Competition at the AKA Grand Nationals

Competition at the AKA Grand Nationals

Post by Marty Sasa » Wed, 21 Jul 1993 01:28:57


There are two sides to this discussion:

  1. Those who feel that the AKA National Convention shouldn't have so
     much competition. The National Convention is a time to make/meet
     friends, talk kites, etc.

  2. Those who feel that the AKA Grand Nationals should be mostly
     about competition. The AKA as the governing body of stunt kite
     flying in the USA should try to meet the desires of the
     competitors. Other things are necessary, but the competition is
     the most important aspect.

Of course, there are people between the opposite points. There are
quite a few folks out in netland (and elsewhere) who believe in 2, and
feel cheated that the AKA Board of Directors decided to set up the
convention with only one day of stunt kite competition.

I believe that the board made the right decision at the time. I also
believe that the board earnestly tried to get input from competitors,
but that, for the most part, flyers just ignore the AKA and the board.

After this years AKA convention, the whole issue of competition will
be reviewed again. A decision will be made about competition for next
year. I would like to start a discussion about how the competition
should be done next year. Please don't discuss the conference ranking
system, I'll start another note for it after this one...

So, here are the questions:

  1. Should the AKA Grand Nationals be an Invitational (only those who
     are asked can compete) or should it be an Open (anyone can
     compete) event?

     I believe that the AKA Grand Nationals in Hawaii were the last
     year that the competition was Open. Since then you could only
     compete if you qualified.

  2. What classes should there be?

     Currently, the AKA recognizes Novice, Intermediate, Experienced,
     and Masters level flyers. Additionally, some events are open for
     any competitor. In the recent past Experienced and Masters level
     classes flew. This year, all levels will be flying.

  3. How many competitors should be allowed to compete?

     In the recent past, everyone who qualified was invited, and
     everyone who qualified and entered could fly. It wasn't unusual
     for three or four heats before the finals. This year there is a
     cap of approximately 15 per event.

  4. How does the AKA staff this event?

     Your plan for staffing should ensure that no volunteer is
     overworked, and that qualified judges should be judging.

     One of the primary reasons that competition was cut to a single
     day was that it has been very difficult to get adequate staff to
     run the event in the past. Usually what happened was that a small
     number of people did all of the work. Volunteers from the flyers
     were few.

  5. Should the AKA Grand Nationals be separate from the AKA
     convention?

     The convention has the annual meeting, the auction, a banquet for
     awards, workshops and seminars, etc. The Grand Nationals took
     place at the same place and the same time.

  6. What would be a reasonable fee for competing in the AKA Grand
     Nationals.

Let's try to be rational and avoid ad hominem attacks. If you have an
opinion, be sure to let it be known. I will summarize the discussion
and present it at the next AKA board meeting if it makes sense to do
so. Anyone can present something to the board as well, so if you
believe that I will mis-represent what goes on here, feel free to make
your feelings known.
--
Marty Sasaki            Harvard University           Sasaki Kite Fabrications

617-496-4320            10 Ware Street               Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
                        Cambridge, MA 02138-4002     phone/fax: 617-522-8546

 
 
 

Competition at the AKA Grand Nationals

Post by Wes Vo » Wed, 21 Jul 1993 02:26:55

<Info from Marty deleted..>

Quote:
>  1. Should the AKA Grand Nationals be an Invitational (only those who
>     are asked can compete) or should it be an Open (anyone can
>     compete) event?

To me it kind of depends on what the function of the Grand Nationals is. I
have never attended one, so I assume that it is a place to judge the best
of the best for national ranking. If so, in my opinion it should be limited
to flyers who have reached the top positions in previous regional events.

Quote:
>  3. How many competitors should be allowed to compete?

>     In the recent past, everyone who qualified was invited, and
>     everyone who qualified and entered could fly. It wasn't unusual
>     for three or four heats before the finals. This year there is a
>     cap of approximately 15 per event.

I think that if the only people that were competing were those who had
previously earned a spot in a regional competition, this would be self
limiting.

Quote:
>  4. How does the AKA staff this event?

>     Your plan for staffing should ensure that no volunteer is
>     overworked, and that qualified judges should be judging.

My vote would be to require each flyer to work a shift. You receive the
benefits of having those people there to staff while you fly; you can do the
same for others while they fly.

