Originally Posted by dakine
If you take NASTAR too seriously it will drive you nuts.
Race hard, get good and go the Nationals in the Platinum division.
Would definitely agree that it can drive you nuts! And I would love to get better and be able to compete at the Platinum division, but like a lot of guys in my local beer league, I'm happy just to get 5 or 6 of the 7 races that we hold each season. Hard to find the time to really train and develop any racing skills.
Originally Posted by MEfree30
These are two reasons why I like my points qualification system above-
1. Reward those who race a lot
2. By encouraging people to race different courses, you can "handicap" the course sort of like the course rating/slope system in golf- now that the computer has been invented, you don`t need the courses to be standardized to have a fair handicap system.
I agree that those that those who race a lot should get some priority over those that don't and the new system of using the National and State rankings first does that to a certain extent as you have to race at least three days in order to get a ranking and NASTAR is also using the number of days raced as the tie-breaker. So, I like the fact that they are using the National and State rankings as the first criteria for determining qualifiers for Nationals and then going to the Resort rankings. I would just prefer that they would use your entire season's results, NOT just the top three handicaps out of your season. I think a truer picture would develop for the proper placement of each skier if all of his/her scores were considered. Yes, it would mean that someone could sandbag by tanking some runs on several different days in order to qualify in a lower bracket. It would be more like golf in that your handicap would go up and down as your season progressed depending on your races.
I love your notion of handicapping the course like the rating/slope used in golf. You would think with GPS technology today, you could easily map out any course and have some way of determining the vertical drop, gate offset, etc, and coming up with some form of rating/ranking to tie it back to expected timings. What an interesting concept.
When I saw the changes, my first thought was along the lines of JPL- that almost everyone qualifies for Nationals one way or the other.
My experience is just the opposite - most people in my race league don't qualify for Nationals. To be fair, most of them could care less about Nationals and their NASTAR ranking - they are only interested in the points they've earned for their team. Which, I admit does make me wonder, to get the 1000 or so racers who come to Nationals each year, just how many invites does NASTAR actually send out? I'm not saying it's some HUGE honor to get an invitation, but I would disagree that it's automatic.
I had one really good race this year and a lot of mediocre ones, so much so that even under last year's system, I think I would be hard pressed to qualify in the silver division. Unlike the Master and semi-pro racers that dakine mentions, I had never done anything more than an occasional run through the NASTAR courses until my son and I joined the local beer league. I'd like to consider myself a very good skier, but that doesn't necessarily make me a good racer. Over the years both my son and I have qualified, but only last year did we both do so in the same year. It was a lot of fun to go do the trip together last year and it's disappointing not to have that possibility this season. At the end of the day, we both need to be just a bit faster, I guess (and on our short courses, even a 1/2 a second makes a big difference!).