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TeeCee

Submitting a program list for AKA Ballet routines?

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I fly with a very talented young guy who would do extremely well in AKA or STACK competition, but does not currently compete in those formats. We were talking during a break the other day, and what he said gave me an idea or two.

A specific item that came up is that most people doing the judging at our events do not know even half of the most advanced tricks by sight. This is probably a valid point; up until yesterday I myself wouldn't have known a ladole if it snuck up and bit me. If I was on a judging panel and a competitor used a ladole, I would most likely not give that flyer full credit for what appeared to be an oddball yo-fade. Is that fair to the flyer? No. Is it the flyer's fault I'm not current on newer tricks? No. Why then should he/she in effect be penalized for raising the bar?

Submitting a program list before a ballet routine a la figure skating would be a step in the right direction. If I know prior to a routine that I could see a superstart/JL/backspin/roll-unroll opening combo, either a rolled-up multilazy or Insane later, a taz machine later still, and an inverse rolling susan to a 2-point landing at the end, then I can evaluate each trick for its own merits and thus the overall performance instead of being taken by surprise. I don't think there's a need to make a hard and fast requirement for sticking to the script; the flyer should be able to substitute or delete tricks on the fly pending wind conditions. All I'm interested in is being able to give a routine the score it deserves, and if I know what to look for I can do that.

TeeCee

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I think submitting a trick list in AKA comps is energy better spent holding trick workshops, and educating the judges on what they see... Or, organizing group discussion and education at events.

Most judges today know a hard trick when they see it... If indeed a flier considers this to be a problem, they might consider bringing it up at the pilots or pre-discipline meeting to briefly describe the 2-3 more obscure tricks.

Bottom line (I know this young man)... Tricks are not the focal point.

Learn what the judges are looking for, and fly within that range... I do everything from Comets to Wap Do Waps, multiple roll ups to Jacobs Ladders, and have never run into a problem with the judges scoring me well - because I also deliver precision, content and program, which is what 85% or more of the score sheet is for.

AKA comp is not Tricks Party... That's why the latter was created. :)

Pardon my reaction, but I'm tired of the occasional flier trying to validate their poor competition results by saying "the judges didn't understand"... Learn what they do understand, and if you fly a really great routine on the whole, even with an unknown trick or two, you'll do well. :matrix:

Sometimes it takes several competitions to educate the judges, and acclimate them to certain maneuvers or tricks... Key example... Years ago, I started doing a tip drag / axle / tip drag / axle / tip drag / tip stab... The first 3-4 events, they kept giving me deductions for hitting the ground! So what? After those initial events, they started to get it... I didn't complain, I just kept demonstrating the skill until it stuck.

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Fully agreed that tricks aren't the focal point of an AKA ballet, nor should they be. What I AM interested in is raising the taxonomy from knowledge to evaluation, so that if flyer A and B each perform an element cleanly but B executed cleaner and faster there should be no doubt among the panel who's 15% was better.

My favorite Lombardiism; "Perfection is unattainable, but if you chase perfection you'll catch excellence." When we have our judge hats on, we're just as responsible for knowing what 100% of that 15% is supposed to look like as for the 100% of the other 75%.

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It seems that teecee's original post makes it seem as if this is MY opinion.

My opinion differs, and the discussion we had was not related to just tricks. It was related to judges 'understanding' of kite flying in its modern state at the time the competition is taking place.

Whether that's someone doing a 6 step ladder or a backscade mult do waply yo.

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It seems that teecee's original post makes it seem as if this is MY opinion.

My opinion differs, and the discussion we had was not related to just tricks. It was related to judges 'understanding' of kite flying in its modern state at the time the competition is taking place.

Whether that's someone doing a 6 step ladder or a backscade mult do waply yo.

This isn't any reflection on you at all. We talked, and this is all purely my own idea resulting from it.

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This isn't any reflection on you at all. We talked, and this is all purely my own idea resulting from it.

I understood nothing less... But, I also have some sense of the dissatisfaction you do share.

What about what I had to say about educating the judges by way of workshops, etc... And about "training" the judges over the course of a season?

What you have to remember is that we're dealing with hobby-oriented people for the most part... Not professionals per se. In my 16 years of flying, I've seen all kinds of innovations that people didn't understand... Slack line tricks aren't so unique in that regard.