Quote:
>  6. What would be a reasonable fee for competing in the AKA Grand
>     Nationals.

Just pulling a number out of the air, I would assume it would be from 10 -
15 bucks...

Wes

-----------------------------------------------------------
Disclaimer: These are just my opinions, and no one else's;
            no one else wants them; especially my employer!
___________________________________________________________

 
 
 

Competition at the AKA Grand Nationals

Post by Steve Thom » Wed, 21 Jul 1993 03:43:26

Just a note:

A while ago, I started a thread that (also) included the issue of the AKA's
focus on sport kites vs. its focus on single-line kites.  If you look in
the archives, you'll find that I got to the point of questioning the AKA's
very existence in the sport kite world, and introduced the idea of creating
another non-profit org. (or even a for-profit org.) that would deal
specifically with sport kites and competition...

Quote:

>There are two sides to this discussion:

>  1. Those who feel that the AKA National Convention shouldn't have so
>     much competition. The National Convention is a time to make/meet
>     friends, talk kites, etc.

>  2. Those who feel that the AKA Grand Nationals should be mostly
>     about competition. The AKA as the governing body of stunt kite
>     flying in the USA should try to meet the desires of the
>     competitors. Other things are necessary, but the competition is
>     the most important aspect.

>Of course, there are people between the opposite points. There are
>quite a few folks out in netland (and elsewhere) who believe in 2, and
>feel cheated that the AKA Board of Directors decided to set up the
>convention with only one day of stunt kite competition.

>I believe that the board made the right decision at the time. I also
>believe that the board earnestly tried to get input from competitors,
>but that, for the most part, flyers just ignore the AKA and the board.

While at the competition in Long Beach, WA, I got a chance to talk to Dave
Gomberg at length about many issues, this one in particular.  Although I
didn't get a chance to completely air my complete viewpoint, I managed to
get a fairly decent insight as to how the Decision was made.

This is not to say that I now know what the exact arguments were, or what
some of the concerns of both sides of the issue are, but I have a (vague)
idea of what went on that produced the decision...

I think Marty hit the nail on the head here: from what I could tell, there
are many different factions within the AKA, and, to a large extent, the
voice of flyers is not as strong as the AKA's constituency should warrant.

Now my opinion as to why this is happening.

One thing that Dave Gomberg mentioned to me that I found pretty suprising
was the lack of information the AKA had about its members.  Basically, when
you join the AKA, you check a box, "My interest in kites is: a) single-line,
b) sport kites, c) both".  Dave mentioned that most people checked both.  Come
to think of it, _I_ probably checked BOTH!  This is all the AKA knows about
its constituency.

Now, a little background about why the above information is almost useless.
As I said, _I_ was probably one of many of AKA joinees that checked "Both"
under the "My interest is..." column.  Let's talk about numbers.  I own ONE
single-line kite.  It has a retail value of about $50.  Well, without going
into a lot of detail, sitting in my car right now are kites I normally fly
all the time (i.e. not my whole collection)--retail value: $1600 (kites
alone).  I have been flying for about two years now, and I've spent countless
THOUSANDS of hours behind the lines of one of many sport kites.  Although
I've flown and appreciate single-line kites of all kinds, the ratio of
hours I've spent on each concern is easily a thousand to one--in favor of
sport kites.

Although I might be an extreme example--particularly when it comes to the
money aspect--I simply can't imagine that I'm that atypical.  Every
weekend I'll go to one of several flying fields here in the Bay Area.
What I'll see is several dozen sport kites in the sky, and a few
single-liners.  Outside of unit numbers, you can look at retail value: how
many people on these fields do you suppose went out and spent $150 on a
single-line kite?  Close to none.  The sport kites I see, however, are a
different story...

When somebody spends such a large amount of money on some kind of toy
(viz. a bicycle, volleyball net, rollerblades, etc.), there is a good chance
that they will become very interested in the particular sport (this is called,
"buying in" in marketing terms).  Also, since sport kites can be such an
exciting and involving activity (gets real exciting here in the 25MPH+ Bay
Area :-)), a comparitively large percentage of these people will get "hard
core" into this sport.

This kind of 'mass appeal' cannot be applied to single-line kites.

