Standardising Age Groups (Closed for comments)
Comments about this discussion:
After running jumps at ECU 2017 and then helping out with them at unicon 19, it occurred to me there should be standard age groups.
Why should it be up to the director to decide the age groups every time? Especially when they always end up being the same anyway. When I tried to have slightly different age groups for ECU in 2017 everybody lost their minds.
I think it would be great to have standardised age groups across all disciplines, I'm not sure if that would have any knock-on effects in other disciplines I don't care about but it would at least be great to have standardised age groups across urban.
To be completely honest, I hate age group medals altogether and would actually prefer if we just had Junior (0-15) and expert (16+) groups in urban, but I don't know how realistic that is to implement without a major riot.
I wasn't sure where to put this, so I put it in the section most relevant to me.
Jenni and I talked about the exact same thing in Korea.
I think standardised age groups should be a thing and I think 2 or 3 should be enough. Something like Junior (0-15), Expert (16+).
And Jenni and I talked about adding Senior (40+) or something similar even if there are only a few riders above that age it might encourage more senior riders to still compete considering the fact that you are at a considerable disadvantage as a 40+ human competing against a 20yo.
I don't know how far you would go with these, Edd, but I would even apply them to street and flatland. (meaning -> adding the senior age group since the other two already exist)
I think this makes sense
I don't totally agree with the 40+ category, okay it's nice but competition wise does it make much sense ?
What i mean is, looking at the only few "older riders" that are competing i don't think any of them is craving a podium or a medal. I don't know much for all the other urban sports, are there some 40+ or senior categories ?
I agree on the junior one though cause it does indeed motivate the riders and pretty much every other sport has a junior category
I think there does need to be a senior category. I know the older guys really enjoy competing and I think not having a chance against the expert group would put them off.
Plus I'll be there soon!
I also agree that it would make a lot of sense to clarify (or at least standardise) age groups not only in Jumps, but preferably all urban events. I do think it would be great to have Senior category as well, however I would set it 35+. Just like Edd said, I also see a solid group of "older" riders at Unicons having great fun competing and earning age-groups medals.
I think it is also important to clarify what happens if there is a rider who is over the Senior category age limit, but on the level to actually compete for podium in Expert. Shall we allow Senior riders to choose to compete in Expert if they want to? In that case of course they would only be awarded in Expert. I think yes, what are your thoughts?
Great idea, Mark.
I like that way. They can choose if they go for age group award or Expert. The same should apply to junior then, in case we discover a crazy talent.
Wouldn't it work the same as at the moment?
E.g. The top 6 riders from across Junior, Expert and Senior would go through to finals.
That would apply to trials (and jumps?!) What about street and flatland?
Anyone who has organized trials knows that adding junior male, junior female, senior male and senior female finals is suicidal.
Same for high jump. I don't think adding finals is the answer. I think other categories than expert, shouldnt get finals. Their prelim score should be their finals scores as they are only age group.
Expert finals to find the best in the world, and jr and senior get age group medals. Works for trials and high jump.
Works for street too. Flatland is a bit different as it's a very different competition format, but could still work.
I didn't mean have finals for each age category, that would be a madness.
I meant if someone in the junior or senior category was in the top 6 riders overall, they would go through to the final. Exactly the same as the current rules, just there would only be three age groups.
I totally forgot street and flat are a different competition format to trials and jumps, but it would be nice to try and make standard age groups work with those too.
I agree with you Edd. The best overall riders advance to finals in trial. Whatever age group they may have started in. What about awards for those riders? They would need to get the smaller age group award and the expert final medal though in case they make it to the podium.
For street and flatland: If we have junior finals/battles and decide for a senior category, should it have finals/battles too? Or get rid of finals for everything except expert, but I feel like junior battles are a great way for the young riders to learn how it works for later. Might it be okay for expert and senior to be joined in finals? So if a senior rider makes it into the top-whatever-number of riders he joins them. Otherwise the prelims are the final results for that age group. Adding senior male and female battles could add a lot of time to the competition.
This is the jumps discussion anyway. Not all members of flat & street will see this, but all member of trials are the same as jumps. So we can focus on jumps/trials here.
Flatland is a different format, but street is way more similar to trials format, than flatland. We can create an age-group discussion in the flatland/street committee.
For trials it would be clear to me, everyone competes together, like we usually do. Then there is trials finals. Then there is age group medal ceremony, whatever sub-division we decide get their medals. Then trials finalists get their medals.
If a senior or a junior competitor made it into the final and or podium, it doesn't change anything. They can have overall expert champ AND junior age group medal. This way of working would mean there are only ONE world champion, and then age group champions.
