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Thread: MBAA Points

  1. #1
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    MBAA Points

    I know there are few mbaa board members who frequent the forums, so I would like to make some comments/suggestions about the points system.

    I'm not racing this season, but my wife is. There are 2 people in her age category. My wife has raced the required number of races and won all of them. She did not race Sierra Vista, which we couldn't attend. She has won every race by at least 15 minutes, if not more. She has done volunteer work at a race but has not done trail maintenance. The other girl in her category has also done trail work and volunteer work, and raced Sierra Vista (which was 1.5x points). Since she was the only girl racing Sierra Vista, she got all the points.

    It is now mathematically impossible for my wife to win the series. The series championship is coming down to things other than who is the fastest. I know this is the way the system was setup from the beginning, or at least after it was changed early in the season, but she, and I, are wondering why the system can't be setup to reward the person who is the best racer, just on racing. Not on collecting a bunch of points for things other than racing. I had heard (not sure if it's true), that mbaa was allowing family members to volunteer and pool all their points to a racer. REALLY???? Is that true? If so, that's even worse.

    I know volunteers are needed at the races. I know we all need to do trail work to help support the trail systems in our state. But can we not figure out a way to promote that and keep the racing to just that............RACING? I've never seen or been involved in any type of sporting event where the person that wins is not the winner.

    How about giving all the raffle prizes to people who volunteer, instead of giving out points for volunteering? There has to be a way to keep the points system based on racing only, so that whoever is the fastest is the winner. I'm not knocking the mbaa. They do a great job. But when you have a racer who is clearly dominant in their age category, has raced the required number of races, and has won all of them, and they aren't going to win the series because of things that aren't related to actual race performance, it's kind of disheartening.
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    Tru dat!!!

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    I hear ya, I don't mind the points for stuff like that but I don't think it should be that many point. I didn't know it till I looked up the team standings but apparently a team can rack up 1600 points just for volunteer work. There needs to be a cap, this is way too much especially for smaller teams and make a serious unfair advantage for team shops. I know our team lost out because we forgot to get in trail work points, by the time we relaized it there was no projects going on.
    now for the worse, WIlliams is closing the forest and the race for this weekend won't be happening there. I don't know what is going to happen now but this is a shame. I thought this was going to happen when I first heard about Williams being in late June, I don't know why they didn't switch Flagstaff and Williams around in the first place. Almost guarantee Williams will close the forest in mid to late June.



    Quote Originally Posted by dirthead View Post
    I know there are few mbaa board members who frequent the forums, so I would like to make some comments/suggestions about the points system.

    I'm not racing this season, but my wife is. There are 2 people in her age category. My wife has raced the required number of races and won all of them. She did not race Sierra Vista, which we couldn't attend. She has won every race by at least 15 minutes, if not more. She has done volunteer work at a race but has not done trail maintenance. The other girl in her category has also done trail work and volunteer work, and raced Sierra Vista (which was 1.5x points). Since she was the only girl racing Sierra Vista, she got all the points.

    It is now mathematically impossible for my wife to win the series. The series championship is coming down to things other than who is the fastest. I know this is the way the system was setup from the beginning, or at least after it was changed early in the season, but she, and I, are wondering why the system can't be setup to reward the person who is the best racer, just on racing. Not on collecting a bunch of points for things other than racing. I had heard (not sure if it's true), that mbaa was allowing family members to volunteer and pool all their points to a racer. REALLY???? Is that true? If so, that's even worse.

    I know volunteers are needed at the races. I know we all need to do trail work to help support the trail systems in our state. But can we not figure out a way to promote that and keep the racing to just that............RACING? I've never seen or been involved in any type of sporting event where the person that wins is not the winner.

