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Old 11-20-2014, 11:23 AM   #391
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Hi. Mainly an off-road racer here but I've been following this thread as I voted for EA. I can't say I have any personal gripes towards ROAR simply because Wisconsin doesn't have a single ROAR affiliated track, so their rules are suggestions but altered to maximize turnout. As a matter of fact, I first joined ROAR because they put a ban on ribbed tires for the SCT classes, which I felt was necessary.

Personally, even though I'm hoping to attend 2015 1/8 Electric Nationals, I would support a qualifying system. As some may recall, there was an opinion piece about big races getting too big, taking too long, etc. Qualifying for nationals would help eliminate that, as you could have a set number of spots. I also can not think of any other championship, that doesn't require you to qualify to be there. I know it's difficult not being a pro/salary racer, but it would probably help add order to the chaos.

I think one thing that would help not only with national events, but also get more membership (both racer and track) would be for ROAR to get more involved on a state level. Have an official ROAR State Championship. Maybe have the top 2 or 3 of each class qualify for nationals They don't necessarily go, but they made the cut and can feel good about it. If you miss the state championship, then attend your regional championship. The details would have to get worked out, but I hope it makes sense.

Finally, I appreciate what the on-road community is trying to do. I tried on-road this past summer and it was really fun. I wish it had a bigger following.
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Old 11-20-2014, 11:31 AM   #392
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Originally Posted by J.Pietsch View Post
Hi. Mainly an off-road racer here but I've been following this thread as I voted for EA. I can't say I have any personal gripes towards ROAR simply because Wisconsin doesn't have a single ROAR affiliated track, so their rules are suggestions but altered to maximize turnout. As a matter of fact, I first joined ROAR because they put a ban on ribbed tires for the SCT classes, which I felt was necessary.

Personally, even though I'm hoping to attend 2015 1/8 Electric Nationals, I would support a qualifying system. As some may recall, there was an opinion piece about big races getting too big, taking too long, etc. Qualifying for nationals would help eliminate that, as you could have a set number of spots. I also can not think of any other championship, that doesn't require you to qualify to be there. I know it's difficult not being a pro/salary racer, but it would probably help add order to the chaos.

I think one thing that would help not only with national events, but also get more membership (both racer and track) would be for ROAR to get more involved on a state level. Have an official ROAR State Championship. Maybe have the top 2 or 3 of each class qualify for nationals They don't necessarily go, but they made the cut and can feel good about it. If you miss the state championship, then attend your regional championship. The details would have to get worked out, but I hope it makes sense.

Finally, I appreciate what the on-road community is trying to do. I tried on-road this past summer and it was really fun. I wish it had a bigger following.
Not every state has an on-road facility .. regions are the best bet. The good thing about Regions is that you really do not need to fly (with a couple exceptions, Hawaii and Alaska) .. they are within driving distance for the most part.
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Old 11-20-2014, 11:43 AM   #393
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We don't have large enough attendance to be able to afford to turn people away right now, which is what would happen if you start making the barrier to entering Nationals higher. I believe that on-road is already more popular at the local and regional level than it is at the national level. By making attendance at regionals a prerequisite for winning nationals, you are essentially just going to hurt attendance at nationals because the folks who couldn't attend regionals will no longer go to nationals. People who go to nationals today, but don't attend regionals, likely have a good reason for doing so (time, money, etc.) It isn't like everyone will just magically find the vacation time and money to attend a race, just because it is now an extra prequisite. As such, trying to force those people to attend regionals in order to 'win' nationals will likely just hurt attendance at nationals, which is something we simply can't afford. Forcing prequisites upon people is never a good thing when trying to improve attendance, and I can see any sort of rule in this vein as being a hindrance far more than a help.Where are we turning people away? If you want to race the national, race it. You can even win the race!!! What I am talking about is that no other form of racing crowns the champ with one race. Why do we? Do we not have to qualify for the Worlds? Don't they have a "world" class of racers and a "open" class for everyone else? Or is it just the ones who qualify for the race?

Unless, of course, you are saying that we should be willing to completely obliterate national-level racing for the sake of improving regional and local racing. I think you are going to have a hard time gaining traction with that. At this point, with the limited numbers we have in on-road today, I think focus should be on improving attendance at all tiers (local, regional, national) and removing barriers to competition. Not obliterating anything, just changing how the crown is applied. And you can not increase the national level of racing without first increasing the local level.