I think that the AKA should more carefully examine its constituency, and
also examine its _potential_ constituency and market itself accordingly.
I think comparing the appeal of single-line kites to sport kites is like
comparing oil painting to water skiing.  There's just no comparison.  If you
judge simply by the amount of advertising copy in a magazine like _American
Kite_, sport kites would seem like practically the only things happening.

******

Dave Gomberg needs to "balance" between the concerns of single-line advocates
and sport kites flyers.  He also needs to keep the "non-profit" charter of
the AKA in mind (viz. the AKA has no _direct_ interest in manufacturers
making lots of money).

As I've said before, I think that Dave and AKA, etc. are doing a fine job
given that parameters they are working under.  Unfortunately, I don't think
that these parameters are a very nice thing to do to somebody...

******

- Show quoted text -

Quote:

>After this years AKA convention, the whole issue of competition will
>be reviewed again. A decision will be made about competition for next
>year. I would like to start a discussion about how the competition
>should be done next year. Please don't discuss the conference ranking
>system, I'll start another note for it after this one...

>So, here are the questions:

>  1. Should the AKA Grand Nationals be an Invitational (only those who
>     are asked can compete) or should it be an Open (anyone can
>     compete) event?

>     I believe that the AKA Grand Nationals in Hawaii were the last
>     year that the competition was Open. Since then you could only
>     compete if you qualified.

I think that the "best of the best" idea is a good one--lest the Grand
Nationals have way too many competitors.  One idea I would have is this:
figure out how much time the GN has for competitions, thereby derive how
many competitors in each event you can run, and then simply admit the top
N competitors ("points"-wise).  No-shows could allow people further down in
the ranking to be allowed to compete...  Just a thought.

 >

Quote:
>  2. What classes should there be?

>     Currently, the AKA recognizes Novice, Intermediate, Experienced,
>     and Masters level flyers. Additionally, some events are open for
>     any competitor. In the recent past Experienced and Masters level
>     classes flew. This year, all levels will be flying.

I think that the Grand Nationals should be a place for the most serious
flyers to fly.  I don't think that the Grand Nationals is a place for
novice/intermediate flyers to fly--the AKA should leave that to the
local competitions (which makes way more sense, I think).  Personally,
I'd like to see the event be Master's class only (mabey I could be convinced
that Experienced Team events should be run also...).

Quote:

>  3. How many competitors should be allowed to compete?

>     In the recent past, everyone who qualified was invited, and
>     everyone who qualified and entered could fly. It wasn't unusual
>     for three or four heats before the finals. This year there is a
>     cap of approximately 15 per event.

See above comment.  Figure out how much time you have and work backwards.

Quote:

>  4. How does the AKA staff this event?

>     Your plan for staffing should ensure that no volunteer is
>     overworked, and that qualified judges should be judging.

>     One of the primary reasons that competition was cut to a single
>     day was that it has been very difficult to get adequate staff to
>     run the event in the past. Usually what happened was that a small
>     number of people did all of the work. Volunteers from the flyers
>     were few.

I've talked a little about how to more get volunteers before--which had to
do with putting a value--perhaps even a dollar value--on volunteer work.
Dave Gomberg (I think it was Dave) brought up the idea of getting large
sponors (viz. Coca Cola) to help pay for the event.  I don't personally
know all the answers off hand, but I think people need to be realistic
with their expectations and open to new solutions...

Quote:

>  5. Should the AKA Grand Nationals be separate from the AKA
>     convention?

>     The convention has the annual meeting, the auction, a banquet for
>     awards, workshops and seminars, etc. The Grand Nationals took
>     place at the same place and the same time.

YESYESYESYESYESYESYESYES!  I think that THIS will solve a lot of the problems
we've talked about here...

Quote:

>  6. What would be a reasonable fee for competing in the AKA Grand
>     Nationals.

I keep referring to that article I wrote a while ago about funding a
competition, fees, volunteers, etc.  Does anybody know where that article
might be (I'm not adept enough net-wise to know where to find this).
In essence, I said that people should have to pay for what they get.  What
is a "reasonable fee" for an orange?  The answer is, whatever it happens
to cost.

I think that this question is not a correct one.  The correct question is,
"how elaborate to we want to make the GN, how much money can we get from
other sources, what is left for competitors to pay?".

