Focus on… the point system
The point system for the various rankings has been under review for a long time to achieve the best possible result to start with. It might not be perfect yet but a good starting point to validate a fair ranking.
Read more about the individual disciplines, calculations, discards and major disciplines in 2009
One of the major issues has been how to deal with the different freestyle styles of KPWT and PKRA. After long discussions and consultations of the affected parties as well as riders and independent sources, the majority describes the PKRA judging focus being clearly on wakestyle, while the focus if the KPWT judging is more “allround”. The problem was to describe in one word what you have to expect, so all other combinations failed. Until we find something better we therefore call KPWT judging “Freestlye” and PKRA judging “Wakestyle”.
As the judging criteria differ so much we found it worth to award two major disciplines in 2009 with seperate titles. During the course of the year the main focus of the judging sub-committee will be to find a way to unite the two styles into one judging guideline. If this committee, made up from judges from both tours and national associations, come to the conclusion that it is not possible to unite them as they are too different – then be it like that.
The other diciplines are more clear. Waves – should be judged as waveriding and not as freestyle in the waves. Course racing will be accompanied by downwind racing – this is kiteslalom, crossings, long distance, downwind dashes… The definition is all races with an upwind part of more than app. 20% are considered course racing, those with an upwind part of less than 20 % are considered downwind racing. Speed is clear as well, with only one major discipline in 2009 – the standard offshore speed course.
The overall title is determined by a combination of the various disciplines: each rider can bring his individual points from waves, the better result from freestyle or wakestyle, the better result from course racing or downwind racing, and the result from speed into the ranking. But how are the points calculated and how is ensured that the most important discipline, freestyle/wakestyle, is accordingly counted ?
Well, thats quite easy. Each event is graded due to its importance and the price money, beside other factors. The points for each rider are calculated by a confusing looking formula. Let us explain…
While the number of participants on a freestyle event is more or less the same, it might differ on racing events. And of course it is harder to achieve a fifth place from one hundred competitors than from only ten. Thus the number of competitors is considered to calculate the points for each rank. An example: On a continental championship without price money, the base factor is 5. This means, the winner of the event scores 5×100 points= 500 points. With 50 competitors, the second one gets 490 points, the third one 480 etc. On an event with only 20 competitors, the point differences become bigger: the forst one still gets 500 points, while the second gets 475 points, the third one 450 points etc. Sounds difficult, but it is quite logical. We will provide a sample chart later on for your own test calculations.
SO how does this affect the overall ranking ? The higher ranked the events are, the more points you get. Which means that a freestyle/wakestyle events usually is graded as super grand slam with factor 8 or 9, giving the winner 800 or 900 points depending on the amount of pricemoney. A racing event is usually graded factor 3 or 4, giving the winner 300 or 400 points depending on the price money. With a maximum of 7 events counting for each discipline ranking this automatically allows for the importance of each discipline towards the overall ranking. Speed for example with probably only three low graded events will give not that many points and is thus not so important for the overall. Which doesnt mean that this could be the missing points to become the overall champion… The idea behind is simple: to encourage riders which are seriously going for the overall title to take part also in disciplines they are not specialised in and thus bring more interest to all disciplines.
Finally, the discards. We have discussed that for a long time as well, and came to the conclusion that more than seven events are not reasonable. We will see how this works and may adopt it for the next season. For now, we are sure that we have found a good compromise for a fair ranking.