So then make it a season series, where the national champ is someone who performed consistently over the course of the season. Have the races at different venues across the US, and use a points system to track the overall most consistent performer. Crown them the national champion.This was done in the past with the "Triple Crown". The crown was awarded to the racer with the best finishes in the National, Indoor Championships, and one other race that I am forgetting. Worked for a very long time until the National had lost it's appeal.

Hint: This won't work. The US is too big for this. Travel times are too great, airplane tickets are too expensive, and attendance will be low. It works in european countries because of shorter travel times, but it won't work here in the US.

As such, the only option you have is to use the current format, where the fastest guy on that day is crowned the national champ. I see no reason why nationals should be anything different, frankly, and I think adding further prequisites for 'winning' nationals will only hurt attendance.

We shouldn't be trying to kill national-level racing for the sake of improving regional and local racing, and the solution for trying to improve attendance isn't to add even more rules about whether you can compete or not.
Just to make a point. What race is more prestigious? ROAR National Championships, Snowbirds, or IIC? In my eyes, ROAR is last and should not be, since this is how we qualify for the worlds and should be the best of the best, not just who had a good weekend in March.
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Old 11-20-2014, 11:48 AM   #394
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We are talking about R/C racing here. The more classes you have the more winners you have. You would appreciate this- ROAR runs a single 1/8 nitro buggy class at the Nats meaning everyone runs together while one of the largest non-sanctioned nitro races runs 1/8 buggies divided into Sportsman, Open, Pro, Over-40, and Over 40 Pro classes . Racers WANT a lot of classes. The good old days are not coming back.

The regional system can work but like anything else, it takes man power. But this is where the people who don't like what ROAR is dong can make a difference on the regional level.[/QUOTE]


I know Rick, but why does everyone want that many classes? To dilute the talent pool? To make sure they have a A or B-main finish because there is only 10-20 racers in that class? I just don't get it. To me I would rather have 100's of racers in a class than less than 50, in some.
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Old 11-20-2014, 11:49 AM   #395
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IMO National Championship is the highest achievement next to World Champion.

And yes because the tech is usually so solid and the rules are all followed it maybe harder to win.

That does not discount all the other winners from large races. But there is still only one National Champion per year in each class.
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Old 11-20-2014, 11:49 AM   #396
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Originally Posted by J.Pietsch View Post
Hi. Mainly an off-road racer here but I've been following this thread as I voted for EA. I can't say I have any personal gripes towards ROAR simply because Wisconsin doesn't have a single ROAR affiliated track, so their rules are suggestions but altered to maximize turnout. As a matter of fact, I first joined ROAR because they put a ban on ribbed tires for the SCT classes, which I felt was necessary.

Personally, even though I'm hoping to attend 2015 1/8 Electric Nationals, I would support a qualifying system. As some may recall, there was an opinion piece about big races getting too big, taking too long, etc. Qualifying for nationals would help eliminate that, as you could have a set number of spots. I also can not think of any other championship, that doesn't require you to qualify to be there. I know it's difficult not being a pro/salary racer, but it would probably help add order to the chaos.

I think one thing that would help not only with national events, but also get more membership (both racer and track) would be for ROAR to get more involved on a state level. Have an official ROAR State Championship. Maybe have the top 2 or 3 of each class qualify for nationals They don't necessarily go, but they made the cut and can feel good about it. If you miss the state championship, then attend your regional championship. The details would have to get worked out, but I hope it makes sense.

Finally, I appreciate what the on-road community is trying to do. I tried on-road this past summer and it was really fun. I wish it had a bigger following.
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Not every state has an on-road facility .. regions are the best bet. The good thing about Regions is that you really do not need to fly (with a couple exceptions, Hawaii and Alaska) .. they are within driving distance for the most part.
The regional system would be good. In my opinion the ideal situation would be that there would be a regional series would take place at ROAR tracks and the winner the the series would be the regional champion and the results would qualify drivers to attend the Nats (this assuming that the whole things becomes so popular that you needed to limit entries.

ROAR tracks themselves would have their own series to accommodate drivers that don't want to invest in traveling within their own reason while club nights suit the casual racer, newcomer, etc. Ideally the tracks will enforce the rules at all levels so no matter how higher the racer wants to take his hobby, he will be prepared.