******

I support the AKA, and I wish the best for them.  I'm still not convinced
that the AKA can adequately support the interests of both single-line
advocates and sport kite flyers--by definition.  Somebody very clever will
be needed to figure this all out, and then show how it CAN be done...

--

_______
Steve Thomas

"Hokey weapons and worn out legends are no ...

read more »

 
 
 

Competition at the AKA Grand Nationals

Post by Wes Vo » Wed, 21 Jul 1993 06:43:11

Quote:

>One thing that Dave Gomberg mentioned to me that I found pretty suprising
>was the lack of information the AKA had about its members.  Basically, when
>you join the AKA, you check a box, "My interest in kites is: a) single-line,
>b) sport kites, c) both".  Dave mentioned that most people checked both.  Come
>to think of it, _I_ probably checked BOTH!  This is all the AKA knows about
>its constituency.

I just recently signed up myself, and I remember thinking about that. I have
an interest in single line kites, and so I checked both, somehow feeling that
I might be missing out on something if I said I wasn't interested in them. I
might buy one eventually, but my interest is 99% sport kites.

I think Steve has a very valid point. I don't think we can cater properly to
the members of the AKA unless we have some cold, hard stats on our members. (I
am using the word "our" as a member, not because I'm in any type of leadership
position within the AKA... thought I better qualify that.) What kind of people
are they? How many kites do they own? What types of kites (dual vs quad vs
single vs fighter?)? How often do they fly? How many competitions or festivals
do they attend each year? Are they active in competitions or festivals? Do
they volunteer their services? Are they more  interested in the social aspects
of events or would they rather have more competition? When they fly, do they
fly with other friends or family? When coming to competition, do they bring
friends or family or nonfliers with them? (If there are nonfliers there, it
might be a good idea to consider some activities there to let some of these
people get their hands on a kite and get them hooked...)

I don't know if it has ever been done, but it might be time for the AKA to
issue a survey of sorts to all it's members and find out *exactly* where the
interests lie and chart their future accordingly. The members of the AKA I
have talked to (mainly Marty and Brookes) have seemed very interested in what
the membership wants, and seem to be very open for suggestions, as long as a
compromise can be made for all members.

<stuff deleted>

Quote:
>This kind of 'mass appeal' cannot be applied to single-line kites.

Although I sort of agree with Steve that dual lines seem to be a little more
*** as far as hobby spending goes, I think that people who like single
line flying can feel as dedicated to their sport, and I think it has a mass
appeal of its own.

Wes

-----------------------------------------------------------
Disclaimer: These are just my opinions, and no one else's;
            no one else wants them; especially my employer!
___________________________________________________________

 
 
 

Competition at the AKA Grand Nationals

Post by Brian Dockt » Wed, 21 Jul 1993 08:17:37


Quote:
> Subject: AKA Poll? (was: Competition at the AKA Grand Nationals)

> >One thing that Dave Gomberg mentioned to me that I found pretty suprising
> >was the lack of information the AKA had about its members.  Basically, when
> >you join the AKA, you check a box, "My interest in kites is: a) single-line,
> >b) sport kites, c) both".  Dave mentioned that most people checked both.  Come
> >to think of it, _I_ probably checked BOTH!  This is all the AKA knows about
> >its constituency.

> I just recently signed up myself, and I remember thinking about that. I have
> an interest in single line kites, and so I checked both, somehow feeling that
> I might be missing out on something if I said I wasn't interested in them. I
> might buy one eventually, but my interest is 99% sport kites.

> I think Steve has a very valid point. I don't think we can cater properly to
> the members of the AKA unless we have some cold, hard stats on our members. (I
> am using the word "our" as a member, not because I'm in any type of leadership
> position within the AKA... thought I better qualify that.) What kind of people
> are they? How many kites do they own? What types of kites (dual vs quad vs
> single vs fighter?)? How often do they fly? How many competitions or festivals
> do they attend each year? Are they active in competitions or festivals? Do
> they volunteer their services? Are they more  interested in the social aspects
> of events or would they rather have more competition? When they fly, do they
> fly with other friends or family? When coming to competition, do they bring
> friends or family or nonfliers with them? (If there are nonfliers there, it
> might be a good idea to consider some activities there to let some of these
> people get their hands on a kite and get them hooked...)