Eg for trials:
15-35: adult (whatever the name)
Then a trials finals podium could be:
1st place "name" 36 years old
2nd place "name" 15 years old
3rd place "name 19 years old
the 19 years old gets
3rd place overall, 2st place 15-35
the 15 years old gets
2nd place overall, 2nd place 15-35
the 36 yers old gets
1st place overall (world champ), 1st place 35+
i agree with you Emile, your example is perfect.
but i personally would change one the years:
the reason for that is that in austria and germany the step between 15 and 16 is quite major (drinking alcohol, smoking) and also in other Sports 16 is the age to become an adult.
I really like the idea of standardized age groups for trials, speed trials and jumps. I really like the kid, junior, expert, senior category.
I had to cut many age groups because there were not enough people... I had a 0 to 18 medal in speed trials... It's messy and something I wish I didn't have to manage with everything else going on when organizing trials.
I agree with the two last post, although I wouldn't use "expert" for the 16-35 because in other categories expert refers to overall champion categories. It's stupid but it would because confusing, as a junior or senior could be an expert winner, if you know what I mean.
I agree with most things here. As I see it, nothing really changes other than we'll have fewer age groups and they'll be fixed for every trials/jumps/whatever-other-comps we decide that run to IUF rules.
The only thing I would change is the Expert/Senior ages. I feel like once you hit 30 there is a major change in athletic ability. Of course there are exceptions, but in general I feel like 30+ is fairer. I also think that it's better calling the 16-29 group Expert and the finalists are Elite.
My perfect groups would be
Athletes are in their peak from ~23/25 all the way to 35 not only 30. I would definitely make it 35 or 40.
Once again, because of the use of expert throughout the rulebook to design world champions/finals, I once again would refrain from using it to define an age category as it only would create confusion.
So should we propose the following set age groups for all urban events?
You have the same problem as before if you use "advanced" as if you use "expert".
Then what do we call it?
Adult is fine for me.
In other Sports it's usual to call adults like this
Source: Sports Climbing/Race Skiing
So how can we implement this categories in ALL urban events?
By passing the same proposal for all sub committee. I'm not sure I'm for ADDING age categories for trials, streets and flat. That means 6 more medals per age group you add. Although cleaning up sub committees that already have a bunch of age group, I'm all for.
So just to bump this to where we were here:
Should we go with something like this?
The best riders of all age group advance to the finals and compete for the Expert title.
To avoid medal madness, the age group podiums get small awards like ribbons or similar.
Preferably without a individual official podiums ceremony for each podium, because that is so freakin time consuming.
I think Adult should be used for age bracket not open. Open is the "overall winner" like if a 15 year old wins trials overall they technically win the "open" event as well as their age group.
I think open is usually for any competitors who want to compete for the top prize so technically you could have juniors winning the open event. That would mean we need to use adult for 16-34
The age group problem is not unique to Urban events and is something that needs to be tackled for the Rulebook as a whole. I agree 100% that age groups should be standardized and this is actually something that the IUF wants to have a separate subcommittee for. (This was actually attempted in 2017 but fizzled out.) Feel free to create a proposal for this topic for Jumps and to vote on it, but know that an age group subcommittee may go on to change the age brackets to match more globally.
The Venue rule under event organizer rules of jumps is blank. delete it, add categories section and basically use the wording from street.
13D Event Organizer Rules
The host must designate the following officials for Jump Events:
• Jump Director
• Chief Judge
13D Event Organizer Rules
The host must designate the following officials for Jump Events:
• Jump Director
• Chief Judge
There are no mimimum categories other than male and female. If there are less than three females or less than three males overall, the male and female categories are merged. If age groups are included they will be set as 0-9 (Kids), 10-15 (Junior), 16-34 (Adult) and 35+ (Senior).
Note that any IUF competition is subject to Part 1 of the Rulebook "General Rules and Definitions", specifically 1C.7 which is about combining age groups in case some age group has too few participants.
I agree that the subject of Age Groups should be regulated globally for all IUF-sanctioned competitions. That is not to say that the same Age Groups should apply for every competition, but there should be a common framework.
In fact, I was asked by the IUF in 2014 to chair an Age Group committee to discuss this subject and make recommendations. A committee was actually in place. But unfortunately, IUF did nothing in terms of platform support (like the platform we are discussing the Rulebook now), and the committee effectively couldn't start. In 2016 a similar effort was started up once more, and this time the discussion platform did function. However, there was not enough activity and it "fizzled out" as Scott aptly stated.
My personal assessment is that such a global framework will not come about any time soon, and thus that discipline-specific age groups have a raison d'être for now. But once a global age groups framework is in place, this would probably override existing age group rules such as the one that Steven suggests above (if it were to be agreed upon in the first place).
