Junior prizes

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Junior prizes

Post by alan1nckc » Fri Nov 26, 2021 1:57 pm

At the Nene event this year, on day 1 I awarded the junior prizes as we had always done, to those paddlers whose age was shown as matching the category, i.e. the J16 prize went to the best paddler showing as J16.

This immediately produced shouts of "that's wrong" from some supporters. A rather vociferous discussion afterwards revealed that they were expecting the best under-16 to get the J16 prize, even if they happened to be J12.

To keep the peace the next day I changed to awarding prizes in this fashion. This resulted in most of the J16 and J14 prizes also going to J12 paddlers.


Reading the 2021 BC rules, published in advance of the ACM, reveals the following:

"1.4.8 UK Junior prizes may be awarded in two-year age bands, e.g. J18, J16, J14, J12 etc."

This differs considerably from the wording in 19.8.4, which is the only reference in the 2020 yearbook and which is ambiguous at best, and the new wording in 1.4.8 seems to support my approach.

The new document therefore contains conflicting rules, which needs to be resolved.

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Re: Junior prizes

Post by alan1nckc » Fri Nov 26, 2021 2:51 pm

So having read the slightly revised 19.8.4 and the new 1.4.8 in the 2021 rules, I would suggest that to clarify what I see as the intention of the rules, rule 19.8.4 should be something like:
"In all divisions when there are three or more eligible athletes, Organisers shall provide a prize for the Junior athlete who gains the best score
during the competition in each event and a prize for the best Junior (J16) performance which has not attracted any other prize. Organisers may,
at their discretion, provide a prize for the best J10, J12, J14, Under 23 and Master. Where more than one Junior category prize is awarded, e.g. J16, J14 and J12, then each shall be for athletes in that two-year age band, with the exception that the lowest one shall encompass all bands lower than that. In this example, J12 would cover all athletes 11 and lower in age."

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Re: Junior prizes

Post by Canadian Paddler » Fri Nov 26, 2021 8:24 pm

This was discussed at a committee meeting a year or so ago. The conclusion was
  • National juniors championships are different to others. No j18 competition and prizes are given to those in the age group I.e. 12-14
  • ranking races prize goes to the best paddler under that age so yes a12 year old should be presented with j16 if he is the best under 16.
Your wording does not match the intent or practice at the majority of competitions.
I am not going to check the minutes for the reference or propose any other wording on the night before the ACM I have been, and am still, busy with other aspects and preparations for the meeting.
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Re: Junior prizes

Post by alan1nckc » Sun Nov 28, 2021 4:41 pm

Your wording does not match the intent or practice at the majority of competitions.
I was told in the discussion after the prizegiving that the two-year-band interpretation was more common at Scottish events.

The rule now renumbered as 1.4.8 (which is why I thought it was new) still supports the two-year interpretation. The clash between that and 19.8.4 needs to be resolved.

The current wording of 19.8.4 is illogical, as it seems to say that the Junior 16 is for anyone under 16, while J14, J12 etc are a 2-year bands. It either needs to ber "Under-X" for all or "JX" for all. And 1.4.8 needs revision in the former case.

Unless this gets resolved, to avoid arguments in future, I will stop awarding J14, J12 etc.

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Re: Junior prizes

Post by Steve Holmes » Sun Nov 28, 2021 5:47 pm

My only experience of Scottish races was Tully div 2 this year where on the Sunday, in K1W, the J16 and J14 prizes both went to 10 year olds.
I think you’re reading the “2 year age bands” the way you want to interpret it. I interpret it as saying that, for example, a J15 prize shouldn’t be awarded.
Chloe was 10 for most of this season and won 4 junior prizes - a J12, a J14 and 2 J18s. J12s also appear on the “league” tables on the website for J14, J16, J18 and U23.

Rule 19.4.8 also states that organisers should publish in advance how junior prizes should be awarded. I don’t believe this was done at Nene?

Kids have an amazing sense of what they perceive to be right or wrong. Straight after your prize giving on the Saturday Lara, who finished 8th and was awarded the J14 prize, went straight up to Chloe and gave her the prize. In her words “You’re younger than me and came 4th, this should be yours.” A 15 year old generally doesn’t want a prize if they were beaten by an 11 year old who didn’t win a prize.