> I don't know if it has ever been done, but it might be time for the AKA to
> issue a survey of sorts to all it's members and find out *exactly* where the
> interests lie and chart their future accordingly. The members of the AKA I
> have talked to (mainly Marty and Brookes) have seemed very interested in what
> the membership wants, and seem to be very open for suggestions, as long as a
> compromise can be made for all members.

Sounds  like  a  good  idea (you want to volunteer? :-). I think something
like  this  would  also  fit  under  Marty's  "electronic  opportunities".
Someone  could  put  together  a  (fairly) comprehensive questionaire, and
store the results in a large database (the  entries  should  be  anonymous
of  course).  This  would  allow  people  involved in leadership positions
(both national and regional) to do a better job.

We could start with  the  readers  of  rec.kites  (both  AKA  members  and
non-members,  with  a  question  to identify which is which). The database
could then grow to people without News/EMail access.

I would be willing start such a database, IF someone is  willing  to  help
put together a good questionaire.

Brian

--
Brian Dockter                    | Northwest Digital Systems
UUCP: uunet!nds!brian            | Voice: 206-524-0014

 
 
 

Competition at the AKA Grand Nationals

Post by Andrew Beatt » Wed, 21 Jul 1993 17:08:10

Quote:

>I own ONE
>single-line kite.  It has a retail value of about $50.  Well, without going
>into a lot of detail, sitting in my car right now are kites I normally fly
>all the time (i.e. not my whole collection)--retail value: $1600 (kites
>alone).  I have been flying for about two years now, and I've spent countless
>THOUSANDS of hours behind the lines of one of many sport kites.  Although
>I've flown and appreciate single-line kites of all kinds, the ratio of
>hours I've spent on each concern is easily a thousand to one--in favor of
>sport kites.

I'm coming from a similar angle to you - I've got even more 2/4 line kit
in my car and one single-line - Natalie's legs.  Hoever, I expect that as
I  mature in my kite flying (this is only my second season), the balance
will shift towards single.  I am becoming aware that stunt kiting is
the young upstart in kite flying.  There is so much that I want to learn
about working with the wind.  I want to get involved in the action of
individual and team rokkaku, I want to learn the touch to fly indian
fighters, I want to work with the power of big parafoils.  I want to explore
the wonder of building soft flying sculptures.  I want to play with bernoulli
devices and mess around with playsails and arches.  I want to learn more
about building things with realistic movement (running legs,  swimming octopi,
swimming sharks, crawling centipedes).  I want to learn from the history
of multi-celled kites and Cody kites.

I feel that I may soon look back and recognise that  stunt and power kiting
was merely an avenue that lead me into  the world of single-line.

Andrew
--


 
 
 

Competition at the AKA Grand Nationals

Post by Marty Sasa » Thu, 22 Jul 1993 00:47:32

Quote:

>>  4. How does the AKA staff this event?

>>     Your plan for staffing should ensure that no volunteer is
>>     overworked, and that qualified judges should be judging.

>My vote would be to require each flyer to work a shift. You receive the
>benefits of having those people there to staff while you fly; you can do the
>same for others while they fly.

To competitors out there. Do you think this would work? Or would it
turn people away from the competition because they couldn't/wouldn't
work. Of course this would only be done within a set of guidelines,
similar to those that Darrin Skinner mentioned a while back.
--
Marty Sasaki            Harvard University           Sasaki Kite Fabrications

617-496-4320            10 Ware Street               Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
                        Cambridge, MA 02138-4002     phone/fax: 617-522-8546
 
 
 

Competition at the AKA Grand Nationals

Post by Marty Sasa » Thu, 22 Jul 1993 01:01:48

Quote:


>>  5. Should the AKA Grand Nationals be separate from the AKA
>>     convention?

>>     The convention has the annual meeting, the auction, a banquet for
>>     awards, workshops and seminars, etc. The Grand Nationals took
>>     place at the same place and the same time.

>YESYESYESYESYESYESYESYES!  I think that THIS will solve a lot of the problems
>we've talked about here...

One problem about making the AKA Grand Nationals separate is finding a
site for it, and doing the planning and all of that. It would be most
convenient if the site could change each year to share the travel
burden.

