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Old 11-18-2010, 09:35 AM
Mark Allen Mark Allen is offline
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Default New Runoffs Qualification Rules

Anyone catch in sportscar that there are new criteria for 2011 for qualifying for the runoffs? Wondering what everyone's opinion is. Personally I don't like it.

I didn't like the 2010 rules where it was "come one come all" as long as you got your 4 national finishes you were welcomed to the runoffs. This didn't reward any particular level of achievement and took a little shine off of the event IMO.

But the new rules don't seem to be of any benefit. What they do seem to force is more participation and more races from guys that are 4th in points and below in their division.

For those who haven't seen it, here are the new rules. You can qualify for the runoffs in one of three ways:

1) Finish in the top 3 in points in your division
2) Finish in the top 50% in points country wide
3) Reach a pre-determined level of points (33 for AS) which would have reached the top 50% in points during this season (2010)

What this does, IMO is make it tougher to qualify for the runoffs from 2009 and previously when it was top 10 in your division +the current national champ. Think about it, if you want to qualify in 4 races you need to average a 2nd place finish. In 6 races you have to average a 4.5th place finish to qualify.

Look at it this way, we have some divisions in the country with lots of AS cars, and some with a few. For those with a few, nothing has really changed. For those with a lot, things have gotten tougher. Example: During the early parts of this decade the old CenDiv was very very competitive in AS. Lots of good cars and drivers and a guy who finished 6th in the CenDiv was a top 10 car at the runoffs when we had 40+cars showing up.

Per the new rules, we could have some guys who are pretty damn fast and certainly runoffs worthy but maybe consistently a 4th place car to Wallace, Hosni, & K. Smith. That guy will have to go run 6 races to get enough points to qualify or go cherry pick a lightly attended national. Either way that 4th place car is going to have to run more races to qualify. As the price of entry fees has gone up and the expense of travel, gas, etc has gone up this will close some people out.

I guess I just don't get it. What was wrong with top 10 in division? Hell, if they wanted to make it more restrictive, then make it the top X% of cars participating in the division, at least that would make a little more sense and would provide a sliding scale based on the number of cars in division.

I could see happening next year what happened this year. This fall we had a great Regional race at Grattan with 5 AS cars in attendance, guys had decided not to go to the runoffs and everyone showed up for a double regional. Actually the 5 cars made were all cars that showed up at the Grattan national earlier in the year.

Am I alone in thinking that the new rules only force more participation but really don't do much to improve the quality of the runoffs field?

My opinion, I'd prefer we go back to the top 10 rules.

Mark
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Old 11-18-2010, 11:01 AM
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Scott Schweitzer Scott Schweitzer is offline
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Default Points for beating more cars

Mark,

I was thinking the exact opposite for us in the Cendiv Gret Lakes area. the points for option 2 include an additional point for every competitor you finish in front of (up to 10) PLUS the std 12, 9, 7, 6, 5, 4 , 3, 2, 1 per your finishing position. This will reward you when you race against a bunch of cars. Say you finish 5th but 10 cars are there, you actually get 10 pts, which is 1 better than someone who cherry picks a 2 car race.

You still need to finish in the top 9 but a hard fought 8th in a field of 15 cars will be a bigger reward. This allows the guy that would have been 11th in the points in a tough division that could potentially run top 10 - 15 in the runoffs (back when there was more than 15 cars) the opportunity to go. It rewards the racers in tough divisions instead of penalizing them.

Hopefully with the reduced number of events we are going to see some bigger fields again. Earning a spot in the old Cen Div or NE at the runoffs used to be a pretty big deal, and some fast cars had to stay home just because their division was highly competitive. My hope is that this will help get more fast cars into the runoffs.

Either way we will be back at it in May for the double at Grattan. See you in the ghetto.
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Old 11-18-2010, 11:12 AM
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Scott Schweitzer Scott Schweitzer is offline
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Default 1 more point

When they first released this for input I went through all the classes super sweep points and there was no one that ran the minimum 4 nationals that wasn't above the 50% mark across all classes except the big 3 (SRF, SM, FV). And even in those classes more cars got to go with these new rules, than when it was restricted to just the top 10.
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Old 11-18-2010, 11:12 AM
King Matt
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Quote:
Am I alone in thinking that the new rules only force more participation but really don't do much to improve the quality of the runoffs field?

I agree completely. The change really achieves nothing other than change for the sake of appeasing some misplaced criticism of the changes for last year. It certainly does NOTHING to increase the "quality" of the field, because the fact is and has been for a long time that cheap points are pretty easy to get if you are willing to travel around to get them. What they are still missing is any concept of relative performance against the field you regularly compete against. There are plenty of classes and divisions where there isn't consistently an average of three cars per national, so top 3 in division means squat in many cases. All you have to do it look at the national participation numbers to see this. Yet in other classes, it's actually very difficult to meet any of these new standards. So all that will really happen is that some quality competitors will be driven away.

