Monday, October 23, 2006 600+ Natz Registrants in the first 10 minutes

Just got word from Steve Roszko at about Nationals Registration - some 600 Registrants in the first 10 minutes!

Here's a graph:

Steve says:

"This is the biggest registration spike we have seen because it was so important to be in first for riders. With one phone call and one chat support, both just informational not problems, I would have to say it was a success."

"We've had other big quick sell outs like the Mt Washington Hill Climb and the Single Speed World Championships but they just had to get in, it did not matter to be first."

Only one phone call and chat support? That's a good indicator they're doing a good job on their UI.

I registered for the 35+ event pretty quickly and hopefully got a low registration number - after missing last year I'm a bit worried about call-ups. There was very little delay in loading and confirmation in spite of the volume. Kudos and thanks to BikeReg for handling it so well...



Blogger Olaf Vanderhoot said...

qualifying race, day off, main event. so, 3 to 4 days total for your event.

qualifiying heats of 60-70 riders, top 15-20 advance to final. Number of qualifying heats based on total number of pre-reg participants with a goal of a final line-up of 60-80 riders??

I'd probably seed the final event based on qualifying results.

dunno ... but there's gotta be a better way than dumpster diving reg - even if is smooth like the butter.

- what venue could withstand that, though?

11:17 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

please ask them to post the confirmed rider list. dank u wel

1:51 PM  
Blogger Brent Chapman said...

I love the $55 pay for your pit crew spot. That's classic.

2:57 PM  
Blogger Rich Maile said...

This has to be the lamest way to establish a start list I've ever seen. I suppose however you could buy a low start # off of E-Bay. What a joke!!! Olaf has a good idea on how to deal with it. I've always thought the fastest racers should be at the front, not the person who has the fastest internet connection. But what do I know. Lates, Rich

5:00 PM  
Blogger funkdaddy said...

This is still better than the free-for-all in the past. Note there should be plenty of riders called up based on their previous national championship performances - that is unchanged, as follows:

All other National Championship Categories

1. Top 5 in order from 2005-2006
2. Winner from younger category in 2005-2006
3. Placing 1-10 from 2005-2006
4. Recent former National Cyclo-cross Champions
5. Medalists from younger category in 2005-2006
6. By order of registration

So this is better than trying to get a good start position by camping out at the start line or snaking other riders.

I, for one, was considering not even going to Nationals because I'm not seeded having missed last year's Natz. At least I was able to counter that by registering early so at least I won't be on the back row...

I agree, though, for the droves of non-seeded riders, it's still a nightmare...I still have memories of starting my first Natz in the 5th row stuck hopelessly behind some jokers that couldn't even clip in...

5:28 PM  
Blogger funkdaddy said...

It would be great to have qualifiers there but we all know that's not gonna happen.

Now, regional qualifiers...that would be a great idea - i.e. maybe USGP races could also serve as regional qualifiers for age group racers - this could work similar to Ironman qualifiers. Plus it could also bolster attendance at the USGP races.

5:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

State Championships should be a qualifier for Nationals. Like the road was in the 80's. Number of qualifiers per region based on a percentage of total licensed racers. These "qualified" racers compete for "A" Titles. And then a "B" category for open classes. Too simple?

5:31 PM  
Blogger Rich Maile said...

I do believe that there COULD be a solution to the madness to the starts at nationals. A "regional qualifier" is great idea. But the question begs who gets (region) the most spots? Very political. Maybe a national points system would help? Rich

6:19 PM  
Blogger funkdaddy said...

Thinking about it from a non-racer perspective - in reality, ANY kind of qualifier is a nightmare for promoters and registration, because you can't even turn on registration until qualifiers have been run and then there would have to be some kind of validation to verify who is allowed to enter, and a lot more squabbling about seeding...

For promoters the current system works well and doesn't cause race day mayhem - anyone can register, and the past top 10's get seeded, cut and dry and simple. The only riders getting shafted are the guys with a legitimate shot who either had a bad day at (or missed altogether) the previous year's Nationals.

The solution to this could be deeper seeding based on results and major events that may even occur after Natz registration. That way anyone can still register, but you can earn a higher seed. My personal problem with Master's Natz is not that they allow 150 riders in - I don't care as long as I get to start where I belong. If someone told me I could get better seeding by going to a USGP race in Portland, I'll go to Portland.

The seeding for Elite races works this way (using UCI points), and I think it works fine. It's not perfect - i.e. you can cherry-pick small races - but you still have to be reasonably fast. They manage to seed over 1/2 the field so all the guys with a legit shot at top-20 pretty much get their shot. And the guys who just wanted to do Natz can say they did it, they'll generally all get pulled anyhow.

Anyhoo, maybe Hernando's idea of pre-Natz qualification heats ain't such a bad idea after all...

