Posts Tagged ‘scoring’

Get Involved at a Barefoot Tournament

Thursday, January 10th, 2013
dave miller barefooting
Do you have any idea of the work required behind the scenes to put on a barefoot tourney? Until now you just showed up, hung out with your buddies and fellow competitors, skied your event, went to the banquet (if there is one) and then went home and trained for the next tournament. Sounds fun, right? Well, let’s go over a few of the things you may not know that have to happen in order for you to compete in that tournament and give you some ideas on how you can help! Remember, everyone behind the scenes is a volunteer and does this for the love of the sport!

Just to get going you’ll need a Local Organizing Committee (LOC), a boat and a place to hold the event. The LOC can be one person or a group of people but you’ll find most LOC’s are parents, current skiers, past skiers or ski club representatives that all have one thing in common…a love of barefooting! The LOC will need to come up with a location to hold the tournament and in the last few years that has been no easy task since most of us ski on public lakes and rivers and don’t have the luxury of living on a private ski lake. There are many more boaters, wakeboarders and fishermen on all the public waterways around the world and it may cost a significant amount of money to rent a private lake or obtain a permit to make your public waterway “private” for long enough to hold your tournament. Either way there is often a cost
associated with getting a place to ski.

You’ll need at least one boat but it is recommended that you have at least two for a local tournament. The rules dictate exactly how many boats you must have for Regional, National or World level tournament and it is always more than one. We all have our favorite boats to ski behind but in this era where there are very few new barefoot boats out there you may end up skiing behind a boat you have never seen, skied behind or even heard of. Don’t worry, you won’t be the only one wondering what the wake will be like and you need to be thankful that you even have a boat available for the tournament. There are still a few “promo” boats out there whose owners are required to bring their boats to local tournaments but please keep in mind that these are privately owned boats and need to be treated with respect. As a matter of fact, if you see the boat owner be sure to thank him/her for bringing the boat because there is no doubt it cost them money to have the boat there so you can even ski in the tournament!

OK, now we have a boat, some water and skiers…now we need boat crews!

First thing you’ll need is a driver. You’ll find many of the drivers are also current or former skiers and know exactly what you’re going through on the start dock. At many local tournaments there may only be one or two “rated” drivers and you may even be asked to fill in as a driver from time to time! Often times you’ll end up driving your parents or being driven by your parents so it may feel just like “training”. If you feel you have the skills to be a tournament driver, or want to learn, just ask one how they got involved and they’ll be happy to share it with you and get you the right paperwork. In the US you start as an Assistant Driver with an application, become a Regular Driver with experience and training and then ultimately you become a Senior Driver after years of driving. The Senior Driver is equivalent to a Level 1
driver according to the spec of the World Barefoot Council. Next you’ll need some judges and guess what…in the US if you are an Open division skier you are automatically an Assistant Judge….so why not put that rating to use? At most smaller tournaments we are able to run the event with just a few judges but things run much smoother and easier with multiple judges and every year it gets harder to get enough judges to make a tournament run smoothly. You’ll find that many judges are also current skiers, former skiers or parent of competitors. Think about this, there is no place better to see and size up your competition than from the boat, so why not get started as a judge? The ratings are similar to the driver ratings and you may already be an Assistant Judge and not even know it.

After you ski you’ll wanna know what your score was, right? Well the boat judges can probably give you a rough idea if time and the tournament rules allow a provisional score from the boat but if they don’t you need to have the run scored by an official called the Scorer! If being in the boat as a driver or judge isn’t your thing then maybe Scoring is. The job of the scorer is extremely important at a tournament and just as any other official they are usually very shorthanded. The Assistant, Regular and Senior ratings are just like drivers and judges and scorers are vital to making the tournament a reality.

So you just went out and skied what felt like the best run of your life and you know it may be a record for your division, your country or better yet a potential World Record! Good thing we were able to get someone to film your run right? The videographer in the boat is a very important member of our crew

and without them and the hard work they do there would be little chance of anyone other than the spectators and boat crew seeing your great run. Just like a judge…there is no better way to see and size up your competition …than from the boat!

OK, so we’ve covered the basics of what is required as far as “manpower” or “womanpower” to make a barefoot tournament a reality and we’ve even skipped a few so we have more to write about later but I want you to think about a couple things. First, the next time you are at a tournament…… local, Regional,
Nationals or Worlds… the officials and think of all the hard work all of them are doing for YOU. Be sure to personally thank them for their hard work, desire and dedication to the sport so you may enjoy it. Second, If you are sitting around and wanna get a good look at your competition remember the best place to do it is from the boat! If you are an Open skier you are already a judge. If you aren’t a judge then offer to be one! If you are good with a camera offer to be a videographer. If you like driving then offer to be a driver. We need your help to make the tournament go smoothly and you’ll be amazed at how much you can learn about your favorite sport if you get involved!

Dave Miller
WBC Level 1 and ABC Senior Driver