Proposed controversial changes at the ACA

This coming December 6 at REI in Boulder the ACA will host their ACA Annual Club Council Meeting. Everyone is invited and each club will get 1 proxy for their votes. Below I mention two items that many have found controversial, as with many items there are two sides to every story. Trying to solve these issues at hand is not easy considering the size and demographics of the uniqueness of Colorado racers. In addition to the below proposals please take some time (especially if you have a proxy card in hand!) to review these and ALL items up for vote.

This was taken from the ACA forums here

Item #1 (35+3 and clarification of categories)

Amend Policy # 8 (ACA State Championships) and Policy #19 (Colorado BAR/BAT Program) of the ACA Policy Manual as follows:
Include Masters Men 35+3, with recommended race times/distances the same as MM35+4; change all references of masters categories from Senior, SM or SW to Masters, MM or MW; and change men's 35+ and 45+ categories to "35+ Elite" and "45+ Elite" respectively.

Rationale:

ACA Membership Numbers show that there are 339 men age 35-54 who hold a Cat. 3 racing license. This is one of the largest demographic groups in the ACA. Many of these men obtained their Cat. 3 license at a much younger age and are simply getting older. Many of them are racers who began racing in our extremely successful MM35+4 category and have upgraded due to results. Presently the options for the vast majority of these racers are poor, and the majority are fading away from racing. The choice is either to race against SM3 men who are young enough to be their sons, or race in what has been called the "open" categories which are truly elite categories not well suited to typical weekend masters athletes. Growing the sport and maintaining financial viability for promoters mandates that we find this group of racers a reasonable category in which to race.
Adding MM35+3 would promote upgrading from MM35+4, where presently, racers are reluctant to upgrade until "forced up."
Utilizing the same times and distances as the MM35+4 keeps racing as a realistic activity for men who have moved beyond MM35+4 in ability but do not have the interest, time or ability to add the increased training volume that SM3 or the elite masters categories require.
Changing the misapplied "senior" designations to "masters" simply avoids confusion and is consistent with how BAR/BAT has historically been run.
Clarifying the MM35+ and MM 45+ categories as "Elite" gives appropriate credit for the true level of racing that is occurring within those categories, and avoids the potential disappointment that results from a beginner masters racer mistakenly registering in one of those categories.


Item #2 (45+4)

Amend Policy # 8 (ACA State Championships) and Policy #19 (Colorado BAR/BAT Program) of the ACA Policy Manual as follows:
Include Masters Men 45+4, with recommended race times/distances the same as MM35+4.

Rationale:

ACA Membership Numbers show that there are presently 318 men age 45-54 who hold a Cat. 4 racing license. This is the 2nd largest demographic group within the ACA (only MM35+4 is bigger). This age/ability group also represents a very large growth segment of future customers who can financially support racing and its promoters in much the same manner as has the MM35+4 group. At the Deer Trail Road Race, this category was offered as an unofficial experimental category and drew 37 racers. It also had relatively strong numbers at the Hugo Road Race and the Federal Center Circuit Race.
The MM35+4 group has become so competitive and proficient that beginning men racers in the 45 to 54 age group usually have no realistic chance for success. There are a few exceptions, but many decide to race only time trials, or not race at all. Adding this category will retain existing racers and add additional new racers who would otherwise not participate in the sport. Especially with the cost of gasoline and other economic issues, it is imperative that the sport grow and sustain itself financially so that promoters continue to take the financial risk of putting on races.

Here are some other places there changes are being discussed
here

News Item: 

6 Comments

I think a 35+ 3 category makes sense

This is my first year back in CX and I've been racing the 35+ 4's. I'm not setting the world on fire with a best finish of 19th but think about moving up next year and a 35+ Cat 3 class sounds appealing. For me, the current 3's look like a tough field to crack and I'm not attracted to the 60 minute race. Then there's the 35+ class that can have cat 1's or pro's?
On the other hand I like having people to race with so if the 35+ 3's turns out to be a small field as it would split the already smallish 35+ category that would be a less than ideal outcome.

Go baby go! This would

Go baby go!

This would re-ignite my racing interest again next year. 3's are a bit hard for me given the time I want to invest, talent, etc.. 35+4's I would likely be called a "sandbagger" where this would be my ideal category! That's all no guarantee of success but at least I'd feel like I was competing against those that I should compete against.

T Ball?

35 Plus Cat. 4 is a bit of a T Ball catagory already, you know feel good and everyone gets a medal. However I do know it has great numbers and has gotten more guys over 35 into racing or back in racing. As a promoter I have always run it, becuase the riders support it.

However 35 plus cat 3 makes no sense to me. Do we need a catagory for guys over 35 who are too good for the 35 plus cat 4, but not good enought for 35 open? Does everyoen have to be a winner and get a medal? Come on people man up and deal with it. The other issue is it spreads the 35 plus guys out over more catagories, so the promoters now need to run more fields, with fewer guys.

It is interesting that the team that proposed this won the 35 plus cat. 4 BAT last year (SEAR). It looks like this is a special new catagory to go do, so the big bad open guys do not beat up on them.

You want an idea that make more sense and does not add a catagory? Turn 35 plus cat. 4 into 35 plus cat. 3/4 and leave 35 open alone. That would keep the 2 race slots in tact and give the riders some options.

For the reccord I am a 35 plus cat 3 who races open and enjoyes it. It is not that bad.