(I am not going to comment on the bigger issue of age groups in the whole rulebook...)
I cannot agree at all to your proposed age groups. Below is some historical data from the past two Unicons.
Some historical data:
At Unicon19 (2018), there were zero riders in the 0-9 age category who competed in Trials.
In the 10-15 category: 2 females (7 signed up), 6 males (10 signed up)
According to the rules (1C.7) about combining, this would mean that the youngest riders would end up in the 16-34 age group.
16-34: 55 males (72 signed up), 13 females (25 signed up)
35+: 7 males (10 signed up)
At Unicon18 (2016), there were more younger riders
0-9: 9 males, 1 female
10-15: 50 males (55 signed up), 13 females (13 signed up)
16-34: 152 males (194 signed up), 36 females (47 signed up)
35+: 22 males (29 signed up) 0 females (1 signed up)
Connie, I cannot follow your conclusion that with the proposed aged agroups, in Unicon 19 the youngest Trials riders would have ended up in 16-34.
1C.5 is not explicit about whether you use the number of signed-up riders, or the number of actual riders. But in practice, age groups are fixed before the competition, so you have only the number of signed-up riders to work with.
For Unicon 19, both male 10-15 and female 10-15 had enough signed-up riders to have their own age group. All in all, in both Unicon 18 and Unicon 19 not a single rider who actually competed would have been in the "wrong" age group. Or do I miss something?
Klaas - It really depends on when the people dropped the competition.
I made a mistake -- for the males, it would have been 0-15 at Unicon19.
The combining rule is not clear as to WHEN the combining must happen. If the 5 females in the 10-15 age group who did not compete dropped before the age groups were final, then the age group would have been 0-34 for Females when the competition happened.
I do not want to discuss Rule 1C.7 here.
The issue at hand is why the breakdown as proposed?
Why not have more age groups in the area where there are the most competitors? Over 50% of all the male competitors are in the 16-34 category and over 75% of all the females.
The question of when combining must happen, belongs in the Main Committee, as it is about Chapter 1.
The question of making more age groups around "denser areas" of the age spectrum, would best be discussed in a specific Age Groups committee. But since this doesn't exist and Jumps made their own age groups, the latter could be discussed here for now.
With a fixed (smaller) number of age groups there is the capacity to not merge age categories. I am not sure how that would be implemented in all urban events though. Trials, Jumps and Street is fine they all compete together and they can be given age group placings on their result. Flatland would be slightly more messy as you all competitors from kids/junior would be in the same category. If those categories dont do battles however you could still place the age groups appropriately.
My assumption was that the general age breakdown proposed was more based on the (not scientifically checked) perception of where physiological advantages/disadvantages + years of practice advantages would be more likely to occur, not to split the competitors into even groups.
0-9 Kids (There is likely to be very few riders in this age category who have gone through puberty and gain a physiological advantage because of this)
10-15 Junior (If competitors began riding at 6 years old then a large amount of these competitors would have ridden and practiced for significantly longer than the previous age group. Also likely to have more pubertal kids here)
16-34 Adult (Competitors are more likely to have been riding for a significant amount of time here and further through/completed pubertal development)
35+ Senior (generally athletes have passed their physiological peak and it is harder (physiologically not skillwise) to compete against 25-30 year olds here.)
I am guessing the reason that no one thought to put in multiple age groups between 16-34 age bracket was because they were considering this for the world championships and many (male) athletes in this age brackets are only focusing on winning the overall prize.
My Personal opinion: I think our world championships has too many pat on the back medals as it is. This encourages every rider to take part in multiple events despite many having never trained them or taken part in them previously because you could win an age medal.
For a world championships this is a massive drain on volunteers time and makes events go for much longer than they should. That's my opinion on why a world championships doesn't need to have age groups like 16-19, 20-22, 23-25, 26-30, 30-34.
A person age 23-25 can still compete, they just don't get an official medal saying they are the best 23-25 yr old in the world (which may only be 32nd in the world when comparing all age groups)
Most of what you wrote would fit in a more fundamental discussion in the Age Group Committee.
As long as that doesn't exist (let alone: has come to conclusions), I am fine with the age groups for Jumps as suggested, including the large 16-34 group.
I agree with Steven on the age groups he mentioned, we have been discussing these for a while now in the urban committees.
I think these 4 age groups would work very well for Trials, Speed Trials and for all Jumps events. Flatland and Street are different, I personally like having only two age-groups there (Junior Expert and Expert).
Thanks for the data from previous Unicons Connie, that is very useful to see this.
Closing this discussion as there is not a proposal.