Most don't realize that qualifying for the Nats via the Regionals has been done before. Back in the early '90s, off-road was so popular that races like the Nats and Winter Champs (biggest of them all) had entry limits. To get into the Winter Champs you had to make sure your entry arrived on the day the entries opened to be eligible. It was pretty complicated timing everything right!

So the decision was made to use the Region Championships results to qualify drivers for the Nats. The numbers to qualify were based on entry size and region size. And it was modified only. I think there ended up being 200-250 entries total which was nothing compared to 400+ that it would have received.

The idea was abandoned partly because the manufacturers just wanted to attend and not have to qualify drivers. It had nothing to do with a low turnout.
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Old 11-20-2014, 11:55 AM   #397
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J.P. has a good point. Most on here looking at things from an onroad perspective where turnout is way down from a few years ago. Off road regionals and nats are over flowing with entries. For those that have been knocking a qualifying system, for off road, there really probably needs to be one. I like the idea of iether state or regionals qualifying you for the nats.

Grass roots local club racing is where things need to be focused. Bring em in to the local track. Get them hooked on R/C crack and they will invite friends. Then they want more and start to travel to larger races, and eventually the regionals and the nats. This wont happen this year or even the next. It will take time. But a plan needs to be formulated and stuck too.
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Old 11-20-2014, 12:08 PM   #398
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Maybe I'm perceiving this idea from the wrong perspective, but I don't see this scenario helping the attendance at regional or national level competitions. First, attendance at Nationals for the classes with the strongest following carries a prerequisite of attending a regional event. Regional events might incur travel/lodging expenses, which might be enough to deter many participants from attending races held at the regional level. If there's diminished interest in competing at the regional level, the need for membership also diminishes. Fewer overall members translates to a weaker championship pool, which makes the National Championship carry less weight. Looking at the idea subjectively, 11-12 racers battling it out for a Stock title just doesn't seem to have the same level of excitement associated with an event of this perceived magnitude. This system also gives the impression of being exclusionary; an attribute on-road racing needs to avoid in its rule/class structure at all levels.
Honestly, I'm not concerned with attendance at the Nationals. I think the quality and cost of racing at Nationals is better if it is a small event for the best. I think many race organizers have said that events can get too big. Sure, the Roar nationals aren't being held in Vegas, but its merely a place to crown a true national champion. Not to see who has the deepest pockets and can attend because they can afford it. A national championship should be foremost, about about skill.

With regard to Regionals. The cost of regionals is not going to be prohibitive because they are usually short events closer to home ( not requiring an airplane flight or taking days off work to attend ).

As far as this system appearing exclusionary , I've noticed that our regional fast guys are usually the guys that promote the sport the most and have been around the sport for the longest. If they want to be national champion, they are the ones that will make a regional event successful by getting the word out and help the sport to grow. If there is no value in promoting an event, club racing is all that will matter. Maybe that is enough, but so far, everyone seems to say we aren't gaining new drivers with our current system. Doing what we have been doing doesn't seem to be working, so either forget about a national title, or use it as a tool to grow regional racing. The new racers don't organize events, its the old pro's that do, so keeping them happy and motivated is probably a good idea, imho.

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Opening the mod classes to all racers probably hurts attendance unless you have a strong local following supporting the venue hosting the event. Since mod classes generally have a much smaller following compared to spec classes, I'd expect attendance to drop in proportion to the number of spec racers compared against those running modified.
I just thought that if Mod was the only alternative outside of a spec motor class at regional and national events, it might lead to more mod racing at the club / regional level because some people would be forced to run mod if they didn't like to run spec motors. IMHO, fragmentation is bad, so having fewer classes is good.

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While this represents a plan for crowning a champion (which could work with a few tweaks, and seems logically sound), plans like these focus on the wrong end of the pyramid. Our biggest problem involves finding a way to build on-road racing from the bottom up instead of viewing the situation from the top down. Finding ways to recruit and retain new racers needs to be of paramount importance right now - we can sort out who "wins" once we have enough people fighting for the prize.
See above. I think the people with the most enthusiasm need to be able to organize around a solid structure. If there are too many variables and issues to deal with ( motor tech being one of them ) and too many classes, it dilutes enthusiasm for the regional and club organizers to bring and keep new blood.
Keep everything as simple and inexpensive as possible and everyone has a better time and more can and will "do it".

But honestly, I think the motor of the month is what is killing RC racing more than anything.

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Old 11-20-2014, 12:26 PM   #399
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I have been reading the comments in here, and have some of my own.

