Tuesday, November 30, 2010

2011 OVCX Changes

Like any sporting series, rules change from year to year. Mostly incremental changes to address gray areas or issues that may have come up, and sometimes complete overhauls of the system. With the huge growth of the OVCX, change in how things are done were inevitable. For the 2011 season, Mitch Graham, our series promoter, has proposed some drastic changes to our points system.

I'll say this from the beginning, you simply cannot satisfy everyone. Someone will always be disappointed in change, but change is good. Remember, this is racing. Someone is always going to win, and someone will always lose. In the perfect world we all win, no one loses, we have nice bikes, drive nice cars, have the perfect wife/husband, straight-A kids and not a worry in the world. Unfortunately we do not live in the perfect world.

This discussion is on over at Bikeclicks and copied and pasted from there.


There is no further commentary from me and the following block of text is unedited. (except for formatting and readability)

We all have the same goal--improve the OVCX Series.

Here are some thoughts on how we could do that by adjusting the daily schedule.  Sorry for the length.

Many of these ideas come from what we've all read on here.  I've also received some emails and discussed this stuff with some folks and used their ideas.  In other words, this isn'tmy work, it's a collaboration.

For starters, here's some data.  Excluding the UCI races in the series, here are the per-race average (mean) numbers for the 2010 OVCX through Infirmary Mound.  The categories that typically race together are grouped, and the total-on-course numbers are given in red (this isn't 100%; promoters grouped races differently on occasion).

Elite Men 24.6 racers = 24.6 on course

Elite Women 10.5
Elite Men 35+  10.7
Elite Men 45+  9.8  = 31 riders on course

3 Men  24.6
3 Men 35+  22
3 Men 45+  18.2  = 65 riders on course

4 Men  35.1
4 Men 35+  27.5
4 Men 45+  18.5  = 81 riders on course

10-12 Juniors  17.1 (boys and girls) = 17 on course

3/4 Women  10.7
3/4 Women 35+  9.6
Singlespeed 7.6  = 28 on course

13-14 Juniors  13.3 (boys and girls)
15-18 Juniors  5  (boys and girls) = 18 on course

Before we move on to proposed changes, question number 1 has to be, "Is there a better way?"  We've got a great series.  Should we mess with the daily schedule to try and make it better?

The folks that I've talked with the most think that we should.  The input on this site seems to indicate that we should.

Question Number 2 is "What is ' better?'"

To the folks who've had direct input into this email, a "better" daily schedule is one that promotes more fun and morecompetitive racing while spreading the numbers of racers more equally across the time slots.

"Better" also means (1) better for the greatest number of racers, (2) not getting you to the race too early, (3) getting you home by dinner, (4) giving you the "right" amount of time to race, (5) having the fewest number of races on course at a time, and (6) when it's necessary to have more than one race on course at a time, pairing categories that are similar in abilityand providing an incentive for the different categories to race each other so it feels like one race.

"Better" means getting the most folks that we can get to come race the OVCX every week.

Of course, there's no way to design a daily schedule that's perfect for everyone.  For every give there's a take.  It's a difficult puzzle.

With all this in mind, here's a stab at an improved daily schedule.  Be sure to read the Very Important Note.  It's important.

Also take note of the riders on course with this schedule.  It balances the numbers.

Finally, whatever daily schedule is adopted, it should be the EXACTLY THE SAME at every OVCX race except the UCI races.

9:30   4 Masters men  35+ /45+   30 minutes          
          45 riders on course
          Single start.  Sort category placing from overall results.

Very Important Note:  Series points for single start races like the 9:30 race would be awarded as if the race was one race.  Call-ups would be based on these series' points so that racers are staged by their results in these races, not by category.  A racer's category placing on the day would be reached by sorting the overall results.

For example, if the first 45+ placed 10th in the 9:30 race, he'd get the series points for 10th, not first-place points for  45+.  Of course, he'd still be in first place for 45+ on the day and accumulate the most series points of any 45+ on the day.  This method would mean that everyone is racing everyone on the course for series points even if not for category placings.  This would apply to all single-start races--10-14s, 4 men 35/45+, 3 men 35/45+, 4 men and 15-18 juniors, and 1-2 men/1-2 men 35/45+.  It would also apply to 4 women/4 women 35+ and 1-3 women/1-3 women 35+ because these groups start together despite being in a time slot that has a staggered start with a men's race.  

10:15   4 women   30 minutes
            4 women’s 35+            
            28 riders on course
            Stagger start SS/women (2 not 3 starts) Sort women's category placings from
            overall women's results.

11:00   10-12/13-14    juniors  25 minutes  (typically 3 laps)
            31 riders on course
            Single start.  Sort category placing from overall results.

11:40   4 men 30 minutes
            15-18 Juniors
            40 riders on course
            Single start.  Sort category placing from overall results.

12:25   Kids 10 minutes

12:50   3 Masters men 35+ /45+   40 minutes
            40 riders on course
            Single start.  Sort category placing from overall results.
 1:45   1-3  women 40 minutes  $400
           1-3 35+ women  (All women race for the $400/10 places)
           3 men
           35 riders on course
           Stagger start 3 men/women (2 not 3 starts)  Sort women's category
           placings from overall women's results.

 2:40   1-2 men 60 minutes  $1,500
           1-2  35+/45+ men  (Everyone races for $1500/20 places)
           46 racers on course
           Single start.  Sort category placing from overall results.


  1. I will try to replicate something similar to this for the NEO Cyclocross Series. The "offical guy" wants to have 16 seperately scored categories but I would like to reduce that number to about 6 and have only 4 race's so we could start at appropriate times: ie. 11am, 11:45am, 1, 2.. These are some great ideas, thanks for bouncing them around so early in the year, too.

  2. Maybe it's just the few beers in me, but that makes like perfect sense to me right now. Heaven forbid we get some non-smashy starts.

  3. I just think all the people who are against it are just whining. They just don't want change and their "wins" won't look as good since they only get the points based on their Open finish.

    Honestly, I think it should be done like the Spring series. Cat 1/2/3, Cat3, Cat 4, Womens 1/2/3, Womens 3/4 and for the hell of it, Open Masters (plus juniors and run single speed with juniors)

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  5. absolve the series from USAC. i hate paying $60 annual license fee/$10 per race to an organization that really doesn't do anything for me. i mean where exactly does my money go??? i'd rather the promoter get an extra $10 that'll be put to good use in equipment, prize money, marketing, etc instead of paying someone to watch over my shoulder.

  6. pete, if that dreadful day that you ever need to use your secondary insurance comes up because you have reached your primary insurance limits then you will be thankful for that usac insurance that part of that money goes towards. Former teammate of mine got hit right below his helmet on the back of his head when he crashed and a competitor got him with this pedal as he road by. heli ride to the hospital in vandy. several weeks of mri's and such and they hit their limit. i think usac's secondary license kicked in over 50k for medical bills. that being said there may be other insurance companies that would provide said benefits but i bet it would cost just as much per rider if we really wanted to match the coverage rates up.

  7. @nick i think that should be the choice up to each rider instead of having it mandatory. i've got pretty good insurance through the cleveland clinic and therefore would opt OUT of the secondary

  8. Sorry but I think the more insurance you can have the better. USAC insurance surcharge is only $3 per rider. It not only protects the rider but the promotors as well.

    If you don't want to pay the insurance, then don't race cause the promotors won't let you anyway because of liability reasons.