Vets' Points

General slalom chatter...rant about the bad, rave about the good
Nick Penfold
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Joined: Thu May 27, 2004 8:21 pm

Vets' Points

Post by Nick Penfold » Wed May 15, 2019 11:27 am

There are a lot of Vets who can readily get the maximum 250 points by going to a Div 3 race, and even 500 at a Div 2. The same paddlers get only 100 – 200 points at a Div 1 or Prem race. Vets have to choose – have fun on big water, or chase points at Div 2s and 3s. So the rankings bear little relation to ability, yet we give a national trophy to the Vet with the most points. This is nonsense.

I can see three possible options:

Option 1
Abolish Vets points altogether, on the argument that Vets have opted out of serious competition and are there for the fun of paddling. This would mean abolishing the trophy, too, and I don’t expect the idea to be popular.

Option 2
Set a “quorum” of 3 (as at Div 4 races). Provided that Vets are quorate, work out points among the Vets themselves so one gets maximum points (250 at a Div 3) and the others are scaled as for any other event. If there are four Vets at a Div 2, one gets 500, one 375, one 250 and one 125.
Problems with this: not enough races are quorate, and how do you handle K1Ws and C1s?

Option 3
Compute points by factoring Vets time+penalties before comparing them with the mainstream. It would take a bit of research to get the factors right, but it might look something like this:
Divide time+penalties by 1.2 at a Prem
Divide time+penalties by 1.1 at a Div 1
Divide time+penalties by 0.9 at a Div 2
Divide time+penalties by 0.8 at a Div 3

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Re: Vets' Points

Post by JBS » Wed May 15, 2019 1:51 pm

Firstly, I don't see a reason to have separate points for C1's and K1's in Vets.
Personally, I find it reasonably straight forward to get 500 points in my C1 at a Div 2 but a proper struggle in K1. So far I have managed it 3 times out of four but only in one of those would I have been the outright winner in Div 2 so my feeling is they are probably ok as they are.
I also got well beaten by a lady Vet in two races..... :oops:
Last sesaon I was making 900 plus in Div 1's in C1 but got more for a Div 2 than I did for the semi final at the Open, but I was there for the fun of racing LV as opposed to points.
With the new system many Vets see it as a good way to race at a venue where our our kids are racing but still have the opportunity to race on bigger water without having to commit to doing several races to stay in that division.
However, I can not deny that racing for points and an end of season ranking is still motivating. In essence, we're too old to race the kids in divisions but the kid in us still wants to race :D

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Re: Vets' Points

Post by harratts » Wed May 15, 2019 3:37 pm

My view is that recent changes to the various Vet.'s divisions have resulted in many, many, positive outcomes which should not be thrown out with the bath water of any further changes.

I too would agree with Joel and be against getting rid of Vet.'s Ranking Points and the awarding of any end of season Trophies believing that many of us current Vet.'s do still like to compete against each other but can no longer compete with the bright young things who are constantly coming through our sport.

Where I would disagree with Joel is that I would not wish to see K1M, K1W, C1M & C1W classes all rolled into one Division. In the same way we would not even contemplate doing this for the various other none Vet. Ranking Division's.

I would also caution against any system that proposed to introduced a quorate / none quorate element into working out Vet.'s Ranking points post event. As we found in the C2 class when such a system was in place previously, it had a massive impact on points secured at a limited number of events which then skewed the final ranking positions even more that the current system for Vet.'s appears now to be doing.

The basic issue with the current system is that posting a run time that would finish at the top of a division (say Div. 2 for example - which would result in 500 ranking points being awarded) is much easier to achieve than finishing mid table in the next division up (Div. 1 in this example) which would be needed to secure the same amount of 500 ranking points.

This doubling up of available ranking points as the divisions change may be the issue that needs to be looked into as that also has an impact on all paddlers who enter as Paddle-Up's.

Although I accept that in previous years the various end of season Vet.'s Trophy winners may have been decided by which of us go to the most Division 2 races, I do not think that this will be the case when this season finishes or indeed in future years as we are seeing much better 'mature paddlers' declare themselves as Vet.'s as each season ends.

I can think of several paddlers who are currently ranked in Division 1 and even the Premier Division who if they chose to declare as a Vet. would secure much better points than the 500 maximum currently available at a division 2 event.