    How about giving all the raffle prizes to people who volunteer, instead of giving out points for volunteering? There has to be a way to keep the points system based on racing only, so that whoever is the fastest is the winner. I'm not knocking the mbaa. They do a great job. But when you have a racer who is clearly dominant in their age category, has raced the required number of races, and has won all of them, and they aren't going to win the series because of things that aren't related to actual race performance, it's kind of disheartening.
    "Not drinking is the Single Speed World Championships version of doping" -Jacquie Phelan

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    Quote Originally Posted by TacoBeer View Post
    I hear ya, I don't mind the points for stuff like that but I don't think it should be that many point. I didn't know it till I looked up the team standings but apparently a team can rack up 1600 points just for volunteer work. There needs to be a cap, this is way too much especially for smaller teams and make a serious unfair advantage for team shops. I know our team lost out because we forgot to get in trail work points, by the time we relaized it there was no projects going on.
    now for the worse, WIlliams is closing the forest and the race for this weekend won't be happening there. I don't know what is going to happen now but this is a shame. I thought this was going to happen when I first heard about Williams being in late June, I don't know why they didn't switch Flagstaff and Williams around in the first place. Almost guarantee Williams will close the forest in mid to late June.
    I think it's being held at Pemberton.
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    We just got an email that the race was switched to the competitive tracks at McDowell.

    I hate complaining about the race series. I know the staff are all volunteer, and nothing they do will please everyone. It's just frustrating that non sporting "activities" are going to change the standings and determine the state champion of a sporting event.

    To get volunteers they could offer them the raffle stuff, or give a free race voucher. If they gave free race vouchers they would probably have more volunteers than they could handle. And at least that way, only race results would determine the overall points series.
    "Confidence is the feeling you have before you fully understand the situation".

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    I would deffently race the series if the winners of races actually won state championships. It's a bogus system and I think it is hurting attandence when racing actually does not matter.

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    I am not a current racer, and my weird work schedule and this disease I am afflicted with (laziness) will not allow me to race for a championship anyway. However, I did race the series in 04/05 and have raced/promoted in other sports.

    I always thought that the person that trained the hardest, prepared themselves the best, used the smartest tactics and was just plain first across the line more should be the champ.

    Trail work and volunteering are also very important and needs to be done-and volunteers do the bulk of that work-bless them all.

    This is a tough economy and getting people to race is tough due to financial struggles for a lot of people I talk to. How about rewarding volunteers (essentially paying them) for thier work with free entries, discount/gift certificates to shops and race swag that is just given away? Heck- the promoters could pay for the camping fee,give out gas cards (potential sponsor from say Circle K hint-hint), maybe get a great rate on a nearby hotel, or any other way. Even though I am not "broke", convincing my wife I need to spend a few hundred bucks on entries, camp fees, tires, fuel, food, etc AND be away for 7-8 weekends is a tough ask. Many folks have toned down their spending. the significant other has hobbies/interests that cost money too. Kids need sporting gear, physicals, equipment rental etc. The pie is getting cut into smaller pieces and lots of folks I talk to have more time than money these days. Just an idea...
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  8. #8
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    I think that's a good idea cstem. Reward the volunteers with something other than points. Let the race results determine the championship.

    The "McWilliams" race was the best of the year IMHO. Organization was fantastic, results were fast, and the atmosphere was great. I give mbaa huge props for putting that event together on such short notice. GREAT JOB!!

    The wife won her race. She raced 6 of the 7 races. Won all 6. Did not race Sierra Vista, which is 1.5x points. The other girl in her age group raced 5 of the 7 races, including Sierra Vista. Not racing Sierra Vista was the nail in the coffin. There was no way to make up for losing 1.5x points there. There was only a 5 point difference between 1st and 2nd place, so losing 35 points at SV lost the series for her, even though she won every race head to head. In that sense, SV was the championship race.
    "Confidence is the feeling you have before you fully understand the situation".

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    I guess the best place to start is the MBAA mission statement.

    Our Mission Statement:
    MBAA promotes, protects and preserves the Arizona trail experience through advocacy, education and responsible recreational and competitive mountain biking.

    The main reason the Volunteer and Advocacy points count...because they matter. Without the points no one shows up to help, OK no one may be a bit strong but we have tried the 'reward the volunteers with scwhag' before, you burn out the same 5-10 people and end up with no help by the end of the season. The trailwork/advocacy is all about getting respect outside the MTB community and giving something back to the trails we love riding and racing.

