WORS Annual Race Directors? & Riders? Meetings

WORS annual Race Directors? and Riders? Meetings were held preceding the WORS 2004 Awards Banquet on Saturday at Devil?s Head Resort. During the race directors? meeting the primary topics of discussion affecting WORS participants included:
1) Rain Dates/ 2005 schedule
2) Entry Fees/ Insurance/ Late Registration
3) Adding additional categories for racers.
4) Saturday events
5) Declining Citizen numbers
6) WORS Trail Run Series
7) Awards distribution
8) Timing and scoring
The short recap of the discussion on rain dates is the series wide use of rain dates would create a whole new set of problems with notifying races, sponsors, volunteers etc. and how and when to make the decision to postpone the event. In addition it would create an even greater financial risk for events and their local organizing committees, let alone racers. One option discussed to protect riders from loss of their entry fee, should they be unable to attend a postponed race, is event insurance. However, it was estimated that this insurance would increase entry fees one to two dollars per entrant for all events and this was determined unacceptable by the race directors. The history of WORS events held in the rain and their impact on the trail was examined. It was concluded that the impact on trails from past events has not been extreme or irreparable. Race directors did agree to include the planning of course alterations in case of rain. It is felt that this could alleviate situations similar to Hixton last year and Wisconsin Rapids this year. The one venue within the series where a rain date is absolutely mandatory is Crystal Ridge. A rain date of September 4 will be added to the WORS 2005 schedule for the Alterra Coffee Bean Classic. All other WORS races will run as scheduled with regard to rain.

Discussion on race entry fees for 2005 centered around the need to increase pre-registration. WORS stated that very high day-of registration numbers affect the speed of results secondary to increased data entry demands on the day of the race. Race directors expressed concern over being able to cover up-front costs related to their events because of delayed income from the decrease in pre-registration. Another major factor related to entry fees is the increase in insurance premiums for 2005. The explanation from USA Cycling?s insurance carrier: premiums need to be increased to offset the cost of increased claims on a whole nationally, related to an increase in the number of racers not carrying their own health insurance. The race directors were particularly concerned with the impact of higher entry fees on series riders. The end result: registration (formerly pre-registration completed at least seven days before the event) for WORS 2005 events for series riders will remain at $26 for Elite, $24 for Comp, Sport, & Citizen, and $15 for Citizen Youth with a NORBA membership refund at race registration for Comp, Sport, Citizen, and Citizen Youth of $2. Non-series entrants will pay $1 more. Late registration (formerly day-of registration) fees will be $32 for Elite, $30 for Comp, Sport, & Citizen, and $21 for Citizen Youth. Series riders will also be able to receive a $2 refund at race registration for each entry from a new WORS racer (defined as not currently in WORS data base) that is connected with their registration (not available for late registration). The convenience charge for online entry will remain at $1. All mail-in registrations for 2005 will be sent to WORS rather than the individual event.

WORS has received requests for the addition of women?s Singlespeed, Comp Singlespeed, and Comp Clydesdale categories. The race directors approved both singlespeed categories, however discussion on adding a Comp Clydesdale category was inconclusive at both the race directors and riders? meetings. WORS is looking for more input. It was also suggested and is under consideration that the defining weight for Clydesdale be raised to 225 pounds.

Discussion on running some WORS races on Saturdays concluded with the consensus of the race directors being that Saturday was needed to prep for the Sunday event. Also, holding an event on Saturday was not an option because the volunteers and race directors would need to take additional time from their real jobs to prepare for these events.

Regarding the declining number of Citizen racers in WORS, it is felt that there is a need for events to increase local promotion along with finding ways to introduce new racers to WORS. Events are being encouraged to work with their local shops and teams to develop learn to race programs that could be offered to area YMCAs, Boys and Girls Clubs, Big Brothers-Big Sisters and the like as well as the general public and bike shop clientele.

WORS has posted asking for someone to take over the direction of the trail run series. As a result of their response to our post, Cassie Gran and Peter Stinski, will be heading a team of volunteers to organize and promote WORS trail run series. If you are interested in being a part of the team, please contact Cassie at either: cassie_mtb@yahoo.com or cassandra.gran@tdstelecom.com.

Awards distribution with regard to the possibility of adopting a must attend the awards ceremony to receive your award policy was discussed. It was decided that WORS current policy will continue as stated in the current WORS Guidelines.

A representative from a timing company using a chip system made a presentation to the race directors last year. After the presentation, race directors concluded that the $2 increase in entry fees needed to cover the cost of using the system was not warranted. The individual who made that presentation did the timing for the Minnesota series this past year. He started timing the series using the chips, however discontinued their use, secondary to the amount of prep time needed for events like ours, where the greater percentage of entrants register on the day of the event. Conclusion: with the number of racers in WORS events, the use of chip timing would significantly limit allowing entrants to register the day of the event, late fee or not.

After the conclusion of the race directors? meeting, those race directors able to stay and WORS director, Don Edberg, met with a group of approximately 50 series participants in the riders? meeting. The topics from the race directors? meeting were recapped and discussion followed. A new topic came up regarding the back numbers used in WORS races. It was decided that it would be adequate to issue each series registrant two back number (WORS has been issuing four) and that WORS would be responsible to make sure each back number issued in 2005 had the age category written on it in large readable print. A mandatory move up policy was also outlined. For 2005, racers finishing in the top three of categories with ten or more finishers will be required to move up. Racers may petition WORS in writing if they feel they have a legitimate reason to remain in their current class.

WORS appreciates the input from all involved. WORS intends to post the 2005 Guidelines by the first of the year. This will allow approximately one month for modification should additional input from the racers deem it necessary.
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