Nice Trophy ! but, did you deserve it ?

In days of yore it was a simple enough thing to calculate who, all things being equal, would win any
given Championship.  99% of the time we could usually rest assured that “best rider & best bike”
would come out on top but now that is certainly not true and Ahrma is a classic case.

For the most part the rules (no ridiculous changes this year) are pretty simple. We have our National
Trials series with somewhere around 25 events scattered all over the USA. Your aim is to get your
best score from 7 events with scoring being 20 for the win 16 for second, 13 for third 11 for fourth then
10 downwards in 1 point decrements. You can of course get a first place score from Checking or
being a Trialsmaster.  Therefore your best possible score can be 140 from the 7 events, and in the
event of a tie, ie 2 people with equal points, then, after a tie break of most wins, seconds etc, if that
doesn’t resolve it then it will be given to the oldest rider as the winner. Where this is  perhaps a little
unfair is when several riders all tie for 7 wins and with 25 events this can easily happen!  It may well
be that many of these riders have NEVER ridden against each other in direct competition, or
conversely they may have been the ONLY rider in their class and scooped up an easy 20
Championship points without having to make any effort.

A couple of these Championships that WILL go to the oldest rider are Dave Dewonia in Premier
Heavyweight Expert with a good 7 wins with the big BSA over some very daunting and big bike
challenging courses but he will have ridden ALL 7 events WITHOUT any other rider at those events!!
Rob Poole has had some competition to get his 6 wins to date but will fall foul of “the old age rule”
even if he gets his 7th at Hollister or Milliken.

Dan Straka has done all he can on the Stealth Cub in Premier Lightweight Int but is up against Jeff
Smith with 6 wins on the other side of the country and a big age difference.

John Dowson might have scraped home in Modern Classic Int this season with 6 wins and one loss
to Fred Martinson and with 5 head to heads with Fred he put it over Fred at Terlton and twice more on
Fred’s home turf at Casper. However former Champ Fred looks certain to get his 7 wins with Tooele
and Milliken if needed.

I unfortunately have the same issue with Eugene with my 7 wins having competed against him 6
times this season. He beat me once this year fairly and squarely at Buckeye, and then I beat him no
less than FIVE times in direct head to head competition. All Eugene needs are a win on Day 2 at
Tooele and another at Milliken and my fate is sealed as he is ONE year older!


Perhaps we are due for point scoring on a more realistic basis, but how ? Clearly we can stick with
the current system, or even have dual or multiple Champions. Maybe the points could be reallocated
to reflect the number of riders thereby giving a well supported event greater credibility and better point
paying positions?  What do I mean by that you ask?  Well lets say every class must have 5 riders to
score a 20 point maximum, thereby making the winners achievement creditable. If there are only 4
riders then the top place would only be worth 16 and so on down the list until we get to 10 points
which will be the Winner’s points in an uncontested event.

Our two major classes, namely MC Int and MC Nov would normally not be affected by any change of
rules as they usually attract the greatest number of entries by far.

The overall season results would stay the same and your best 7 results would count including the
bonus “20 points” as a give away for workers, checkers, trialsmasters etc. So keeping the 20 points in
for your working duty you need your next top scoring points in the remaining 6 events, which would give
you a top score of 80 if the remaining 6 were uncontested.  Someone else might ride in your class at
another venue where 4 riders were entered and their scores would be 16, 13, 11, and 10 for the 4th
place finish, or with 3 in the class 13,11 and 10, and with only 2 riders, first would be worth 11 points
and second 10 thus giving a more realistic “value” to the points won. This would then mean you could
NOT travel the country picking up class wins at uncontested events and being able to then “ditch”
second or third place scores where you have been beaten.

Using the “names” I have listed lets see how it all pans out using the system I am advocating.

Prem Hwy Exp

Dave Dewonia             7 Uncontested wins at Cotopaxi, Casper, Tooele and a duty checking at Milliken
7 x 10 (uncontested wins)  1 x 20 (checker)   Best out of 7 events 1 x 20, 6 x 10  = 80 pts

Rob Poole                    6 wins, 1 with 3 riders, 4 with 2 and 1 uncontested. 7th event say checker or TM
1 x 13,   4 x 11 (44),  1 x 10  1 x (worker points) 20                            = 87 pts

Prem Lt Int

Jeff Smith                     6 wins, 2 with 2 riders, 4 uncontested, and of course a checker duty
2 x 11 (22),  4 x 10 (40), 1 x  (worker points) 20                                 = 82 pts

Dan Straka                  7 wins, 3 with 3 riders, 2 with 2 riders, 2 uncontested ( of course Dan was the TM
at Casper) and could have taken TM worker points and discarded 1 uncontested
3 x 13 (39), 2 x 11 (22), 1 x 10, 1 x (worker points) 20                      = 91 pts

Classic Exp

Eugene Waggoner  11 rides and 1 checker duty
1 win with 3 riders, 1 win with 2 riders, 4 uncontested wins 1 x checker duty
5 second places (all discarded)
1 x 13, 1 x 11, 4 x 10 (40),  1 x (worker points) 20                                      = 84 pts

ME                               5 wins with 2 riders , 1 second with 3 riders, 1 x uncontested  1 x Trialsmaster
5 x 11 (55), 1 x 11, 1 x 10 (discard), 1 x (worker points) 20                     = 86 pts

All this WOULD promote better head to head competition and perhaps reveal the better riders as
opposed to riders with unlimited funds, multiple events, and uncontested wins running away with
Championships. Of course it would also mean you had better select 6 rounds where other riders in
your class are present if you need or want top points. ONLY an IDEA at this stage but if enough of you
agree with me then it COULD be proposed and sent up the line……… let me know your thoughts, or
any others on the subject. Of course it might get rejected, like the Twinshock Class, but if we don’t try
it will be the same old, same old.


What did you think of this article?

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  • 9/25/2010 7:22 AM Jim Crain wrote:
    Hi Tony,

    Good proposal. I have always felt like I was cheating winning a championship when I had done little more than show up.
    Reply to this

  • 9/28/2010 7:54 PM Doug Yeo wrote:
    An alternative may be to give the last place rider in each division 2 points with 2 additional points being awarded for the next best finish. Tony, with rider based points how would you like it if the east coast guys decided they would add non point chasing riders to the east coast events, thus buying a championship with riders that were not chasing national points.

    Better solution may be to have your 5 best finishes be qualifiers for National points. then have your national championship points based upon head to head events. Perhaps 5 national championship points events where your best two finishes count. Points awarded by the number of national riders in your division at each event. That would ensure that the true champions would be looking for national events with more competition. By having the championship events throughout the county the championship chasing riders will experience the chance to ride the varying conditions found around the country.
    Reply to this

  • 10/2/2010 3:11 PM Dave Rhodes wrote:
    I have seen this same sort of farce in Canadian Trials – One guy won a Championship a few years ago in Alberta by just being at all the events in a class that was specially created for him to ride by his son, who happened to be the Prez of the club. – My thinking is that if you don’t get 4 riders in a class, then no points are awarded – a bit hard maybe, but this is supposed to be a sport with a challenge. Cherry picking should only be done in the orchards.
    Reply to this
  • 10/22/2011 2:10 PM Bill Rogers wrote:
    Greetings. I had a thought: Why not award a season title, and also hold a final tournament at the end of the season?
    Bicycling holds its world championship races at the end of the regular season, and awards trophies for each title.
    Great blog!
    Reply to this
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