    Everyone has known upfront that there was 100 points to volunteer and 60 for trail work and had almost a year to get it done. It's not like it was a last minute surprise.

    So congratulations you have trained hard, are super fit and awesomely fast. That's only part of it. To represent Arizona you have to step up the rest of the way, do what the real mountain bikers do...become part of the community.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TacoBeer View Post
    I hear ya, I don't mind the points for stuff like that but I don't think it should be that many point. I didn't know it till I looked up the team standings but apparently a team can rack up 1600 points just for volunteer work. There needs to be a cap, this is way too much especially for smaller teams and make a serious unfair advantage for team shops.
    We are looking at the team points structure for next season to make it fair to the smaller teams.

  11. #11
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    I agree with what you are saying in principle, but when you say "So congratulations you have trained hard, are super fit and awesomely fast. That's only part of it", that seems to not be the most important part of it. In an athletic event, the performance should be the deciding factor. It's like saying "Good job Dallas Mavericks! You won the NBA finals, but we're going to award the Miami Heat the NBA championship because they did more charity work this year! But great job anyway!!"

    So you think if you gave volunteers a free race voucher for the next race you wouldn't get volunteers?


    Quote Originally Posted by slugobikes View Post
    I guess the best place to start is the MBAA mission statement.

    Our Mission Statement:
    MBAA promotes, protects and preserves the Arizona trail experience through advocacy, education and responsible recreational and competitive mountain biking.

    The main reason the Volunteer and Advocacy points count...because they matter. Without the points no one shows up to help, OK no one may be a bit strong but we have tried the 'reward the volunteers with scwhag' before, you burn out the same 5-10 people and end up with no help by the end of the season. The trailwork/advocacy is all about getting respect outside the MTB community and giving something back to the trails we love riding and racing.

    Everyone has known upfront that there was 100 points to volunteer and 60 for trail work and had almost a year to get it done. It's not like it was a last minute surprise.

    So congratulations you have trained hard, are super fit and awesomely fast. That's only part of it. To represent Arizona you have to step up the rest of the way, do what the real mountain bikers do...become part of the community.
    "Confidence is the feeling you have before you fully understand the situation".

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    Quote Originally Posted by slugobikes View Post
    I guess the best place to start is the MBAA mission statement.

    Our Mission Statement:
    MBAA promotes, protects and preserves the Arizona trail experience through advocacy, education and responsible recreational and racing.

    So congratulations you have trained hard, are super fit and awesomely fast. That's only part of it. To represent Arizona you have to step up the rest of the way, do what the real mountain bikers do...become part of the community.
    This is an interesting response. I can't imagain how hard it is to organize and promote a "race" series. First I give you a big at a boy! Thanks for what you and the volunteers do for the state. I know the current point system has been part of you series for years but it seems like you are rewarding the wrong aspect of what you are promoting in the series. I think the volunteers should be rewarded for all of their hard work and sacrifice of time but in a race series it should not take precedence over race results. Maybe it should be required to do the volunteer work and trail mantanance to qualify for a state title but not be able to jump up positions int the standings based on these points alone.

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    Just to clarify, it wasn't the volunteer or trial maintenance points that caused the issue in my wife's age group. It was the 1.5x points for Sierra Vista. My wife won all 6 races she attended. The other girl raced 5 races, getting 2nd in each race and winning Sierra Vista (my wife didn't race that one). There is only a 5 pt difference in 1st place and 2nd place points. With my wife winning the 5 races that count, that's only a 25 point gain on the girl in 2nd. With the other girl taking 1.5x points in SV, that was 45 pts additional. So no way to make up the ground.
    "Confidence is the feeling you have before you fully understand the situation".

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    I'm just speaking for myself but the current system doesn't help time crunched people with families and jobs. I haven't raced in 5 years and I'm planning on returning to racing next fall. It is just hard to find more time for volunteering and trail maintenance.