First I think Rick Howart would make a fantastic ROAR President. He has vast multi-discipline experience and a total industry guy. Anyone running for President should hold an excomm position the year before they run IMO. Right now it's not a requirement, but it may be in the future. The incoming President needs his pulse on the challenges ROAR is facing when he comes in, not just the members. It's just common sense.

I like a lot of what I am reading in here about getting involved instead of just bashing ROAR. Speaking of Rick, he is a perfect example because he was not happy with a ROAR decision earlier this year, and now he is talking about holding an office. The unfortunate Eric Anderson circumstance was not pleasant, and nobody wanted to see that happen. I mean he didn't even make it to the excomm acceptance vote because he was not eligible, and the rule applies to EVERYONE. If you did the same thing, the same result would happen again... to anyone.

This notion that things are being done within ROAR to accommodate any company or with bias of some sort is just complete whooey. One thing I can say about the current excomm is they are fair and unbiased in handling things. If you think there is any bias or underhanded activity, you are uninformed. Anything like that would not fly and the membership would find out in a hurry. The excomm members are from different regions and different disciplines. There is no "good-ol-boy" crap going on I can assure you. Anyone with bias would be thrown under the bus.

Believe it or not, ROAR is gleaning information from this unpleasant situation, so maybe it's not all negative. The comments and concerns in here are being looked at by your board members and will be discussed.

Some things have been positive.. the ROAR website was updated last year and it is better and easier to use. Still room for improvement but it's moving in the right direction. The new spectacular off-road Vegas venue bid on the 2016 Worlds and was awarded the event, so that is positive. The product approval process has been tweaked and will likely be quicker. There are plans to correct all the craziness with the ESCs and motors in the stock class, etc. We have a lot to look forward to and much progress to make over the next couple of years. Let's do it together regardless who the guy is that holds the thankless position of ROAR President lol

Peace...
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Old 11-20-2014, 01:02 PM   #400
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With regard to Regionals. The cost of regionals is not going to be prohibitive because they are usually short events closer to home ( not requiring an airplane flight or taking days off work to attend ).
I respectfully disagree. As an example, the closest ROAR affiliated track to me is the same place that held 2014 Region 5 Championships. It's a 7 hour drive one way, starts on Friday (requires vacation), and is 393 miles away. So costs break down like so:

-ROAR Membership: $35
-Class Fees: $30/20 (we'll just say 2wd/4wd buggies)
-Hotel (3 x 75): $225 (driving down Thursday, not to miss practice)
-Gas (22.5 mpg @ $2.91/gal) $115(round trip approx, including travel between track/hotel)

So that total is $425, not including car preparations (ie. tires, wheels, etc.), food, etc.. In my opinion that's a pretty good chuck of change.

With a state race, it could be a 1 day race with many of those expenses minimized. An official ROAR state championship would draw in track memberships (to try and host) and racer memberships (just to compete).
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Old 11-20-2014, 01:23 PM   #401
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pitpop View Post
I have been reading the comments in here, and have some of my own.

First I think Rick Howart would make a fantastic ROAR President. He has vast multi-discipline experience and a total industry guy. Anyone running for President should hold an excomm position the year before they run IMO. Right now it's not a requirement, but it may be in the future. The incoming President needs his pulse on the challenges ROAR is facing when he comes in, not just the members. It's just common sense.

I like a lot of what I am reading in here about getting involved instead of just bashing ROAR. Speaking of Rick, he is a perfect example becasue he was not happy with a ROAR decision earlier this year, and now he is talking about holding an office. The unfortunate Eric Anderson circumstance was not pleasant, and nobody wanted to see that happen. I mean he didn't even make it to the excomm acceptance vote because he was not eligible, and the rule applies to EVERYONE. If you did the same thing, the same result would happen again... to anyone.

This notion that things are being done within ROAR to accommodate any company or with bias of some sort is just complete whooey. One thing I can say about the current excomm is they are fair and unbiased in handling things. If you think there is any bias or underhanded activity, you are uninformed. Anything like that would not fly and the membership would find out in a hurry. Too many of the excomm members are from different regions and different disciplines. There is no "good-ol-boy" crap going on I can assure you. Anyone with bias would be thrown under the bus.

Believe it or not, ROAR is gleaning information from this unpleasant situation, so maybe it's not all negative. The comments and concerns in here are being looked at by your board members and will be discussed.

