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2019 SSA Contest Rules Pilot Opinion Poll Now Open



 
 
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  #21  
Old October 10th 19, 03:22 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
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Posts: 118
Default 2019 SSA Contest Rules Pilot Opinion Poll Now Open

Guys
Take the time to do the survey. Its easy, fast and pretty informative. Even if your not a real active racer anymore, there are issues related to racing which affect all of us in other matters; can you say “insurance rates”.

In addition, getting your opinion to the committee is essential if you have concern for how the racing side of soaring is going. If you don’t take the time to do the survey, you have no grounds to bitch and moan when changes are made.
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  #22  
Old October 14th 19, 02:06 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Andy Blackburn[_3_]
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Posts: 567
Default 2019 SSA Contest Rules Pilot Opinion Poll Now Open

Popping the survey notification up in the stack. One week to go.

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

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

  #23  
Old October 14th 19, 07:57 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Charlie Quebec
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Posts: 229
Default 2019 SSA Contest Rules Pilot Opinion Poll Now Open

I can’t understand why you wouldn’t fly to FAI rules, everyone is still on a level playing field. These days at WC level a full team with a system for tracking other gliders is going to become standard I suspect.
  #24  
Old October 14th 19, 07:03 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
John Godfrey (QT)[_2_]
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Posts: 284
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


If you are a pilot who flies in National FAI classes, and you support the adoption of FAI rules, then this is an important poll to complete. IMauHO
  #25  
Old October 14th 19, 07:32 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
[email protected]
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Default 2019 SSA Contest Rules Pilot Opinion Poll Now Open

On Monday, October 14, 2019 at 2:03:19 PM UTC-4, John Godfrey (QT) wrote:
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


If you are a pilot who flies in National FAI classes, and you support the adoption of FAI rules, then this is an important poll to complete. IMauHO


Same if you are a pilot that does not support adoption, or maybe supports adoption of some elements.
The comment sections allow a lot of useful input and the RC DOES read the comments.
Participation of as many affected pilots as possible is important.
As of last night less than 1/3 of eligible pilots has weighed in.
Participate and spread the word.
UH
  #26  
Old October 16th 19, 01:27 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Ken Sorenson
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Posts: 20
Default 2019 SSA Contest Rules Pilot Opinion Poll Now Open

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”

  #27  
Old October 16th 19, 09:05 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Tango Eight
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Posts: 803
Default 2019 SSA Contest Rules Pilot Opinion Poll Now Open

On Sunday, October 13, 2019 at 9:06:47 PM UTC-4, Andy Blackburn wrote:
Popping the survey notification up in the stack. One week to go.

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

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


Hi Andy,

Would you please clarify what you mean (Section 6.0) w.r.t. "Task Definitions and Scoring Formulae"? Specifically...

1. Does "Task Definition" explicitly include the FAI unlimited altitude line start as used in Europe and exclude various modifications that many here in the US will attempt to graft on (speed/altitude/time under limits)? IMO the start definition is the most significant difference in task definition between current US and FAI rules. It's probably also worth pointing out that there isn't really any motivation to use provisions in the FAI rules that are never or rarely used elsewhere (e.g. the start ring).

2. Does "Scoring Formulae" mean per 2019 FAI rules, or does it mean "whatever the FAI will use in any given year going forward"? The FAI scoring formulae are currently under scrutiny and may well change radically in the next year or two (thanks Rick, thanks John). I have very different opinions on the current FAI scoring rules and the US proposal. It seems like it would be dumb to use the 2019 FAI rules if the US proposal does continue forward.

Aside: to Ken's points about losing combined 15m/std handicap and Sports classes, I think this need not be the case. The recently completed PanAm shows how a 15m/std handicapped class works under FAI rules and since the FAI doesn't recognize Sports class, we can (continue to) do that pretty much any way we see fit.

best,
Evan Ludeman "T8"
  #28  
Old October 17th 19, 10:03 AM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Tim Taylor
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Posts: 693
Default 2019 SSA Contest Rules Pilot Opinion Poll Now Open

On Wednesday, October 16, 2019 at 2:05:51 PM UTC-6, Tango Eight wrote:
On Sunday, October 13, 2019 at 9:06:47 PM UTC-4, Andy Blackburn wrote:
Popping the survey notification up in the stack. One week to go.

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

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


Hi Andy,

Would you please clarify what you mean (Section 6.0) w.r.t. "Task Definitions and Scoring Formulae"? Specifically...