If the goal was to increase quality or performance, it should be something like the top half of the cars per class/division that compete in X number of nationals in that division. If your division has 10 cars that meet that criteria, 5 can go. If your class has 2, then only one goes.
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Old 11-18-2010, 11:37 AM
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Scott Schweitzer Scott Schweitzer is offline
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Default National Points rules

The points will be distributed as follows at each National Club Racing event:
- Base points per the GCR (12, 9, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1)
- One bonus point for each starting car a driver beats (capped at 10)
- A driver may count his/her best seven races regardless of Division

Matt,

This structure does reward you for racing more competition it gets away from division specific limitations.

If you pull off a 9th place finish at the sprints in FV (quite an accomplishment) in a 20 + car field you get 1+10= 11 points towards your 33 required to meet criteria 3 on the invite requirements. That 9th place finish now carries more weight than a 2nd place out of 2 car finish somewhere else. You are rewarded for seeking out competition and racing. Seems like the whole point to me.
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Old 11-18-2010, 11:38 AM
Mark Allen Mark Allen is offline
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Scott, if the points for option 2 includes additional points for the cars you finish in front of then I didn't catch that and it makes a huge difference. Thanks for the clarification.

Mark
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Old 11-18-2010, 11:41 AM
King Matt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Allen View Post
Scott, if the points for option 2 includes additional points for the cars you finish in front of then I didn't catch that and it makes a huge difference. Thanks for the clarification.

Mark
It does, but keep in mind that it's basically negated by option 3, which sets a minimum number of points needed to qualify regardless of the top 50 percent. So to earn 33 points, you could go run a couple of nationals where you are one of only 1 or 2 cars in class and earn most of the points you need.

I just don't get what all the monkey motion is about. In what way, shape or form were the 2010 Runoffs devalued compared to 2009 by the change in requirements? 2010 drew about the same total number of competitors overall, so obviously not much really changed.

Last edited by King Matt; 11-18-2010 at 11:48 AM.
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Old 11-18-2010, 01:43 PM
KW78
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I think it is a good idea, and I think it is a work in progress. Something must be done, because I am the epitome of the cherry picker getting to the runoffs.

I qualified for last years runoffs on 1 set of leftover tires from 2006... think about that.

With my qualifying issues, the first 90%+ driving laps all year for me in AS was at the runoffs green flag. I hope this rule does a lot for racing in the RMDIV. If you need to cherry pick points, come on out!

If you're fast enough to be at the front of a large competitive field, you're qualified for the runoffs, if you're in the back but practice more with more races, you're qualified for the runoffs. Both scenarios should make a higher level field at the runoffs.

Plus, since the points system is giving out more points, I expect the bar to raise from the 33 point level for 2012.

SIDE NOTE: It doesn't matter so much in AS because we don't have enough cars at the runoffs YET, but I wrote a letter for option 2 to be the point standings that determine the first day's grid order at the runoffs.
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Old 11-18-2010, 03:28 PM
King Matt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Schweitzer View Post
This structure does reward you for racing more competition it gets away from division specific limitations.

If you pull off a 9th place finish at the sprints in FV (quite an accomplishment) in a 20 + car field you get 1+10= 11 points towards your 33 required to meet criteria 3 on the invite requirements. That 9th place finish now carries more weight than a 2nd place out of 2 car finish somewhere else. You are rewarded for seeking out competition and racing. Seems like the whole point to me.
That's all true, but it's still trumped by the guy who runs four races and ends up third in a division with three cars.
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Old 11-18-2010, 07:08 PM
kbsmith1 kbsmith1 is offline
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Default

I don't get the problem that SCCA is trying to solve with the change.

It's not as if most of the classes at the Runoffs are oversubscribed.
Until that happens, it seems counterproductive to try to make it harder
to enter the Runoffs.

I think it would make sense to to accept every single entry
from any driver that had completed a minimum number of national races.
And then once the field was "full" by some measure, to use any runoffs
qualifying rules to bump people out of the field in favor more qualified
entrants. Given that very few fields would still ever be full, anyone
with minimum numbers of races could enter if they wanted to.

This seems to maximize paying entrants while also ensuring that quality
is as high as reasonably possible.

I think the idea of placing the first qual grid based on super-sweep points
then rewards (a little) the people with lots of entries/finishes/points.
Also, it's worth pointing out that tow fund bucks are also based
on points within division, another incentive to do well in division.
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