Possibly the Competition and the Convention could overlap slightly,
the Convention running from Wednesday to Saturday, and the Competition
running from Saturday to Sunday or possibly Monday. Those who were
interested in both could stay an extra day or two. How does that
sound?

Another problem is making the Grand Nationals important. When Dan
Prentice established the "All American Championships", he downgraded
the AKA Grand Nationals to the status of just another event for
American Kite Circuit points. Any ideas of restoring and/or boosting
the prestige of this event?
--
Marty Sasaki            Harvard University           Sasaki Kite Fabrications

617-496-4320            10 Ware Street               Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
                        Cambridge, MA 02138-4002     phone/fax: 617-522-8546

 
 
 

Competition at the AKA Grand Nationals

Post by Marty Sasa » Thu, 22 Jul 1993 01:08:31

Quote:


>> I don't know if it has ever been done, but it might be time for the AKA to
>> issue a survey of sorts to all it's members and find out *exactly* where the
>> interests lie and chart their future accordingly. The members of the AKA I
>> have talked to (mainly Marty and Brookes) have seemed very interested in what
>> the membership wants, and seem to be very open for suggestions, as long as a
>> compromise can be made for all members.

>Sounds  like  a  good  idea (you want to volunteer? :-). I think something
>like  this  would  also  fit  under  Marty's  "electronic  opportunities".
>Someone  could  put  together  a  (fairly) comprehensive questionaire, and
>store the results in a large database (the  entries  should  be  anonymous
>of  course).  This  would  allow  people  involved in leadership positions
>(both national and regional) to do a better job.

This is a great idea and certainly would fit under "electronic
opportunities". The only problem would be gathering the data and
"feeding" it to the computer. It would take Brooks Leffler years to
get this data in, and he would certainly make mistakes with such a
large volume of stuff.

Perhaps one could buy/rent one of those machines that read
questionaires. Does anyone know where they can be found and how much
they might cost?
--
Marty Sasaki            Harvard University           Sasaki Kite Fabrications

617-496-4320            10 Ware Street               Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
                        Cambridge, MA 02138-4002     phone/fax: 617-522-8546

 
 
 

Competition at the AKA Grand Nationals

Post by Larry Marsha » Thu, 22 Jul 1993 01:17:29


Quote:
>I think Steve has a very valid point. I don't think we can cater properly to
>the members of the AKA unless we have some cold, hard stats on our members. (I
>am using the word "our" as a member, not because I'm in any type of leadership
>position within the AKA... thought I better qualify that.) What kind of people
>are they? How many kites do they own? What types of kites (dual vs quad vs
>single vs fighter?)? How often do they fly? How many competitions or festivals
>do they attend each year? Are they active in competitions or festivals? Do
>they volunteer their services? Are they more  interested in the social aspects
>of events or would they rather have more competition? When they fly, do they
>fly with other friends or family? When coming to competition, do they bring
>friends or family or nonfliers with them? (If there are nonfliers there, it
>might be a good idea to consider some activities there to let some of these
>people get their hands on a kite and get them hooked...)

Looks like the basis for an AKA member survey if I ever saw one :-)  I think
you'd want to expand the competition questions a bit to include things like
How many competitions have you participated in?  What class do you currently compete in and in what events?  Won any? and other such things.

----------

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Competition at the AKA Grand Nationals

Post by Steve Thom » Thu, 22 Jul 1993 02:52:24

Quote:



>>>  5. Should the AKA Grand Nationals be separate from the AKA
>>>     convention?

>>>     The convention has the annual meeting, the auction, a banquet for
>>>     awards, workshops and seminars, etc. The Grand Nationals took
>>>     place at the same place and the same time.

>>YESYESYESYESYESYESYESYES!  I think that THIS will solve a lot of the problems
>>we've talked about here...

>One problem about making the AKA Grand Nationals separate is finding a
>site for it, and doing the planning and all of that. It would be most
>convenient if the site could change each year to share the travel
>burden.

>Possibly the Competition and the Convention could overlap slightly,
>the Convention running from Wednesday to Saturday, and the Competition
>running from Saturday to Sunday or possibly Monday. Those who were
>interested in both could stay an extra day or two. How does that
>sound?

That sounds pretty good: people like myself that are only competitors
would simply fly in for the (perhaps long) weekend...  AKA Conventioners
would stay the whole time, or leave when the the competitions started...
This sounds pretty viable..