1. Does "Task Definition" explicitly include the FAI unlimited altitude line start as used in Europe and exclude various modifications that many here in the US will attempt to graft on (speed/altitude/time under limits)? IMO the start definition is the most significant difference in task definition between current US and FAI rules. It's probably also worth pointing out that there isn't really any motivation to use provisions in the FAI rules that are never or rarely used elsewhere (e.g. the start ring).

2. Does "Scoring Formulae" mean per 2019 FAI rules, or does it mean "whatever the FAI will use in any given year going forward"? The FAI scoring formulae are currently under scrutiny and may well change radically in the next year or two (thanks Rick, thanks John). I have very different opinions on the current FAI scoring rules and the US proposal. It seems like it would be dumb to use the 2019 FAI rules if the US proposal does continue forward.

Aside: to Ken's points about losing combined 15m/std handicap and Sports classes, I think this need not be the case. The recently completed PanAm shows how a 15m/std handicapped class works under FAI rules and since the FAI doesn't recognize Sports class, we can (continue to) do that pretty much any way we see fit.

best,
Evan Ludeman "T8"


Evan,

1. The issue of unlimited start height has already being addressed. There are provisions for the CD to limit the start height and this was used this year at 2019 European Gliding Championships at Prievidza, Slovakia.

2. By adopting the FAI rules, the US would use the current scoring formula that is being used in a given year by the FAI. If and when new rules are adapted the US would use those rules. While some in the US think this change will happen quickly many of us realize that it may be many years before they change, if ever. Waiting for the change continues to harm US Team pilots ability to fly and race under the same conditions as other countries.

I specifically went to the PanAm Championships this year to get more experience under FAI rules. For most of the US Team pilots the first time we fly under FAI rules is when we go to a World Championships. Then everyone in the US wonders why US pilots do so poorly. The answer is simple, we are playing a differ game and then expected to learn a new one while competing against the best pilots in the world at the same time. I see so many negative comments about flying under the FAI rules from pilots who have not done so in 20 or more years. All of the pilots that I know that have competed under the rules are for the change. We have a group that thinks our rules are superior to the rest of the world. Where are the results to back that up?

Wouldn't having pilots place well in World Championships bring more excitement to soaring in the US as a whole? As our top pilots get better, that will translate into all of our pilots getting better. We all learn and push each other to improve. You rise to the level of your competition.

It is time for the US to adopt the FAI rules and work from within to make changes if we feel there are areas for improvement.

Tim "TT"
  #29  
Old October 17th 19, 04:32 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
Andy Blackburn[_3_]
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Default 2019 SSA Contest Rules Pilot Opinion Poll Now Open

Thanks for the thoughts Ken.

Since there's some lobbying going on in various forms this week, I feel I ought to weigh in with some clarifying points and some of my own perspectives.

The general feedback of the racing community from last year's poll was clear. That is to start with FAI Rules as the base platform and adapt them to accommodate clear preferences of the US racing community. This is a very different thing from tweaking US rules with a few FAI features – e.g. eliminating distance credit in ATs, adding a start line and maybe some different scoring formulae. If you have strong views on one versus the other approach -particularly if they have changed since last year’s poll you should call it out in the poll comments. We’re not re-polling on what approach the community. I’m surprised the choice of the basic approach is being raised again. I thought we were past that.

Judging from last year's poll, most of the concerns Ken voiced would be addressed via US-specific local procedures. Many countries that base their rules on FAI do this. I don't envision eliminating most of the things on Ken’s list because they aren’t central to the tactical racing experience under FAI rules and the pilot community voted last year to retain them. I see no reason to eliminate the safety finish, airport bonus or motor test procedures or force pilots to calculate altitudes is meters. I think the argument that you need to do these draconian and unpopular things if you are serious about flying FAI rules as a way to improve WGC placing for the US Team is a logical fallacy. The most relevant part of the rules is the task format. When you suggest in parallel that flying under FAI rules in any form won’t significantly alter US Team prospects the whole “all or nothing” argument falls into self-contradiction. I don’t see how it’s critical do go “all or nothing” if you don’t believe it’s going to make a difference in the first place.

Specifically, here are my views on where these sub-issues stand based on the polling and some simple logic:

No Sports Class

The US pilot community wants to retain this. It has implications for handicaps for sure since restricting the list to Club Class gliders would need to be resolved. This is not a giant issue since we needn’t alter the Club Class handicaps to enable Sports Class. We’ve already resolved that keeping Sports Class as an entry level class for ANY glider type doesn’t significantly harm Club Class.

No FAI Combined Class

Pilot community wants to retain this – it is a necessity at some Regionals and may become a necessity at some Nationals. It is a poll question this year. Many countries that fly under FAI Rules have much more extensive FAI Class combinations than are being proposed in the US. This, therefore, appears to be a red herring.