Some things have been positive.. the ROAR website was updated last year and it is better and easier to use. Still room for improvement but it's moving in the right direction. The new off-road Vegas track bid on the 2016 Worlds and was awarded the event, so that is positive. We have a lot to look forward to and much progress to make over the next couple of years. Let's do it together regardless who the guy is that holds the thankless position of ROAR President lol

Peace...

This is what ROAR Has needed for a long time its just a shame that its taking all this other stuff to make it happen.

Thanks to you Paul, Rob and David Lee for coming here to actually read and interact with people who may not be associated with ROAR at the moment but could be in the future and for capturing their thoughts to consider.

Its just like in business. In order to attract new customers youve got to branch out and reach them. You cant hid in your own store and expect them to beat your door down!


One thing I will disagree on is requiring an incoming president to have to serve on the EXCOM for THE year previous to the election. I think that helps promote the "good ol'boy" perception even further. If perhaps the ROAR EXOM was more transparent the incoming president would be more knowledgeable about what is going on within ROAR before he got into office. Just saying.

EA
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Old 11-20-2014, 02:59 PM   #402
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Originally Posted by J.Pietsch View Post
Hi. Mainly an off-road racer here but I've been following this thread as I voted for EA. I can't say I have any personal gripes towards ROAR simply because Wisconsin doesn't have a single ROAR affiliated track, so their rules are suggestions but altered to maximize turnout. As a matter of fact, I first joined ROAR because they put a ban on ribbed tires for the SCT classes, which I felt was necessary.

Personally, even though I'm hoping to attend 2015 1/8 Electric Nationals, I would support a qualifying system. As some may recall, there was an opinion piece about big races getting too big, taking too long, etc. Qualifying for nationals would help eliminate that, as you could have a set number of spots. I also can not think of any other championship, that doesn't require you to qualify to be there. I know it's difficult not being a pro/salary racer, but it would probably help add order to the chao

I think one thing that would help not only with national events, but also get more membership (both racer and track) would be for ROAR to get more involved on a state level. Have an official ROAR State Championship. Maybe have the top 2 or 3 of each class qualify for nationals They don't necessarily go, but they made the cut and can feel good about it. If you miss the state championship, then attend your regional championship. The details would have to get worked out, but I hope it makes sense.

Finally, I appreciate what the on-road community is trying to do. I tried on-road this past summer and it was really fun. I wish it had a bigger following.
Sounds like your regional director is non existent. Region 2 has regional and state championships for both on and offroad. In addition they have an offroad series. Sounds like the participation problem may be specific to onroad. Mr. Cyrul in his liverc interview hit the nail on the head. Onroad needs an entry point for a new racer. Vta is not that place with full blown touring cars and nostalgic bodies.
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Old 11-20-2014, 03:19 PM   #403
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One thing I would like to see is a list of all ROAR members. Maybe somewhere on the website and broke down by region or state. This may help members connect and work together on the local level. I know other sports organizations do this.
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Old 11-20-2014, 05:53 PM   #404
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I will fully endorse you in the position of ROAR technical Director. You know the problems and issues and have the experience to set ROAR down the right path.
I really appreciate the endorsement Rick, but we all know I'm not "connected" enough. Just a lowly track owner......
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Old 11-20-2014, 06:29 PM   #405
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Here's a few ideas I have had that I think would be beneficial.

1. A year long, binding approval process. All products must be submitted by date X, approved by date Y, and would be legal until the following approval window. No "moving the bar" by instituting new equipment, or new testing processes mid-year.

2. I wouldn't exclude anyone from a National event, but maybe an automatic A qualifier spot prior to the first resort for each region's champion? That might incentivize participation in the Regionals without stunting potential attendance at the NATS.

3. And this is a long shot, but possibly work with the MAJOR non-Roar races and make their events the NATS? For example, 2015 the Carpet Nats are the IIC, 2016 Snowbirds, 2017 the US Indoor Champs, 2018 the MHIC or TZGP, etc.

8th On-road and Nitro TC could use the GLC, WinterNats, etc.
These are all well attended, and well run races, that have tech crews and staff already in place. It could relieve a lot of pressure on ROAR.

I remember the US Triple Crown, everyone went to Cleveland, the WinterChamps in Grand Rapids, then the Nats in Detroit. This idea sorta harkens back to the old days, but that formula did work.
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