    I have 3 girls 5 years old and under plus a business to run. Then I try to ride 8 to 10 hrs a week. I trimmed the cats claw bushes from Emery Henderson to Rock Springs on the BCT twice last year. Approximately 15 hours of work but I have to do it on night rides to fit my schedule. I would like to race the required events to qualify for a state title but I dont know about helping at the races and taking more time from my already very understanding family.

    It just seems like there is no way to get enough points racing. Maybe I will just have to try and see what happens next year.

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    Guys, all valid points (no pun intended). If we make it mandatory for trailwork and volunteer to qualify that would automatically disqualify more people than the points structure. The 1.5 points thing was to try to make more incentive to make the longest drive. Chances are the we will go back to the final race being the 1.5...making it the "One that counts". Don't get me wrong and think that I am automatically rejecting all the ideas out of hand...it just reminds me of that South Park episode, The Simpsons have done that before.

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    Quote Originally Posted by azpoolguy View Post
    I trimmed the cats claw bushes from Emery Henderson to Rock Springs on the BCT twice last year. Approximately 15 hours of work but I have to do it on night rides to fit my schedule.
    It just seems like there is no way to get enough points racing. Maybe I will just have to try and see what happens next year.
    That stuff counts. You juts have to let the 'Land Manager' know you are doing it. Volunteer work can be flexible as well. Got a 5 year old? we will drop the Goodie Bags off at your house and you can have child labor stuff them for your points

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    Great discussion going on here - keep the ideas coming on ways to incentivize and change the structure for the board to make decisions for the 2012 season. Goal should be to keep the athletes happy, not make this more complicated, and continue to reach the goals from their mission statement, hopefully growing the sport at the same time!

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    Quote Originally Posted by 99erz View Post
    Great discussion going on here - keep the ideas coming on ways to incentivize and change the structure for the board to make decisions for the 2012 season. Goal should be to keep the athletes happy, not make this more complicated, and continue to reach the goals from their mission statement, hopefully growing the sport at the same time!
    Mike, great job with the timing this year. You guys rock!

    Here is what I would propose for a points system, and incentive system for volunteers. Again, this is only my opinion, for what that's worth.

    Points system: Goal - To make race performance the deciding factor in the championship series. Realizing that we are all people with jobs, families, and shrinking incomes, the series should not penalize someone for not being able to do every race. So maybe have 1 or 2 drops for the series.

    1. All races carry equal points. The finals race could carry 1.5x or 2x points, so your performance in the final would carry more weight than the rest. Also mandatory to race the final to compete in the series.
    2. No volunteer or trail maintenance points in the series. Only your race related points count toward the state championship.
    3. Decide how many volunteers are needed for each race and give free race vouchers for the next race. Maybe the race sponsors would donate a few special items just for the volunteers. There has to be a way to promote volunteering without it affecting the points series, and ultimately outweighing the race results themselves.
    4. Maybe have a volunteer/trail maintenance award that is tabulated based on hours of volunteering and trail maintenance throughout the year. This could be on a points system as well, and offer a few really good prizes for the winners.

    This is just my opinion, but from a racer's point of view, I would like the points system to be based only on my performance. If someone beats me, they should win, if I beat them, I should win. Promoting the MBAA mission statement: "MBAA promotes, protects and preserves the Arizona trail experience through advocacy, education and responsible recreational and competitive mountain biking", can be done without it affecting the "racing" aspect of the series. Maybe it can even be done more effectively if it was separated from the racing aspect of the series. Most of us realize the mbaa board are all volunteers, and we appreciate you putting in the time and effort to keep the mbaa running and put on a great race series. Most of us don't mind helping at the races, and most of us already do lots of trail work, whether it's with an organized group or just picking up trash and stuff other users have left on the trail each time we ride. Any of you know what I'm talking about when you ride PMP and see all the blue bags beside the trail. Those are dog poo bags that the owners just leave. There are lots of us that pick those up and deposit them properly and do other types of trail work/cleanup.