Giving them a list of tricks still won't help them recognize what's happening... You have to put in the selfless time, by way of educational programs before and after comps.

I for one have been spending time with club members and workshops here in the Northwest, working towards that end... And increasing the overall skills of our fliers.

I'd be curious to hear direct responses to the body of my first post.

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And that's fair.

Judge Workshops are a splendid idea. Let's take our judging responsibilities as serious as we take our flying/competing and have a judge group hug prior to the season; not in conjunction with a comp, but seperate. Judging should be proactive instead of reactive; regardless of where our judges come from, we should all know the highest standards of every component/facet of a discipline and challenge the competitors to rise to it and not the other way around. I know your own example of schooling judging panels was in a crash/tick world, but do you realize how ludicrous it is that you as a competitor should have been doing that over 4 events?

There's something else that's been bothering me though, and as long as I have the floor I'm gonna use it.

If Dave Gomberg's proposal to introduce kiting at Beijing in '08 flies, I submit that we are already WAAAAY behind the power curve in caliber of both flying and judging. I really want to be wrong about the judging part, I really do. I'll apologize ahead of time for my statement and also request to be educated on why I may be wrong. But on the flying part; I think if we don't do as much as possible NOW (which is already too late) to crank up our game at all levels, we are gonna get our butts handed to us.

THAT'S what's really bothering me.

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Judge Workshops are a splendid idea. Let's take our judging responsibilities as serious as we take our flying/competing and have a judge group hug prior to the season; not in conjunction with a comp, but seperate. Judging should be proactive instead of reactive; regardless of where our judges come from, we should all know the highest standards of every component/facet of a discipline and challenge the competitors to rise to it and not the other way around.

Again, I'm not debating the sentiment... Sorry to toot our horns here in the Northwest again, but the Northwest Sport Kite League has an annual meeting every January which is attended by a large majority of our pilots and judges... At this meeting, we play trick videos, talk about some of the new stuff that's happening, and how to recognize it.

What you experiencing is a local issue, and needs to be addressed in a local fashion... Start with the Southern states, and do exactly what you're suggesting... Make it an early year "kite party" and meeting!

I know your own example of schooling judging panels was in a crash/tick world, but do you realize how ludicrous it is that you as a competitor should have been doing that over 4 events?

Not so much... I also have been flying long enough to remember how when us Westies would go East, and have Olan Turner and his old school judges knock down anything that wasn't to a classical tune.

I dunno, call me odd... I don't mind doing the time and not being a "complainer", because I've found the education sticks more when it's not a sore spot... Just like at work, demonstrate and fly so damn well that the boss (or judges) can't deny what is going on for long.

If Dave Gomberg's proposal to introduce kiting at Beijing in '08 flies, I submit that we are already WAAAAY behind the power curve in caliber of both flying and judging. I really want to be wrong about the judging part, I really do. I'll apologize ahead of time for my statement and also request to be educated on why I may be wrong. But on the flying part; I think if we don't do as much as possible NOW (which is already too late) to crank up our game at all levels, we are gonna get our butts handed to us.

You know I love ya TeeCee, so never question our level of discussion here... Your interest and attention to these things is appreciated, and felt.

Have you been to any international events?

All of Asia and South America is still in the major growth stages... As is much of Europe... France, the UK, Germany and the Netherlands are probably housing the largest percentage of good sport kite talent, per kiting head.

Europe also has dedicated judges... The judges don't compete, and the competitors don't judge... They have many of the same complaints you are voicing, because the judges aren't always in touch with developments in the field... However, the fliers still dictate the judging standards... It just takes the "yearly roll", or assimilation, which takes time.

It takes a few events, it takes patience and a good attitude... Otherwise, you'll burn out... I've seen it happen countless times. Those that have survived for 10-15+ years are those who just keep after it, keep redefining contemporary flight, and go out of their way to educate others without calling dirty foul. :)

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John.. you must remember not everyone gets to goto events as 'easily' as you. I do understand you do a lot of (wonderful and appreciated) work to make the events you do BUT...

For instance, for me to goto an event that means I have to take off a weekend (busiest time for me), drop a few hundred dollars, find ways for my wife to either come (very hard on weekends) or get her travel to work since she doesnt drive... and on and on. It takes a good solid week of fulltime planning to make an event and event then i cant always figure everything out that needs to be OR afford it.