Steve Holmes
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Re: Vets' Points

Post by Steve Holmes » Wed May 15, 2019 3:45 pm

We could use an alternative system for working out times to compare with the class?
Ever paddled for GB? x1.1
Ever paddled in the Olympics? x1.2
Divide by 1.1 for every grandchild/major operation/free bus pass you have.
I feel sure we can think of more if we're inventive.

I'm happy with the current system, but then I don't race at Div 1/P at the moment and I don't care about a trophy. I'm really enjoying the supportive, fun atmosphere in the vets this season and that to me is more important than points and trophies.

Nick Penfold
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Re: Vets' Points

Post by Nick Penfold » Wed May 15, 2019 6:34 pm

It might be worth looking at the effect of the tentative factors I suggested above. Here are the points for two races well attended by Vets, as they are and as they would be if times were factored: one Div 1 event, and one Div 2. I'd say they move the points in the right direction.


Too much? Not enough? My gut feel is that the adjustment at a Div 2 is about right, but the Div 1 factor might need to be a bit more generous. Here's the effect if you use a factor of 1.15:

Last edited by Nick Penfold on Thu May 16, 2019 9:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

Mike Mitchell
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Re: Vets' Points

Post by Mike Mitchell » Wed May 15, 2019 9:59 pm

I belive there should be Vets points, with a trophy and the Best Vet should get it.

There should also be a Mens / Ladies K1 and C1 with possible C2 Classes.

But there douse need to be a points system which rewards paddling at the higher Divisions.

At Grandtully Prem where was just One Vet and he got something like 30 points.

So the easiest solution is to have something we all understand and don't need to stand on the Bank with a calculator or smart Phone to calculate.
I would say something like the minimum points for competing at a Div 1 equals 500.
The minimum points for competing at a Prem 501.

Easy to understand and would make it a lot more competitive.
Thats if Vets are Competitive :D

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Re: Vets' Points

Post by JimW » Thu May 16, 2019 1:06 pm

I am very much in the racing on big water for fun camp, and I am quite happy just seeing if I have beaten other vets in the race, or any host division paddlers by comparing results myself.

I think it is nice that there is a trophy but I don't expect to be in aposition to win it, so I'm not too bothered about season points myself. I am satisfied amusing myself by having one of the lowest average scores in the vets division, despite having won 4 Prem races already this year.
I know there are several vets who will convincingly beat me everywhere and some I can beat some days and not others.

I would need to think about the various proposals (if I can ever find enough time), but need to be careful that whatever system doesn't result in me outscoring better paddlers with my scores based on being slower than all of Prem K1M. As I say, I have raced 4 already and have 4 trophies. Twice I was the only vet, and twice I narrowly beat Dave who was paddling C1, next week I will be the only Vet in Prem (I believe entries have closed) and one of about 7 in div 1 - some of whom will probably beat me on probably a similar course.

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Re: Vets' Points

Post by WindsorCC » Thu May 16, 2019 4:00 pm

I certainly wouldn't want to see vets scrapped, mostly because it's such a nice atmosphere on the start line. People take it to varying degrees of seriousness, but everyone is up for a chat and some banter before the start.

I think the factor on time thing was an issue a few years ago as me and Dave were both getting 1000 points at every race, so there was no differentiation. It worked well last year in C1M Vets, as a few of us were regularly getting top third/quarter finishes against the div 1s, but I do appreciate it didn't really work in K1M as it's a far more competitive field.

The thing that worked really well was merging the divisions as that improved access both for div 2/3 vets wanting to paddle up, and P/1 vets wanting to paddle at div 2/3s.

I think I'd be with Steve on not lumping all classes together as vets. I really enjoy racing as a C1M against the K1M vets, but I can understand how that might not be what everyone wants. I did think that having points just by position within the class, but that only works if you group all of the boat classes together as otherwise it'll never be quorate.

I do agree that getting half-way up the main field at a Div 1 should carry significantly more points than getting the equivalent of first at a Div 2, so I think it probably does come down to the time factor again as Nick has suggested, and with more work around exactly what that factor should be (again, as he's done).

Interestingly this year at Div 1s it looks like many of the vets are well down on where we were last year at the same races. Certainly Dave and I were a couple of hundred points per-race down. If it was just me then I'd say it's just me getting slower, but as it seems to be more widespread I think it's perhaps down to the main classes getting much faster. That suggests that if we have a factor, it probably needs to be reviewed each year to keep it at the right level.

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Re: Vets' Points

Post by Jasper » Fri May 17, 2019 5:57 am

Surely the current Vet rankings do reflect ability.