If you choose not to award more than one junior prize in future, that’s fine, as long as all the kids know where they stand going into prize giving.

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Re: Junior prizes

Post by Mike Mitchell » Sun Nov 28, 2021 6:48 pm

Its much easier to do Junior prizes as Under an age. So Under 18 goes to the first person under that age.

Then Vets is Over 35. :D

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Re: Junior prizes

Post by Dee » Sun Nov 28, 2021 7:42 pm

The majority of clubs do award the junior prizes such that J18 is for the first paddler J18 and under, J16 is for the first paddler J16 and under (excluding someone who has got the J18 prize) etc.

However, there are one or two that have gone with age bands (limiting the lower age), but because this is rare it is likely to cause upset. I've been in the parental position when a child feels hard done by because they have missed out due to this method.

A work around is 1st Junior, 2nd Junior etc - but this can exclude that 10yr old that did an exceptional run but was out-powered by the teenagers. On the other hand it is a bit more flexible if the junior ages are unpredictable.

Of course you will always get someone who is put out. I seem to remember (many moons ago) having a J12(?) who came last (or last but one), but because they were they only one in the age group thought they should be entitled to a prize. At a 3/4 maybe this is fair enough, but at a div 1/2 this was a tad ingenuous
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Re: Junior prizes

Post by alan1nckc » Sun Nov 28, 2021 8:12 pm

My main point is that the rules need to be clear and unambiguous. These are not, hence the scope for disappointment and disagreement.
We had an enforced 2 year break frojm running events, first due to a site double-booking, then Covid. It seems that during that 3-year period the general interpretation has changed, because we've used the age-band method since the mid-1990's without any previous issues.

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Re: Junior prizes

Post by JimW » Thu Dec 02, 2021 12:50 am

I've only been involved since 2015 and I have seen both of these systems used across lots of events and locations, it is not a new phenomenon, I think what is new is paddlers and parents are starting to work out prizes for themselves rather than waiting to find out at prize giving.

There is an instruction somewhere (might be organisers pack rather than rule book, but probably in the race organisation section of the rules) that organisers are to publish in advance which prizes they are intending to award (if there are competitors for them obviously). I don't think it says we have to explain how we are going to determine prize allocation, but I would suggest that if your club's prize policy is published with the prize list in advamce of the race there should be no argument, no matter how other organisers interpret it. Few organisers actually publish a prize list, but no-one complains about that.

I don't know if Dave has finished getting the prize allocation routine in Simply Slalom working yet, if so that would be one way to ensure consistency across events if that's what people want, although I remember you have your own software so it's not actually going to help you unless Dave shares the algorithm with you.

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Re: Junior prizes

Post by CeeBee » Fri Dec 03, 2021 11:26 am

Many years ago when I was first involved in slalom, there were lots of older paddlers and very few young juniors. The events were often won by paddlers aged18+ and so it was good to have junior prizes. These were predominately for J18s, J16s and J14s but usually those in J18 won J18 as they were better than J14 paddlers.

The sport has changed as equipment has got better and boats have got lighter and at many of the lower division events it is almost all younger juniors. We are finding it difficult to retain 14-16 year olds that start as they are being beaten by our younger juniors.

So, I've changed my view on giving the prize to the best J18 who would be any age to it being better to give the prize to the best J18 who isn't J16,J14,J12 to encourage later older starters.

We've had instances where 1st J18,1st J16,1st J14,1st J12, have all gone to J12s and so 1st J12 is actually 4th J12.

For national age group championships it should always be the best regardless who wins the prize and they can then win multiple awards so they could be 1st J18 and also 1st J16 and win both perpetual trophies.

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Re: Junior prizes

Post by alan1nckc » Sat Dec 04, 2021 9:06 am

<quote>We've had instances where 1st J18,1st J16,1st J14,1st J12, have all gone to J12s and so 1st J12 is actually 4th J12. </quote>

That's exactly what happened to us this year - of the J16, J14 and J12, five of the six went to J12's.

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