So I go through all this trouble, as im sure MANY kite fliers do, to find out that my routine was shot down because the judge didnt like the music I flew to or because the word 'sh*t' was in the music or because I flew a kite that directly competes with the main kite of the company the judge is sponsored by?

Sorry, but that doesnt fly (pun intended). I dont beleive it has happened to me, but the thought that it will eventually terrifies me. And if it did happen once, I can surely say I'd never goto another kiting event again.

I guess that's the best I can state my feeling on the subject overall.

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So I go through all this trouble, as im sure MANY kite fliers do, to find out that my routine was shot down because the judge didnt like the music I flew to or because the word 'sh*t' was in the music or because I flew a kite that directly competes with the main kite of the company the judge is sponsored by?

Sorry, but that doesnt fly (pun intended). I dont beleive it has happened to me, but the thought that it will eventually terrifies me. And if it did happen once, I can surely say I'd never goto another kiting event again.

I think I can cover this one.

All three of the examples you've stated have absolutely no bearing on how your ballet is judged; I recall that these are some specific items that new judges are admonished to ignore because they are subjective. I can even feel certain that if someone DOES let such criteria creep into their decision-making process and word gets out, that person will not be judging again.

To address each item individually:

From day one we are told to fly to the music WE like, music that has opportunities in dynamics, tempo changes, etc. Your choice of music isn't being judged, how you fly your kite to INTERPRET the music is.

Judges are also told not to consider lyrics used in a ballet track, only the music. From me to you; if you've got a good song in mind where the instrumentation can stand on it's own, edit out the vocal track. Objectional lyrics should however be avoided as a courtesy to spectators (both of them :) ).

Comps are not turf battles between sponsors, they are neutral territory. A truce is in effect. Picture this; you would fly NIB, so your panel might be made up of the Machine, Viper, Sea Devil, a couple of STX2.3's, and a tastefully modded Nirvana. You (Air Ouvre) might be flying AGAINST CdC, Prism, BMK, NTK, Premier, and maybe a borrowed Instigator. If the wind is approaching the high limit you might even be flying against a Mirage. The only thing you need to be concerned with is you flying your kite better than everybody else does theirs. THAT'S what counts in the judge's eyes; not what you fly but how you fly it.

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Thanks TeeCee, I'm in agreement.

Those three examples are real fears, of things which aren't real... Except in rare cases, so infrequent as to not be worth chewing my lip over as a competitor.

If you put in some reasonable thought about your music choices (language, context, opportunities)... You have nothing to fear, except fear itself.

For goodness sake, have some fun!

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From day one we are told to fly to the music WE like, music that has opportunities in dynamics, tempo changes, etc. Your choice of music isn't being judged, how you fly your kite to INTERPRET the music is.

Just stumbled onto this thread and thought I would comment.

Your above statement Terry pretty much sums up your original question IMO. It is nice if the judges understand the trick flying, but the most important thing is do the tricks fit the music? If they do, and the judges can see that, then it is really a moot point whether they know the name of the trick or not. On the other hand, even if they fully understand a trick, but it is a gratuitous trick and has nothing to do with the music, then they should be tagging you for it, not rewarding, no matter how good the trick was. For the longest time some judges thought my 540's were some sort of axel, but it was ok because they fit the music :)

See ya,

Bill Rogers

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What about letting the judges know your routine? You guys are against that? You have no fear that a person is attempting one trick and another one is accidently performed?

Do the judges have a list of tricks and how they stack up in degree of difficulty? Do you look at each trick as being just as difficult as the next and all it takes is practice time to accomplish it?

In the past it was easier to judge duals. Now I would never judge dual at this point due to tricks.

Off topic-did I hear the N.W. Sports league is folding?

BB

Penny

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Nope.

The League is Healthier than ever.

Our biggest problem right now is that we have more organizers that want to have events than we have time slots.

Don,

NWSKL Pres. :)

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eek.. It can't fold now.. i just learned how!!

well ok.. i am learrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrning.... and i have alot to learn yet ..

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At ease, all, the prevailing opinion seems to be that it's not important what you do trickwise, only that what you do looks like it belongs there.

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