open

I like that concept of going full FAI for nationals and retaining the present system for regionals
  #40  
Old October 19th 19, 01:45 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
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Default 2019 SSA Contest Rules Pilot Opinion Poll Now Open

On Wednesday, October 2, 2019 at 7:40:59 PM UTC-4, Andy Blackburn wrote:
US contest pilots.

The 2019 SSA Contest Rules Pilot Opinion Poll is now open and will remain open through October 20, 2019. You must be on the SSA Pilot Ranking List to participate. We look forward to your input.

You can access the poll online at: http://www.adamsfive.com/a5soaring/survey/surveys.php

Rich Owen is running unopposed for re-election to the Rules Committee. Consequently, Rich will return to his RC seat for a four-year term. Congratulations Rich!

For the SSA Contest Rules Committee
Andy Blackburn, Chair
9B


Moving to the top.
If you have not participated, please do so.
One day left.
No longer time to procrastinate.
UH
 




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