8:25 PM  
Blogger Olaf Vanderhoot said...

things to consider with a pre-Natz qualifying plan is that you get folks at your town for that much longer.

one of the draws for having road nationals at places like Park City in the past and the pennsylvania madhouse this year were that you get people stuck spending money in your locale for multiple days.

something tells me you'd get people staying 4 or 5 nights at a cross venue. Many will stick around to watch the Elite events. AND, you get X number more participants with the larger heats available (cash cow-age).

but, it's still a ton of work and blah, blah, blah who's gonna do that. and you're still left with the problem ... what venue can withstand 3-500 racers a day for 3-4 days straight?


... armchair quarterbackin' we got down pat.

8:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I scored a sweeeet low number last nite on E Bay in my catagory for not too much cash,($125). I'm a happy camper !!

11:32 PM  
Blogger Rich Maile said...

All very good points. Although I think current method of reg sucks, there doesn't look to be an easy answer. Perhaps a feeder system of events(USGP) which were regional qualifiers as well as the national series could help. The other thing that comes to mind is a "National Championship" something that you earn your way into or is it just another race open to whom ever signs up for it but with a pretty shirt they give to the winner?

6:35 AM  
Blogger Olaf Vanderhoot said...

can i just get the pretty shirt on eBay?

8:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm cynical about the whole thing. The promoter only needs to fill their fields and collect the entry fees. The USCF only needs to know a winner to give the jersey to. All the rest is just stuff for the rest of us to argue about.

I think Funke's list of seeding would be hilar if it wasn't true. Skip #6 and continue to add additional specs.

#6 Top finishers at districts.
#7 Top finishers in a local race.
#8 Riders with the nicest bikes.
#9 Riders with the biggest dog.
#10 Best friends of the promoter.
#11 Best friends of the promoter's sister.

Etc. etc. until you have filled the field and the 150th least worthy rider is stuck in the very last grid square a half mile back.

then you fire the gun and everyone lands in a heap after the first corner except for the guys who don't and then they fight it out for the jersey.

2:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thats 'cross...a heap o fun!
but lets get some reps in on developing the concept of qualifying, based on one's local or regional results, especially in the elite and non-masters cats. The old farts (over 45)shouldn't have to qualify.

2:59 PM  
Blogger funkdaddy said...

There's nothing hilarious about Criteria 1-5, which will cover probably 80% of your contenders.

#6 is up for debate, but I still think it's better than 1-5 then a free-for-all for the rest on race day.

From the officials' perspective, 80% may be good enough, given how considerably much more effort it will take to get the last 20%.

..but still far from perfect...

4:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What if USA Cycling implements a points system. Results get fowarded to USA Cycling and the local district. Points published online for members to see. Qualifying races would be those held up to 30 days before the Nationals. Qualifying events shouldn't have to be limited to USGP races. There are dozens of santioned races that should qualify. The average rider would have at least 4 races to compete in before know how they stand.

7:35 PM  
Blogger Dave Carr said...

Funke since the race is being held for the benefit of "the contenders" then why not let's select who those 20 or so contenders are, then run the race as an invitational format. To make up for lost entry fee revenue the promoter can sell tickets to the grandstands for the rest of us.

Even better let's hold a VO2max test in the lab and declare a winner before the race starts. ;-)

7:59 PM  
Blogger Hooptie said...

For the elites, UCI points should be mandatory. Only those w/ points get to start.

I think NORBA made a huge mistake by forcing people to qualify for Nats. The feilds this year @ Infinion were a total joke.

On the other hand, qualifing works well for Track Nats.

How about in order of height...shortest riders first.

8:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about a lottery for start positions after the call-ups have been established. Complete random picking as to be the most fair. But when has USCF ever been fair?

1:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No way!! It's not fair that the guys who are suposed to win have to start in back of all those Jokers and not in there rightfull position at the FRONT!!

4:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about a Le Man's style start? We line up at the start finish for a one lap run through the course before mounting our bikes and racing. We could have a preregestration online only. First come first serve for the seating of the run start. Oh, wait a minute,...

10:02 PM  
Blogger cycloscott said...

Hooptie said:
"I think NORBA made a huge mistake by forcing people to qualify for Nats. The feilds this year @ Infinion were a total joke."

Perhaps that had something to do with the choice of venue? Infineon certainly doesn't come readily to mind when I'm thinking about classic NorCal mtb course.

9:34 AM  
Blogger Brent Chapman said...

So would someone like Katie Compton (had she not won last 2 years) be able to compete if there was a point system?

11:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

remembering back to my glory days of old HS cross country, how about lining up everyone side by side similar to the start of a cross country running race. Obviously the venue would have to have a large open patch of land that could accomodate the 100+ riders lined up side by side. The gun goes off and everyone sprints WITH NO ONE AHEAD OF THEM for the hole shot a couple hundred yards down the course. Everyone is on the 'front row' and no one can complain they didn't have a decent shot at the top spots going into the hole shot.

1:33 PM  

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