U.S. Scale Masters

USSMA General Discussions => Flightline Chatter => Topic started by: samwright on Wed, 01/02/13, 12:33 PM

Title: Pre-Qualified Clause in New 2013 Competition Guide simply wrong!
Post by: samwright on Wed, 01/02/13, 12:33 PM
I am writing my complaint about the qualification carry over clause in the new 2013 Competition Guide.  I am hoping that there are some supporters of my disdain for the prequalification clause in the 2013 Competition Guide, and I expect the flak from the same guys that have an answer for every complaint.

I have always been a firm beleiver, that you as a contestant should always re-prove your mettle at each event. You received your award and press for your win that you deserved at the Championships. No one can take that away from you, ever!
I obviously beleive a past winner should enter a  new qualifier or Championship with a clean slate, just like the new guy approcahing scale competition for the first time.  If you are in deed that good, and win again, great, but what if you can't?  Is that fair to a new guy who outflew or beat your pre-qualified static score?  What about the Life Qualification? What are we thinking?  Who is going to keep track of that and what is the point if the winning life qualified guy simply quits due to old age?

What is the incentive for a new competitor regardless of the class to compete against a bevy of pre-qualified pilots?  I beleive the new competitor would feel more compelled to enter a qualifier or Masters knowing that he is going up against the best, but they have to outfly or out static him to win.  No prima donnas, and a clean slate for every qualifier and masters, period! After all, are we not trying to grow the organization by opening up to Pro-Am and Sportsman?

Look again at Top Gun since USSMA has copied all their classes, why not the policies?  There are no pre-qualifed or Mr Top Gun's from the previous year receiving a free ride.  None!
Yes, I know it is Frank's deal and his rules, but it works, and has for 25 years with  upgrades to keep it fresh. Maybe we need to disban the  current structure and politics of the USSMA and look at a new format.         
The USSMA worked well when Harris was running it, his way and his money, but it worked and  he built the organization to a recognizable scale program.
Title: Re: Pre-Qualified Clause in New 2013 Competition Guide simply wrong!
Post by: Mitchell Baker on Wed, 01/02/13, 02:00 PM
Hi Sam,

Thanks for the post.

There has always been a pre-qualified clause (at least since I have been involved).  It has been expanded a few times.  When I first got involved, only Expert and Team top 30% were pre-qualified for the champs, provided they attended a qualifier during the year.  Then it was expanded to include all past Grand Champions, in an effort to get some of them back into participating.  I would have to do some digging to see where this change proposal came from.  It's more an effort to get more numbers than anything else.  IMHO..  I am more against this than for it.  I believe that one should qualify for the champs.

Title: Re: Pre-Qualified Clause in New 2013 Competition Guide simply wrong!
Post by: Randy Warkentin on Wed, 01/02/13, 03:20 PM
I guess I am confused a bit Sam. My feeling was that USSMA is trying to increase participation by allowing a previous contestant to be already qualified since he did the year before. Like you not sure  that it is needed since with 2013 instead of the the 1/3rd qualifying it is now by a minimum score amount which makes more sense to me when it was brought up to me. Even though they are pre-qualified they have to still attend a Qualifier if they want to go to the Champs which means that the Qualifiers are still being supported. Also though they are pre-qualified they are no better off at the Champs than a brand new competitor. They have to go through the same lines as everybody so there is no advantage one way or another. As far as Top Gun goes I can only go by what I have been told but my understanding is that to Qualify all you have to do is put in a request to Frank with a pic  or pics of your plane and then he decides if you can come or not. Not really apples to apples. My feeling was that USSMA was trying to increase competitors without loosing quality. We can only wait for 2013 to be over to see if that worked or not but I am at least happy to see them trying. All in all I think that more competitors will like the new way than not but we will see. Looking forward to 2013.

Randy Warkentin
Title: Re: Pre-Qualified Clause in New 2013 Competition Guide simply wrong!
Post by: Mitchell Baker on Wed, 01/02/13, 09:49 PM
I will also add, that the pre-qualified is an incentive, a reward.  Not sure how much of one it is now, but before do good at the champs and you will get invited back, repeat name recognition.  As I said, I'm not 100% behind the everyone participating is qualified idea, but if it can help get some more people to qualifiers and eventually to the champs with quality planes, then it can't hurt over all. 


