NJTS – What’s the Points?

Posted: December 6, 2012 in Opinion
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I’m a big fan of the National Junior Track Series and think Max Stevens and those involved at CA have done an wonderful job of establishing this pinnacle series.  I’m off the Tassie tomorrow for my son and his team to compete in round three in Launceston.  I think the extension of this season’s first three events to two-day affairs is also a positive move – it does make them very long and hard days though!  An Aussie coach, who was in Perth, suggested that for riders making all finals it was as much racing in as short a timeframe as they’d probably ever have to cope with!

One element that I do think needs to be reconsidered is the points system.  There were changes this year from last: with points changing from 10, 6, 4, 2 to 5, 3, 2, 1 – for first to fourth – but that’s not the issue I have.  It’s for the riders just below the very top.  Riders that make a lot of finals but consistently finish mid-field (5th to 10th).  They’re arguably in the top 10 juniors in their category in Australia, but have nothing to show for it.  They have the same number of points as those that haven’t made one final – that is 1-point per round they’ve ridden.

It would be great if there were more points on offer in each final and the points went deeper – maybe for the top 10.  If its too hard for judges to keep track of finishing positions higher than top-four (and there lots of mistakes in the Sydney results), then maybe extra points are earned simply for making a final.  That way, a fairer and more reflective ladder is built – especially below the top-five or so riders.

I know its not super important for some kids/parents, but for others, who are finishing right behind the leaders and have nothing to show for it, there is no recognition for their hard work and for being so close.  The rankings so far can be found here by the way.  Good luck to everyone racing in Launceston.

Any how, my thought for the day… what do you think about this idea?

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Comments
  1. Max says:

    Max Stevens here and thanks for your feedback. Much appreciated and they are sound points in relation to the points system. We did have a long think about this area and reduced the points to make it easier for all concerned and keep the points table tighter. But I think will be looking at other options next season again. It’s only our second season willing to listen to all involved. The NJTS is all about opportunity, giving our juniors racing and plenty of it over the two days. Points shouldn’t be a focus, but I like your comments. When our juniors head to the Nationals they will be very experienced young bike riders. After four years we will have unearthed some real ‘experienced’ young track riders. Some will head towards High Performance Programs, the large majority however will assist in making senior track racing very strong in this country. We are just starting to see some very, very good talent. We have a focus on participation and high performance, we juggle both. Some young athletes are very slow in developing and we may not see their potential until their late teens early twenties, but irrespective of their level they will be experienced in the sport of track cycling. And as many successful professional cyclists will tell you, tracking racing develops skills like no other form of cycling. As I hop off my soap box, Could I suggest, in any sport it’s important not to reward mediocrity, athletes must understand where they are placed and what they need to work on to be in that top four. No one wants to see a ‘junior’ athlete on a ranking list in dead last position. That won’t develop them at all. Thanks.

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