The ability to select the most suitable level of race to enter for that persons current level of ability.

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Re: Vets' Points

Post by rose » Fri May 17, 2019 3:11 pm

Just an idea, if we say the average vet is 30 per cent slower at prem and 25 per cent at div 1; so the results at prem score with will be less 30 per cent, then compare result to the points of prem; and at div1 score less 25 per cent then compare result to the points of div 1; and in div 2, 3 and 4 as points gained against the division. (I thinks I have slowed down at least this amount but could possibly get 500 points at a div 2).

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Re: Vets' Points

Post by oldandslow » Fri May 17, 2019 10:28 pm

I wasn't going to respond to this discussion after all my ideas were shunned last year but I can't resist! I do like Steve Holmes' ideas the best but failing that, how about at a div 2 you get your points plus 250, at a div 1 you get your points plus 500 and at a prem you get your points plus 1000. If there is more than one paddler on maximum points then the first paddler gets maximum points and others get less. At a div 3 250, 240,230 etc. At a div 2 500, 490, 480 etc. (Perhaps the same could apply at the bottom too, somehow)

I really don't like Nick's divider. I am going all out to beat the div 3's and if I'm going to get even less points at a div 2 it really isn't worth paying the entrance fee and I'll just do officials like I did at Matlock. (And that really confuses Simply Slalom!)

Life is what happens when you're making other plans.

Nick Penfold
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Re: Vets' Points

Post by Nick Penfold » Sat May 18, 2019 10:20 am

I'm afraid I don't like the Steve/Donna suggestion because it implies that you get 500/1000 points just for getting in your boat and drifting down the course. Surely some sort of performance has to be required and rewarded.

A compromise: factor at Prems and Div 1s, leave it as a straight comparison at Div 2s and Div 3s. If we get the factors right, at least that will give paddlers a fair chance of getting more points at a Prem or a Div 1 than at a Div 2 or Div 3.

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Re: Vets' Points

Post by rob12 » Sat May 18, 2019 1:10 pm

We could leave the points and the whole vets set up as it is, but bring back the Vets div 2/3 trophy for points scored in div 2 & 3. Then a vets trophy for P/1. There wouldn’t be anything to stop you competing in both categories. Or paddling for fun and not many points!

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Re: Vets' Points

Post by WindsorCC » Mon May 20, 2019 8:19 pm

Sorry Donna, I’d agree with Nick, you shouldn’t be able to get more points at a div 1 by turning up and making it to the finish line than getting 2nd or 3rd at a Div 2.

Nick’s compromise of a factor at prem & 1, but direct comparison at 2/3 might work. It’s a big jump in competitiveness, in particular in K1M in Div 1, so even getting out of the bottom third should probably carry more points than winning a div 2, rather than having to get into the top half.

There are enough vets who’ve now raced in both div 1 and div 2 (and some also in Prem) so I’m sure we could do some analysis to work out where the balance should be.

Maybe it should work out as 1st Div 2 = 2/3rds of Div 1? So, around 2/3rds of the way up at div 1 gets you 500, top third gets you 1000.

Not sure how to deal with Prem, as just making top half is a major achievement, so should probably earn 2000, maybe 3/4 of the way gets 1000 (so you’ve beaten a good number of proper prem paddlers).

Those are just rough guides to give us some idea as to where to put the multipliers.

The other question is are those factor the same for all classes, as K1M seems to be much more competitive, so should that have a greater factor, but then are we constantly fiddling with them as the competitiveness changes both in the main class, and within vets? Arrrggghhh!!!

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Re: Vets' Points

Post by djberriman » Mon May 20, 2019 9:11 pm

Here is an idea

You are ranked as division 'x'. We can fairly easily work out a starting point for each vet.

If you achieve 3 max points in that division you are 'promoted' to the division above (in season).

You are only eligible for prizes in your ranked division or above..

So this year I would be a div 3 vet however after my 3rd one, I would now be a div 2 vet (and ineligible for prizes at div 3 events). I would then start next year as a div 2 vet.

If I then got 3 max points at div 2 I would be a div 1 vet etc.

Next year I start as a Div 1 vet thus can't get prizes at div 2 but say I race just at div 2 and don't achieve 3 max points so I become a div 2 vet and thus eligible for prizes from that point on.

Would complicate prize giving a bit but we are all honest aren't we?

May need some tweaking/different boundaries but I think something on this idea may achieve a fairer ranking system and stop people like me nicking all the prizes!

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