Title: Re: Pre-Qualified Clause in New 2013 Competition Guide simply wrong!
Post by: Mike Barbee on Thu, 01/03/13, 04:08 PM
I agree, with you. Even at TG you must submit your entry each year if not done you are not in if late you are not in in a sense that is Frank's qualifying. I say if you win the Champs you are pre qualified next year just you, in each class. If we let more pre qual. if will decrease the pilots at the qualifiers greatly, then the host clubs will not be rewarded by the support in entry fees and spectator appeal. I think if we tweak the qualifier requirements by scores like mentioned before we can increase participation at all the events. The best thing we could do is have the Champs at the same eastern venue every year. Historically all the east coast or midwest champs have been better attended than any west coast events. Does anyone have any data? I am working on some. Harris Lee early on use his invitation as a qualifying requirement, my first invitation 1985 I had only flown in one contest in Ky. don't even remember how I finished but I know I didn't win but I got invited to the champs by Harris. Lets keep this simple we loose people when we complicate and start changing. I don't think this change will bring more pilots to the runway.
Mike B.
Title: Re: Pre-Qualified Clause in New 2013 Competition Guide simply wrong!
Post by: Mitchell Baker on Thu, 01/03/13, 04:13 PM
These are good points, but a little late for this year.  The guide is published.  If we want to take back anything it will need to be submitted via the change form and addressed for next year.  --Mitch
Title: Re: Pre-Qualified Clause in New 2013 Competition Guide simply wrong!
Post by: Randy Warkentin on Thu, 01/03/13, 06:44 PM
Like Mitch says done for this year but for me not that big a deal. It only counts if you go to the Champs. How many from the West go to the East and Vice Versa? Maybe 5 on a good Championship usually less so it really will not make a difference for most. The only way you get an automatic invite is you have to of attended the Champs the year before. Also you have to attend a Qualifier the current year for the invite so the Qualifiers are still protected but again really not much of a worry since most can not attend the next year anyway do to the length in travel. As for more attending in one area or not can not say without numbers in front of me but I know we had 42 in Fresno for 2011. I will be surprised if the turnout is not even better for San Francisco in 2013 but we will have to see.
Title: Re: Pre-Qualified Clause in New 2013 Competition Guide simply wrong!
Post by: Mel Santmyers on Fri, 01/04/13, 11:26 PM
I think Sam is correct in that overtime this ruling would be an issue not necesisarily this year or even next year but long term for sure. I think most have agreed here that it will not last however the book is here now as Mitch says.  Now it has to be remembered,discussed,voted on etc. etc. at the end of this year.                   PS.      I have mentioned provisional [temporary] rules before in my ramblings as possibly a way to save time and energy on this type of thing.

Title: Re: Pre-Qualified Clause in New 2013 Competition Guide simply wrong!
Post by: rcphotog on Sun, 01/06/13, 04:45 AM
quote from the top of page 5;

"All pilots that flew in the most recently flown Championships event will be automatically qualified for next year's Championships, as long as they compete in one Qualifier before the next Championships, regardless of their placement in that Qualifier".

 ;D ;D ;D ...thank you so much for that!
I needed a good laugh ;) I can't stop laughing!
Who dreamed this up. It's brilliant! ...all I have to do is make it one time to the Championships and ( no matter how well or poorly I do ), I can attend year after year as long as I'm willing to drive across the country to the next Championships. This is great! It will definitely increase attendance at the finals. LOL!!!

ps; PLEASE make it stop.....my sides are hurting. I love the sense of humor coming from the BoD.
Title: Re: Pre-Qualified Clause in New 2013 Competition Guide simply wrong!
Post by: Mitchell Baker on Sun, 01/06/13, 10:01 AM
I don't think it's that bad Ken.  I don't think it should have been changed except to match the score criteria... but as Randy said, there are very few who would be willing to travel to each coast and compete every year.  Really only those who like competing are going to do that, and would be ones who usually qualify anyway.

I really think we are getting away from the "Best of the Best" theme and leaning to "Most of the Most"  The reason our rules are harder than AMA and TG are because of that.  It was suppose to be harder, the scores are suppose to be close.. planes looked at hard, the pilots are suppose to be able to handle the wind in the Advance on up.  IMHO


Title: Re: Pre-Qualified Clause in New 2013 Competition Guide simply wrong!
Post by: Tim Lovet on Thu, 08/29/13, 09:57 AM
I think the two qualifiers in Irving, Texas were two of the largest.  And the one in Gardner, Kansas was also very well attended considering it was in the 2000's after we were already on the down-slide in participation.

I like a centrally located meet so we get both the east and west coast participation.

However, I don't think the locations are killing the Masters; I think it is a general lack of builders and the rule set.  When was the last time someone looked at our rules and compared them to the rules that were around when Harris was alive?

Harris had a vision that a competitor could select a model, 3-view, color profile, etc. and build his dream.  Harris further envisioned that builder could be competitive with his model.  Our static rules judging has evolved into a massive  maze of examining minutiae.  Things such as not having enough documentation if you can't get color docs for both sides, top and bottom, kill the modeler whose dream color scheme is only available in a profile artist's rendition.  I know that it would have pissed me off if I had been the modeler asking our chief judge about this and the reply was, "You could have picked a different color scheme."

I just think we have lost the "Dream" in the quest for excellence. 
Title: Re: Pre-Qualified Clause in New 2013 Competition Guide simply wrong!
Post by: Roly on Sun, 09/29/13, 11:36 AM
Hello All,
I agree with all except for the post by "rcphotog" - disappointing to see.

Sam's original concern has support. One thing to point out is that the way the system for qualifying has worked is that anyone who has pre-qualified goes to the bottom of the list and is counted as the total number of pilots entered into the class. The qualified pilot still has to earn a placement at the event.

I agree that the Championships is a qualifier for the following year only. Lifetime does have a place however there should be guidelines - so one earns it.

Scale Masters has always looked for improvement changes and has a process in place. I have seen many changes over the years since my involvement in 2001. They may not happen overnight however with the right rational ones ideas are usually put in place.

Thanks, Roly Worsfold - Director - NorthWest Scale Aero-Modellers