Quote:

>Another problem is making the Grand Nationals important. When Dan
>Prentice established the "All American Championships", he downgraded
>the AKA Grand Nationals to the status of just another event for
>American Kite Circuit points. Any ideas of restoring and/or boosting
>the prestige of this event?

I think the invitational nature of this event gives it prestige.  You get
points throughout the season...so you can get into the GN...  The GN is
generally the LAST event of the season (or close to it...).  Actually, I
didn't know that the GN even had Circuit Points associated with it...
I look at the GN as the "Super Bowl" of flying--points don't matter once
you GET to the Super Bowl...

--

_______
Steve Thomas

"Hokey weapons and worn out legends are no match for a good blaster at
 your side, kid."  -- Hans Solo

 
 
 

Competition at the AKA Grand Nationals

Post by Steve Thom » Thu, 22 Jul 1993 02:56:39

Quote:


>>I think Steve has a very valid point. I don't think we can cater properly to
>>the members of the AKA unless we have some cold, hard stats on our members. (I
>>am using the word "our" as a member, not because I'm in any type of leadership
>>position within the AKA... thought I better qualify that.) What kind of people
>>are they? How many kites do they own? What types of kites (dual vs quad vs
>>single vs fighter?)? How often do they fly? How many competitions or festivals
>>do they attend each year? Are they active in competitions or festivals? Do
>>they volunteer their services? Are they more  interested in the social aspects
>>of events or would they rather have more competition? When they fly, do they
>>fly with other friends or family? When coming to competition, do they bring
>>friends or family or nonfliers with them? (If there are nonfliers there, it
>>might be a good idea to consider some activities there to let some of these
>>people get their hands on a kite and get them hooked...)

>Looks like the basis for an AKA member survey if I ever saw one :-)  I think
>you'd want to expand the competition questions a bit to include things like
>How many competitions have you participated in?  What class do you currently compete in and in what events?  Won any? and other such things.

It's worth mentioning that Dave Gomberg told me that the AKA is indeed
collecting stats from competitions--such that the AKA will know the attendance
of competitions, who went where, etc.

--

_______
Steve Thomas

"Hokey weapons and worn out legends are no match for a good blaster at
 your side, kid."  -- Hans Solo

 
 
 

Competition at the AKA Grand Nationals

Post by Steve Thom » Thu, 22 Jul 1993 03:21:26

Quote:


>>>  4. How does the AKA staff this event?

>>>     Your plan for staffing should ensure that no volunteer is
>>>     overworked, and that qualified judges should be judging.

>>My vote would be to require each flyer to work a shift. You receive the
>>benefits of having those people there to staff while you fly; you can do the
>>same for others while they fly.

>To competitors out there. Do you think this would work? Or would it
>turn people away from the competition because they couldn't/wouldn't
>work. Of course this would only be done within a set of guidelines,
>similar to those that Darrin Skinner mentioned a while back.

The problem is that each competitor out there is different, and has a
diferent set of wants/needs as far as working the event goes.

This is to say that you have:

        1. People of modest means, individually flying thier own kite,
           worried about the costs of entry fees, etc.

        2. People that are sponsored flyers, some of which have entry
           fees paid, some even other expenses.

        3. People that have larger expendible incomes, who don't mind
           higher entry fees, etc.

As a cross-section, you also have:

        1. People that find a lot of fun in working an event, and will do
           so without any kind of encouragement, and have lots of time to
           spare.

        2. People that like working the event, but have lots of other work
           to do at the event such as practising, preparing equipment,
           etc.

        3. People that don't like working the event, for whatever reason.

******

One suggestion I brought forth here before is the idea of offering discounts
on entry fees to competitors that also help with the event.  This way, people
would not be forced into doing something that they don't want to/can't do.
However, I think that this system would encourage many more "volunteers"
overall.  I'm sure you could get many people to help with even very small
incentives...

Also, I think that this system would probably open the event up to many
folks out there that have trouble getting past the entry fee (this year's
Berkeley Nationals is close to $100--ouch!).

The only drawback to this idea is it increases the amount of administration
involved...

--

_______
Steve Thomas

"Hokey weapons and worn out legends are no match for a good blaster at
 your side, kid."  -- Hans Solo