No handicapping in the Standard Class

Same as above. Red herring.

IGC Club Class handicaps rather than US handicaps

As described above, we need to expand list of included gliders for Sports and FAI Combined, but we can make base handicaps for Club Class ships the same as under IGC. We’ve already done the work and they are very close already.

Different handicap approach to weights

This may be necessary for Sports Class in particular– handicapping is a complex topic but it can be managed. Handicaps as described above do nothing to alter how contests are run in non-handicapped classes, so it’s mostly a side issue to the FAI Rules topic.

No task changes in the air

We don’t have pilot feedback on this but it seems an unnecessary restriction just to make adopting FAI rules seem more draconian.

No Modified Assigned Task

This is the one significant decision the US needs to make when it comes to FAI Rules. This is a hotly debated topic. Many US pilots like the MAT and many don't like it. It seems more popular for Regionals than Nationals, so we are polling on that. A big consideration is that MAT is not compatible or well handled by instruments and infrastructure designed for FAI rules.

If we want to accomplish many of the goals of the MAT, the FAI is undertaking a look at handicapped distance tasks (which I have flown on three occasions by waiver and have found to be an enjoyable innovation for enabling different performance gliders to compete head-to-head). This addresses some of the issues for which the MAT was invented without going "full OLC" (as some have called it) and with lower in-cockpit workload reprogramming computers. We also have tasking alternatives such as the 'Mozer TAT (AAT)" to emulate many features of the MAT under FAI Rules.

If people really want to keep the MAT as-is it would for now require implementing FAI Rules under WinScore. Thanks to Guy Byars’ efforts WinScore now has FAI Task types implemented so we can accommodate them AND offer the MAT if pilots really want that - at the Regional or even National level. It could however limit our scoring infrastructure options in the longer run. It remains a poll question for these reasons.

Ground-up communications allowed

This is a WGC team-oriented practice. We need not retain it for US Regional or National competitions. Pilots don’t want it for many of the reasons mentioned. Team practice is an important for WGC competitiveness, but we have resolved that doing so is to costly to fairness and ultimately participation. We’ll continue to poll on it, but the feedback is clear that pilots don’t want it for US contests – regardless of the underlying rulebook.

Team flying (air-air communication) allowed

We allow this at Regionals but not Nationals today. That seems to be what pilots want. It’s a similar argument to the one immediately above.

Different start system (line allowed, different or no start height limitations)

The line start has broad US pilot support. We’ll see what pilots say about height limits. The FAI has experimented with height and speed limits in the past.

Different Assigned (Racing) Task turnpoint scoring (nick and go)

US pilots seem to support this according to the polling.

No safety finish

This is a once every soaring season rule so it wouldn’t significantly alter the character of racing to retain it.

No airport landing bonus

We can retain it if pilots want it. It’s a relatively minor thing except for the perennial debate about how to handle motorgliders. 

More Assigned (Racing ) Tasks (at least 1/3, which is more than typical in US racing)

1/3 ATs PLUS long task lengths will likely increase landouts. The issue here is how guidelines (or mandates) to increase the use of ATs interacts with task lengths set by CDs and landouts. I think an more likely outcome is that CDs task ATs more conservatively when the weather is questionable or there is a wide variety in skill (or in general vs what happens at WGCs) to ensure that more pilots get home. It’s not exclusively a Rules issue. We could task for more landouts today under US Rules, but we choose not to – particularly at Regionals. We may decide as a community that we want tasking at Nationals to become more challenging. That would certainly be skill and character-building, but it’s not really a rules issue per se.

More gaggling likely

This is an assertion without strong support in fact – particularly now. Here’s why. First, we don't have Nationals big enough to produce the massive gaggles you can see at WGCs. Second, the FAI has adopted as an option in the rules for next year the US scoring proposal to reduce the scoring incentive to gaggle and further actions appear to be on the way. It seems unlikely to me that adopting FAI Rules in the current environment would result in significant changes in gaggling behavior - particularly given the well-know tendency of US competition pilots to be lone wolves - even at WGCs.

Lastly, if we are proposing changing the scoring formulae for FAI Rules I’d argue we ought to put our money where our mouths are.

Different penalties and penalty system (some US penalties and pilot disqualifications are missing).

We can decide to add whatever we want. It’s what other countries do.. The vast majority of contest flights are penalty-free. For the penalties that really affect racing tactics there aren’t giant differences today. The US does have a penchant for lots of graduated penalties. We can argue whether this is a brilliant idea or a needless complication but it’s mostly a sideshow.

