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Beer/Open League racing - looking for rules/formats/information/ideas

ScotsSkier

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As the thread title shows, we are looking at organizing a Beer/Open league later in the season. Would be great if any of you could provide samples of information/rules of any leagues you are involved with or compete in so we can refine our plans. Thanks!
 

pchewn

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JTurner

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Ski Challenge which is the biggest league in the Midwest, and maybe the country, uses Nastar style handicaps for scoring. It’s based on 10 person teams which makes the social aspect a fun part of it. Points are awarded to each skier for the equivalent Nastar medal they would earn. Top 6 on each team get added up and highest team points wins. Ties are broken by going to skier 7,8, 9, and after that the number of points the team cumulatively exceeded their medal cutoff handicaps by. They set two courses and everybody skis each once, with the best run HC counting for the night. You could do it with smaller teams, but the team aspect is fun.
 

sparty

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Killington:
They used to have "Skier A" and "Skier B" categories per gender instead of age categories, but it was self-selected and there was some grumbling about people sandbagging their way into Skier B; it looks like they've resolved that by using age-based categories.

Bolton Valley:
Handicap time adjustments: https://www.boltonvalley.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/CRL-Handicap-2023.pdf
At one point, BV had reverse handicaps (penalties) listed on the sheet for both NCAA experience and World Cup experience, but I think once they did that, the ex-WC racer who caused the rule to be put in place got grumpy about it and stopped coming.
 

Tony S

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They used to have "Skier A" and "Skier B" categories per gender instead of age categories, but it was self-selected and there was some grumbling about people sandbagging their way into Skier B;
My (ex) league did the same thing, with the same result, years ago. I'd say it doesn't work. They ended up with straight Nastar scoring. Teams had a cap of seven. The sum of the top five (of seven, if everyone showed) times for the night comprised the team score, I think.

Separate rankings for men and women would seem obvious. For a really big group it probably is, or maybe if you live in Amazonia. For my group of 50 - 100 racers it was always kind of weird because we never managed to get more than about 5% women. So plan accordingly.

One thing that our league struggled with was getting the scores out promptly after the races were done. They NEVER had them available on the first night. And even on subsequent nights there would often be snafus. I always found that disappointing because when you're sitting around in the bar afterward with your team, what do you want to do? You want to chew over the results! Maybe they thought delays were good for the drinks business, but if so it was a miscalculation. On weeknights people just need to get home at a reasonable hour.
 

KingGrump

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For my group of 50 - 100 racers it was always kind of weird because we never managed to get more than about 5% women.

Do you really find it perplexing?
 

sparty

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I understand the motivation for having a "B" category--it's in everyone's best interest for strong skiers with no real race background to have a good time and be able to make a meaningful commitment to the team score.

It just gets incredibly tough to figure out who should be a slower skier in A vs a fast one in B. I think we had a couple while I was in Killington who were running almost fast enough to be top 10 in A. One of the ones who got a lot of crap was a freeride coach with a fairly high level moguls background; he had zero race experience, so he followed the general guidelines and signed up for skier B.

Turns out that he really should've been in A.
 

Erik Timmerman

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We have one of the oldest beer league series in Stowe. 4 person teams, best 3 finishers count. It's a handicap race with a bit of a bonus for the top finishers so those zero point skiers aren't a total drag on your team. Often the season is won by a team of newbies since they have so much room to improve.
 

Tony S

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Do you really find it perplexing?
The perplexing part was that the women's results page was kind of pointless. It might have made more sense to have unisex standings.
 

Tony S

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We have one of the oldest beer league series in Stowe. 4 person teams, best 3 finishers count. It's a handicap race with a bit of a bonus for the top finishers so those zero point skiers aren't a total drag on your team. Often the season is won by a team of newbies since they have so much room to improve.
Our series was always won by the geriatric team because a) the Nastar age handicap, b) they practiced a lot because they were retired, c) they all showed up every time because ditto.

And yes, the team standings took handicap into account somehow.
 

Johnny V.

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Other than the first year or two I raced back in the early 2000s, our league has used the NASTAR age groups/ handicap system for results. Raw times count for age group winners and overall, but the team points reward older not quite as fast skiers (especially women) over the younger somewhat faster ones. We used to have a more equitable team selection, recently it's been who you can put a team together with-obviously the fast people try to make a "ringer" team. Especially as NASTAR went on line, we had the results quickly, although with the results on everyone's phone it kind of took the suspense out of the official announcements.

Not sure what will happen this year.other than we will have it. NASTAR fees have gotten prohibitive and local league sponsors have dwindled, with the result of loss of most of the food and prizes for the afterparty. The requirement to belong to Outside + to get the NASTAR results is a deal killer for many of us, as there's no regular NASTAR at our hill, and the number of participating resorts seems to get smaller every year. As long as the results are on Live-Timing we'll be fine although we'll lose the NASTAR team points for team scoring.
 

sparty

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Red Lodge, Montana also does place points within category, but category selection for multi-category equipment/gender combos is based on the first week's results. Sandbagging may come into play (as would luck if you're near a category break in ability and happen to have an off day on the first race). In the true spirit of beer league racing, fifth place can earn you a fifth as well.

 

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