We know many people have complaints about the USAC and SportsBaseOnline's handling of nats registrations.
Both regret the result, and USAC has expressed a willingness to us to listen to member feedback. So now's your chance to provide some suggestions on how it should be handled to avoid problems in the future. Not to just complain, but to suggest ways that start order and registration are handled.
USAC needs to designate two races in every region as qualifiers. If you finish in the top ten in one of those races you qualify, if you have a crap day and miss then top ten, well, you are out. The system is currently madness and is not even close to fair, for anyone.
Sorting the masters by category first is a BAD!! idea. There are some masters that are very competitive but haven't had the need to move up in category (mostly from 3 and up) because they are not doing category races anymore. And if they do, most local races are 1/2/3 or 3/4, so again, no need to update the category. And I must mention that riders cannot upgrade their category based on masters races, so by doing this you're forcing masters to race in category races in order to be able to upgrade their category just to get a better starting spot for nationals. This should be scrapped immediately.
However, I did see a mention somewhere that USAC national rankings were being considered as a method of seeding. This is a GREAT!! idea. It will really give incentive for promoters to send their results to USAC for submission, and thusly will give a much better picture of whom the better riders are. And as far as the masters go, the rankings can be sorted based solely on class and not category (as it should be), thereby giving the best riders the best positions on the grid no matter what their category is (and it shouldn't matter, because it's a class race, not a category race).
Thanks to CXMagazine for opening up this form for folks to express their ideas. As Operations Director of the Verge New England Championship Cyclo-Cross Series, I am always thinking of better ways that we can lineup riders that by a keystroke on a computer. I'm sure we will be able to put together a better solution that what's in place right now in the future.
Once this gets fixed, the next thing we can work on is a way to have the elites in January and the masters/juniors in December.
Alan: I think start order by category could work if upgrade points were obtainable in Masters races. It would be easy for USAC to score by category within masters races for upgrade points; assuming they are getting results from promoters. I am aware that all the NECS races have submitted results this year. Having said that, start order by some well designed national points system would be best. I think that Colins system is the best scheme available right now, these but things can always be improved. As to regional qualifiers, sure, if it is like the present mtb qualifiers were you have multiple oportunities, not just a one race shot. Carl
Take the independent ranking system of Crossresults.com and you can see a lot of Cat 3 New England masters with way lower points (higher ranking) than most Cat 2s in other regions. Esp with OBRA saying all Master A racers can be a Cat 2.
There is some logic to doing a Cat system but not for Masters. Not at all. Use a Ranking system. Crossresults.com or USAC. Or USAC just needs to use Crossresults.com (I'm sure the fee to use that system would be less than the programming and implementation system would cost to get USAC's stuff up to that level).
Alan's wise and spoke well. Hopefully they will listen because he's freaking Right.
It would seem that a points system needs to be designed. Races can be graded based on number of participants, category and results. Use the race's grade as a multiplier for the individual racer's finising position and racer's results from different races and regions can be compared. It would be fairly simple to design a database to perform the calculations and designate a national ranking for a score. These rankings could then be used to define the start order. This could be done regardless of area or governing body, as long as USAC collects the data.
After the racers who have a spot reserved from last year there should be a random drawing of everybody who has signed up. Why should the guy with a faster internet connection get a better starting spot?