Different scoring philosophy landouts and lone-wolf flying

See reference to the US FAI Scoring proposal, above.

Different scoring program maybe/probably? (SeeYou-competition vs Winscore)

We can use either as of 2019. We made this a non-issue in terms of what we do in the short run.

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?


Forcing the US pilot community into a strawman all-or-nothing “if you want FAI rules, we’re going to make it as unpleasant as possible” proposal by adopting peripheral features that do not significantly bear on the tactics of racing and just make adoption more unpleasant I think is destructive and disingenuous. Pilots clearly told us they don’t want those things so it’s puzzling that it keeps coming up as a scary potential outcome.

I think the US Team competitiveness argument, while not irrelevant, is not the main point. I believe a move to FAI-based Rules (and principally flying FAI task formats) will likely have only marginal effect on US WGC prospects – but, like chicken soup, it’s unlikely to to hurt our performance either. IMO the real challenge for US Team performance is getting the right kind of competitive experience. Last year I looked at the content histories of the top pilots on the FAI ranking list and it's clear that if you want to be on the podium at a WGC you will need to fly 2-3 top-level contests per year against WGC-class pilots. IMHO this means flying in Europe – a lot. That's a tough proposition for US pilots in general. It's not made any easier when we operate a separate pilot ranking system that emphasizes flying US Nationals under a different scoring system. Again, this is not strictly a rules issue, but the rules and scoring and ranking systems we choose feed into it at the margin.

So why bother at all? Why not ignore the specific pilot feedback, tweak a couple of the US rules, declare victory and go home?

In my view, what the move to FAI Rules does get us is tighter integration with the global standard for scoring, ranking, awareness via the FAI pilot ranking list and access to Soaring Spot and international soaring hardware/software infrastructure. We have begun the process of making this happen in terms of integration with Soaring Spot and FAI rankings. It also allows us to utilize SeeYou as well as WinScore for scoring, eliminating a long-understood "single point of failure" in our racing infrastructure by having unique systems dependent on single individuals. It also allows us to access innovations in soaring infrastructure – in the cockpit and on the ground – that are increasingly being developed only for hardware and software that are designed for FAI rules. We could attempt to replicate all of this to support a “US on an island” philosophy but it would be a huge challenge and a lot to ask of a handful of volunteers. Or we can ignore these advancements. There is a Luddite faction in US soaring that would potentially support that.

There is also a broader point here about being part of the global system if we intend to have real influence over it. Our IGC representative Rick Sheppe has done a great job getting consideration for US proposals for rule changes but I have to believe that job is more challenging if we sit outside the FAI Rules structures in our own contests. It's up to us to decide if we care about that. I believe we also get more engagement with soaring infrastructure providers from inside the global community than outside it.

There is a material difference between tweaking US rules in a single act and adopting FAI as the default platform while adding local procedures. Under the first scenario we make a one-time change and as FAI rules evolve the RC must act in order to adopt new global rules to follow. If we do nothing we drift apart again. That could easily require a similar process of outcry from the US pilot community and foot-dragging responses every time something changes with FAI Rules. It’s easy to go back to sitting on the island. In contrast adopting FAI as the plaform for US rules pushes us towards engaging more fully with FAI proposals and only rejecting the changes that the US community truly opposes. Remember, there are significant changes in FAI Rules currently under consideration – including the US scoring proposal which has been provisionally accepted for 2020, handicapped distance tasks, event-marker procedures to reduce gaggling, technical innovations vis-*-vis ground-based tracking. Is our default position to relgate all of that to one dedicated volunteer or to more fully engage with it?

My personal view is that the preferred and more practical path is to start with the FAI rule book and implement variations to address the issues Ken mentions that we really care about - most of them are easy to implement - with some clear tradeoffs if we make choices that impact our infrastructure choices, such as MAT. I think it’s a very different thing to start with the current US rule book and every year pick through all the differences to see if we've drifted apart – maybe if we decide to. That's the situation we're currently in.

All of this is why we conduct a pilot poll every year. The US racing community gets a say in what happens, so I'd encourage you all to spend the 10 minutes or so it takes to log in and check some boxes.

Best regards and sorry for the long post,

Andy Blackburn
Chair, SSA Contest Rules Committee
(Opinions expressed are my own and don’t represent the consensus view of the RC - obviously)

__________________________________________________ ______

On Wednesday, October 16, 2019 at 1:27:47 AM UTC+1, 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”



g54u
2ggi
  #30  
Old October 17th 19, 11:01 PM posted to rec.aviation.soaring
John Foster
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 205
Default 2019 SSA Contest Rules Pilot Opinion Poll Now Open

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.
 




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