    I want to see mtb'ing grow and the races grow in attendance as much as anybody. But when things other than racing count as much or more toward the championship than the actual racing, it makes some of us not want to race anymore, or at least not do the entire series.
    "Confidence is the feeling you have before you fully understand the situation".

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    Thanks for the kind words.
    Great feedback - I will be sure to take that up with the board...really good input - much appreciated.

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    Maybe-and I am really not trying to be a jerk here- an advocacy group should not run a racing series. Sanction already comes from USAC/NORBA/What ever it is called now. Racing and trail advocacy are two different things that don't always mix well it has shown over the years.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cstem View Post
    Maybe-and I am really not trying to be a jerk here- an advocacy group should not run a racing series. Sanction already comes from USAC/NORBA/What ever it is called now. Racing and trail advocacy are two different things that don't always mix well it has shown over the years.
    Nope you are not being a jerk at all...at least not on that point I have said that since I got on the board 3 years ago.

    Just to let you know we do try and think outside the MBAA status quo...one way other states have a strong state series is to have individual teams/clubs/shops take ownership of a race. Like Sun N' Spokes does with Sierra Vista or Linden and the crew do up in Flagstaff. Any profit would be split with these groups since they in a way do all of the work and supply the volunteer labor. MBAA along with HUB would supply the infrastructure, timing, permits, licensing porto-lets, medical etc and track points. This would still give us the ability to fund advocacy and junior development but we would not have to put the burden of volunteerism on the racers back. Problem is, over the past 2 years, 16 races, only 2 organizations stepped up to the plate. Back to square 1.

    Everyone who is really interested in carrying on this discussion, keep your eyes out for a post on the MBAA website, here and Facebook. After the board has our end of season pow-wow we want to have a meeting with everyone who has strong feelings about the series.

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    It would be nice also to change a few venues. I think in Prescott we could find a brutal course with big hills to climb, like we have up in Flagstaff. Also, the Globe race could be moved to Pinal mountain or up to the course that will host "Fire on the Rim". Lastly the Williams area has to have some sweet, tough single track. If we could beef up those 3 venues it would give all the race courses some real metal. I would be more than happy as I know others would to help out in finding, scouting, helping with getting permits, etc. We could take these 3 weak links and make them strong. Then the whole series would be unbelievable! Not complaining, just trying to make the series better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chiva View Post
    I would be more than happy as I know others would to help out in finding, scouting, helping with getting permits, etc. We could take these 3 weak links and make them strong. Then the whole series would be unbelievable! Not complaining, just trying to make the series better.
    No better time to start than now. Though Globe was the only option the Forest Service gave us, there were 3 proposed courses what we ended up on was not one of them. The city loved the turnout and the FS liked the way the event was run. This may open doors for next season. Williams pretty much the same thing. Once again this would be a great thing about locals taking 'ownership' of an event. They know the trails better than we ever could, they have established relationships with land managers we don't have. Feel free to pm me if you are really interested in scouting courses.

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    Ok, one last thing I must speak out about. the one thing that will make me leave the races right away again if it happens one more time during the races. FIRE the DJ, that music is the worse thing that I ever heard at a mountain bike race. I would expect it at a road race but come on! and it just kept playing over and over like an eight track. I felt like I was in an SNL nightmare at the Roxberry or whatever it's called. I offered to give my USB with over 190 songs and ignored, put on the local radio station even if it's static it would be better.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TacoBeer View Post
    Ok, one last thing I must speak out about. the one thing that will make me leave the races right away again if it happens one more time during the races. FIRE the DJ, that music is the worse thing that I ever heard at a mountain bike race. I would expect it at a road race but come on! and it just kept playing over and over like an eight track. I felt like I was in an SNL nightmare at the Roxberry or whatever it's called. I offered to give my USB with over 190 songs and ignored, put on the local radio station even if it's static it would be better.
    Taco,

    All those racers just had tough days and really don't want to hear The Eagles.

    Sincerely, the Dude.


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